Tuesday, March 8, 2011
One Hundred Women in My Life
1) K.Krishnamma- My mother. She caused me.
2) Jolly ML- My sister. When she laughed I laughed too. Then after a point of time we laughed separately and cried separately.
3) Gauri Ammal- Maternal grandmother. Like all grandmothers she collected whatever she could lay her hands on only to distribute amongst her grandchildren who visited her during summer holidays.
4) Chempaka Kutty Ammal- Paternal grandmother. She was afraid of thunder and lightning. And she passed away on a stormy night after a thunderous life with moody daughter-in-laws.
5) Indira Gandhi- India’s first woman prime minister. They said she was the only man in her cabinet. She was a live presence in my childhood days. She dominated us through newspapers and radio.
6) Ponnamma Teacher- She was like a mother hen. She collected children from the village and went to school to teach them. I was one of her students.
7) Pushpa Rani- On a rainy day she opened her secrets for me. I was ten and she was thirty five.
8) Reena K- As she was tall she used to be my pair in the dance class.
9) Dancer Prasanna- She came to teach us classical dance, by one of the oldest bus services in my village. And went back by the same bus. Between her arrival and departure, she taught us folk dance. I used to think that the bus came to our village only for her.
10) Sugatha Checchi- She did not have children. So she was considered to be an eternal beauty.
11) Madhavi Checchi- Her husband was always in Gulf. She lived a very virtuous life. One day her husband came back in a coffin.
12) Sreedevi Checchi- I had never seen such happy couple. I imagined one day I also will take my wife behind a blue Bajaj scooter. One day, he did not come back from the office.
13) Sony- Sreedevi Checchi’s daughter. She, without her father, but cared by uncles grew up into a gorgeous lady. I taught her English literature.
14) Abhitha and Junior Abhitha- They thought they were the most beautiful girls in my village. Their mother also thought so.
15) Nabeesa Ummal- The only chaddar clad teacher of our times. She taught Arabic in a mission school so I never heard her speaking in Malayalam.
16) Saliya Umma- Old woman, who was always behind her cows. She still does.
17) Ayithaachi Amma- She sold rice pudding for cheaper price. I used to go and wait there in the queue during cold December mornings.
18) Sheela- Film actress. I used to wonder why her breasts were standing like starched khaddar shirt sleeve.
19) Jayabharathi- Film actress. My father took special interest in her films. So I was always anxious.
20) Seetha Checchi- On a dark night, when electricity went off, under the table our legs accidentally brushed against each other. Since then we became different people.
21) Veena- She was one of the biggest girls in our scool.
22) Rose Mary- The hapless PT teacher. Her name always appeared in the boy’s lavatory walls.
23) Diana- Phantom’s girl friend.
24) Devi- Like any other male chauvinist Malayali, I too learned very early to address a woman by that name. Any beautiful woman was a Devi for me.
25) S.Janaki- South India’s answer to Latha Mangeshkar.
26) Vani Jayaram- South India’s answer to Asha Bhosle.
27) Kalakumari- She was the Prime minister of the school Parliament when I was the speaker of it.
28) Rajina- I have never thought I could see a dark, big, beautiful girl like her.
29) Rajithra- My classmate. She shrugged her shoulders always and with the right hand she adjusted her skirt always before she sat.
30) Sathil- My classmate. So silent and pious a girl.
31) Reeja- My classmate. We dared to talk to each other only we went to college.
32) Raji- My classmate. We were pitched against each other for the school final exams.
33) Baby- It was fun to see her smiling.
34) Sandhya- She came from Mumbai. Like many boys I also fell in love with her. She gave royal scorn.
35) Suhasini- Now Suhasini Maniratnam. I was in love with the roles she played.
36) Geethu- Instead I fell in love with this lady who was a few years senior to me because I thought she looked like Suhasini.
37) Lalithambika Antharjanam- Poet.
38) Kamaladas- Poet.
39) Valsala- Novelist.
40) Ajitha- former Naxalite leader.
41) Demi Moore- Film Actress.
42) Zeenath Aman- Qurbani fame.
43) Sharmila Tagore- Devi (Satyajit Ray)
44) Silukku Smitha- She disturbed my sleep.
45) Suja- She was several years senior to me in college. On a day of student’s strike, while walking back in groups, I tried to speak to her and she brushed me aside. But soon we became lovers. My first serious kiss was on her forehead.
