The Lakshmi English School taught me the fundamentals, but due to an unavoidable circumstance I was forced to leave the school over there and join another. If the previous school gave me the basics, the next taught me to use them well. Application is one of the most core part of the studies that you should never forget to learn. The school which adopted me for that is named Vallal Sabapathy School (so was it called then). Here I learnt how to apply myself into studies itself, because there was no more spoon feeding. I had to live in a different environment. Funny though still I can feel that environment which threw me out of no where. There I was in Lakshmi school where it was strict, disciplined and more and more academic oriented. Here I got a lot of freedom. Freedom of playfulness, naughtiness, craziness, funkiness, etc.

Freedom from all the academic clutches, our batch moved towards excellent schooling. Enjoyed many aspects of life. Like playing around in school hours, engaging in naughty and sometimes witty activities, social service (we cleaned up a pukka desertful ground to become a playground), mistakes (how can we otherwise call stealing question papers and also breaking one of my hands). Athu oru azhagiya nilakkalam, for somebody who doesn’t understand Tamil, they were one of the most golden days in my history.

In school there were lot of activities, but before that the unavoidable incident which made me switch schools. You see I would have mentioned about my sister. My most loved sister. And I would have also mentioned how I was loved by her. As I was born very late after her, I was too small to be her friend, but I was like a first child to her. She would take care of me very well. She would be very possessive, bossing me around for all in the house. I would sacrifice even festive clothings for her to be happily clad. She would take charge of those who hurt me. She will take good care of me in the most beautiful manner I have ever seen. She will boss me around, beat me around, play with me and everything. But will be very much upset if someone hurt me. For instance, I was beaten up at the school for something and she took charge in the school asking the teacher “How could you beat my brother like this ?”. She was the most lovable. Eventhough I was a dark boy (I was like my mother), she was the prettiest girl I have known. She would play with me (always against me). And sometimes we four (my parents and us) will pair around and play Carrom (one of our favourite passtimes in evenings) for hours. Always I would pair up with our mother and she with our father. Rarely we will beat them and mostly she will be the winner. Those were days I would like to relive. I am dreaded to say that she left us on a fateful day of June 19th 1987. She lived, lives and will live in our hearts for years to come. I really miss a sister, a second mother and most importantly the company I would have been in if she hadn’t died. “I love you sister & I miss you a lot”. If God comes before me and grants a wish I would ask God only this, I should be with my sister – either I should die and be with her or she should come back alive.

Being a lonely son is an easy job when compared to being a lonely son after the death of your sister/brother. I believe she is waiting for me in heaven and I am waiting for me to go there. But past is past and as I already said, we should live life, hence I am also living my life. I know I could be any year, any day, any moment, hence I should live to say, my journey through life either complete or incomplete was a good one.

Yeah, I was lonely. I didn’t have a sister to cajole me. I didn’t have a brother to guide me. I didn’t have a yonger sister to be cajoled & guided. I was all alone. I would do stupid things around when I was alone. I would cry for hours thinking about the past/present/future uselessly. I would try to kill myself, but only try and not do anything more. I had wrote suicide notes atleast two times in this matter. Idle mind is always devil’s play ground. Then there came a phase when I started believing in God more and everything else passed away. That was the phase when I started enjoying all my life present around me. One of my major companions through this tough period is the Television. Everyone says TV is bad, for then it has done numerous good things for me. Kept me off focus on useless things. Kept me interested in learning more – the UGC Classrooms, kept me interested by entertaining – the DD metro english serials of the earlier days (mainly Derrick – detective stories, and Non-stop Non-sense – a comedy serial). And otherwise when my friends are around, we enjoyed games either in playground or indoors. I remember playing Trade games, Cricket, Football, etc., Even watching movies and that too mainly English action movies. Normally I would see one movie per week, and that would be minimal. Sometimes I have seen three movies in a weekend.

For the list of movies I have seen, I should definitely write a book on how to watch movies. Where to pay attention and where not to pay attention. Which movie to chose from which movie. I would collect the movies from a local video library, bring them home and watch them. I would chose lots of action movies and will be careful not to take any adult-oriented action movies (as I was not an adult by then). Many action movies of those days will definitely contain a kissing scene and nothing more than that. I would spend sometimes around one to two hours to browse a movie from the list of crap the library has in store. I have seen most of the famous movies of our times even before they got released in Madras (Chennai) and some in India itself. Some of them to mention are, Terminator 1 & 2, Jurassic Park, Cliffhanger, Predator, Jackie Chan movies, etc., Other movies of older times include Bond Movies, Bible movies (Ten Commandments, Samson & Delilah, etc). I remember I would have gone to around one or two theatres before College. But I would have been spending more time than any of my friends watching movies. I still know the time when I saw Cliffhanger with my friends after cracking out a few crackers around three months before it officially released and ran like anything.

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