My mom put down tea for me bedside and tried to wake me up. My grandmother, hearing this trudged towards me as fast as she could manage now. I could hear her mumbling some story that she had dreamt up hoping to pour it out on me. I already hated this day. It was hot, my grandmother’s place was facing an almost-draught situation and moreover it was Monde-Thursday which meant I had chores to do from the moment I woke up. My grandmother’s ramblings were the least of my worries, but if I could manage to pretend-sleep through that, that’s one less.
Soon I heard my father calling. Apparently there was someone at the door and I was asked to give him some money. It was ‘Krishnan Chettan’, way over his prime. He used to tend to the fields here. I laughed inside. How come he was always this old? I couldn’t remember a time when he was younger. There was a smile on his face. Something more than mere recognition.
As soon as he saw me, He started telling me stuff. As if his mouth had an automatic trigger. I had to stand there nodding and smiling because of the pretences that I had to maintain. He told me of how he it was harder for to breath and how he could no longer work with his old sickle as he used to. Eventhough he worked the fields still, I didn’t think people gave him money because of the work he did, atleast anymore. I guess it was more of a sentimental charity.
While I was thinking that, he went on to make me realise how much of an asshole I was. He told me that he needed to some more money from somewhere to buy a new kind of sickle that he could use with ease. It suddenly hit me that he still saw it as his job. He was still working hard for his bread. He could just stand there and he would be given the same, he had that strong bond with the people here. But no, he still wanted to earn what he ate. No matter how hard it became he was not going to accept anything that he didn’t feel earned.
I sat there with tea staring at the green shrubbery. The birds had started their rhythmic chant. It was beautiful how so many of them managed to keep to the rhythm, rising and falling like a wave. My grandmother was in the kitchen making ‘Indreyappam’. The unique flavour spread around, it was almost done. Suddenly my cousin shouted from the other side, Krishnan Chettan had come. Hope he had a new story to tell us… He was drawing a grid on the ground, Haha nice! A new game!! This guy is a genius!