Great men are born occasionally. For instance, a ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi, a Jawaharlal Nehru, a Subhash Chandra
Bose, a Thiruvalluvar, a Bharathi, a Rabindranath Tagore, aKamaraj, 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)
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 MadrasState). 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
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.
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 MunnarTown. In course of time, he started business on his own,
in Thenmallay Estate. Since he supplied commodities at MunnarTown 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 MunnarTown 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
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 MunnarTown, 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
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
His wife Nesammal becamea 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:-
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.
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.
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.
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) EstherLeela,(D.O.B.31-07-1944) (III) King Calvin,(D.O.B.15-04-1946) (IV) JeyasinghDavid,(28-04-1948) and (V) Job Anbalagan,(23-10-1949). He had an extra-ordinary affection on them. The
family was living in MunnarTown 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
Samuel Victor(“Mootha kaluthai”
– means ‘Elder ass’)
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
Esther Leela(“Aadukaali” – means – ‘Dancing leg-gar’)
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’)
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
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’)
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)
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.
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) fromGundumallay 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
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 CSIChurch. (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 notableemployees of his establishment are givenbelow:-
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)
Lakshmanan, A.M.Manickam & Keppanan (Bodinaickanur), Madasamy alias EdwinJeyaraj (Sivakasi), Patchaiappan (Kamatchipuram), Sundararaj, Mahalingam, Rajamani & Selvaraj (Virudhunagar), Thangavel (Dohnavoor), K.J.Antony (Chalakudy,
Kerala), Ramasamy Raja (Karivelampatty, Madurai), Daniel & his son Anthony (Srivilliputhur)
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
M/s Krishna Thevar, Shanmugiah Thevar, from Thenmallay Estate
Bai, Gaffoor Sahib, from Munnar.
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)
Spr. of Aneimudi, Periavurrai Estate.
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 WarCemetery 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 ,
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 PeththaMaganaa 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 hawaichapplals, 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
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)