Around the time that we shifted to this new house, Appa had retired from Salgaocars and was working part-time as a Manager with Timblo Mines. He would go at around 8.30 am and come home by 2.30 pm or so, have lunch, rest for some time, and then go to the shop.
|The Tisca house where we lived. Got this picture recently from an old neighbor who had come to meet Appa Amma in Bengaluru last year|
She’d have lunch in the shop itself. Appa would come home, and I would serve him lunch. After resting for a while, he would have coffee and then go to the shop. Then, both of them would come back home by 8.30 pm or so, and Amma would start cooking dinner. The shop wasn’t kept closed ever. Not even on Sundays. This was Amma’s routine for the next 7 years.
|During a trip to Gokarna. Left to right - Amma, Vijaya, Komala, Appa, behind him Vatsala, the outlier below the tree - I. Bhargavi, taking the pic, can't be seen|
She was getting older, too. She was worried about Appa’s health issues.
There were other problems – the shop owner, always unpredictable, got worse. In a drunken state, he would come and stand outside the shop, and start hurling abuses. Amma would be alone in the shop at such times, and somehow just ignore his rants, praying he’d go away. The owner’s brother instigated him, and they would periodically come and start shouting, asking us to vacate the premises. Once they began an argument and the brother even slapped Appa.
Then there was a robbery in the shop. Other people kept speculating that it may have been arranged by those rogue brothers, to scare us away.
The elder daughters were getting older, grooms had to be found, and weddings had to be conducted. Vijaya and Vatsala were earning by then, so the financial situation was getting a little better. But Amma couldn’t help feeling a little anxious about how it would all work out.
Those were probably the toughest years of her life. And yet, she kept going through it all – with an unshakeable faith in God.
|Smiling through all the difficulties - that was Amma!|