Tuesday, 16 October 2012

63, RAVIPURAM REVISITED ....

     


It is exactly a year since Thavo, my elder  brother passed away. Ravipuram is the location of cemetery in Kochi city where his body was buried,63 being the tomb number. In fact my first posting 'Adios Chatten ' was published in this blog soon after he died last year.


Expect the unexpected! I did not, when we landed in Kochi in end April 2011 prelude to betrothal of Vinay, our eldest son.We had to get ready for the happy occasion and a lot of arrangements had to be done during the 2 weeks left.Sure, we can cope up within the short time left,I thought since Kochi is my home town plus my brother is always there to support in these matters.But something else was in store for us. Following  pain in the abdomen which was bothering him for sometime,after a series of tests, my brother was detected of lung cancer!!It was confirmed 2 days prior to the event.I  decided not to reveal to him or anyone else till the betrothal is over (except Geetha and Vishal.Vinay, who is a doctor played a pivotal role then and thereafter). 

I had to go through very very difficult days ..although by and large nobody noticed,few close to me asked whether I am alright, could be seeing my facial expressions!Two days like I never went through in my life! During those two days in fact I was planning how to reveal the truth  to my brother and other immediate family members,how to get them(and myself) ready to accept the unexpected situation,how to cope up with turn of events - medically, financially, physically, socially.....The very next day of the event , I did as rehearsed myself - presented the issue and as advised by Vinay  actioned for immediate treatment  with the best expert in the state. He died six months later. 

Curtain was drawn all of sudden,quite unexpected,to our intimate, unique and close relationship as  friends and brothers  - some of our relatives and friends used to call us ' aniyan bava , chatten bava ' -  which spanned for 61 years  on 16 Oct 2011.Few musings in this occasion.



What I didn't tell him ....during those 6 months

I did not tell him that he was already in the 4th (last) stage of his cancer when detected.Only  months are left,doctors  told me.Instead I preferred to give him (and others except Geetha, my wife) hope and urged to fight with the disease. He (or others) never knew that the end is near - till the penultimate day of his life. ( Isha , my sister told me later that he was trying to show her on that day a ' bye sign ' with his weak   hand while he was with an  oxygen mask and hardly could speak!)

I did not tell him that I have spent hours and hours in Internet to know  about his dreadful disease ever since it was detected till the last day...searching for any possible remedies and more to find out the state of mind of a patient in such cases.

I did not tell him about the 'helplessness'  I felt myself being beside him in the hospitals , especially when he used to suffer with severe pain ."As if someone pokes on a open wound with a pencil " , he defined his own pain   to me when asked once!I did not tell what he had told me to any of the kith and kin either then.

I did not tell him that I have quit smoking myself on the day his disease was diagnosed and confirmed.Over 40 years of being a moderate smoker I stopped myself overnight.Since then I never had the craving till this day!

 I did not tell him that I did notice his moist eyes when he saw me giving out an invitation card for the wedding of Vinay to a visiting relative while in the hospital room since I was running against time .Thereafter I never did that .....

I did not tell him about the sad demise of our common friend Gilbert who went through similar circumstances almost at the same time. Last we met him was in the oncology dept of Amritha hospital when I and chatten were there.I was the lone witness of a meeting of two close friends in a place where we never thought would take place!


What I have learned since then ..

I have learned that anything can happen to anyone at anytime.Life need not be fair to all . In spite of these bare facts , life is still enjoyable .

I have  learned that one of the most difficult things in life is unexpected death of a loved one.I never experienced this before.I  knew it but never experienced.It is just terrible feeling at times when I realize that we will not meet again!

I have  learned that visiting a cemetery where your loved one lies once in a way is not a bad or mad idea after all .It is just a personal choice ...

I have learned that time will heal everything but can take a little more in some cases , mine being the later case!

I have learned that right interaction,mutual help,transparency .....among the immediate family members  will boost the confidence level of all to face boldly situations like this.  Life can be much better this way .

