NAMASTE!
STORY   |   79 IN TIME

79 IN TIME
Nº3: Taken by the Current

ATHEENA WILSON

Once upon in 1958, she was just nineteen...

Pensively sitting on a boat, Chinnama could feel the touch of the gold chain against her neck, and well aware of how the locket rested against a freshly ironed saree. The streams were clear, and she loved how the oars cut into the cool water. This wasn’t a ride that she enjoyed in her father’s island; she was being taken to her husband’s home. She was the first one to be married off, but she was hardly trepid, she dutifully cared for her nine siblings and she knew she knew this was a plunge towards another type of unconditional love. On the boat were suitcases of her clothes and an assortment of food to be gifted; now she just had to follow the currents of the sea.

49 years later, Chinnama’s granddaughter sat on a bed with a suitcase packed for her. Oblivious of what it truly meant, she straightened out the pleats of her favorite red skirt. Her mother gently stroked her hair and said. “On your first day of school, you can wear this.” The granddaughter hated the fact that her bag was packed and only saw it as another summer vacation; she never imagined what it would be like to live without her mother. But the day she sat on the verandah, waved a goodbye and watched her mother take off to the airport; she had the strangest uprooted experience. There were no currents that could just carry her away.

I once read, “A woman armed with ancestral wisdom is an unstoppable force.” Kerala was never easy, and she never made it easier. You may take this in the wrong sense, but my grandmother showed me the hardships of how a society works. 

That’s when Chinnama welcomed her grandchild to a new world. And it started with the length of my red skirt that I wore to school. “Skirts should always be long even for the long run,” she said. I was sixteen when I left Nigeria and shifted to Kerala, oblivious to almost everything. Kerala seemed hound-like with its vicious mores and folkways and the concept of understanding my roots was nouveau. Because those days, my grandmother’s home comprised of picture- perfect moments of cousins pulling me on coconut fronds, us scaring the poor cats lured by her sumptuous fish curries, and playing the game who could kill more mosquitoes. But vacations teach you nothing but to dream. For the first time, I became a part of a world; I was not ready to face. And my grandmother taught me a lesson, stay grounded.

I once read, “A woman armed with ancestral wisdom is an unstoppable force.” Kerala was never easy, and she never made it easier. You may take this in the wrong sense, but my grandmother showed me the hardships of how a society works. No, she wasn’t one to tell stories, or moreover whine, I just saw her constant dedication and how she cares for everyone deeply. She always shoulders everyone’s concern which teaches you two things, life’s yours to make better but life’s also never yours too. Her old-fashioned notions challenged me, because it sometimes reeked of ageless wisdom. Thus my two worlds were at a conflict, I could never have the best of both. And my no man’s land was the dining table- where confusion was pacified by pen and paper. She may have never read famous books, but my experiences of growing up in her home gave me the courage to leave and explore different cities. At 25, I look back at what she taught me about beauty, identity, bravery and love.

79 IN TIME BY ATHEENA WILSON

Nº1: PROLOGUE 
Nº2: WHEN WAS WHEN 
Nº3: TAKEN BY THE CURRENT 
Nº4: BEAUTY 
Nº5: IDENTITY 
Nº6: BRAVERY 
Nº7: LOVE 
Nº8: EPILOGUE 

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ART DIRECTOR & WRITER

ATHEENA WILSON

Run parallel, meet at intersections, skip a few lines, the line of thought has journeyed across a few latitudes and longitudes. To more miles before the big sleep. Cheers, Atheena

PHOTOGRAPHER

DENNIS ANTONY

Its been a journey from being a young soul where I have felt only love but unaware of its importance in my life I searched for love all over and only felt pain, scars and reality but never true love I still keep searching.

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