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About our father M.A.Thangasamy Nadar

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Great men are born occasionally. For instance, a ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi, a Jawaharlal Nehru, a Subhash Chandra Bose, a Thiruvalluvar, a Bharathi, a Rabindranath Tagore, a  Kamaraj, a Mother Teresa, an Abdul Kalaam of this country, are being remembered by the people of our country with gratitude, for their great deeds and sacrifices to the country and society. But some great men, little known to the outside world, were also born in this country, are being remembered by the people of the location where they lived.  Thangasamy Nadar is one of such people, who lived in the region of Munnar, Kerala for a brief period. His life history is prepared, not with the intention of publication, but to keep his generations informed about this great man, born in their early family generation, for whom they can be proud of, and might be useful for their life. His history titled “Thangasamy Nadar- a legend”, is compiled and written in simple English by one of his sons, King Calvin, from his memory and the data collected from the elders of the region, and also from the elder relatives, who associated with him.

 

        THANGASAMY NADAR – A LEGEND

 

(Compiled and written by T. King Calvin in July, 2006)

 

INTRODUCTION:

 

Mr. M.A.Thangasamy Nadar, a native of a village in Sankarankoil Taluk of Tirunelvely District in Tamilnad migrated to Munnar, Kerala, around the year 1940. He established shops in that region and lived in Munnar, for nearly two decades and expired in the year 1961, whose exact date of birth was not known. While he was living in Munnar area for a brief period, he helped the poor people as much as possible and set an example. He started his career as an ordinary employee, and grown to a position of a big employer of the region. He was leading a life of a common man, but his lifestyle, magnanimity, helping nature to the others, differentiates him from the other men. Though he is no more, he is still remembered by the poor people of the region, and some of them had gone to the extent of keeping his picture in their homes along with the pictures of their gods. Men may come and men may go, but this great man is living in the hearts of the people in the Munnar area, for generations. 

 

His early days in the native village

 

Mr. M.A.Thangasamy Nadar, was born in a traditional Hindu family as a last son, in Sivalingapuram, a tiny village situated 3 kilometers west of Karivalamvandanallur on the way to Panaiyur in Sankarankoil Taluk of Tirunelvely District, in Tamilnad. (Then it was known as Madras State). Karivalamvandanallur, or ‘Karivalam’ in short, is situated between Rajapalayam (of Ramnad Dt. which now changed as Virudhunagar Dt.) and Sankarankoil, on the highways from Rajapalayam to Tirunelvely. His Hindu name was Gurusamy Nadar, named after their family’s temple god near Sivakasi, known as ‘Gurusamy’ temple. His father’s name was Muthumada Nadar who had 4 children (one daughter and three sons), namely (I)Arumugathaie, (II) Shanmugavel Nadar, (III) Subbiah Nadar, and (IV) Gurusamy Nadar, who was the youngest. His forefathers were originally living in the Sivakasi region of Ramnad Dt. who had migrated to Tirunelvely District in the end of nineteenth century (Between 1899 - 1900), due to the communal riots between Maravars and Nadars there. After the death of Muthumada Nadar and his wife, all the children were growing under the care of the eldest child, Arumugathaie, whose husband was in Burma (Myanmar) till the end of Second World War. Being the youngest in the family, all his elders, especially the eldest and only sister had a great affection on him, and he also loved her so much. He had his primary education in Karivalam, but could not pursue higher education due to his family circumstances. Since the region where they were living was not fertile enough, with very mean rainfall, they found the life difficult, and the agriculture operations were not yielding any remarkable income, he wanted to leave there in search of better livelihood for the entire family.

 

His early days in Munnar

 

 

