Thursday, August 30 was the big day for Seena. That was the day set for the public defense of the thesis for Seena at University of Alabama in Birmingham. The format was a public presentation at 1 PM followed by a private defense in front of the committee members. If she survives both, then a victory party will be held to introduce the new "doctor."
Understandably Seena was very nervous. Everything was set by 12 noon. By 12:30, people started dropping in. By 1 PM, the seminar room/auditorium was full with several people standing. Prof. Hablitz, Seena's guide introduced her with some secret photographs showing all the food hoarded by Seena and stored in lab closets! He said, it was a delight to watch her transform from a very anxious person who froze during questioning in the first oral examn to a very professional woman she is today.
Seena had a great presentation. Later many people came and told us that they hope that the future Ph D candidates will learn from Seena as to how to present results well. At the end of the day, she was declared to have passed the Ph D and there was a celebration party. Shila has managed to prepare a fruit salad in the last minute to add to the party and that was an instantaneous hit adding to the cakes and other goodies provided by the department and her colleagues.
UAB medical school is considered one of the top 3 programs in neurobiology in the country. A walk down the corridors of the BioMedical Research Building is sure to impress anyone on the work going on Brain Research - researchers are working hard to "grow" memory cells, understand the causes of stroke, Alzheimer's and other diseases, studying the genes responsible for mental retardation and developing gene therapy to treat it etc. About half of them are MD/Ph Ds and the other half are Ph Ds.
Seena plans to stay there till the end of the year to wind up her work there. She will "officially" graduate by the end of the year.
Sara's Big Wedding is Set for October 13
Saturday, October 13 is the big day. That is when Sara has her wedding. Most of the family members will be there. Sangeetha is doing all the arrangements including a Bridal Shower on Friday.
Ajith and Anu Relocates to Harvard
Ajith has completed his special fellowship program at University of Pittsburgh. They have relocated to Boston, MA to join a Hospital that is affiliated with Harvard University.
A Grand 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration
Our Onatt Kuriachenappappan and Sarammakochamma will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year. Susan and Georgee will be throwing a big party to celebrate this on Saturday, August 4 at their home in Virginia Beach. Unfortunately, I will be missing that as we have an earlier commitment to attend a reunion of Kottayam Medical College Graduates at Milwaukee, WI on the same weekend.
Dr. Susan Jacob Gave Keynote Speech at Church Family Conference
The Jacobite Family Conference held in Dallas, TX from July 25-28 featured Susan Kochamma as one of the 5 keynote speakers. Susan kochamma spoke on "sanctification."
Here is the segment of news announcing Susankochamma's keynote:
The theme for the Family Conference 2007 is "For this is the Will of God, your sanctification.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3. His Beatitude Catholicose Aboon Mor Baselios Thomas I will bless the Conference as Chief Guest and Rev. Fr. Dr. A.P. George, Rev. Fr. Baiju Chandy, Rev. Fr. Shibu Yohannan, Comm. Dr. Roy P. Thomas, Dr. Susan Jacob would address at various sessions as Keynote Speakers and Rev. Fr. Boulos Michael and Ms. Naomi LaRue would engage the youth sessions. The Archbishop H.E. Mor Titus Yeldho, The Archdiocesan Council, and various committees are functioning to make this a successful and memorable event. St. Mary’s Syrian Orthodox Church, Carrollton Texas, is facilitating and assisting the Archdiocesan Council for the Annual Convention and Family Conference 2007, along with St. Ignatius Syrian Orthodox Church, Dallas.
Kolathammakkal Ammachy Had an Accident
Kolathammackal ammachy, the oldest of our senior class, recently had fell down at the bathroom. Fortunately Molly was at home when she fell down and was of great help in taking prompt action.
Here is an update from Kunjuppappan on her condition:
"Kochemma is better. I saw her this morning and collected blood for investigations. She has had no recurrence of Vertigo and has started taking more food. Though she did not initiate a conversation, she by signs, instructed Molly to give me lunch. (Sunday, July 15, 2007)"
When I visited Kerala in March (2007), Ammachy came to the family get together. I was impressed by the fact that she tries to do tasks such as climbing into the car etc. almost by herself. Later we visited her at Kolathammackal and she was at her old self (may be a slight hearing problem, otherwise, alert and well.
I still remember the good old days of my boyhood when I was the defacto courier service for our valia ammachy. Ammachy used to send me for delivering items such as Paani, etc. to Kangazha, Areeparambu, etc. In order to assure that I would not take a sip and sample the contents of the bottle, she used to put a mark, indicating the top with "chunnambu." I was not smart at that time to recognize that I could still sample and make up the difference by adding water. I was driven to expectations of getting tasty goodies from ammachy's when I visit there. I wonder Ammachy ever tested the levels to see whether the level matched the mark.
Thankammakochamma not well
by Dr. George Jacob
I dropped in at Nattassery to see Thankamma reported as having memory loss. There was defenite set back in her higher functions since I saw her last evening.
