Autumn of a Matriarch

There was a time when she ruled her village. Her word was the command. Village had only one mother and she was the one. She shone around like the morning star bestowing light and kindness to the villagers much before the dawn of egalitarianism would dwell upon a communist Kerala.

There was a time when the whole village would look into her kitchen for their hard earned lunch amidst the toil of a day’s work. The kanji and puzhukku (mix of boiled rice with water and cooked cereals in a potato gravy). The overall stamina and well-being of a whole village was a reflection of her love and affection. A village self-sufficient and happy as a commune under the safe wings of a matriarch much before the communes of Mao were established through violence under the garb of democracy.

And then the age catches up all in a strangle hold of suffering before it finally relieves us into the open hands of the almighty, completing the cycle of life. Here she lies motionless, while the remains of a yesteryear generation weeps in gratitude. A smile reminiscent of a satisfaction of having lived for the society. A smile which camouflages the tiredness of having exhausted the energies in an everlasting quest of altruism.

A fitting smile to tell God that it was a life well lived. And a whole village sobs in testimony.


Written as a tribute to my wife’s grandmother who passed away today.


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