The daily load shedding meant an hour of darkness and peace in the evenings. It was the summer vacations and the house overflowing with children of all ages. Thankam had made it a rule and instructed her five children to return to the ancestral home in the village every summer vacation.
It was difficult to co-ordinate the dates, but it was also fun. The housewives and the children would come down at the start of the vacation, and the others would join in after a few days as their jobs permitted. It was the time to catch up on each other’s lives. The children got acquainted with their cousins leading to life long, strong relationships.
And during the load shedding, Thankam would be surrounded by the children for the daily story. Thankam would sometimes share tidbits from her life. Sometimes it will be about some God or Goddess. She was a great story teller and the children would listen in wonder.
But this year, was different. Thankam was bed-ridden and incoherent in speech waiting for the final call. She missed the story telling sessions as much as the kids missed her.
The children were sitting in different corners of the nallukettu house, mostly playing on their cellphones or tabs when it started to rain. The courtyard in the centre of the house filled up with rain and petrichor.
Thankam’s daughter Nita called out to the children, ‘Hey! Do you want a story?’ The children sprinted towards her in anticipation.
Thankam heard the happy children. Her heart at peace, at last.