95-Year-Old World-Travelling Ammachi

If you believe you are too weak or old to venture from your home, reconsider!

Meet Annakutty Simon from an beautiful town in main Kerala, who is ready to cross the border once again even at the age of 95, all by herself. The nonagenarian settled in Kuninji town in Idukki district chooses to travel alone regardless of having enough and more buddies to take a trip with. The number of direct members of her family alone are around 70 individuals. This is including her kids, grandchildren and great grand kids. Language for Annakutty has surprising held no barriers in her journeys even though she speaks just Malayalam. “Wherever I go, I speak just Malayalam as it is the only language I understand. But I have never ever had any significant interaction issue abroad. Those whom I ask questions in Malayalam explain in their own language, but by God’s grace I get managed to get my responses,” states Annakutty, who ventured from India for the very first time at the age of 75.

Annakutty, a widow for the past 50 years, has visited Italy, Germany, Israel, France and the UAE (four times). She also wishes to make one more journey to Calvary near Jerusalem. But visa authorities appear not so crazy about permitting her to take the trip, mentioning her age. Nevertheless, ‘Ammachi’, as she is fondly called by her close family members to mean ‘Grandma’ in Malayalam, is confident of going on another solo journey, happily stating that she feels healthy and fit. Unlike many individuals her age, Annakutty declares that she does not struggle with diabetes, bloody pressure, cholesterol or amnesia. “Why do not they understand that I am still young at heart? I still can go anywhere by myself,” she states.

The great-granny to 20 kids also chooses not to switch her traditional ‘chatta and mundu’ for western clothing in the digital transformation age, no matter where she is, be it Idukki or France. She also happily uses her trademark ‘thoda’ in her ears wherever she goes. Her first foreign visit was to Germany in 1997 when she was 75-years-old. Annakutty states that she has never felt scared, even when she boarded the flight for the very first time in her life from Thiruvananthapuram. Rather, it was her kids who were stressed. Although the journey, through Sri Lanka and Dubai, was not simple for her, Annakutty with just a lower primary education managed to reach Germany safely.

Coming from the Kanamkombil household of Kadanadu in Kottayam, Annakutty, the tenth kid to her mother and father, Anna and Mathai, got wed to Pendanathu Simon at the age of 14 in 1936. The couple had 4 boys and many children. Annakutty and her partner also raised their eldest child’s friend. The kid had lost his mom and dad at an early age. Amongst her 12 brother or sisters, only her youngest sibling Mariyakutty settled in Kozhikode, lives now. Annakutty still sees and visits her today. But taking a trip is not Annakutty’s only passion. She loves farming, nursing and was also a midwife, her grandchild Reneesh informed.

“It is Ammachi, who supervises our farms and fields. She is also constantly the chief cook in the kitchen. When it comes to nursing, she has some wonderful ‘Ottamooli’s (single ingredient medication) for typical youth diseases,” he mentions. Reneesh also talks of how Annakutty used to do work as a midwife for females coming from bad households and who could not manage medical facility costs. “It is Ammachi who puts in the effort for all excellent endeavors in our area, be it roadway building and construction with cranes for hire or seed sowing in any field,” he includes. And that’s not all. The daring Annakutty has also acted in the current Malayalam motion picture Aby. “I have not acted, I cannot act. I just acted like I do in real life,” she shyly admits.

So, exactly what is the trick of Annakutty’s energy? “I do not sit idle. I do something all the time so that no I don’t have any negativity holding me back,” she proudly states.

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