My mother had a cousin.
I have not seen him, he had died before I was born. I have heard that he was a man of great talent.
In his younger days , he had a dream job with a prestigious firm and was the chief confidant of the company founder.He was the subject of envy of the whole community, my mother recollects. My mother fondly recalls how his arrival at their family home was nothing less than a celebration and how he used to bring gifts without fail for all his younger cousins.
The first time my mother and her cousins went for a movie was when he took them. The best dresses that they had were the one that he had bought.He was the apple of their eyes and their role model, the one all their parents wanted them to be like when they grew up.
But then , this guy eventually slipped down in his life. He became an alcohol addict and soon metamorphosed from being the role model to a failed drunkard. My mother herself doesn’t know the reason behind his might fall for certain and he still remains one of the greatest tragedy that our family tree has witnessed
He was rumored to be a poet, I don’t know how true this is.But there is one piece of poetry , which I love , is believed to be his and is quite famous amongst us cousins
കാറ്റിൻറെ ഊത്താണതു വേണുവല്ല
നിനച്ചതെല്ലാം പിഴയായി രാധേ”
which roughly translates into
“It is a firefly, not the peacock feather
It is the whisper of the winds, not the tune of the flute
It is the darkness, not the dark Krishna himself
All your hopes and thoughts were pointless, Radha*!!”
I am not sure if this uncle of mine wrote the above poetry, but in my mind these lines are etched against his name. I haven’t even seen his photo and am clueless of what he looks like or what kind of person he was, other than the accounts from my mother and aunts. But all my personal diaries, right from my childhood, through my teenage days and even today has their first page proudly showing off these four lines of long forgotten poetry.
*As per Hindu Mythology, Krishna is supposed to be an incarnation of God Vishnu. Radha was the lover of Krishna, during the initial days he spend as a cow herd in Vrindavan. More about Radha and Krishna can be read here.