Thiruvananthapuram, Jan. 28: The presentation had gone down well and there may have been a spring in the Kerala chief minister’s steps as he stepped on the ice after dinner at Davos.
Seconds later, it was too late for Oommen Chandy, who had wisely discarded his trademark leather slippers for the trip, to remember he hadn’t done his homework well enough on what sort of shoe to wear on the Swiss ice.
The oversight meant a fall, a fractured hip and surgery last night at the hospital Spital Davos. The chief minister would be able to travel only after five days, Indian ambassador Amitava Tripathi informed Kerala chief secretary M. Vijayanunni in a faxed message today.
Chandy was pacing up to his car after dinner with a Saudi minister and an expatriate Indian businessman when he slipped. He got up quickly and left for his hotel, Cresta, at 11 pm local time. At the hotel, however, he found it difficult to climb out of the car.
Principal secretary Dinesh Sharma rushed him to hospital where he had to be carried in.
Chandy’s wife Mariamma Oommen rued her selection of the wrong pair of shoes for her husband.
“We had got ready two suits but he refused to wear them saying he was more at home in the khadi dhoti and shirt. We made a wrong decision about the pair of shoes, which we later learnt was not the right one to be used on ice.”
She added: “More than the fracture, the convalescence would be the most painful part since he won’t be able to work at his usual pace and be in the company of people.”
The chief minister’s mother, Baby Chandy, 85, is also recovering from hip surgery at the Medical College Hospital here.
Chandy’s younger daughter Achu Oommen, employed with Stanchart Bank in Dubai, is in Davos with her father where he made a 15-minute presentation on “The future of Millennium Development Goals”.