I have learned that quality of relationship is more important than quantity,if one has to choose.


What I would I tell him first , given a chance again...

"You are a popular man among friends,colleagues,neighbors and relatives . Tested and proven!!"


After he is gone,Kochi,the city where we are born and brought up, continues to change drastically. More and more of hypermarkets, multiplexes,international brands of junk food,fashion products,high rising sky line...the metro in the making ......everything is growing except the basic infrastructure which continues to be the same,more or less, when we were cycling in our school days the town which was then  limited between the north and south railway bridges!Kerala tries to 'emerge' without the basics-potable perennial water supply, uninterrupted electricity,drainage network,good roads,waste management , health facilities for all - like any other state in India !!

One more our common friend has left this world since then, unexpectedly ....

Summer,spring and rainy days have come again to Puthoor,KKP Road... Flowers have bloomed again at home  garden. Sparrows- Adakka kili-  are once again chirping around the house.The 'sherrygoa' mango tree keeps on giving fantastic fruits, if the insects let . Everything is getting back to track once again . 

Except him!Sooner or later he also will be forgotten. So also me, when my turn comes, whenever it is ...paving the way for the next generations. "That's Life", as we used to say  on certain topics , while strolling at ' Mangala Vanam' at times, place  I have not visited since he left! 

Ramayana says " Life and death , joy and sorrow , gain and loss....these dualities cannot be avoided . Learn to accept what you cannot change" . This is exactly I am trying to to do now .....



                                                                                   
                                   

My brother has been an ardent fan of western  music - jazz , pop, rock , folk , instrumental - since his teens , a rarity among Indians those days. Elvis Presley , Cliff Richard, Englebert Humberdinck, Credence Clear Water Revival......  Beatles , Monkeys, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix , Bee gees , Bony M ....Michael Jackson , Madonna, Spice Girls ......to the latest of 2011, could be  Gaga , Rihanna, Adele !

Now I dedicate this song...Some day I will see you again....by Westlife.



Bye Bye..Captain !



38 comments:

  1. Nice blog Appa. I had tears in my eyes while reading it.>> Regards,> Vishal

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ima sent an mail:
    Really nice .
    I also went through such a situation when amma left me all of a sudden. even now i feel sad thinking that i can't talk to her anymore. chechi and ibenchacha are lucky to be with her at that time. They got a chance to travel with her to Kottayam to see all her relatives the day before she died
    Ima

    ijainu

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  3. Dear Jaison Chettan,



    Good initiative. We can support you with a proper website.



    Thanks



    Saji

    ReplyDelete
  4. Geetha sent a mail:
    Touching tribute to a wonderful brother....RIP chatten

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  5. A touching tribute to a person who was special to us all. RIP Thavo Chettan.

    Vineeth

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  6. Its so touching and brought tears in my eyes too, though I haven't seen ur brother...Jaison Uncle.

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. VG THOMAS sent an eamail:
    Jaison,

    Read your blog content about Thavo. One year has gone after his departure from all of us.
    My liking to him is due to his very frank and unassuming character. No pretentions and
    not much talk about himself. . His inherent love to all his friends and above all
    his very very humorous nature - all will remain fresh in our memories.
    My memories about him emanate from St. Alberts College days with his NCC Uniform and in
    the unique style he was marching in the parade ground.

    MAY BE this place is not that suitable for people like him to live and so GOD has taken him away
    from us to a peaceful abode above. May God give his soul peace and happiness among His
    Heavenly angels.
    Thomachan
    Doha
    16.10.2012

    ReplyDelete
  9. Very touching and its like we lost our captain yesterday. During the last visit we made(which we never realised then) to meet captain, we all - paachu,wilma,vishal and myself had an opportunity to share a box of chocolate with captain. he merrily joined us and ate one full bar of chocolate. Vellimayi helped captain to open the wrapper since he was too weak. But as usual he cracked a few wits, ate the chocolate, commented on vishal's mumbai life, paachu's teenage pranks that we all will have to go through and also commented on that day's lunch menu!! we will always miss u captain in everything.
    sunish..

