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Pappachan, Moon, Chandrayaan, a retd Navy Capt recalls

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Pappachan, Moon, Chandrayaan, a retd Navy Capt recalls

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 24 (Ajit Weekly News)  Amid euphoria over the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 mission’s Lander Module on the Moon’s surface, spotting 80-year-old Pappachan — a newspaper agent — walk past his house in the sleepy town of Kunnamthanam in Pathanamthitta district, transported retired Naval Captain Ramesh Babu to 1969 when Neil Armstrong made the historic landing on the Moon.

Babu said while watching Chandrayaan-3 make a glorious touchdown on the moon last evening, his mind wandered back in time to July 1969 when Neil Armstrong took that “baby step” that has finally made India take this “giant leap”.

“The news of Armstrong’s landing on the moon arrived a day after through Pappachan, our newspaper agent in the village. As an eight-year -old I was a wee bit anxious (what if the fellow falls off the moon to land on me?), as an

excited Pappachan waved the newspaper and announced that man had landed on the moon,” recalled Babu.

“This morning around 7.30 a.m, Pappachan was spotted limping and passing by my house and taking me back in time — 54 years back. Even though he continues to eke out his living from the agent’s commission, he said the old age has taken a toll on him and he is unable to exert much. He has entrusted a person to do it and after paying him Rs 2500, he takes Rs 1000,” added Babu.

Pappachan, who for long has been the darling in his village for six decades, the distance that he cycled to deliver newspapers would probably take him even beyond the Moon.

“Over the years, though several newspaper agents have come up here, riding motorcycles, practically driving Pappachan out of business, none of them has been as loyal as him. He ensured that the paper reached us without

fail, every single day. He would inform us of opportunities like entrance exams, job vacancies etc that the paper carried. That way, he has launched many successful lives in the village, including mine. He would also ensure that the paper reported weddings, deaths and other important occurrences in the village,” said Babu.

With the passage of time and technology taking precedence, the morning newspaper is no longer a keenly awaited commodity, but still some like Babu subscribe to newspapers only for Pappachan in the village.

–Ajit Weekly News

sg/shb


News Credits – I A N S

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