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Friday, 3 June 2011

Something is happening to Akka !

 I heard my aunt calling out aloud...and rushed into the room. Thaiba ! Thaiba !...naan vaarer, naan vaarer ...I'm coming, I'm coming, said my aunt Ava (soaratha) . "Children, please wait in here".  Rizvi and I were consigned to the veranda( Rampart-street-side of our house).....Umma and Ava were standing aback... Akka was seated cross-legged on the mat...and looking at the blank wall of the room, staring at the wall as if one would look ...nowadays...at a flat screen TV on the wall.


From the  veranda I could see ( peering through the barred window) into this room ...Akka was bringing her open palm and hitting her chest...hitting her chest with one open palm ,then the other... and kept repeating this action....This went on for a long time. 


 Umma and Ava  stood there "frozen" ....and I think Ava was reciting 'Auzbillahi minna shaithaan nirrajeem, Bismillah hirrahmaan nirr Raheem...Qulhu Allahu Ahadh.......I clearly remember as a small boy, I was more entranced with  what was taking place...rather than frightened. I can tell you that if  I were  a teenager or adult at that particular time..I would have been trembling with fear and apprehension .Even the memory of  what took place that day...brings on a sense of disquiet, even now.


"Mudivu kaalam....mudivu kaalam ipper vandhudu maa... end time, is it coming now ! PO MOOZEYVI ! PO MOOZEYVI ! THU MOOZEYVI ! thu! thu! thu!
Akka was uttering these words....exclaiming these words...like a ventriloquist would throw his voice in falsetto...(.in tamil we would say 'qhieel korrell'...  high pitched voice in soft volume)   "Pandi..pandi...nee thoeruver, nee thoeruver !...Pig.. pig.. you lose, you lose ! Then she went on with unintelligible  incoherent  and garbled words...and then slowly slumped to the floor.


Then Akka laid down... flat on the mat , arms spread out,...similar to  a 'crucified position'...Shelvam! shelvam!  shelva kaalam! Wealth, wealth, times of fortune...Ellaamey Sharri'
Everythings alright !..with these utterences, she went back to sleep on her mat in the room.


 Ava grabbed me by the arm..I cannot remember where Rizvi was..and we all went to to the lounge room..and Ava said that she will put the kettle on and make some plain tea with cardamoms...and made her way to the kitchen.


Umma was gently feeling my head, and I had no idea what was running through her mind...when 
Akka walked in to the lounge where we were...She showed no trace of any effect as a consequence
of what had been happening to her in the last few minutes...She was absolutely like the Akka we knew all the time." How are you Akka ?" my mother asked...and she replied..."why,..I am alright..and she looked surprised that Umma asked her a question like this..


"Nona,....what are we going to have for dinner...there is bread,..but I can make some orrotti..(rotti)
we have some curry,...and I will make a maashi shambul , if you like..and Umma..in her wisdom..
did not mention any of the scenario that took place just a few  minutes ago..and Umma said "yes, that'll be alright"..and Akka made her way to kitchen..


read about news received by Umma.. of Vadood Careem in London...in the next episode...












Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Akka..the Jill of all trades

Importantly, I have to mention that Akka was much loved by all of us...She was a Jill of All Trades !
She cooked, she  handwashed everybodys'  clothes, she cleaned the house and dusted the furniture, she cleared the  table, she went to the grocery store....she did everything. EVERYTHING.


My mother washed only my father's clothes, and her clothes....and made  her special dishes, when we entertained guests for lunch or dinner. The rest of the time, she either read...in tamil.. her chosen non-fiction books ...like  Imam Ghazzali's Ihya Ulumuddin...or she recited pages of the quran...and occasionally played the piano...and I remember her playing ' A maiden's prayer'. 


It would  be worthwhile for you readers to give this melody a listen to..because it is such a  beautiful tune...composed by a Polish lady/girl in the early nineteenth century..go to youtube and you can listen . 


I had to explain to you about Akka lest you get the wrong opinion of this selfless woman...AND please do not...puleeze! DO NOT,........ think for a moment that Akka was possessed with a nether world spirit or that she was under the spell of some awful frightening mysterious element that was lying dormant in her physical body. ...No, nothing,nothing ,nothing, like that.


 Now, having let that out of my chest, let me proceed to tell you what happened when Akka woke up after the l..o..n..g sleep.  The children..that is Rizvi and I ..usually get back home from the ramparts or from whatever we were playing with our bunch of friends...to have our tea and biscuits...


Somehow even as children..we got used to dipping our CARR's Biscuits....unsweetened cracker biscuits in the  milk tea that Akka makes. 


I remember my mother called us into the lounge room ( where the piano was)....and asked us..Rizvi and I to wait..to wait there and not come in to the house because Akka was 'sick' ? and that umma had to see if Akka was sleeping... and to not  disturb her..


I did not think much of what umma told us because we drink our tea hurriedly and run back to the ramparts..because between 5 and 6 pm most ..or rather , very many of Galle Fort residents..take a walk on the ramparts..the marvelous gentle breeze...sea gulls circling around shoals of fish..and the orange/pink  sun... appears to plunge into the sea..in the horizon.


Then we heard umma scrambling ..half running and ..umma was calling out loud..." Soaratha, Soaratha, ( my aunty ava..my father's sister..whose name was Zohora..so, Zohora Dhatha..and everyone called her Soaratha)..Aiyo ! shurukker Varng go....(quickly ! come) Ennekaylo...which is roughly..I dont know/can't)


Something is happening to Akka !


to be continued