“I was kicked out of my house at the age of 8 by my uncle.
My parents passed away so I was urged to stay with my uncle’s family for a while.
I didn’t know the directions. My legs shivered walking in Ooty, from where I come. I took a train to Chennai. I was caught by the home guards in Chennai Central.
The moment I disclosed that I’m an orphan to those guards, they took me to a home.
After a couple of months of not liking to be there, I ran out to the Marina beach.
A very peaceful, colourful and serene environment I looked at, that day, at the age of 9.
I went to a person who was inviting people to ride on his horse and asked him if I could ride it. He questioned my background and my purpose to visit the beach. I told him my story. Out of sympathy and love, he bought me food. And also a blind man taught me how to ride a horse.
I have been riding horses since the age of 9. My horse, Rocky, is my everything.
I sleep on the roads. Eat food when I had money. I share all my happiness and grievances with my horse only. He also understands my emotions and reacts to my feelings. We share a special bond. I give him all that I eat and treat him like my family.
An unknown person who takes care of me now, who is more or less like an elder brother to me, is a bestow in the lives of people like us.
I’m 23 now. From the day I landed my legs at the beach till date, I have never stopped out of this pacific place.
Every single day, on the beach, while I see happy couples, happy families, and friends together playing, laughing, walking, and children building sand castles – I had regretted my life of being alone and that I also want a family like everyone else.
There hasn’t been a single day without me earning my mother’s love and craving for peace.
I understand that life is so difficult for so many out there, so I’m happy with what I have and I love what I’m doing now.
Hi, I’m Deva. You can find me anywhere in the Marina, Besant Nagar or the Thiruvanmayur beaches. I’m famously known as ‘Ooty’ and people on the beaches can pin you to me if you just say ‘Ooty Deva’ – and that’s the name I’ve proudly earned!”