T Padmanabhan and Veerendra Kumar (file photo: K R Pramod)
Writer T Padmanabhan grieved the demise of MP Veerendra Kumar and remembered that it was he who called him the godfather of Malayalam stories for the first time. He also remembered an incident when Veerendra Kumar initiated to take him from Thrissur to Kannur when his wife fell ill.
T Padmanabhan remembrance:
"Veerendra Kumar's demise is an irrevocable loss for me. I have many memories of him. Many of them are personal. I'm remembering one such personal experience which I never disclosed so far.
The golden jubilee of my writing career was organised at Peechi guest house in Thrissur. Ankanam Shamsudheen was the organiser. Before the three-day event, an inaugural ceremony was decided at Thrissur guest house. I had told my wife that I was going to Thrissur, but did not inform where I was staying. On the first day, M A Baby inaugurated the event. I stayed in a hotel arranged by Shamsudheen.
At night, a manager of Mathrubhumi office in Thrissur came to my hotel and told me that Veerendra Kumar sir had arranged vehicle to take me to Kannur that night itself. He also said that the car and driver are ready for the journey. He only revealed what happened when I insisted. My wife had a major heart attack.
If I travelled in train, I would reach very late. But as I travelled in car, I reached Kannur by 1 at night. My wife was unconscious. It was a strange experience. The event or I had no connection with Thrissur Mathrubhumi. Also I did not go for any event organised by Mathrubhumi. But he did it when he came to know about the incident. It was an unforgettable event.
He helped a lot in my growth as a writer. I remember those things here as a human should always be grateful. People call me godfather of Malayalam stories. But many do not know who coined this usage. It was Veerendra Kumar who addressed me as the godfather of Malayalam stories at a programme held in Kalpetta years ago. After this, people started addressing me like that.
I was paid Rs 3000 as remuneration for a story as instructed by Veerendra Kumar. Also it was he who increased the remuneration to Rs 20,000."