This is Nanjamma and her son Kuruba who used to work in my house when we were children.
Nanjamma was like a second mother to us taking care of all of us in the absence of my parents. She was given all the freedom by my parents to scold us, punish us for any wrong doing. She loved us immensely and was an extended family to all of us. As a child I used to wonder, how she was capable of doing so much work and yet find time to be with us telling stories about her village. She taught my brothers and self all the household work and would always emphasize that men and women are equal. An absolute illiterate, but the most educated person I had ever met.
Extremely beautiful with a bronze tone and sharp features, her frame was etched in my memory forever. I have made several paintings of her in her memory.
This painting denotes the simplicity where she is dressed in her finery and carrying a jackfruit as a wedding present. When I asked her “Why a jackfruit”, she said it can be shared by many. I then understood what sharing meant in these simple words.
To me Nanjamma was Woman’ess and Beyond. Womanly, feminine, beautiful, simple, strong, loyal and caring beyond words.
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