Growing up…

synopsis: Aadhi twelve year old boy has a fight as usual with his elder brother Ravi who is also his only living family, will they get through this time?


trying my hands on young adult fiction.. its my first trial …/ inspiration: Outsiders by  S. E. Hinton


Grow up…


“No… no….no …Ra” the twelve year old was firmly shaking his head sideways, as if that would establish his refusal concrete, his thick, dark brown, silky hair now was covering his big soft eyes. He looked up at the well built, handsome, twenty four year guy who was standing across him now, hands folded to his chest.

“Yes…Yes…Yes .. Ad”, Ravi tried to keep his voice pretty rigid, so that his kid brother Aadi would stop arguing.

But there seemed to be no breakthrough, Aadhi was as stubborn as mule.

“Ra… this is not fair… how could you do this to me?” Aadhi implored.

Ravi just shrugged his shoulders…

“Think of my future…Ra… how will I face every one?,how would I go to school? ” Aadhi stomped his foot

“Can’t help you buddy” Ravi said in a nonchalant tone.

“What about Reshma,Meera,Sharon..? What if they hate me after this? Ra…” Aadhi’s voice was desperate and pathetic.

Ravi was confused now… “Who are they Ad?”

“My girl friends at school Ra” replied Aadhi throwing his arms out in a very dramatic way.

Ravi was shocked now…”huh! you have girl friends? Ad ….you just turned twelve!”

“so what… ?” Aadhi just shrugged his shoulders; his big brother was missing the bottom line.

He again continued ….

“But..But..if mom was there she would not allow this…You know, even dad would not do this to me” Aadhi  pleaded.

Ravi just shrugged his shoulders again and added in a matter of fact tone “can’t do anything about it now…mom and dad are not here… I am the only person you have now, so hard luck buddy , you are stuck with me“

Aadhi shook his head and concentrated in his toes for a while before speaking,

“you know how bad it is going to be… you know if the result is bad I might even run away from home..” Aadhi threatened.

Raavi rolled his eyes and said “It’s not going to be bad Ad… and by the way if you run away from home, it’s ok…I can manage…the home would be less messy…but still we can manage buddy, how about you? Do you have any plans to stay somewhere when you run away?”

The kid really was startled by the unexpected reply.

“ Huh… Hmm…I mean…are you okay with me running away? Won’t you feel bad?” Aadhi asked in an offended tone.

“Of course I will miss my little brother… but it’s your wish  …so what can I do about it?” Ravi kept his face straight.

As Ravi returned back to his couch, with his laptop,

“Please Ra… I don’t want this” Aadhi’s small soft voice was bit shaky now…

Ravi could sense what would follow now… an emotional black mail…  Aadhi would give his cutest innocent look … that would melt even a lion’s heart.

Yeah that would always work in favor of his kid brother, it has always been so. But this time he wouldn’t allow himself to get fooled by his crackerjack brother’s melodrama.

“Come on kid let’s keep moving… go change” saying sternly, Ravi did his best to avoid eye contact with his brother, ‘don’t look into his big eyes; he would do all the tricks he could to win ‘he warned himself.

“But Ra…” Aadhi wined…he looked up at his big brother, who kept his face straight.

“No…Go get dressed Ad” Ravi said without looking from his laptop.

“I…” Aadhi tried to convince his big brother,

But Ravi interjected and said, “No “

“But…”again the kid ventured…

“No..Go get ready right now….” Ravi’s strict voice was firm enough for Aadhi to shut up and accept his failure in the argument.

Aadhi, slouched his shoulders, sniffed a bit and wiped his eyes with the back of his hand and left the room with a sigh…

Once Aadhi had left him alone, Ravi let out a big sigh of relief… “Yeah! I didn’t fall for his acts today”

Aadhi and Ravi had lost their parents few years back, since then Ravi was not only a big brother but also a parent to Aadhi. He had been doing a great job in bringing up Aadhi. Aadhi hardly missed their parents. Of course there were tough times, but they both had managed to pull themselves up in all odds. Ravi adored Aadhi, but as Aadhi was growing, it seemed pretty tough for Ravi to manage the kid. There were lots of arguments, yelling, fighting,… yet they were pretty close and cared for each other.

Aadhi was a smart kid, more matured for his age, yet at times was pretty stubborn at silly things, and Ravi was finding it hard to identify when his little brother was normal and when he would throw a tantrum over a petty stuff.

Ravi understood that he needs to grow along with the kid and he did so as well. He tried his best to help his kid brother.

Ravi was totally lost in his thoughts…

It was like after 20 minutes or so when Ravi heard small dragging footsteps nearby, he looked up at his kid brother, who was smartly dressed in a bright red t-shirt and blue jeans, looking even cuter, except for his sad, sulky facial expression.

Ravi raised his eye when he saw Aadhi holding a back pack…”what is that Ad?”

Aadhi looked at the back pack and told in a no-nonsense tone “hmm…nothing…these are my things..if in case I had to run away from home…”

Ravi tried his best not to laugh out…he knew how his kid brother was fussy at times, but he never expected him to be this hyperbole.

Ravi didn’t want to take this longer, so he stood up and said “yup good, let’s go kid”

Aadhi looked really lost in his own world; he didn’t look up at his brother until Ravi patted the young boy’s shoulder.

Without a word the little boy wore his shoes and left the apartment, followed by Ravi who locked the door and got into his parking lot, Aadhi had reached there before him and was sitting in the passenger seat. Ravi raised an eyebrow at his kid brother “like to start the car?” he questioned and jiggled the car keys.

Aadhi just shrugged and sulked into the seat.

Nope …the peace talk didn’t work; Ravi sighed and started their navy blue car.

As Ravi was beginning to drive, he just noticed his brother pulling a brown hat from his back pack and was wearing it, it was quiet over size for him and it hid half of his face.

Ravi just rolled his eyes, and asked “what’s with the hat and all?”

