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Updated on June 12, 2012

“Have you packed” his mother whispered standing limply near the door of the dimly lit room.

Chandru was ready. He would take the cart or a riksha to the railway station and go to Madras to meet the Colonel!

There had been nothing but wails and moans from the house for the past week. To the people around, it was but yet another happening, very commonplace death. All the rites and rituals had been carried out and now, there was nothing left, but to prepare and bid farewell to the next head of the family.

Janani’s state was the most woeful! The poor child who had never before known sadness or death had felt it’s bitter sting and the smart had transformed her childish nature to one of fear and anxiety! She did not cry out loud, not rave in her grief like her mother or even the other neighbours as is the Tamizh tradition to rave at funerals. Though she had always seen very little of her father, she had been fond of him, pampered by him and been the apple of his eye. Whenever he’d come home, he would buy her all she asked, spent so much time with her, sat her on his lap and told stories and she’d been utterly fond of him for he’d never had reason to even once chide her and she could not believe that he was never coming back again.

Worse still was the way the people spoke to her, “You must behave like a big girl now, be responsible and economic. You must take on the household duties and learn it from your mother, if your mother dies too, who will take care of your brother”.

Such words to an eleven year old child severed from her mother’s sympathy for she had enough on her mind does things. In seven days, her life was no longer carefree and sweet as it used to be, but stricken with terror and pain.

The pension had come through, whereas, the salary had been Rs. 500 before, now, they had to make do with Rs. 200. That meant a complete change in their lifestyle.

It was four ‘0’ clock, early dawn and Chandru slung the cloth bag over his shoulders and his mother came outside the house, leaning against the gate. He was a man now and emotional display was a sign of weakness, so he gave a stern nod though his heart broke inside, he’d not even seen Janani before he left and started on his way.


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    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      I'm caught up in Chandru and Janani's fate and am reading on.....

      This chapter did not disapoint.

      voting up

    • sharonchristy profile image

      Sharon Christy 5 years ago from India

      Aww... thank you shininigirish eyes! Will try my best to keep up your interest!

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Oh poor Janani, I feel so sorry for her, that wonderful, carefree childhood wiped away in an instant; and Chandru too, it seems so unfair that so much is expected of someone so young, but that's the tradition. On to Chapter three :)

    • sharonchristy profile image

      Sharon Christy 5 years ago from India

      thank you JKenny! :)

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Awaiting more. Great work Sharon. You're a good story teller.

    • sharonchristy profile image

      Sharon Christy 5 years ago from India

      Thank you, I am so honoured by your kindness!

    • profile image

      oceansider 5 years ago

      Sharon....hello, how are you doing?

      I really enjoyed reading part two now of really held my interest, and now I want to find out what happens I will read on in part 3.....Thank you!

      God bless,


    • sharonchristy profile image

      Sharon Christy 5 years ago from India

      Hello Helen.. I am fine... so glad to know you like the story! Bless you!

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 5 years ago from Michigan

      Janani’s little girl years are gone .. so very sad. The security shattered with her Daddy's death. I look forward to learning how the family will survive and how they will handle all of the changes.

      Great story.


    • sharonchristy profile image

      Sharon Christy 5 years ago from India

      thank you mekenzi! :)

    • profile image

      Sueswan 5 years ago

      Hi Sharon

      I really feel for Janani. Here is a 11 year old girl and no one is letting her grieve for her father. Never mind who is going to look after her brother if her mother dies, who is going to look after her? I also feel for Chandru who is being forced to be a man.

      Voted up and awesome.

      Looking forward to the next chapter.

    • sharonchristy profile image

      Sharon Christy 5 years ago from India

      oh God... I may have to write more of these Madras stories after all, it's just coz I am such a lazy person and I never thought anyone would bother but how nice of you to comment. Janani's fate is sad indeed, isn't it, but such is the role of women in India, they are mostly not allowed an identity or personality for themselves, they are supposed to be numb machines that help in the propagation of the male's lines and seeing to his comfort in those ancient times, but atleast there was chivalry then, but now, the fate of India is so much more disgraceful, I prefer to think on and derive inspiration from the past. You understand it so well my dear Sueswan, you are so sweet! I hope you find the others just as interesting. Good day! :)

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