THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At 104, Janardhanan of Kolathukara has lost count of how many times he has voted. But he is as excited as a first-time voter to take part in the general election on Tuesday.
Janardhanan is a father of eight children, grandfather of 15 and great grandfather of 18. He considers himself a blessed old man who is being taken good care of by his children. He resides at the house of Subramanian, his eldest son aged 72, at Kolathukara near Sreekaryam in the city.
Sitting up on his bed in a quaint room, Janardhanan starts his day by reciting hymns 'Aditya Namaskaram' and 'Skanda Shashti Kavacham'. The caring grandfather loves to sing his favourite lullaby whenever he has a child visitor.
Janardhanan has not worked with any political party but he is a loyal supporter of the Left ideology, said Subramanian. Appa, who would you vote this time? Subramanian asked. Pat came the loud reply, "Communists".
"Born in a poor family, Appa migrated to Madurai at a very young age. After doing several odd jobs, he started a tea stall, Vishalam Kappy Stall, which helped him earn a modest income," Subramanian said.
After leaving Madurai in 2005, Janardhanan chose to reside in the house of Subramanian near the famed Kolathukara temple. "He is very particular to have his food and medicines in time. He would be upset if they are delayed," said Ambika, Subramanian's wife.
Radhakrishnan, the youngest son, says a combination of healthy living and good care would have helped his father for a long life."He starts his day with a bowl of warm water on an empty stomach. Prayers, bath, food are on time," he said.
Radhakrishnan and his brothers Ravidasan, Ganesh and Ramachandran visit their father everyday and serve him food or help him bath or take a brief walk.
Janardhanan was born to Kaliyambi and Kunjamma of Pulimoodu at Chirayinkeezhu in 1915 though his official records show the year as 1916. His wife Sarojini died last year aged 96. The eldest daughter of the couple had died two years ago.
Radhakrishnan said his father had often expressed the wish that the government depute doctors for home visit and health check-up of senior citizens.