Aadhi was in his silent protest now, so he just ignored his brother’s question.

“Come on man… Talk to me, Ad” Ravi pleaded, hiding his smile.

Aadhi just shook his head sideways and quickly stuck his face to the window and fully turned away from Ravi.

This made Ravi grin, which his kid brother failed to notice.

“Okay…so I feel some one is really angry…Hmm” Ravi said in mock seriousness, which failed to capture the younger boy’s attention, as well, he was brooding about his misfortune.

With that Ravi buttoned up, for he knew well about Aadhi’s temper.

After a while Ravi parked his car as they reached their destination. He gave his brother a curious look who was still wearing his stupid hat.

“Ad, so here we are, don’t you want to get out?” Raavi looked at his kid brother.

Aadhi just sat in the seat and looked straight as if he was deaf.

It was not going to be easy, Ravi told himself.

He just got out of the car and came over the other side and opened the door for Aadhi, saying “your majesty…Please…would you like to step out?” Ravi spoke, and bowed in a theatrical way.

This did the trick, Aadhi was too embarrassed by the silly acts of his brother, and he just rolled his eyes and tilted his head back and hit his forehead with his hand and rushed out of the car.

Ravi gave an ear to ear grin and locked the car and followed his kid brother, finally they reached the stairs and pushed the lift button.

As they both got out of the lift, Ravi asked “Ad do you still want to wear the hat on?”

Aadhi just nodded his head glaring his elder brother, that was a firm yes and he pulled his hat even further his head.

‘Whatever’ Ravi, muttered.

He ushered Aadhi into the glass partitioned room. He could see his kid brother sulking a bit,” come on buddy…Go on…” Ravi pushed Aadhi in front.

‘I will wait here okay?’ Ravi told as Aadhi looked back at him with his lost puppy look.

Wow the kid amazes me with his last moment acts, thought Ravi to himself.

Aadhi finally went in closing the door behind him.

It seemed like a life time before his kid brother emerged from the room again, he no longer sulked, he was all cheered up and bright, he looked rather very cute with his new hair cut.

Ravi asked him with a confused looked, “whoa excuse me sir, did you see my little brother, who was supposed to be back by now, but couldn’t find him”

Aadhi giggled, and gave a friendly punch to Ravi’s hand and added” come on Ra… It’s me… don’t be such an actor”

“Oh…You…you…are my brother?” Ravi raised an eyebrow with fake shock.

Aadhi laughed out loud.

“So what happened to all those tears spilled over the hair cut, the running away from home with your back pack  …etc?” asked Ravi.

Aadhi giggled again.

“You know it was not that bad, there was this cute girl in there, after I had my hair cut, she said I looked very handsome…so it was not that bad at all” Aadhi explained with his eyes growing wider and smile spreading all over his face.

“Told you so kiddo” replied Ravi, he added “ok Ad wait here I will go pay and come”

Aadhi happily nodded and sat fiddling with his back pack.

“Thank you so much for the help, he is just too concerned about his hair… he doesn’t likes losing his girl friend’s over his new hair cut” Said Ravi as he paid the hair dresser.

“It’s no big deal, he is a cute kid, and my niece was more than happy to compliment his looks, and she loved the chocolates too” the hair dresser gave Ravi a friendly smile.

Ravi thanked her again and left.

His kid brother was seriously checking out his new hair style in the big mirrors.

Ravi smiled and said “so can we go now, Brad pit”

“Yeah sure, hope my girl friends will like it too” Aadhi spoke with concern.

Ravi couldn’t hide his smile”yup …Sure they will all be very happy about it”

“You sure? ” Aadhi asked with his huge cute eyes widening.

Ravi grinned and said” sure…100% sure Ad” he ruffled the little guys hair.

Ad yelled “no Ra…don’t spoil my hair now”

(c) Abirami.K



on a warm day during 1970’s….

it was the day ahead of pongal…the harvest festival

‘pongal’ has always been the most exuberant days of my childhood….

as far as i can remember, pongal was the best holiday i ever had

till i finished school, every year i was sent to my native village where my grand mom and dad lived, this place was the best holiday spot i had ever been to, and it was also the only holiday spot i had been to is another issue.

anyways as a kid i totally had a blast during my pongal holidays in my grand ma’s place.

for it was a most welcomed change for a lonely boy confined to a small house in the ever busy metro city of Madras.

my native village was a very small hamlet called ‘mallal’ , as a matter of fact it just had only 10 streets, to be precise 9. All the nine deserted, muddy streets had two houses each so we have 18 houses all together, not bad for a parched land, with no railway station.

! was sad that our village had no railway station because as a child i was so sure of becoming a train station master, the one who had all the powers to control huge trains.Another thing was i loved travelling on trains, but since my village had no train stations i had to reach there by bus  from my city and it was always the bumpy ride i hated the most. Yet the bus ride was followed by my favorite bullock cart ride, which i thoroughly enjoyed and was very keen every time on not missing to sit near the driver seat.It was the most enjoyable ride any one could ask for. my grand dad owned two bullock carts and i was so proud about that.

Maayan my grand dad’s assistant was always sent to the bus stand to pick me up , he was a tall, dark, well built old guy. Maayan was more than an assistant in my grand dad’s place, he took care of all the works both domestic and business, so he was a part of our family.

no one could guess how old maayan was, he had been around for a long time that’s what very one said.

hmm i have drifted away from pongal haven’t i ? … so lets get back to our story,

so when i reached the bus stand Maayan was warmly smiling and waving at me, i waved back and got down from the bus, it was my last year at high school and i was an energetic,curious teenager like any other kid.

as i got down from bus, maayan reached me , he was wearing his usual  white dhoti tied in the traditional 3/4th  pant style and was wearing a deep blue cotton shirt, a golden chain was shining in his dark neck making him even more darker.

maayan grabbed my bag and his smile widened as he patted my shoulders, he  greeted me in his typical heavy voice ” hi chinna ayya” ( he always addresses me as ‘ Little master ‘ which i never liked, but no use in arguing with maayan he always won).

