She was born in 1940. The second of five children born to Vedaranyam Seshadri and Rajalakshmi ammal. She passed away after a brief illness in November 2006. How will Jagada be remembered?
Sumathi looked around the room. Who were these people? Why had they all come to mourn Amma’s passing? She wasn’t a gregarious person. She didn’t have many friends. She hardly kept in touch with relatives. And yet, dozens of people had turned up to condole her family. There was so much she didn’t know about Amma, Sumathi realised with a twinge of guilt and regret. Her eyes searched the room for the family solicitor. No point in delaying the inevitable.
Srinivasan mama looked around the house spilling over with people. ‘This should all be mine’ he thought savagely. Appa and his silly ‘Jagada should be given the house now that her husband is no more.’
Akhila stared at her sister’s picture on the wall. Rather, she stared at the four thick strands of gold that went round Jagada’s lined neck, gathered with an ornate ruby clasp at one end. Amma had always meant to give her that. She was sure of it. How had it fallen in to her sister’s greedy hands?
Ashok sighed. He was tired. Tired of the half-hearted ‘I’m so sorry’ everyone said. Tired of the priests and their incessant chanting. Tired of his wife’s nagging. Couldn’t the woman wait? How would it look if they went and asked for the will to be read before his brothers and sisters had even broached the subject? He had always been Jagada’s favourite. Of course she would remember him. Wouldn’t she?
Saroja from Dindivanam wondered what had become of her cousins antique brass lamps. Shekhar her nephew hoped they had not thrown away his Mami’s collection of books. Priya wondered how many carats her mother-in-laws diamond earrings were.
Lakshmi wiped away another tear. How she would miss Jagada Amma. She had always been so kind to her. Never treated her like a servant. They had coffee together, lunched together and even watched Selvi every evening together. Lakshmi fanned herself with the pleated palm leaf visiri. It had belonged to Jagada Amma. May her soul rest in peace.