Memories without quotation marks | Daily News


 

Memories without quotation marks

Here is an extract from a short novel, plus poems written by a woman writer in Tamil who witnessed the actualities in person. The name of the fictionalized work in Tamil is Aval Oru Thanitheevu (She is a unique Island herself). Her name is Kavichudar Sivaramani. Between pages 25 and 27 the following piece appears. For the benefit of the non- Tami readers, I have transliterated into English. I take the relevant portions only. Since there is no punctuation and the tenses mixed up, I did not want to make corrections and only give in English what was written in Tamil. No quotation marks too.

Please read this:

It was dawning, late at night. Firing shots. Tearing your ear lobes. Father and Mother run to the foreground. Hearing their crying voices, Sindhu comes out of her room. Her elder brother Siva too accompanies him.

What is this Anna? Don’t know what’s happening? Come, let see what’s going on! Saying this she also goes to the front garden.

Appa and Amma saying the fire shots tear their ears, call us, come, both of you here. We shouldn’t stay inside the house. OK Ok, we went beside Amma.

At that time, the next door Suppu Mama came out and said that at Mulli Vaikaal, some fighting is going on, I hear. Bomb blasts. Fighting and use of gas. I am going. I have to take my children. You too don’t say here. No sooner he completed his sentence, there was a bomb blast in their backyard and the vaikol heap caught fire and spread all over. The cattle’s pathetic voice tore our ears. Out of shock, Appa fell down.

Judiciously Anna went inside and brought some clothes for us to take. At that moment, Sindhu’s mother regained her consciousness after experiencing a severe shock, and brought some money and jewellery in a bundle and gave it to Sindhu. Sindhu hid that bundle in her handbag and they all walked towards a place where there was no noise.

As they crossed the entrance of the house, there were frightening fire shots. The son of Chella Akka, who lives in the third house next to ours, came on a bicycle and landed near us. Oh, what a horrendous event! Before their sight, a bomb fell on him and his body was splintered and laid in parts. Sindhu fainted.

Immediately, brother Siva took her on a bicycle and walked along the street. Struggling mother and father beside her, walking.

But nobody knows what was happening. They don’t have a clear understanding of what was happening. People are at a loss, and yet all are running to save their lives.

At some places, one hears the pathetic crying of some people at the loss of lives among them. They all run to see what happened to their relatives.

Siva put Sindhu and his parents under a shaded tree and goes and sees what’s happening at a distant. What he saw was a horror. His liver was shaken by what he saw.

Besides those who were victims of the bomb blast, there was a battalion of uniformed people attacking those around. We didn’t know what group they belonged to and from where they came from. Everything happened in a jiffy.

Returning, Siva cried Appa there is no point in waiting here. The army is penetrating the flock of people. Come; let us also go with the people moving. He literarily pulled them again to walk. They were going beyond the place of horrendous happenings. At that moment, they would have passed Puthukudiiruppu.

Arun too is taking his mother on a bicycle. He tells his fiancé Sindhu not to worry. God is looking after us. My mother is frightened; I shall leave her at a convenient place and come back.

Sindhu repeats that he should be careful several times.

She then readies herself and took her mother near her hugging and hurried.

Everywhere buildings were broken down and hearing of fire shots. It is dusk now. One cannot figure out human skeletons.

Some youth took the injured and carried them. When they could not carry them, they pulled the victims dragging. Numerous bodies were dying on the way.

There was a big bomb blast near them. Sindhu cries aloud calling Amma. Siva calls his parents. Sindhu was in a blood bath.

Mothers crying aloud tore the silence. Sindhu’s leg was blown out and fell at a distance.

Because of the splintered moment, her face and hands got injured.

Hearing their appealing voices, the rescue group came in a truck and took her away. What happens to her parents? Sindhu’s family in dismay.

This is only one chapter in Kavi Chudar Sivaramani’s novel.


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