May 3, 2011

Influential Elders - Friends from Sarah Tucker College

Sarah Tucker College plays a remarkable role in my childhood memories. Though it is not my alma matter I have special affinity towards it. Mom was a professor & Head of the Department of Mathematics for over 30 years there!

STC is a beautiful campus, okay to be honest not as beautiful as some other colleges I am familiar with. But the people are beautiful. They are so loving and caring and God fearing that you feel safe within the confines of the campus.

I would often visit the college as a child and also as a young adult whenever I was on break from school / college. Mostly I would go there to meet all of Mom's friends who are all my favorites too. Mom was(is) much loved by her colleague which has created a unique bonding between us (the children) and them too. We consider them as part of our  family. No family function is complete without their presence. No vacation is a real vacation without visiting them.

The canteen is my favorite place in the campus (of course :) ) When Mom and friends walked slowly with their umbrellas to shade them from the scorchy sun, we children would run to the canteen to pick up our choice favorites. Mine was the coconut bun they had, the egg puffs and Mazza. Even before Amma and friends reached there we would have finished a round or two...

Next favorite place in the college campus is the library. As a child I was amazed at the walls and wall of books kept intact. Mom would take me there and suggest plenty of reading material, both in English and Tamil. I loved it! Summer vacations without those reading material would have been such a bore.

Subulakshmi Aunty (Mrs. Subulakshmi Rajan), Vasantha Aunty (Mrs. Vasantha Sreenikumar), Cynthia Aunty (Mrs. Cynthia Paul), Vijaya Aunty (Mrs. Vijaya Israel), Hephzibah Aunty (Mrs. Hephzibah Jeyakumar), Joysornabai Aunty, Joybell Aunty, Hanna Aunty (Mrs. Hannah Stephen), Rosalee Aunty (Mrs. Rosalee Paul), Lionel Aunty (Mrs. Esther Rajam Lionel), Jasmin Aunty (Mrs. Jasmin Madhialagan) are all my favorites!

When I got married Esther Rajam Aunty made my hair, Hanna Aunty was a constant support to Mom, everyone of them were there. Subulakshmi Aunty commented to Israel that I am their first daughter to be married off, which shows how much she and others loved me. Rosalee Aunty cheers us all with her presence, Cynthia Aunty's special bonding with us is remarkable. Vijaya Aunty is the one who gave us Ashy - our first dog.

When Papa passed away so suddenly, all these wonderful people came together with their spouses immediately and took care of many matters big and small. My Aunt was surprised and said even in villages people don't come together like this for days at a stretch and definitely not for nights. My heartfelt thank you to everyone who was there to wave final good bye to my Papa and lend us your shoulders in time of our great sorrow. Your love for us is definitely irreplaceable and very much appreciated.

Mom is retired now and so are some of her colleagues. But their love remains constant through thick and thin. The affection continues even beyond the boundaries of the college campus. I miss Sarah Tucker College as it has been a while since I last visited. It kind of feels empty when so many familiar faces I am so used to are all retired now. But for those who remain, I promise to visit with my children on our next trip to India. I will show them the swing sets, the canteen, the library and all you beautiful people who made my childhood so special & memorable. Thank you!


Always Happy said...

Aww... sounds very nice. You are really blessed NRIGirl to have soooooooooooo many nice people around you.

A said...

That is nice post. You have so many memory of childhood. I've almost zero. I see one aunty's name is Hephzibah....

NRIGirl said...

Thank you Always Happy. Appreciate your comment. I am yet to visit your latest post. Will do so shortly after...

@A! You are right! Now that you have pointed it out I wonder if I was named after her.Mom surely has a special corner for Hephzibah Aunty and let me check with her on that...

Y L said...

It is a Biblical name.
I always liked the name Beulah.
Since akka was given that name i named you Hephzibah which is mentioned along with Beulah.
with out our knowledge Delightsons name also included in the same verse. Isaiah 62.4
Thank you A , I appreciate your comments on my writings. You are nice. i read your posts though I have not yet written any comments on them.

Anonymous said...

nice series NRI girl! :)

a nice way of showing the people we appreciate their presence in our life :)

nice post!!!

KParthasarathi said...

Very touching post bringing nostalgic memories of my own school and college.It is soothing to note the close friendship and understanding amongst the people in that small circle and their sharing the joys and griefs of one another.

Paul said...

Nice blog Akka. Me too remember the college Canteen! I know Amma is the one who enjoyed us more during our visits to her college.

Love you so much Amma


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