This gracious and charming lady in the beautiful nine yard Tamizh Podavai as it is called by my side is my first ever friend and confidante . My cousin Lakshmi , Feature Editor of the popular monthly magazine Kerala in Mumbai , celebrated her grandson’s Thread Ceremony over the weekend . Looking so very beautiful , proud and happy with her family around her I could only look upon her in total admiration and respect . Mother of three ( engineers , software experts and Pharma executives among them ) and grandmother of four , Lakshmi has been a pillar of support to her businessman husband.
We grew up together , Lakshmi and I, inseparable during those long weeks of summer holidays in our grandmother’s house in Trivandrum. We would entertain our older cousins and an assortment of uncles and aunts with a never ending of festival of dance , drama , flower shows and music extravaganzas . We were the pride of the elders and till today , Lakshmi’s 101 year old mother, my Periamma , remembers how the two of us would dress up in her old sarees and do our famous Pacchai Malai Pavazhya Malai gypsy dance .
I admire the manner in which Lakshmi juggles the modern and traditional in her life . A lesson in living today’s life as it should be lived. As comfortable in her nine yards as she is in her six yards , my lovely cousin goes about traipsing all over Bombay and its suburbs searching for inspiring stories for her magazines and at the same time always around for the family , her siblings , nieces and nephews. Her work is brilliant and she writes with sensitivity and feeling. Years ago she gave me my first newspaper story when she wrote about the work I did in a piece for the Afternoon and Despatch Courier as it was called in those days .
We’ve both come a long way ; sisters in arms .
And oh! The Saree smile emoticon A Tussar silk / cotton mix that is so crush proof it took me all through the day which began with a medical conference , then the family gathering and then the long flight across the country all the way to Odisha .