IDUKKI: Centenarian Kalappurackal Pappachan, whose official name is Antony Devassya, cannot imagine a single day when he is not working on his farmland. Working by his side, is his octogenarian wife Thressyamma.
Pappachan, who was also a freedom fighter, was never ready to yield to any power, be it nature or hunger.
For Pappachan, who left his native place in Pala and moved to the high ranges of Idukki in 1952, life has not been a bed of roses. He stuck to his passion for farming even when his near and dear ones refused to support his decision to find fortune in the high range. At a later stage, however, everyone had to change their mind and follow his footsteps.
“It’s my farming that helped me live through thick and thin. So I cannot imagine a day without working on the land,” says Pappachan. However, his better half was supportive of his chosen path and has been by his side for the past 60 years like a shadow.
When he began farming on a leased land in Kattappana, there was no one to help him out. Since those were his youthful days, the labour was not a big issue for him, but they were days of famine and he had to toil alone without sufficient food.
Seeing him harvesting success despite farming on leased land, all his four younger siblings decided to buy some land together in the high range. They bought 20 acres at Valiyathovala and started farming all essential crops, including paddy in 1955, a year before Pappachan married Thressyamma. In his twenties, Pappachan was put behind bars for around 10 days in Mundakkyam for participating in the freedom fight led by Pottakkulam Mathayichan in 1944. This experience made a fighter out of him. Pappachan had to put an end to his formal education after fifth standard following the demise of his mother.
Even at 100, he has no ailments due to his tough schedule that he follows every day.