Year – 2006
Venue – Mathaichen’s (Levi in the ‘family tree simplified’ chart) house in Bangalore
Occasion – on the sidelines of the burial of his wife Kunjamma
Time – a few days before Mathaichen’s demise
His age – 91
His only sister Baby, aged 85 years, lives in Thiruvalla, Kerala.
His nephew Alex is at the venue. He calls Alex aside and says, “Did you see Baby? How is she? Next visit to Thiruvalla go and meet her”
At cemetery his last words to Alex, “After reaching Ernakulam , please send letter to me or call Reji and inform.”
C.I.Mathew passed away after 3 days on 24/08/2006. He didn’t have a chance to hear from Alex this time.
And his sister Baby passed away five years later in 2011.
Rewind to year 1988.
Mathaichen’s eldest brother Kunjoonju (C.I. Chandy) is in Aswathy hospital in Trichur on treatment for stroke. Mathaichen took the long break from his Bangalore home and stayed in Trichur to look up his brother every day, all day. Those days the daily trips to the hospital would be on the above Lambretta scooter. He was the pillion rider behind me.
I was watching both Mathaichen and Kunjoonju closely when Mathaichen approached Kunjoonju in his bed. Kunjoonju had been down with stroke and couldn’t speak very well, much less move his body. But suddenly Kunjoonju’s face changed, tears started to run down his face, extending his shaking hand he muttered with a huge effort, “Mathaiii….”
Both of them wept.
Rewind again to the year 1971.
Kunjoonju (Chandy) is a retired, but quite an able man living in the old Chathoth house in Vallamkulam. Suddenly the untimely death of his sibling Kochunju (C.I. Abraham) happens in Bangalore. There was no telephone those days in the neighbourhood. The good old telegram arrived in the neighbor’s house because they feared for the life of Kunjoonju!
Alex tells me, “This kind of affection between brothers and sister, we can see in Chathoth family only.”
Well, shall I expand the above love to all families? Let it be so everywhere. That would be super awesome.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalms 133:1 KJV)
May the souls rest in peace.
C I Mathew
DB : 29-10-1915
DD : 24 -08-2006
DB : 02-04-1917
DD : 19-08-2006