            Hence, he migrated to Munnar, Kerala (then it was known as Travancore-Cochin State) around 1940, by the help of a close relative of his native village, Mr.M.R.Ponniah, an educated Christian, who was working in Munnar as a clerk in the British tea company called Kanan Devan Hills Produce Co. Ltd. (KDHP Co. Ltd.). Munnar was a little-known small town in those days, situated in The High Ranges of the Western Ghats in Devikulam Taluk, surrounded by picturesque tea estates belonging to KDHP Co. Ltd., and dams and reserved forests. In those days, there were no proper roads and bus routes to Munnar from Tamilnad, and also from the other parts of Kerala. The only bus route was from Udumalpet and it was 54 miles from there, in which 75% of the route falls in the mountain terrain, with lot of narrow curves, and dangerous deep ravines on the sides. There was another route through Bodinaickanur, in which one had to walk 7 miles in the short cut in the mountain to reach Kerala border, known as Top Station, to board the bus to Munnar. Hence, reaching there was a very difficult exercise in those days. Further, life in the area was not easy, as once the southwest monsoon sets in, it would continue throughout days and nights with heavy winds, for six months. It was the market and recreation center for the entire estate population of the surrounding estates. In Munnar, he worked for some period in a grocery shop belonging to one Mr. S.Dasan Nadar of Palayamkottai, Tirunelvely, a traditional Christian, whose native village was Kurichampatti near Tenkasi, in Tirunelvely Dt. Mr.Dasan Nadar’s two brothers M/s Samuel Nadar and Gnaniah Nadar also had settled in Munnar and engaged in business. During this period, Mr.Thangasamy Nadar was found to be very smart, talented and efficient in the work, and particularly his good character attracted his employer and his brothers. Hence, he offered his cousin Nesammal, (alias Paul Nesam) the eldest daughter of Mr. Gnanamoney Nadar to him, and he married her, in the year 1942, at Dohnavoor, after converting into Christianity, and his name was changed as ‘Aron Thangasamy’. Nesammal’s age was 21 at the time of the marriage and her D.O.B. was 11-08-1921. Mr. Gnamoney Nadar was the maternal uncle of Mr. Dasan Nadar. In other words, Dasan Nadar’s mother was the sister of Mr. Gnanamoney Nadar. Mr. Gnanamoney Nadar had migrated to Dohnavoor, near Vallioor of Tirunelvely Dt., from his native place Mangudi in Tirunelvely Dt. near the Ramnad Dt. border, many years back. His brother Perinba Nadar stayed in Mangudi. Mangudi is situated 3 kilometres west of Sholapuram on the Rajapalayam – Tirunelvely highways between Rajapalayam and Karivalam. Mr. Gnanamoney Nadar and Mrs. Mariammal couple had 5 children (two sons and three daughters). They were (I) Nesammal alias Paul Nesam, (II) G.J.Pauldurai, (III) G.J.Samuel, (IV) Yeasuvinkody, (V) Koilammal. Nesammal had studied up to E.S.L.C. (Elementary School Leaving Certificate), and completed teachers’ training and worked as a teacher in Dohnavoor, to support the family after the death of her father, before her marriage.

 

His progress

 

 

              Since Mr. Thangasamy Nadar was very hard working, and had a great ambition to come up in life, he started a grocery shop with another merchant Mr. T.B.Simon Amirtham, a native of Edayarkadu of Tuticorin Dt., on partnership basis, in the heart of Munnar Town. In course of time, he started business on his own, in Thenmallay Estate. Since he supplied commodities at Munnar Town prices, the estate labor force stopped going to Munnar for their weekly purchase, and started purchasing from his shop in the Estate itself. Hence, it flourished and developed into a big business establishment, having its head office in Thenmallay Estate, and its branches in Munnar Town and Old Munnar, comprising of 50 employees. Thenmallay Estate, a tea estate which was owned by KDHP Co. Ltd., is situated 12 miles away from Munnar on the way to Udumalpet of Tamilnad. The Manager of the Estate, Mr. Knight, who was a native of Scotland, had a very good relationship with him, and extended his full support for his business. His establishment was consisting of 6 grocery shops, 4 canteens, 1 ration shop and a cloth shop. A Ford lorry and two bullock carts along with 4 pairs of bullocks were purchased for the transportation of commodities to the shops situated in different places. A Vauxhall car and a Francis Barneth make motorcycle were purchased for the business purpose, and also for his personal use. A majority of the Government staff, KDHP Company staff and many estate workers near Munnar surroundings used to purchase from his shops in Munnar. Since he did not learn motor cycle riding, his relative S.Ganapathy who was an employee in the concern, was using it for the official purposes.

