January 19, 2013

Anandan Vaidyar - A Tribute !

Anandan Vaidyar with his nieces
With the passage of time good deeds of ordinary people are faded into history. There were times when selfless services of ordinary people are ignored and  selfish deeds of well to do are carried forward as great service. The advance in treatment and the diseases are well known. What is not known to the present generation is how the past generation survived the onslaught of  illness from fever to fear psychosis.They have always had a  few local hereditary healers at hand.There was no cast creed or religion barrier for the healers. The sole purpose was human service. This may not sound true for the majority of present generations. Most of these healers are of successors of some legacy. Success or failure never entered there head. They lived a life of extreme austerity.

Anandan Vaidyar was one of such person lived for the village of Azhikode. He served the community to the best of his ability till his end.  His ancestors were also practitioners of Ayurvedam. Anandan Vaidyar was initiated to the traditional ayurvedam by his uncle  Appa Vaidyar also a noted community server. Sanskrit knowledge  was essential to understand the texts of Ayurvedam.. Those were the days when matri-lineal system was prevalent in Malabar families.The family was managed by the eldest Uncle of the family. Fathers are there by responsible for their nieces and  nephews than his own siblings's welfare. The system worked out well in the efficient propertied families. However it was very miserable in many poor families. Even a square meal a day was  a luxury. By the mid of previous century the system was scraped by the government for better.It was no solace to many families which by then were leading a life of penuiry. Vaidyar was one of them.

A victim of his time he couldn't pay fees for his education beyond a third form.The system prevailing then wanted all upper caste student to pay tution fee irespective of their financial resources.It is sad to note that even after six decades today, the situation is not any better! Adding to his woes were the death of his uncles and and a large family with meagre income. All these problems had not caused any deviation to his determination  to serve the needy a trait I wish to recall. His married life was a failure. The last thing I wish to mention here is that in his death bed he wrote me a letter seeking some help to tie over his ailment. A foot note endorsed by one of his niece's son said it all. He lived just a couple of weeks just after that. He lives in my heart and the rare picture I preserved for more than two decades is posted to make it known to his near and dear that still someone is caring him.