I was born on 20th November 1946 as the third of seven siblings. The elder two being girls, I was the pet son in the family and my grandfather was my first guru in every sense of the term. He was the one who told me stories from the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata and he also taught me innumerable proverbs and sayings. He initiated my readings which I pursue even today. My grandfather made me fearless and told me to hold the head high.
I was a good student in the school. Good at everything I did. My parents taught me the importance of reading to acquire general awareness and knowledge. So from childhood my days started with the newspapers, which is the case even today.
I used to participate in singing, essay writing and elocution competitions from early days. I distinctly remember my first public performance. It was the school Annual Day. The year 1958. The famous Malayalam poet G. Shankara Kurup was presiding over the function. I performed a kathaprasangam, “SPUTNIK”, a combination of singing, storytelling and declamation. The performance of the tiny tot touched the Chief Guest and he blessed me and presented his fountain pen. It was a turning point in my life and I started winning prizes in a variety of literary competitions. Almost concurrently, I started contributing to periodicals like CHILDREN’s DEEPIKA. My first major breakthrough was in 1963 when my article was published in the Sunday Supplement of DEEPIKA, a leading Malayalam daily.
In 1963, I won the prestigious prize for scoring the highest mark in English in the SSLC examination. I used to play football and volleyball while in school and in the college, I was in the NCC for five years. To tell the truth, it influenced my bearing in later years. My first big idol while in service, Shri K.Hariharan used to say, I was literally marching, not walking.
I was the Best Actor of the College in 1965. The same year, there was a Symposium on G’s Poems, presided over by Shri Vishnu Narayanan Nampoothiri. I presented a paper on G’s Imagination and I still have the manuscript of that paper, written with the pen he had presented years back. A small GURUDAKSHINA, perhaps.
Being the First President of the Calicut Law College Association is something I am very proud of. Some of my classmates are very big names in Indian public life today.
My home library consists of thousands of books now and it all started with the books I won as prize for various competitions in the school and college.
While in Bombay/Mumbai pursuing a career in banking, a number of my articles were published in periodicals on a variety of topics, like, VAT, Swiss Banking, Credit Policy, Factoring, The significance of Innovation, etc. Soon I intent to publish a collection of those articles.
In 2006, I met with a horrendous car accident while on my way to Bombay from Kerala and my right leg was wrenched out. My experience during the accident, the painful journey in an ambulance from Udupi to Bomay with the siren screaming all the way, the pulmonary embolism I had while in ICU, the survival by a slender chance, the indescribable pain I endured – all turned my world upside down. I defied the allopathic prognosis of Sciatic Palsy which should have kept me on my back for the rest of my life. I was back on my one and something feet again. The non-feeling, powerless right leg was a real problem when it came to walking and driving. But I overcame that too with sheer will power.
The battered body and shaken spirits forced me to dispose of the ancestral property and that is the one decision which continues to haunt me. It was as if a part of me was irretrievably lost. I can attempt to simulate scenarios but nothing can match the original. More serious reading and purposeful writing are the mitigating escape routes. Perhaps…
In September 2014, I published my first book, MUSINGS, a collection of poems in English. I was among the first lot of computer enthusiasts and I still use some parts of the first computer I assembled. Today I have my own website though I continue to use one of the oldest email addresses.
Reading is my weakness and writing my passion. The greatest regret in my life is that my banking career deprived me of a chance to become a writer of some substance and standing. I do hope, there is still time to catch up.