 

His lifestyle and magnanimity

 

           Mr.Thangasamy Nadar became a well-known person in and around Munnar by his business activities. He was known as “M.A.T.” among the business community and the government officials etc., and as “Muthalaaly” (Big employer/owner), among the employees and working classes etc. He was considered “Good Samaritan” of the region due to his hospitality and helping nature, especially towards the poor estate laborers, and porters of Munnar Town, which added flavor to his fame. Those who came for any help never returned empty- handed. He could not tolerate if anybody was found starving due to poverty. He would immediately plunge into action and provide them with food items from his shop. He used to distribute money to the poor people from his pocket, when he happened to see them. Whenever he visited his native village, he would pour out the money for the poor people of the region. Even an estate laborer who turned as a dacoit, known as Thangiah, had high regard for him as he had helped him in his distress, earlier. Once, when he was looting the people with his gang on the way to Bodinaickanur, near the place called “Kurangani”, he spared one employee (and family) of his shop, since he came to know that he was the employee of Thangasamy Nadar. He was blessed with a large number of cows, fowls, turkeys, pigeons, etc., which were used for commercial and also for the domestic consumption of the employees. The estate laborers and Kanganies (Supervisors) of Thenmallay Estate were very affectionate towards him as he was meeting their needs without any partiality.

 

Though he was financially sound in those days, he was leading a very simple life, and he rarely used his car except for emergencies. He had a fair complexion with a smiling face, reasonably tall, sharp nose, ascended forehead, with curling hair combed backwards on the sides above both ears, and his hands stretching down to his knees while standing. Normally he was wearing full sleeved white shirts and dhotis. He used Parker pen meant for smooth writing, and Swiss-made West End (Sowar- Prima model) wrist watch, with date, which was helpful for him to maintain date and time without any lapse, for his business purposes. He had the habit of writing diary daily. Even if he was very late to bed, he would never sleep before writing the diary. The details such as daily receipts, expenditure, his place of stay at nights, name of persons met, matters discussed etc., would be incorporated in it.

 

His sister and brothers from the native village used to visit him occasionally, and he treated them with great respect and affection, and trained his children also to treat them accordingly. His smile attracted everybody and brought them closer to him. He was a man of principles and had no bad habits such as smoking, drinking etc. or any immoral activities. He used to call his customers and others in polite and respectful languages, even if they were much younger to him. He became the life-time member of Nadar Mahajana Sangam, Madurai. Though he rose to a higher status in life, he never forgot his first employer Mr.Dasan Nadar, and had very high regard, and respected him.

 

As an employer with a difference

 

             He was the one among a few business VIPs of those days in that region, licensed to use pistol for their personal safety. He had a revolver (automatic) by which 6 bullets could be fired at a stretch. But he did not get the opportunity to use it in his entire lifetime. Also, he was one of the very few persons in Munnar, who was having a car, a lorry, a motor cycle, and an Ecophone brand radio, made in Italy, at the time when Gramophones were in use. He took his brothers’ and sister’s sons and employed them in his establishment, which was his long-desired objective. Along with them, he brought his wife’s close relatives and others also from low-country to Munnar and employed them in his business concern to earn their livelihood, as their native places were not receiving periodical rain, resulting in abandoning their traditional agriculture occupation.

 

He also accommodated a Malayalee Christian, K.J.Antony from Chalakudy, Kerala, in his team and made him as the authorized Company tailor of Thenmallay Estate. Thangasamy Nadar maintained a very good relationship with fellow merchants and government officials and bank officials. He imported essential commodities such as rice, jaggery oil etc. and sold at reasonable prices, with less- profit margin.

 

While his business expanded, he established business connections in Madurai, Trichy, Madras, Udumalpet, Pollachi, Kangeyam, Virudhunagar, Tuticorin, Bodinaickanur etc. in Tamilnad and Alwaye, Permbavoor, Ponkunnam, Chalakudy etc. in Kerala by whom various goods were supplied at wholesale prices to his establishments. His employees were highly paid, and neatly dressed, compared to other similar establishments in the region. Further, the needs of the employees, however small or big, from marriage to death were met by him from his own resources. He also provided them with gramophones in the shops, to be used for their entertainment, as there was no electricity and hardly any entertainment in the estate region in those days. He treated his employees as the partners of the establishment and never as employees. Those who wanted to leave the establishment for personal reasons and settle in the low-country were supported by him to establish own business there. Further, if any employee wanted to return, they were accommodated and put up in the same position which they enjoyed earlier. Every Christmas he used to present new dresses to the employees and their families. Hence, the employees and their families had very high regard and affection on him.

