My niece Radha (the author) speaking in my father's Centenary celebration

I was lucky to meet Jaya akka just a couple of weeks before her passing away in Amirtha mami's house and akka also enjoyed talking to me. She had not changed over the years and I distinctly recall that she was very pleasant and I hardly remember when she had been unpleasant. Even at times of utmost hardship (her health problem) she managed to be pleasant least complaining.

When I was very small, I used to visit Jaya Akka's house to play with Chithra, Akka used to offer anything that she had made with so much love and kindness that I would not be able to refuse, even if i was full!

Yet another plesant picture is that of Akka with 'Arthi Thattu' in many weddings during 'Nalangu' as she was the eldest person living who was then eligible to participate in these functions. She also knew all the formalities to be done in a wedding and above all a very auspicious person, whose blessings would be valuable for the young ones. She would promptly sing 'Lakshmi Kalyanam' whole heartedly. Any wedding without Akka's presence was considered incomplete!

In No.12,Vedachala Garden house, where we lived for a very long time, one day, Akka had come home with Chithi (Ragahavan Chithapa's wife) to take my mother(Vanaja Akka) to the nearby temple. All of them started talking something and my thatha was sitting in the 'hall',listening to their conversation. During the conversation, my mother said,'pavam akka avar!'(referring about somebody-as poor fellow!) Immediately my Thatha said 'for you and Jayam, everybody and every thing is Pavam. You may say,'Pavam- antha payyan romba nanna santhoshama irukkan!!'(Poor that fellow is so happy) -he teased. Akka laughed and said, 'Mama romba parihasam panrar vanaja nambalai!'(Vanaja, mama is making fun of both of us ). Thatha was known for his sense of humour but akka also din't lack any.

Above all these, one remarkable thing was that, she was so refined, kind- hearted and judicious about her spendings. This refinement and kindness she has passed on to her children effortlessly. These are qualities that most people aspire for and strive to achieve. Some succeed and many falter! But all her children have got these qualities. This is the most valuable legacy that she or for that matter any mother could have left for her children to rejoice!!

Akka, you are fondly thought of and your passing away is deeply mourned. You have left your prints here in all our hearts by your affectionate and pleasing ways you used do things for all of us to imbibe.

Radha Seshadhri
December 2006