She could not to talk to me and did not recognise me and was reciting our prayers very well. Since she had fallen down couple of times in the last few days suspecting the possibility of Subdural Haematoma I took her to the hospital for a C.T. skull which revealed a small Subdural Haematoma 0 ' 41cm in Tempero-Occipital segment. Our Neuro-Surgeon was on leave . The Neuro- Surgeon at Matha hospital Dr. Balakrishnan said no Surgical intervention is needed . I got her admitted to hospital and is receiving IV mannitol and Eptoin the former to reduce the brain oedema. I expect her to do well. Molly is staying back to take care of her.
Susan kochamma (Houston) Recovering from Back Surgery
This must be Kolathammackal family news day on our website. Susan kochamma underwent a surgery to the back. She had been experiencing severe back pain and the surgery was the last option. She is recovering well. Here is a report from Sangeetha on her condition:
"Mummy is recovering from her back surgery. She's been enjoying the grandkids who have been running all around the house. Since Ajay, Melanie, and Saranya were able to come down the whole house was full of noise - which may have encouraged her to get up and see what all the excitement was. Daddy is doing well. He's been busy with some plans for the new office. "
Babykochamma and Kunjuppappan Recovering from Viral Fever
It seems Kunjuppappan is out of bed from the viral fever. Babykochamma, although recovered from fever, still has severe body aches etc., characteristic of the chikungunia fever.
Deepa and the kids left early. Anu left last week. Fortunately, none of them contracted the fever.
Bikku Marries Monisha
Bikku (Denver, Susykochamma's son) married Monisha Bajaj (daughter of Dinesh and Asha Bajaj) on July 1, 2007. They will be having a wedding reception on August 4, 2007 at Muscat Hotel in Kerala.
As we reported earlier, Asha married a deacon last week. The wedding took place in Pathanamthitta, near Omalloor. In spite of the Chikungunia and viral fever epidemic going on in Kerala, about 1000 persons reportedly attended the event and the function went well.
Sara (Houston) Now in Bahrain
Sara moved to Bahrain a few weeks back. She was sad to leave Japan, but is looking forward to her year in Bahrain and later, to her wedding on October 13, 2007
A Grand 77th Birthday Celebrated on the Luckiest Day of the Century
(Latest news is found on the home page. Here is the continuation of the news.)
We had an exciting get together last evening which happened to be my birthday 07-07-07. I turned 77 on that day. My 07 grandchildren organized a birthday entertainment programme with Neha, the eldest one, as the master of ceremony. and Ranjit the next elder one ably assisting Neha.
The family crowd of about 35 assembled. Neha, Ranjit, and Rachel played the piano. Ranjit and Noah had a go with the Tabla----both did well with the new musical instrument acquired. I do remember that a Harmonium was the only musical instrument we had at Pullolickal family and that too when Mathachayan was young. There were group songs with Tarun and Nithin (Vinod's kids) activity involved in it. All of us thoroughly enjoyed the programme.
Shibu made a short speech and lead the thanksgiving songs and prayers.
composed by Ranjit 07-07-07-----77-----07 grandchildren
Family Ravaged by Viral Outbreak
The recent viral outbreak in Kerala has affected our family dearly.
The latest victim is Kunjuppappan. He has been bedridden from June 20-today (June 24, 2007)
At present, Babykochamma, all servants, and Sheela are still down with the disease and slowly recovering.
Kuriachenappappan, who was the first victim of this latest disaster was admitted to Karithas Hospital intensive care unit and was released last Tuesday (June 19, 2007)
Puthenpurayil Tharavadu Sold
In a bit of sad news, Roy has sold the puthenpurayil property for Rs 1.4 crores. Roy plans to pay off part of his loans and then build another house elsewhere.
Puthenpurayil house evokes lot of memories in all of us as they were our closest relatives just across the street from us. When I was young, we used to go there to help ourselves wit the "champanga." (I am not sure whether that tree is still there or not.
Then there was the grapefruit (kambili narakom). We had one tree (which I believe Shibu cut down to expand his factory) and Puthenpurayil had one near their well. The fruits from the two tasted very different.
Ammamma always used to visit us almost everyday to discuss the latest gossip with my mother. Roy, when he was young, used to "salute" the TVS truck driver, who developed a friendship with him. The TVS driver used to treat them with Tomatoes etc. from Tamil Nadu in exchange for local goodies from Kothala. Roy had two mothers (amma) - Bussel amma (amma who travels by Bus - Mariamma kochamma - Mariamma kochamma used to commute by bus every day to Ponkunnam to practice at the court there) and Karel Amma (Amma who always travel by car - ammamma).
This indeed is a hard news to swallow. Kothala will never be the same without Puthenpura Tharavadu.
I thank Moncy, grandson of Thomachen appachen, for pointing out some errors in our earlier story.
Asha's Wedding Set
Asha (Thampy's Daughter - Kangazha) is set to marry a Deacon on July 9. As far as I know this is the first time we have an achen coming to the family as a relative. We wish Asha a long, happy wedded life.
Sheena Set to Join SCMS-Kochi
Sheena will be joining SCMS- Kochi for her MBA.
Anu, Deepa, Appu, Sheela all on Vacation in Kerala
Deepa and Anu will be a great help to Kunjuppappan and Babykochamma while they recover from viral fever.