 

His wife

 

      

His wife Nesammal became a hard working housewife, though she got the certificate of teachers’ training. She used to give tuitions to the school-going children of the surrounding area and most of those children were later turned as doctors, engineers, professionals and big businessmen etc., and those people are still remembering her with gratitude. She was cultivating vegetable garden, rearing fowls, sheep, cows etc. for domestic and commercial purposes. She also supported her husband’s business by cooking and supplying food to the employees of his shops, in addition to looking after her own children with utmost care. If any of the children fell sick, she used to take them to the doctor and give them the medicines at the times specified, without sleep in the nights. She used to keep native and allopathic medicines in the home, for emergencies. The details of her brothers, sisters and mother are given below:-

 

G.J.Pauldurai

 

 

Her first younger brother, who was brought to Munnar, got appointed as a staff in The KDHP Co. Ltd. as he was ex-military personnel. He married Rosekani, a daughter of Dr. Jesudasan, of the KDHP Company.

 

G.J.Samuel

 

 

Her second younger brother, who was educated, also brought to Munnar, and employed in Mr. Thangasamy Nadar’s shop as an accountant. He married Jebamoney, his cousin, daughter of Ponnusamy Nadar, a land-lord from Dohnavoor.

 

Yeasuvinkody

 

 

Her younger sister, who was given in marriage to a person named Chelliah, a native of Maruthakulam, of Tirunelvely Dt., working in railways in Penang, Malaya (Now, Malaysia), and settled there.

 

Koilammal alias Kohila

 

 

Her youngest sister, who was working as a teacher, and living alone with her old mother Mariammal in Dohnavoor since her father was no more.  They were brought to Munnar by Thangasamy Nadar and living under his and Nesammal’s care till her marriage with a businessman of Munnar, hailing from Bodinaickanur. His name was Mr.Kandasamy, a Hindu, who converted into Christianity (and his name changed as Rajamoney), at the time of the marriage, who later settled down in Udumalpet. While she was in Munnar in her sister’s house, she gave a good company to the children, by playing with them and providing food items with different tastes. Hence, the children liked her company.

 

 

His children

 

        Thangasamy Nadar and Nesammal couple had 5 children (four sons and one daughter), and they are: (I) Samuel Victor,(D.O.B.16-04-1943) (II) Esther Leela,(D.O.B.31-07-1944) (III) King Calvin,(D.O.B.15-04-1946) (IV) Jeyasingh David,(28-04-1948) and (V) Job Anbalagan,(23-10-1949). He had an extra-ordinary affection on them. The family was living in Munnar Town in a wealthy atmosphere. He had a special affection on his daughter Leela, being the only girl-child, and on his son Jeyasingh, since he was very naughty and shrewd, making him happy by his wits and sleeping with him, whenever he was at home.

 

Whenever he returned from business tours, he would bring basketful of fruits of the season, in a large quantity, and hence, the children would be eagerly expecting his arrival. Before his coming to the house, he would arrive at his shop, and from there, he would send the fruit baskets which reached the home in advance, to inform them his arrival. Once the children saw the baskets, they would jump in joy, and would eagerly await his arrival at home. On seeing his coming from the distance, the over-joyed children would run towards him. At times, the children, especially Leela and Jeyasingh would not have the patience to wait at home for his arrival, and would rush to the shop to see him. On seeing him, Jeyasingh would climb on him and he would hold him in one arm, and catch Leela’s hand by his other hand, and make their way home. On reaching home, he would affectionately pat the cheeks of the other children who were waiting at the door-step, for his arrival. On his entering home, he would lift the youngest son, who would be beside his mother, and keep him in his arms.

 

Since Thangasamy Nadar was not able to pursue higher studies in his native village, when he was young, he determined to educate his children to attain higher status in their lives. Hence, he took his children to cities like Madurai in Tamilnad for higher studies, after their primary education in Munnar. When his elder children were studying in Madurai, whenever he visited there for business purposes, he used to call and keep them with him in the Udupi Boarding Lodge in the West Masi Street, where he used to stay, till his departure. The children enjoyed their stay with their father as they were provided with all the food items they wished, and taken for shopping entertainment etc. His real enjoyment was to make the children enjoy, and he had no other personal enjoyment in life. He was very humoristic in nature and used to call or address his loving children and wife by humoristic pet names in Tamil and Malayalam, such as “Mootha Kaluthai”, “Aadukaali”, “Peria Mandayan” , “Kozhippee Thinna Naayie”, “Chinna Mandayan”, “Poaththu” etc. The meanings of such pet names with reasons are given below.

 

Samuel Victor  (“Mootha kaluthai” – means ‘Elder ass’)

 

Since he was the eldest in the family and also he would not be readily available when searched by the father, and normally be away in a remote corner of the town or outside the area with his friends for entertainment. Hence, he was called by him in this pet name.

