Srimaan Thomas Thekethil Mathew Ethrayum Bahumanapetta was born on the 13th of May, 1923 in Kerala, which is now in India to Srimaan Kunjumman Thomas Ethrayum Bahumanapetta and his wife Srimathi Annama Thomas Ethrayum Bahumanapetta of Oonirathu House. He was born into a landed Nasrani family and grew up on their inherited land. “Mathew” was his given name but as it is Malayali custom to put the given name at the end, outside of Kerala it was used as if it were a surname. His first name (effectively his family name) was his father’s name as per tradition.
Around 1947, after completing his Secondary School Certificate, Srimaan Mathew underwent some training for enlistment in the British Indian Army but chose not to complete. He moved to Karachi, Pakistan in January, 1948 and worked for the High Commission of India, Karachi as a colleague of Celvi Esther Pillai.
As both families disapproved of the marriage, when Srimaan Mathew married Celvi Pillai in 1950, the wedding was in Bangalore, India. They stayed in Bangalore after the wedding and he worked for a courier company there until moving back to Karachi in 1953. Srimaan Mathew studied accounting at Bulsara’s Commercial Institute and worked for Church Mission Society distributing food and clothing to the poor, regardless of religion.
In 1998, he died in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA while visiting his son.