Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tragic Tales Unveiled During Diwali part 1
It was Diwali eve and I went over to Kulim to my sister’s place this year to spend the holidays since we were not celebrating. In the evening I went to the pharmacy to get some medicine when I came across Mary, a girl who worked as a QC Inspector in the company that I worked with way back in the early 90s. She didn’t see me as she was walking in front of me. I had noticed her getting off a car parked nearby so I thought I might as well say hello to her husband Mariappan who happened to work in the same factory. Theirs had been a love affair that started at the working place. When it came to my attention, I had actually encouraged it. Concerns were raised as to their different religious background. I had in fact advised them that when two hearts have already come together, everything else is secondary. I had once found them both missing from their work stations only to later find them quietly tucked away between the packed cartons in the warehouse enjoying their hour of solitude. They were especially gratefully when I didn’t make an issue out of their secret jaunt and had just let them off after advising them. After a couple of years of courting, by which time I had already left the company, I remember both of them came to see me one day to invite me for their wedding. Unfortunately work commitments had kept me from attending. Now after almost 15 years, our paths crossed again. From a distance, I noticed a lady at the steering and someone who I thought looked like Mariappan in the front passenger seat. When I went near, they wound down the window for me and as I peered in, I noticed the passenger seating in front looked different. He appeared to be handicapped with saliva drooling and he had little control of his rolling eyes. From his features, I thought he was probably Mariappan’s brother. After introducing myself and confirming with the lady driver if it was indeed Mary whom I had seen earlier, I asked where Mariappan was. I was shocked when she pointed to the guy in the front passenger seat. When I looked at him in his eyes, I was in fact surprised when he stuttered “Mr. Aravindan”…….he could still remember my name! I was told by the driver (who I later learnt was his sister) that he had met with a nasty accident and that he has lost much of his memories due to head injuries. I spent the next few minutes trying to come to terms with the reality that I was faced with and left after a while. Back in my car, it took me a while regaining my composure as I sat quietly relating to my wife of what had happened.
Posted by aravind at 2:55 AM