Shards of Sunlight
Indu is eight years old and is in her 'why' phase. The year is 1942 and there is a war somewhere, which is causing a lot of problems even in the little coastal town, Thalassery, where Indu lives. But no one will tell her why her father was taken away by the police.
'Because he is a freedom-fighter,' says Ammamma, who is in charge of the all-female household. 'What's that?' asks Indu. 'Is he a prisoner?'
'Well, yes,' she says, impatiently. 'You're always asking questions.' Indu knows she can be guilty of that. Ammamma relents.
'But really, he is a detenue, not a criminal.'
Just like adults to answer a simple question by saying something even more unfathomable.
Indu's world is full of threats now that her safety mantle, which was the security of her father's love is gone.
In convent school Sister names and shames Indu in class.
'Your father is a criminal. And you too.' Indu had been quite naughty, tying Girija's long plaits on to the slats of her bench in class.
Indu has a lot to negotiate as the years pass. This is the story of how this little girl hangs on to her self-esteem and purpose.
Published: 4 December 2014
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