The tale of friendship between Mary Roy & Madhavikutty

Madhavikutty, Mary Roy. Design: Onmanorama

It was only natural that the two Malayali women - Mary Roy and Madhavikutty - forever locked in a tussle with society befriend each other.

But what kept them friends for many years is, however, the common traits they shared.

The tale of their friendship reportedly began after the former, searching for a plot of land to establish a school, decided to advertise so in a local paper.

Roy had then recently completed her BEd from Mount Carmel Training College in Kottayam.

One of the first to respond to her advertisement was, of course, Madhavikutty (whom Roy fondly called Kamala).

"I will give you the land you seek. There is a beautiful plot of land next to my ancestral home at Punnayurkulam. There are a lot of trees and the fragrance of neermathalam (caper trees) flowers fill the whole place," Madhavikutty had reportedly written.

Madhavikutty was also a champion of Roy's legal battle to ensure equal property rights for Christian women.

When Roy's daughter Arundhati (the Booker prize-winning novelist Arundhati Roy) had her novel 'The God of Small Things' published, it was Madhavikutty who was the chief guest for the book launch function in Kerala.

A painting that Madhavikutty had gifted Roy hangs on the wall of the latter's house - forever a symbol of their friendship.

Noted educationist and social worker Mary Roy passed away on Thursday.

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