Unsung Heroes

Yentha Heroes are not necessarily celebrities. Our hero is a person who brings a smile to our lives or who makes a difference in our neighbourhood. Suggest a hero and Yentha will do the rest. Trust us. Do you know anybody like this? Or a story waiting to be told?
Serving God, Saving Lives

Aruvikkara is known to city folks as the water reservoir from where drinking water to the city is treated and pumped. But beyond this, dam, Aruvikkara is also a place of immense natural beauty. With a recently completed Children's Park and the opening of a DTPC snack bar, it is fast emerging into a local holiday retreat for the lower/middle income families. The place also has a Bhagavathi Temple which harbours the faith of many thousands in the locality.



However, there are times when Aruvikkara finds itself in the news for all the wrong reasons besides pipe bursts. Amidst the natural beauty lies nature's traps that lay concealed in the green waters of Aruvikkara’s  streams. The path towards the bathing spots in the stream passes through the temple compound. Even from afar, the sight of white letters and images drawn against a red background warns about the dangers of the spot. But no one is aware of the dangers more than Unnikrishnan.


“I have been associated with this temple since the age of five; now I am forty nine years old,” he says, detailing his long association with the temple and the stream. “And in these years, I have saved 66 lives from being drowned in the numerous eddies in the stream; I have kept account of each of them in my mind.”




Unnikrishnan a.k.a  V Jagannathan (which he says is his real name) currently oversees the functioning of the marriage auditorium built adjoining the temple and also manages the shop selling an assortment of things to devotees. At forty nine years of age, Unnikrishnan has spent his entire life in Aruvikkara and has managed to accomplish feats that most fail to achieve in a lifetime.


He shares with Yentha some of his life-saving experiences!

“Once, around dusk, I was sitting in the shop and I hear someone cry, coming from the stream below. Someone, who had gone to have a bath, had fallen into a eddies in the stream. I ran down and reached in time to pull him ashore. He lived for another twenty years before dying of some illness.”



Then he recalls a more recent one...

“About six months back, there was a bunch of youngsters who had come to take a bath in the stream. They were warned about the dangers before allowing them to use the spot. But one of them tripped on the moss covered rock surface and fell into the stream and got sucked into a eddies. Another one tried to stop him from falling and in the process he too fell into the stream. A third one attempted to rescue the two, but found himself pulled along into this life-death predicament. I ran to the spot after calling for help and managed to pull out the kids just in time.”


There had been instances of people getting washed away in the stream, but captured alive kilometres  away further downstream. Unnikrishnan says it is the youngsters that account for most of the accidents that take place at Aruvikkara.



“They just don't get it no matter how seriously or how in-detail we explain things to them. The beautifully laid out rocks designed by the years of water flowing through their surface and the apparent narrowness of the passing stream presents danger with the perfect camouflage of beauty. What they don't realise is that in areas where the water lies pooled has got well-like eddies from which escape is impossible  without external help.”



Although Unnikrishnan is proud of having been able to save so many lives from drowning to death and is more than happy to talk about it, he declines with a gesture of indifference any praise that comes to him.

“It isn't me who is doing all these things; it is the goddess of this temple. The goddess sees and knows everything. I have been assigned the role of a saviour many times by her, and I am glad that I am in her service, in carrying out the good deeds,” he says.




Unnikrishnan is just an average person, leading an average life, sheltering a deep rooted faith in the idol that he daily worships. But there are 66 lives, many of them still alive, who are indebted to him for every moment of life given to them after their fateful visit to Aruvikkara.

What Unnikrishnan, a.k.a V Jagannathan has accomplished in life is not something with materialistic implications. But things go beyond daily life and average chores to meet the line separating heroes from those who are not. In a world where heroes are made and their acts hardly validated, Unnikrishnan stands apart as an unsung hero whose acts will live on through the lives that he has saved.


Mukesh Venu

Posted By : Deepa, On Jun 19, 2012 11:28:30 AM
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plz give his number
Mukesh, on Aug 12, 2012 08:19:43 PM
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