Sunday, March 23, 2008

Amma's acres

One of the great things marriage brought me was a special association with a unique lady - my mother-in-law. Although separated in age by more than three decades, we share so many traits in common that we are more friends than relatives. She is forward thinking, fearless, manages to step on many toes, embodies Kerala in her dress, cultural outlook and mannerisms and generally strides across all barriers through the sheer force of her personality. I once was part of her book club group and it was one of the most enlightening experiences of my life - given that not one other person there was my peer! Looking through some long pending downloads on my camera, I found some from this trip we made last year to Palakkad - Amma's very own nalukettu which she built away from her ancestral home and town in Trivandrum in that decisive way she has. It would be futile to express in words the beauty and serenity of what she has created by way of a get-away.

So here is an attempt at a story in pictures :

Nalukettu is amma's simple and elegant home with an open roof and receptacle to hold rain water:

The sun drenched acres:

What my little boy gained:

On my afternoons at the kitchen window:

Town tripping in Palakkad:

Pond beside the house : Father and son time

She now plans to use this place as a meeting ground for like minded women who need a refuge from whatever ails them - another club, this time on a philanthropic scale. I have no doubt that it will happen. As I said, she doesn't have time for pipe dreams. She's too busy fulfilling them.

For her, these lines from P.B. Shelley:

Friendship - whose coming is as light and music are
'Mid dissonance and gloom - a star which moves not mid the moving heavens alone
A smile among dark frowns : a beloved light : A solitude, a refuge, a delight.


Nags said...

that's just so beautiful :) the monsoons in kerala are much dreaded but the beauty and the mood is uncomparable :)

Prats said...

Those pictures are so divine, I can feel the essence of green out there.
Your mother-in-law comes across as sucha great person, and both of you are so lucky to have each other.

Gazal said...

she breaks the conventions set up by the saas bahu serials,and comes across not only as a wonderful MIL ,but a friend to the many 'not so fortunate ones.'

god bless her

Ziah said...

One word - Wow!:)

Thinking aloud said...

I read this yesterday and couldn't comment 'cos i was speechless..the photographs ae so good, imagine how beautiful te place must be!!! i do miss my greens near mangalore :(

anyways was speechless now too, but guess i made a comment :)

rajk said...

One word for your MIL and the pictures!! WOW!!!

PREETI said...

secondin ziah's one word: WOW! and WOW and WOW!

Joy said...

Amazing personality and a beautiful house. I can imagine how good a person she is if she can build something like this. Awesome!

Ps said...

Hey--lovely post.Kerala truly has its own beauty.Had posted some similar pics around Eruveli.(Thats where my mom stays)
And you are fortunate you have a great rapport with your MIL.Sadly I dont have one.She passed away long before I knew S.

Madhumita. said...

Hi All - finally sat down to respond to your comments ... yes, Palakkad was such a soul soothing experience and my mother-in-law is really exceptional. There is a lot more about Kerala that I want to write and I will ... right now am compiling some posts about my native Kumaon (Uttarakhand).

Preethi, didn't know you were from Kerala, will ask my husband about Eruveli ... whereabout in Kerala is it?

Thats Me! Says V from Jap Talk :-)