March 30, 2003 

Inspiration for the day

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M.J.Joseph, Mandapam, Kasaragod

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After fulfilling his duties and responsibilities as a householder, M.J.Joseph is leading a recluse’s life in the forest he has himself let grown.

20 years ago, after retirement as a school teacher, Joseph bade farewell to his family members at Kottayam and came to settle at Mandapam, Kasaragod.  He bought a small piece of land and earmarked a major portion of the area for Nature to grow a jungle.  In the remaining area, he planted rubber and coconut and constructed a small house, where he lives alone.

Alone would not be a correct description if one includes his friends in the house.  Snake, cats, birds and even bees are his friends who have open access to his house.  Inside the room one can see a snake crawling through his book collection. 

But the wild animals do not trouble him.  And knowing that there are wild guests in his house, unwelcome and inquisitive observers do not venture there. The forest around the house is so thick that sunlight doesn’t penetrate to its floor even at noon.  And only Joseph dares to walk in this jungle where many small animals live without fear.

78-year-old Joseph does rubber-tapping early in the morning.  At 8.30 he walks 3 km to the teashop to have breakfast.  The lunch he cooks himself.  His afternoons are for children, for whom he writes songs and makes toys.  Besides, he teaches them to write.

At night he sleeps with a beehive right above his bed.  Since the hive may not be safe outside, he has invited the bees inside.  “Love of Nature shouldn’t be just sloganeering, it should be practiced,” he says. 



Courtesy: Sony M.Bhattathirippad, Malayala Manorama, February 15, 2003

Contributed by: Administrator


"Do not lend your axe to get your own trees felled."