Ooty revisited

The other day while I was having tea in one of my favorite tea shops near the Nilgiri library. An elderly person dashed into this tea shop, ordered for a cup of tea and occupied a seat close to mine. Not that he was badly in need of a cup of tea. But his intention was to chat with me. He was a total stranger. Some 30 minutes ago I saw this fellow at the Ooty head post office and now he was here. Without any introduction he got into a conversation, “sorry to disturb you, I want some information from you”, he began. “Of course, I must be off soon”, I said. “Sure…it is like this; I had been in Ooty for over 20 years and it is over 30 years since I left this lovely place. It has changed beyond recognition. There was a library opposite the collectorate, but…..”. Before he completed his sentence, I told him, “It has shifted to a new building near the temple”. “That bookstall?”, he asked. “It is very much there”, I replied. “Btw, do you know one Mr. Nanu Nair? He was my colleague….much younger to me…”. “Sorry, I don’t know”, I said. Even as we were talking, he tossed a five rupee coin onto the table and ran out and shouted, “Hi, wait a minute”. A man in his 40s stopped there and nodded somewhat bewildered. “Hi Nanu, don’t you remember me? You haven’t changed a bit….the same naughty looking chap, the same naughty looking chap”. That man was a bit scared and simply walked away, but the stranger followed him and held his hand and said, “I am Raghu, your good old friend and colleague”. The middle aged man stopped for a while and told him and told him, “I am not Nanu, he is my father. Right now, he is in Mumbai with my elder sister”. “Nice seeing you. You look exactly like your Dad”, the stranger told him and got into an auto rickshaw.

Author: P U Krishnan

First things first. I am one of those retired chaps who are young at heart. I watch cricket matches and jump for joy when Tendulkar scores yet another century. I read newspapers and books too, though I am not crazy about them. I think I have a mind free from hatred and I owe it to the wonders of nature and music. I scribble something now and then and call myself a writer! Though I have settled in Ooty, a lovely hill station in Tamil Nadu—I must emphasize the fact that I was born and brought up in Tellicherry in North Kerala and studied in the good old Government Brennen College. Of and on, my mind goes back to my ancestral house at Tiruvangad in Tellicherry in front of an ancient Sri Ram temple. I am indebted to this wonderful place which inculcated in me a love for cricket and literature. But all said and done, I am an Indian first.

One Commnet on “Ooty revisited

  1. I enjoyed reading this, but it was way too dramatic towards the end… I can understand the part where a stranger can stop by you for a chit-chat while you are sipping a cup of coffee at a cafe. I can also understand the part where this stranger enquires to you about another person, whom he hasnt seen in 30 years and whom you have no clue about. But, what I simply cant reconcile is the idea that even as this stranger is speaking about the other person, he finds that very same person (or his son) outside the coffee shop. It sounded way too dramatic… It is like saying, “let there be light and there it was” 😉

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