 

Esther Leela  (“Aadukaali” – means – ‘Dancing leg-gar’)

 

Since her legs won’t rest in a place, and keep on running from here and there, she was called by him by this pet name.

 

King Calvin (“Peria mandayan” – means – ‘Elder, big-headed chap’)

 

Since his head was bigger than others, and also had a belief that he got more brain due to this. Hence, he was called by him by this pet name.

 

Jeyasingh David  (“Kozhipee thinna naayi” –means–‘The dog, eating fowl’s droppings’).

Since he was very naughty and shrewd and made everybody happy, by his jokes and wits, including his father, he was called affectionately by him in this pet name.

 

Job Anbalagan  (“Chinna mandayan” – means – ‘Younger, big-headed chap’)

Since his head also bigger than others, and had the same belief as in the case of his elder brother Calvin, that he got more brain due to this, and called by him by this pet name.

 

Nesammal – His wife  (“Poaththu” – means – ‘Buffalo’ in Malayalam language)

Since she was fatty and dark in complexion, and also lived in her own ways without hearing anybody’s advice, including her husband’s, she was called by him in this pet name.

 

             The pet names such as ‘dog’, ‘ass’, ‘buffalo’, ‘monkey’ etc. are still used by the people to call their dear ones. He also used to address his other close relatives of his shops also in this manner, and they liked it as they knew that it was due to the affection on them. His children loved him so much, that even if there was any argument between their father and mother due to some misunderstandings, all the children would be with the father’s side except the youngest, as he was too young and growing under the total care of the mother. His eldest son learnt motor cycle riding in his teen age in his father’s motor cycle. He was using an imported costly bicycle with modern extra fittings, and also he was one of the pioneers of using Transistor sets when introduced, in Munnar.

 

His Church activities and moral life 

 

              He was an active member of the Church of South India and took part in various church activities in spite of his busy business commitments. He was one of the big contributors for Indian Missionary Society (IMS) and other organizations from the region. He had the fear of God and used to respect and accommodate the gospel workers of those days whenever they came to Munnar. Most of his relatives and others brought by him to Munnar had embraced Christianity and got baptized, followed by their employer, Mr.Thangasamy Nadar. For instance, Samiar changed as Samuel, Pillaiar changed as Joseph, a Madasamy as David, another Madasamy as Edwin Jeyaraj, Palanisamy as Ponnusamy and so on. God was with him and he had a miraculous escape once from a bus accident, and also one of his faithful dogs, named ‘Mani’ protected him once from a wild elephant.

 

             The church in Thenmallay Estate was situated in a remote isolated area, but closer to his main shop. Hence, he felt that it was his moral responsibility to provide protection to the church and the employees of the shop were advised by him to take care of the church from the wild elephants and also from miscreants. Mr. Appadurai, a teacher (He was also the maternal uncle of Mrs. Rosekani Pauldurai and Mr.Amose Rajamoney) from  Gundumallay Estate, which was nearly 3 miles away, was conducting Church Services there on Sundays. Since there were no proper transport facilities available in the region in those days, he had to cover the distance only by walk in the hills. Further, he was in his late fifties and sixties, doing this noble work as honorary. Hence, Thangasamy Nadar had high regard for him and instructed his employees to provide lunch and other requirements for him from the shop on Sundays after the Service. Also, the other church members who attended the Church, were provided light refreshments from the shop, as there was no canteen or any dwellings closer by, as advised by him. Thangasamy Nadar could not attend the Church on Sundays regularly as he was away from the home town and the Estate for most of the days. But he was one of the rarest persons who practically lived a life according to the Ten Commandments given by God, without its least violation. Also, he loved his neighbors and enemies as preached by Jesus to His disciples. He had a very good devotional life. He used to read Bible regularly.  He used to advise his children to help the poor.   

 

His last days

 

 

             He was very hard-working and would be away from home in most of the days for business purposes, without taking proper food or rest in time. Since he was away from Munnar for most of the days, he could not concentrate on the running of the establishments. Hence, some of his employees who were employed in the key positions made use of this opportunity and started misappropriating the money for their personal gains, which affected the business considerably.  Day by day the business started worsening and the profit declining, and hence, he found it difficult to manage. Of late, he realized the dishonesty of his employees, and he was reluctant to believe it. His wife also quarreled with him whenever he visited home, to take action against them and to ensure a safe future for the children. This unexpected turn of events affected him mentally and physically to a great extent. He used to express his difficulties with his well-wishers and his elder children, who were too young.

