When I was about 11 years old, Amma found out from someone that The little flower hospital in Angamaly has the best Ophthalmologist in Kerala. Immediately, she wrote to the hospital and managed to get an appointment for me. . The very next day, Amma took me to our family tailor. There was no way we were going to go all the way to Angamaly without me wearing a proper dress. Amma had bought the fabric as a bit piece ( leftover) and it measured less than half a meter. Since you can’t stich a dress with that much of fabric, both Amma and the tailor went through the left over collection of fabric the tailor had to find a matching pieces. In true fashion echu kettiyal muzhachirikkum , the tailor managed to stich a dress that looked like a patchwork quilt. ( deep blue and vadamulla purple). Amma had also borrowed a pair of black shoes from my neighbour ( few sizes too big and Amma stuffed pazhathuni inside, so I can wear it). I also got to wear the gold chain, which was attached to my dress with a lot of safety pin to deter snatch thieves.
The other thing I remember very fondly about that trip to Angamaly was that we had to catch the early morning bus and had to walk from home to the bus stand. There is a catholic church across the Collectorate and they always played nithya vishuddayam kanya mariyame early in the morning. As I held my mother’s hand and walked, it was very soothing to listen to the song and I felt very attached to my mother and felt grateful that she cared enough to get me the best medical care.
Although, Amma wore her trademark cream blouse with all her sarees, she insisted that we always dressed well when we went somewhere important. When Yaya was a little girl, I used to dress her up in cute little shoes and lacy socks. She looked like a princess.
It was a few months after we arrived in Canada that I took the kids to Abbotsford for a day out. We were eating our breakfast in the MacDonald’s and kids were playing in the play room, That is when I noticed this child wearing mismatched socks. I turned to look at the horrible woman who couldn’t even spend some time to make her child wear matching socks. She looked pretty damn normal. I told myself, there was no way my children will ever wear mismatched socks.
( The other reason I remember this incident very well is it snowed that day and it was the first time baby saw snow. I can never forget the expression on her face and the first thing she did was to stick her tongue out and eat the snow 🙂 )
Anyway, back to socks, Yaya hasn’t worn a matching pair of socks for ages. It is her job to take the socks from the laundry room and she is too lazy to sort them out. She tells me that there is no law that says you can’t wear mismatched socks. I am sure other mothers are looking at me and telling themselves “What a horrible mother she is, she can’t even get her children to wear matching socks”