Sara's Wedding is Set in October
Sara (Houston, TX) is currently at Japan with US Military Prosecutorial Team.
Shipani Had a Grand Wedding
Shipani (Biju's Daughter) had a grand wedding at Florida last Month (May 07). We wish Shipani a happy wedded life.
News Summary after a Break
One of the aspects of a dynamic family is that lot of news happens in a short time. While I was away nearly 1.5 years, lot of things happened. Neela had called many times to complain to me that every time she visits Pullolickal family website, she sees on the front page that Appu is having heart problems and then she has to go and check to make sure that he is OK!
Well, Kunjuppappan had his grand 75th birthday party, Shibu became a Cheveliar, Appu built a new house at Kothala (I understand that he is planning to retire later in 2007), Ajay got a sweet heart of a baby, Sara may be getting married, Bappu expanded on his business, Punnoosekutty and his wife is in the USA, Naveen is looking for a bride, Priya finishing her residency, Rajan achayan (Delaware) has been made the moderator of the Presbytery in that region etc. etc.
Well, from our front, Seena hopes to complete her Ph D in Neuroscience later in 2007, Madhu will be graduating in Spring 2008, Shila has started a Medical Acupuncture practice, and myself (Raju) had been busy with my planting and nurturing my latest venture http://www.specialgifts.com/ .
Appu Hospitalized With Chest Pains
Wilmington, DE (June 12, 2005) Appu had been hospitalized on saturday, June 11 complaining of chest pains. The doctors checked the enzyme and the result was negative. But they will be doing a angioplasty tomorrow as his last one was in 1995 and two arteries were blocked 70% at that time. The current protocol means they will probably put stents. Appu was happy 3 of his kids came to visit him at the hospital.
Sara in Japan
Sara Philip Jacob (Houston, TX) is now posted in Japan. Jacobkuttichayan and Susankochamma will be going there sometime this year to visit.
Ammu's MIL Hospitalized
Ammu's mother-in-law Aleyamma Mammen suffered from a stroke and was admitted in a hospital in Virginia. Her right side is paralyzed. She is now on antibiotics and not doing well according to Ammu. Ammu and Alyan, who were in Erie to attend the ordination of the son of Alyan's cousin, had to cut the trip short and rush to Virginia last Sunday after hearing the news.Ajith Relocating to Pittsburgh
Ajith will be joining University of Pittsburgh Medical School to do fellowship in Neurosurgery. He is expected to join the program in July.Kavunkal Achen in the US
Kavunkal Mathews achen, vicar of St. Mary's Church, S. Pampady (our home church) is now in the US. Achen is in Chicago substituting for another achen who had gone to India for vacation. Achen was in Cleveland and conducted a service there on Saturday, June 11.
Diocesan Councils Well Represented by Our Family
Jacobkuttichayan (Houston, TX) is a member of the US Diocesan council of Jacobite Church. Shibu is a member of the Diocesan council at Kottayam Diocese. Shibu was also the convenor of the 90th anniversary celebrations of St. Mary's Church.Happy Birthday Kunjuppappan
Well, it is 75th birthday of Kunjuppappan. A big party is planned for our Tharavadu house on Thursday, July 7, 2005 beginning at 6 PM. We wish Kunjuppappan another 75 productive years of life!Punnoosekutty's Wedding Set for July
Our kochu Punnoosekutty (babychayan's son) will be marrying in July. I believe the bride is also in software and currently resides in Delhi.
Divya Secures High Rank in Medical Entrance Test
Divya, daughter of Sheela and Vincy, has secured high rank in the just completed Medical Entrance Test. Kunjuppappan thinks that she can get into Kottayam Medical College. Congratulations Divya!Kiran's Marriage Set in July
Kiran, Thampichayan's son (Karottu House), will be getting married in July.Thanu Weds Anil
Thanu, daughter of Puliyalackal Kunjumon achayan, got married to Anil, a software engineer working in Bangalore.
Nattasseril Thankammakochamma suffers an Anginal Attack
Nattasseril Thankamma kochamma had a Heart attack about 4 months ago. Recently she had Anginal attack and was readmitted. According to Kunjuppappan, thankammakochamma had a fall few days earlier traumatising her buttocks and thigh. She was given Anti coagulants . There was bleeding into the thigh muscles. She is gradually improving.
Dr. George Jacob Back to Work
(Feb 10, 2005) Here is a letter we received from Kunjuppappan describing his recent experience: (He dubbed it Cardiologist with Cardiac problem)
To all the Dear ones:
Thank you very much for all the love and concern shown in the event of my unexpected illness. All the family members and friends were with us at the time of crisis which containing hoisted up one strength to face the situation. Fortunately it occurred in the night when Baby Kochamma's sister Molly came. It was a great help for us since she was here to support Deepa who as you know has a 20 days old baby.
