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Issue No:68
  • :0973–1121
  • :August
  • :2014

With a View of the Sea

October, and the sea this morning
rests its cheek against the quays;
the pattering upon the awning’s
seeds of the acacia trees,
keeping a beat. The blazing sun
is hoisting up out of the sea
a piercing stare that doesn’t burn,
just as the rowers sculling by
pierce the water, gazing up
at one far snowy mountaintop.

—from With a View of the Sea by Joseph Brodsky,
translated from the Russian
by Glyn Maxwell and Zakhar Ishov

OBITUARY / THOMAS KOCHERRY

Crusader, Leader, Comrade

Thomas Kocherry (1940 – 2014)

Father Thomas Kocherry, a rather unpriestly priest, was a man of the people and a crusader for the livelihood rights of small-scale fishing communities


This tribute is by V Vivekanandan (vivek.siffs@gmail.com), Adviser, South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies (SIFFS)


Summer showers, thunder and lightning ... On 5 May 2014, at the Muttada Holy Cross Catholic Church in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the south Indian State of Kerala, these elements seemed to have come together as nature's fitting tribute to a man who was, to borrow from Shakespeare, “a tempestuous noise”, a thorn in the side of authority, a voice for the voiceless, a challenger of convention, a courtier of controversy.

Thomas Kocherry, born in Changanacherry in central Kerala, gravitated towards the lesser-known Redemptorist order of Catholic priests and was soon influenced by the radical “liberation theology” movement that was sweeping through Latin America in the 1960s. During his seminary days, he sought permission to work with the refugees who came to India after the conflict in East Pakistan (later, Bangladesh). Soon after his ordination as a priest, Tom—as he was universally and lovingly...

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