Total Pageviews

Saturday, November 29, 2014

My published books

There had been several friendly phone calls and e-mails, from my well-wishers, my blog readers and my Facebook friends during the last couple of months, about my writings. Generally, they have appreciated my writing and commended me for my simple style writing, my narrative that invariably takes them back to their own personal experiences in life, simplicity of my language and my captivating, inspiring and motivating story lines. I thank all those readers and well wishers for their comments.

A few of them had asked me where they could buy my books. I had only inserted a few excerpts from my books, in my blog and linked them to my Facebook/Twitter/Indiblogger accounts. In my blog, I had also hyperlinked the web page where they can buy my books. Because, the query still persists, I give below the list of books I have authored and published and the source where it can be bought.

And, just to let you know, all sale proceeds from my books go to our family charitable trust L.N.Charitable Trust and used for social and charitable activities of our Trust, though all development and printing costs are mine. Our Trust had been carrying on a variety of activities that focus, either directly or indirectly, on YOUTH DEVELOPMENT.

So, here is the list:

1. Short Stories for Young Readers - Book 1 - Available as a kindle e-version book on  Print copies are available with me only. This book contains 7 motivating short stories, ideally suited for young readers and students of Class 7 and above.

2. Short Stories for Success for Young Readers: A New Lexicon Unfolded - Available as a Kindle e-version book on Print copies are available only with me. This book contains 26 short stories to represent a trait/character for each alphabet in English language, to help young readers realize how certain characters help an individual to succeed in life. This book is ideal for students of class 6 and above and for all young readers regardless of age.

Readers who want to buy print copies of my above two books may place the order by e-mail at: The books can be sent by VPP. The price of each copy of the book is Rs.100 plus postages. If a reader orders for both the books or more than one copy of the same book, there will be a 10% discount. Further discounts will be allowed on bulk orders.

3. What If Our Dreams Come True!An Uncommon Meeting with Lord Siva - A novel available only in Kindle e-version (as of now) on This is a captivating novel about a youngster, who grows in stature, with life and accomplishes something unique in seven different places along the river Tamirabarani, where Lord Siva is the ruling deity. A MUST READ BOOK! Price Rs.300/-

4. LONELY - a novel self published on the Print-on-Demand platform offered by One can order the print copies with and one can order for as many copies as they want. (One can easily search Google for this book by typing: "LONELY on")

The web pages where the books can be purchased are hyperlinked for easy reference for interested readers. 

Please buy the books, enjoy reading, send your comments. If you like reading my books, please recommend it for reading, to your friends and relatives. Indirectly, you will also be supporting our efforts in our activities towards youth development.

Thanks, in anticipation.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Why we in Tamil Nadu are still unable to eradicate begging in public places? Chapter 39 of "What If Our Dreams Come True!"

was returning from Madurai by train, a couple of days ago. At Thiruthangal station, an adolescent boy, his hands crippled somewhat, came begging window after window, with very little success. When he knew that I was about to take out my wallet to offer him some money, he made a request to give him ten rupees so that he could eat something for the day.....................

Here you go with:"What If Our Dreams Come True! An Uncommon Meeting with Lord Siva" - Chapter 39

Chapter 39: Story of Ambika
Ambika was in her early teen-age. She had lost her father when she was only three or four. Her mother brought her up amidst tremendous challenges. Her mother hailed from U.P and married her father when he was working in a construction company there. He lost his job when he lost his limbs in an accident in the construction site. Vexed, he decided to return to Gangaikondan in Tirunelveli district, his native place, to make a living. But soon, calamity struck the family once again. He fell sick with an unknown disease and died. Her mother had liked the simplicity of the place and people. She decided to stay on, as she had already familiarized herself to the place. She was very pleasing to people and hard-working. She managed a number of odd jobs and somehow pulled on. She took care of Ambika as best as she could. Ambika grew up as a very attractive girl.

Durai at Bombay was her only lonely cousin and visited them quite often. He always brought a number of gifts for her. Durai was at least ten years elder to Ambika. He claimed that he had a decent job earning well. Ambika and her mother were fed with a large fanciful image about his job and his life in Bombay. He talked eloquently about Hindi movies and his connections to the film industry. He hinted that Ambika could easily become a popular film star besides a great singer. Ambika spoke Hindi quite fluently coming from her mother and enjoyed visits from Durai.