On 29th January while attending a marriage reception at Ernakulam at 6.45 pm, I developed a hot sensation in the lower central chest when drinking hot coffee. I felt unwell, felt like communicating this to some one who was with me at that time. In 10 minutes I became alright and returned to Kottayam. In the same night at 3.30 a.m I woke up from sleep with recurrence of similar symptoms. I feared heart problem, drove to hospital, and got ECG recorded. My colleague came and saw me. ECG was normal. Next day-Sunday I went through the usual routine-church-hospital rounds-rest-family visits- evening hospital rounds etc. Developed recurrence of chest hot sensation at 1.20 am. could not drive to hospital. My colleague came and took me to hospital. The pain lasted for 10-15 minutes. ECG of that time showed minor changes. Diagnosis of unstable angina was made.
Prof. of cardiology from Medical College came and saw me at 5 a.m. It was decided to have early interventions. The nearest good cardiac centre at Ernakulam is Amrita Hospital. The chief Cardiologist Dr. Haridas is closely known to me. I was driven to the hospital by Shibu. Jacobkutty (Puliyalackal) accompanied me and Baby. I was hospitalized at 10 am on 31st. Angiogram done on the following day showed only one vessel obstruction. It was located at a very convenient site for dilatation and application of a stent. It was successfully dilated and a modern drug-eluted stent was put. The flow through the vessel is normal. All other vessels are normal. I am hoping to resume the work on on Monday 7th February.
We are thankful to God for protecting me from any damage to heart muscle and for obtaining most advanced treatment for restoration of blood flow. Thank you all for the support you gave us at the time of crisis.
Kunjuppappen & Baby Kochamma
Dr. George Jacob Hospitalized
(Feb 1, 2005) Undoubtedly, we all heard that shocking news by now. Kunjuppappan was hospitalized! He was on the side of everyone when they go to the hospital; but, frankly, I had a tough time imagining Kunjuppappan on the hospital bed as a patient.
He was admitted to Amrita hospital in Cochin on Monday (Jan 31) morning (sunday night American time).
Dr. Subramania Iyer, one of Shila's classmates and a student of Kunjuppappan, who is a physician in Amrita Hospital, sent us this about the prognosis on Monday morning:
"I went and met Dr George Jacob just now. He came into CCU just now and seen by Dr Haridas. He had unstable angina but he is absolutely stable now. They are planning for angiogram tomorrow. There is nothing to worry about."
Here is an update we received from Subu on Tuesday:
"I met Dr George Jacob In the ICU in the morning, He had just returned after his angiogram and plasty. He is doing well. I was shown his angiogram which shows a block in his LAD (single block ) which was successfully stented (medicated stent). He was bit sleepy when I went. I have passed on all our best wishes."
Both Babykochamma and Vinod (who flew from Madras for the surgery) are beside him in the hospital. He is expected to be released from the hospital and will go home on Wednesday.
Let us all pray for Kunjuppappan for his health.
Deepa and George Presents ...
(Jan 2005) Deepa and George are proud parents of a baby boy. The baby was born at 3.20 pm on 8th Jan. Deepa thinks that he looks like Neha when she was a baby !!! Here is the picture. Decide yourself.
He weighed 3 Kilo at birth. The birth was normal. Babykochamma and Kunjuppappan are very proud of the 7th grandchild.
Sangeetha and JJ Relocates to Seattle
(Jan 2005) JJ got the job as Director of Marketing for Microsoft (WOW!!) and has already relocated to Seattle in January to be closer to Bill Gates. Sangeetha will be joining him soon. Congratulations!!
Raju and Shila Featured in Newspaper
(Jan 2005) Recently Raju and Shila were featured in the frontpage of the most prestigious Business Publication in Cleveland called Crain's Cleveland Business. Had a big picture on the frontpage, that many commented was one of the largest on that paper! Here is a link to the scanned version and a link to read the underlying article:
73rd Birthday Clebrations for Dr. George Jacob
Photos of 73rd Birthday Celebrations in Fargo, ND
Photos of Family Reunion in Fargo, ND, 2003
Kurian, Senior Class, Celebrates His 80th Birthday
By Dr. George Jacob
Kottayam, April 11, 2004: Today there was a family meet at Kothala Tharavadu following prayers for Mathachayan on the Anniversary day at the church and family tomb. Because of the lent, the prayers were postponed to today --the Easter day. Marykutty and Thankachen were also there.
After the prayers a special function, though belated, was held to celebrate Kurichayan's 80th birthday. Few weeks ago when I called Kuriachayan one evening he told me that it was his birthday. When I mentioned this to Shibu , he responded straight away expressed that we should celebrate it. Accordingly to Kurichayan's great surprise it was done in the presence of 4 priests and most of the family members. Kolathamackal Kochemma decorated him with "Ponnada" Bouquet and gifts were given. Myself, Shibu and one of the Priests spoke on the occasion. Kuriachayan replied emotionally mentioning the difficult time he had while studying, some days going with out lunch due to financial constraints. He also mentioned that Molly chedathy was not willing to stay in Kothala and he did not like to live in Bangalore. It was a very nice function. Kuriachayan is sad and feels that he may not live long.
Kuriachenappappan's official birthday is on February 5. He was born in the year when there was a big flood in Kerala. According to Kuriachenappappan, his official transcripts are showing that he is only 79 years old. So, there is an opportunity for another 80th birthday celebration next year!!
