Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Continuation of the Love Story! Part 2

I am so happy that many of you enjoyed the first part of this Love Story. These parts are not excerpts but a shortened version of our eBook to be released soon: "The Life and Loves of the Findians" (Title not yet finalised! Suggestions welcome.)

The second part of our life revolved around the time we spent in India (1969 to 1984).

Landing in Bombay in September 1969 was not a wise decision as it was humid and hot. And we landed into an Indian wedding where all the families of Jacob were present and meeting over 300 to 400 people who are all like his brother's and sisters was a very tough experience.

But the food was special and with abandon I took to all the Kerala food organised by Jacob's aunt, the late Mrs. K. M. Mathew, including the super spiced fish curry. Mrs. Mathew (known to me as Annammakochamma) became my very good fiend as she was just as crazy as me!!

I paid the penalty for my indulgence as I had to be rushed to hospital and it took me about 2 years to recover from my lack of vision. But, I loved the food and slowly but steadily I got used to the spices.

During the next seven years we stayed first in the centre of Madras and then on the outskirts, in a mango grove in Guindy in Defence Officers Colony, and then moved to a palatial house with a large garden at the top end of Velacheri Road, near the Saidapet Bridge.

It was an amazing life. I learnt the spoken colloquial Tamil as we had so many people working in the household (cook, gardener, driver, children's nanny, cleaning staff, night watchman) who only spoke this language. It was relatively easy as I found much similarity between Finnish and Tamil. (This formed the basis of our chapter in our 1994 best seller, now available as an eBook,  "Handbook for Survival in Finland" which says that spoken Finnish is not a difficult language!)

We had a few Scandinavians in Madras. The most prominent was Stina Vasu who was married to T. T. Vasu, the son of former Indian Finance Minister, T. T. Krishnamachri. She used to orgnse the Lucia party, in Swedish tradition, every year in December. We got a chance to meet all the other Scandinavians - from Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. 

Lucia Party in Madras, Stina, Susanna, Jaajoo, Joanna and me, 1972
Lucia Party in Madras, Stina, Susanna, Jaajoo, Joanna and me, 1972

For the most part I was the only Finn, and the picture above was taken in 1972 when we had three children, Susanna, Jaakko and little Joanna! Stina is the person in the background in this picture of me with our children!

The family at Velcheri Road, Madras in 1975

In 1975, the late Mathew Varghese, who was married to  Finn and living in Helsinki, came to Madras to do an article about our family, which was published in a Helsinki magazine, Koti Liesi. The photograph above shows our family sitting on the steps of our Velacheri Road house, with our golden labrador, Ruby.

1998 Award Winning Ginger Bread Village Church
1998 Award Winning Ginger Bread Village Church

It was here I started my Ginger Bread House creations which is described in detail in our book "Edible Art", including the first catastrophe, published as an eBook in Novmber 2013.

Detail of a lake in a mountain with a hidden water stream flowing into the lake (from the eBook Edible Art)
Detail of a lake in a mountain with a hidden water stream
flowing into the lake (from the eBook Edible Art)
 From Chennai, as Jacob's parent retired from Bombay and returned to Bangalore, I moved with my family to Jacob's original home town. I preferred the warmth of Madras along with the sea breeze which arrived every afternoon without fail by 3 pm.

Matthan family in Bangalore in 1976
Matthan family in Bangalore in 1976
The picture above shows the Kuriyan Matthan family in 1976 in front of their Basavangudi House on Market Road.

Bangalore was also very nice except that corruption was very rampant at all levels. It was from this house I was arrested. 

1993 eBook "...for the hour of His judgement is come:..."
1993 eBook "...for the hour of His judgement is come:..."
This resulted in a complicated situation and prosecution which is described in my sensational best seller thriller book and also an eBook, " :...for the hour of His judgement is come:..." which I wrote in 1993 when I was in Finland. This episode also resulted in my finding my faith.

This book has helped many people who were caught in the same situation. The last was a young student from Bangladesh who was arrested a few years ago inBangalore!

But all good things must come to an end, so when we were required to move to Finland, it was fate definitely calling us.

That is the third part of this Love Story.

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