My little excursion with Oommen Chandy.

My little excursion with Oommen Chandy.

Oommen Chandy, the man who served as the 10th Chief Minister of Kerala, passed away recently. He is a person significant to me for two reasons.

I'm not a Congress affiliate nor do I think he was a great politician (he was simple and pleasant in his public behaviour; which made him popular).

What makes him significant to me is that I can mimic his voice to some extent and I have travelled together with him in an airport passenger car sitting by his side having a brief conversation.

Now, regarding my impression of his voice; it's average. I have fun whenever I do it. That's all. And regarding my little excursion with him, that's an average story as well.

I was about to board a flight from Delhi to Trivandrum, and I was late. I had to plead with a desk officer to let me in and I had to rush through all checks and processing. I almost ran through the shopping areas to reach the gates. I had to run through the shopping area because the flight that I was on was an international flight, which I didn't know! The flight went beyond Trivandrum to the Maldives, so I was supposed to check in a lot earlier.

However, the moment I reached the area where all the gates are I realised that my gate was quite far from where I got to. I didn't know I could make it to the gate on time. That was when I saw Mr Chandy standing there with his aide.

Now, given the fact that this was a former Chief Minister of a state and that he was surely flying to Trivandrum, I was sure that they'll be waiting for him. But, I didn't know how I could reach the gate on time. I then went to the aide and asked him where the gate was. The aide just asked me (IIRC) which gate I was headed to and asked me to just wait there.

Then, after a few minutes came an airport shuttle car. I was asked to get in and I was seated alongside the 10th Chief Minister of Kerala. After a few minutes, I started a conversation with him, which I'll add here (from what I remember) in Malayalam for the sake of originality and if you want to imitate his voice.

Me: സുഖമായി ഇരിക്കുന്നോ സർ?

OC: സുഖമായി ഇരിക്കുന്നു.

Me: ആരോഗ്യമൊക്കെ?

OC: കുഴപ്പമില്ല.

OC: ഇവിടെ എന്ത് ചെയ്യുന്നു?

Me: ഞാൻ ഒരു ലോയർ ആണ്. ഒരു പോളിസി ഓർഗനൈസേഷനുമായി ചേർന്ന് വർക്കെയ്യാണ്.

Me: ഞാൻ ചാണ്ടി ചേട്ടനെ മീറ്റ് ചെയ്തിട്ടുണ്ട് (his son).

OC: അവൻ ഇവിടെ പ്രാക്ടീസ് ചെയ്യുകയാണ്. അഭിഷേക് സിംഗ്‌വിയുടെ കൂടെ.

Me: ഓ

By then our shuttle reached the gates.

Me: എന്നാൽ ശെരി സർ.

OC: ആയിക്കോട്ടെ

I bid him farewell and we moved to board the flight. I've never seen him in person since (never had a reason to). I still at times mimic his question to me, in his voice: "ഇവിടെ എന്ത് ചെയ്യുന്നു?".