Interestingly, Kuriachenappappan went to the family tomb and compared the age when his other brothers died and found that it is 81-82 as a norm. So, that is where he is getting the idea that his time may be soon up.
Kuriachenappappan had his first grandson recently.
April 18, 2004
I do not get too many occasions to write about our living legends in the family because we usually do not say anything about anyone when they are alive. Unfortunately, there is no point in really telling about them when they are dead. So, as our family celebrated Kuriachenappappan's 80th birthday in a fitting way at our tharavad house, I thought this is a good occasion to say what I would have said if I was attending the function at Kothala.
As most of you know, I was one of the fortunate ones in the family who had a chance to get to know all our uncles and families because I was in the tharavad house and Ammachy was there. Later when Ammachy moved with Kunjuppappan I also moved with her.
My first memory of Kuriachenappappan was his marriage day. It was held at Adoor. We had several cars lined up on K K Road to take us to Adoor from Kothala. Kuriachenappappan came out of the house well dressed. He stopped in front of the house to comb his hair looking at a hand mirror before posing for pictures. He looked very handsome that day. You don't see too many people dressed like that in Kothala in those days. (This is before Shibu brought fashion to Kothala.). Actually seeing anyone in full shirts and mundu was even rare those days; men usually opted to wear a lungy/dhoti with a towel for the top. My dad used to wrap the towel over his head. (When I went to Thekekariyil to invite them for my dad's 30th day sradham, Chckochenappappan there told us about how my father, Chackochenappappan, Kuriachenappappan, etc. used to swim across the river to go to their house those days. There was no bridge. In order not to wet the dhoti they are wearing, they apparently took it off and wrapped them on their head and swam across the river.)
In Kothala house, there was a framed picture of Ammachy sitting with Kuriachenappappan and Kariachenappappan flanking her on both sides. It was taken when ammachy visited Calcutta, probably before Kuriachenappappan's marriage. Since it was placed on the east wall in the porch, we used to look at them every day evening when we did our family prayers. It almost appeared like we were praying to them instead. (A big picture of Jesus Christ was on the south wall facing KK Road; but when we pray we prayed facing east looking at the two uncles and ammachy.
After Kuriachenappappan's wedding, it was hard to talk to him. First time he came with baby Jicku. They were occupying the north room of our house. Mollykochamma used to lock all the doors and windows and drove me away when I tried to get a peek at the baby saying that "You are full of germs. The baby will get sick!!" I haven't heard kuriachenappappan saying anything to correct her, so I had to stay out. For several years following that they always had a baby with them. So we had to stay away as all the people in Kothala were carrying germs. So, Mollykochamma's Kothala phobia was there from the very beginning. May be she did contract some germs from there or from Adoor. Who knows!
This behavior on the part of Mollykochamma prevented us from really getting to know them well. When Chackochenappappan and family came, we were all busy looking for "perunthen atta" for Thankammakochamma, and guiding them through the short cuts in Puliyala estate, etc. and then taking the front seat for Ammu's daily evening dance program, etc. So, we grew up like brothers and sisters and still keep the close contact. But Mollykochamma was more worried about germs; she probably didn't feel that we were qualified enough to be her relatives. Who knows?
I owe a great one to Kuriachenappappan. It was he who told me about IIT and asked me to write the entrance examination. I was confused about IIT with ITI in Velloor. He assured me that IITs are worth trying for. After I got admission to IIT, I visited Kuriachenappappan at Ranipet on the way to Kharagpur. He has purchased all the clothes for workshops etc. from the Parry Company co-op store and had then stitched there. So, I was all set when I was on the way to KGP. Mollykochamma was probably relieved at that time that her kids have grown up and would not contract any more germs from me.
When we went to India the first time after my marriage, Kuriachenappappan came to the railway station to receive us and took us to his apartment in Ernakulam. Later he took us to Kothala. We stopped on the way to buy some fresh fish from a roadside vendor. Kuriachenappappan told us that these guys are good in cheating and very often they did that by hiding a weight in the arm where the fish is. So, we were on the lookout for the hidden weight. In fact Kuriachenappappan insisted on them to switch the trays so as to prevent them from hiding the weight. We were convinced that there was no hidden weight. When we reached home and unpacked the fish, we found that except for the top 2 or 3 fish all the fish below were some cheap fish and not the premium fish we paid for. Kuriachenappappan really had a red face seeing how they cheated him!!
I didn't really know Kuriachenappappan till he visited us in US first time in 1979 or so and later in 2001. I had a long talk to him while taking him to Detroit etc. to show the sights. This was the first time I even realized that he had a good story telling side too. He talked about the early days. I was really sad that I didn't get to know him better before.
I had been very much influenced by my younger uncles. It was they that provided the the good behavior model to me. No smoking because they didn't smoke. No drinking because they didn't (well at least not in front of us in Kothala.) It was really nice to have some role models to emulate to. When during my ragging at KGP, one of the seniors said a bad word about the uncles, who I worshipped, I was quick to be disgusted and mad at them and told them never to say anything bad about my uncles. Kuriachenappappan was one of the first graduates from Jadavpur University in Calcutta. We are all proud of him for his accomplishments with the limited resources we had in the family at that time. Compared to him and other uncles we had a cake walk when we went to school. We certainly owe it to them for where we are, including the resistance to the germs!!