I was embarrassed when he addressed me as little master , yet i nodded and gave him a wide smile,

before i could open my mouth, maayan spoke looking closely at me ” wow little master you have grown tall, and you are becoming a handsome man like your dad for sure i can see that” i blushed at his comment and replied desperately trying to change the topic, ” so how are you anna? ( i had always called him Anna -elder brother though he was much elder than my dad)

maayan replied ” i am fine little master , as you can see,i am  as strong as i have ever been, you know what this year i have planted two more palm trees in our garden and our cow has yielded a new calf who is so adorable… his eyes are…”

he stopped mid way and looked at my tired eyes and said ” oh i am so sorry little master you must be so tired after the long journey,must be hungry as well, come lets go home first,

your aaya (grand mom) and ayya  (grand dad) are awaiting your arrival ” saying this he hurried away from the bus stand and when we reached the gate there was the most beautiful bullock cart i ever saw, i beamed at the sight of it and i rushed to check out the two bullocks which were painted in  vibrant colors and  the red and yellow cart adorned with silk and sparkling studded chains  and sweet sounding bells.” ho how lovely are these carts.. if only i could ride them once… ” i thought

maayan’s voice distracted my thoughts ” oh little master you still have a craze for these silly bullock carts don’t you? they say in city where you live, you travel in  huge cars and big trucks it seems, yet i wonder why you love these slow carts”

i just smiled and hopped inside the cart  as maayan balanced the cart from tilting and he got into his drivers seat and clicked his tongue and the cart moved, maayan always asks this question ,

i can never explain why i am so crazy about these carts for i myself don’t know the reason.

as the bullock cart jolted to my home maayan had informed me about all the new additions of cattle and the panchayath politics of our hamlet,

he even updated me of how one of our cow had graced into one of my great uncle’s front yard who shared a decade’s enmity with my grand dad

and maayan latter went into great details of how the cow was led to the panchayath and how my grand dad had not touched the cow for a few days as a result of the animals sheer disgraceful behavior.

” little master, now the cow had learnt its lesson she will behave here on that’s my opinion ” maayan ended in a serious tone as we reached home.

I could see my grand dad and grand ma waiting in the wide front yard veranda of our huge villa,  actually all the 18 houses in my hamlet were of almost as huge as ours each house extended from one street on the front to another on the back, so they were kind of very big bungalows.

the black oxide floored well polished front porch was painted in bright colors and the whole villa was painted in white,green and red and blue colors for the occasion of pongal

maayan stopped the cart in front of the yard and i hopped down , he rushed and took my bag  and said” hurry little master lets get in, see aachi and ayya is vaiting” he always called my grand ma as aachi – elder sister and my grand dad as “ayya” – a general word for respect.

“come in dear ” greeted my grand ma as i followed maayan into the porch , my grand dad patted my shoulder and greeted me as well and when i asked about their health, my grand dad smiled and said ” we both are pretty fine young fellow, you seem to have lost some weight though” i smiled and protested ” no ayya … actually i have been eating a lot”

we all got into the huge hall of our home as we talked. my grand ma asked maayan to see if my room in first floor was ready. To which maayan readily rushed to his work, leaving us . Our conversation continued for a while about my dad and mom and about my studies and the usual stuffs. my hot coffee was served by our old cook “mani annan”.

grand mom was so thrilled by my arrival as usual that she left all the house hold jobs to the assistants , while grand dad was also equally happy about the arrival of his only grand son, so he had missed his late evening  sleep as well.

our conversation was interrupted as maayan came and announced that my room was ready, my grand ma said to me ” okay now you better go and freshen up and take some rest we will have to visit our temple tonight “, i nodded and went to my room.

I showered in the warm water and then changed into a comfortable cotton pant and at t shirt. when i came back a plate full of sweets and spicy snacks were placed on my table , i was so hungry that i finished all the food and before i remember i went to bed and was fast asleep and i woke up to the knock on my door, grand ma was calling ” come on ravi wake up its late, get ready and come down its late for our temple visit”

I got up quickly and realized where i was and replied ” yes aaya i will come down in a minute” i changed into the traditional silk dhoti and the mild soft cotton shirt and went down to join my grand parents.

I saw my grand parents were also dressed in silk , grand dad ushered me and grand ma into the cart and he also joined us , only then i noticed that maayan was not riding our cart, as we moved , i asked grand dad ” why is maayan not going in our cart?” , he replied ” oh he is carrying all the precious family Jewels and statues of gods to our temple for blessing, he has to carry it and walk that’s the tradition you see”

I nodded my head but didn’t fully understood why the poor man had to walk all the way carrying such huge boxes on his head, my grand dad had his own rules and traditions, no one can question them, but i felt sorry for maayan, who was to carry all the loads of things and walk so long.

once we reached the temple , i  was so shocked to see maayan waiting for us ,

I wondered how he reached here so swiftly?

he was drenched in sweat and his silk clothes clung to his body, he was panting heavily, i felt sad for him, he must have had a hard time carrying all the boxes all by himself , but maayan was all bright as we entered the temple,

a special pooja was made for my arrival and the usual blessing  ceremony of our family jewels and deities were finished and all the while maayan was helping in all the rituals.  As we returned from temple , maayan again took all the jewel boxes on his head and started before us, i was very upset about this, i couldn’t contain my self from asking my grand dad ” ayya  at least now we can ask maayan to join us in the cart right? why does he have to walk all the way? its pretty dark” my grand dad smiled and ruffled my hair and softly spoke ” my dear boy, why are you so up set there are some things that can’t be changed , its our tradition”, this only increased my anger but by then maayan had left the temple and grand ma had joined us.

so i kept quiet, now i couldn’t enjoy the bullock cart ride any more, my mind was filled with the image of maayan’s sweaty face, poor man he had worked for us for how long , yet he is treated this way, i was filled with anger as these thoughts fumed inside … it was getting darker…

suddenly there was a hustle and bustle, we heard foot steps in the dark and suddenly there were some loud noises but in the pitch dark i couldn’t see anything, my grand dad said some thing to the cart rider, before i could understand what was going on, our cart turned right and i sensed there was a sudden swiftness in the carts speed, our cart rider rode pretty fast , grand dad and mom spoke in hushed voices, i was in total confusion,  slowly i saw a glimpse of a light in the dark, then slowly there were more lights, and i realized they were fire torches carried by few men, our cart slowed down. Now i could make out known faces, they were our villagers and few relatives, all of them were panting they must have come from a long way … they all surrounded our cart as we got down, after getting down i realized we had reached our village , we were now surrounded by villagers and they started to question my grand dad ” what happened? we just now heard the news… are you three fine?”

