We shall meet on that beautiful shore

A symbol of humility, she was devoted to my father and was happy with his busy schedule as an advocate and politician.

Earlier this month was my mother’s birthday. Amma must have celebrated the great day with all the angels in heaven. She lived for others and died for others. Her husband and our family were always her priorities. She lovingly took care of our various strange tastes regarding food and made everyone happy. The happiness of the family was her prime consideration. Amma never bothered about her ailments including the serious diabetes that had taken away her vision.

A symbol of humility, she was devoted to my father and was happy with his busy schedule as an advocate and politician. As the Independence struggle was hotting up in erstwhile Travancore state, my father went into hiding and our house was regularly raided by the police to nab the missing politician. Amma courageously survived all difficulties and looked after the family well in the absence of my father.

Amma didn’t have any dreams of her own. Her only dream was to see happiness everywhere and she told one and all to love each other. My sister sincerely helped mother with the household chores. But she left after her marriage and the entire burden of looking after the family, which included my old grandparents, fell on the poor and weak shoulders of my ailing mother. She never complained about anything and accepted all problems with a sweet smile on her lips.

She needed insulin everyday and sometimes my father didn’t get enough time to get it, and to be near her, which she very much wanted during her last years. Amma breathed her last in 1982. I was away in Nigeria and could not reach home even for her funeral. I heard later that she was asking for me and telling others not to bother me with a long air journey.

Amma was a talented actress and had acted in many dramas that were staged by her church arts club. In all such dramas she was a tragedy queen. They say the audience wept while they watched her facing troubles. Those days all actors had to act and sing simultaneously. As amma was a good singer she could do it with grace. Annamma as they called her was an extremely beautiful woman and her sad and prominent eyes added to her beauty.

Amma, the stories you told me were indeed unforgettable. We shall meet on that beautiful shore to share many more such stories.

Thomas Matthew
Email: mparackel@rediffmail.com

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