So, when Ambika came to age and when Durai suggested about his marrying Ambika, her mother agreed readily, as she thought that the fatherless Ambika might see some comfort in life if she married Durai. She didn’t mind the age difference. 

Though Ambika liked Durai, she was confused. She took him as a brother and friend. Besides, Bombay was a huge city and she would have to live among total strangers. Gangaikondan was a nice little place and she was reluctant to move away.

But her mother persisted. Durai visited more often and applied pressure. Having very little choice, finally Ambika agreed reluctantly to marry Durai. Their marriage was held in a simple ceremony at the local temple and Durai packed off with Ambika to Bombay the very same week. He assured to come back soon to take her mother too so that they could all live together.

During their travel to Bombay by train, Durai told endless stories about Bombay. Ambika’s initial fears slowly started to vanish. When they landed at Victoria Terminus in Bombay, she was aghast to see the human waves at the railway station. She travelled by a taxi for the first time in her life and felt elated. She looked on with great awe and amazement at the huge buildings, the roads, the people’s dresses, and the vehicles.

When they reached their place and when she was taken to a ten into ten small apartment room that Durai claimed as their residence, she had her first shock and disappointment.

“Bombay is a very costly place I told you! Even to get this pigeon hole, I had spent several hundreds of rupees as ‘pagadi.’ (*Pagadi was a kind of lump sum money deposited with the owner or the previous tenant of the tenement at the time of leasing a building and was a very common practice in Bombay.) His tone had altogether changed once they were inside the ‘ten into ten’ tenement.

She didn’t understand the word ‘pagadi’ and many other things that happened soon after her arrival at their house in Bombay.

From the next day onwards, they had a number of visitors. Durai introduced them as his friends and colleagues. They all constantly stared at Ambika and openly commented on her beauty. She didn’t like their looks and comments from the very beginning. They used a lot of vulgar language in their conversations and she was irritated to know that even Durai enjoyed those conversations. They spoke a mixture of Hindi, Marathi and Tamil. Some of them even teased Ambika and merrily laughed. She noticed mischief in their eyes. But Durai didn’t seem to mind their staring looks and pricking comments. Ambika felt something was wrong. When one of them touched her, she was shocked to know that Durai didn’t object.

When they all left, Ambika told Durai that she didn’t approve of his friends’ conduct and chided Durai. “You were a country girl all along. That was why. You will understand everything slowly.” That was all he said.
But Ambika understood very soon. She learnt about Durai’s perverted mind and his evil motives. She felt trapped. She realized that Durai was not what she had been made to believe.

On many days, Durai returned home very late at night. He was drunk, smelled like a rat and behaved roughly to her. He assaulted her sexually and behaved like a beast on bed with her. She understood that his earlier behavior was a façade. She understood that she had been cheated. He started complaining about not having enough money with him to run the family and wanted her to work. She was willing to work and support him, if that could mitigate his financial problems.

One day, Durai took her to a mansion where she was introduced to a rich middle aged person who was said to be looking for an assistant. Durai accepted a generous advance from him and left Ambika in his place, cautioning her to behave well with him.

The same evening Ambika understood why she was brought to that place and before it was dark she ran away from that place. That night, she received her first beating from Durai. The torture continued day after day. He forced her to go with him to different people who were all the same. She had somehow managed to escape at every place.

A little more than a year passed by in pain and agony for her.

She never wanted to reveal her condition to her mother. But the situation was becoming intolerable. So she wrote a letter to her mother hinting her problems. She was shocked when her letter was returned back with the remark ‘undelivered – addressee deceased.’ She cried. She was puzzled why she got no news of her mother’s death. Now she had no one to whom she could tell her woes.

When Durai returned home that night, he was drunk as usual. Ambika told him of her mother’s death. She also complained why no one told her earlier. Durai told her arrogantly that he was already aware that her mother died due to some sickness. He also told her indifferently that he had burnt all the letters received earlier from her mother.