I was even more confused now, news.. what news…

before i could open my mouth, my grand dad spoke” oh no,no we are fine, it was just a sudden attack, luckily we escaped, they were the usual thieves from the near by forest,”

I was shocked , thieves! were we attacked by thieves? but before i could react, there were murmurs and every one spoke to every one…

some one said” okay okay lets get home ” my grand dad nodded in agreement and we all walked with the villagers and uncles to our home , after reaching home, every one sat in the veranda, my grand mom went inside to fetch water for every one , i was astonished to see the casual attitude of my grand mom , i sat  in the veranda  with others, i looked around and realized the absence of maayan, suddenly i was panicky … where was maayan? what happened to him? …

then, there was a commotion in the front yard, a villager told my grand dad” ah maayan has reached , without him we wouldn’t have known what happened..”

i was confused again…

my grand dad spoke softly “oh he was the one who protected us in the dark”

now things made sense.. so my grand dad knew it was a unsafe route and so he had kept maayan as a guard…and also left him to carry all the valuables… what if the thieves had hurt maayan? what if something had gone wrong? now i felt rage building up inside me against my grand dad… he suddenly seemed too selfish to me, i felt guilt spreading over my head on the sight of maayan who walked past us casually, as if nothing had happened, he gave his usual smile when his eyes met mine. I was so confused to even smile back.

One of my uncles said ” anyways its gud that you have maayan and he has you”

another agreed ” oh yeah he is quiet lucky to be with you ayya”

another chuckled ” of course who can feed him a barrel of rice other than you ayya?”

I could not handle this any more, what do these men feel, why are they so self centered? how can they be so insensitive… how can they even joke about a guy who had saved them?…..

i felt the building anger inside me, so i left the place and went in, i felt sober,sad and tiered all at once, felt thirsty as well so i went to the kitchen,

i lost my words when i saw maayan inside the kitchen,

he was eating there sitting on the floor .. my grand mom was serving him food from a huge barrel!

i tried hard to compose myself, yet my eyes moistened, i fought back tears,

my grand dad’s voice calling my grand mom shifted their attention to me,

both smiled at me, and my grand mom hurried to the veranda ,

i felt the warmth in maayan’s eyes, i felt really sad for him, at the same time i was mad with my grand dad,

something was not right, i felt i had to do something, i turned and looked, maayan was seriously indulging in finishing his barrel of rice.

i rushed to my room,and just sat there for how long i don’t remember… i lost track of time, suddenly my thoughts were disturbed my a knock on the door, it was my grand dad,

i turned my face off, but he came and sat near me, he softly spoke” hey little fellow”

i didn’t answer, i was so mad that i felt if i spoke i would spill my anger all over him,

but my grand dad patted my shoulder,  he spoke in the soft tone ” ravi, i know you are angry, but i seriously think you don’t understand…”

i intervened ” enough! i have seen it all , you are all so self centered, how can you be so cruel to a person like maayan, how can you treat him that way? why should he be carrying all the stuffs and what would have happened if he had got hurt by the thieves  you know they may attack right? why did you make him walk then?, why risk his life?”

my grand dad spoke after a few minutes of awkward silence ” yes my boy i understand your anger, but you see these are traditions , and more over no one can hurt maayan”

i got really frustrated after hearing this ” why? how can you be so sure about the fact that  he can not get hurt?”

“because he is the one who chose to walk all the way … he takes pride in doing his job.. you see” my grand dad said in a calm tone

i fumed ” are you trying to say maayan prefers pride than his life? and he likes risking his life to protect yours?”

he slowly replied ” yes my boy , i will tell you a story, listen carefully…”

i curtly said ” i don’t have time to hear your stories…”

my grand dad spoke ” no you need to hear this ”

something in his voice made me listen, so sat looking at his face he spoke

” i was around your age then, one day i woke up to my uncles and dad yelling at early hours. i saw a great commotion in our front yard,

when i went and saw i realized some one had stolen our bullock cart ,

you see ours was the village head family, so my father and uncles were furious to know that a thief was so arrogant to steal in our house,

so they formed a search party to catch the thief,

ravi, in those days the thieves lived in a separate village and they stole,

that was their job,

they believed that it was their birth right to steal.

they stole for their living.

So my uncles and dad reached the thieves village and searched for the thief .

You see finding a thief in that village was not a tough one, but finding the one who stole our cart would be impossible.

My uncles went in different directions and searched the village day and night, one of my uncle found a cart wheel on a wheel repair shop in that village,

when he observed the wheel, he identified that wheel as ours and so he asked the shop keeper , the shop keeper told him the address of the person who sold the wheel to him, when my dad and uncles reached to the address  they found a young lad of 20 who was sitting in his front yard, when he saw my dad and uncle he stood there staring at them.

When my uncle asked him about the robbery at our place, the young lads parents had come out and they had confessed that the boy had stolen the cart and sold all the parts. After realizing that the thief was a young boy my dad had pardoned him and left.

