Srimate ramanujaya nama:
Priya arangan adiyar,
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I did not know when I slept but a cool breeze woke me. I forgot to wear my shirt at night and had kept my blanket untouched. But my sleep was completely severed and I decided to get up. Kutti payyan was now sleeping with his entire right hand clasped round my waist. The toes of his right foot were softly placed on my ankle. I delicately removed his clasp and put down his foot. He lifted it again and kept it suspended in air for some time. And then put it down again. I knew it was very early since the children weren’t awake. I decided to catch an early bus to Chennai.
I washed my face, brushed my teeth with the Vicco paste placed in the bathroom using my fingers as brush. I slowly got into the tent again and implanted a kiss on the visible cheek of kutti payyan. How strange it was. I had asked so many details about him and his family; but never his name. I called him kutti payyan and it became his name for me. If I had another son, I would have introduced him to others as “yen chinna payyan ivan”. The chinna was kutti here. I always lovingly called my son “Motta”, “vaalu” etc. and addressed him with his full name only when the situation was serious and my scolding essential to discipline him. I hoped I would never be in a situation to scold “Kutti Payyan” and hence never have the need to know his full name.
Waking a boy sleeping in the ground floor, I asked him to open the gate for me. He sleepily recognized me and did as I said. I drew the diary of the Trust and the cheque book I luckily carried to the temple at morning. I read the yearly expense for a child from the diary and scribbled the amount in a cheque. I shook the sleepy boy by the shoulders and handed the cheque to him asking to give it at the office without fail. I was soon out of the Gurukulam and slowly made contact with the road and picked up speed to reach my friend’s house where my luggage lodged.
The day reminded me of the previous day. Yesterday, I was a child’s father. Today,father of two. Namberumal had not given me his darsanam that day; but had shown me some of his prized possessions. I prayed Namberumal to give me enough strength to make the entire 22 children mine and walked past the junction of the South Chitra street and road leading to the temple that had become a true turning point in my life.
I’ll cherish the day till my last breath.
(With this ends a truly moving account written by a recent donor of the Trust. We thank him on behalf of the Gurukulam children and the readers of the Trust’s mails for the efforts in penning down his experience so vividly. A visual treat awaits the readers in the next mail. Please look forward to it.)