An article in The Hindu dated 19th February 2014, titled ‘Tryst with time’ details the life and times of Hari Shenoy (1849 – 1901), a resident of Matancherry, Cochin.
When I stumbled upon the article, before I began reading it, I thought it detailed the life and times of my grandfather after whom I am named. The house shown in the article looks very much like his house in Mangalore that was demolished to make way for an apartment complex. However, the article timeline predates my grandfather by a fair amount of time.
Reading the article made me dissolve into peals of laughter and cry tears of joy at the outset. Check this out and when you associate the following words with the only person by that name that you know of, you will find out why:
Baburaj D. Pai, one of the 200 members of an interesting group, ‘Fans of Hari Shenoy’, who pitched for this house to be restored says with deference to his ideal. “I began reading about Hari Shenoy 15 years ago when he was mentioned in a Maradhaga Pacha, a book by Krishna Hari Pai on Goshreepureswara. It presents Hari Shenoy as a man with different ideas.”
So besotted are his fans about the works and deeds of their community leader that during festivals children dress up as him. “Last year the winner of a fancy dress competition was a child dressed as Hari Shenoy.” says Baburaj with pride.
Not only is Hari Shenoy celebrated in books and through oral tales but also in Konkani songs.
If the (1849 – 1901) person made such an impact, I wonder what will happen to the (1983- ) version.
The article and also made me wonder what someone who shares my name would stumble upon a hundred years after I had moved on and how he would react upon reading some of the posts in this blog, assuming the internet would exist in some shape or form in the future.
Food for thought.
Meanwhile, please excuse me as I go back to imagining what the kid that won the fancy dress competition was dressed like.