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End Of The Search
An Indian Boy. Lost Childhood. Search for the bygone days. The search was on. Is Ramu successful ?
I feel that pen and paper are the most powerful medium of expression and emotion.
"A pen can draw a face ... It can draw the mind as well..."
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (8)
A Mere Mortal (Short Stories) Tabor is old, helpless and all alone. He takes a journey through mystical paths and .... Read along, and you will know. [3,753 words] [Suspense]
A Poem For You (Poetry) A Poem from a Lover to the Beloved [253 words] [Romance]
As I Reach Home On A Rainy Morning (Poetry) The warmth of my home felt on a rainy morning. [378 words]
Decent Proposal (Poetry) No time to wait. I Love You. [193 words] [Romance]
Ego (Essays) How Ego can affect you? How could you communicate to avoid ego clashes? [2,617 words] [Motivational]
Its A Dog's Life (Short Stories) This story is a poignant description of relationships between human beings. The idea is brought out through an animal which plays a primary role in the story. [1,830 words] [Relationships]
The Butterfly (Poetry) A small pome [ funny one ] that I wrote at the age of 9. [37 words]
Twilight Dreams (Essays) A Common Dream..... [539 words] [Fantasy]
End Of The Search
Ramu sat on the stone steps by the river. He wore nothing but a dhoti tightly worn around his hips. His collar bones stood out through his tanned brown skin. He kept a palm to his face, supporting it , as his face examined the fresh water that flowed in front of him, lavishly embracing the bottom steps that stretched into the river.
The bhakti songs from the temple were ringing in his ears. But he didnt seem to hear them at all, except for a sparrow's voice that seemed to rythmically repeat after certain lines of the song. He felt that it was yet another part of the music .
It was nearing dark. So the crowd in the temple was increasing. It was time for deepaaraadhana - an offering to the God in form of 'deepams' or lighted oil lamps. The temple air would then be enveloped by the smell of oil and the freshly lighted lamps, and ringing of the bells.
Ramu looked back . He could see women and young children in groups, carrying 'prasadams' (Offered to Devotees as Gods Blessings) on neatly cut banana leaves, talking and smiling to each other. Some of the elders' group of men sat together by the Banyan. Some of them puffed away bidis , while others were loudly talking away on the day to day issues in the panchayat.
Ramu felt lonely. After all, it had been 4 years now. 4 years of solitary life, 4 years of tears and fears. His achan and amma had gone somewhere, or to 'Kashi' as elder kunjoonjaamma would tell him.
"kuttye, they will be back some day", th elder lady eould console him as he would break into tears some times.
The tears gradually gave away to a kind of stubborn silence, when Ramu would slip away from the crowd, watching the families from far distance. His inner mind was still not ready to accept the fact that he would have to live without them for the rest of his life-- For that was the truth. They were dead. Dead as a rock. The river had washed them away into its depths long back.. And it was said two bodies were discovered 5 days later from 'chettappura' a place around 2 kms from here.
But ramu knew nothing of it. The bodies found a place in the municipality cemetery . Ramu's search was still in the run.
The drumbeats were audible at a short distance , as the 'thayambaka' beats reverberated in Ramu's ears and heart. He closed his eyes for a minute and tried recalling his better days. The days when achan would be back home from work, with a surprise snack every evening, while the smell of freshly prepared tea would be emanating from the kitchen. Achan would lift him high into the air, and swing him around, taking him for a trip around the world in his arms. Amma would soon join them, her saree smelling of firewood and sweat for all the hardwork in kitchen, and soon there would be a clebration of words as each of them talked about the events of the day. Ramu would relate his daily 'encounters' at the Govt LP School at 'Kottapparambu' ,and how he made friends with shyamu, with whom he had fought a few days back and had broken his newly bought watch give to him by his uncle from AbuDhabi. He would not forget to mention about 'Chaachi teacher' as he lovingly called her, for he was her favourite, and not a day wouild pass without her giving a daily dose of groundnut toffees to him. Amma would be a bit annoyed at the kitchen, for a month had passed since achan had promised her a new Gas stove. It was high time she got relieved from the smoke and dust.
Those were joyous days.
Three loud beats woke him up from the dreams , back into the conscious nightmare. The 'Tayambaka' had ended, the drummers were leaving. The Sun was now a thing of the past, as the dark skies had already made it surrender. The moon looked more like a field knife that day, as it stood silent at the conquest.
Ramu looked at the other bank of the river. It was isolated. It is ,and will be. For that was the place where the offerings and mortal remains of hundreds of souls amassed. The charred bones, the crushed hibiscuses and other add ins would be floating at its banks, holding onto each other. These were not what Ramu had seen , for he had never been there, but was the view related by Chandru the boatman, who used to run a boat service to the other bank till few years back. After the minister visited the temple, it gained popularity, and henceforth, devotees started pouring into the newly divinified temple for 'poojas' and 'karmas'. It was even said that the river had a history of the 'holy washing' of the corpses of hundred of soldiers who fought for their homeland against some other foriegn kingdom, which nobody ever knew the name of, or rather wished to know.
Somehow, Ramu felt different about the place. For it was always with him, when he was lonely. In its silence, it wept with him, felt for him, and consoled him . He felt that the other bank, with its sedate feel, and a solitary look was much better than the noisy bank on which he sat right now.
He looked back at the temple. It was almost isolated now. The last of the devotees were making their way towards their homes, where their families awaited them for dinner , and later some good sleep.
Hey Ramu, arent you going home? ' He heard a voice from behind.
It was 'Sivan thampuran', the temple poojari.
'If you dont mind, you can have some dinner with me. I have the nivedyam with me as well. ' He smiled, as he climbed down the steps , towards Ramu.
Ramu looked up, sayng nothing. He had staid quite for so long that his lips and toungues seemed to be tied up. He just raised his eyebrows to say something.
Sivan sat next to Ramu. He looked into his eyes. They were red and watery , but still resisted the outbreak of any tears. He placed his hand on Ramu's shoulder and waited for him to say something. But Ramu said nothing. He was looking at the other bank. Sivan stood up. Without saying a parting word, he left.
'Better leave the poor soul to himself' , he thought, as he too made his way home.
Ramu closed his eyes. All his past revolved around him. They seemed to swallow up his present and future. Sweat drops started trickling down his temple, as he found it had to control himself from breaking down.
Ramu stood up. ' No more tears, no more fears' , he thought to himself as he walked down. He wanted to get to the other bank. The temple, the drums, the people , all of them were so far from him. He no longer belonged to them. He sped his way down the steps. For he wanted to reach the other bank. His search had ended.....
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© 2002 Ramkumar Menon
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