46) Unknown woman- I saw her in a blue film. I was 17 year old. And I could not stand her being brutalized by some hopeless man who looked at the camera all the time.
47) Madhavi- film actress. Her two films were released at the same time. In one she appeared as a famous writer and in the other she was a Bond girl in bikini. To see the posters of these films with Madhavi in organza saree and two- piece bikini was quite something.
48) All the heroines in Chaplin’s movies.
49) Sreedhari- A girl from the village who never spoke to me in her life. In 2010 she turned up at my village home and declared to my mother that she wanted to live with me.
50) Frida Kahlo- I was growing up.
51) Anne Frank- I cried several nights after reading her dairies.
52) Pavel’s Mother- The mother in Maxim Gorky’s ‘Mother’.
53) K.R.Gowry- Political leader in Kerala.
54) Susheela Gopalan- political leader in Kerala.
55) Kochu Lathika Checchi- My mother’s young colleague who teased whenever she got a chance. Even today she does that.
56) Sushmita- She spoke to me in words beyond words. That was love.
57) Veni- A young girl who tutored me in type writing. Old Remington machine and her jasmine flower fragrance. I type too fast.
58) Kunjulakshmi teacher- My mother’s eldest sister. She never says duck’s eggs. She says, ‘Eggs by Ducks’.
59) John Jyohti Raj’s mother- She treated me like her son.
60) Ambi Checchi- Our land lady in Trivandrum. She loudly said anything shown in television. When condom’s advertisement came (that time sanitary napkins’ and condoms’ ads used to embarrass everyone), she spelt out that too.
61) Susanne Valedon- the girl friend of the Impressionists.
62) Usha Uthuppu- You know why.
63) Tara Husain- My classmate in University college.
64) Stella Jasmine- My classmate in University college.
65) Beena Mathew- She liked me and my friends. Her boy friend hated us for that.
66) Uma Devi- a daring woman of our times.
67) Stella- A theatre activist and ACK Raja’s wife.
68) Haseena- she was a very liberal fine arts student.
69) Sreedevi- One of the Pakshikkoottam, a literary publishing group. Now a poet and translator.
70) Sobhana- Actress and Danseuse.
71) Urvashi- Malayalam film actress.
72) K.P.A.C.Lalitha- Malyalam film actress. There is no answer to her acting skills.
73) Kaviyoor Ponnamma- Kerala’s Nirupa Roy. I call my mother ‘Kaviyoor’ as this actress always portrays crying mothers.
74) Neena Prasad- My classmate and a famous classical dancer.
75) Manju Warrier- One of the finest actors in Malayalam.
76) K.S.Chitra- A singer with unparalleled voice.
77) Arundhati Roy- Writer, though she did not produce too many novels, she produced thought provoking ideas.
78) Medha Padhkar- She is a legend.
79) Mother Teresa. I can’t define her.
80) Mahashweta Devi- writer,activist. Aranyer Adhikar is classic.
81) Geeta Kapur- Art Historian.
82) Madhuri Dixit- A fine actress.
83) Nancy Adajania- A fine art critic and curator.
84) Oprah Winfrey- I have followed her life.
85) Maya Angelou- Her writing fascinates me.
86) Bell hooks- Clarit in thoughts.
87) Malini Chibb- One who fought her disability and became a fine personality.
88) Shalini Sawhney- a gallerist who sticks to her style of functioning.
89) Shilpa Nasolikar- I have not met this artist. But there is a lot of energy in her works.
90) Nina Paley- Sita Sings Blues is enough to prove her contributions to the field of animation.
91) Pooja Sood- had she not been there Khoj would have become one of those artists’ initiatives.
92) Anita Nair- the author of Mistress.
93) Maiya- K.S.Radhakirshnan’s female protagonist.
94) Ruya- Orhan Pamuk’s heroine.
95) Rima- W.H.Hudson’e protagonists in Green Mansions.
96) Sweety Nair- One who caused my exodus, laters on hers too.
97) Asha Mishra- the National Secretary of Bhartiya Gyaan Vigyan Samiti. This lady is amazing.
98) Mrinal Kulkarni- My wife, art historian, pedagogue and sparring mate.
99) Karthyayani MJ – My daughter, who has already taken my reins in her hands.
100) God Almighty- In whose book I have included all those unlisted names thanks to many reasons. Besides I always think, He is a She.