Many Memories of Deepavali!
I never wear new clothes for more than 50 years Now, on Deepavali Day !
Deepavali happens to be my Father’s Birthday! Once when I came for Deepavali holidays from the Engg college, every one in the house had new clothes for themselves !
Since my father wears always, kadar kurtha n kadar veshti , none knows, about his new clothes ! On that day I casually asked him “Appa have you bought new Kadar Veshti n Kadar Kurtha!”
He just smiled and didn’t answer my question!
My mother told me “he never wears new clothes for Deepavali. He says there are so many poor boys in ‘Vivekananda Hostel, who can’t even afford a proper meal. I wd rather spend that amnt for their welfare!’
Vivekananda Hostel was started by him in 50s and many deserving SC/ST boys like Karmegam n Mayalagu (see links below) stayed free and completed their schooling!(Karmegam)
I cdn’t somehow digest this and wanted to somehow buy a set of new kurtha n kadar veshti for him!
All shops were closed as it was Deepavali Day!
Still I went to Kadi vastralaya Manager’s house and requested him to somehow help me. Being an old Student of my father, he was happy to open the shop and gave me a kurtha n veshti!
When I tried to pay him, he refused to accept it saying “Its my Deepavali Gift to my revered Aasan!”
I brought them and wanted my father to wear it!
He said “Why don’t you go to Vivekananda Hostel and see for yourself how the poor ‘Mayalagus’ spend their Deepavali!”(Karmegam)
I went and spent a few hours giving them sweets, which they all appreciated much!
But their ‘கந்தையானாலும் கசக்கி கட்டு’ life style moved me beyond words!
I made it a point on that day to visit some orphanage like Udavum Karangal and donate what little possible!
My father’s guidance in my life is unimaginable!
Almost every one from the Rajah of Ramnad, Ramanatha Sethupathi to Alfred Jacob, suited n hatted Head Master of Schwartz High school, where Abdul Kalam studied, to the young smartly dressed Dr. E M.Abdullah, who was taking all help from my father to start a Syed Ammal School on his mother’s name, used to queue in my house for their Great Aasan’s Blessings on this day!
I just can’t forget those days when he tried to inculcate discipline everywhere possible and it was an astonishing sight that everyone, from which ever school bowed to him when he walked majestically on the Streets of Ramnad !
God has given me a rare honour of being his son, and not a day passes without thinking of him! I sometimes wonder how for such a great man, some of his Selfish children, thinking only of themselves, never even cared to come n see their own mother, after his untimely death! I am wondering what my highly disciplined father wd have called them “Dogs are more sincere than such Creatures!”