Monday, September 24, 2018

Adieu Madhava!

Madhavan was the watchman-cum-security-in-charge of the multi-storeyed building near the BPL factory on the Pollachi koottu patha, in Palakkad. My sister, Rema stays there. We go there frequently and are slated to go there the day after, to celebrate my nephew, Achu's birthday.

Madhavan was always thrilled to see me and used to earmark a slot to park my car so that it was safe from the weather. He used to ascertain as to which of the residents was out of town so that I could park my vehicle, without problems. And he used to wash down the car the next morning. Earlier, when my mom used to be there in short spurts, as we ran our errands, he used to monitor her during my sister's absence while she was away in her school. Amma and Madhavan had a unique relationship and she used to call him 'Madhavaswamy'!

Around 67 years of age, the dark complexioned, wiry Madhavan was a bundle of energy who was everywhere, with his pleasant countenance, sorting out emergencies as and when they sprung up. He was a man for all seasons, ran errands on request and was a great help and a favourite to the residents. He has five children and all of them are settled. He had cut off his relationship with his elder brother but this time, he sought to make amends to it and attended his remembrance day rituals. Wonder whether that action of his had any connection with the subsequent chain of events? He fell ill on return and never returned to work as he had become totally bedridden, lost his voice and refused to be taken into the new house adjacent to his, that he'd helped his son to build with monetary assistance. Earlier, he used to help Lekha's dad to clean up his house when he used to come to Palakkad on his monthly visits.

When my sister had gone to look him up with a few other residents, a fortnight ago, he mumbled that he wanted to get back to work with tears flowing almost continuously. Did he, then, know that his end was near, I wonder?

RIP Madhava. Wonder what forces brought us together but I'm glad that I got the opportunity to interact with you and to receive your love and affection. My salute to a dedicated worker along with my tears and prayers! May your near and dear ones have the strength to tide over these stressful times. The residents of the apartments - especially Rema, Padmakumar and Achu - whom you served passionately will miss you, I'm sure.

I shall miss you when I come there the day after! Your presence beside the car and assisting me with the luggage will be missed but you shall be remembered fondly. Can I be assured of your unseen presence?


The seven days' course of antibiotics was over yesterday but my throat continues to have the irritation and the cough, though at a much reduced intensity and frequency, persists. Must show myself to Dr(Mrs) Sodhi, at her clinic tomorrow, next door. 

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