Aug 6, 2008
Pics: Prajwal Ukkuda
Mulki : Celebrating your 100th birthday in the company of one's children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren is but a distant dream for many of us given the times we live in.
However, Clementina Aimen of Mulky is living her dream, so to say. Clementina will complete a 100 years on Wednesday, August 6. Her family, consisting of six children, 34 grandchildren, 51 great grandchildren and a great great grandchild. is now spread all over the globe from New Zealand to Bahrainto Dubai to Goa, Bangalore, and Mumbai.
The key to her long life is natural food, daily work, and an unpolluted environment. Her daughter Manorama says that rice and fish or some vegetable curry is their regular food. Clementina likes to have oats at 10 am, rice and curry at 1 pm, as well as biscuits and horlicks at 4 pm. The elderly lady is also known for her country medicines which she learnt from her father in her birthplace of Malpe in Udupi. She has treated many people with local herbs.
This centenarian has also been a midwife, delivering more than a hundred babies. She also delivered her granddaughter Sheba Samuel in Bangalore in 1969 to the surprise of neighbours there who couldn't imagine a delivery without a hospital in the city.
Yet another fact about Clementina is that she was fond of eating the buds of many local plants and aloe vera. Manorama reveals that her mother is a social worker too and has distributed medicines free of cost and made house visits for midwifery. She never bothered about the caste or creed of those who sought her help, adds Manorama.
Once, nearly eight years ago, Clementina, had to spend three days in the forest near her house without food or water. Her family was shocked to find her missing and even more astonished when they discovered that she had survived the ordeal well, despite lack of nourishment.
They found that she had made a bed of hay for herself in the paddy fields by cutting the grass neatly with a sickle. This incident is just another testament to the good health and physical strength Clementina enjoys to this day.
Her husband Dharmapal, whom she married in 1925, was a weaver and also a sexton at the local CSI church for 20 years. He died at age 68, in the year 1964. Clementina recently participated in two grand celebrations— the 50th wedding anniversary of Manorama and Henry which was celebrated last November and the 60th wedding anniversary of her other daughter Jasmine Soans, held two months ago.
When told that she would be completing a century on Wednesday, Clementina remarked, 'andaa?' ('really') in Tulu. She even sang a Tulu hymn when requested for a song and concluded by invoking the Lord's blessings on all. Such is 100-year-old Clementina!