Friday, January 22, 2010

My Grandfather Karikkottu Joseph

My grandfather Karikkottu Joseph on my mother's side was a teacher and a diviner. By diviner I mean he could detect ground water anywhere in a plot of land. He was in great demand because in Kerala virtually every family has a well and he used to advise them on where to dig for a well, for free. Once he went around our property in Kidangannoor and pointing to a certain area said that there is a treasure buried underground at the exact spot. Many times I had thought of excavating that area to see if it was true. However, I never had the guts or gumption. Still it remains a mystery to me. Hm.

Unlike me (hehe) he was a tall, fair and handsome man, also rich, I might add, as you can see from the picture (hope the picture gets uploaded okay) and had a large landholding of 100 acres (big by Kerala standards) in those days. He is wearing a shirt common in those days, held with removable buttons and an angavastram, or, a shoulder wrap. Remember that was in circa 1800 or thereabouts. Fashions change, attitudes change, his grandchildren are spread across the world in countries as diverse as: Dubai, Saudi Arabia, U.S., ireland, U.K., etc. Here's a blog I have made for his grandchildren by me. Recently we grandchildren got together to celebrate our kinship in Kerala (I couldn't go as I was tied down with work.). My regret. Today, when I think of him I think of an era that has faded from memory, a time that has been stilled, a voice that is only an echo in the mind. Rest in peace Valiappachen.


girija menon said...

hi mathew,
i enjoyed reading about your grandfather.find out the mystery.hihi
with warm regards,
girija ia.

ms said...

the photograph is of a very dignified and amazing man. surprising how all photographs of our previous generation feature people with the same quiet dignity and assurance. i suppose the very act of sitting for a photo session was considered special and significant, they knew that it was an important part of our heredity. these days, it is casual and what silliness is captured in the name of "posterity"!