The story so far : A granny and her granddaughter were taken to a conversation. Granny slowly got slipped into a nap and thereby a dream. The dream drew her to the childhood days of Onam celebrations. A synopsis of Onam celebrations pass through her dream.
Now pl. read…………
The very thought of Onam had again pulled her half a century back to the shore of nostalgia. Onam always had been accompanied by a series of sugary experiences. The festivities were indeed mind-blowing especially when one was rich enough to lavishly spend for Onam.
‘ONAM’ the most popular festival of Kerala has more or less moulted its old shell and developed channel feathers. Though the festivals and carnivals have encroached upon the screens of visual media, one rejoices at the fullest degree while Onam celebrations are in full swing.
But here this family of grandmother(Karthyayani amma) and grandchild(Manju) cannot connect much grandeur to any festivity. The god of riches has deserted and rammed them into poverty, even though the old woman was a progeny of an affluent ancestry, born with a silver spoon in the mouth. The excessiveness and extravagance of the descendants of the family dissolved the entire property of the family in debt. Result the successors had to sleep under the blanket of poverty. Besides the scantiness of revenue, lonesomeness also has taken shelter in this residence.
Karthiyayani amma’s mind now opened the box of poignant memories of that ill-omened day. The more she sought to avoid the vistas of the gone past, the more vivid it appeared..
That was a dull morning with a damp weather. Both the husband and wife, Manju’s parents, had set off for road- work. Mother Nature seemed to be awfully gloomy. It was heavily raining in the early hours of morning. The Nature’s children all around were gloomy for reasons not known. The plants were shedding tears. The thousand watts bulb, on that day was sending just a feeble light. The lane to the destination had on its face deep wounds full of filthy puss. As to arrive at the outlying work-spot the couple rushed on their leg-bikes that acted as acrobats. Their gait was literally a race, so as to reach the spot at the earliest time itself. Even then they felt they wouldn’t reach there on time. “Late arrival may turn us deprived of our work- opportunity.” Both were engaged in chit –chat too.
The paucity of income never diminished their delight as they were contented with their sweet daughter and affectionate mother. They had acquired a true heart ever ready for any sort of work. Also they were in possession of a tidy house of tiny size.
Alas! Their glee lasted not for long. It was just a bolt from the blue that a violently- driven tipper ran over the couple. The impudent driver without any pause departed from the scene in his carriage. Some passers-by turned up to help them and got them into a hospital. Four eyes were eagerly lying in wait for the couple, who were supposed to get back home much before. The little child, who was a four or five year-old one, always wanted her mother’s patting hands to sleep. None were bold enough to inform the old woman about the despondent condition of her son and daughter-in-law. Nevertheless by evening two corpses made their entry into the house instead of the couple.
The tears flowed down through the cheeks of grandmother and grand daughter found no boundary, though the latter had no lucid idea about the mishaps. All the surrounding eyes shed as much tears as to form a small stream. Sad words, sighs and sobbing echoed everywhere. The breeze didn’t even peep, as if to witness the scene was unbearable. Wholly the atmosphere turned tight and hot without much sound.
When the dear and near dispersed after the completion of all the formalities of funeral, the grandmother woke up to reality where she heard the tot’s screaming for food. “I have to survive, survive for this innocent darling. I cannot or should not lose heart and health. Otherwise the woes will become my foes. Yes, I have to cook something for both of us. I have to find some means to meet both the ends.” Grandma rose up with a clear vision.
Sarala ( to be contd.)