‘I am surprised to know this about myself! I never knew I could write. But talking to you I recollected the poem that won the appreciation from someone who hated me, Ms. Narayan, our science teacher. Of course it was Venkatachalan who got the accolades because I wrote the poem, ‘The ungreatful moon’, for him. Let me spell it out for you ha ha ha! The spelling mistake was corrected by her while she was profusely praising the lines. She was praising me, wasn’t she! Now I realise why I never make spelling mistakes; I always check.’
‘I must also confess something. Although I am known as a black sheep, a bad apple, an outcast by many, chatting up with you was cool. It helped me rediscover myself. I made Pari smile. During Vishwakarma puja*, my friend, a next door neighbor looked pensive; he did not have money to buy kites. I had money the day before from my visiting aunt from Delhi. I took him to the market, bought two kites, threads with latai (thread reel). We went to the rooftop and started flying kites; I was holding the reel, encouraging him. We won and lost and won a number of times fighting the flying game. (Smiles)’
They were complete strangers a night ago. By sheer accident, came to the echo point of this hill station in South India, Kodaikanal* in the middle of the night to take a leap into its lap and end their lives. There, the whole night they sat around reading to each other bits and pieces of their past. Now, with the dawn, they are climbing down to the city holding hands, to face life. Once again.
Vishwakarma puja – the god of work, celebrated one month before Durga Puja. It means a holiday for all menial labourers, small and big businesses, for children it is an occasion to celebrate flying kites.
Kodaikanal – it is a hill station which is famous for its beauty, the smell of eucalyptus trees and also for its echo point; it is said that the voice can be heard very clearly for a long duration