Thoughts on 75th Birthday: M G Warrier
Thoughts on 75th Birthday
M G Warrier
October 15, 1944 is my official date of birth, recorded in my SSLC Book with an affirmation by my father (He used to write his name in Malayalam and sign Sree-"ശ്രീ").
My real date of birth is August 9, 1944. My mother gave birth to her fourth child (me) at 0015 hours on a Wednesday. Those days, in our joint family, delivery used to happen in a small single-room outhouse in the North-west side of our ancestral house.
A traditional village midwife who used to take care of all deliveries in the neighborhood (Malayi Ammunni was there for my mother's first delivery 22 years earlier also. She became almost jobless during 1950's when Local Panchayath appointed a qualified Midwife to take over the job of pregnancy management and delivery) was present. One of the elderly uncles who was woken up to inform about the arrival of a brother for three sisters gazed the skye and gave the time of birth as "past midnight". No clocks/watches at home, those days. During the day, time would have been estimated by measuring one's own shadow cast by sun. Therefore, inaccuracies in predictions based on horoscopes can be traced to clouds in the Skye at the time of birth also.
When my nieces and nephews started arriving, my brother-in-law used to keep his Westend wrist watch at home while going for work (daily winding of the watch used to be entrusted to a trusted neighbor).
The child was underweight, slightly bigger than a squirrel. Survival was not sure, but the whole family celebrated my arrival. I could maintain the underweight status till date.
Karuga Homam by father, wherever he was, Payasam and a visit to temple marked each birthday. Birthday cake is a recent addition after grandchildren started enjoying cake.
So far, I've enjoyed fairly good health.
Three quarters over, I'm aware that the road ahead need not be as clear and comfortable as it has been so far. My own assessment is, all through I have been lucky and my share of misfortunes have been evenly spread across my life. I've been sleeping well, even during the worst periods in my life.
This Sunday, in the Hindu Open Page, I read Vivek K Agnihotri's article on old age :
"Walking down sunset boulevard"
Agnihotri is former Secretary-General of the Rajya Sabha.
What I'm doing now, and future plans:
I've not accepted any official assignments after retirement in September 2003 (There were a couple of offers).
With all the detachment we discuss, last few years have been sort of testing times for me, personally. Crossing over to the 4th quarter, I look back with satisfaction.
Alone in the crowd, I've always tried to listen to my own conscience. Whenever there was an option to do right things, I've done right things.
All your best wishes and prayers have taken me this far. They will continue to support and guide me.
Those who have gone ahead of me (some of them, younger to me, overtaking me in a hurry) have also left memories which form an integral part of my travel guide for the journey ahead.
M G Warrier