The 57th Kerala School Kalolsavam festival is in progress at Kannur. As participants busied themselves preparing for the Oppana contest, one face stood out from the crowd, pale and bereft of joy.
Sukanya Subash is a Class 11 student from Bishop Hodges Higher Secondary School in Alappuzha. It was her dream to be at the Kalolsavam, performing the famous women's only dance that's part of traditional Malayalee Muslim weddings.
But it was a bittersweet day for Sukanya. On Sunday, her father Subash had suddenly vomited blood and collapsed. He passed away before anything could be done.
Even before the embers of his burning pyre could die out, Sukanya had to leave to Kannur for the festival.
Sukanya made this difficult choice because she knew her loving father would have wanted her to go. It was in pursuit of this dream, after all, that her father had continued to work despite suffering from a severe respiratory illness.
Subash, a daily wage labourer, was elated when his daughterâ€™s team was selected to represent the Alappuzha district at the state level. Hailing from Mavelikara and a resident of the Railway Colony there, Subash was determined to send his daughter to Kannur. He did not want money to stand in the way of a probable win for his child.
This is why he ignored the advice of his friends not to venture out in his weak state.
Though Sukanya could barely contain her tears, amidst the joyous faces at the festival, she gathered her courage to perform when it was her group's turn. She was all smiles onstage even as her heart wept and her stomach was empty.
Speaking to Asianet News later, Sukanya said: "It was my father's last wish. My father died while he was trying to earn money for me to come here.If I hadn't come today, the other nine girls would have felt bad. I thought their future shouldn't be lost because of me."
Her father's legacy is certainly alive in Sukanya who was thinking of others even when she herself was in the throes of distress.
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