Whatever Happens Life Should Go On….
A nice Story………..
Below is a story that was written by an IT employee in a “short story
It’s a story of a Brahmin gal who loved a non-Brahmin and due to father’s
compulsion married a Brahmin guy and leading a perfect life with little
This may be a story written in a contest, but the content, characters and
the sentences of the story were “Heart Throbbing” and “Breath Taking”…
Please do read it completely, it takes around 15 mins… But, I say, its
really worth reading this story… This may even lead to a change of
attitude or the character or the mindset in you, in the future…
(Some tamil words included)…
Hi folks, here’s my entry to the much talked about short story
contest. The story is not short though, I apologise!
When I thought of this story, I envisaged it and almost started
writing this in Tamil but only then did I realise that my written
Tamil is not upto the mark. ( Well, am not claiming my English is
excellent, but it’s relatively better than my Tamil) In fact, even
after I finished writing it, I still felt the story belongs to
Tamil!! Will mail it to my aunt and get it reincarnated in Tamil.
Pssst, the most operative name in this story, I ripped from Thevar
Magan (Embedded image moved to file: pic25493.gif);)It somehow
signified a lot to me!
Hope this letter finds you, Amma, Raji and Seenu in good health. The
weather here in New York City is icy cold. But Avar sollraar- I have
missed this winter’s biting cold. I still wish I had seen the snow…
But then, I still wish I had not left Trichy at all. I do miss
Trichy, Appa. You, Amma, Raji, Seenu, pakkatthaathu Rama, Vikatan,
Ucchi Pillaiyaar Koil, filter coffee, Holy Cross College, the Physics
Department and of course Sakthi. I know you wish I hadn’t brought his
name in this letter.But not to worry Appa, I understand that you got
me married to Visu because you thought it was best for your daughter.
I still remember Amma wiping her silent tears with her madisaar
thalappu and you shouting at me the day I told you about Sakthi.
Later, when the initial shock wore off you patiently listed umpteen
reasons why I should not marry Sakthi. I agree Appa, that 20 is too
young to decide, that Raji and Seenu would have been affected greatly
by my ‘mistake’, the Agrahaaram would have scoffed at you… a meat
eater was not a good match for someone who had never even tasted
onion and garlic. The reasons were innumerous. I knew you’d still
have objected and offered other reasons even if he had become a
Dhigambara monk. Visu on the other hand, wore a poonal, he is the son
of Neelakanta Sastri, an Engineer and he researched about computers
which is what made you jump for this alliance. Am not complaining
Appa, Visu is a nice man.
Tell Amma that I could not try her kozhakkattai recipe this Pongal
because coconuts were too expensive and Avar nenacchar that it was
ridiculous. Anyway, we went out on Sankaranthi day and dined out. He
thought it would be a good idea to invite the Chatterjees also. But I
didn’t speak Bengali and Mrs.Chatterjee spoke English in an accent
that comes with living years in America. Hence I made myself busy
with the menu card. They ordered various species of fish,shrimp and a
lot more of items I had never seen in my life. I ordered orange juice
and a sandwich. The other diners thought it was queer coming to a
seafood restaurant and settling for a sandwich. That day, I learnt
that Avar prefer pannradhu beef, pork, bacon and seafood. Do you
know, Appa… Sakthi gave up meat because of me? I didn’t ask, he just
did. But then, Sakthi is not Neelakanta Sastri’s son and that made it
imposible for Subramania Iyer’s daughter Kalyani to marry him.
I will keep you posted on what happens here. I don’t think I can make
it to Seenu’s Upanayanam. Tell Amma not to get me a pattu podavai for
the poonal, I don’t use them here. I wore it once and felt like a
We are fine here. Gautam is speaking his first words and I swear they
sounded like ‘Dosai’. But Visu claims it’s just gibberish. From your
previous letter, I gather that pakkathatthu Rama is married and
settled in Jamshedpur. Nice to know that. Please find out her address
from Saarada maami and write it to me. I want to keep in touch with
her. I hope Raji is happy with her husband in Madras. I spoke to her
last month, great to know that she has a phone. Do tell Seenu to
study well and prepare for his school final exams. Raji also told me
that Sakthi is married now. I wish him good luck, but I could not
convey the message to him. Raji refused to be the messenger and I
know you have severed ties with Sakthi’s father, your long term
friend Sankaravel, thanks to me. I hear his wife is his cousin… He
must have succumbed to his mother’s wishes.
How did Avani Avittam go? Visu’s mother gave me a bunch of new
poonals for Avani Avittam but Visu was in Boston that day. He
wouldn’t have used it anyway, I haven’t seen him wear one in the last
three years. Gautam is now playing with the spool of thread- mere
thread it is, what else can I call it? Gautam will not even know what
it signifies, I guess. Visu is making sure Gautam grows up listening
to English only. He says it will make his life easier. But I do read
out passages from Ponniyin Selvan and Bharathiyaar’s poetry when I am
alone with him. It’s more of reading to myself, I guess. I actually
got that poetry book as a present from Sakthi, it still has his
scrawling signature in the first page.
