Topic started by mmc (@ 188.8.131.52) on Fri Oct 11 13:34:59 .
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.
Some time back, when I went to my village saw Kuzhali near the Temple .. got a bit of shock,she was dull and looked like a faded flower.
Our eyes met each other and there was this sweet childhood which passed before our eyes in a fraction of the second.I stopped and smiled at her.She got a mild jolt which was evident from the way she abruptly came to a stop as in the villages usually its a rare thing that two adults from different sexes speak standing on the roadside.
We talked about the careers, she has come back from chennai where she was working as the Supervisor was an intemperate fellow and was in no mood to go back.
She was asking about me and we remembered the school teacher who died some months back.He was our class teacher from third to fifth when we both studied in the elementary school near our street.The talk was there for a few seconds only.
Till we studied fifth standard , we boys & girls studied together .Then came sixth standard when we joined our respective schools.Girls went to the Girls Higher Secondary school run by the Municipality and we went to the Boys Higher Secondary School run by 'freedom struggle' veterans who thought that if the boys and girls study together in Higher grades, they will get spoiled falling in love.
Somehow, the concept that girls were different occured to us after this seperation only.When i was studying in sixth standard, my old friend Chamundi smiled at me while i came across her after one day when i left school early( the timings of the boys school and girls school were slightly seperated by 30 minutes as the authorities of both schools didnt want the intermingling in streets after we leave the school).
I got shocked that she dared smile at me and looked at a different direction nervously and walked past!
Even now, when i go to my village at times i am in a confusion as to how to react when i meet a female class mate from my elementary school days.... fearing as to how they will react or what if someone sees and creates gossip .....
Even in the kuzhali's case , even though they were our neighbours, i get to know of the happenings in her life through the females in my household only...may be she also gets to know about me now when she visits the village during festivals( she has since got married and as usual my family went to the marriage and i wasnt informed).
I sometimes think about the old times, when she used to be a terror for the boys in my class as she used to quarrel with everyone and will approach the teacher with complaints against us.She was the head of our class in fifth standard too.One incident still remains in my mind, there was some theft( of a small pencil belonging to usha , another class mate).Somehow Usha was adamant in saying that i stole that.
Kuzhali being the head of the class, naturally the matter went to her for arbitration .... there was no direct proof against me.The class was divided into gruops supporting me and those against me( somehow those who were against me were friends of usha and all were girls.).
Kuzhali heard everything, closed the eyes and thought once again.We were tensed ,expecting the judgement...finally she opened her eyes and showed me her index finger and middle finger , asked me to touch any one of that.I was puzzled and didnt know what to do.After a few seconds thought and deliberation , tocuhed the middle finger.
Immediately , kuzhali's face was bright and she declared that i am not the one who stole.Usha was perplexed and didnt know what to react, she went home crying but never complained to the teacher as everyone else was convinced that since i touched the middle finger, i am not the culprit.
This , 'smart' judgement often comes before my mind..whenever i think of Kuzhali or the childhood days.Now this girl is so silent and has chosen to be a housewife, reluctantly talks to me .
What has this society done to this once dynamic girl who wouldve become a leader in anyother advanced society...
Am I right in avoiding the females who were once my close friends , who used to fight with me , laugh with me forgetting the gender difference and who at one time were not taught that as females their place is restricted within the narrow walls of husband, children and near relatives????
Often there is some affection which escapes the eyes of these girls , which i notice.. do they remember the old days.... the pala pazham , which we used to hunt in the back yard of our school... the fights for broken slates(pencil was introduced to us only during the fifth standard..and some like me were still using slate till fifth standard as that was considered to be economical and someone told my dad that the handwriting will be spoiled if i am allowed the luxury of pencil at the fifth standard itself!)....
When i meet my friends, the talks usually turns to these girls after sometime.... almost everyone knows as to which girl is where, who got married, who came home after fight with mother-in-law, who ran out with whom , and who , who ran out similarly was caught and brought back to be married to some guy who invariably happens to be the murai paiyan etc.
I wonder if the girls will also be talking like this when they meet?! Or whether they mightve got immersed in their newly found friends(husbands) and forgotten us...