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This article was first published 12 years ago

Exclusive! Alex Paul Menon's wife speaks

Last updated on: April 24, 2012 13:17 IST

Image: Asha with her husband Alex Paul Menon on a holiday
Photographs: Image courtesy: Alex Paul Menon's Facebook page Sheela Bhatt

It is an irony that the Maoists have kidnapped Alex Paul Menon, collector of Chhattisgarh's Sukma district, for he understands them perhaps better than many government officers, both in the state and at the Centre who deal with Maoism.

Asha Alex, Menon's wife, in an exclusive first person account to's Sheela Bhatt, reveals fascinating glimpses of her husband's softer side, and requests the Maoists to release him.

I am sure my husband will be back soon. I just wish that some audio or video is released quickly by the Maoists, it will be great. I really wish I could hear his voice someway.

I am not fine right now, but I am composed. My husband would not like to see me crying, surely not before the media. You know, emotional trauma will not help me in this situation.

I am satisfied with the Chhattisgarh government's efforts. Definitely, they are doing their best.

It was like any other day when my husband Alex left for a tour of the villages in our district, Sukma. He went to the interiors because there is an ongoing government programme which wants to enhance contacts with the people. He has gone on tours like this many times before.

We've been married only for the last five months. It was an arranged marriage, by our parents. Both of us were, initially, not very attracted (to each other) before marriage. Emotions were not flowing fine between us when we met for the first time before marriage. Just because our parents told us to, we got married.

of what Asha has to say about her husband

Please click here for Rediff RealTime News on Alex Paul Menon

'Alex understood the Maoists very well'

Image: Alex Paul Menon in Mussoorie, where the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy of Administration is located
Photographs: Image courtesy: Alex Paul Menon's Facebook page

Alex is from a middle class family. His father always wanted him to become a collector. My parents also wanted me to become a collector.

My father is a retired chief engineer who worked for the LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India).

I was also preparing to appear for the civil services exams. I had a very engaging career in an American company, Barry-Wehmiller Inc, as a training and development officer in the human resource development department.

I am a workaholic.

Like Alex, I am also a people's person. In fact, I never wanted to marry an IAS (Indian Administrative Service officer because I thought they are always busy. But after marriage, things have changed between us.

We truly got attracted (to each other). I could see that because we are interested in people and their issues, we could gel very well with each other.

I am a Hindu and my husband is an atheist. He is quite humorous and a very composed man. He will never utter a word about his achievements. He is not one to boast about his work.

I have seen Alex closely, our interests are the same. He is a pro-active person. He is a man of very few words. He is action-oriented. He is a passionate reader. He read about the Maoists while dealing with them. He understood them well. His father idolised (former defence minister) V K Krishna Menon so he gave Menon's surname to Alex.

His mother died when Alex was just 10 years old, so it was his father who brought him up.

of what Asha has to say about her husband...

'I wish the Maoists well'

Image: Collector Alex Paul Menon at a lowcost Bharat Nirman project site in Chhattisgarh
Photographs: Image courtesy: Alex Paul Menon's Facebook page

Alex has been in service for the last six years in various places in Chhattisgarh. The weather here is unpredictable. Sometimes it's sunny, sometimes it rains. One can't judge what the weather will be like tomorrow.

Alex got asthma a couple of years due to some allergy he caught in the difficult terrain he served in.

My father, when he worked in Ranchi, knew about the Maoists. He told me, 'They are also citizens of the country and like any other Indians, fighting for their dues and rights.'

I am neutral about Maoism. I have no opinion about them because I have never met them.

I wish the Maoists well and I request them to release Alex. I really wish Alex comes home soon.

Asha Alex spoke to's Sheela Bhatt