THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Many would disagree if anybody argued that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, in short USSR, still existed years after its dissolution in 1991. That too in the capital city of God’s Own Country. ‘Crazy’, one may call it.
The proof lies on the Peroorkada-Oolampara road, where one can find a modest three-storey building ‘USSR Bhavan’.
The evolution behind the name is the four member family who resides here, Udayakumar, his wife Sudha and two daughters Soumya and Revathi. The name is a combination of the first letters of the names of each.
Udayakumar has always had an intense longing to name his dwelling USSR from his early youth. During his pre-degree classes at Government Arts College in the city, he was a staunch supporter of Communist Party of India (CPI). Those days, the then Soviet Union and CPI were closely associated. Yet he did not have any idea of how that name could suitably be fixed for his house.
“I always believed in the unexpected. Therefore, though initially I never dreamt of making a ‘USSR’ family, later I somehow knew everything would fall into place,” Udayakumar said.
The aforesaid unexpected element came into his life in 1992, when he tied the knot to Sudhakumari who was his neighbour. Marrying the girl next door too according to him was all the more fortuitous.
“We were not involved in a love affair. I would say, I still do not know how to romance. But we were united, I think that was destiny,” he says.
Sudhakumari’s mother had assigned him to find a ‘well-behaved boy like you’ for her daughter. After searching for long, he finally found the ‘one’. One morning, he made a brave attempt of seeking her hands publicly, in front of the local shop ran by her family opposite his home.
Within a year of a happy married life they were blessed with their first child. The unexpected again came to the scene as the birth star of the child was ‘revathy’. Without having a second thought, they gave her the same name.
Now only one letter was left to be filled in the USSR. The second child when born in 1996 was named Soumya. They had to wait till 2005 to have their dream home ‘USSR Bhavan’ come true.
“Initially many wondered if I had ‘misspelt’ the word ‘user’. Then I had to explain what exactly it stood for,” he says. Soumya says, her classmates often find the name ‘USSR’ very odd and amusing for a home.
It was around this time that Udayakumar submitted his resignation letter to the party due to some incidents that had upset him. Now, he says, all he has is a faith in communist ideology than active political participation. He has not even forced his wife and children to believe in any particular political ideology.
Udayakumar undertakes contract labour in plumbing and civil work. Also an athlete, he has participated in the Asian Veteran Athletic Championship held in Malaysia, in 2010. Sudhakumari is working with the HLL Lifecare Limited. Elder daughter, Revathy U S, is a student of nursing at Co-operative college of Nursing in Karakulam.
Younger daughter, Soumya U S, is a ninth standard student at Kendriya Vidyalaya, SAP, Peroorkkada.
When asked whether he wishes to see Russia, Udayakumar says, “if the world veteran athletic championship is held there, I would go. Even if I have to pawn my possessions,” he beams.