Prince‘s father, K L Joseph ( Appachayan to all ) passed away peacefully on 27 December, 2011 at Kochi, surrounded by his loved ones. A towering personality in his active years, affable and generous, he had always been a prominent member of the Church and the local community, in various capacities. The internment was at the St . Mary’s Metropolitan Church, Changanacherry, on 29 December 2011, at 3 pm.
To me, Appachayan was always this genial patriarch, more than a dear friend’s father who was right there when you needed him, without you even making an effort to reach out to him. Though direct interactions during the Sainik school years were few and far in between, during my college years at St. Berchmans, Changanacherry, he was right there, taking care of the last detail of my admissions to the college, getting me a place to stay, genially but firmly setting my rent for my accommodation way below what was decided for the rest of the student lodgers at the building. I still remember standing with a wry and amused smile on my face as Appachayan turned on the charm, and the lodgings owner squirming, unable to refuse, looking desperately for an escape hatch and finding none.
Appachayan was also my ‘official local guardian’ – “a requirement for the College records“, as he put it, and drowned it with his full throated, beaming laughter. I have lost count of the number of times, he played genial host to us ‘young ‘uns ‘ at home, plying us with the best of everything , never for once letting his age or the generational perspectives come between us.
Even though close to two decades have passed, post a part of one of the most memorable years of my life, the genial patriarch always was around, a part of conversations with Prince, over the years.
The last time I met Appachayan, somewhere in mid-2011, his spirit was intact, but the body seemed unwilling. But the generous heart and the beaming smile hadn’t changed a bit.
I guess that would exactly be how you would always be remembered, Appachayan.
A fruitful and worthy life, lived to the fullest. Rest in peace.
Appachayan’s Obituary in the Malayala Manorama.