109 and still going great guns! That's who grand old dame Sosamma is. She's in fact, one of the oldest or perhaps the oldest voter in Kottayam district. Silver hair and furrowed skin notwithstanding, the sprightly "lass" has an impish grin on her face always. Though her formal education stopped at class five, Sosamma is no country bumpkin. For she is keenly aware of the songs and poems she learnt as a kid and can rattle them off with ease.
She can recite all the poems she had learnt before her school years came to a close. And they are recited pretty loudly. It’s not just the poems she treats her well wishers to. She still remembers all her prayers and can quote Bible verses with ease and sing all the hymns.
Her songs begin and end with praise and thanksgiving. Sosamma admits she's one happy woman today. So, what's the problem in singing for joy, she wonders. But leave her alone for a few minutes and the old lady will start calling for her son Kunjachan.
Life was never a bed of roses for Sosamma. Life for her, was a ride fraught with tears, and fierce determination. The young Sosoamma who hailed from Thalakulath house from near Changanaserry, was given away in marriage to the Kalappura family of the same village. Though widowed at 20, she stuck to her decision to live for her son and never get married again. Her relatives' efforts to get her married a second time was met with stiff resistance from the young woman and Sosamma's world soon revolved round her son.
So she took up the responsibilities of the large joint family. Her son, Skaria, or Kunjachan as his mother fondly calls him, is 90 years old and retired as headmaster in 1990. The mother-son bonding is an envious one and a sight that tugs at the heart strings.
The 109-year-old lady is all set to celebrate her 110th birthday in style with her grandchildren and their grandchildren! She sure is a ray of sunshine and loves to spread that light.