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  10. haii
    read all ur --musing from doha-- esp.the one about Thavo.i join uto say visiting the lovd ones in their sleep with a flower ifpossible,esp on imp.occasions is a blessing or inspiration to move on.i do visit my parents in my native place (mallapally). whenever i ivisit my brother where they r laid to rest.of course it is individualconcern
    Darelychechy

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  11. Mrs Gertie sent an e mail:
    Dear Jaison,Remembering Thavo .... and your love for him.With love to you, Geetha, children and families, from all of us.Gertie.

    ReplyDelete

  12. Dear Sir,


    You have a way with words..........


    I'm short of words to express my feelings .........


    Really heart touching...


    Regards.


    Atul Bhar

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sir, I still remember your busy day in office when your brother breathed his last, attending meeting one after the other, hiding the sorrow deep inside.

    You've drawn your love for your brother and also the reality of life. Life - the only thing no one dares to guarantee. I really felt heavyhearted when i finished reading.
    -Ajo

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  14. Mohan Ayeroor wrote:
    Me and my wife Usha is attending the works of Pain and Palliative care org in Tvla around...so we could see the sad extend of all sorts of life..people suffering with money ..without money..with friends and relatives....and in solitude......ha "MAYA"..


    I am taking the privilege to quote a reference from "Mruthumjay"( Sivaji Savanth's Marathi Novel) ' Oru Manushyan thante purushardhatheyum sathayeyum kurich ethra prumbhara muzhakkiyalum, avasanam vidhiyude sakthiyarnna kaikalil oru kalippattam mathramayitheerunnu'.


    Good to be with u at this satellite junction.
    best regards- mohan

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  15. Chandran KA sent an email:
    Dear Jaison
    Same thing happened to me 40 years ago(41st year on 7th NOV) my beloved younger brother left us in a car accident when he was coming after his final year MBBS exam; from calicut Medical college.Still I am panic when I think of that day.Life and death,Joy and sorrow,Gain and loss cannot be avoided.
    Regards
    CHANDRAN

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dear kochappa,
    i dont know how to express to you after reading...... it's just that beautiful .while reading i felt like mourning for him will never stop.... .have to tell you he still lives among all of us ...i know he had that such impact on all of us.
    Thara Alex

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  17. Jaison,




    This made me remember the good old days with Thavo.


    Thank you,






    Oommen (Oboy)

    ReplyDelete
  18. An e mail from Dr. Mohan Joseph:
    A very touching and truthful portaryal of emotions and close bondage between brothers. We all miss, Thavo as we called him; we had known him from his days as a student in College of Fisheries Mangalore, where he was in the last batch of the MPPTC diploma course. We also were with him when he started his life as a newly married in Mangalore where worked at that time and since then met him many a time in professional meetings and family functions.

    When I think of Tavo, I recollect a great quote: IT IS NOT IMPORTANT HOW LONG YOU LIVE, BUT HOW YOU LIVE".

    He has exemplified this truism through his life. And let us all remember that in our lives.
    Monachayan
    (Mohan Joseph Modayil)

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  19. Thank you Jaison. I am just holding on to all the good memories.He was always great to me, I was lucky enough to have that last visit when you all came to see Appa in IJK hospital.
    lulu

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  20. Mrs Lulu continues in another mail...
    Dear Jaison,
    After 60, we all are feeling the age.
    I remember my last visit joking with Thavo with his lack of grey how young he looks. We three were such a great company. For a long time for that few months difference I use to call him Thavo chetan!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you remember the time I think it was you asking Thathi is your Father till only a lawyer and she very clearly answered back, No, he is a judge now!!!!!!!!!!!!and for a long time everyone use to call him Judgey Appacha. We all sleeping in one row on the upstairs veranda and falling asleep listening to Thathi's boarding school stories. Ummamma use to make us girls clean Chakkakuru one of the worse jobs. I still remember one day Sojen chettan killed a frog and we all had a funeral with him leading in front as priest. He was my hero. Sherry climbing the coconut tree!!!!!!!!!!!1. Sitting in a row on the floor to eat kaji in the moring , evening trip to kolam. catching little fish with towel. One day thavo got a little cut and appammai has to put the medicine, He started crying saying I am gong to die---- , I am going to die----- and I died-----. we all were gathered around him. I better stop before I break down.
    lulu Chechi