The next day the young lad had come to our front yard with our bullock cart ,

the lad spoke in a clear voice to my uncles and dad ” ayya i thought i had stolen smartly, but you found me… its not an easy thing to do so, i respect your smartness and i wish to work for you, I know was a thief but not any more”

My dad with out a second thought turned to my uncles and said ” to night  we have to visit our temple to seek blessings for our family jewels, bring the things and ask the lad to ride the bullock cart”

the lad said ” i will not ride the cart but will walk by the side of your cart carrying the boxes no thief will come near me and i can also be a guard ”

“okay fine ” said my dad and asked ” what is your name ”

“maayan, and one more thing ayya,i eat a barrel of rice ” grinned the lad

“so that’s the end of the story … ravi  ” finished my grand dad,

after a few seconds, i looked up at grand dad with pride, he nodded at me and patted my back

he left my room with out another word

i was speech less, i took some time to compose myself and when i reached downstairs things looked different to my eyes now, maayan was washing his hand in our back yard , when i went near him he beamed with his usual warm smile, I smiled back and said ” anna so it is true right?”

“what?” asked maayan

” that you eat a barrel of rice” i smiled

Maayan chuckeld happily and nodded ” yes little master it is true”

“so want a ride in the bullock cart?” asked maayan

I nodded swiftly and added  ” but anna i will ride”

(c) Abirami.k

அப்பாவின் வீடு

விடியலை வரவேற்க காத்திருக்க பிடிக்காமல் , சேவல்கள் கமலாவின் ஊரில்

சீக்கிரமே கூவிதீற்பது  வழக்கமாகிவிட்டது.

இன்றும் அப்படிதான், மணி மூன்றரை தான் அதற்குள் கமலாவை எழுப்பிவிட்டன சேவல்கள்.

இதுவும் ஒருவகையில் கமலாவிற்கு ஏதுவானதாகவே இருந்தது.

இப்படி சீக்கிரமே எழுந்தால்தான் வேலைகள் ஓடும் , அதுவும் இந்த புது வீட்டிற்கு வந்து இன்னும் எதுவும் பழக்கப் படவில்லை.

பழையவீடு  பெரியது, அப்பாவின் பூர்விக சொத்து , அதில் சித்தப்பா குடும்பத்துடன் இவளின் குடும்பமும்   சேர்த்து மொத்தம் 9  பேர். சித்தப்பா,சித்தி, அவர்களின் ஒரு பிள்ளை,ஒரு பெண் குழந்தை, இவளது வீட்டில், அப்பா, அம்மா,இவள்,தம்பி மற்றும் ஒரு தங்கை

இவ்வளவு பேர் இருந்தும் வீடு பெரிதாகவே தோன்றும்,

இவர்களது தெருவில் மொத்தம் 5 வீடுகள் அனைத்துமே பெரிய வீடுகள்தான்.

வாசலில் தோட்டம் தாண்டித்தான் வீட்டிற்குள் நுழைய முடியும், தோட்டத்தில் கமலாவும், சித்தப்பாவும் சேர்ந்து பல செடிகளை நட்டிருன்தனர். ரோஜா, சிகப்பு,வெளிர் மஞ்சள் என பூத்து குலுங்கும் , செம்பருத்தி ,பவழமல்லி,முல்லை,  என பல செடிகொடிகள் நிரைந்து வீட்டிற்கு மேலும் அழகூட்டின.

தாத்தா பர்மாவில் வியாபாரத்தில் கொழித்தபோது கட்டிய வீடு, நுழைவு வாயில் கதவு பர்மா தேக்கினால் ஆனது இரண்டும் மிகவும் பெரியவை, ஒரு ஆளால் திறக்க முடியாது

கதவு தாண்டி பெரிய வெரண்டா, அதை அடுத்து முற்றம்  சுற்றி மரத் தூண்களாலான பத்தி , அதை ஒட்டி 5 அறைகள், அடுத்து 2அம் முற்றம் , அதை சுற்றியும் முதலாவது போலவே அறைகள், அதை அடுத்த பின்கட்டில் தான் சமையர் கட்டு, அதை தாண்டி கிணற்றடியும் ,குளியலறையும் , வீட்டை சுற்றி தென்னை  , மற்றும் மாமரங்கள்.

அறைகளில், அயல்நாட்டு டைல்ஸ்கள் பாதிக்கப்பட்டிருக்கும், ரவிவர்மா ஓவியங்கள் வீடெங்கிலும் தொங்கவிடப் பட்டிருக்கும்.

அப்பாவும் , சித்தப்பாவும் அந்த பெரிய வீட்டில் தான் பிறந்து, வளர்ந்ததெல்லாம். இருவரும் திருமணம் முடித்து குழந்தைகளை வளர்த்ததும் அதே வீட்டில் தான்.

இள  வயதிலேயே பெற்றோரை இழந்தவர்கள் அப்பாவும், சித்தப்பாவும். இருவருக்கும் பெரிய வயது வித்யாசமும் கிடையாது, அனாலும் அப்பாதான் வீட்டு பொறுப்புகளை நிர்வகித்தார்,

அனைத்தையும் சரி செய்வார், குடும்பத்தில் ஏற்படும் சிறு, சிறு சண்டைகள் பெரிதாகிவிடாமல் பார்த்து கொள்வார்.

குழந்தைகளில் வித்தியாசமே இவளது வீட்டில் இல்லை. கமலா தான் வீட்டின் மூத்த பெண், இவளுக்கு பின்  சித்தப்பாவின் பிள்ளை கணேஷ் ,  அவர்களுக்கு அடுத்து இவளது தம்பி சுந்தர் சித்தியின் கடைக்குட்டி வாணியும் இவளது தங்கை சீதாவும் ஒரே வயது.

கமலாவின் அப்பா ஒரு பலசரக்கு கடை வைத்து நடத்தி வந்தார். சித்தப்பா பள்ளி ஆசிரியர் . ஆக இருவருக்கும் வருமானத்திற்கு ஒரு குறைவும் இல்லை.

