‘Ticket Swamy’ departs 

Suresh Kuttippuram / sureshedapal@gmail.com

Much before computerisation revolutionised passenger comfort through making information available at fingertips, the affectionately monikered ‘ticket Swamy’, who also ran the vegetarian refreshment room, was the go-to person for anything connected with rail travel from Kuttippuram railway station 

His day done, ‘ticket Swamy’ is homeward bound. Photo: by arrangement

Kuttippuram: Chokkathumadathil C P Dharmaraja Iyer, a familiar face for decades to passengers at Kuttippuram railway station has now turned into a memory. With the demise of the 91-year-old ‘ticket Swamy’, who ran the vegetarian refreshment room, or VRR in railway parlance, an ‘information centre’ also vanished.

Swamy’s family migrated from Palakkad to Tirur first, and later to Kuttippuram. Those days the bus stand used to be situated near the railway station. It was there that Iyer's clan established their first hotel.

Over time, the hotel transformed into a vegetarian refreshment room in the railway station. Like clockwork, Dharmaraja Iyer made it a habit to reach there at 4.30 A.M.

Chokkathumadathil C P Dharmaraja Iyer,
aka ‘ticket Swamy’. Photo: by arrangement

He was the one-stop contact for any piece of information. It could be as varied as train timings, coach position, or ticket reservation, all of which he knew by heart. Much before the age of computerisation, he was the go-to person for passengers seeking information. To those unable to secure a reservation from Kuttippuram to desired destinations, Swamy would procure it from the Palakkad, Shoranur, or Kozhikode quota.

Apart from railway passengers, Swamy’s VRR was patronised by lovers of delicious food from surrounding areas or those who would come to Kuttippuram for various purposes. Unfortunately, Dharmaraja Iyer’s hotel continues to remain shuttered in the aftermath of Covid-19.

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