Gold anklets she wore to the grave: How a Kerala girl's father fulfilled her final wish

"I am used to wearing inexpensive shirts. She always asked me not to. I paid Rs. 595 for this shirt…for my daughter.”
Gold anklets she wore to the grave: How a Kerala girl's father fulfilled her final wish
Gold anklets she wore to the grave: How a Kerala girl's father fulfilled her final wish
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When Anil Kumar asked his daughter to “lend” him her golden anklets a couple of months ago, his 17-year-old daughter Anagha readily parted with her prized possession.

After all, Anagha knew that her father, who toiled in a quarry, had no other option when he made the request to meet a financial emergency. In exchange, she asked for silver anklets. But it was a wish that Anil was unable to fulfil.   

Anagha finally got her old gold anklets back on Sunday when her 46-year old father adorned her ankles with them one last time, as she lay lifeless before him.

The accident that stole his child away from him

On December 16, Anagha, a native of Moolamattom in Idukki and a class 12 student at GVHSS had just finished her exams at school and was on her way to catch a bus that would take her home, when she was hit by a mini-van.

She was immediately rushed to the hospital, where doctors performed a brain surgery. Nearly ten days and three surgeries later, Anagha succumbed to her injuries on 24 December. While she lay battling for her life at the hospital, her schoolmates launched a crowd-funding programme to collect funds for Anagha’s treatment.

“Not just her classmates, but the entire town came forward to help my daughter. But see, we did not have to spend all the money. She left us even before that,” mourns Anil.

When the doctors told the family that the chances of Anagha’s survival were less than a percent, Anil suddenly remembered his promise to her.

“She would often tell me to get her at least a silver anklet since I took away her gold ones and mortgaged them. Which girl would happily give away her gold? So I had promised her that I would get it back by Christmas,” he recalls.

On Christmas day, when Anagha’s lifeless body was kept in her school for her friends and family to pay last respects, Anil stood there with a heavy heart. Did the anklets in his left shirt pocket add to it?

Anil slowly walked up to his daughter and adorned her ankles with them: “I could not have sent her away with an unfulfilled wish. Maybe it’s all in my mind…but I couldn’t have let her make her last journey without her anklets.” 

He also remembered the countless times Anagha had urged him to buy good shirts and not the Rs 100-kinds. He did just that. Wearing a chequered violet shirt, he stood by his daughter on her final journey.

"I used to buy her and my other two children good quality and expensive dresses. I am used to wearing inexpensive ones. She always asked me not to. I paid Rs 595 for this shirt…for my daughter,” he said. 

The gold anklets were still around Anagha’s feet, when the funeral pyre was lit, standing testimony to a father’s undying love for his daughter.

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