சித்திக்கும், அம்மாவிற்கும் வீட்டு வேலைகளே சரியாய் இருக்கும். சமையலுக்கு தனி ஆள் உண்டு. மேல்வேலைக்கு தனி .

கமலா சிறு குழந்தையாய் இருந்தபோது , வீட்டில் மாடுகளும், 2 மாட்டுவண்டிகளும்  கூட இருந்தன .

அது எல்லாம் பழைய கதை, இப்பொழுது எல்லாமே கலைந்த கனவாய் போனது.

எல்லாமே சட்டென முடிந்து விட்டதாய் கமலாவிற்கு  தோன்றின.

சித்தப்பா பிள்ளை கணேஷ் திடீரென கல்லூரியில் படிக்கப்போன இடத்தில் ஷெர்லின் என்ற பெண்ணை காதலித்து வீடிற்கு சொல்லாமல் கலியாணமும் பண்ணிவிட்டான்,

முதலில் கோபத்தில் கொந்தளித்த சித்தப்பாவை அப்பாதான் சாமாதானம் செய்தார் , மதுரைக்கு போய்  கணேஷை வீடிற்கு கூடி வந்தார் , சித்தியும் அம்மாவும் அழுது புலம்பினார்கள், எல்லாவற்றையும் அப்பா சரி செய்தார். கணேஷை மதுரையிலேயே தனி குடித்தனம் வைத்தார். ஷேர்லினை இதுவரை யாரும் பார்த்ததே இல்லை அப்பாவை தவிர. சித்தப்பா இனி தனக்கும் தன் மூத்த பிள்ளைக்குமான உறவை முற்றிலுமாக முறித்து விட்டிருந்தார் . அப்பா மட்டும் அவ்வப்போது கணேஷை சென்று பார்த்து வருவார், செலவுக்கு பணமும் கொடுப்பார்.

ஆனால் யாரும் எதிர் பார்க்காதது சித்தியின்  மாற்றம் தான் .

கணேஷ் வீட்டைவிட்டு சென்றபின் சித்தி மனதளவில் நொறுங்கிப்போனாள், அதை புரிந்து கொள்ள சித்தப்பாவும் முயலவே இல்லை.

சித்தியின் பிள்ளைப்பாசம், குமுரலாய்  மாறி, பகையாய், பொறாமையாய்  அம்மா, கமலா என ஆனவர் மீதும் திரும்பியது,

பின் சித்தப்பாவிடம் அடிக்கடி சண்டையிட ஆரம்பித்தாள் சித்தி.

‘ அவரு பெத்த பிள்ளையா  இருந்தா அப்பிடி தான் வேற ஊர்ல தனி குடித்தனம் வைப்பாங்களா? எம்புள்ள வேற சாதி பொண்ண இளுதாந்தா ரெண்டு சாத்து சாத்தி வெட்டி வுட்டு கூட்டி வருவாங்களா அத விட்டு  அவனை குடம்பதுல  இருந்தும், உங்க கிட்டைருந்தும் பிரிசிட்டாறு  இலே உங்கண்ணன், எல்லாம் சொத்து ஆசை தான் காரணம் … ‘

சித்தப்பா சித்தியை அறைந்தது அன்றுதான் . கமலாவும் , தம்பி அனைவரும் ஓடி வந்து சித்தியை  சாமாதானம் செய்தனர்.

அப்பா வீட்டில் இல்லை, வந்ததும் அம்மா ஒன்றுவிடாமல் நடந்ததை சொல்லிவிட்டாள்.

அடுத்தநாள் காலை அப்பா சித்தப்பாவிடம் மட்டுமல்லாமல் எல்லோருக்கும் பொதுவாகவே பேசினார்

‘ இதோ பாரு தம்பி எனக்கு உம்புள்ள எம்புள்ளன்னு  ஒரு வித்தியாசமும் இல்லே , கணேஷ் பண்ணது  தப்பு தான் , அனா அவனை ஒதுக்கி வக்கணும்லாம்  நான் யோசிக்கல, அவ வேற சாதி பழகம்லாம் வேறதா இருக்கு, அதான் கொஞ்ச நாள் தனி குடித்தனமா இருக்கட்டுமேனு நினச்சேன், நீயும் ரொம்ப கோவமா இருந்தே, சொத்து சொகம் முக்கியம்னு நான் நினைச்சதே இல்ல’

சொல்லிவிட்டு சிறிது நேரம் எதையோ யோசித்தார் அப்பா,

சித்தப்பா இதற்குள் மனைவியை முறைத்தபடி எதையோ சொல்ல வாய்திறந்தார் , அவரை  தடுக்கும்விதமாக அப்பாவே தொடர்ந்தார்

‘ இனி எப்போ உன் வீடு என்வீடுனு பேச்சு வந்திடிச்சோ  இனி ஒரே வீட்ல இருந்து பயனில்லே, அதுனால நான் தனியா போயிரலானு முடிவெடுதிட்டேன்.”

சித்தப்பாவின் ஆட்சேபகங்களை பொருட்படுத்தாது பேசினார் அப்பா

‘ தம்பி இதுல ஒண்ணும் தப்பு இல்லே, உறவை முறிசிட்டா போறேன் தனியா போறேன் அவ்ளோதான் , பிள்ளைகளும் வளர்ந்திட்டங்க , வீட்ல பொம்பிளைகளும் அவுங்க விருப்பபடி  வாழனும். அதுமட்டும் இல்லே வாழ்ந்தா எல்லோரும் சந்தோஷமா  வாழணும் , சண்டையடிசிட்டு ஒரே வீட்ல வாழறது சரிவராது.’

என முடிவாக சொல்லிவிட்டார்,

அப்பாவின் பேச்சிற்கு யாரும் எதிர்ப்பு கூற முடியாது.

சித்தப்பா எவ்ளவோ மன்றாடி பார்த்து தோற்றார்.

சித்தி அதோடு சுத்தமாக எங்களுடன் பேசுவதையே நிறுத்திவிட்டாள்.

