It was supposed to be a good evening, me playing with my newborn niece. But, it didn’t. We were all terribly shocked when the news of her death reached us. All we could do now is to bid her farewell in her funeral.
For all that I know and heard about her, she is one awesome strong woman. She is my Idol, I admire her a lot but never told this straight to her and now it’s too late for it. She was very sincere and proud of what she did. She was a person of professional integrity. Every day she would start from home at 6 am in a crisp cotton Saree with a big wire bag in her hand, just like an office goer. Then, goes to the nearby temple to offer her prayers before starting to the market to sell fishes. She sold fish for more than 55 years in the biggest fish market in the town and was unanimously elected as the head of the same market for more than 27 years until she got retired due to bad health. People there say she a is kind woman and took decisions considering the situation of others. She didn’t go to school but learned a bit of English and French to communicate with her customers. I still remember, she used to occupy the first stall, nearby the entrance and whenever I visited her there, she never leaves me to return empty-handed. Either it’s some fish or some snacks or some little money to spend on the way. She was also a well-disciplined woman who wants things clean and to be in place. I have never seen her using foul language, which is said to be one of the traits of fisherman here. Even Once I heard her advising her daughter to address the children with respect so that they reciprocate the same respect. Though like every other common woman of those days, she also feared the society and the norms around it. But, she very much insisted on educating the girl children. In fact, her youngest daughter is the first girl from the fishing village to go and study in a college. Isn’t she awesome?
Though she was an awesome woman, unfortunately, her personal life wasn’t great. She got married early, gave birth to 7 kids, 4 females, and 3 males. Her husband married two other women and stopped supporting the family. Singlehandedly worked hard to raise her kids, educated them and got all of them married. After their marriage, her sons started fighting for the properties which she brought out of her hard earned money. All she wanted was peace in the family, so she signed off the properties over to them with no clauses attached. But, when she started getting old, her unfaithful sons threw her out of their home and stopped supporting her. Her helper at the market who cuts and clean fishes along with her for many years took her into her family and took care of her with lots of gratitude. Then, her sons took her back to the family just for the sake of societal pressure and failed to take good care of her. Now she is no more, free from her tough life and sufferings.
If you are wondering about the relation between myself and the deceased. She is my maternal grandmother Mrs. Vanasegari and my mom is her youngest daughter. She is the one who seeded the bit of broad-mindedness into the family and I could see a lot of her traits being reflected in my mom. I pray for her beautiful soul to Rest In Peace. Will miss you, Grandma.