Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My dearest, one and only Valliyacchan passes away

"Oh Death, how much you make me feel like turning back the clock just to my previous Kerala vacation where I could have seen him just one more time." I deeply regret I didn't do that. Now that he is gone can I hear his powerful voice one more? His advice, his jokes, his words of courage and the way he used to imitate other people. But his biggest strength was the way I saw him facing death, particularly when his son-in-law passed away. What I saw in him was a mountain of strength. Being an ex-army man he would tell me of the deaths and suffering he had seen in the three wars he had been in. One of those wars was in Congo when the Indian army was sent as part of the UN Peace Keeping mission way back in the early 60's. I still recall those pictures of him in Congo. He would tell me he hadn't shot or killed anyone but he had seen enough death and suffering. He would also take part in the Goan war and later in one of the wars with Pakistan. He was a very brave man. Among many of the tips and tricks from his life in the army he would tell me that if you were to lie on the ground, with your ears to the ground you could always hear anyone or any animal coming towards you even if you are asleep.

Valliyachan was a brilliant actor too. No wonder he used to sneak out after dark from his home (as Valliyamma was totally against it) to act in plays. I also recall Mini (his daughter, my cousin) preserving a black and white poster from one of those plays where Valliyachan played the role of a Police Inspector.

Valliyachan always kept himself active be that in the fields attending to the plants or at home. No wonder he was in such good health. He was an exceptional cook. Non-vegetarian was his speciality. All you had to do was to give him the live chicken and he would take care of the rest. Oh yes, he had his own way of killing the bird. He would tell me it was a painless method but the truth is we would never hear a sound or struggle. I still recall him cooking chicken in the open pot for the entire family while we cousins would spend our time playing.

I will never forget his great love for children too. Even Chaithu, remembers him so well. In fact he had left the army so that he could spend more time with his son.

Every man has his share of good and the bad but to me Valliyachan's immense potential was completly wasted. Death brings so much forgiveness in the minds of people. I pray I remember the many wonderful things I learnt from him. For me there will never be another Valliyachan like him. May his soul rest in peace.

1 comment:

Mustang said...

Sigh... Life is just a journey, he has moved on.. But im glad he leaves you with such tender precious memories for you to hold on to.

My deepest condolences.