â€˜Karthik, I need to meet you todayâ€™, said Tulasi.
â€˜Sure Tulasi, I have been asking it for three weeks, but you didnâ€™t find time for meâ€™, I affectionately
â€˜For sure, we shall meet todayâ€™, she said and disconnected the call. There was urgency in her words.
I kept aside the mobile and started to get ready. When I was about to leave, rain started to shower.
â€˜Karthik, Donâ€™t drive in this rainâ€™, my mother shouted, but she knew I was not going to listen. I was given
the freedom that I always enjoyed.
I started the car. I drove cautiously as not to let my car into large pits; Also, I slowed down the car after
seeing the familiar lady who was waving hand at me. She was once our tenant.
â€˜Karthik, Could you do me a favor? My Children wanted to watch a movie; their father initially had
planned to come and take the children, but since it is raining, he is held up in the trafficâ€™
â€˜So where is he nowâ€™, I impatiently asked.
â€˜He will reach the abhirami theatre by 5.45â€™.
I reluctantly accepted the offer; the children got inside the car.
The children were very enthusiastic and the happiness was evident in their faces. I continued to drive
amidst heavy rain and their happy reactions.
In a few miles, we too were held up in the traffic and we then waited for fifteen minutes. It seemed that
I wouldnâ€™t be able to drop them off in the theatre at the correct time – even I take the alternate route.
â€˜Do you guys have your fatherâ€™s number?â€™
I called his father and informed him. Then, I called Tulasi and she was more disappointed and dejected
than children were.
For them, watching a movie was like attending a festival. It might happen once in a year or even less.
And to accommodate the three children, the mother had to sacrifice her ticket to satisfy the monthly
economic equation. I started to realize the inner stories behind. I didnâ€™t like to disappoint the children.
â€˜Guys, will that be okay if we reach half an hour lateâ€™
â€˜Yesâ€™, children shouted collectively.
â€˜For which movie you people have plannedâ€™.
â€˜Dad planned for Tamil movie – saguni â€˜â€˜What about you guysâ€™, I firmly asked.
â€˜Spidermanâ€¦.; Madagascar â€¦.â€™ The children started to express themselves. The conflict was the result
of their open expression.
I silently listened to their opinions and switched on my favorite Ilaiyaraja album to comfort myself.
â€˜Karthik uncle, what shall we doâ€™, the eldest innocently asked.
â€˜Let us do one thing, we shall split up â€“ I will accompany the youngest and you two go to Spiderman, and
I believe English movies will start their shows by seven. We could reach before that â€“ Is that fine?â€™
The silence was their reply and they were hesitant to take a decision.
Fascinated by Spiderman and Madagascar, they agreed to my offer, and the happiness was brought
back to their faces. We reached the theatre and bought the respective tickets; I called up their father
and informed him. As I expected, he didnâ€™t like it.
We all four had a wonderful time and then had a sumptuous dinner.
I dropped them off in their house.
â€˜Why you are troubling yourself, Karthikâ€™, their father asked.
â€˜No problem, uncle, I had a great time with themâ€™.
â€˜You guys have grown big, going independently and watching a movie, eh?â€™ the mother asked the
â€˜Donâ€™t scold them; it is me who took the decisionâ€™.
Before I tried to give them a reply, my mobile phone rang. It was Tulasi.
â€˜Arenâ€™t you serious in our relationship?â€™
â€˜One second, uncleâ€™, I sought his permission to let myself to speak in private.
â€˜What happen, Tulasi?â€™
â€˜Today I called you for a purpose. My parents are looking for a guy, it looks like they will finalize with one
by next weekâ€™
â€˜But you said that will take timeâ€™.
â€˜Yes, even I too thought the same. But they are processing it quicklyâ€™, Tulasi whined.
â€˜Hey Tulasi, speak to them â€¦and explain your wishesâ€™, I reiterated what I used to say.â€˜No Karthik, they wonâ€™t understand, I donâ€™t have the courage to speak to them. And, they wonâ€™t listen to
my words; for sure, they wonâ€™t let us marryâ€™.
â€˜Do something, Tulasiâ€™
â€˜There is one way to solve it â€¦â€™
â€˜What…?â€™ I curiously asked.
â€˜Karthik, we have to elope â€¦ there is no other choice left for me, I came to this decision after a deep
contemplation â€¦ we have to leave todayâ€™
I didnâ€™t know what to say, the discussion went on for an hour and finally I was defeated by her cry and
her words. Moreover, I didnâ€™t want to miss herâ€¦ I started my car and drove to my house.
â€˜Where were you, Karthik? I have prepared chicken curry for you, Come and have foodâ€™, the mother
â€˜I already had dinnerâ€™, I carelessly replied.
â€˜You could have told meâ€™.
I went inside my room, took my clothes and stuffed them in the bag.
â€˜Mom, I am going to friendâ€™s wedding todayâ€™.
â€˜Nowadays you are not telling me anything, Karthik; it looks like you have a separate life for yourselfâ€™,
the mother disappointedly said.
â€˜No mom, nothing like that, my friend invited me today and called for the weddingâ€™
â€˜What kind of friend who invites you today for the tomorrowâ€™s weddingâ€™?
â€˜Mom, I am getting late, we will speak about that later, where is dad?â€™
â€˜He informed that he will be lateâ€™
â€˜Okay, mom, Inform him too. I will call you about my returnâ€™, I waved my hand and left.
I started my car and switched on my Ilaiyaraja album to heal my troubled mind. I knew I was not inclined
to her decision â€“ in fact, I didnâ€™t like it.
I remained silent not because that there was no one to speak, but because that I went on to a complete
The introspection went on for a few more miles. I halted my car and stepped outside to inhale a fresh
air, and also to puff a cigarette. After ten minutes of well-constructed thought, I stepped inside the car and maneuvered it back to my
I sent her a message, â€˜Wait till tomorrow!â€™