It was in the 1970s, probably in 1976.
P and T Co-ordinating Committee Mangalore was organising a big convention and they wanted former Chief Minister Kerala and veteran CPM(I) leader Com.E.M.S.Namboodiripad to inaugurate the same. I spoke to him and he agreed. Com.E.M.S. reached Calicut from Trivandrum by the early morning by train. He was accommodated in the Railway room already reserved. The Non-Vegetarian restaurant owner came and told that he will arrange whatever food is required, instead of bringing it from the usual hotel in the town. He was specifically told that salt and chilli should be avoided as also oil. EMS ate only very little quantity of food. He smilingly confided to me that oil and salt were there and that probably the restaurant owner might have thought how a person can take food less these ingredients. The bill was paid with out complaining.
We boarded the train to Mangalore. I had booked first class for him. I was in ordinary compartment. In between, I went to his room and he was writing. I did not want him to be disturbed. At Mangalore Railway Station, local P and T comrades came with union flag and banner to receive us. Com.EMS handed over me a cover addressed to the Chintha Weekly and asked me to post the same so that it will reach in time. He had written for his regular question and answers column in Chintha Weekly while in the train. Not a minute wasted. That was Com.EMS.
The meeting was held in the Head Post Office. Com. EMS inaugurated and touched upon general issues as well as on P & T issues. Looking to a photo hanging on the wall, EMS asked ‘whose photo’? I replied that it was the photo of Babu Tarapada Mukherjee, founder leader of Postal Movement. He commented ‘so you have your union leader’s photo also in the office?’ It was a fact that in many Post Offices, Tarapada’s photo used to be there. No body objected. It came to my mind that in all the India Coffee Houses in the country, Com.AKG’s photo will be in prominent place. He was the person who ensured existence of India Coffee Houses, through forming co-op societies, when the Coffee Board decided to close them all.
(I used to meet Com. EMS whenever he came to Calicut. I also used to visit him whenever I went to Delhi, during his stay there. He was always considerate. I will write about those meetings sometimes later).