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Monday, July 18, 2016

my uncle OUK Nair

Use of telegram ( not the recent IT application in the news ) but the clickety clack Morse code way of conveying messages which only people of my generation would remember ,not the younger ones
Those days the telegram always heralded an emergency and one was tense to find out what it revealed ,if it just said a congratulatory or greeting message or an appointment order or a transfer order etc one was a little revealed ,it could say somebody was arriving by the morning train ,etc
the message we are sorry to inform that .......expired is the worst a telegram can bring ,
I got more than three WA and FB message at a speed no telegram could reach ,telling me that my fathers brother Oootil.Unnikrishnan Nair had passed away early today morning ,and in minutes i had also passed it to relevant people i knew .
Uncle had lived a full life of ninety seven years or more .
I talked of Telegram here is because my uncle unnimamma as i have always called him , on retirement was the Director of post and telegraph Department southern division in Hyderabad ,
that was four decades back .

Tall ,lean ,handsome with a royal visage he was the youngest of my fathers three brothers and two sisters ,their father parameswaran moos was a well known traditional Ayurvedic physician of Malappuram district ,
Unnimamma joined P and T during the early fifties i think and made his way up steadily up .
He always had been my hero as he used to dress so well ,at any time , even in his ripe old age .
Unnimamma was dapper in neatly ironed shirts pants or dhoti ,he was stylish in his habits ,i remember he used to travel in first class only in the in the Railways
i also remember most houses he stayed ,Jolly cottage in Kallayi ,the huge official quarters on top of the P and T head office in Calicut beach .
At that time there was a P and T strike on and no one was allowed to enter the office ,we were staying for a few days then ,in the night Unnimamma was busy as he got phone calls from many ,i could hear his soft but stern voice handling the whole issue with no fear or favor but strictly as it should be ,all this made an impression of my young mind that sincerity and honesty and courage could deal with any obstacles and all we need is a clear conscience ,he never told me all this in so many words but his behavior conveyed ti to me and to all of us in the family
he had a soft corner for me as i had lost my father at ten years
unnimamma had great respect for my dad as he was his eldest brother and had taken care of him and other siblings in their younger age as they too lost their father when young,
i remember him in front of my father standing with great respect and speaking softly but they loved each other a lot

later in recent years whenever possible when in India i would make a point to visit uncle in Calicut ,
He was very interesting as a conversationist and had definite views on the political trash in Kerala which was more or less similar to mine and his sarcasm was greatly enjoyed by me !
he always used to comment on my growing tummy as he was fit as a fiddle .
to know that the karnavar or oldest member of our family is no more is sad ,but to me today is a day of remembrance rather than pain .
,Remembering him when he caught me a ten year old as i swooned after my dads cremation ,
remembering being taken to a doctor in Calicut for some problem i had ,
remembering him when he was so glad i got into medicine
so many small things i could recollect
may your soul rest in peace my dear uncle
please give my hellos to my beloved dad when you meet him wherever !

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