Inkpot Charu  

Mom is WoW

Balvihar May 2020

“Amma, what are you doing with a map?”, startled by the sudden voice, Santhi tried to hide the map beneath the newspaper.
 It was her son Deepak who was just returning from Santhi’s maternal home where he had gone for his vacation.  

“I think I am going to all those places one day” Santhi grinned pointing to the red markings.

” How are my parents? What did you bring for me? Will you have lunch now?” Santhi changed the topic and shot questions at him instead.

Before the amused boy could react, Santhi squealed with delight on seeing the sweetmeats her mom had sent her and the mobile which was a gift from her dad.

” Prabha, Deepak is here. Come, see what he has brought and let’s have lunch together”, Santhi called.

Soon after their higher secondary examinations, Santhi’s classmate and close friend Prabha had been married off to brothers in the same family. They could not pursue their college education but they were lucky to be together and share their ideas and discuss their dreams while assisting in the family farming in Palakod, a small town in Tamilnadu.

Both were extremely intelligent and always figured a way to keep themselves out of any monotony in managing the household. Santhi loved singing kummi songs and the women in the neighbourhood joined her. (Kummi is a folk dance imitating harvesting activities with rhythmic clapping) or the two women would be writing stories together.  

It was not a surprise when one day Santhi walked into the home with a bag of books and notebooks. She had taken admission in the University to pursue her graduation through correspondence.

When Deepak took his Grade 10 board exams, his mom took her university papers.

Deepak moved to the city to pursue his diploma in engineering while Santhi completed her graduation from home. It was such a fulfilling experience for her and motivated her to enrol for her masters degree. She seemed unstoppable.

But then things took a turn.

The agricultural university was conducting a week’s training program for the local women to make 100% organic food, personal care and cleaning products. It would improve livelihoods based on agriculture, and also promote more people to choose natural products.  

Prabha managed to convince the family members to let Santhi attend the program along with her.The two women were so excited to be a part of this new experience.

After a lot of trials and experiments of the recipes and products, by the end of the week, Santhi has learnt so much about organic products.

Motivated, she stretched herself a little more and got a food certificate for her products and worked slowly on establishing her customer base starting with friends, neighbours and relatives.

While grazing the cows, she made sure she picked up senna flowers on the way. She walked 2 kms on either side of her home to pluck the flowers and stored them in big sacks. She would make Senna powder that keeps the skin glowing and also removes body odour. The lime peels were used to make home made cleaners. The millets and grains turned to delicious health drink recipes, pudina toothpowder and the list kept getting longer. She stuck to the principle “Think before you throw”.

 When Deepak came for his vacation, Santhi took him aside to show a trophy she had hidden in the kitchen. She had been given the Diamond Award for Inspirational Women on International Womens’ Day but had not shared with anyone.

Deepak was dumbfounded by his mom’s hardworking and humble nature. With the trophy in one arm, and his other arm around his mother, he walked into the living room where the whole family usually got together in the evening.

” I remember the map Amma?  You said you will be going to all those places, right?

 “In fact, not just you, but Santhi’s Santham products will be reaching everywhere” he said proudly placing the trophy in the centre of the room.