Book Cover - P.Rajan as a child
Memories Of a Father
Which is denser-the pain of the son
at the death of his father or the pain
of the father at the death of his son?
From the tears of a father's pen comes an eloquent, moving and
remarkable statement on cruelty, courage, and enduring hope.
Professor Eachara Varier describes his desperate and ultimately
unsuccessful attempts to get his son out of a police camp where he is
taken one morning for no reason. The camp is a place where the
rules of life and death are very different to the rest of the world. It is
a place where a few officers have absolute power to decide who to
arrest, how to arrest them, how to torture them, when to kill them,
and how to dispose of their dead bodies. Above them are the senior
police officers, politicians and bureaucrats who must hide the truth
from the families of victims and wider society. And then there is the
father who struggles against them all...
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Extract from the book
(Chapter : The Burden that the mother entrusted)
"She was not aware of Rajan's tragedy. Whenever I came to Ernakulam from Calicut she used to ask for Rajan. I told her lie after lie. It made her uncomfortable. She started loosing faith in me, and behaving oddly with her loved ones.
Rajan's continued absence troubled her, and I had to suffer as a result. She expected Rajan to be with me whenever I came from Calicut, and anxiously awaited him. When she knew that Rajan was not with me color of disappointment would spread over her face. The depth and darkness of distress on her face went on increasing. She stopped talking to others, and went into a world of silence. Sometimes she accused me of not loving Rajan. She confided to relatives and friends that this was the reason I was not bringing Rajan along when I came. She murmured in secret that I never loved her or Rajan.
Meanwhile, many of Rajan's friends got married. One day when I reached Ernakulam she asked me, "All of Rajan's friends have got married. Are you not a father too? Are you not worried that he is yet to get married? "Oh, our son is dead," I felt like telling her then. The sentence got choked in my throat. At that moment I felt vengeance against her and the world. Regaining the balance of my thoughts, I would say, "I am trying to find a suitable girl for Rajan. But it's not that easy, you know ? Her response used to be a lone empty stare of disbelief.
On March 3, 2000, Rajan's mother left me forever. A week earlier I had been to see her. As I bid farewell, she held my hands, still lying on the bed. There was a painful request in her eyes, "Will you bring Rajan along when you come next time?" I couldn't look at her face. The guilt of telling her lie after lie had haunted me for years. Five days later I went to her again. Death was playing hide and seek somewhere near her, but she remembered everything.
She called me, "Will you do one thing for me?"
"Sure," I answered.
She gave a small packet of coins to me. Those were the coins she saved in that box. "
He died in the month of April this year at the age of 85.
A tribute to Eachara Warrier
Miles to go
Piravi(The Birth) a movie based on this incident
P. Rajan - A Naxalite sympathizer devoured by Khaki Rakshashas