Thank you Kuriachenappappan for being the role model to emulate it to. We have learned to be detail oriented from you. I had heard kunjuppappan talking about you several times describing you as "a great man" and I agree. You are a great man. We sometimes kid about you. I wish you had a better family life after the retirement. But we are happy you are there at Kothala, always ready to help us out when we need anything from you. Don't worry, you are not going anywhere. You will be celebrating your 100th birthday at Kothala too in about 20 years!
--- Shibu's Father-in-law --- Departs from the Earthly Abode
by Dr. George Jacob
Mammechen--- Sherly's father passed away following massive heart attack. He was suffering from Hypertension, Diabetes, and Angina for a long time . Two days ago [Monday, March 22, 2004] he was admitted to our coronary care unit with heart attack at 5.30 AM. At 8 AM he developed severe heart failure requiring Ventilatory support. Subsequently his B.P. fell . After 12 hours, he showed some improvement but later developed cardiac arrest and died. The well attended funeral was held this evening (Wednesday, March 24, 2004).
He was a gentleman very much attached to all our units and participated in all of our family activities. He was very good hearted and helped the needy.
We will certainly miss him.
Mammachen Uncle - A Retrospective
It is said that in our Orthodox Syrian system of arranged marriages, it is not just the union of the boy and the girl; it is the union of the two families. Mammachen uncle was one of the person who believed in this principle whole heartedly. After Shibu married Shirly, her family became an extension of our family. If there is any need in the family, he was there
in the forefront, always lending a helping hand.
My mother was one person who has taken advantage of this relationship effectively. She would use his influence to get extra "gas cylinders," refilling the empty ones, etc. Frankly, we were embarrassed by this. But Mammachen uncle put us at rest. He said, "What is the point in having relatives, if you cannot take the freedom to ask for help when one needs it. These are important for the health of the family relationships."
If you visited his business, it was full of his relatives - near and far. When asked about it he characteristically shrugged his shoulders, and would say, "When one works in a business such as this, there is always a temptation to take something out. If some of my employees want to help something from my business, it might as well stay in the family."
He was a man with a big heart. He practiced unconditional love - never expected anything in return. Doing something for the pure pleasure of it. Words cannot express or describe him. He was there whenever we needed him for anything.
His relationship to our family had its genesis with his friendship with Kariachenappappan when both were in Calcutta. Later Mammachen uncle moved to New Delhi and later back to Kottayam; but the close friendship remained. I never heard him saying anything bad about anyone. He always praised people; but closed his eyes at his friends' shortcomings. That is the sign of a great man.
Whenever, we go from Kothala to Kottayam, the bamboo bend (Illi valavu) had a special attraction to me. If I am in a hurry and cannot stop over there, I used to feel genuine regret for not doing so. It is sad that we will not be seeing that familiar face when we stop over there in the future. Like Nehru said, "The light has gone out from our lives."
But even just before his death, he was at his best. Sunday, March 14 was his mother's death anniversary. He went to Erumely, his ancestral home, to attend the church service and to partake in the "sradha" service. On the way back, he stopped at Kothala and had lunch. He served food to everyone over there! Then he went to a funeral for a priest friend (at Kanam) of his. Apparently, the road to the house was very hilly and he had to struggle to walk up there. He had his heart attack several hours after that.
Kunjuppappan said that his
funeral was one of the largest attended events in that area. Several
bishops and achens participated. He had
endeared himself to lot of people in the area with his kindness,
helpfulness, and generosity. We always pray for a good Christian
ending to our life in this world. There is no doubt that Mammachen
uncle got that and more. In the end, he bid farewell to this world the
way he wanted - serving others and being in all the places where his
presence was required. What a great man!
As Christians, we know that the time has come for him to go to his father's eternal home. He will be meeting there my dad, Kariachenappappan, and his other friends over there, smiling like a star - always admiring us at our accomplishments, blinking his eyes at our human short comings. We are really going to miss him.
God saw you getting tired
And the cure was not to be.
So He put His arms around you
And whispered, "Come to Me."
With tearful eyes we watched you
And saw you pass away.
Although we loved you dearly
We could not make you stay.
That gold heart stopped beating
Hard working hands at rest,
God broke our hearts to prove to us
He only takes the best!
I extend our condolences to Charlie, Shibu, Shirly, and their families, and Kochamma. Your losses are irreplaceable. But then, it is our loss too.
As I was finishing this writing, I got the following poem by email. I believe that it was from Mammachen uncle to us. (How can you explain the coincidence and the stunning message that is so characteristic of him?) Here it is:
I give you this thought to
I am a thousand winds that blow
When you awake in the
Don't think of me as gone
I am still with you
May your heart always
Carry a joyful song
Remember that you are blessed each day
By the love that lives all around you.
Here is the full poem (One of my favorites:)
I Did Not Die!
Do not stand by my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep!
