Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Suja Akka....

.....walking down the road in her orange sari, green blouse, with a brown handbag on one shoulder, her long black plaited hair swaying to and fro, the single red rose.....I liked everything about Suja akka (name changed to protect her privacy) and when she came back from the office, she would flash a radiant smile, stop and chat with periamma and all along I would be staring at her.....she was the grown-up, but not as grown-up as periamma or periappa, she would still talk to us about cinema, tell us jokes, stories, dress us up for an occasion, she did wonderful Mehndi designs for us, taught us dance moves for the new year celebration, she was always an integral part of my annual holidays since she lived right next door to my cousin's place where we all met every summer, she is in fact the only person I voluntarily call Akka.

I still vividly remember the day Suja akka came to our house with a photo in her hand, with a sort of blush. She gave it to periamma and said ''ivar dhan ponnu pakka varar'' and I was too excited for words. I was 14 years old then and I had learnt from many helpful tamil movies that ''ponnu pakardhu'' was a very romantic, exciting ceremony. I wanted to see who that person was who was going to marry my Suja akka. When it was finally my turn to see the photo, I noticed a very pleasant looking guy and I immediately thought ''Dear God, let Suja akka get married only to this guy''.

Then came the wedding day. I used to ogle even at Suja akka's everyday wear, so you can imagine what I did in her wedding. She wore a bright green sari for the reception and a red rose in her hair (sridevi style). The wedding was probably the last day I saw her properly. She went away to her inlaws' place in a different city and I went in a different way - school, college hostel and then Germany. In fact I didn't even see her in my wedding.

Then one fine day I learnt that her husband was coming to Munich on a business trip. When I met him I realised that although it had been more than a decade, he hadn't changed much and neither had his grey eyes, soft features and shy expression. We had a great time and when he left he promised to bring Suja Akka and the kids (they have 2 kids) for xmas vacation since he was going to be in Munich for business anyway. Come they did…we had a great time and it was really exciting for me to be treated as a grown-up by Suja akka. I flushed with pleasure when Suja akka pointed to me and told her 13 yr old daughter “sowmyava pathuko, neeyum avala madhri varanum”! When they left they made me promise that I would visit them in Dubai sometime.

I never realized it would happen so soon but on my way to India, I got a chance to take a weekend break in Dubai (getting the 36 hour transit visa is a piece of cake, you can do it via email and the visa is just a .pdf that you print out yourself !). Suja akka had informed all her friends and neighbours there about my visit and I was completely flattered when everyone I met said something like “neenga dhan sowmyava ?”. Needless to say, we did a lot of talking, ooru suthifying inspite of the beastly warm 45 deg C weather, shopping, gossiping (:D), eating and when it was time for me to leave, the kids came up with a number of ideas on how I can postpone my flight at no extra charge :D !

Childhood heros (and heroines) are always special but what is even more special is coming across them later in life and getting the nod of approval from them! Do you agree ?
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