My father worked in Bodinayakkanur, Tamil Nadu,as a Teacher before he settled down in Srivilliputhur.
He served as a Teacher for 35 years.
He had a student, Habib, who was a Devout Muslim at Bodinayakkanur.
After quite a few years he received a message from Habib that he had become a DEO, District Educational Officer and he would be visiting the school where my father was working,Srivilliputhur.
DEOs visit schools to inspect them and as such,schools, especially aided schools are very vigilant and accord all respects to the DEO when he is on Inspection tour.
He had informed my mother, not my father, through a messenger , that it had been long since he ate my mother’s food, he would like Ragi Dosa every night and he would be sending a boy to pick it up daily during his stay at the Traveler’s Bungalow.
After completing the inspection, he sat with the Headmaster of the school , informed him that he was satisfied with his inspection and he would be leaving.
The Headmaster who knew the relationship of the DEO with my father asked hm whether he had visited my Fathers Class.
He is reported to have replied that he could not visit his teachers class and he(Habib) was an example of what a Teacher could do a poor student.
Till his untimely demise, he used to come to our Home at least once a year and pay his respect to my father!
I was in Bangalore with three of my friend and we were staying together for about six years.
I had/have a friend Syed Siddique.
He might even forget the dates of Ramzan and Bakrid, but very sure about Amavasya!
He was very much attached to my parents.
He used to go to my mother in kitchen and demand food/special dishes and she would oblige him.
My father had a stroke and was admitted to a Hospital.
Siddique came till the Hospital and refused to come inside the room saying he could not bear the sight of my father lying sick.
My father expired the next day.
Siddique was nowhere to be found.
While we were preparing the body for funeral.
He came, inebriated, crying , demanding that he be allowed to carry my father’s body to the cremation ground.
The priests objected to this, him being a Muslim.
My eldest brother said that Siddique was more attached to our father than us and my father reciprocated that.
Siddique carried the body.
He vowed that he would not eat non vegetarian food and sop drinking till the thirteenth day ceremony and he stuck to it,
When I lost my first wife he was one of the few who was by side leaving his family commitments and consoled me.
Even after 40 years, I can not forget his affection .
I am still searching for him for we went our ways because of our profession.
He is a native of Chozhachakkaranallur,near Myiladuthurai, en route to Vaitheeswara Koil.
I have tried to locate him, in vain.
If some one, his children, grand children happen to read this remind ‘Swamigal’, that’s how I used to call him because of his knowledge of Hinduism, or Vellai Iyer is searching for him.
Now where are all these Muslims Gone?
Are we missing them or they are not showing up?