‘Simple living and high thinking’ was appa’s motto, which he has conveyed to all his children. Being a sole earning member, in his early stage of life, he managed to bring up his children very well and also play host to visitors from both appa and amma’s side. In view of this “simple living” became his way of life even much later, when affordability improved.
Working in postal service, whatever help he could do, he did it with happiness , This was especially with regard to transfers, I have seen so many people visiting appa even after retirement, just to thank appa for the timely transfers he got for them. We all know Arumgam (alias Iniya Mahesan) for whom appa got a job. Even after his retirement, whenever someone requests for help, he would put in a word to Anna to get the same done.
He was a very responsible person and in my case, it has even gone beyond his personal responsibility. I was working in Madras- Kelly’s corner branch and the branch timing was 8.30 A M to 3.30 P M. There was no direct bus from Thiruvanmiyur and I had to change bus and so would leave by 6.50 A M every day, One day, I was not well and got up late and could not go to office. Appa offered to hand over the safe room key to my Manager. He not only did that, but also spoke to that Manager and arranged for my transfer to Chennai – Indiranagar branch, without my knowledge. I came to know about this from my Manager much later.
Once again, when I was transferred to Ussoor branch, appa and amma had shifted to Chooda akka’s house (second floor in the old house). Akka and Athimber visited me together with Amma and Appa. Appa was 83 then and was struggling to walk. But he suddenly came to the first floor office and addressed my staff and requested them to take care of me, as he is unable to stay with me in Ussoor. Imagine, I was the branch Manager of that branch and appa is requesting my subordinates to take care of me!
While staying in Adyar, appa got that paralytic stroke and an ambulance arrived with uniformed men to take appa to the hospital. Neha, who was just about 15 months’ old, observed that Kollu thatha did some mischief and the police had come with van and taken him into custody. Appa was in ICU and I narrated this incident to appa. He was so amused and though he could not talk, his eyes were shining with laughter.
Appa had suffered a lot with stomach ulcer and always had to be careful about what he ate. He managed with that problem but this stroke, at his advanced age, had taken him away, after three months.
Even now, when I think about appa, I can visualize appa sitting on the stool in the balcony waiting for my arrival in the evening.
1st July 2017
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