Suddenly thought a lot about my father. An unassuming, soft spoken and witty person.
He was orphaned at an early age, and along with his 4 brothers, two elder to him and two younger (5 Pandavas) were under the care of their aunts. He lost a sister when she was 10 years. She developed high fever after seeing something ghastly and did not recover.
He did menial jobs to survive and one day at the age of 17 ran away from his home in Kerala to join the army.
He had left behind his beloved, my mom. They were related, were friends and finally became lovers.
Once he had brought his friend, an Englishman whom my siblings and I fondly called Uncle Ted to his hometown in Kerala. My mother a teenager used to hide behind a pillar to watch. On catching sight, my father used to point her out to Uncle Ted saying she was his bride.
When they got married, they moved to Ooty and then Bareilly. It was a dream life my parents lived.. Though my father did not have any prestigious rank, he was loved by all alike, the less ranked and the high ranked. My mother was thus lucky to go to all the high ranking parties as my father was invariably invited for everything.
The house they lived in Ooty was built in British style having wooden floors and huge rooms.
Since there used to be large gardens, there was a supply of fresh fruits and vegetables everyday and a fresh leg of mutton especially by order for my father.
I still remember a man on bike delivering oats and cornflakes packets.
When my older brother was a few months old, my father had some kidney problem and admitted in a Pune hospital. and in the next room Dilip Kumar too was undergoing some treatment.
My mother brought the roof down and had to be taken to Pune to be with my father.
My younger sis and I were born at the command hospital, Bangalore. Had the good luck to visit the hospital with mom at the age of 60. A revisit when I was a sr, citizen.
I've never seen my father angry. The only time he used to be angry was when he used to teach me maths. The knock he used to give on my knuckle with a hanger was enough to make me say the wrong answer everytime, so it was more knocks. But my father was a wonderful maths teacher as I realized later on. But maths was never my subject.
Remember him chasing me to squeeze juice from a orange peel. Invariably I escaped but he had his way in the end. He resigned from the army in the early 60s due to some injury and came to Kolkatta in search of a job.at the behest of my eldest maternal uncle. Before resigning, he was posted in Barrackpore. Still remember the monkey menace. Our quarters were in a forest like area. It was here I remember the man on bike delivering oats and cornflakes. He resigned from his job after an injury and at the behest of my elder maternal uncle who did not get him any job as promised, found out a job himself in Sahu Jain. It was late Dr. Tarneja who took to my father and employed him. Dr. Tarneja was his boss. He endeared himself to one and all.
Dr. Tarneja made it a point to come home for breakfast with family on every New Year Day till my father was alive.
Remember him going for Hindi movies with a college. One he had gone for a movie and when enquired, he said it was caled Janwar or something when in fact it was Ganwar which he had seen.
My father was lucky to be present for his elder son's wedding and passed away in sleep one month later.
It was a coincidence that Uncle Ted and another friend came to see him at the hospital. I was seeing Uncle Ted for the first time and flattered by the praises lavished upon me..My father had plurasy and suffered a lot. On recovering, he was present on my brother's wedding.
Had a chance to be present for Dr Tarnja's daughter's wedding in Mumbai with Venu.
On realizing that I was VTV's (he was fondly called VTV, full name Vadakke Thelakkat Vasudeva Menon) daughter what he said still remains fresh in my memory.. He said,' It is like VTV having come to bless my daughter."
He was also instrumental in my becoming a teacher. Will ever remain grateful to him.
Really lucky to have had a wonderful, loving and caring father. He is in his heavenly abode since 35 years. Really miss him.