She’s famous now as the badass granny who went down a well to retrieve a coconut.
Ninety, still going strong, her face, furrowed by the ravages of time, creases up into ripples as she asks bemused onlookers: “Do you want me to jump in again? I can show you how.”
Sreedeviamma lives in Kunhimangalam, Payyannur. Sprightlier than her great-grandchildren, she’s all excitement as she sprints across to greet journalists who come calling to tell her she’s a celebrity of sorts now.
But the gutsy granny can’t just understand what this fuss is all about. When she was told that the whole world had seen her extraordinary feat, she couldn’t take it in. Facebook, YouTube and “viral” are as good as alien nonentities to her, hardly worthy of a second thought.
Sreedeviamma is tickled by all the attention she’s been getting. Why this ado about something she’s been doing all her life? To the very eloquent old woman, the latest “display” was just another episode in a series of such jumps. She’s done it all her life. Whenever the bucket or the pot fell in, she would go after it, grab it and bring it back and would also be in regularly to pluck the grass and weeds that grew thick on the rings of the well. Neither the slippery moss nor the depth of the water ever deterred her.
The recent descend was necessitated when the coconut climber’s random cut sent a few coconuts flying into the well. The 8 ft deep well had water up to 4 ft when she went down.
Sreedeviamma saw no cause to hesitate. Down she went, holding on to the ropes. Her adventure would have been routine had not her granddaughter recorded the feat. Not only did she help her grandmother out, but also filmed the daredevil act and sent the clipping to relatives. The rest is a viral story.
It was quite by chance that Sreedeviamma’s granddaughter heard the sound of the pulley and the bucket rubbing against the rings of the well. She saw what she had expected, her grandmother’s regular dive into the well. But this time, it was after a gap of two months. The old woman had suffered a fall inside her house and a small surgery kept her away from her stunts.
“I’m a good swimmer. I can show you. I’ll do a demo for you inside the well”, says the granny. But as the onlookers lack the nerve to see her do a “live”, they hold her back.
Sreedeviamma’s day begins at 5 am. From then on till bedtime, it’s a spin. She’s averse to resting and works within the house and outdoors with the energy of a child.
The lady is in her element as she treats everyone to a hot glass of tea. As she poses for a selfie, she squeals in ecstasy as her wrinkled face comes into focus. “Ah, there I am!”