‘You orphan girl! Consider yourself free now to do what I want you to do. You don’t have to fear anyone, anymore.’ He didn’t stop there and continued heaping abuses. Ambika became furious now. She was already grieving and now Durai was adding salt to her wound. In her fury, she went to a corner and returned back with a sickle knife. She raised her sickle knife and wanted to stab Durai regardless of any consequences.

‘How dare you are?’ Durai shouted and those were his last few words. His knees caved in all of a sudden and he fell down heavily on his back. Ambika panicked, threw the sickle knife to a corner, and rushed to hold him. But Durai was already unconscious. She ran to her neighbor who quickly managed to rush him to the nearby government hospital. Durai had his last few breaths on his way to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Even before Ambika could arrange for his cremation, she had the second shock of her life. She had sudden nausea and giddiness. The neighbor suspected that she was probably pregnant and the same day the doctor confirmed her pregnancy.

Ambika was in total disarray. She had no money even to cremate Durai and she was now pregnant. Somehow, with the help of a few friendly neighbors, she arranged to cremate Durai and the same night she boarded a train to Madras without a ticket.  On the way, she was accosted by many, including the ticket examiner. ‘Are there no good men and women?’ she cursed.

Back in Gangaikondan she learnt that her mother died a few months ago in great distress. Ambika had no place to go and roamed around places aimlessly. Everywhere she found people ready to use and exploit her and her good looks. In course of time, she delivered a baby girl in a government maternity hospital.

The baby resembled Durai more than herself and it reminded Ambika of her painful days at Bombay. One day, while sitting on a pavement with her baby she was dejectedly singing an old song and some people passing by threw a few coins and notes in front of her. All of a sudden she rediscovered that she could sing well. She went from place to place singing and that brought her some money to buy milk for the baby and at the least, one meal a day. She never bothered to buy tickets while travelling by train and she reached Cheranmahadevi one day without any clue about what lay ahead.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Why we in Tamil Nadu are still unable to eradicate begging in public places?

was returning from Madurai by train, a couple of days ago. At Thiruthangal station, an adolescent boy, his hands crippled somewhat, came begging window after window, with very little success. When he knew that I was about to take out my wallet to offer him some money, he made a request to give him ten rupees so that he could eat something for the day.....................

Here you go with:"What If Our Dreams Come True! An Uncommon Meeting with Lord Siva" - Chapter 38

Chapter 38

“Where are we going to stay?” I whispered to Ambalam in a hushed tone.

He paused for a moment before he answered. “Hopefully, it is not going to be a problem. For that, we should thank our ancient rulers. Even way back from the seventh or eighth century, or, maybe, even earlier, the rulers were very compassionate to the common man. They had built a number of stone ‘mandaps for the benefit of travelers and for those who had no roof for themselves. Cheranmahadevi was formerly ruled by some of the prominent Chera dynasty kings as well as many Hindu kings like Hoysalas, Chalukyas, Pallavas, and Chozhas. You must have seen many such mandaps all over these places. But today, people don’t recognize the value of these ‘mandaps.’ Most of them are neglected now and are in dilapidated condition. I am sure, we can find one we could use.”

I nodded in agreement. I remembered our fateful experience in Brahmadesam and the secret passage from the stone ‘mandap’ near the river that led to a great treasure buried inside the temple.

When we reached Cheranmahadevi, we had no problem in locating one such stone ‘mandap’ and it became our temporary address. Ambalam had some money given by Mallika and her sister Radhika. Taking care of Ambika’s baby was not an immediate issue. We spent a few quiet days wondering how we were going to proceed further.

“I want to end begging.” I had told Ambalam several times. “But, I have no definite plan in my mind right now. But I know, the plan will emerge sooner or later. Let us pay attention to the issue and keep our focus on it.”

In the meantime, Ambika entertained us singing several prominent Hindi and Tamil film songs. She marveled in singing and I wondered, if she had the right opportunity she might be another Lata Mangeshkar. We loved her cute baby Chandrika who instantly became very close to us.
One morning, there was news that the District Collector was inaugurating some government building at Cheranmahadevi that day.  The three of us went to the inauguration ceremony. We made sure that we could easily be spotted by the chief guest.

