Remembering Father Simon – Recently I was reading the ‘puthary’ souvenier of Muttinakam church. I must say a transformed muttinakam. Thirty years back, Muttikam was a very backward village with absolute poverty. Distilling illicit liquor ‘kotodi’, was the main business. Even police and excise was scared to go there, as there were instances were they were attacked by the villagers. No vehicle could reach Muttinakam, as there was no proper road, and whatever roads were there, were intercepted by small streams (‘thodu’). It was a self contained, closed community lived in poverty. To this place, Father Simon enters, and it was his first appointment. I have faint memories of him, as a pleasant, loving father, who was at the service of all in need, including my Grandfather, who was bedridden at that time. So Father Simon use to visit our house very frequently, and I was just 7 years old at that time. Even now, the glowing face of Father Simon is very clear to me. He was very special. The first thing, father did was to start a school there. He was a visionary enough to understand that lack of education as the root cause for all the problems of the place. And he was very correct. It might have taken 30 years to transform the place and it is real. Now the transformed Muttinakam is a nest housing colony kind of; full of modern houses, a new Catholic Church. The number of high end model, expensive cars plying on the well laid streets of the new Muttinakam is itself proof to the reform that happened there. When most of the other priests served there could speak only of stuff like painting the church, starting a prayer group blah blah….Father Simon stands tall – Very tall. From the magazine I understand that he is terribly sick due to kidney failure, and is spending his old age with his brother at Ernakulam. Thank you dear father, for triggering this transformation.