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This article by G. Mahadevan (1987) was originally published in the NOBLES alumni e-newsletter of December 2002. It is republished here as part of the 9th anniversary series of posts on Fr Pulickal. – Ashok


A bearing that evoked respect, a beard that brooked no insolence, a laughter that was infectious and a twinkle in the eye that was unmatched. Those of us who were fortunate enough to have known Father Mathew Pulickal can well be excused for talking about him in superlatives. After all he was one who taught us that life is as often about the superlative, as it is about the positive and the comparative.

It is difficult to define such a man: he was not just a priest, he was not just another of those jolly old men…do you get my drift? You can only go on saying he was not this, not that, and yet never lay your finger on what he was — in its entirety. Of one thing I am sure. Mathew Pulickal, the man, was never ashamed of his human frailties (Oh boy, was he fond of jalebis…and was he a diabetic!). He was also fond of a ‘good un’ as much as any of us imps around him. In short, he loved life as it is.

I can go on like this. But in one sense it is wrong to speak of Fr. Pulickal in the past tense. Yes, the man is gone. But, whatever he stood for, lives through all of us, doesn’t it? It must be fun having him up there.

G. Mahadevan (1987) is Principal Correspondent and Deputy City Editor of The Hindu newspaper in Trivandrum. At Loyola, he was Assistant School Leader.

(c) G. Mahadevan, 2002. Reprinted here with the permission of the copyright holder.