Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Lekha's dad's first remembrance day.

Exactly a year back, Lekha's dad had passed into the mist of time on this day. Lekha had gone to Kottarakkara with her younger sister that day itself while mom and I had gone the next day to attend his funeral. The events come back with distinct clarity as I recollect our times with him.

He was a disciplinarian and rarely showed his emotions. His children didn't take any liberty with him and it was only Lekha who spoke out her mind with him. He accepted her suggestions and opinions, most of the times and it was fun watching them exchange their thoughts. It was a regular exercise in the eve of our trips to Kottarakkara, when she used to pick and choose eatables for him - since he was diabetic, there were things that were a strict no no - from the shops that she frequented out here.

Our first stop, always, on reaching Kottarakkara was a visit to him and within the short while, he'd inquire about our programme and the duration of our stay. The last time that we'd met him, he'd asked us to find out as to why we're travelling most of the time with very little time spent at 'The Quarterdeck'. Lekha used to tell me that he used to be fascinated about our trips - incidentally, they're quite usual and ordinary if you're to ask me - and would insist on her to give a detailed account of the event, right to the minutest details.

       *                            *                                *

Years back, in Aug '93, when Lekha was in the CCU of the Lisie hospital and the doctor had told me to call our near and dear ones, as he stood by her bedside, he'd broken down and cried. I'd told him then that there was nothing to worry as she was gonna be with us and I remember the look that he gave me - that was loaded with hope and surprise - wanting every word of mine to be true!

       *                            *                                *

Much later, when his wife had passed away, Lekha had caught the early morning flight from New Delhi to attend the funeral. I wasn't able to accompany her as there was an official negotiation that was going on. After seeing her off in the flight, I'd called him up to say that the funeral should be carried out only after Lekha's arrival as she wanted to see her for one last time. Despite the clamour for going ahead with the funeral activities at the appointed hour before sunset, he'd issued a diktat, "Nothing will happen till Lekha reaches here and pays her tribute." And that was that....the two of us had monitored her movement, all the way from New Delhi to Kochi and from the Kochi airport to their house, 'Krishnarchana', at Palakkad.

       *                             *                                *

Again, when his leg was amputated, everyone wondered as to how he would restrict himself to being static and sure enough, he'd come out with a solution which he went about putting in place like this:-

       * Had the Kovai Medical Center fit him up with a prosthetic limb(Later, through my friend and
          doctor, we'd got him a lighter one at Kochi).
       * Locked up his house at Palakkad and shifted to one of his houses at Kottarakkara, within the
          ambit of his dad's house and asked his eldest daughter, along with her family, to shift into
          the second house within the compound so that she took care of his everyday needs like food,
       * Bought himself a sedan and would choose his drivers as per their availability. A monthly trip
          to Palakkad was a must to collect his pension and also to have a look at his house!
       * He used to buy eatables and clothes - during festivals - from his favourite shops and distribute
          them on his return. A call at our place in the morning to have a cup of tea and meet up with his
          daughter, on his return leg, was an important serial of his itinerary.

That serial was carried out two days prior to his passing away! My mom had come out to talk to him while he remained seated in the car, next to the driver, as always. Little, then, did we realise that we're having our last glimpse of him, alive!

RIP dad! Our tears and prayers.


'Raja part Rangadurai' has done it again. He'd put out a remembrance column in the Palakkad edition of the Mathrubhoomi newspaper with dad's photograph and captioned it as inserted by his wife, children and her brother and his family, leaving out Lekha and her older sister, Letha. The small and petty minded guy that he is, he seems to be still upset about having been thwarted from his crooked attempts to carry out his devious plans, during the division of the family property.  

No comments:

Post a Comment