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Foster Mother- serial story part 3

Discussion in 'Stories (Fiction)' started by Tamildownunder, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. Tamildownunder

    Tamildownunder Bronze IL'ite

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    Although I said that we took the next available train to Madurai, before that we had a hectic time starting with myself had to convine the manager with the telegram about the urgency and need for leave. Malligai had already informed her supervisor that she might be availing some leave and so it was easy for her. Getting the cash of Rs.50,000 was arranged by Malligai's uncle who also arranged the cool cab to go from Dharavi to CST to catch the Mumbai-Nagarcoil express.

    In the train, we had a coupe exclusively for us and the attendent was readily available to bring coffee, lunch,snacks, dinner etc. Malligai was playing her mp3 player loud as she like the most Tamil people likes to hear the songs loud. It suited me also as I am also fond of listening to songs. But, this one particular song from the movie 'Varalaru' (we saw the movie in Aurora theater in Mathunga) about a mother had moved me into tears, especially the two lines 'If something happens to me you have other children and if something happens to you who is there for me'. I thought wryly 'if something happens to you I have Kuruvammal, my foster mother' and immediately my consience chided me for thinking like that.

    Thinking of Kuruvammal, what a sagacious lady!. She had lost her husband early and started a new life with the young Malligai. Widow remarriage was forbidden in those days and it was very tough for a single lady without male support to survive. During those days, her brother and Malligai's uncle in Dharavi gave her support. She bought a cow and started selling milk from door to door including our house. Now, people are talking of sexual harassment in offices and even I am experiencing in my office. But, in those days for ladies like Kuruvammal who were struggling to exist and doing this door to door business there were sexual harassments every day from unknown and unexpected people. She had narrated how one day in a new house in the street, the house owner who was alone had called her inside in the name of buying milk and try to molest her. Kuruvammal is a typical Tamil lady and she can be compared to the lady described in old Tamil litreature as having driven away a wild tiger using bare hands. She resisted the advances by that wicked man and taking the sickle that she used to carry for such emergencies had hacked his face and ran away dropping the milk pot. The man survived and vacated the house fearing reprisal from Kuruvammal's people. Her milk business grew from one cow to two and today it has grown into a dairy farm and she employs many people to sell not only milk, but also other products. The other day I read in a local magazine that in Maharashtra state they have an award scheme called 'Adarsh Mata' in which they identify ladies like Kuruvammal and honour them.

    I think of her as my foster mother since it is she who helped me in my education and before that for the way she embraced me on the day I attained puberty. I cannot forget that day since it was full of drama. When my mother found out that I have attained puberty, she started crying loudly first and then started scolding me and even beat me. The reasons were simple. My brother did not have any money at that time to spend on celebrating the day and more than that it had given a reminder of his responsibilities to get me married. It took a worse turn when my brother started to abuse my father as being responsible for my birth and tying to his head as he called it. I could not stand him abusing my father, so I caught hold of his shirt collar and gave him back in words. My mother then got wild and started beating me hard saying,' how dare you speak against the head of the family'. My mother had not studied and she does not know English. But, she has caught these phrases like 'head of the family'. It was at that time Kuruvammal intervened, took me to her house. She gave me oil bath, went and bought a nice saree and flowers. She made me wear the saree, decked me with flowers and made me seated in front of the daities' photos. She then hugged me and cried and cried.

    To be continued....
     
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  2. Sindhuja

    Sindhuja Silver IL'ite

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    TDU sir,
    I pity Jeya for her unhappy childhood. Wish there are many Kuruvammals in the real world to take care of the abused girls.
     
  3. Tamildownunder

    Tamildownunder Bronze IL'ite

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    Thanks, Sindhuja for posting your comments. I will be posting the last episode of this story shortly as i find it has not evoked as much response as I expected.
     

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