It is appropriate to bring some important facets of her personality in this
biography. Here I attempt to do that.
She was about 5 feet and might have weighed about 50 kg in her youth. She was
always lean and fragile. She had a fair complexion and had good looks.
She was always very active and hard working in spite of her physical handicap.
She always wore the simple traditional "Mundu and Neryathu" dress. Simplicity
was a landmark of her lifestyle. She was a pure vegetarian all through
her life, never even touched egg, fish or meat. She was a very firm believer
in God and performed Hindu religious rituals with commitment. She paid
a lot of
attention to personal hygiene and cleanliness.
Love, compassion, unselfishness and empathy were the hallmarks of her
value system. She was always ready to serve food to the hungry. She was
the resort for many destitute and suffering women in her village.
She was always helping them with food, dress, money and support.
Her heart was full of empathy for the underprivileged, sick, handicapped
and animals. She loved children more than anything else, not just her
children but any child. She used to teach school children from the
poor families in the village.
She was a treasure of knowledge on the ancient Hindu epics. She
knew all the stories in those epics and used those stories to build value
systems in her children. She imbibed the value of unselfishness in
others by her own life. She used to give higher priority for others
over her own needs.
She gave utmost importance for education. Her own name, Saraswathy, is that
of the goddess of education in the Hindu faith. She was very particular
that all her children should get a good education and was ready to sacrifice
anything for that. Her husband also shared the same belief. No wonder
all her children did well in studies and reached good positions.
Considering the fact that she lived in a village with little access to
quality education, it is an achievement.
She was also a very honest person. Unmindful of the consequence, she
used to speak up the truth, which often put her into difficulties. She
also trained her children to be honest people.
She used to give a lot of encouragement for the youth of the village to
express their artistic talents. Being the member of a prominent family
of landlords was only one of the reasons for the villagers to respect
her. She used to arrange for training in dance for the village girls and
organized dance and music fares in her house for the benefit of the
villagers. Even though she could not participate in these, she used
to encourage others.
She was a person of very positive outlook. All the bad experiences
that she had in her life did not make her a pessimist. She was able
to gain courage from her positive outlook and get over all the
difficulties. Even towards the end, when she was suffering from many
health problems, she remained a cheerful and positive person. She
was a very independent person and did not like being a burden to others.
She could easily align with her grandchildren and enjoy with them. This
quality of hers made her dear to everyone in the family. She was always
open to other viewpoints and accepted when she was not right. Even
though she had differences with her daughter about her marriage,
she accepted her son-in-law with open mind. Later, she liked her son-in-law
just like her own sons or even more.
She was not at all selfish. She believed in giving rather than taking.
She gave away all of the wealth she had to her children when they grew
up, in the process risking her own financial independence.
The pious, cultured and aristocratic atmosphere in the home, in
which she grew up, helped her nurture all these high values in life.
She was very bold. She had no qualms about speaking up to anyone about
what she felt was right. In spite of her very poor physical strength, she could
command the respect of all because of her mental strength. Village
women used to take shelter under her from their drunken husbands
out to beat them up. Those drunkards used to behave like cats in front
She was very systematic and organized in everything that she did.
Because of this quality she could find time for many things, even
while carrying the burden of bringing up many children in a place with
very little facilities.
She was an ardent reader. She used to support the library in the
village. she was probably the only person in the village who read all
of the books there. She was eager to embrace new media, like radio and
TV, to expand her horizon of knowledge. She even had the imagination
to write a few poems. The training she got, in her childhood days in
classical music and sanscrit, might have created this interest in her.
When she moved out of the comfrots of her ancestral home adjacent to the
palace to a remote part of the village with no proper roads, no
temple, no good neighbors, no electricity, surrounded by forests,
snakes and drundards. She was very upset, but she fought all odds
with courage and established herself as the hope of many villagers.
Written by .