Mathiri wakes up at 5 am every morning. She sweeps and scrubs the floor clean and tends to the coconut trees and plantains in the yard before her children wake up. She is like any other typical housewife in Kerala, except that she is 100 years old!
At an age when most people struggle with ailments and solitude, Mathiri is busy with her household chores. At the crack of the dawn she would be picking each fallen leaf from the courtyard in front of her house near the railway over bridge at Kanimangalam in Thrissur.
She has a fine garden, kitchen garden and dozens of plantains to tend to in the 10-cent plot in which her house stands. She does not need any help in clearing the weeds and watering the plants. She even harvests the bunches of bananas herself when they are ripe.
The centenarian wows her neighbors on a daily basis when she carries two buckets of water around the garden to water her plants. Age is just a number for her.
So what is her secret? Her habit of hard work, of course, she would say. Disciplined lifestyle, frugal food and steady work keeps her shipshape.
Mathiri stopped her education at fourth grade but she reads anything that comes her way, without reading glasses, even at this age. Her hearing is equally impeccable. She has not known any lifestyle diseases such as diabetes or hypertension.
She even used to go to the church all by herself until recently. Her children think it is too risky for her to cross the busy road on the way to the church.
After the death of her husband Kochappu, Mathiri has been living with her elder son Johny and his family. Mathiri has three children, Johny, aged 80, Mary, aged 71, and Rosily, aged 56.