Dedicated to my Babu –( Late Sri .C.K.Nalina Babu of Ernakulam, ) –the angel in human form
I am taking you back to around sixty years back. I had just joined the hostel of Annamalai university . I was living with another five students in a room. My condition was miserable . If a vote would have taken I was one of those poorest dressed in the hostel though students used to greatly honour my intelligence . One day I met some students from Kerala who took to me to their room and were making fun of me especially about the way that I was dressed. Suddenly my angel, my savior , my own Babu appeared in that room. It was just like a scene from a Tamil Cinema. He shouted at those students for making fun of me (who was a stranger to him) and took me to his room. He called me “Sami” with great respect . He had a very attractive personality and was possibly one of the best dressed in the hostel. His original name was Sri. Nalinakshan, which he changed to Sri.C.K.Nalina Babu .He belonged to a village called Moothakunnam near Alwaye but had a very big house in Ernakulam. We had a long talk that day. Babu told me that I was under his care and I should not be afraid of any body . He was about 6 years older than me and a post graduate student of sociology He told me that those who did not respect me for what I am but were only bothered about how I am dressed were fools and I should not have them as my friends. Just like purifying gold , he brought changes in me. Another of Babu’s charges, P.Sivadas came and later joined as a post graduate student. Unfortunately he had not got his application signed by his father , Babu told me ,
“Sign the name of his father” and I did with lot of hesitation .Whenever Babu remembered about it , he used to tease me about it . Babu who had very large number of friends and who used to converse , laugh and enjoy had set apart a time for his Sami. He used to take me for long walks and we used to only talk . Babu had a great faith in my intelligence and advice and would discuss many of his problems with me Slowly step by step he improved me. Next time when I came back from vacation I brought a cloth for a shirt . Babu took me to the tailor and gave him detailed instructions how to stitch it in the latest style. He some times used to come along with me to Barber shop and instruct the barber how to cut my hair.
In the month of April 1960 I left Babu. I was the same poor man but I had tremendous confidence instilled in me . From then on I was not scared of any body and I had tremendous self confidence and wherever I went I attracted people with my intelligence ,Looking back to my life , I think, I never failed in any interview all my life after that . All my life I knew I was only a statue chiseled by my Babu . Now Babu is not there in this world , Two years back when his daughter contacted me to say that had my Babu had been alive , he would have celebrated his eightieth birthday , I was virtually in tears
I remembered a day when I was studying in Delhi , when Sri Sivadas came for an interview for his Ph.D. Scholarship . I received him and he lived with me in the hostel. Babu who knew how fond I was of pickles , had got pickles of Nellikka( gooseberry) made by a cook in the hostel and send it along with my friend Sivadas.
Later when his younger brother Bharathan joined Manipal medical college , Babu was particular that I should be his local guardian , as I was working near Mangalore at that time , Later I had the good fortune to visit his home when he was along with his wife and daughter . Slowly the contact with Babu became less and less and long long afterwards I heard that he is no more from my friend Sivadas.I wept like a child .Though my parents were responsible for educating me and getting me employed it was Babu who made me what I am –a very intelligent, confidant human being not scared by any one .