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Yet this year the throngs are absent. Many thousands are too afraid to travel to this tsunami-affected area, scared off by frenzied rumours that another disaster is about to beset the shores.
Perhaps others have cause to question their faith.

After all, Mary - Arogyamatha or Our Lady of Health, as she is known locally - has for centuries been venerated by Christians, Hindus and Muslims alike for protecting fishermen from the sometimes deadly seas.

In a relief camp less just over a kilometre from the basilica, we found Malar serving tea.

She lost 10 relatives when the tsunami hit, including her only son, nine-year-old Manimaran.

Before the tsunami, she used to run a tea stall in front of the church and attended Mass each night to thank God for her takings.

Now she has vowed never to set foot in it again.

"When the tsunami hit ran to the church and begged for the life of my son," she said, crying.

"All I got was his dead body. God cheated me."
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What is the meaning of thanking God for her takings?
One could thank God for help or blessing.
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Before the tsunami, she used to run a tea stall in front of the church and attended Mass each night to thank God for her takings.


She used to thank god for what he had allowed her to take from his givings, hence "her takings"?

That's my guess..
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Hello Andrei and Pieanne

'Takings' here would mean the money she 'took' from customers each day at her tea stall, i.e. 'the money in the till at the end of the day'.

MrP
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