Express News Service
KOCHI: At 77, Ammini K N is full of energy. It is common to see her fidgeting with things around the house — fixing lunch and packing her bag in the morning to get a spot on the front bench before the first bell rings. This uniform-clad septuagenarian, who is second year at the Fashion Designing and Garments Technology course at Government Technical Secondary School at Pampady, Kottayam district, is a diligent student.
Ammini, who retired in 2001 as a district employment officer, is now working with her teenage classmates in costume design. “Clothes and stitches have always intrigued me. I first picke up a needle and a thread when I was eight. The colourful threads and intricate stitchings received rave comments from my teachers. Till sixth grade, I continued the practice . During my service tenure, I used to brush up on my skills. When I retired, I seriously started looking at colleges,”Ammini, a Thiruvathukkal resident in Kottayam District, said that she was happy to help. Due to high fees and long distance, she had no choice but to leave a few colleges.
“I didn’t know that the Technical Secondary School near my house had a course in fashion design. Had I known about this place before, I would have joined much earlier,”Ammini, a math teacher, quips. She was initially going to study. fashionWith a few of her close friends. “But they told me to stay home. My daughter had also stopped me initially as she was worried about my travel and how I will get along with the children who are much younger than me,”She continues.
Ammini didn’t listen to their criticisms. She enrolled. “My husband was supportive. When I reached the institute I was a bit worried whether the staff would mock me or become all judgemental. It was then that the superintendent asked me to give the application a shot, his words motivated me,”Ammini.
Ammini is still amazed by the course and her instructors a year later. “When Ammini joined the course I was doubtful whether she could pick up the practical side of the course. Her immense desire to learn is indeed visible in the work she does. She even practises the lessons when she’s at home and is always eager to learn,”Sabeena M., teacher at Government Technical Secondary School. The course covers everything from basic sewing to creating full-sized outfits, to surface ornamentation.
Ammini claims that fashion technology isn’t easy. It takes patience, concentration, and practice to master it. If you give her a measurement, she will be able to make the best outfit. “I can do churidar, stitch A-line frock, surface ornamentation, and place the designs correctly which would enhance the beauty of any outfit,”Ammini.
Ammini is pursuing her late passion and is proving that age is not a limitation. Ammini used to make sweets to keep herself busy and send them to her hometown. “As long as you are healthy, age shouldn’t stop you from moving ahead. If you stay concerned about what society will think, you’ll never pursue what you want,”Ammini.