At this age, when I think of my childdhood, many different thoughts come to my mind, and I become emotional at times. My papa, was very much concerned about we growing up with moral values. He made us strong enough to face problems of life. His advices helped me to take decisions in crisis and difficulties, which I have faced enough. He did not get his parent's love, because his father died when he was just 7. His mother didn't know how to love or express love to her only son. His father was fond of him. My grandfather's only wish was to make my father educated. After death of my grand father, his elder bothers came and took my papa and grandmother. My grand father had a grocery shop and had some land too. The elder two brothers of grandpa has grabbed al lthe land and the shop. One great thing they did was to educate my papa with B.A.L.T. and R.B.V (Rashtra Bhasha Visharad). He became a high school teacher, and with his mother he started life.
My amma also was grown up without getting love from mother, as her mother passed away very early. Her life was restless at her step mother's hand. My papa married her when she was 14. Only thereafter my mother knew whats love. She loved and cared papa very much. Our grandmother spend rest of her life with my parents. Papa gave us limitless love. There are so many events of my childhood keep coming to my mind; I recall them for my own satisfaction.
I am the eldest of my parents 5 children. We all born in alternate years. In my village house, there was one big room , two small rooms and a small kitchen. Grandma used one small room and all of us use to sleep in the big one. Papa sleep on the cot. Amma and all children on a mat spread on the floor. After one sleep, we one by one in turn will go and sleep by the side of papa. In the morning, when amma wants to go to kitchen she would give the smallest one in his hands. All of us had a short sleep in his loving shelter.
When we grew further, he wakes up us early in the morning, and take us in the courtyard garden. He explains us the beauty of nature and daily use to give us some knowledge about things such as flys, plants, flowers, sun, moon etc. He loved nature and spoke to us long about nature and why we should love nature. Sometimes he told us moral stories, some of them from mythology. Such early morning interaction was preparing us to judge whats is good and bad in the need. Papa was fond of Bhagavat Geeta and kept telling us about the essense of geeta. I have not myself read the great epics Ramanayana or Mahabharata, but i know most of the stories in them.
Papa wanted to make us good human beings. So he gave us not only love but once in a while gave punishments too. He believed in the superpower that controls the world. He asked us to be kind to every human being irrespective of cast, religion, or money. He taught us to love our motherland and mother tongue. We learnt a lot from him.
I still remember a punishment from papa, when I was two years old. He used to take me with him during his evening walks in the neighbourhood. Sometimes I would insist to carry me during the walk. One evening he took me to the temple. While returning papa had shoulder pain. It was a bit dark. He placed me down on the ground near the gate and asked me to walk to the house. I said no. I wanted him to carry me inside. He told me sternly "If you come in by walk you can, otherwise you stay here". I stayed there like a statue. He waited for 2 minutes and then closed the gate. I waited for some more time. It is getting darker and darker. I called papa in trembling voice. Within a moment he opened the door, holding my hand walked to the house. He taught us to be obedient, humble, loving and helping humans.
When i was three years old, he sent me to a nearby school. At that time, there was no age bar for joining school. It was 11 years of school then. 1st to 4th standard, Malayalam medium lower primary; then one year preparatory class (we use to call it as four and half class) then starts the 1st form... and 6th form is the SSLC. Papa was not just a teacher to his student. He treated all his students as his children. He sue to keep an eye on the students behaviour and overall growth, in addition to academics. He use to advice and counsel students. If any student has to stop education because they cant afford fees (which was very very low at that time), he would help them by paying their fees. In those days of British rule, only primary school gave free education.
I reached 4th form, i.e., 7th standard. At that time my grandmother died, and my mother gave birth to the last of my siblings. After grand mother's death, Amma fell into depression. Papa took one month leave. My brothers and sister were very small kids. No relative came forward to help us. I completed 8 years of my studies. Papa had no other way but to ask me stop my studies and take care of household, mother who is in depression and all my young brothers and sister. Papa gave me elementary lessons of cooking; making simple curries, rice, and other things. I had no clue of how much chilly powder to put or how much salt. He asked me to check with him before I put salt and chilly into the curry. Thats the way I started my learning of managing home, at the age of 11. At that time papa taught me biology, mathematics etc. at home, to satisfy my academic hunger. He also arranged a master to teach me classical music. He got books from library and gave me, so I started reading from there, and even today i love to read, and do read, whatever i get.
Papa lived till he was 54, not that old. Many incidents come to my mind when I think of Papa. It will take many such blogs to write them. Will stop this here, and will continue later. The love and care that we got from him will always live in my mind.