The Information Technology Department of the State can think of making her its poster figure. Rosakutty, before she passed away last Saturday, a few days short of her 110th birthday, was, perhaps, one of the biggest advertisements of the reach of IT education in the State.
It was in 2005 that Rosakutty, a resident of Kothad village, shot to fame. A granny with stretched earlobes and heavy gold earrings, clad in the traditional Christian attire of white ‘mundu’ and ‘chatta,’ coming to the local Akshaya centre to take her first lessons in computers at the age of 106 was not a common sight. It turned her into a celebrity overnight with the local and the global media coming to her doorstep to tell her story to the world.
After a while, she became an absolute natural before the lens. “She even used to sing songs for the reporters who came to see her,” Pushkin, one of her grandchildren, recollects.
A year later, she again hogged the limelight when she became one of the oldest persons to vote in the Assembly elections.
Rosakutty, a fourth standard dropout, had a razor-sharp memory enabling her to recall the politics of the State right from the days of the olden days. Though the late Communist stalwart EMS Namboodiripad was her favourite politician, she did not have to think much before hurling slogans against her idol during the liberation struggle. The new generation with its lifestyle diseases even before turning 30 will be amazed to know that she had no such ailments but only age-related frailty till she breathed her last. Until two years ago, Rosakutty used to move around on her own and do her things without help.
Then chikungunya hit, incapacitating her somewhat. She lost her appetite a bit and needed support to walk. But she did not have any serious illness that called for taking medicines.