 

He was much worried about the future of his children, especially about his only daughter and hence, his health deteriorated and he fell sick. His well-wishers advised him to take some stern action against the offenders and to reshuffle the team of employees, which he decided to carry out after his recovery. But after a prolonged illness, he expired in his late forties in Madurai on 26-05-1961, after treatment in Dr. Vadamalaian’s hospital without proper diagnosis. His body was brought to Munnar and buried in the cemetery of the CSI Church. (Grave No. 477) His burial procession was attended by people in large numbers, from all over the surrounding estates and merchants all over Kerala and Tamilnad, in spite of the torrential rains on that day. He became a legend and is still remembered by the people of that region. The employees including his close relatives left his business establishments for alternate jobs, and some of them started businesses of their own. He did not earn any assets for him, but, earned immortal fame and reputation for his generations. When he died, around Rupees one lakh was due to him from the poor estate laborers which remained un-recovered, in the account ledger, and he had to pay almost equal amount to the people who supplied goods to his concern.

 

The names of some notable  employees of his establishment are given below:-

 

 

His Relatives :

 

A.S.Samuel, & A.P.Joseph, (Sons of his sister), S.M.David, S.P.Ponnusamy, & S.Thangiah, (Sons of his brothers), S.Ganapathy  (a relative of him)

 

His Wife’s Relatives :

 

G.J.Samuel (Her brother), Amos Rajamoney, (Her other brother G.J.Pauldurai’s brother- in- law).

Others :

 

Lakshmanan, A.M.Manickam & Keppanan (Bodinaickanur), Madasamy alias Edwin Jeyaraj (Sivakasi), Patchaiappan (Kamatchipuram), Sundararaj, Mahalingam, Rajamani & Selvaraj (Virudhunagar), Thangavel (Dohnavoor), K.J.Antony (Chalakudy, Kerala), Ramasamy Raja (Karivelampatty, Madurai), Daniel & his son Anthony (Srivilliputhur)

 

              He maintained a very good relationship with persons of all walks of life, irrespective of the religion, community, language, place of origin etc. He had no enmity towards anybody and hence, he had lot of well-wishers.

 

Some of the names of his well-wishers are furnished below:-

 

M/s Krishna Thevar, Shanmugiah Thevar, from Thenmallay Estate

       Sarkur Bai, Gaffoor Sahib, from Munnar.

       Urumbath Mathai Thariath, from Alwaye (Who was supplying goods to his shops,        

       and also one of the directors of the erstwhile The Bank of Cochin Ltd. which later  

       amalgamated with SBI)

       Abraham Spr. of Aneimudi, Periavurrai Estate.

       Manuel Raj, Field Officer, Letchmi Estate, who later settled in Thisaiyanvillai.

      

 

 

His family after his death

 

           After the death of Thangasamy Nadar, the children could not run the business establishments as they were too young, studying in schools and colleges. Mrs. Nesammal worked very hard and made her children complete their studies to an extent. One of her brothers, Mr.G.J.Samuel, who had worked faithfully in the Establishment, and his wife were with them in this critical period, who also tried in vain to restore the business to its previous position. Later, they too had to leave, to earn the livelihood for their family. Hence, she tried to run the business with new partners, who were also not trustworthy. Her eldest son Samuel Victor and the next son King Calvin discontinued their education and tried to revive the business, which also resulted in failure. Hence, after the marriage of Esther Leela and Samuel Victor, the establishments were gradually disposed off and the sons became professionals. Samuel Victor migrated to Udumalpet, worked as a manager in a chit fund company and settled there. Jeyasingh David worked in a private agency in Munnar for some period, and later went to Madurai and stayed with her sister who lost her husband while working in the Customs and Central Excise Department there, leaving two children. Job Anbalagan worked as an office assistant in Devikulam Estate near Munnar, who later got appointed in the Central Vigilance Commission as PA to the Central Vigilance Commissioner, New Delhi during 1973. (He is now working as Chief Manager (Vigilance) in Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd., Delhi). After he got appointed and settled in New Delhi during 1977, he called his brother Jeyasingh also to Delhi, who joined in a private company there. King Calvin joined in Periavurrai Estate of KDHP Co. Ltd., near Munnar, (which later changed into Tata Tea Ltd.), as assistant field officer. Mrs. Nesammal lived in her house in Munnar for some years, and later with her son Calvin, who was working in the region. When she became too old, and could not withstand the cold climate of the region, she was taken to Delhi by her son, Jeyasingh after disposing the house in which she was living. The 50% amount got from the disposal of her house was given to Jeyasingh as he had agreed to look after her till her end, and kept with him in Delhi. Balance amount was equally shared by the other brothers and sister. She spent her last days in Delhi under the care of both sons Jeyasingh and Anbalagan till her death. While she was in Munnar, she was an active member of the church and used to involve in the gospel works. She expired in the age of 76, on 24-12-1997 and buried in the War Cemetery at the Cantonment in Delhi.

