KOCHI: Train therapy is what 92-year-old P V Louis called his journey on the Ernakulam-Shoranur passenger train. In his book, ‘Season Ticket - Yathrayude Youvanam’ which was released recently, the noctagenerian shares how this extraordinary past time, gave him a certain sense of solace, which was disturbed profoundly, ever since his wife’s passing in 2000.
Louis Mash’s life was not devoid of excitement, if the quirky tales from his childhood and youth are any indication.
In the pages of the book, he comes across as a man who wanted to live life to the fullest, however, without breaking away from the confines of his upbringing.
The book hardly gives away the age of the author, who has been able to mantain his youthfulness despite his ripe old age. He vividly describes his first-hand-experience on the now defunct Chalakkudy-Parambikkulam Tramway, which was engineered by the British to transport exotic wood from the forest to the outside world.
Being a school head master gave Louis Mash an opportunity to interact with, many an unruly child, as he describes the students he has taught in his very elaborate career as a teacher.
“I once had to spank some ruffian boys for watching a ‘kuli scene’ at a river near the school I taught in. Only a few years ago, they told me, the memory even made them afraid to sneak in even at the bathroom their wives were bathing,” he jokes.
In the later pages, he goes on to add how he felt lost when his ‘Marykutty’ passed away. “For some time, I started speaking to a few people and their families to relieve my pain. Later, I realised it was a waste of time. They were always complaining about problems. I did not want to deal with things which made me sad. This is why, I later opted to go to a club. However, even I did not gel well there. It was a brain wave, my train therapy,” Louis Mash writes.
According to Louis Mash, had contemplated suicide on the banks of the Godavari, on a train journey to Orissa. “I had not yet found my train therapy then. But thankfully, I did not take the extreme step,” he says.
“I found my happiness in train travel, where I would find new faces and old friends. It made me forget my woes. Sadly, many people have tuned to their own lives and don’t take the efforts to talk. Doing so, would have eased many a pain,” he shares.
Louis Mash, who was 92, passed away at his ancestral home last month.