We lived in Trivandrum city. The major portion of my former life was in West fort,Trivandrum near a temple. Landlords used to construct line houses which have a small reception, a side room, a middle room, a storeroom in its side and dining room and a kitchen on its side. The dining room open to a wash area where we can wash clothes and a toilet. Wash are and toilet are open roofed. Roof of the entire house is tiled and had a false ceiling. False ceiling is almost rusted and big rats and snakes run chasing. Every night we sleep with fear. Even the owner stays next to our house in the same type of line house.
My mother’s relatives are landlords and have plenty of land and paddy fields in the same district. It is about 30 kilometers away. My mother’s grandfather’s nickname is “Crane”. (Cranes are birds with long legs, tall bodies, and sharp, pointy beaks that they use for catching food. They live near wetlands)
There is a story by which he got this name.
Once a newcomer to the village asked one worker. “Whose are these paddy fields?”
The worker’s answer was very simple: Wherever there is Crane, it belongs to my mother’s grandfather. Thus he got his name Crane and gradually the family got the name “Crane” since most of the paddy fields were owned by him.
My father’s family is far away in Kanjiramattom, and I had very few opportunities to go there. But my mother used to take us to her ancestral joint family intermittently with much enthusiasm. My father also has to accompany.
Unfortunately, we could not go to Father’s ancestral house.
I had two questions in my mind while I come back from my mother’s house.
One: All my mother’s family members are so rich and they have excellent food. We often take food of government supplies and have to close our nose to avoid the foul smell of rice.
Two: My mother’s grandfather called me “Bengali” even when I was tiny. Nowadays, in Kerala, a lot of workers from West Bengal come as laborers. All migrant laborers in Kerala are called Bengali by Keralites. I thought it is his affection that makes him call me “Bengali”. Later I started doubt about its intention. I felt the intention is not so fair as I thought. Many incidents happened to me from my mother’s family. I complained to my mother. But my mother does not listen or even believe. She was always with her relatives and I continued to feel as an outsider.
My sister was their pet. The pampered and showered sister with much care and love. When I feel loneliness and sad, I trudged to the backyard of the big campus-like house. Backwaters and beautiful lagoons! I watch them. Many birds whose name I do not know come there. They started talking with me. I considered them as my friends, talked to them and heard them answering me. But I did not realize I am framing a poem or a story inside my consciousness.
I knew my father is watching all these. When he takes me somewhere alone, he tells me stories about people who had suffered humiliation. He tried to convince me it will not defeat me. It was his dream to make me a person to “Do things which others think impossible”
While in grade 4, while I was walking with my father, I asked him.
“Babuji, what do really wanted to be?”
“Publisher and Editor or journalist”
He told. But I did not understand the meaning of these words. I understood it relates to writing.
I assured myself.
“One day I will start a newspaper or magazine and I will fulfill my father’s dream.”
I still remember the place where we had this conversation. It is the shortcut to Varma Travels petrol pump from the SP Fort hospital in Fort junction. Trivandrum.
Although this dream through Litterateur Redefining World and Reflectoem Redefining World realized, my father could not fully involve in this.
During that time, I came to know one more fact about my father. Everyone called him “Kanjiramattom”. I asked him why all call by this name. He answered that during younger days he was a writer and critic and used to publish in various newspapers and magazines. The first litterateur I met is my father. But I had no opportunity to see or read his works. Though I become sad, I decided to be a writer. But I do not know how to become a writer. I was blank.