 

A few words by the author from his own testimony

 

The author of this article, King Calvin, wishes to narrate three incidents out of many such incidents happened in his life, which reflected the ever lasting impressions about Mr. Thangasamy Nadar, remained in the people’s heart, even after his death, in different places, in different times, involving different types of people. These incidents are written in the direct speech, as it will take the message in its original form to the readers and hope it will be a pleasure to read it. Of course, the other members of the family also have experienced similar incidents.

 

In the year 1968, in Perumbavoor, Kerala

 

 

After leaving my studies, while I was looking after the establishment along with my elder brother, a vegetable merchant and a well wisher named Jeyaram of Pallanad, near Marayur in the High Range, who was also the brother of my school friend, invited me to accompany him to Perumbavoor, near Alwaye in Kerala, to collect the amount for the vegetables supplied by him in the market there. I too was interested to see the countryside of Kerala, and hence, I accompanied him and visited the market place, tasted the lunch prepared in the Kerala style, enjoyed interacting with the local people speaking Malayalam of the region (in a different style). After his business was over, we reached the bus stop in the evening at 4.00 p.m, where we were told to our surprise, that the last bus to Munnar had already left some 10 minutes back. Hence, we had no other alternative except to stay there overnight, and found a medium type roadside hotel with boarding and lodging, and went inside and requested for a room. The person in the counter, a Malayalee Muslim, who was also the owner of the hotel, informed that no room was vacant to be provided. While we started to return with a very disappointed face, he called us back and enquired from where we had come, and we informed him that we were from Munnar, a distant place. On hearing this, he felt pity on us and he went through the register and found that a single room was available, which was just vacated. He offered the room and asked us to manage in the small room, which we accepted with gratitude. As usual, I entered my name, my father’s name, address, purpose of visit etc. in the register. On seeing my father’s name in the register, he asked me with excitement, ‘Is it the Thangasamy Nadar, the businessman of Munnar?’ I replied, ‘Yes’, with a surprise. On hearing this, he jumped out of his seat, rushed and embraced me, asking in Malayalam ‘Aththeahathinte Moanaanoe?’(You are the son of that great man?!!). He hugged me again and called the attendant boy and told him to open the guest room for us. Before we recovered from this shock of his behavior, he started telling about our father whom he had a great respect due to his helping nature and magnanimity. He also narrated the incidents when he visited Munnar for business purposes, and accommodated in the quarters of the employees of my father’s establishment, providing him food etc, with free of cost.

 

While we stayed there in the night, without ordering anything, the dinner with fish curry, tapioca, etc, prepared in the typical Kerala taste reached the room. We had a very pleasant stay there in the guest room in the night. In the morning, after taking bath and breakfast which also reached the room without ordering, we came down to the counter to settle the account and also to thank him before leaving. Fortunately, the owner was in his seat and asked us to be there for one more day as his guest, for which we expressed our inability due to prior commitments. Then I took money out of my pocket to settle the account. On seeing this, his face changed and refused to accept saying, ‘I owe to your father a lot, who had looked after me so well, which I could not repay him in my lifetime. At least now I got this opportunity to accommodate his son in my hotel at least for one day. It is nothing when compared to your father’s gesture’. Saying this, by bidding us ‘Good bye’ requested us to visit his hotel whenever we visit there in future. I left there with a heavy heart praising the gratitude he had towards our beloved father. Also, my heart was filled with my father’s memories, who had earned that much reputation from the people by his great deeds, and indeed felt very proud of him.

