She lived with her mellow husband who wouldn't utter a word till the few days after his pay. Then he would roar like a lion, the toddy in his stomach giving him the guts to challenge his wife. The two of them with their gusti and broom hitting would keep the entire locality awake late into the night. I would shiver in my bed waiting for him to fall into the well. There was a well in our compound which had an opening in the cement covering. After a couple of hours into all the drama, marathi uncle, most of the times, managed to fall into this well with a huge thud. Thalla would start screaming for help, people waiting for the cue would rush out and drag this huge hippopotamus out. I wonder now, how did they ever manage it !
Inspite of all this, Marathi thalla was held with great respect in my household. Amma would tell me of the time when dad had passed away and amma had decided to begin work at dads work place. She was scared and confused. We had the moral support of all our relatives and friends, yet amma says, one of the loudest and strongest voices was of this rustic, country woman. She took amma by the shoulders and boomed " You go to work bindaas, I will take care of your children and dont you worry for a second how you will manage. You will manage fine". My granma came down to take care of us and was with us till her last days and Marathi thalla in the neighbourhood was a great solace to my mother while she was far away at work.
A true neighbour and a true human.
It was my earliest lesson of not judging a person by their appearance.
P.S ..My calling her 'thalla' doesnt mean any disrespect, it was just the way she was referred to.