Govind Singh didn’t fail to notice us. When the function was over, he sent people to fetch us. We were pushed into the back seat of his huge Ambassador car. He was sitting by the side of the driver. He didn’t utter a word, though his attention was repeatedly on Ambika and her small baby. I waited for him to make the first enquiry. But he didn’t.

As the car sped towards the highway that led to Tirunelveli, I asked Govind, “Won’t you like come to our residence for a while?”

Ambalam was stunned. I could see horror on his face. But Govind smiled cunningly.

“Why not? Driver! Take a detour.” He said hurriedly.

“Why don’t you show him the way?” he pointed his fingers at me.

Other than my giving direction, there was no other discussion. The car turned around on the highway, entered a side road and from there rolled into a village road that ended at the river. Govind Singh was curious, I knew. But, I didn’t say anything. When the car neared our place, I told the driver to slow down and the car came to a halt in front of our residence.
Govind Singh got out of the car looking on all sides for a house. I walked past him towards the stone ‘mandap’ and climbed a small stone step to get into the mandap. The others followed me and Govind Singh was the last to get into our residence. The driver looked on from below, not knowing whether he should follow us or not.

“Welcome to our residence.” I said mockingly.

There was an old, torn, and discolored saree that hung loosely between two pillars of the mandap decorating the hall and serving as a curtain as well as the partition between two portions. One belonged to Ambika and the other ours. A corner with a small mud stove and a few aluminium utensils scattered around it was our kitchen. A small pile of wood was stacked near the stove and a thick black smoke from the stove, paint coated the walls and ceiling. It was cool inside the ‘mandap,’ with fresh air blowing from all sides.

“Is this your residence?”

I silently nodded my head.

“Why didn’t you come to me earlier?”

“It didn’t occur to me.” That was all I could tell him.

Govind Singh turned to look at Ambika.

“I will tell you.” I now volunteered. I introduced Ambalam and Ambika and briefly gave him their stories.

Ambalam recovered miraculously from his stroke, thanks to Lord Siva. Ambika is a remarkable singer. She sings some very melodious Hindi songs.” I concluded my narration.

“Can you sing a song?” Govind Singh asked Ambika.

She readily sang the “Aaja re” song from the old Hindi film “Madhumati” of Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthi Mala. I had by now learnt from Ambalam the names of many Hindi films and remembered the opening lines of many Hindi songs.

When the song faded away slowly towards the end, Govind Singh exclaimed, “Remarkable! I feel mesmerized!” He clapped his hands nonstop, with great enthusiasm.

“So, what are your plans?” Goving Singh asked me.

“I need a piece of land and some money to begin with. I want to motivate a few child beggars to come to our ‘Home’ and begin a new life.”

“Yes, I remember your request. My recommendations are still pending with the government. This place is quite beautiful. You may start from here. Don’t worry about the authorities. I shall manage them. If anyone troubles you, just call me. Right now, I have……….” He withdrew his wallet from his back pocket, dished out a few notes and offered it over to me without even counting them.

Seeing me very hesitant, he thrust those notes into my shirt pocket. “Gosh! I just forgot! I have another important meeting at my office. I can’t take you with me right now. Please excuse me. I shall send my vehicle in a day or two. Please come over to my place and we will talk further.
There was no news from Govind Singh for more than a week. We were just idling away our time. Ambika prepared food for all of us. Mostly her preparations were North Indian. Though she spoke Tamil perfectly well, she seemed to be having a strong North Indian flair. I didn’t ask her. We had a quiet understanding and daily life moved on with the small money Govind Singh gave me. Ambalam shifted his venue of work and he brought in some more money to improve our cash balance. I felt embarrassed by his going out seeking alms.

“Oh, this is just temporary, be assured. I need to do this until our ‘Sharan’ is ready!”

“So, you have already given a name for our Children Home?”

“Yes, Sharan is an apt name. It denotes ‘refuge’ and ‘surrender,’ replied Ambalam.

One day in the mid-afternoon, a private vehicle sped past our residence, but after some distance, returned back and stopped in front of our place. The driver came out of the vehicle and told us that the District Collector had sent the vehicle for us and we were to go with him to the Collector’s residence immediately to meet someone who had come from North.
Govind Singh always sprang surprises. We all went with the driver and he took us to a huge mansion in Palayamkottai. Govind Singh’s wife received us at the door and introduced herself as Pritam Kaur. She was very informal, friendly and talked to us as though she knew us for long. She assured that Govind would be there any minute. Tea, gulob jamun, matti, and other Punjabi snacks arrived.

