Soni M Bhattathiripad... How should I write about him; as a journalist or a family member!!! Well, thanks to Amrita TV and its program Kathayallithu Jeevitham for reminding everyone that such a person is still missing.
Born in a Brahmin family little Soni was always interested in writing stories and articles. Seeing this, his parents Padmanabhan Bhattathiripad and Suvarnini Antharjanam decided to let their son to choose a career according to his wish. He began his career as journalist in Malayala Manorama newspaper. As the bureau chief of Kazargod, he was one of the first to bring out the sufferings of Endosulfan victims. When Manorama launched a news channel, Soni joined as news reader in that, bringing all the latest updates from around the world. He was a well known figure among the television viewers of Kerala. Later, he joined Indiavision. There also, his popularity remained the same.
As the reporter of Indiavision, he was assigned to report Goa Film Festival in 2008. On his way back from Goa, Soni M Bhattathiripad went missing. He was travelling by train along with his father-in-law and disappeared in Kazargod. According to Soni's father-in-law, he said he wanted to go to toilet and went away. The old man searched the entire train and could not find him. From 8th December 2008, he is missing and it still continues as a mystery.
Soni had the habit of taking a break without letting others know. So his family thought he will come back after a few days. But he did not... His wife Dr. Seema filed a complaint in police station. The police did not act properly though they haven't closed the file. Soni's wife, his two children, parents and brother Rao are trying their best to find him. His mother waits every night with a plate of dinner for her son. His children believe their dad had gone for a reporting in Russia.
Media is a field where personal bondings are very low. When one person leaves the scene, there is always another to replace as the show must always go on without breaks. The channels have almost forgotten this journalist as it has hundred Sonis to replace him. The loss is only for his family and his dear ones.
For me, he belongs to my mother's family. In our country, he can be called as my mom's brother; and according to West, he is her cousin. As the family is so big with so many branches, I've not met many of the family members. Soni Bhattathiripad is also such a name though I know his parents. The only familiarity for me is that he resembles my mom's younger brother. Also when the program was over, I could see tears rolling down from my mom’s eyes. So, like other family members, I too pray for his come back.