Maja

An unexpected friendship between a Teacher and a student…..
Maja came to stay in St. Thomas Mount in her Dad’s old home with her sister Aunty Liza when we lived in the Defence Colony and ended up being my best friend. If anyone had told me that I would have shared all the things I did with Maja when I was studying Anatomy I would have jumped into the formalin tank and bobbed up and down with the cadaver in total shock and disbelief as she took strict to a different level when we were students .
But we became the best of friends and I used to drive her around, laugh and giggle with her, shop with her and for her and she would hold my hand like a child in the Mall. I even cut her hair for her as it became tedious for her to groom and her ringlets crowned her face like one of the sisters from “Little Women”. The make over was complete when we got her diminutive frame into pyjamas to lounge around the house.
She had a tabby cat to whom she would talk in Shud Asianet Malayalam and chastise him when he went off on one of his merry jaunts and return looking like death warmed up and worse for wear.
Yedda ninodu Nyan paranjitilae ingena chootan pogaruthe enna. Enthoru Kollathil anu nee thiruchu vanatha?
Dai, have I not told you not to go roaming around? Look at the state you have come back in ! The tabby would nuzzle against her foot and all would be forgiven.
She fed all the waifs and strays who gravitated to her. Once when i went to drop something off she was feeding a tidy and neat line of the scrawniest dogs i have ever seen in my life who looked at her with absolute and undiluted love. She had a name for each one of them and she spoke to them with the utmost love and tenderness. She knew them all and they knew her too.
My kids adopted her, loved her to bits and called her Aunty Maja to her face. She often buffered between the kids and me and often took their side like an affectionate and benevolent Aunt.
She was in awe of Aunty Liza who was older than her and a head and a shoulder taller than her and had a silver plait that hung down to a point midway and medial to her popliteal fossae. One had to be correctly anatomical when Maja was around. When she had an abdominal pain it was placed correctly in a page in the Cunningham’s section Abdomen.
Sometimes she would call me on the phone and whisper her news to me and grumble about Aunt Liza, as Aunty Liza wanted absolute peace when she watched her Tamil Movies on Sun TV on Sundays. The two sisters lived together but they had their moments as both were fiercely independent and had lived alone till they lived together in St. Thomas’ Mount.
As the years advanced she became affected by the multiple TIAs she suffered and her memory would come and go. Go more than come.
The old white bungalow on the airport road became a white elephant and threatened to fall down around the two sisters and they were rescued and transported to Katpadi to stay with their younger sister.
I lost a good friend and confidante and for days I could never drive down the GST Road without a twinge. She is one of the loveliest people I have ever known.

Beautiful on the outside and beautiful on the inside.

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