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am a diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on the ripened grain
I am the gentle Autumn rain.
When you awake in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush.
Of quiet bird in circling flight,
I am the soft starshine at night.
Do not stand by my grave and cry,
I am not there...I did not die!
Good bye appappan. We will miss you. Illi valavu is not going to be same without you.
March 24, 2004
Deaths in the Family
by Dr. George Jacob
There were 2 more deaths in our family last week (week of March 30, 2004) . Kaippanattu Kunjichayan, cousin of Kottukulam George kutty, who was over 90 yrs. passed away on 30th March. He was on a coma for several weeks prior to his death. You may remember Kaippanattu Pothechen who was working at Kottukulam Bank near District hospital. Kunjichayan was Pothechen's brother.
On the same day Puliyala Jacobkutty's father-in- law died. He was 89. Jacobkutty's Father-in-law was staying with Jacobkutty in the last couple of weeks. He was suffering from Parkinsonism.
Areeparambil Georgekutty and Elsy announce the marriage of their eldest daughter (B. Pharm) with a Chartered Accountant on 19th April 2004.
Deepa and Raju Working Together to Help a Boy to Get the Surgery Needed to Save His Life
Deepa has alerted the family about helping Yohann Benson, an 11-year old boy that was born with congenital heart disease. Yohann needs a life-saving surgery at Cleveland Clinic very soon; but his parents needs some help to foot the $52,000+ payment to be made to the Clinic before the surgery in May 2004. In typical Pullolickal style, Deepa and Raju had come to the aid of Yohann in making his plight known to others and helping his family to raise the funds.
You can learn more about Yohann at:
Shibu Gets Some Rest!
Shibu was admitted to Carithas Hospital for couple of days to enforce bed rest as a part of the treatment for his Backache. He was experiencing backache after going through naturopathy treatment for reducing weight. The Orthopedics specialist thinks that his problem is only a minor one and did not warrant traction. (November 2003)
Raju Featured in Newspaper
The Sunday, October 12, 2003 issue of Akron Beacon Journal, the largest circulating newspaper serving Akron Ohio area, had an article about Raju and holisticonline.com, the website founded by him. A digital copy of it can be found at:
Ajay weds Priya
Ajay (Ajay Cherian), Areeparambil Molly's son has married Priya last week at Bangalore. Ajay is the eldest son of Raju Pulimootill and Molly. He is a Software Engineer at Bangalore. Priya is on the Faculty of Chengannur Engineering college. The wedding took place in Bangalore Marthoma Church. Welcome Priya!!
According to Kunjuppappan, "Priya is very fair, good looking and well mannered and will certainly fit into the family."
Well, when one Priya jumps ship (see the news), another one gets in!! (November 2003)
Bobby and Bala Has a Baby Girl
Bobby's wife Bala delivered a baby girl on 2 nd October. Bobby is the youngest son of Jacobkuttichayan and Lizzykochamma (Puliyalackal.) (October 2003)
A look at
Hurricane Isabel that has brought so much misery to several members of
our family. Taken from space station and from the ocean.
Pictures from 1stholistic.com
JG, Sangeetha and George proudly presents...
Sarah Susan Chirapurath
Born on August 8, 2003.
(Vital statistics: 6# 4oz, 19.5 inches)
George and Grace
Jacobkutty and Susan
We extend our congratulations to the proud parents and grandparents.
Deepa Recovering from Surgery
Deepa slipped and fell hitting her left elbow on the floor and sustaining fracture of the left arm bone in the elbow joint. Since the bone pieces were displaced, an operation to fix them with a wire to the main bone was done last week. Babykochamma and Kunjuppappan went to Goa. Babykochamma is staying there. She will return only after removal of the plaster cast.
Popular wisdom is that Deepa need to be very careful in September. Fortunately, September is nearly over this year!
Puliyalackal Joy Kuruvilla Admitted to Carithas Hospital
Joykuttichayan was admitted to Carithas Hospital after an uncomplicated heart attack. He is doing well, according to Kunjuppappan. What is interesting is the observation that the artery obstructed and the heart muscle affected were the identical to that of his identical twin brother Kunjumonichayan, last year. We may be making medical history!
Please pray for Joykuttichayan's speedy recovery. He is, undoubtedly, one of the nicest persons in our generation.
Pullolickal Clan in US Safe after the Attack on the USA
September 11 was a memorable day for us here in the US as well as our family and friends outside. It was the day when terorism finally hit US and levelled some prominent buildings here.
Most of the Pullolickal family live outside the New York and Washington area where the bomb attack was mainly directed at. Two people close to that area would have been Bappu and Pippa. Both were out of town at the time of bombing and hence we escaped the direct hit.
Thank you all for your prayers and concerns. If there is any breaking news, we will let you know.
Ajith, Anu and Family Relocates to Fargo, ND
After completing his residency in Neurosurgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Ajith and family have relocated to Fargo, ND, to take up a job there.
Juby and Megi Had a Baby Boy
Megan gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Jeb Kuruvilla Jacob, on May 8, 2001 at the Las Colinas Medical Center. The mother and baby are doing fine and has returned from the hospital. Congratulations Juby and Meg!
