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27 December 2012

Childhood Memories...

My father used to work as an electrical engineer in a cement factory in Kerala. He was a tough and fair manager and some of the workers who were working with him had strong views. And they demonstrated their dislikes in different ways.

There was a guy, I think his name was Rajan, was particularly nasty. When he was sober he was quite a nice guy. He used to say hello to us, kids, and even proffer a smile once while. He was a practising Christian and he and his family were regular at the Church on Sundays. And he had a cute, adorable daughter...

But...

Around the first week of every month, he will get the pay-check and the devout Christian will make a total turnaround. He will frequent the nearby arrack and toddy (Local alcoholic drink) will get totally sloshed. And every time he got drunk, he will stand in front of our house and let loose the juiciest of abuses.

The next day, the sober Rajan will come over to our house and apologize profusely to our father. 

This went on, month after month, year after year...

When we were small kids, we used to get very scared. The abuses normally start around 8 to 8.30 in the evening and last for about 15 minutes. The abuses were interspersed with chronicles of some actions of my father which Rajan did not like. The abuses were like fillers to the real story of how bad my father was. Everyone of our neighbours knew what my father did in the office and how it hurt Rajan or someone else like him. My father was a monster, according to Rajan, and countless are the number of people who dislike him, but, only he, Rajan, had the courage to tell that to my father's face. 

Initially, my father used to pacify Rajan but the attention from his boss only led to him being more violent. So, my father started ignoring him, which further made Rajan angrier and louder. 

Was between a rock and a hard place, my father.

As we grew up, we learned to ignore Rajan. In fact we used to joke about him a lot. As the new month approached, we started having a 'Rajan Count Down'. It was like 'Five days to Rajan', 'Four days to Rajan',....'Ah, there he is...'

Sometime into this, when Rajan had become a habit into our lives, a new Managing Director, took charge of the organization. 

This guy was a no nonsense, IPS Cadre guy with tons of ambition and authority to match. He quickly took note of this erratic behaviour of Rajan and terminated his services from the company. 

And soon, somewhere into year 5 or 6 of our becoming aware of Rajan, he died, of Cirrhosis of Lever caused due to excessive drinking.

Jobless and without insurance.

It was sad.

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