You got to be a Malayalee to get the full meaning of the word manakkotta.. Literal translation would be castle of dreams, but it doesn’t have the same pizzazz !
A very dear friend and I share the same birthday ( different years). We even have similar eidetic memory, like the same artists, watch the same movie over and over. There is only one difference so far I have found. He is a realist and I am a dreamer. I can dream about anything and everything. Leave me alone for a few minutes ( without books) and I will start weaving my dreams..my manakkottas..
Unfortunately my kids haven’t inherited my manakkotta creating genes. They are true to the bone realists.
When Yaya came home from school after her extra lessons, I was in bed going through the bills/mails. “I am so cold” She said and climbed in to my bed and snuggled next to me.
“Whatcha doing?” She asked, while shoving her semi frozen feet between my legs. Before I used to chase her whenever she tried to shove her cold feet between my warm legs..Not any more.. Who will rub her cold nose on my cheeks to show me how cold she is or push her feet between my legs once she goes to Uni? I moved the bills to one side, so she could lay down comfortably, that is when she saw the envelope.
“What is that?” She asked
“Wedding invitation” I replied.
She looked at the envelope..my name was written by hand.
“Can you believe Mom, in about 10 years, you will be writing the address on my wedding invitations?”
10 years? I quickly calculated, she will be almost 27 !
“Yup” I replied.
“You know mom, I never really thought about my wedding”
“I have” I replied
“What did you think” She asked
“My beautiful princess walking down the aisle wearing a purple wedding gown” ( When Yaya was about 2, my sisters used to hunt all the shopping malls for purple dresses because she only wore purple, even undies had to have purple in them. She still likes purple, though not as obsessed as before)
“Purple? I am not wearing purple, I think I will wear a Vera Wang, But I want the venue to be decorated with purple and yellow flowers, lilacs and daffodils !” She said
“Then you have to have a spring wedding” I replied “Spring Indian wedding, 10 days of dance, Indian music with all the dum dum sounds, live Indian band, the whole 9 yards !” ( Yaya’s idea of Indian wedding is similar to the wedding at Bend it like Beckham, except for my cousin’s wedding that she attended when she was in grade 3, she has never been to an Indian wedding and I convinced her that all Indian weddings are like in the movie ! What is the fun in a typical Jacobite church wedding??)
“Mom, I want to get married, not scare my future family”
Did anyone notice the implications of what she said? She has got it all down pat, that one day she will get married and that will be her family. As her mother, for me that is the hardest thing to accept..but accept I must.
So my mankkotta ends the day she walks down the aisle and I hand her over to the man and his family.