Thiruvananthapuram: Senior bureaucrat Babu Paul who died in the wee hours of Saturday had a wish list of what he wanted after his death.
He mentioned in one of his newspaper columns that he had prepared his "funeral speech" and recorded on a mobile phone which would be delivered only after his death. It amused his readers.
His wish list was:
He should not be put on the ventilator except for a few hours to resuscitate him, if necessary.
His body should be buried as soon as possible but not later than 24 hours
Nobody should kiss the body.
If anybody is abroad or travelling for work, they should continue their work and not return for the burial.
There should be no firing in the air if he is given a state funeral.
“I don't know why polic-emen fire in the air. It may hit my soul going up,” it reads. “It has become fashionable to keep the body in a morgue for a few days even if all family members are around. I do not want this to my body.”
He wrote about how he got into the IAS in his memoirs.
He consulted G. Gopala Krishna Pillai, who was then training as an assistant collector in Kottayam after clearing the examinations in 1961.
He bought old question papers, from 1949 to 1961, from the book shop run by Swamy opposite the Secretariat and sought the help of a history lecturer at Mar Ivanios College who prescribed books for him to read.
He also got notes from Rao’s Study Circle in Delhi, IAS and K. S. Iyer’s Notes received by post from Madras.
He remembered his association with the formation of the Idukki after the government approved a report submitted by revenue secretary A. K. K. Nambiar.
The order to form Idukki was issued on January 25, 1972, and he was appointed the district collector while working as a special officer of the Idukki hydroelectric project. “I was called from Moolamattom to Idukki to receive the order and told to set up the district administration within 24 hours. I returned to Kottayam by late evening,” he wrote in the book.
“I along with Raghun-athan who was the then Kottayam collector sear-ched for a building to set up the collector’s office. We chose a building near the Union Club which the building owner agreed to rent to the district administration on January 26.
“I raised the national flag on that building by 4 pm and signed the papers to take charge as the district collector. A new district was born.”
The widely respected bureaucrat's funeral will take place at Kuruppa-mpady St Thomas Cathe-dral at 4 pm on Sunday.
Often had to deliver extempore homilies
Babu Paul often had to deliver extempore homilies. When attending church services, if the chief celebrant or the sexton spot him, they would announce that he would give his sermons. Hence he had always remained prepared.
He often joked he had prepared the homily for his funeral because he feared the vicar might forget that he's dead and ask him to speak. The message according to him starts with: Ladies and gentleman I am Babu Paul don’t be afraid, this was recorded before my death.
Ajith, his close aide, says: “Sir himself did this recording. He had the habit of recording his daily thoughts on his mobile.” Babu Paul once wrote: I continue to have 24 hours per day, but age and health have reduced the time I have at my disposal to work. Until last year, I could work up to 14 plus hours daily....