02 October 2014


Posted by Vinoth Subramanian | Thursday, October 02, 2014 Categories: ,

After talking to my friend Christalin Janett over the phone, I decided to write this post as a short story.
Note: this was written only after getting the concrete consent of the concern person Ms. Christalin Janett.


The day of ovations, (intra college cultural program and competition) held in Loyola College with some restrictions. No one should bring the camera mobile during the time of ovations. It doesn’t mean that they can bring on other days. Usually they used to have heavy checking in the entrance during the time of ovations and that day was not an exception.

Christalin Janett, an M.phil student thought of coming to college for submitting the topic as well as to watch the cultural events. She was asked to come at 11:00 in the morning so that she could finish the submission process and continue to participate in ovations as an audience.

She saw her mother drying clothes outside when she was leaving the home by humming a song. She would have been humming the song more than seven times since morning for she had heard it in the early morning. She kept the mobile phone and left the home due to the restriction for she had already been caught for having mobile in the last year and paid Rs. 1500 as penalty says the history. Therefore she was very consciously left her mobile at her home and got an auto to reach the college.

She got in to the auto and told the driver about the venue and once again started humming the same song. All of the sudden she stopped it.
“Did I switch off the iron-box?” she asked herself while travelling by the auto.
One mind said, “I think you did.” But another mind said, “No you didn’t.”
She was literally confused and thought of calling her mother but realized that she hadn’t brought the mobile.
“I think I didn’t” she said to her and slowly inviting the tension in to her head.
She hesitated in the beginning but got sufficient courage to ask the mobile of that auto driver to call her mother.
“Anna (brother)”
“What madam?” replied the auto-man while driving.
“Can you give your mobile to make a call?” she asked politely.
Before he replied she continued, “Actually I did not switch off the iron-box when I left home. I should ask my mother to switch it off.” Said she and ask him again, “Can you give?”
He complied with her request and offered his mobile. She dialed the number it was ringing. But no one picked up the call from the other end. She tried it again but the result was the same. She tried minimum six to seven times consecutively but could get no positive result.
“What happened?” asked the auto-man.
“No anna she is not picking the call.” She said and got frustrated and returned his mobile.
“Don’t worry nothing would have happened.” Said the man and raised the accelerator.
All of a sudden she saw smoke from somewhere. She peeped out and saw something was burning on the road. Something had hit her mind instantly.
“My mother is not picking up the call, bed is near to the iron-box, I did not switch it off, so what would have happened?” she asked herself and started guessing about the incidents.
“Would there have been any fire accident? O god! My mother?”
The road was replete with noise but she heard nothing, the place was filled with people but she saw no one. She forgot everything, forgot her presence, forgot her journey, forgot her topic submission, forgot the driver and the auto, forgot the college cultural events and forgot even the world for some time. Her mind started looking for something, her hands joined together and her eyes got closed.
She started praying.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our” without completing the prayer, she switched over to,
“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you;
Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,” she stopped. No! She forgot! And forgot the entire prayer! What else she could have done at that time? Mother is a fact but god is a belief, god is secondary in front of a mother, god gives the life and takes but mother gives… gives… and only gives. The love of mother and the fear of her mother’s life made her forget everything. Nonetheless, she was still requesting the god but not with holy prayers, taught prayers, religious phrases on the other hand, with common words and in simple sentences.
“Lord, rescue mother—my mother—nothing should have happed lord—my mother—my mother—lord—“
“She was drying clothes when I was leaving home.” She said to the driver.
He didn’t say anything for he didn’t know what to say.
“How long she would have been drying clothes? She asked the driver and continued, “Moreover, this is her usual time to sleep and that is why I am scared.”
“Don’t worry madam I will try now and she will pick up.” Said the driver and tried but no response. By the time they had almost reached the college.
“Can I try again” she asked him and continued, “Can you give me your mobile if possible?”
He offered the mobile once again and she started proceeding to the dialled number there she accidentally saw ‘my love Begam’ below her mother’s number.
It should have been the lover of that driver. But she didn’t have time to laugh and she dialed again.
As usual there was no response from the other end.
“If I would have brought my mobile I would have called our servant made.” She said and returned the mobile to him and gave the money as well.

