Kottayam: Kerala Congress leader and former minister PJ Joseph MLA’s son Jomon Joseph (Jokuttan-34)’s elder brother Apu John Joseph shared a heartwarming post on social media. The post, entitled ‘Our Late-Born Baby’, chronicles Jokuttan’s good moments and emotional conflicts.
‘Jokuttan was born during a big vacation just before I was in ninth grade. His mother conceived him when he was 43 years old. So the mother, who is also a gynecologist, was worried that she might have problems and that the child might have Down syndrome. Though the scan was planned, God’s determination was different ‘- says Apu.
Jokuttan was a man who treated everyone with love and showed no stinginess in showing love. In the same way, he did not show any greed for shouting and beating when he felt angry. Apu concludes the post by marking the tensions and anxieties in the mind of a young child born too late and recalling emotional moments.
Full version of Apu John Joseph’s post
Jokuttan was born during the big vacation just before I was in ninth grade. His mother conceived him when he was 43 years old. So the mother, who is also a gynecologist, was worried that she might have problems and that the child might have Down syndrome. Though the scan was planned, God’s determination was different. He was born on May 27, 1986. Only then did his mother know his condition.
Doctors said at the time that he would not live to be over seven years old. Neither Appachan nor we told the other brothers that day. His heart disease is called the Tetralogy of Fallot. The average life expectancy of such children is twelve years. He could be changed by surgery but his health condition did not allow him to do so.
The school reopened a week after Jokuttan was born. I went to school the first day at the age of fourteen, a teenager, at an age when I was beginning to fall in love with other girls at school. But as expected, there were no major comments or responses. It was at that time that my younger sister, Elsianti, presented me with a Malayalam translation of the novel A Late-Born Child by the Russian writer Anatoly Aleksin. The story, however, I forgot. I only remember that the plot of the novel was about the conflicts and difficulties that arise in the mind of a young child who is born too late.
Jokuttan grew up in a suburban home like a normal baby. Little did we know that he was a child with Down Syndrome or had a heart condition. When he came home from school, he would take Jokuttan for a walk in the yard and in the fields. He loved it. A year later, he could not even hold on. He also did not have the growth of children at that age. That’s when Mom tells us things. At the age of one and a half, he became seriously ill. He was admitted to Kollencherry Hospital for almost two weeks in a coma. But like a ‘miracle’, like waking up from sleep, he came back! Later, in his twenties, he developed a similar condition. To the amazement of everyone that day, he walked back to life.
Jokuttan started walking after the age of four. The first time he gave up and walked away was a big celebration at home that day. Even more celebratory when he began to say the first words. His every growth made us all happy and gave him hope that he would return to the way of a normal child.
After 10th class, I did my undergraduate degree at Thevara Secret Hearts. He did not stay at home for long at that time. Followed by engineering studies. At the same time, the younger sister and brother left for study. Jokuttan built his empire on the outskirts when the three of us were away from home. There he was emperor. His chief minister was Devaki, also known as Kunjikochu, who cooked at home. Kunjikochin had no children. They looked at Jokuttan like their own son.
Jokuttan was particularly close to all of Appachan’s personal staff, whether he was a minister or not. His next of kin were Jason, Philip, Preman, Sudheesh, Aji, Justin, Jose Kumar, Joykutty, Salim, Shaji, Blaise, Babu, Dinesh, and Mary, Ammini, Vilasini, Penni and Kunju Rota Chetathi. Little Philip and his lover are no longer alive. His closest cousin was Nina Chechi.
Jokuttan went to Pratheeksha Bhavan, a special school. The sisters at that school were always dear to him. And he to them. Occasionally when I went to his school he would take me by the hand and force me to introduce myself to his sisters and his friends. In some respects he had an extraordinary memory. The names of distant relatives, the story of the serials, the names of the people in the house of the relatives mentioned earlier are many examples.
He loved the song. As a young man he had a tape recorder. His favorite cassette at the time was the mimicry De Maveli Kombat. Later with serials and movies. His mother and aunts, who missed the episode, would ask him the story until he called. Food was another weakness. Favorite food was porota beef, donut, biryani and Mysorepa. Jokuttan was also the one who got the most gifts at home. He used to buy a lot of presents with his close relatives, both at home and abroad.
Jokuttan was a man who treated everyone with love and showed no stinginess in showing love. In the same way, he did not show any greed for shouting and beating when he felt angry. There were very few people there who did not beat him. If it is a blow, it is one and a half beats. I have too. His routine seemed to have switched. If it went wrong he would be upset.
Though he never told anyone, he was always a nuisance in his mother’s mind. The mother was certainly worried and anxious about what would happen to Jokuttan after the time of his father and mother. As the eldest son, I had decided for myself that after the time of my parents, I was responsible for him.
Anyway he passed without bothering mom and us and without bothering anyone! He will be with his beloved baby, lover, and Philip in heaven, along with his dead uncles and aunts and uncles, who will not see him, and he will be the guardian angel for all of us on earth. Absolutely !!!
Jokuttan’s trust was started by Appachan with his family property. In the last one year, we have been able to help about 850 needy in-patients in Thodupuzha. He also had the help of some friends. Attempts are still being made to do so. Two panchayats received sponsors. In one of the panchayats, assistance was again provided. Of course I firmly believe that the rest of the places can be restarted as well. God had a great plan for Jokuttan. It is a great blessing to our family that his birth has brought relief to the lives of at least some of the needy.
Through which he will live forever:
Our “late born baby”
We remember with gratitude all those who attended Jokuttan’s funeral, shared in our grief and prayed for him.
English Summary: Remembering Congress leader PJ Joseph’s younger son