Half an hour later Govind Singh came in along with another gentleman who looked of the same age.

Madan! She is Ambika, the lady I talked about.” Without even bothering to introduce everyone, he pointed his fingers straight at Ambika. Ambika rose to wish him and he reciprocated with his big folded hands.

Govind Singh then turned to me and said, “I am sorry. I seem to be forgetting the niceties as usual. He is Madan, a very close friend of mine. He is in the film industry in Bombay. He is a musician. I brought him here to introduce Ambika.” and then he introduced me and Ambalam to Madan as his close friends. ‘What a great privilege’ I thought, ‘for two mendicants to be introduced as the friends of the District Collector!’

“Govind tells me that you are a great singer” Madan told, looking at Ambika. “Can you sing a song for me?” It sounded more an order than a request.

Ambika was always ready to sing. This time, it was ‘Yeh, zindagi usiki hai’ of Lata Mangeshkar from the film Anarkali. Madan and Govind Singh listened with rapt attention while Pritam Kaur stood in another corner, with crossed hands. When the song was over, I could see Pritam wiping her tears while Madan tried to control himself and Govind sat completely mesmerized.

“What a great song and what a great delivery! You sing marvelously. Your voice is very sweet. You could be an instant hit, if you were in the films. Do you want to sing in movies? Can you take audition tests? Can you come with me to Bombay?” He fired his comments and questions in rapid succession.

Ambika looked bewildered. After some time, she slowly muttered in Hindi, “I had run away from Bombay to escape my problems. I don’t wish to be back in the gutter!”

Ambalam translated this for my benefit. Ambika was looking pitiably at me. I looked at Govind Singh. He turned to Madan.

Madan didn’t seem to understand anything other than music. He shot his next question. 

“Why are you scared? Are you scared of coming to Bombay or scared of me?”

Ambika suddenly started weeping. Ambalam went to her and kept his hands on her shoulders. Ambika quickly recovered her composure, wiped her tears and said, “If you knew my story you will understand what scares me.”

Govind Singh was very quick to respond, “Amma, don’t worry about anything. Madan is a very good family friend of mine. We had studied together in our early childhood. We are neighbors in Kapurthala in Punjab. While I focused on studies, he focused on music. He is now an assistant music director and is in great demand in the film industry in Bombay. He works for some of the very famous musicians – you know Lakshmikant Pyarelal, O P Nayyar. He can bring you to the limelight and make you popular. You sing so well. As he said, you would be an instant hit. You won’t have a problem in Bombay and I shall arrange to take care of you. If it is okay with you, why don’t you tell us your story?”

I never asked Ambika about her background. She too never talked about it. I nodded to her and she began her story.


Felt interested by chapter 38 from the book?

                                  To buy the book: visit and type: WHAT IF OUR DREAMS COME TRUE! By T.N.Neelakantan on the search.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sri Subramanya Charitable Trust, Ayikudy, Tirunelveli District

It gives me immense pleasure to write about Sri Subramanya Charitable Trust, Ayikudy (SSCT).  
Ayikudy, located around 7 kilometers away from Tenkasi in Tirunelveli District, is a very popular, sacred place in the entire Southern Tamil Nadu, for its Sri Balasubramania Swamy temple.

Ayikudy is also the birthplace of the internationally acclaimed NGO - Amar Seva Sangam and its founder Sri S. Ramakrishnan, a wheelchair user for the last 38 years. Amar Seva Sangam is a kind of temple for the physically challenged people and is doing a yeomen service in rehabilitating them.