Loyola college entrance was filled with many people on the both side of the main gate and the centre was left free for VVIP’s cars. NCC students and some securities were standing and checking and rechecking the intruders completely for two reasons.  The first reason was that ‘Are you a student of this college?’ Clarified with their identity cards and  the second one was, ‘Have you brought camera-mobile?’ confirmed it with checking their pockets, bags, purses and wallets. Our protagonist of this story has also entered in the gate and submitted her possessions for a complete checking. They checked her belongings and found nothing while her heart was occupied with something which was invisible to their eyes. After receiving the no objection certificate from the gate-cats, she walked further and slipped but managed to escape from the literal slumping.

She went to the main-building is one of the buildings of that campus. She was supposed to go to the class-room for she had been called for the topic submission by the professor. She saw the staircase gate which was locked and forgot about the two remaining gate completely. A girl was coming with a mobile. She noticed and called her for the help.
“Can—can—can—you give your mobile? It’s emergency.” She asked her with a scary tone.
That strange girl gave the mobile for her to try calling her mother again. Nevertheless, the result remained the same. She didn’t pick up the call!
“What happened?” asked the stranger.
“Nothing she doesn’t attend the call. Thank you.” Said Janett and return the mobile.
The tension built up, the frustration crossed the limit, the fear scattered, the heart-beet increased the sound, the building was looking like that tiny iron-box and was coming down to her nose, the inhalation turned in to fire, the exhalation became smoke, her head became heavy and the legs lost their wait. Meanwhile the cultural program and its sound was tearing the ears but not to her. She reminded of that song which she was humming since morning. She recollected the lines which she had been humming.
It was a song of a mother sung for her son from the Tamil movie ‘Velai Illa Pattadhari’
The exact lyrics came to her remembrance.
“Nan pona pinnum, nee vazha vendum, enthan moochu unakkullum undu.”
“You should live even after my death my breath is also with in you.”
That’s all, she once again forgot everything this time. She forgot the cultural programs, she forgot the Ovations, she forgot the submission, she forgot the professor, and she forgot her class-mates and whisked from the building.
She didn’t know how she came out, she didn’t know how she got the auto and she didn’t know how she reached home. Even the air couldn’t have witnessed her. She pushed the gate. The gate went and hit the wall and came to hit her back but she was very early and went inside. She shoved the door very firmly and looked at the tranquil home.
Her mother came out with flesh and blood and asked. “What happened? Didn’t you go to the ovations? Why did you come early?”
She scanned her mother from top to bottom she remained without any fluctuation.
She felt relieved, felt happy, felt relaxed but controlled the overall emotions and sighed.
“Why didn’t you pick up the call?” asked her vehemently.
“When did you call me?” her mother retorted casually.
“I had been calling you and you are asking when?” she asked with a tone of anger.
“Oh! How to attend your call for my mobile was not with me.” Said her mother.
“Why?” she asked with the infernal mystification.
“It is with your sister.” She said and continued, “She didn’t have balance in her mobile therefore she took mine.”
Without replying to her mother, she went inside and saw the iron-box which was properly switched off.
“Did you switch off the iron-box?” she asked her mother again.
“No! I didn’t even switch it on!” she said and continued; “You only ironed and switched off in the morning!”
“Did I switch off?” she interrogated her mother shockingly.
“Yeah! That is what I was also wondering since you used to forget to switch off whenever you use!”
“I thought I didn’t do.” She said. Meanwhile her sister came she narrated the whole story.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. “The inhalation turned in to fire the exhalation became smoke "typically your words captured my anxiety and the title s apt... That day was very very pathetic

  4. Sorry Vinoth while I was typing.... Connectivity problem and error occurred so former comments has been deleted

  5. ithu pola niraiya incident paarkalam vinoth.

    vittula irunthu veliya pona piraku sariya door lock panni irukkiroma illaiya, gas sariyaa off senju irukkiroma illiya, water tap proper aa close panni irukkiromanu doubt vanthikittu irukkalam.

    palarukku ithu pola erpadalam. even enakkum ithu pola veru sila anupavam erpattu irukku.

    ithukku psychology la ithavathu syndrome kuda solli iruppaynga thedi paartha taan theriyum.

    suitable title and good writing.

    Mother is a fact but god is a belief, god is secondary in front of a mother,
    god gives the life and takes but mother gives… gives… and only gives./// touching lines.


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