Sunday, August 26, 2012

Shaping up the bigger picture ??

This is a short thought which happened to me some days back and I thought of penning it for posterity. It talks of why Kerala is still very close to my heart, with its ever green greenery, large hearts of the people and friends, in spite of its dirty politics and politicians !!

Maybe because my father was working in the bank, SBI, the exposure it has given me to the different places and culture of kerala at a very young age, is tremendous .. The only regret I have is not staying to the north of Kerala, ie. Calicut , Kannur, area, though I have passed through this area for many years during my stint in Goa.

When I came to Kerala around, 5 years of age, after stint in Andhra and Chennai ( in Chennai I did my nursery and started schooling ), it was Kerala for the next seventeen years. Shoranur, Trichur, Irunjalakuda, Ernakulam, Alleppey, Trivandrum, Palghat, Kottayam, Kollam, Adoor, Chennithala, Wayanad, Tirur, Tiruvalla, Peermade, Idukki etc. etc .. I cannot recollect the many places I have stayed may be some for weeks, some months, but many for years !! My studies in Kerala ended at the Govt College of Engineering, Trivandrum after graduation in Mechanical Engineering in 1986.  Thereafter I worked with MRF Tyres, Goa and continued education outside Kerala, in Goa and Bombay.

It was just divine providence to be born into one of the top and noblest Christian family of Kerala. When I say this, I am sure to invite lot of criticisms and comments, but I should stress here that point again. At a time when the Travancore Maharajah was looking at communal classification of the population in Kerala for political eligibility for self rule and freedom from the British, to be at the forefront of the struggle for independence is indeed a great sacrifice. When I was studying Kerala history while in 6 th or 7 th standard in Kerala, we came across the term Thrimoorthikal of Kerala, meaning the three great leaders, Pattom Thanu Pillai, C Kesavan and T M Varghese. My mother at that tender age told me how my grand uncle T M Varghese, quit a very successful legal profession and jumped into the Indian independence movement. Though he held top positions in the cabinet as Home minister and so on, it was service of the state and the people foremost for him.

The benefits of staying at many places within Kerala, is that you are not subservient to the culture and traditions of one place, but are exposed to the many dialects of language, festivals, culture, behaviour of people, the camaraderie etc. I have friends from all places of Kerala and many many of them, Good God ..  That way one can distinctively look at the culture detachedly, and enjoy the goodness of everything .. No bitter feelings, only pleasant thoughts !!

In my many encounters with people and cultures, a simple and lasting finding has been this one. The people from Central Travancore ( I am one among them) are not so open and sincere as are people from North of Kerala ( zamorin effect ? ). The same reason why I hold people of North Kerala to such great admiration and adoration .. I even had the good opportunity to stay at the house of the grand son of Zamorin of Calicut in Irinjalakuda for two years .. My close friend Ramachandran from NIT Calicut and my former colleague from College of Engineering, Goa is a living example of how straightforward, simple and less complicated  North Kerala people are with respect to people from South Kerala. In fact, it is the North Kerala people who have borne the brunt of attacks by Tippu Sultan from North, unlike the South Kerala people who only had to face the navies of Dutch and English forces ! 

The beauty is that all my experiences throughout the length of Kerala have been very pleasant and memorable. Nothing in the world can replace it. If given a second chance to live, I want it to happen the exact way it has happened to me till now. 

Indeed for a simple Malayali, educated with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering / Operations Research from top Engineering / Technological Institute in the country, who consciously took the decision not to fall into any material trap to "migrate" or make a quick buck, the pull of the motherland and the lure of temporal pleasures on the other side, was very tempting .. However, I stayed back in India.

I should bow my head to all my Professors, colleagues and relatives who preferred to stay back in India and contribute to her, despite its highly competitive academic and job environment. Despite the temptations of Akkara pacha and resistance to the lure to make some quick oil  money, or for that matter heavily "debted" US dollars ( which is nothing but Chinese Yuan, Japanese Yen or Gulf oil, loaned out by these countries to US), the experience in God's own land has been very pleasant all the time. Indeed I get pained when I see the incidences of corruption, political murders, high handed militant trade unionism and irresponsible politics by our present day illiterate and less educated politicians cutting across ideologies and leanings, which if eliminated could take our country to the forefront of the world ..

( though silently I should clearly mention the patriotic stand taken by my father Mathai Easaw and mother, as I finishhed my Engg studies at Trivandrum,  to motivate me to continue my studies and job in India, despite a highly competitive academic and job environment. Most of my cousins and uncles having migrated to US, it was a tough decision then, but looking in hindsight, that was one of the best decisions I had ever taken in my life. My father did not even allow my elder sisters to be married amd sent out of the country. A highly competitive and exacting environment at home of accomplishments and the competitiveness it builds in oneself is also something that matters .. A loving, supportive wife, kids and relatives to share in the ups and downs of life counts maximum in life ..)

Over the years, I have understood that if we are sincere, even "remotely" patriotic, hardworking and dedicated to the cause,  India does provide enough opportunities to study at the best Institutes in the country under the best professors of the country, learn from the experience of others and lead a very fulfilling, satisfying, respectable, culturally rich life, despite the terrific competition for jobs and educational opportunities !! You will come across local family issues and money problems in life here at times, not to forget about the perennial issues of corruption and as Justice Santosh Hegde calls it, the "Greed over Need" disease ..

But the understanding that anyone who indulges in corruption, will not go out of this world, without themselves or their generations suffering for it, and that whatever you make here has to be left behind, not taken to the other world once you die, gives you total peace of mind. And though the Indian legal system is slow and lengthy, giving the guilty many opportunities to defend themselves, it is sad, that this magnanimity of the State is misused by the corrupt and mighty to escape the long arm of law !! But it does catch up with the corrupt, ten in hundred ...

If material riches and pleasures pursuant to the pressures of the Western civilization is what one is slave to or what one desires for, India or Kerala does not give a solution, true !! We are living in a totally different intellectually higher plane of cultural, social amity and common well being, not, personal material pleasures and wealth !!

Because my cousins consider themselves politically more mature and conscious than me, they find some of my writings very irritating and show their resentment at all opportunities, though I care less for their resentment and objections..

The other great advantage for which I will ever be indebted is to my parents, grand parents and society is to be born into an educated and forward looking religious family of teachers from my father's side in Mavelikara / Chengannur, for whom education was the corner stone of all activities in life and to a very patriotic, nationalistic family, educated too, who took part in the Indian Freedom struggle from my mother's side .. It is just divine blessing to be born into such a great family, you have many a brother, uncle, brothers-in-law as Industrialists, CEOs, Central Govt Secretaries, State Govt Secretaries, businessmen, social entrepreneurs running Medical colleges in the state, educational entrepreneurs running Engineering colleges, respectable Professors etc etc..

Pen is a very sharp tool, it can expose one's shortcomings and create impressions much deeper and permanent than any other tool known to mankind .. To be able to point a wrong thing and tell it is wrong, requires guts and courage. Education has provided me with that !!

The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict - William Ellery Channing



  1. Think this is one of your best article.. straight from the heart!

  2. Thank you a lot ......


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