I was 16 then. At 7 in the morning on a Sunday, my dad was woken up by a phone call from Theni. He could divine from the way the landline rang that it was an STD call.
“Pitchaimani here, Hey, Raja tell me. What happened?”
A break of silence.
A deep breath. A slight noise. He must have placed the receiver on the phone and walked across to the sofa.
I and my mother were still in the bed and mom was increasingly puzzled because dad had not returned to the bedroom to tell us about the subject of the phone call yet. It could have been normal had it been a local call but this was STD. So mother slowly moved out of the bed but was stunned by a shrill wail let out by my father. I was chilled. Soon after she joined him in the hall, she too started letting cries of shock and anguish. I couldn’t hold myself anymore and I rushed out.
“Dad, what happened?”
My dad told me in a broken voice, “My brother has died. Heart-attack it seems”
How do you think I would have reacted then? You can expect a standing me choked with shock with hands searching for a support to keep myself in balance. But do you know what I did?
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