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "63, RAVIPURAM REVISITED ....":

    I've learn some just right stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much attempt you place to make this kind of wonderful informative site.

    ReplyDelete
  22. A email from Mr. Alex and Mr.George of Baby Marine Group, Kochi

    Dear Jason achayan,

    We read ‘63, Ravipuram Revisited’ with a heavy heart and a lump in our throat, but it also made us feel proud of the fact that a bother should remember his Achayyan with such affection and reverence.
    What a beautiful Ode you have made to your brother. Our families and all members of the Baby Marine Group share your sentiments.
    For our father and us, no one will be able to fill the void that has been left by our very dear late Chacko sir

    (or Chackochen as our father calls him). In our years of knowing Chacko sir, we discovered that he was a man who led by example. His years in the EIA , from the time he was associated with our father were marked by his straight forwardness and his sense of duty to take the Seafood Industry forward and put it on the map. He was dedicated, had a very vast knowledge about his subject and would educate anyone on any subject concerned with Marine life. He knew the ways of working of Government offices and was able to guide us
    regarding how we should approach certain subjects. He was such an asset to our Organisation and we could depend on him and his vast experience and knowledge to help us out of situations which we were unaware of.

    There were many evenings when we used to sit with papers in front of us and Chacko sir used to come, spend time,guide us and tell about his past experiences, share personal matters etc. He always used to make a statement, “You are young people, and I am confident that you can take the Seafood Industry to greater heights” – what encouraging words and trust he had in us. We miss him so much and wish he was around to guide us.

    We also learned from him the pride of belonging to Kerala. He loved his state with its good and bad. He has such a vast knowledge of history, the political scenario, religion and its future. At most times it used to be fun ju its future. At most times it used to be fun just to listen to him and have a discourse on any of the various subjects, one never came back empty.
    He was a man with great values and love for all members of his family and a sense of duty towards each one of them.

    We are sure he is remembered with much affection and respect ….. and that is how it should remain.
    We would like to end here by telling you that we remember your brother as one of the finest human beings we have had
    the good fortune to meet. He will be our mentor and guide in many of the decisions we take. To have learnt so much from him
    has been such a blessing.
    Like you have quoted from the Ramayana, “Life and death, joy and sorrow, gain and loss … these dualities cannot be avoided.
    Learn to accept what you cannot change”…..and in these changes remember the ones who taught you and touched you life for the better.

    ...............Thank you Chacko sir..........
    Keep in touch, Jason achayan. Let us know when you are in Cochin.
    With warm regards

    Alex (Appu) and George (Aniyankunju
    BABY MARINE GROUP

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  23. An email from John Britto:


    Dear Jaison & Geetha ,





    Good day and many thanks for sending me the .e mail .....Thank you Chacko sir......




    I am sure and agree 100% with what Mr. Alex & George of Baby marine Group of Cochin have mentioned in their e mail is absolutely true and correct .



    I have no doubt that whomsoever knows Thavo will express the same feelings and thoughts about him especially in the vast Indian Seafood Industry circle since I am from the same industry .



    One year has just passed after Thavo left all of us to heavenly bless . Let us all

    Join together and pray for " Our Dear Thavo "





    With Best regards + Prayers : John Britto & Memma


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  24. One who knew Thavo can only add more tributes to the soul departed !! what I told him when he was in the sick bed something spiritua " HE who created him will count all the good things you (Thavo) had done, not how much time you spend on the knee praying" ! Whenever I pass through the road in front of the house I feel the vacuum always ....