 

In the year 1974, at Dohnavoor, in Tamilnad

 

I had the opportunity to visit Dohnavoor with my wife, which is also her native place, and stayed in her grand father’s house. One morning we both set out to see the farmlands of her grand father, and an old worker of the farm was accompanying us. On the way, he enquired with my wife from where we came, for which she replied that we were from Munnar. On hearing this, he asked her that whether she knew Thangasamy Nadar. With a surprise she informed him that, ’He is his son’, pointing to me. On hearing this he stopped walking, turned to me and exclaimed in Tamil, ‘Antha Punniavaan Peththa Maganaa Neenga’ (Are you the son of that great man of charitable heart?), and about to kneel down before me. Both of us were shocked by his unpredicted action and pulled him up and asked him how he knew Thangasamy Nadar. He narrated that he was considering him as the light of his life as he had helped him in many ways, while he was an estate worker in a nearby tea estate in Munnar. He also remembered with gratitude, that he had met his financial and other needs for his children’s marriages etc. from his own resources. He also informed that he had written off his debts due to his shop, since he could not repay. He also shared his memories of my father and started weeping, and we consoled him. We both had dressed in the typical village style, with lungi, cotton saree and hawai  chapplals, made of rubber. On our way back, the strap of my chappal was torn due to the walking in the rugged-path to the farm land, and I was holding the same in my hand. On seeing this, he rushed to me and requested to hand it over to him to carry, for which I was reluctant. But, without waiting for my acceptance, he took the chappals from my hand. Later, we were shocked to see the same chappals found place over his head and traveled. We scolded him for his behavior, and advised him to keep his respect in the heart and not by this means. He replied that he was very proud to do this as God had given him an opportunity to help Thangasamy Nadar’s son, at least in this way, and praised God. He also took the chappals with him and returned the same later, after repairing it by his own hand.

 

In the year 1994, in the bus to Kumuly from Munnar, in Kerala

 

When I was working as a field officer in the estate of Tata Tea Ltd., called, Periakanal Estate, 20 kilometres from Munnar on the way to Kumuly of Kerala, and Madurai etc. of Tamilnad, I had to travel in a bus called, “Kerala Travels” bound for Kumuly, in one evening from Munnar. The bus was tightly packed with passengers due to heavy rush, and nobody could even see the other’s face. When the bus reached a place called Devikulam, some passengers got down, and some more people got down when the bus reached the next stop, called ‘Lockhart Gap’, after which the people felt relaxed and could see the other people face to face in the bus. At this time, I noticed an elderly person with grey hair, who was standing by the side of a sitting woman (his wife), was constantly observing me with excitement. He was a stranger to me as I could not remember that I met him earlier. Hence, I too started looking at him. Gradually he came closer to me and asked me in a whispering voice in Malayalam, ‘Moan, Thangasamy Nadarude moanaanoe?’ (Young man, are you the son of Thangasamy Nadar?), for which I replied, ‘Athey’ (Yes), with a surprise. Then he enquired about our mother, brothers and sister. Also he asked what all of us were doing after the death of our father and enquired what happened to our shops. I briefed him in Malayalam about the shops and the present position of the family members after the death of our father. Then I asked how he knew about my father and his relationship with him. He explained that while he was a government servant, working in Devikulam Taluk Office near Munnar many years back, away from his family, he used to visit our father’s shop in Munnar. He was given provisions in a concessional price, and food also provided to him by our father free of cost, whenever he visited Munnar. He also remembered with gratitude the high quality tea leaves supplied to him as a gift, whenever he went to low country to visit his family there. He praised my father saying that he was the true ‘Muthalaly’(Big employer) of all times, remained as a model, whose money was useful to the needy, and blamed the others who had money, were like having an unbroken cocoanut in the possession of a dog, which is neither useful to it nor to the others. Then I asked him with surprise, how he could remember and identify me as my father had expired some 33 years back by that time. I too did not remember him that I had seen him earlier, for which he informed that he had seen me in my young age, while I visited the shop in my school holidays. Further, he added that he identified me by my father’s features in my appearance except the complexion, as mine was dark as my mother. Then I requested him to get down with his wife to visit my house, for which he explained his inability that he had to visit his daughter in Santhanpara, situated on the way to Kumuly, who recently got delivered. By this time, the bus reached my destination and I got down hurriedly by bidding him ‘Good bye’ by waving my hand. When the bus started moving, by standing outside I asked his name for which he informed his name, but I could here clearly only his second name, one ‘Nair’ and not his name in full. Then I returned to my house with my heart filled with the incident in the bus, and also the memories of my beloved father who had won the hearts of many such people, who remember him with gratitude even many years after his death.

            

            

Though Thangasamy Nadar was taken by God to His kingdom as per His will, He blessed his children and grandchildren with abundant grace, as in the Holy Bible.

 

 

“But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children:” (Psalms-103:17)

 

 

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