Pulacode Veeraraghavan Visweswaran - My dearest friend and elder brother
When I was about 8 years old , due to the Razakkar movement in Hyderabad , me along with my little sister , brother and mother moved back to my native place , Chelakkara. Being brought up in a town, every body looked very strange to me. One day my father brought home a young , white and very thin boy who was 3-4 older than me . His laughing face and innocent out look of life made him my friend immediately. My father told me that he was also studying in my school and that boy was his incle’s son. Next day Veeramani mama came to our home and took me and my sister to their village which was called Pulacode . Mama had some skin problem and to a young boy like me he looked strange . He was the son of one of those richest person in our village , well known as Pulacode Rama Pattar but fate somehow took away all the riches that he inherited.When I saw him , he was able to maintain himself only because my father was sending him money every month. .We were both treated as royal guests and enjoyed our stay in Pulacode . Along with him there was his sister Cauvery , My father’s chithi . Visweswaran then became a regular visitor to my place. After few months my father informed me that his uncle is no more and he is taking Visweswaran along with him to Hyderabad to work in his hotel. I did not know the implications much at that time.
A few years later my father took my mother who was very sick to Hyderabad . Me and my sister were left in care of another family in the village .Later when my mother came back cured , she told me that Visweswaran took care of her in the hospital completely , A few years later I went to Hyderabad to study in English Medium School . Visweswaran was working in our hotel. I was staying with Visweswaran along with several boarders , who were all middle aged men. My only friend of my age was Viswesawaran. The next four years we both grew up together , went to same pictures , went to the zoo together , went to Golkonda fort together, learnt how to fly kites together , learnt how to spin tops together, ate food together in different hotels on weekly holiday of our hotel . Four years later my father had to sell the hotel and go back to our village .My father arranged for the marriage of his sister with his uncle in Trichy ,Visweswaran started working for his uncle in Trichy. It was at this time my mother underwent another operation in Trichy and it was again my Visweswaran who looked after my mother. After three more years I joined for my studies in Annamalai university and had to travel through Trichy four times a year , I enjoyed those unforgettable visits to Trichy and at one time I came to know that Visweswaran left Trichy and had gone to Madurai .He wrote to me that most of the days he could eat only temple Prasadams in the noon and nothing else . At that time Sri A.R.Sethumadhavan who considered my father as Guru came to our native place to get my father’s blessings for starting a hotel at Vizag, I suggested to father to send Visweswaran to Vizag and he started working in Hotel Ooty, there , It was at this time that I started studying in Calcutta. Again during vacations I could spend lot of time with my friend. Once when he was admitted to hospital due to Jaundice , I went to Vizag from Calcutta and took him to my native place . He was cured and returned back to Vizag . He was made a partner in that big hotel and later started his own business. There was nothing in the world that he did not know about me and there was nothing I did not know about him. .After studies I was appointed as a gazette officer in a small village near Mangalore . At that time my father arranged for marriage of Visweswaran with Mohanam who was my sister’s class mate and my play mate when I was a child . They lead a happy life and every year both of them used to come to Vittal. Visweswaran had a daughter followed by a son. I got married and I also had a boy and a girl. At that time I got transferred to Rajamundry. Almost every month we used to meet each other , By that time, my younger brother got married and settled in Mumbai. By his influence , he arranged for the marriage of Vsweswaran’s daughter . By that time Visweswaran had struggled and educated his son. Visweswaran and Mohanam shifted to Mumbai. They were struggling really hard. It was at this time that the son of Visweswaran got employed in USA. One of those unfortunate days Mohanam breathed her lost . In spite of very severe back ache I reached Mumbai travelling in a Bus . We cried togather a lot ,This was fourteen years back .Once Visweswaran asked me to write poem on his Mohanam so that he can paste it below her picture ,I did it.
I advised Visweswaran to get his son married , almost immediately after his dear wife’s death and he agreed to it and the marriage was celebrated within a year of her death.
The USA govt did not give VISA to Visweswaran to visit his son. Possibly no one knows except my family and my brother’s family about the struggle called life that he underwent then on. His kidney started failing and he breathed his last about 3 years back .
The only person whom I can call as my own elder brother is no more there. All my cousins used to call him Ammanchi and for my nephews and my children he was Bheema Mama, His infectious smile which used to keep me happy , now remains only as a dream .Though no one notices , within my heart I cry for my greatest friend. The cane chair that he painted, the Dosai Kal which he got cut and almost everything in my home reminds me of him. Tears flow from my eyes , when I see them. When my wife wants to repair or paint some thing, without realizing I tell her , “Visweswaran will come soon and do it.”
My elder brother definitely must be in heaven and I am sure he makes it a habit to bless his younger brother Raja . His daughter who is in Mumbai considers me as her father’s brother and never fails to call me every month . I also consider herself as my elder daughter .Life goes on. Rarely God sends such angels like Visweswaran to this world .His greatest contribution is that he added joy and happiness in the life of many people of this world.Had he been alive next year he would be celebrating his 80th Birthday.