காரியங்கள் கட கட வென நடந்து முடிந்தன , ஒருவாரத்துக்குள் அப்பா  பக்கத்துக்கு டவுனுக்கு கடையை மாற்றிவிட்டார், கடைக்கு அருகிலேயே வீடும்  பார்த்துவிட்டார், இந்த வீடு பழைய வீட்டுடன் மிகவும் சிறியது. எப்படி  அப்பாவால் அவளவு பெரிய வீட்டை விட்டு இங்கே  வரமுடிந்தது ? என்று பலமுறை  கமலா யோசிப்பாள்.எப்படியோ இங்கே வந்து இதோ நாட்கள் பரந்தாயிற்று.

சித்தப்பாவுக்கும்  அப்பாவுக்குமான   தொடர்பு   விட்டுப்போனது    , இரு குடும்பங்களும் பேசிக்கொள்வதே  இல்லை

அப்பாவும் தம்பி சுந்தரும் 8 மணிக்கெல்லாம் கடைக்கு சென்று விடுவார்கள் ,

பின் 9 மணிக்கு தங்கை பள்ளிக்கு சென்றுவிடும்,  அதற்குள் அம்மாவும், கமலாவும், சமையலை முடித்து வீட்டை சுத்தம் செய்து விடுவார்கள். கமலாவும் டவுனிலேயே  கல்லூரியில் சேர்ந்துவிட்டாள்.

ஏனோ அப்பா செலவு செய்வதில் மிகவும் கணக்காகவே இருந்தார், அதனால்தான் சிறிய வீடாக பார்த்திருந்தார்.

அப்பாவின் சிக்கனம் விரைவிலேயே  பலனளித்தது,

பின் எவ்ளவோ மாற்றங்கள் நிகழ்ந்து விட்டன, கடையை  அப்பா விரிவுபடுத்திவிட்டார் .  தம்பியும் படிப்பை முடித்து விட்டு  முழு ஈடுபாட்டோடு  அப்பாவுடன்   வியாபாரத்தில் அப்பாவுக்கு தோள்  கொடுத்தான், கமாலாவும்  படிப்பை முடித்து விட்டு அப்பாவின்  கடைக் கணக்குகளை பார்த்தாள், 3 வருடங்கள்  ஓடியதே  தெரியவில்லை!

அப்பா புது வீட்டையும் கட்டிவிட்டார் ,

திடீரென கணேஷ் ஒரு நாள் வீட்டிற்கு வந்த போதுதான் விவரமே அப்பாவுக்கு தெரிந்தது,

‘ பெரியப்பா, அப்பா வீட வித்துரணும்னு சொல்றாங்க அதான் உங்க கையெழுத்து வேணும்….’

கணேஷ் பேசிமுடிப்பதற்குள் அப்பா எழுந்தார்

அம்மாவும் தம்பியும், கமலாவும் அவரை வைத்தகண் வாங்காமல் கவனித்தனர்.

‘ நீ சின்ன புள்ள உனக்கு ஒண்ணும் தெரியாது, உங்க அப்பா வா என் கைஎழுத்த கேட்டான்?’

அப்பாவின் குரல் சற்றே  கோபமாக  தொனித்தது

கணேஷ் தலையை  குனிந்துகொண்டான் ,

‘ பெரியப்பா, அப்பாவா இல்ல , அம்மா சொல்லி தான் …’

அப்பா ஒன்றும் சொல்லாமல் மௌனமானார்  .

பின்பு பேசுவதற்கு ஒன்றும் இல்லை என்பது போல, அப்பா கடைக்கு கிளம்பிவிட்டார்.

கணேஷும் போய்விட்டான்.

2 வாரங்களுக்கு பின் கணேஷுடன் சித்தப்பாவும் சித்தியும் வீட்டிற்கு வந்திருந்தனர்,  கமலா அப்பாவை கடையிலிருந்து வரச்சொல்லி போன் செய்தாள்.

அப்பா வரும் வரை யாரும் ஒன்றும் பேசவில்லை … அசௌகரியமான மௌனம நீண்டது  , ஆனால் சித்தப்பாவின் கைகளில் இருந்த பத்திரக் காகிதங்கள் எல்லாவற்றையும் பேசின. அப்பா வேகமாக வந்தார்,

சித்தப்பா தலை கவிழ்ந்தவாறே

‘ வீட்ட வித்துரலாம்முன்னு  இருக்கோம் அதான் உங்க கையெழுத்து வேணும் ‘


அதுவரை அவ்வளவு கோபமான அப்பாவை கமலா பார்த்ததே இல்லை , கம்பீரமான குரலில்

‘ யாரை கேட்டு வீட்டை விக்கிறத பத்தி முடிவு எடுத்தே?’

சித்தப்பா தயங்கியவாறே , ‘

‘இபோ நாங்க அந்த வீட்டை வித்துட்டு கணேஷோடவே போய்டலாம்னு முடிவு பண்ணிட்டோம்,  எங்களுக்கு  தான் போதாத காலம், உடம்பு முடியமே நான் வேலைய விட்டுட்டேன் , கணேஷுக்கும் வேலை ஒண்ணும்  சரிபடலை, அதான் அவன் வியாபாரம் செயலாம்னு  முதல் கேட்டான், அவனுக்கும் அந்த பொண்ணுக்கும் வேற வழி இல்லே ‘

அப்பா தீர்கமாக

‘ அதெல்லாம் அந்த வீட்டை விற்க முடியாது , நான் கையெழுத்து போடமாட்டேன்’

சித்தப்பா பேச வாய்திரக்குமுன்   சித்தி முந்திக்கொண்டு

” அதான் சொத்து ஆசை எல்லாம் ஒண்ணும் இலைன்னு அன்னிக்கு  சொல்லிடீங்க இல்லே, இபோ இப்பிடி பேசுறீங்க, நல்ல வசதியான வீடு, இவ்ளோ கடைகள்னு சொத்து சுகத்தோட தானே இருக்கீங்க ? ”

