When Karthi, my grandmother, first set foot into the village, she had just turned all of nineteen years. She and her orphaned sisters – Malu and Ambika, both younger to her in that order, had lived in Ezhukone with their uncle.
Every afternoon, just when everybody had slept, I would slip into the grove and sit on the low-hanging branch. It would swing slightly with the wind, the entire grove then seemed to swing with you and I would be lost in a reverie.
So every time, somebody asked me about my divorce, a deep silence would follow wherein I would grapple with the cat for my tongue and then, would blurt out something, so intense and forceful, that I would cringe in the aftermath of its telling.
To write is to live your life again – the characters, milieu and events referenced from the fabric of one’s memory. And when Orhan Pamuk talks about writing, the world sits up to listen.
Everybody who knew CHINkee said that she was mercurial. Once, she asked me if I could marry her. No, nothing abnormal about it. She was used to asking questions like that, out of the blue. It was one of those innocent things you could expect from her. It’s just that she was already married at that time.
My fingers are clenched around the rusting rails of the school fence, almost white with fear. I am aware of my breath suspended in the crevice of a choke worthy foreboding. The dog, a mongrel, light brown and its fluffy tail swishing, is staring at the man on the bicycle.
My mother was engaged to be married, later that month, and the purpose of this journey to Alleppey, 50 kilometers away, was to buy the jewelry meant for the dowry.
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