Sri Subramanya Charitable Trust, Ayikudy (SSCT) was started in the year 2006 with Sri Ramakrishnan’s blessings, with Smt. Chithra @Lakshmi Ramakarishnan, his spouse, a lady of great compassion, forbearance and sacrifice as the Managing Trustee. Smt. Nandini Ramanan, the spouse of Sri T. S. R. Venkat Ramana, a then M.L.A in Tamil Nadu and an eminent advocate, is the other founder Trustee of SSCT. The Trust has 1) Smt. R. Pitchammal, spouse of Rtn. Sri P. Ramalingam, a textile magnet of Tenkasi, 2) Sri M. Balasubramanian, a Post Graduate teacher with over 35 years of experience and 3) Sri A. S. Narayanan, a Post Graduate in Commerce and a Cost Accountant by profession, as the co-opted trustees.
The Trust has the following objectives:
1.      Educational support
2.      Study of various languages
3.      Sports
4.      Fine Arts
5.      Women’s welfare
6.      Opportunities for the physically challenged
7.      Facilities for old age people
8.      Hygiene and sanitation among the public and
9.      Eco-friendly activities.

The Tuition Centre of SSCT, with more than 300 children – from 2nd to 10th Standard - from a number of families belonging to the economically weaker sections in and around Ayikudy, is the nerve-centre for all the activities of the Trust and is engaged in promoting education among the rural poor. A large number of children from the under-privileged and socially backward sections of Ayikudy area are greatly benefitted from the selfless efforts of the Trust, its founders, trustees and staff.

I am very happy to be associated with Sri Subramanya Charitable Trust in a number of their activities. During the last couple of years, I had conducted General Knowledge classes for their children and through these classes they have gained a greater awareness and understanding about the history, current status and the future potential of all the States in India and more than 70 important cities spread across the length and breadth of our country. The students had received these classes with great enthusiasm.

The Trust gifts away dresses to their children and many elderly people during the Deepawali festival, through sponsorship from a number of donors. Some well-wisher families had gladly donated a piece of land in Ayikudy to the Trust for it to build their own premises. The Trust is planning to have their own building on this and the adjacent land totaling 22 cents. The Trust is run mainly with donations from a number of well-wishers and deserves support from all the philanthropically oriented people. 

Those who are interested in more details about the Trust and its activities may contact them at or mobile no. 99942 56423/90039 50318

I pray to Sri Amma Bhagawan, my Spiritual Master to bless the Trust and its founders good health and success in all their efforts.

Thisradwani Music Trust, Madurai

Thisradwani Music Trust, founded by the family of Dr. Sri Madurai K. Thiagarajan, held their Second Music Festival on Sunday, the 17th November, 2014 at Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce Auditorium, Madurai.

Dr. Sri Madurai K. Thiagarajan is the Assistant Professor, Mridangam in Sri Sathguru Sangeetha Vidyalaya Music College, Madurai and is responsible for developing a number of leading students in mridangam. The function also commemorated Dr.Thiagarajan for his 35 years of service to Music, especially Mridangam, by organizing a music program performed by his 35 mridangam student artists, playing the seven ‘talas’ of ‘chatusrajathi’ – five artists in each group – each tala played after the artists recited orally the ‘konnakol,’ a traditional learning method, adhered strictly by Sri Thiagarajan. It was a wonderful performance by his students. Our Tributes to Dr.Sri Madurai K. Thiagarajan for organizing this wonderful program!

The program also saw the release of four audio, video CDs – one for 35 Tala Mohara arrangement, the second for a solo violin performance by Madhurakalamani Sri D.Sachidanandam, the third, a unique Simhanandhana Tala Pallavi rendering by Smt.Ranganayaki Sachidanandam and the fourth, vocal music practice lessons by Smt.Ranganayaki Sachidanandam. All very useful CDs. Very interesting too, especially the Simhanandhana Tala Pallavi CD!

Incidentally, we learn that Sri Sachidanandam and Smt.Ranganayaki are honorary trustees of Thisradwani.

The function was organized well. I think, probably, it was one of the very few Carnatic music functions that saw the huge hall completely filled up. It speaks volumes about the popularity of Sri Thiagarajan and the recognition accorded to him by Madurai people, for his 35 years of service in the field of music.

We are very proud to be associated with Dr. Sri Madurai K Thiagarajan and we look to him as our Chief Patron for our SAKTHIY MUSIC ACADEMY,  a wing of our L.N.Charitable Trust, Melagaram, Tenkasi. One of his students, Selvan P.Gopinath is our mridangam teacher, teaching about 45 students including those in Ayikudi. We thank Sri Thiagarajan for his continuous support and guidance and look forward to seeing him on Saturday, the 3rd January, 2015 during the Third Anniversary Celebrations of our SAKTHIY MUSIC ACADEMY.

