Venu is one of the handful of classmates, I am in contact with. He lives in Palakkad. For the past seven months, while I was away from the country, I didn’t speak to him.
Yesterday, I casually called him and there was no response. After sometime, he called back and informed that along with his wife, he was just returning after darsanam in Guruvayoor.
“Today is our wedding anniversary.” His happiness was overflowing through the cell phone. ” Bagavaante nadayil aanu thanvilichathu- you called me while we were before the sanctum”
Oh! how happy I was, to greet my classmate on his wedding anniversary, that too in the abode of Guruvayoorappan!
Venu and me were the toppers in the Aksharasloka competition held during the last days of our high school studies. The first prize I got was ‘Kumarasambhavam’ with a short and meaningful commentary by Kuttikrishna Marar, the great Malayalam critic and Samskritham scholar. The influence of that book was so deep that after several years, when a daughter was born to me, I named her ‘Aparna’
Along with Venu I have spent several evenings on the bank of the Kalpathy river, enjoying the beauty of the masterpiece of Kalidasa.
Venu, like me is a kathakali lover and unlike me is active in social and spiritual activities. Some two years ago, when I met him, he was engaged in renovating an old temple in his village. I spent a night in his house and his wife will never forgive me for the nuisance I created along with my old friend whom I was meeting after many years. We, recollecting our college days, sang Kathakali songs together, the full night!
On her wedding anniversary, when she received surprisingly my call, she remembered that kathakali night in her house. No wonder!
“You are fortunate, that we didn’t dance that night” I commented .
And Unnikrishnan smiled!.
Dear Friend[I am 75, don’t mind my addressing u as ‘Friend’
I liked, loved and enjoyed ur mail. These experiences when retold have added sweetness.
V V good. Thanx. Luv
R Sahasranaman [Naman][Chembur, Mumbai]