By the way, Visu saw that book and asked me about Sakthi, I told him.
Hold your breath Appa, he didn’t throw me out of the house. He is a
good man, no question. He said it is okay and that he doesn’t mind.
And then he told me of his American girlfriend whom he was once in
love with, when he first reached America- Amy, a fellow Researcher
who was in a brief relationship with Visu when she was in New York.
They lived together for 3 months and decided against marriage,
somehow. Amy once dropped home when she was in New York. Nice lady,
Ask Amma to send me Sambar Podi for this whole year. My friend Sudha
is coming to Madras next week. Ask Seenu to catch the Rockfort
Express and give it to her. I will collect it from her here.
We have arrived here safely. After two months in India, I find it
hard to adjust back to normal life here. Gautam and Ranjana demand
vadai,paayasam and vaazhai ilai here. Visu’s relieved to be back in
America. I left a set of my books there. If it’s not in Trichy it
must be in Visu’s parents’ place. If you find them, safeguard them
until my next trip. They mean a lot to me since they were gifts from
Sakthi. By the way, Appa, I found out Sakthi’s present address in
Madras from Rama and Saarada maami. I wrote to him. I am extremely
proud to know that Dr.Sakthivel is a cardiologist much in demand
there in Madras. He was thrilled to hear from me after so long. You
know what he has named his daughters? Kalyani and Raagamaalika.
He called me. You know what, he’s still a practising vegetarian,
Appa. He didn’t revert back just because he lost me… He asked me if I
still sang and whether Gautam and Ranjana could sing. I could see a
proud father in him, when he claimed his daughters could sing upto Ra
ra Venu Gopala. That’s when I remembered that I was once a good
singer. I wonder why I stopped singing, wonder why I never exposed
the kids to Music and Dance. But then, I realize that I had buried
all that deep inside me when I left Trichy; after bidding farewell to
my best Rasika, actually. Sakthi. After the call, I tried singing
‘Kurai Onrum Illai’. I could not rquite reach Charanam, because of
the lack of practice and more importantly because of the tears that
filmed my eyes and the constriction in my throat. I sang to Visu and
the kids one of these days. Though Gautam was impressed, father and
daughter could not just wait for me to finish!
By the way, next time some friend comes to India, send me a Sruthi
Box. I would like to start singing again.
14th Aug 1978
Just back after our tour to California. Find our photos, picture
postcards attached herewith. After you are done with showing all
family members,relatives, friends and neighbours, pass them to Visu’s
parents. It was a welcome break for the four of us. But I missed my
paattu class students all along and was happy to resume the classes
again last evening. Did I mention in my previous letter, before we
left on the tour – I finally got my driving license here. I sent a
few photos to Sakthi too. He has sent me quite a few records and
cassettes. I loved it! I’m reminded of AIR, almost! I’m circulating
them among my friends too. And of course, playing them for my
students too. They are picking up beautifully. Funny news is, I, a
Tamilian, is teaching Telugu and Sanskrit kritis to a cross section
of Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada,Telugu, Marathi, Bengali students in an
English speaking nation.
The music sessions have resulted in a reborn Kalyani, Appa. Thanks to
Sakthi, really. I would have never taken it up had it not been for
his reminder. I am now thinking of what life would have been like if
I had indeed married him. I would have of course lost you and Amma.
But right now, with this life in America, Visu and these monthly
letters to you, Rama, Raji and Seenu what have i gained? I don’t
find an answer, Appa. Neither do I think I ever will. Again, as I
have always reiterated, Visu is a good man, no complaints there. He
is every bit the son in law you wanted. Researcher, American Post
Graduate Degree holder, a dutiful husband and father,earning a
comfortable income. I know it is too much to ask for anything else.
That is a fantasy I left midway in my life… Once upon a time in
Trichy with someone else.
Met Dr.Sakthivel after 19 years… He had come to
New York for business purposes and paid me a visit. Visu and the kids
welcomed him home with great pleasure. And they liked him too. In
fact, they did most of the talking initially. And of course, he got
me a whole load of books, cassettes, Mysore Paak and lots more.
20th Jan’ 1990
I just went through all these letters lying in my closet draw for
years together. These are letters I started writing to you and then
decided not to post. For obvious reasons. I could not mention Sakthi
to you even though I was itching to. Not because I was afraid to
invite your wrath. I just did not have the heart to hurt you, I know
these letters would have hurt you. Because deep inside, I know you
were disturbed- you knew Sakthi was a good man, you knew he was a man
of substance, yet you didn’t want to go further. Society, I know.
Family… I know… And all these letters would have only wounded you
more. Today, 2 years after your death, and 6 months after Dr.
Sakthivel’s untimely death in a road accident, I somehow felt like
re-reading all these letters. To me, all these unstamped, unposted
letters mean a life that could have been.