Taliparamba ാൽ When he was a child, his mother Pushkala Dheeraj used to bathe him and his father Rajendran would take him for hours without putting him down. It was to prevent dirt on his baby feet. Pushkala and Rajendran brought up Dheeraj with so much love and affection. The relatives remember that Dheeraj was brought up by his father without being put down.
Dheeraj has been singing since he was a child. Even before he was three years old, his father, mother and relatives were amazed to hear him sing songs without mistaking the lines and words. Rajendran’s elder brother’s son still remembers writing the lyrics when he sang the movie song ‘Alliyampal’ which started at the age of three. Growing up, those parents were only proud of Dheeraj, who excelled in education and the arts.
The parents decided to send their son to Idukki Engineering College as he got a merit seat in Government College. I was relieved that my mother’s relatives were in Idukki. Dheeraj initially went to college from a relative’s house but later moved to a college hostel due to difficulties in traveling by bus. Dheeraj studied up to Plus Two at the Taliparamba Chinmaya Mission School.
There was no political activity in the country. When I first went to college, I was not involved in politics. Dheeraj later became fascinated with the SFI’s political ideology. And then became an active activist. The opinion of the locals about Dheeraj is that he is a poor boy who never goes to fight. The shock of the news that he was the victim of a political assassination has not changed.
Waiting for hours to get a look
The mother and father waited for hours for their son. Dheeraj went to college in Idukki last Monday to finish his projects. Those four eyes have not been seen since learning of his son’s death on Tuesday afternoon. The father clasped both hands to the political leaders who came to the house and said, “Give me my baby.”
‘I have to go to my Ponnumon too, kill me,’ cried her mother Pushkala. Not long after, they made their first eye contact. They pushed those long hours without even drinking a drop of water or sleeping. Occasionally the body would become exhausted and they would slump into bed. Within seconds he jumped up with a loud scream and screamed.
Night and day, relatives and neighbors were worried that Pushkala, who was crying without stopping to call Ponnumon’s name, could not be comforted. Unable to bear the weight of her grief, the mother told me that I was dying of a heart attack. Attempts were made to reassure him that he would be approached if he died. Dheeraj’s father Rajendran and brother Advait were lying exhausted in the next room without even being able to close their eyes. Close party workers, neighbors and relatives kept them awake at home. Often loud shouts erupted from the house.
Pushkala and Rajendran have been living here for barely a year. Dheeraj is often seen by the locals while on holiday. The gentle Dheeraj was active in local clubs and playgrounds. Block panchayat president CM Krishnan, SFI district secretary Shibin Kanai and 3 relatives had returned to Idukki from their house in Palakulangara last night. They returned yesterday with a mourning procession.
Dheeraj rests near his mother’s room
Dheeraj’s final resting place is as close as you can see when you open the window of your mother’s and father’s room and look down. Dheeraj’s body was found on the 8 cent plot of land bought by the party near their house, adjacent to the house. Only less than five meters from the mother’s room. Preparations for the pile were made and Pushkala could be heard crying in the room.
They often asked their relatives nearby why they were digging and cutting down trees without being able to accept the reality. When they hear a heartbeat louder than a scythe, they return to the world of realities. Then he would tear his chest and cry … ‘My golden mane …’
The party has decided to build a memorial on the land bought by the CPM for Dheeraj’s funeral. The monument will serve as a center for many students to read, study and do research. Minister MV Govindan said that there will be facilities for students to stay and study here. The mother can look out of her window and see the children reading and studying at the memorial named after her son.
A mother with her son’s picture on her chest
When Minister MV Govindan and CPM district secretary MV Jayarajan arrived with words of consolation, Rajendran and Pushkala burst into tears. ‘Give me my baby,’ she pleaded.
Activists accompanying the minister were wearing a tribute card with Dheeraj’s photo on it. Pushkala’s weeping eyes filled the card … for a moment .. CPM district secretary MV Jayarajan’s badge was pulled out and they shouted ‘Ente Ponnumone’ and shouted at the street with the badge.
The women in the room with them wept uncontrollably at the mother’s grief. The shocked party leaders could not say anything for a while. The leaders remained silent without words of consolation in front of the weeping mother with both hands clasped to her face without dropping the badge. Rajendran’s father, who was lying exhausted in the arms of his son Advait, also told the minister and leaders, ‘Bring my baby quickly.’
The family could not bear the grief
Pushkala, a nurse at the Taliparamba Taluk Ayurveda Hospital in Kuvodu, had already reached home after learning of Dheeraj’s death. The father had only told Rajendra that his son was injured. Only his brother Advait understood the seriousness of the incident. So before the mother came, everyone requested to leave the house and the others moved.
Pushkala, who arrived after hospital duty, was also told that Dheeraj was injured in the clash. But when they saw the people who came to the place, they were amazed. CPM state committee member James Mathew, CPM district secretariat member N Sukanya and women’s association leaders M Sukanya, PK Shyamala and O Subhagya struggled to comfort Pushkala.
Although the leaders said nothing had happened, they said, ‘They have endangered my money. Otherwise you will not all come here. ‘ On the way home, the cupboards of the house were full of gifts that Dheeraj had won by participating in competitions and other activities. Dheeraj’s mother Pushkala burst into tears when she told the CPM leaders and locals who arrived there, “Don’t tell those who killed my son to kill me too …”.
‘I have to go to you now .. I have to go now,’ she kept repeating. Unable to even be comforted, his younger brother Advait cried and hugged him. Rajendran’s father was crying in the next room in the circle of those who came to comfort him. His mother cried and said that he had left the class saying that he had no class but had to finish projects. It is said that projects should be done from here. He was not going to get into any trouble. He would not go into such politics. The parents said they could not help but grieve.
Relatives without faith, then trembling
Dheeraj studied at Pushkala’s sister Geetha’s house in Kanjikuzhi, Idukki. Moved to hostel a year ago. Dheeraj, a student from Kannur, was stabbed to death at Idukki Engineering College by his relatives. But his father’s name was first shown on TV as Rajasekharan. Some of the suspected relatives called Geetha in Idukki but did not answer. Later, when Geeta’s husband was called, she said she too had doubts. It was only later that the real information was obtained.
Dheeraj’s father Rajendran and Pushkala from Nedumangad, Thiruvananthapuram were relatives. The couple got married while Pushkala was studying Ayurveda course in Thiruvananthapuram. Later, Pushkala got a job as a nurse in an Ayurveda hospital and moved from Kudiyanmala Arikamala to Kannur and later to Taliparamba. He bought land in Pattappara and built a house a year ago after living in rented houses in various places. Dheeraj and his family had a lot of dreams. Dheeraj was dreaming of a better future in the field of technology. He chose the field of engineering with great desire.
English Summary: Heartbreaking Scenes from SFI Activist Dheeraj’s House in Kannur