Anoop Sathyan shares endearing note about Siddique's elder son, writes Sappi was so dear to his father

The recent demise of Rasheen, son of veteran actor Siddique, has spread gloom across the Malayalam movie industry. Rasheen, fondly called ‘Sappi’ by everyone who knew him, was a special child. Even though he was 37 years of age when he died in sleep, Sappi lived the life of an innocent boy. A host of film celebrities offered condolences to Siddique over the death of his son and among them was director Anoop Sathyan, who visited the actor’s house along with his father, the legendary filmmaker Sathyan Anthikad.
“Siddique Ikka spoke to us about Sappi after his funeral and all other visitors had left,” said Anoop. “We were sitting on a veranda adjacent to the room where Sappi used to sleep. Probably because he is an actor, Siddique Ikka began imitating Sappi while speaking about his son. Ikka recalled that Sappi was particular about keeping everything in place at home. He loved chicken dishes; dreaded darkness and often had epileptic seizures. While relating these incidents, Ikka’s eyes welled up with tears and he became Sappi’s father again,” said Anoop.

Siddique with his sons Shaheen (L) and Rasheen.

Sappi’s favourite place was the library and he loved world books. Whenever Sappi felt distressed, he was taken to the library and he would be happy. There, he would diligently keep all the books that were strewn around by others in their respective places on the shelves. The librarian was happy to see Sappy. But, after Sappi’s death, the librarian’s workload will increase, said Siddique.
Sathyan Anthikad tried to console Siddique. “Sappi was lucky and always happy. When you imagine the world from his point of view, we realize Sappy’s innocence and lack of hypocrisy. He could live in a house enjoying all the love and care you showered on him,” he said. “Siddique Ikka continued to relate various incidents related to Sappi,” said Anoop.
Sappi had a very strong memory and could recall every detail. He could also mention the days and weeks of the coming year within seconds, said Siddique. One day, Sappi left everyone in the house worried for some time. “He took a bicycle parked by someone in our house and went outside. All of us panicked. We had never seen him riding a bicycle before. Each of us went in search of him in different directions. But an hour later, Sappi returned by himself,” said Siddique. As soon as he saw Siddique, Sappi pleaded, “don’t scold me, Vappa.”

“Never!” replied Siddique and clasped Sappi’s hands. The actor paused for a moment, tried to control his tears, and told Anoop and Sathyan Anthikad, “Sappi’s hands were unlike ours. They were as soft as a flower.” “When Siddique spoke these words, Sappi was probably hearing them from behind the window of his room. Sappi’s room was dark. But he might have overcome his fear of darkness,” said Anoop.