Monday, July 03, 2006
Fr . mathew Shawls our memories
Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh was an unforgettable travel for us ( see article in this blog ) but what will linger for ever is our meeting father Mathew and finally remembering him forever as a memory !
On the long journey in our train to Guwahati we met a pleasant and amiable person in his late sixties ,he wasnt wearing the priests garb and he wasnt sitting near us at all but life springs some surprises and brings people closer to us with no plans or strategies .
Father gravitated to us and sat near me and enquired about us .He was pleased to hear we were travelling to distant Arunachal pradesh from his Kerala ,he told us all about him ,Hailing fromPala Father had been in Assam for more than forty years and he was like a local there loved by one and all .
He invited us to his convent at Mangaldeo on the way to tawang from Guwahati and we promised him we would do that .
As we reached Guwahati Father made us confirm that we would be having breakfast in his convent the next day morning and meticulously gave us directions .It was like we knew each other for years .
Guwahti and its Brahamaputra ,its rumbustious markets and its vibrant citizens made tha day flit pastand soon we were speeding in our Bolero on way to Tawang a trip which would last more than 36 hours on the raod with a stay over at a hill station .
Three hours after leaving Guwahati through roads that resembled Kerala and its houses we reached Mangaldeo way behind schedule ,poor father had decided we had forgotten him and the sister staying in the convent too thought those doctors did the vanishing trick on father who had lot to say to them about us .
Father was so happy to see us and we apologised for the delay ,he introduced us all around and we were welcomed by the sisters all from Kerala ,a sumptous mallu breakfast of kappa and pittu etc ,
after taking us around father told us he was to become the vicar general shortly of Tezpur and told us to come to Tezpur from tawang and promised us he would take us to Bhutan .
before we left we stood for snaps with dear father and then he covered both of us lovingly with two manipuri shawls colourful and bright ,its warmth was all along with us in the trip and it still does when we remember him .
Tawang and back to tezpur father kept his word he met us for dinner in the hotel where we stayed and we gifted him a huge chinese umbrella .
Next day we went with father and an Assamemse friend of his to a bordre town of BhutanSangrup Jorhan .
father was nice and detailed us all about the place .The whole day we spent with him .
we left father to Shillong and we made him promise that he would stay with us at cochin when he comes next .
Father had told us to llok up his niece working as a nurse in my hospital and i coveyed all news to her
We called father a couple of times after that .
One day the punch came out of the blue ,fathers niece called me and said father was murderd by a disgruntled assamese priest who sliced his neck in his bed because he would not give him the money he asked ofr .Father became a victim of his honesty
A person who was a s gentle as alamb was struck down by a monster after money .it was a great blow to us .
This piece is memory of Father Mahtew who came from somehere and met us and left behind lingering memories and two shawls .
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