Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Little lady with the lamp

This happened a few years ago. And R was in the middle school class.
C spoke to me about her father’s death anniversary. And that she would prefer to visit his grave in the Kilpauk cemetery in Chennai where he was laid to rest. She confided that she needed some peace of mind on that day and so did not want to spend the day with her clan who as usual where all slated to make the anniversary day a day for feasting and superficial prayers. She also disliked the retinue of prelates who would descend on her clan’s bungalow. She traveled to Chennai by the overnight train on January the 11. I booked her return tickets on the 12 th evening flight from Chennai to Coiambatore . And assured her that I will pick her from the airport.
On the 12 th evening I and R (she had holidays) drove to Coiambatore. to pick C when she was back .
The drive back to our place was almost an hour and it was a bit late around 9 in the night. R took the rear seat of the car and we thought she slept off. C began to tell about her brief time in Chennai; her visit to the cemetery and how she got the care- taker to clean the tomb stone and arranged for some flowers to be laid on, and the time she stayed by the grave in quiet.
She also dropped over at her brother in law’s flat to enquire after him. He was living alone and after a by pass surgery of the heart. His wife  suddenly developed anathema to him. Perhaps he was past his prime, perhaps he was a handicap with a heart condition! Who can tell the wiles of woman without being charmed by her deceit? It was apparent from what C was telling me that he was finding it difficult to meet ends. And with no one for company, help or comfort. The discussion on this gentleman and the wickedness of people concerned went on for most of our drive back home. We in fact could only sigh for him.
C told me later next day that R was awake all through the drive back from Coiambatore . And she went to C first thing in the morning and said, “amma I was awake while you were discussing about ‘daddy’( she calls her uncle daddy).And I listened to all that you and atcha discussed. I have about one thousand rupees with me from my last birthday and other times. You can send that money to daddy. He is in need.”.
She was then twelve and I wish and hope that she carries such a heart through her life.