    Thanks and regards,

    Nelson

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  25. Suuny Cherian writes:
    Dear Jaison,

    The mail from Baby Marine was so touching and goes to prove how valuable a person Thavo had been. Without considering the benefits or return that he could have demanded for services rendered with his vast experience in the field of fisheries ,his concern was only to help people in need without considering what he got in return

    I don't think any of us would have imagined he had so much virtues in him.

    Let's be thankful to God for this Great Person who meant so much to people at large, whether it be in business circle, family circle or friends circle.

    Sunny

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  26. Cherian Korah writes.....
    Dear Jaison,
    Mail from Baby Marine are really a remembrance with utmost feeling.This mail make us all to remember Thavo Chacko and to have a feeling that he still living in our midst.
    NEBU

    ReplyDelete
  27. He was a good friend. He kept his friendship with all our old friends. When ever I visit India, through Thavo, we could know about others and meet them. I have many good memories of our friendship. We didn't have any rivalry though we discuss on many things. We were in strategising to beat others in sports andgames, especially in Cricket. Those were the days!!

    I can write many stories of thoseinteractions. I remember them and there are times I tell my friends here of some of those events.
    JIMMY PANAKAL...

    ReplyDelete
  28. Very touching lines about your brother and his ailment Jaison. I myself have experienced the same agony when the time was imminent for me to say adiue to my elder brother who was also snatched away by the icy hands of Death.He too was having xerosis

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  29. Johnson Karingattil John

    Heart touching tribute of a brother..to his elder. These days it is getting harder to find heart felt love between the dear ones and near ones. From neighbours it went to net friends and from sweeter it went to twitter. We don't talk to others....we don't see others....we don't visit others.... salute to you Jaison for your revisit to ravipuram...
    ..Regards and love to you and Geetha ..from Betsy and Johnson. ...Doha

    ReplyDelete
  30. Johnson Karingattil John

    Heart touching tribute of a brother..to his elder. These days it is getting harder to find heart felt love between the dear ones and near ones. From neighbours it went to net friends and from sweeter it went to twitter. We don't talk to others....we don't see others....we don't visit others.... salute to you Jaison for your revisit to ravipuram...
    ..Regards and love to you and Geetha ..from Betsy and Johnson. ...Doha

    ReplyDelete
  31. Very well written, emotional, touching.A great homage indeed to a loving brother and friend.
    Pranamam.
    Keep writing.

    Babu Mather

    ReplyDelete
  32. Very well written, emotional, touching.A great homage indeed to a loving brother and friend.
    Pranamam.
    Keep writing.

    Babu Mather

    ReplyDelete
  33. Very well written, emotional, touching.A great homage indeed to a loving brother and friend.
    Pranamam.
    Keep writing.

    Babu Mather

    ReplyDelete
  34. Pearly Cherian :-
    Remembering Thavochettan with deepest sorrow.May his soul rest in peace. I had an unexpected train journey with Thavochettan.Bt I never realised that Thavochettan wld fly for his heavenly abode. I remember him going to thusam ground for practising hockey.jaison Chatten.

    Pearly Cherian Thavochettan reminded me of the malayalam song

    Puthurum veetil janichorallam poopolazhakullorayirunnu.Thavochaytan was so unique.He was down to earth.we hv lost a loving brother.

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  35. Manjunath Chinya Ramaswamy:-
    Jaison Sir
    Your writing is indeed touching one. I too understand the pain and the plight you have gone through as I too have gone through similar situation. Yes that is life.... after all, acting wisely at any difficult situation is what makes one great... your script describes your quality and maturity... in fact I have learnt a lot of life tips from you during our association in Albalagh

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  36. Manoj Puthoor:- Remembering Thavochettan with fond memories May his soul rest in peace

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  37. Sir..Really heart touching words...

    ReplyDelete
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