I must tell you the story of Abramo Krishnan” my cousin from Tuticorin told me excitedly, when I was telling her about my blog, Talkalittledo.
“Abramo Krishnan? Seems a strange name.” I said, getting interested.
Abramo was nine years old when he came down from California, to stay in his grandfather Krishnan’s house in Tuticorin, a small town in south India.
His father was Mr. Krishnan’s son. His mother was from Italy. His parents had met when they were university students in USA, fallen in love and married.
The Indian father had reluctantly agreed to their wedding.
Mr.Krishnan came from a traditional family seeped in old values. He was unhappy that his only grandson would not come to know any Indian convention or tradition.
When Abramo was nine years old, he persuaded his son and daughter in law to let Abramo stay with him for one whole year, so that he would enjoy his grandson’s company and also make him get acquainted with their heritage and culture. He especially wanted to visit all the temples with Abramo and tell him the story and mythology behind the Gods and Goddess of our land.
Luckily for him, his son, daughter in law and the little kid agreed to his request.
That was how Abramo came to live in Tuticorin in his grand father’s house.
My cousin who lived two houses away, was privy to all the tamasha that went on there.
Abramo was such a loving boy that everyone, from the neighbours to the servants liked him and spoilt him thoroughly.
To top it, he was very good looking. My cousin said that he resembled Leonardo diCaprio from the film Titanic, with his hair style and his blue eyes.
The boy was admitted in the local school in class four with special permission to skip the second language class, Tamil.
But the rest of the time, Abramo and Mr.Krishnan were inseparable. They visited all the temples, took part in religious functions, walked with the processions and bathed in the holy rivers. From marriages to funerals, the grand father gave his son’s child a taste of everything Indian.
In the temple shops, the legendary weapons of the Gods, like the mace, trident and spear were sold in soft plastic. Abramo loved to buy these and would play with them on their open terrace, with the servants and his grand father pretending to be a King or a God. Also he would play with marbles and other games in the street with the neighbouring boys. The dust and heat did not affect him any way.
My cousin says, that he took to Tuticorin like a native boy and he never fell sick like our children, who when they come from abroad, are always coughing or sneezing or puking.
My cousin was in the habit of going for a walk every evening. She would wear her black burkha (the conventional dress of the Muslims) when she walked on the road. Every time she passed Mr.Krishnan’s house she would wave to the boy if he happened to be outside and he would wave back shyly.
Once my cousin wanted to talk with the lady of the house. She asked Abramo who was playing in the garden, where his grand mother was.
What the boy shouted out to his grandmother made my cousin laugh.
“Paati, the lady who is always in BLACK wants to talk to you”
My cousin was amused that to the half Italian boy, she would always be the ‘lady in black.’
At the end of the stipulated year, the boy went home.
Everybody missed Abramo, especially his grand parents. The servants went about muttering the little bit of English they had picked up from Abramo. They would suddenly recollect something the boy had done or said. They would laugh and then sigh. They would ask Mr. Krishnan to bring back Abramo to stay with them always, which the gentleman made them understand was impossible.
A year later Mr.Krishnan died, of natural causes. The whole town went to pay their last respects to the venerable gentleman who had been loved by everyone.
All who went to his house, could not help but comment on the numerous photographs of his grandson, especially the huge framed ones of the boy dressed up as Lord Krishna and the one of him with Lord Hanuman’s mace and tail.
A cute blond Lord Hanuman and Lord Krishna, in a crew cut hair style and Titanic hero’s eyes!!
Photo Credit: Sativa @freedigitalfoto.net
Story by Gulsum basheer @ talkalittledo
PS: Name of the little boy is changed in the blog.