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7th Rangers: We nearly became a family of seven, circa 1959

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We nearly became a family of seven, circa 1959
Sunday, August 14, 2022
Seated Left to Right : Dad (David), Mr Jagdish Iyer, Mr Kittu, Mr UKS Menon, Mr Krishnan and the rest of them, I have no idea!

There were a total of 9 siblings, that would have been only 7 of us, had my father gone off prematurely. My father was attacked with changkuls and machete when he was overseeing the drainage in the estates. The 3 Malays who attacked my dad were pissed off with the white manager. They let loose their fury on my dad. The worst cut was on my dad’s upper arm which required 25 stitches, his face required 10 stitches, he fought them off and made his way to the estate, where people who saw him aided, him.

All of us rushed to the estate hospital, a big crowd was gathered there. I was around 5 years old, knew shit about what was happening, my mum was virtually hysterically, Mr UKS Menon, who was the most senior dresser was attending to my dad, he was laid on a table covered with linoleum. 

There was blood everywhere, I took a sneak peek, as no one was allowed in. The space around my dad was covered, I saw Mr Kittu busy dabbing at my dad’s wounds. After that I was spotted as a trespasser and evicted. My favourite uncle K Vartharaju managed to go in, which proved to be a disaster, he fainted on seeing the blood. Resources were diverted to attend to him.

My mother was crying holding her two youngest kids, my sister and my brother, the no 6 and 7 in the family. My eldest brother and the rest of my elder sisters were there too, I was just a runt, did not know what was happening. I just cannot imagine what would have befallen us, if indeed my dad had left us. As he was the sole bread winner taking care of us and my mum’s siblings, there were 4 of them. My 3 uncles and my one aunty. All of them were there too.

The perpetrators were arrested, when asked why they did it, they said they saw a pig, that was their defense. They got a miserable 3 years’ jail for attempting to murder my dad. It was rich indeed, as the wife of one of them use to drop by my house to ask for rice, whenever she ran out of rice and had to wait until her husband’s pay day.  

Gunny sacks of rice

Also took money and milk whenever they ran out of sundries. My mum never did turn them down. In my house we would never run out of rice, as every month my dad bought two gunny sacks of rice. I guess the Japanese occupation of Malaya and the starvation around them was a poignant memory.

My father recovered thanks to all who helped him recover. Yes, there were two additions to my family, a sister and my youngest brother.

Making us 9 !!
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:10 PM  
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