அப்பா நிதானமாக சித்தப்பாவை நோக்கி,

‘எனக்கு சொத்து , பணம்  முகியமில்லே , உண்மைதான், இனிக்கு நான் நல்லா  சம்பாதிச்சு வளமா இருக்கேன், அதுக்கு காரணம் என் உழைப்பு, யாரையும் நம்பி நான் இல்லே, அன்னிக்கு நான் நம்ப வீட்டை விட்டு வந்ததுக்கு காரணம் , உறவுகள் விட்டுப்போககூடதேன்னு தான் , எனக்கு சொத்து மேல அசை இல்லைனா எனக்கு அந்த வீட்டுல உரிமை இல்லேன்னு அர்த்தமா?  அந்த வீடு வெறும் கட்டடம் இல்லே , நம்ப அப்பா, அம்மா , குடும்பம்னு  பல உறவுகளின் நினைப்புகள் அதுல புதைஞ்சு இருக்கு .

அன்னிக்கு நான் என் குடும்பத்தோட நம்ப வீட்டை விட்டுட்டு வந்தப்ப, உனக்கு என் உறவு வேணுன்னு தோணல, நான் தான் முட்டாள்தனமா பாசம், பந்தம்னு ஏமாந்திட்டேன் ,

உனக்கு வெறும் காசு  தான் வேணும், எனக்கு வேற சிலதும் வேண்டி இருக்கு, அதை தேடிக்கிற திறனும் இருக்கு,

ஒண்ணு  பண்ணு வேணுனா உன் பங்கு வீட்ட எனக்கு வித்துட்டு போய்டு சரியா?

அடுத்தவன் சொத்து சுகம் எனக்கு வேணாம், அனா என்னோட உரிமையை விட்டுக்குடுத்து    ஏமாளியா நிக்க மாட்டேன் , புரிஞ்சிக்க’


கணேஷ் அவனது அம்மா அப்பாவுடன் மொனமாக வெளியேறினான்.

அம்மாவும், கமலாவும் அப்பாவை பெருமையாக பார்த்தார்கள்.

– (c) abirami.k

history is actually not so boring :)

At school i always had better things to do in my histrory class ,like

gossiping with friends,

fighting with not so friendly class mates,

sketching in my note book,

seriously watching all the interesting things happening around our school from the window ( i always had a window seat ! lucky me )

for history lessons were so boring, i used to seriously wonder why did the schools taught so many unwanted things? like physics, maths, history ( all most all the subjects, seemed so useless … language was at least tolerable , for you get to read stories.)

especially History i despised most, all credit goes to the dates , that one had to remember,

and the names of the dynasty’s and kings , ( some kings shared the same name ,  making a student’s life miserable)

i felt like murdering some kings , for they had done nothing other than planting trees and digging wells,

i wondered how a king with all his majestic attire and a sword would have dug a well? seemed pretty awkward to me then,

our history teacher at school was not helpful either, she was so particular about the years and places had taken place, that i almost had a tough time before all my history exams,

some of my friends had this capacity to write pages and pages of answers the talent i never grasped, that would have helped , for i think the teacher tends to fall asleep halfway through  your papers and you end up getting more grades.

so in my school days i decided once for all that i would never ever turn to the subject of history.

but that all changed once i joined high school, during my annual holidays  i joined the USIS and BC libraries, i was introduced to a new world of books that were so different from my text books!

these books were quiet simple, yet had real good information on manifold subjects such as,  science,literature,technology,humanity,history,philosophy and so on…

i also had all the time to ponder over our publication works and my grand dad helped me select some good books on various subjects in Tamil .

so i was all set for a holiday with lots of good stuff to read.

i was over whelmed by the new things i learnt through those wonderful books,

i comprehended  with out chemistry we couldn’t use tooth paste, medicines… and physics helps you understand nature better,

maths helped you manage money, and to calculate stuffs that would make life easier

while language was a door to literature and art , that were nothing but life

though literature was my favorite subject, with out even knowing i was involved with history, Darwin’s theory on evolution, ice age, Indus valley civilization ,  Aryan -Dravidian issues, human communication, empires of India, foreign invasions, freedom movement,revolutions, world history…mesmerized me.

i understood the splendor of our past that i failed to grasp before, and then it dawned on me that all the subjects were interlinked and it was essential to understand these subjects

history was no more boring, it turned out to be rather an interesting subject, that was like time travelling backwards

at times some heroes of the past were more inspiring than a famous

fictional super hero – i  realized that emperors did more than planting trees and digging well,

while some battles of the history, were more interesting than an action movie.

so after all history isn’t so boring 🙂

Martyr’s Insult

Today all the media flashed the news of  the neglect of 3 police men who were killed in a powerful landmine blast triggered by the Maoists near Kirandul in Dantewada on Sunday night, who’s coffins were ferried in a garbage truck…

government officials give lame excuses, defending themselves as usual…

so be it…

but this unfortunate incident is an example of a bigger problem thats evolving in our society, especialy in our country…

are we becoming inhuman?

are we slowly loosing faith in values?

don’t we have any respect for the people who sacrifice their lives for our well-being?

these haunting questions reminds me of a similar first person experience  narrated by my grand dad,

It was the days of India’s independence and he was a second  leftenant  in the Indian national army and personal translator of Netaji.

My grand dad was taken as a war prisoner and was kept in kolkata prison. Latter he was released , on that day when he and his fellow war prisoners went around the city, people every where greeted them with respect, and  the shop keepers refused to take money from them, when my grand dad insisted against this, a shop keeper had said’ na dada who paab ho’ meaning ‘ no brother its sin to take money from freedom fighters’

so coming back to today’s issue… where are we heading ?

don’t we owe anything to the martyr’s of this country? to those who have faced death for public safety?

doesn’t our government needs to wake up to such issues?

will we learn from our past?