After Ammama’s demise in the month of November 2012, the world looks very different. Even today, I cannot think of Ammama, without tears welling up and a huge lump in my throat. Ammama is my moms mom - The maiden visitors of my blog can view my writings about her here, here, here and here.
I was one of her favorite grand children, ( I was the second in the list, I guess :) ) purely because of being a big chatterbox. I would score definitely higher in that compared to all her other grandchildren ( she has 13 of them). I was also the only one probably to show affection openly, I would hug her, kiss her and when I sit next to her I keep holding her hands. That was my way of connecting to her.
picture taken sometime in Jan
There was one other thing I used to do – Earlier when Ammama travelled to cities where her children lived, my mom and her siblings were against her wearing her traditional Mekka Mothirams. These are unique jewelry worn by Syrian Christian women of Kerala starting from the 18th century or so. They are moon shaped ear jewelry made of Gold worn on the upper cartilage of the ear. I have heard from Ammama that her ear was pierced when she was a little child and she used to wear Mekka Mothirams when she was barely 3 or 4.
She got newer and bigger ones for her marriage ( at the age of 13 ) and later in the 70’s or so my uncle changed and made them smaller as they were really big. She wasn’t very happy about that. The Mekka Mothirams are very close to ammama’s heart and she always thought that she looked better with them. So when her children protested to her wearing it when she was travelling, ( purely for reasons of safety), her heart sank.
I loved Ammama, with or without the Mekka Mothirams but since I knew she liked it, I used to argue and fight with her children ( read my mom and uncles) to allow her to wear them. One of my logical reasoning was that there is no one in our family who would ever wear a Mekka Mothiram and so wherever she is, she must be allowed to wear them. She is our cultural representative. Most of the time they gave in to my arguments and allowed ammama to wear it. Of late, when she travelled they did not bother removing it.
After her death, we have the 7th day and 41st day ceremonies in the church and at home. I was so touched that my older uncle and his wife stayed on at the Tharavadu, to attend mass and offer prayers at her cemetery daily for the next 40 days after her demise. Not many children would be willing to spend this kind of time for a deceased parent. After her 7th day ceremonies, before most of Ammama’s children dispersed, the family felt it was right that that I be given her Mekka Mothirams. (Ammama was always a giver and she had so much to give all her children even after her death).