Krishnagiri (Tamil Nadu), March 15 : It was birthday celebrations of a different sort for the 105-year-old Rajammal of Tamil Nadu when her entire family, comprising 195 members, converged at her place to personally greet her on the occasion.
The birthday was celebrated in a traditional south Indian style earlier this week (March 10) in the State's Krishnagiri town.
A "Kanakabhishekam" ceremony was organized on the occasion in which flower petals and currency coins were showered as a gesture of joy. The ceremony is generally held after a person completes 80 years.
Rajammal, who has seen almost five generations of her family, was happy to receive affection from her sons and daughters, son-in-laws and daughter-in-laws, grandchildren, great grand children.
"I have seen five generations. I married Lakshmana Chettiar and we had eight daughters and a son. Of the nine, only six are alive and they have come," said Rajammal,
Dressed in a new sari presented by loved ones, Rajammal blessed all of them with her toothless smile and frail hands while the Nagaswaram musicians kept playing joyous tunes.
In her daily life, Rajammal prefers remaining a self-reliant person despite her old age. She moves around without anyone's help and even cooks for herself. She earns a couple of rupees by making Patravali, the dinner plates, with dried leaves.
The family participated in the birthday celebrations cheerfully.
"We, the parents, children, grand children and great grand children-have come from three States. All of us have assembled to celebrate her birthday. Actually, we hail from Bellary. There is much of generation gap between my great granny Rajammal and most of us. We have performed Kanakabhishekam as a part of the (birthday) ceremony and we are very happy," said Baby, Rajammal's great granddaughter.
"We, the 195 members of whom the youngest is from the fifth generation, have gathered here to show our respects to her and seek blessings. She is a role model for all of us. We also wish to be self-reliant and good memory on reaching her age. She is also respected in the locality here. It feels nice," said Jyoti, Rajammal's another granddaughter.