Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day

           Now a days one has all sorts of days which cater to Ad guys whims..Tomorrow is Father’s day, and my thoughts went back to my childhood and what I remember of my father.He was fond of wines and also English pictures and classical western Music.He named me in honour of Johann Strauss while my brother was named Mendelssohn.But both of us did not learn any Music though we loved to hear all sort of music. He attended the Church occasionally with my mother who was a staunch Sunday church attendee and part of choir and also stood first in studies most of the time while he was a student leader at Christian college, Madras during the 1930s.I remember him talking about Tamil scholar Sargunar and he used to visit his friends Mohamed Usman,Harris ,CP pattabhiraman and lot of Anglo Indian friends .He was fond of Boxing and one Kitheri Muththu, a professional boxer coming to him for tips.He left his job in Madras corporation and took up the job of Panchayat  officer because he liked the word “officer”.
 I am  a baby
in the hands of my aunt,mother and father.
  What i liked to remember is the various English pictures which I saw with my father and later Tamil pictures because he used to get free entry in village touring talkies made of tent.He gave the licence for them.He was also a staunch admirer of Periyar EV Ramaswamy naicker and never feared to express it openly inspite the Government of that time under Rajaji opposed EVR.He was also friendly with Tamil Drama activist MK Radha who used to stage the play “Raththa Kanneer”.I always liked the back stage visit as MKRadha used to give a cup of tea when I sat on his lap.He also helped dramatist AP Nagarajan who used to suffer in penury but was a brilliant actor and staged lot of plays like “Maya machandra”
  As he was corrupt, and never passed any departmental exams, he was never given any promotion but just before his retirement, he was promoted as BDO.So he was forced to depend on my mother’s teaching job after his retirement and almost nil pension.He was honest enough to tell me that he cannot send me to Engineering college but funded my graduation at St.Joseph’s college, one of the best colleges in Tamilnadu.He allowed me to study Chemistry in my graduation instead of Physics in which I scored much more marks in my Intermediate exam.Fr.Exhrhart, our Principal asked the same question and my father replied that he likes Chemistry and that was that.I think I liked my studies only due that.
 Now Ifeel he was a sort of Atheist and so abhorred organised Church. He was feeling bad when DMK split from DK under CN Annadurai as EVR married a young nurse. Mr.Sabapathy editor of Viduthalai, a DK paper always stayed in our house whenever he visited small  village towns.
  What I remember most and stood me in good stead in later years is the dinning into my years
which he did about all Humans. I used to be in awe of Gandhiji, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and other great men of our time.But he used to say in crude way that all these men went to toilet!
When I took the name of Pope, he said the same by including the name of Queen Elizabeth,and yest-er year actress like Vijayanthimala about whom he knew I had a crush. Basically he imparted that humans will remain humans and I never got disappointed due to exposure of corruption,sexcapades of leaders like Kennedy,Clinton, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan and now Gandhi or modern Church leaders.All are humans.
  He was fond of eating non vegetarian food and died having his brain curry, the day he died due to Diabetic gangrene. He always took me to Bangalore when he came for his beer drinking and as I live in this city now I miss his presence when I visit the older part of city and Naidu’s restaurant at chickpet!!! A great Father.