There are some people you meet in the course of your life, that leave an indelible impression. They become a part of your memory. They bring a smile to your face when sometimes the memory flits across your head, unbidden but most welcome.
Pasupathy amma is one such lady.
And what a lady she is too. Bustling with energy, she runs a small tea / snacks shop in a small village*. It has one main road and her main customers are travellers who pass by that way and want some refreshment.
We met her on the first day of our stay and we had to keep going back to her tiny shack to eat whatever she would cook up for us.
She was so cheerful that it was difficult not to smile when you saw her. And all this despite the fact that she knew only Tamil, and I couldn’t understand a word of anything she was saying.
And yet, she was thrilled with her four city visitors, all women, might I add. She proudly showed off to anyone listening as to how she was communicating with us without any problems. She would let us talk to her competition – shop owners nearby – for 15 minutes, not more!
She fed us, chatted with us like old friends and when we left, she had tears in her eyes.
She introduced us to her husband (whose name she wouldn’t take) and gamely posed beside him for a picture. They looked so happy and made for each other – I don’t think any amount of riches can buy that. I had to mail them the pictures and I can almost see the delight in her face when she sees them.
What a woman! In the world of her making, she seems so happy with just what she has.
And what a place. We hope to go back. For the fresh air. For the lovely lake in the middle of the hills. The flocks of cute sheep that would stop in their tracks to look at us curiously. For the mist covered rolling hills and of course, for Pasupathy amma.
(* A small village that will go unnamed. Near Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu.)