people

What I call home

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we were a gang of five who stomped this ground day and night and loved each day of it. now we enjoy to cuddle up whenever we get time 🙂

Only lucky ones have a place to call home. So was I. For thirteen years this was my home, where I learnt to walk, run, laugh, cry and what not. Today as I look back, what I can see is that I am a reflection of this home and its surrounding. Every nook and corner of this home are so attached to my heart that I am living more in memories than in present. Which is why, so often I fail to adjust to changes which my heart cannot recognize. People close to me would surely vouch for my love for Pallipuram, just because I have bored them to death by narrating endless stories; stories of childhood friend, collecting stamps, stealing toffees, skipping school bus, innumerable romeos, spooky uncles and so on. However, what stands tall and prominent in the memory is the home. Now that the old home is renovated and is no longer seen, what remains is the new one with few parts of its past.

So I am in love with the old and living in the past. Hence would share with you all, what I miss the most each moment, while I am almost 2000 kms away. And thanks to Alwin, who prompted me to take the mobile and walk around while sitting and sulking about leaving home yet again.

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the cycle brigade

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While travelling through the hillside villages of Bharuch on a warm July afternoon, I met this group of enthusiastic boys on cycle. While I was languishing in a rickety Bolero with a tele-lens mounted camera, they were having the time of their life on the unpredictable yet familiar roads. Many of you would surely relate with such escapades on cycle.

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It was a holiday for them. More than the children, I was happy to find them. For those who travel, children following you in villages are a common sight, especially if you smile and be warm to them. Believe me, these are the true joy of travelling. No big take aways, no resort hoping, but some unconditional memories and of course little tiredness too.

my ammichi

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For me, she is Ammichi and for many she is Agnes thathi. At 86, she is an inspiration for me, to keep aside troubles and move ahead in life. While I was growing up in the beautiful coastal village of Pallipuram in Vypin Island; I only wished to get a job and erase all her woes. For those who have heard of this for the first time, Vypin is one of the highly inhabited Islands in Kerala, the picturesque state of India.

Little did I know then, that it would be Ammichi who would inspire me to move on and achieve greater heights, especially in terms of education, financial stability and above all a happy family life. Not just for her family, but she has stood beside many to give that timely advice to ward off domestic and financial troubles.

Ammichi was born into a very humble family of four daughters and a relentlessly hardworking mother – father. She couldn’t complete her education as desired by her. She dreamt of becoming a teacher, once she told me. Though, in life she was no less than a teacher, all those who are acquainted with her, would certainly vouch for this.

Soon Ammichi became a wife and mother to four daughters and three sons. And her life changed completely. Having a husband who was posted with the Indian Army, Ammichi took the reins of bringing up the family into her hands. Ammichi for the past 40 plus years has rarely missed opening her small wooden toffee shop near St. Mary’s High School at Pallipuram. More or less, she has continuously witnessed over three generations of students, who still remember the ammayi muttai and kumbloose naaranga they ate from her pettikada (small shop in Malayalam). And the pettikada has played an important role in supporting her financial needs.

And what a beautiful family she has raised. In spite of not being a biological part of her family, she brought me up just the way she would have done with her own offspring. Indeed, she lived the role of my Ammichi (mother in Malayalam). As per the relation, I should have called her Ammama (grandma), but I never realized the difference, as she raised me with equal portions of love, patience and punishments.
Today, when she is celebrating her birthday, I stand here, educated, settled and with a loving family. This is when I realize the value of those moments of love and punishments. And how it has helped me to value life and count blessings, above all.