CHACKO CITY PART II
A place with no name
A place with no name
Progress of Chacko was steady. He earned well from farming and spent it also well. He took good care of his parents and his younger sister who completed Nursing degree and got employment in the US.
When Kambum Kumali Road was taken up with the participation of Local residents, Chacko readily put in his best, from the first day of starting the work. The work was completed in record time and as a token of appreciation government promised 1 lac rupees for any development work the locals wanted. There were many suggestions. They could not agree upon one. So a vote of all who participated was taken giving due weight-age for the days they worked for the road. Vote of Chacko carried the maximum weight-age and his vote was for a road to the cupola, so every one readily agreed with him.
With the road the cupola became more popular and that led to a plan to build a large church in the place of the Cupola. Chacko readily agreed to supply rubble for construction.
Chacko was about to construct a good house for his parents and himself. Timber for construction of the house. was stored in a shed behind his dwelling. While transporting rubble for the church one of the prominent members of the church noticed the timber. Next day the forest guard was at Chacko's. For a large bribe he agreed to help. But as the offence had already been informed to his higher ups the only way out was to hide the timber. Chacko buried it at night leaving no trace and escaped punishment but In course of time the timber rotted and became useless. But that did not deter Chacko. A house with concrete roof and least use of wood came up on the road where he started living with his parents. He tried to search out his elder sister but her family had sold their properties and gone to Tamil Nadu leaving no address
New house and sick old parents forced him to marry. Two children, a boy and a girl, were born to him. He continued to work hard and took good care of his parents till they died.
In place of the cupola a large church became the land mark, still the place had no name, It was known as just pally pady (Church Gate).
Birth of Chacko city
Old age, though late, caught up with Chacko. His daughter married a US citizen. His son, a very successful business man,was in a far away City. Thus death of his wife rendered Chacko a loner, with only nature for company. He stayed in the house alone, still toiling in his field during the day and drinking though the night.
The Priest came counselling every week, but the old man had seen too much in life which the priest could not explain.
'Kunnele Chacko” …......... a small girl going home from the school called after her kid brother who was running a head of her. The resemblance of the girl to his older sister was so striking that Chacko followed them to their house. Yes, they were the grant children of his sister. The Old woman was bed ridden, she was almost blind, still she recognized him as her brother Chacko. The small boy was named Chacko after him though they were not Christians. The old lady's husband had died many years back and she had only one daughter who was a teacher in the pre-primary school newly opened in the village. The family was in difficulties as her husband had deserted her.
Chacko became a frequent visitor to the house. He liked the children much and wanted to help them. He even thought of building a small house for them. But the old woman was reluctant to accept as she was afraid that it may hurt his children.
In an evening prayer meeting the priest mentioned that Chacko's son was very kind and had offered the house after his father's time to the Parish. Chacko's son who was present. He confirmed it and said a Parish Hall will be built in its place in due course. Chacko was very unhappy that they had not consulted him. Hurt Chacko did not say anything then. That night Chacko drank heavily. Athe had dream, in it his sister and the children were chased by the loner elephant . He ran out of his house shouting. His son who was in the house was shocked, he took his father to a hospital. He was afraid the fate of his grand mother may follow Chacko. But Chacko was normal next morning and started doing his routine and the son left for his. But not before consulting the priest about admitting Chacko to an old age home
For weeks priest tried to convince Chacko of the advantages of staying at old age home. Then one day Chacko went missing. They searched for him for a week. At the end Chacko returned healthy and pleased. But he refused to tell anyone where he had been for more than a week. So they were convinced about the need to admit him in an old age home. Chacko wanted a few days to make decision and went missing again . This time for a long time no one bothered to search. They assumed he will return as in the earlier occasion. Which he did not.
Then the search began but not very earnestly. They could not gather what happened to Chacko. So it was decided to hand over the land to the Church. But when the documents of the land were verified they were shocked. Chacko had relinquished his right over the property when he was missing first. And he had requested the Government to convert the land back to forest.
Soon the board which announced 'THE SOCIAL FORESTERY PROJECT Chackos land' Government of Kerala appeared in front of the house. The new bus service had a stop in front of the house. They started calling the bus stop 'Chackos'.
Then a third shop was opened opposite to the house. It had a big name board 'POPULAR STORES Chacko city'. People readily followed by calling the place Chacko City
Thus Chacko City came in to existence. But no one heard any thing about Chacko there after.
The Man Chacko
I met him at 'Life long' an old age home run by a philanthropic. In those days I was a sporadic visitor to Life Long. Chacko, one of the inmates there, was a pleasant old man enjoying everything that comes to him .
' We all like gains. What about losses?. The gains we make, does it not carry losses to some one else. Why not anticipate losses also and take it gracefully along with gains?. I always appreciated the animals who enjoy liking their wounds after a fight'. Chacko Achayan's ( a name usually used for elders meaning- elder brother ) philosophy attracted me.
He used to talk to me for long when ever I went there. Giving me glimpses of his life. Once he asked me whether I knew the song Kunnele...... I told him that I had heard it long back in my school days. He sang it for me.
Years passed. I had lost touch with Life Long due to change in my Job. One day a call came from life long inquiring whether I knew one chacko who had no relatives and I may the only friend he had.
I went, He was bed ridden. I was glad that I came. He was so old and sick that he could hardly speak. He requested me to sing 'Kunnele... There were many around me and I was not at all good at singing but still i started singing. The tune being very simple all around joined singing in chorus "Kunnele.. Chacko ni pura kettiyoda. Purakettikko pura kettikko Mazha vannal nanayum......There was smile on his face. His last.