Our heroine today is Ammachi. She got US greencard in 1980. I remember her first trip to US very well. She took dalda tins full of sharkkara peratti ( sugar coated banana chips), avalose unda and even the stuff you only find in Kottayam. ( I am growing old and my memory is failing me, I can’t remember the name, it comes in a triangle shape, with very sweet, thin pastry covering made from rice flour and filled with Avalose, apparently very few people know how to make the pastry covering and those from Kottayam, if you know what I am talking about, please do leave a comment). All of us went to the airport to see them( appachan and ammachi) off, hoping to be in their good books, so they will remember to bring us something from US. Both wore the traditional outfits, which was supposed to be pristine white, but turned out to be a lighter shade of purple with excessive use of Ujjala.. My mother was none too pleased with Appachan for wearing a mundu with a tiny kara ( I think the cost of the mundu is propotional to the thickness of the kara, bear with me for I have never bought a mundu in my life)
Anyway, they went and came back, all of us got a bar of soap, no ordinary soap, it was American soap !! I remember how my sisters and I waited for them to come back, we really wanted to know only one thing amerikkakkar chanthi kazhukuvo? Appachan became an expert in American culture after staying there for three months and since then every conversation always started with Amerikkayil………
A lot of things changed in their family since their oldest daughter in law went to US, their house was transformed from ola kkudil to a house with oodu. It even had an attached toilet !
Appachan passed away about 20 years ago and Ammachi moved to US to stay with her children. I know I digressed a bit to get to the title of today’s post and here is why Ammachi is Ms.Bully.
Ammachi is very attached to her youngest son and he thinks the world revolves around her. So even though Ammachi could travel from Kerala to US on her own, when she stays with her youngest son, he insists Ammachi shouldn’t be left alone. Someone must always be home with Ammachi.
Ammachi only eats typical Malayalee food ( Yet she carries oats and cornflakes to take home every time she visits Kerala)and the wife when she returns from her night duty has to make proper indian breakfast and lunch and then only she was allowed to sleep. Ammachi also didn’t know how to use a microwave ( In Kerala, she owned one 🙂 ) and reheat the lunch, so when the kids are at school, her daughter in law had to set alarm to get up at lunch time to heat the food for Ammachi.
Her daughter in law ( my aunt), changed her working hours when I was visiting, so we could spend time together. She cooked a proper Malayalee lunch ( meen curry, moru, thoran etc), got one of her daughter’s to baby sit Ammachi and we went for shopping. We got a call from home halfway through. Ammachi kku innu choru venda, Kanji mathi.. ( Ammachi didn’t want to eat rice, but wanted porridge)…if we didn’t go home and make Kanji, Ammachi would pout and complain to her darling son and my aunt will be homeless!, so we did.