Chembauthi Publications, Chennai 2014
Ramu Thatha is a resident of Modachur Village (Gobichettipalayam,
Coimbattore) in Tamilnadu. He has written a book for children at the
age 87. Ramu entered into family business of Hides and Skins Trading
at a very young age and is not educated well. He married Pattayamal -
Child marriage! The couple lived together happily for 60 years. The
wife passed away in 2005 leaving him lonely and single. He suffered a
lot at this loss and life was miserable.
His grand daughter Pramila is a journalist. She is the one who
appeared in Amir Khan's Satyameva Jayathe in the episode on senior
citizens. At that time she exposed the cruelty in Madurai district
where Elderly persons who are no more useful were done away with
through "Thalikkoothal" ceremony. (The senior citizen is given a head
bath with hot water, then fed with lots of tender coconut water. The
old man would develop very high fever soon and die!). Returning from
her participation in Amir Khan's shooting she felt she must do
something to mitigate her grand father's misery. She brought him books
to read and art / painting materials. He took to reading a lot and
started sketching, drawing and painting. Observing his interest to beoccupied she suggested that "Why don't you write a story (book)". Initially he hesitated. But soon got ready to try. Firstly, he bought double ruled note book and practiced steadying his quivering hands. Then he took to writing and worked for two hours daily. Discussing
and narrating the story to his grand daughter, as it developed, he became one with the characters in his book.
The book was completed. At this point of time he started losing memory now and then. To keep his interest in life alive she got the book published by Chembarutthi Publishers. It was released by Communist Leader Nallakannu recently. Copies of the book will be distributed in old age homes, Pramila says. He says: if the book enthuses hidden talents in others to come out, I shall be happy.
(Original news item in Tamil by Aadhi Valliappan) (Rough translation by Dr P Vyasamoorthy)