Posted by: Boopalan Jayaraman | April 6, 2009

To hope for good..!

The sea tides were kissing the feet of Ram who was staring at the surface of water with an expressionless face. The sea breeze was testing his tolerance level to the cold atmosphere prevailing there. The sudden touch of water made him feel the colder state of water and added up inconvenience to his agitating state of mind. Why one can not be moving around like those tides without caring for anything, without being bound by the tough rules of life, Ram wondered. He wanted to run to the sea water and get merged with it.

Depression caused by continuous failures in life is what chased him to this night and this place. His mind filled up with self-pity, badly wanted to let his soul free and see it flying like those water bubbles out of foam. It continued to wander until his forehead was hit by a wooden piece of a toy – the head of a baby doll. A disjointed head part.

A boy of age between 2-3, came by, rushing and breathing hard, said ‘Mama [Uncle], Sorry for it’d hit you. I’ll see to that it does not come your side again. Can you give it back, mama?‘, pleading. Irritated with the blow, Ram gazed at the boy, who was wearing a shirt that did not qualify to be a shirt. His shirt and shorts were at the end of their life, serving duty for the namesake. A little bit of enthusiasm and happiness of his game was still remaining in his face. His slang of Tamil proved to be different.

Pretending to show anger, Ram said in a strong tone, “Why you have thrown this at me? Bring your mother here, I am going to complain about your activity. I’ll hand over this to her and only her“. Boy’s face suddenly darkened with unknown fear. In a hushing voice, he uttered slowly, “No, She will not come“. “Then you are unlikely to get it back“, said Ram in a stronger tone. “Where is your mother? Let me find out myself, Tell me where she is.“, stood up Ram.

Shivering boy muttered, “She is with Kandhan“. “Kandhan?” puzzled Ram asked. “Yes, Lord Kandhan! My grandma said it” continued the boy. Thinking the boy was trying to befool him, Ram asked further with a disgracing tone, “And how did she get there?“. With a broken accent, “A day, I returned home from playing. I saw her being dragged by three armykaarargal [armymen] into our hut.” stopped the Boy unwilling to proceed. “Tell” said Ram. “She gave loud cries. After sometime, armykaarargal took my father who was tied up and left. I tried to wake her up again and again. My grandma then screamed hugging me that my mother had already reached Lord Kandhan.

Greatly disturbed, Ram asked, “Where it happened?“. “Vanni they call I think” answered the boy. “I have not heard it here. Any other detail on where you lived?” urged Ram. “Shiri Lanka, a cursed soil, my mother used to call it. Somewhere inside this sea“. said boy, in a low voice. Sea roared as if in approval. “Where is your grandma now? Is she here?” worried Ram asked.

No, she was telling that she was going to the place of my mother. Neighbour mama has brought me here in a boat. She finally told me to hope for good. I asked her why. She said nothing.” said boy, looking at the soil.

After few moments of silence and thinking, Ram asked the boy, “Would you like to come with me? My mother and granny are also with Lord Kandhan.” Boy, regaining the traces of smile, said “But where Mama, to Lord Kandhan?“, “To hope for good!” said Ram, walking with the boy, opposite to the sea. The toy’s disjointed head smiled, at boy’s hand…


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