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A toast raised for 110-year-old Toda woman

D. Radhakrishnan
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Party time:Rujam celebrating her birthday at Pudhumund, near Glenmorgan, in the Nilgiris on Friday. —Photo: Special Arrangement
Party time:Rujam celebrating her birthday at Pudhumund, near Glenmorgan, in the Nilgiris on Friday. —Photo: Special Arrangement

On Friday, it was party time at Pudhumund, a habitation of the ancient Toda tribal community near Glenmorgan, off the Ooty-Gudalur Road.

The occasion was the 110th birthday celebration of Rujam, stated to be the oldest woman of the community numbering about 1,500.

Though the birthday, according to her relatives had fallen a week ago, the celebrations had to be put on hold due to the death of a member of the extended family of Rujam.

Surrounded by a few of her surviving daughters and scores of grandchildren and great grandchildren, representing five generations, the grand old Toda woman clad in the traditional dress of the community presided over a special cake-cutting ceremony organised in her honour.

Later, the small hamlet located amidst idyllic surroundings came alive with Toda men, women and children singing and dancing.

Her septuagenarian daughter Mohal Poov said that the secret of her longevity was healthy milk-based food, a positive mindset and the pure environment. Till about two years ago, she was attending to all the domestic work. Her vision is still good.

Speaking to The Hindu , Vasamalli,a close relative who could not attend the celebrations said that Rujam who was born at Nedimund, near Hullikal, had moved to Garden Mund after marriage and later shifted to Pudhumund.

Stating that Rujam seldom worried about anything, she said that even her mother Urupiz and father Kalkineer had lived long. The community is proud of her.

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