Al-Avalathi's Life (Al-Avalathi is the last Mallu to go to the Gelf)
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A quarter century later

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I came home early from school.Not school, kindergarten. I was not sure why all of us were fetched in the school van much earlier than usual. Aunt was visiting then. Our Prime Minister was shot dead, she told me. I did not realize how big that news was. I was shocked,that is all. It seemed like a big news, from Amma’s and aunt’s reactions. I had seen that old lady’s photographs in papers. I did not know who killed her. I would not have known the word assassination then. Amma tuned in to AIR that confirmed the news,bulletin after bulletin.

It was before we got TV at home, before DD started their Trivandrum station*. Nor did we have a phone to call up friends or relatives and break the news. Somewhere in P&T(or was it DoT then), our application for a connection was lying. I do not remember much from that day. I rocked my cousin’s cradle. I kept rocking till the ropes hit the ceiling fan blades. The baby was safe. Dad scolded me. He had to mend the fan blades. The next day’s newspapers had more of black ink than usual, a lot lot more. Things were going to be different for India,many said.

*Guess, Keltron was operating a DD-esque station then

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7 comments

1 DhanyaNo Gravatar { 10.30.09 at 10:40 pm }

hmm I also remember it vaguely.. Amma came to pick me up, but we didn’t get a bus or auto n had to walk most of the distance.. May be my first trek!!

2 seemaNo Gravatar { 10.31.09 at 1:01 am }

I remember that day and the days that followed very clearly. I had to walk down from school to my house amidst all the chaos. Didn’t have a clue what was going on with streets all crowded. That night was eerie and all hell broke loose next morning. Saw buses and buildings burning and Sikhs running for their lives .. it was horrible :(

3 prernaNo Gravatar { 10.31.09 at 2:59 pm }

I remember that day vividly. We in Delhi faced the aftermath of the assassination. Delhiites lived in fear for a few days, there was smoke coming out of the houses burnt by the rioters and everybody looked depressed. I don’t want to see that happening anywhere in the world ever again.

4 SoliloNo Gravatar { 11.01.09 at 2:26 am }

We were in Kanpur and I remember that it was just not good for a community. They were looted, raped and harassed. :(

5 BindhuNo Gravatar { 11.01.09 at 5:50 pm }

I remember hearing the news during lunch break and we didn’t believe it first. I had to walk home (some 6 km). As you said, there was no means of communication and my mom, dad, and brother were all in different locations. Though I had started walking with my classmates, half-way through I was all alone. Luckily, I reached safely.

6 maddyNo Gravatar { 11.14.09 at 7:16 pm }

yah – that happened just as we were to leave on our honeymoon – had to cancel and postpone it..

7 NikhilNo Gravatar { 11.15.09 at 7:44 pm }

@Dhanya @Bindhu
Heh! :-)
@seema
Yes, have heard about that.
@prerna
Scary! I have only read about those things.
@Solilo
Very sad indeed.
@maddy
Some hiccup that was! :)

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