My ayyah.. a scrawny olive oyl lookalike softspoken lady..
As part of my photography portfolia's news feauture the topic i had chosen was the Little Mount Church..
More as rocky prominence than a mount, it is known as Chinnamalai to the locals.. here the Apostle Thomas chose a tiny cave as his home and led a spartan life, often praying on the top of the hill and preaching to the crowds..
A flight of 160 steps leads up to the summit of St. Thomas Mount.. It
is here that his pursuers caught St. Thomas when he fled Little Mount.. And it was here that they killed him..
So my ayyah accompanied me to the church.. she knows the priest well so just in case i need permission to use my camera she could talk to him.. plus she is a relegious church goer.. so she knows all the nooks and crannies of the church well..
It was a fun half an hour.. i followed my ayyah like mary's little lamb clicking away.. I felt very important..like a reporter on an important assignment..
The sights i saw was truely a treat for the eyes.. i had lived near this church for 8 years straight and i had'nt known of it's existance uptil now..
After i'd finished taking all the snaps i'd wanted.. my ayyah grinned and said "yein veedu pakkatilu irreken.. veriya..?" for which i nodded my head.. so she grinned again.. and motioned for me to bring my bike..
So with her walkin ahead and me driving at 2kmph right behind her we reached a street.. I left my bike on the street and followed her through a narrow passage and then a flight of stairs leading to a tiny room..
She vanished for exactly 2 seconds and came back with 2 icecreams in her hand.. She offered me one which i licked away with a feeling of guilt.. I kept thinking.. "damn.. she has other expenses.. i shudnt have let her buy this for me"..
I tried conversing with her in my broken tamil.. We had a 15 minute conversation during which time she showed me sarees my folks had given her, rent of the room and various other things which i could'nt understand.. so i just nodded and grinned along..
After i was done with the icecream.. she brought a bowl.. made me drop the icecream wrapper in the bowl.. and she poured water over my hands keeping the bowl underneath as a makeshift wash basin.. By now i had tears welling in my eyes.. I was being treated like royalty..
Finally she said.. "pollama..?" and we walked out of the room.. she insisted on dropping me back home.. so she plonked herself on my bike once again.. I drove upto the mainroad and i said.. "thankyou ayya.." she got off the bike and dropped a second packet of icecream into my bike's front pocket.. grinned and walked away..
I reached home.. walked into my bedroom and then compared the size of ayyah's house to my bedroom's and i realized i'd taken so many things for granted..
Life's been really kind to me.. And i vow to myself.. I will stop fretting over petty issues.. and i will start appreciating the small things in life a little more..