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.