Friday, January 04, 2008

An obitury


Every day, when I take a capsule of Shuddha guggulu, an Ayurvedic medicine to reduce the blood cholesterol levels I am reminded of Dr.Mallinatha Varma,( 1937-2007) a wonderful doctor and an extremely kind human being. To me, he was Mallichettan who always had a keen ear (though he had impaired hearing) about my travels and my place of job.

Dr.Mallinatha Varma was born in Kattunkal Kovilakom an aristocratic Kshathriya family of Cherthala. Those were the days of Marumakkathayam, the matrilineal system of inheritance and the patriarch of the family was Advocate Goda Varma Thirumulpad, the father of Pratapa Senan, my father-in-law. He was very insistent on the best available education for his nephews and for his own children.

Mallichettan had three brothers and a sister. The renowned film actor Jagannatha Varma was his younger brother. While Jagannatha Varma and Surendranatha Varma-the youngest brother- dazzled in Kathakali training in their younger days, Mallichettan kept aloof and kept himself to his studies, reading , writing and often painting. He was a gynecologist of repute in the government service. But what kept him unique was his additional qualification in Ayurveda. He had a profound understanding of the subject.

After his retirement, he started private practice. Patients had always a liking for him because he never went after costly medicines which were often not required and which probably were not good for the patients. He blended the knowledge from both the streams of Ayurveda and Allopathy and advocated these according to the need of the patient. No wonder he had a regular queue of visitors.

After his retirement, he used to paint at times. Some of his sketches and water colours are showing the true talent in him .One of my regrets remain in that I could not gift him with a good set of brushes and pastels for oil painting in which he had a fine talent.

He loved travelling and wrote about his experiences in a most sincere way. Despite his failing health, he undertook a journey to Kashmir with his wife Kamala to visit his daughter Maya and her husband Satheesh, a Colonel in the Indian Army. His articles used to appear in various journals.

He had a profound sense of humour. In my school days, I used to read his anecdotes in the Humour corner of the Malayala Manorama Weekly.

He also dazzled in agriculture. After his retirement, he settled in Vattakkaattu Kovilakom in Varanad. He started various agricultural activities which included among others cultivating, vanilla, jasmine and various other cash crops and vegetables. I remember having seen a programme in the Kairali TV on his agricultural activities. We used to enjoy many products from his farm.

His health started deteriorating during the year and the end came not quite unexpectedly. He leaves behind his wife Kamala and son Manu and daughter Maya.

May his soul rest in peace!

5th January 2008.

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