We are very happy that our mridangam teacher, Selvan Gopinath and our relative, Sudharsan Sivaraman, took part in the performances. One may view the video of Selvan’s performance on YouTube by searching under ‘Melagaram videos.’. One may view the video of Selvan Sudharsan’s performance on my Facebook page.

Links are attached.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Why we in Tamil Nadu are still unable to eradicate begging in public places?

was returning from Madurai by train, a couple of days ago. At Thiruthangal station, an adolescent boy, his hands crippled somewhat, came begging window after window, with very little success. When he knew that I was about to take out my wallet to offer him some money, he made a request to give him ten rupees so that he could eat something for the day.....................

Chapter 37

In the last three months, I had no thoughts other than being with Ambalam. By the grace of Lord Siva, my visions came true. Ambalam miraculously recovered from his stroke. His movements were free now and his speech very intelligible.

“Shall we make a move?” I asked him one day.

Without raising any further question, he said, “I am ready now!”

I had a feeling that I needed Ambalam much more than he needed me. Lord Siva had shown me a project and Ambalam would be an asset.

Radhika gave us a tearful farewell. What a magnanimous girl she was! Single handedly, she had managed Ambalam for a few years without any expectations. We assured her we would soon come back to her for a purpose.

When we reached the bus stand, Mallika was waiting for us there, with tears in her eyes. She knew we were leaving. She had frequented Ambalam more often, when I had stayed with him. Once I asked her whether my talking to her ‘demon’ would improve things and she said the demon was incorrigible. I didn’t know what really was going wrong between them. May be the time had not come for a solution or they had still not learnt anything from their life. ‘Mallika akka was very nice to me, no doubt. Was she equally nice to her husband too?’

We were waiting for a bus to take us to Cheranmahadevi. Somewhere in the background, we heard the voice of a woman singing. We turned around and saw a small crowd in another corner of the bus stand.

The three of us silently exchanged a curious look and slowly walked to the corner from where the music was coming. At the centre of the crowd there was a young mother sitting on barren ground and singing an old Hindi film song. She was holding a baby on her lap. She was fair, tall and looked agreeably beautiful. A worn out cloth was spread in front of her. Though Hindi language was rarely spoken and understood in our State, people in the crowd seemed to relish her Hindi songs. Her voice was very melodious.

“It is from the film ‘Awara’ by Raj Kapoor and Nargis  in 1951 and the music is by Shankar Jaikishen.  Have you not heard the song ‘Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi’?” asked Ambalam excitedly.
How could I know? I had not watched a movie for years. Ambalam was in the army and might have known Hindi. He must have heard this song earlier.

“She sings flawlessly. The same tune, same voice, same energy.” Ambalam was full of excitement.

We went closer. People were moving in and out of the crowd. Hardly anyone seemed to be dropping money for the girl. The little baby was dozing, listening to her singing.

When the song was over Ambalam went closer and told her, “You sing so well. You have a very melodious voice. May Lord Siva bless you! How old is this baby?”

“She is just going to be two now. Please give us some money. No one seems to take pity on us. The baby didn’t have any worthwhile food in the last two days.”

Ambalam looked at me as I put my hands into my pocket. There was some money for our bus tickets. Nothing more.

Understanding our predicament, Mallika immediately withdrew a small purse from inside her blouse, removed a ten rupee note and gave it to that lady. Those days, ten rupees was a big money for Mallika.

“Can you come with us to Cheranmahadevi?” asked Ambalam, without even consulting me.

Mallika gave an assuring look to that lady.

Without second thoughts, the lady bundled her small cloth and was ready to go.

“Can I get some milk for my girl before we go?” That was the only question she had. “You may call me Ambika, Right!” She went to a small tea shop turning back every now and then as though she wanted to make sure that we waited for her.

So, when we boarded the bus, we were a small team of mendicants that included me. Mallika waved her hands emotionally as the bus left. “Keep in touch!” we heard her shouting from behind.

Did you like it?

Do you want to read further?

Buy the book from using the link