Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A child loses his treasure

 The 1000' Malayatoor hill, where the apostle St. Thomas is believed to have come for meditation, is just 6 kms from our place. Millions from all over our state come to climb it and pray during the week after the Easter Sunday.  My mother had decided to go that year(I was in grade V1). We woke up at 4am, ate the rice and mango curry reserved by her, and set out walking. We paddled through the water of the river Periyar nearby and reached the other side where lay the road to the pilgrim center.  I was greatly thrilled as it was my first trip. Lines of buses were parked along the route, and as we approached the ancient church at the foothold of the hill, we were lost in a sea of humanity jostling, pushing, and walking briskly to the blue hill in front. We climbed it up without much exhaustion muttering prayers all the time and participated in a mass that was in progress atop the hill.  There were so many makeshift hotels and other shops selling all sorts of eatables, tea, coffee, soft drinks and ice creams.  We were tired and mother took a tea and asked me to have one with something to eat. As I had to spend the 25 paise  (one fiftieth of a quarter) I had, I declined and we started our descent after enjoying the scenes from the top, praying and lighting candles at the foot-impression (believed to be that of the saint). I was sad as the long cherished trip was getting over.While we were crossing the river on our way back, the coin I had so carefully saved fell into the water. I was crestfallen as I failed to retrieve it from the sand bed  although I tried for quite some time. The current was strong and nothing else could be done and we walked home gloomily. I had climbed a mountain and walked 12 kms taking nothing to save the precious money. I have never been as sad and desperate ever after.

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