Tharavadu House Gets Extensive Renovations
Our tharavadu house has undergone extensive renovations. With the latest additions, it sports more than 10,000 square feet, large enough to accommodate all of our expanded families. The dedication of the house was done on Sunday, April 15, 2001.
Holistic-online.com Ranked Best for Ayurveda and Complementary Medicine
We are proud to announce that April 2000 issue of Psychology Today Magazine has Ranked Holistic-online.com as the Best Website for information about Ayurveda and other mind-body therapies. Psychology Today is a prestigious Magazine widely used by the media around the world for information.
Since then Holisticonline.com was covered in a variety of newspapers and magazines with glowing reviews including rediff.com US edition and Malayalam Pathram, the largest Malayalam newspaper in the USA.
Holisticonline.com has just passed another milestone. It had passed the Two million visitor mark (WOW!) and its reputation is growing steadily.
Renu Chacko Graduates from High School
One of the highlights of this summer was the graduation of Renu from High School. Lizzy helped Renu celebrate this milestone in her life by having a big party which was attended by several well wishers including Ammu and Thankammakochamma.
Visu and Kochumol Expecting their First Baby
Visu and Kochumol are expecting their first baby. The happy news was announced in April.
|P.V. Kuruvilla - A Look Back|
I was stunned when I heard about Pappachen Appappan's death. Again, at least to me, it was quite a surprise. But reading the email from Peeli Achen, I am happy that his legacy will be maintained. What a beautiful writing!
My first encounter with Appappen was in 1965. I had made my first trip out of Kerala to Calcutta. Three days in train with its smoke and coal pieces through the summer heat of Madras, Andhra, Orissa and Bengal. I was told by Kunjuppappan that I should get out of the train and stand on the platform. Do not move and Kariachenappappan will come and meet me there.
Well, the train arrived at Calcutta and I was in one of the bogies at the very back. It apparently arrived about 15 minutes early, I was told later. As instructed, I got the luggage out and stood on the platform in full sun (we were outside the roofed area of the station.) Latter when the concrete got too hot, I stood on top of the box! Well, I waited nearly 45 minutes and no Kariachenappappan. The porters all surrounded me and asked where I wanted to go. (If I was in US, they would have taken me straight to the Mental Hospital!) I waited another 15 minutes. No one left. So, to avoid the hassle from the porters I moved forward to the roofed part of the station. After waiting another 30 minutes, I was quite convinced that Kariachenappappan was not going to make it.
I had only an office address of Kariachenappappan. So, I took a cab and went to Atlantis (East). It was a Saturday. The office was closed. No one there. Finally one person came out. I told him my dilemma and asked him whether he knew where Mr. P.C. Zachariah lived. He had no clue. After sweating for another 10 minutes, I suddenly saw the address of P.V. Kuruvilla who had a residential address (Gariahat Road, I think from memory.) Well, the cab dropped me there.
Pappachenappappan was at home. He knew I was coming; but was surprised to see me. While talking to him, Kariachenappappan called. He was worried that I was lost. He said the train came early and he was a bit late. So, he searched for me near the entrance as most people had already left. He didn't think any one in the right mind would be standing at the end of the plat form in full sun! So, he was trying to find out what happened to me.
Well, due to this mix-up, I ended up staying with Pappachen appappan for few days and later returned to Kerala in a brand new Ambassador car with the now Peeli Achen and his first cousin.
When I think back, the first thing that impressed me about Appappen was his calm, cool demeanor - very different than the people from Kothala. He was very soft spoken like Appachen. As Peeli Achen wrote, he went to Calcutta; established a very successful business and was in the thick of things. Last time I saw him, he was in Kunjuppappan's house for a medical check-up. Little did I knew that it was the last time I was going to see him. Pappachen Appappen, we will miss you. God bless.
|P.V. Kuruvilla (Thazhathangady and Calcutta) - Pappachen - Passes Away|
Here is the letter from Peeli Achen (we all know him as Peeli Mon), second son of Pappachen Appappan:
On the 16th of Jan I lost my
father. Last september he had had a stroke that had partially paralysed
My wife Bibi was in Hyderabad
- she goes twice a year for an ma course - so i took the kids out of school and went to
Ernakulam. There I had to make a painful decision. Kunjkunj chayan and others who love and
knew him said keeping him in ICU was of little use, he wasn't going to mend, and we
decided to take him out of there...the good part was that I- and the children- got to have
Bibi came. My sister Mary
arrived from the Isle of Man, UK, with husband Chris and the funeral was on the 20th. Dad
was buried next to his parents in Kottayam. The end was so peaceful, and so was the
service. It so happened that the Metropolitan of
No trumpets, no brass bands, just a farewell for a man I'm not sure I can emulate with all my abilities. Mary is still there. Mum is feeling lonely for the first time in her life and is thinking of coming to Nagpur to stay with/near us. We have just moved house so there is chaos all around. Brother George is having a tough time turning dad's home grown company into something competitive in todays global village.
Pray for dad's soul, and for us that are left. Stay in touch. Peace, philip/peeli achen
See also "A Look Back"