“Karma and destiny, two words that can change the course of anyone’s life. My life would be a standing example for that. I was born and raised in Trichy in a well-to-do family. One of my sisters lives in Bangalore and my brother in Hyderabad. I still remember my visit to Bangalore from my late adolescence years. I was traveling on a bus from Bangalore to Hubli and there was a conductor. I am in a position where I take spare change from anyone that passes by me and the conductor who probably was asked by many to keep the spare change, is now the Superstar that the world knows!
Yes, destiny and fate do take us to weird places in this world. I never married, I was living with a woman I love for a few years, I didn’t know back then that she was married already and has a daughter. A few years after being with me, she expressed her wish to meet her daughter and I asked her to go and spend her time with her family as that’s where she belongs. I do not have a place to go and my siblings probably don’t even know that I have landed here on the streets of Mylapore seeking alms to feed myself. But then, there is no denying the fact that poverty has no friends. So, I wouldn’t blame them even if they were to know of my situation and don’t contact me. What people forget is that whether rich or poor we all end up in ashes one day and there’s nothing that would make us any different when we are dead and gone. The wealthy man who is adorned in gold today and the one dressed up in rags look the same when they’re burned to the bone!
I came to Chennai in the 1970s to watch a film with my friend and stayed back here. I took up a job at a hotel as a cook and continued doing it until recently. I have grown old, my body doesn’t support me anymore to stand for hours and cook scrumptious meals. But I still get picked up by caterers who could use an extra helping hand and go cook for them. It helps me make some money, but that doesn’t feed me every day. It’s a once in a blue moon thing, so I have resorted to begging. The few pennies that people give me and the occasional chat that I get to have with passerby makes me feel content.”
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