Aniyan George A colossus of the American Malayali diaspora
Cochin Herald|November - December 2020
In a freewheeling chat with the president of Federation of Malayalee Associations of Americas (FOMAA), Fred Cochin introduces the helmsman of one of the most prominent organisations of the Keralite community in the US, their friendship and Aniyan’s memories of Kochi
Deepika Jayaram

As Fred Cochin settles down for a tete a tete with Aniyan George, he suddenly goes down memory lane to the time when he first arrived on the shores of the US from half the world away. “It was around the same time the Federation of Kerala Associations in North America (FOKANA) was formed in the year 1983,” he reminisces.

A few years after that, the Federation Of Malayalee Associations of Americas (FOMAA) made its way out of its parent organisation FOKANA. From then on, Aniyan and my relationship has only grown over the years, and I can say it does not know any bounds today, says Fred. “I am elated that through my association with FOMAA, I have been able to interact with Malayali personalities and make strong bonds such as that with Aniyan, across America.”

When Fred asks Aniyan about his roots in Kerala and his memories of Kochi, Aniyan takes a walk down memory lane. “I was born in Vaipur near Changanassery. While I was pursuing my pre-degree and graduation at Saint Berchman's College, I was actively involved in student politics, and I was the University Union Councillor in addition to being Kerala University’s Joint Secretary. Then I went on to pursue a degree in law. I remember how I was always intrigued by the city of Kochi, and had always dreamt of being there. Fortunately, I could get a chance to pursue my studies in the Law College, Ernakulam,” says Aniyan.

“Even before I embarked on this journey, I used to often visit places such as the Children’s Park in Fort Kochi. During our college days, we used to frequently go to Willingdon Island, Savita-Sarita theatre, Mattancherry and Menaka theatre. I have had a bunch of good experiences and memories from Kochi. I went onto become the chairman while I was studying in Law College, following which I could also practice in the High Court,” he says.

When Fred asks him if he remembers any quirky experience, Aniyan says with an effervescent smile, “I remember how a group of my friends and I had gone for a movie, and one of them happened to have a tiff with the person working there. The situation worsened and our friend was taken to the police station.

I remember how all of us had gotten into the jeep. Back then, the Sub Inspector was Radhakrishnan, who was also doing his studies in the Law College. Together, we demanded that either our movie tickets should be refunded or we must have a separate screening of the film.”

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