Srimate ramanujaya nama:
Priya arangan adiyar,
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I lay on my back and asked him about his family. So far I knew nothing about him personally except that his parents were financially in great trouble. They could feed him but not well and education was beyond their means. He was admitted in the Gurukulam before a year and a half and he made this his home. This information was gathered by me from the chat with the volunteers. He was now under the shelter of the Trust’s Gurukulam and was well looked after and educated far beyond his parents’ wishes.
I felt extremely relieved that his parents did not ill-feed him or deny him education thinking it socially dis-respectable to declare their financial constraints to others. They were wise and admitted him in such a good place. Not that all the people around here cuddled him and bought him sweets. The volunteers were not his caretakers alone. All the students were under their roof. They showed their love by persuading people to contribute funds, physically toiling to buy things for the children, shoulder so much of administrative work. I saw them as angels hovering in the air with every cell made of selflessness; they had a deep attachment to all yet not too personal to get carried away with a single child and lose track of the rest. They would love every child irrespective of his nature and whether he returned their love or not. I felt true gratitude.
I had already called my friend many times in the day to inform my wish to be with the children. He was reluctant with it but answered an "ok" in a whisper. But he kept calling frequently to check if I altered my decision and turned towards his house. He had asked me to at least have dinner with him. But I was obstinate and never relented to his pressure. I affirmed myself that I would eat at his house in the next visit.
I was still trying to abstract information from kutti payyan about him. I asked his father’s profession, whether he had any siblings, whether his father had siblings and so on. He answered in the characteristic monosyllable but with utmost rapidity. In sometime I was whispering a series of questions in the air expecting replies. None came.
He had turned to my side and his left-hand became an additional pillow to his head while his right-hand extended to half the right thy. He was posed like moolavar but with closed eyes and heavy breathing. His left-hand was sandwiched between the pillow and his cheek. I blinked at him. He seemed to have slept before a long time. I drew the blanket over his fragile figure and his soft breathing began to caress by skin in a fixed pattern of inhale and exhale.
I looked above.