THE 500 RUPEE NOTE

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story is all about the innocence of chldhood.

Submitted: March 13, 2008

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Submitted: March 13, 2008

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THE FIVE HUNDRED RUPEE NOTE
-L.PRAVEEN DHANASEELAN
 
Ajay Menon was a Clerk in the Green Town Benefit Fund office at Ernakulam. He was able to make both his ends meet by virtue of his hard work. He was newly married and was proud of his young Wife. His Wife, Sangeetha though loving was a nagging wife, who was unhappy with their existence as it was. The reason was that they were living with Ajay’s parents who lived upstairs and this felt was something that curtailed her freedom. She used to dream of rich life which she herself had not known as a child in her own family. This marriage gave her a semblance of the trappings of a rich house hold. But her parents and her brother could not have the ease of access to her new home as they lived under the shadow of her husband’s parents which she vehemently detested. She wanted her husband to join a posting in an Arab country so that they could be independent and therefore, troubled her Ajay to go for a change of job.
Ajay, therefore, had to apply for various jobs. Finally, he got selected through the preliminaries for a job in Muscat. But he had to attend an interview at the higher level at Bombay.
Bombay! That brought him great memories. He had been there as a child many years ago. Ajay was Thirty five now. He had had his early education at the Marine Drive’s elite Felton school for a couple of years before moving over to Kerala. He was known to be a very naughty and troublesome boy while in those early years of schooling.
His mother was teacher in that school and so he had the good fortune of being accompanied by her during his visits to the school. They lived in one of the tallest building of Gandhipuram for that time in history. When his mother had to take leave, he would be kindly taken by his father to the double Decker bus stop and put into the care of the conductor who would help him go to school at the other end. The teachers at his school were kind and affectionate. The school had many Keralites and a kind of home atmosphere existed at school. He would sit in his mother‘s special Hindi learning classes, that the Government had enthusiastically introduced in the schools. The school had a mini zoo with animals such as Tortoises, Peacocks; etc.In the evenings, his grandmother would take him to the sea front where he would gaze endlessly at the Boats and ships moving in and out. Sundays were meant for the visit to the local temple here he would invariably shout and scream and indulge in all sorts of mischief, only to be severely reprimanded and beaten at home as a punishment. No parent would be happy to see his boy picking up fruits meant for the offering to the presiding deity of the temple and throwing them on the road.  He would throw plates, toys and every thing that he could lay his hands on in his moments of anger though he was only a small boy. He was very plump and heavy and that meant that his request to be carried in their arms was met with stony glares. Soon his fame spread around like wild fire. He was known as the ‘angry boy’. Strangely this angry boy image struck on to him for many years. In his heart of heart; he knew that he was a kind boy looking for love in the world. He often dreamt even as an adult about a world where people would live in peace and harmony and where people would not rub each other the wrong way.
Ajay had occasionally seen the brand new 5oo rupee notes in his father’s hands. The beautiful quality of the note and the patterns attracted his boyish imagination. On earlier occasions, he had failed to lay his hands on that note and have the feel of it. This time he was not going to let it happen .He threw a terrible tantrum and finally got what he had wanted to achieve: the 500 rupee note. Of course at that age, he did not know the monitory value of that note .In fact ,he had not known the value of money at all. To him, that note was a piece of beautiful paper, to be admired and kept in a proper place. So he took the note away from the prying eyes of the elders. He came out of their fourth floor house’s balcony, on to the veranda, found a crack on the edge of the marble floor near the place where it came into contact with the wall in the side. He thought that it would be safe there until the time when he would come back to the same place while at play. He felt that he had done a great thing by finding a safe place for there colourful 500 rupee note. The next day was like any other day, like any other school boy, he went to school with great enthusiasm. At lunch time, he was surprised to see the servant maid from his house coming to meet him. She did not give him a chance to explain. She asked him, “Where is the 500 rupee note? Where have you kept it? Did you throw it away as you usually do with other things? Ajay said, “No, aunty, I did not through it away, I can swear it.” “Now, don’t lie to me. Come on, let’s go home and find the truth. Every one is at home, your mummy, your daddy and you granny and myself. I would give you a nice spanking myself if you were my son”. Permission was taken from the school authorities and he was taken home by the maid on the double Decker bus. There was big rumpus at home and he was considered to be the obvious cause for all that. He remained perfectly calm and told them that he had only kept it in the small opening on the tiled floor. “You must have thrown it out of this top floor, you…” said the elders .No one really bothered to look into the small crack that he had referred to. And he was too young to really bother about that. The Tag of the Boy who had thrown away the 500 Rupee note struck on to him in the years that followed. The event was discussed threadbare by the relatives for many years after their settling down in Kerala. Though the father and the mother had taken it in their stride, the relatives refused to do so. They would discuss about the so called good behaviour of other children in an animated fashion. Somehow this had a lasting impact on him in the years to come. He felt in his heart of hearts that what he had told his parents was the truth. The issue of speaking the truth meant a lot to his child’s mind. He felt hurt when people accused him of lying to hide the truth. This incident of the 500 rupees note had taken place when he was 5 years old.
Ajay was 35 now. And he was going to Bombay the city of his childhood. All these memories came back to him while he travelled on the Dadar express. The journey was long and slow but he could while away his time thing about his past. Would he be able to visit his old house where he had once lived with his parents, after attending his interview? He did have time to visit his old house with help of the address and the landmark that his father had given him before he had departed from Ernakulam. He was there finally in front of the 4 storey building of his childhood. He climbed up the stairs, the same stairs where he had complained to his mother about the climb when he was a child. He found himself facing the door of his childhood house .It was locked. He enquired at the neighbouring house .The lady there told him that his house was in a dilapidated state and therefore it was locked .He sought her permission to approach the balcony of that house through the back door outlet of her house .She willingly obliged him when she came to know of his nostalgic visit. He sought that niche on the tiled floor where he had kept that 500 rupee note. His fingers delved deep into that crevice of his childhood. Did he feel some thing? Yes that there was a bit of paper inside. He pulled it out gently. What was it? It was that 500 rupee note from his childhood. He had spoken the truth. And here was the truth right in front of him. A life time of wishing had come true finally. Ajay could not control himself .He screamed “I spoke the truth, I spoke the truth, Let the world know this”. Poor Ajay did not know that times had changed .This was a non –issue as far as his relatives were concerned. Many had left this earthly abode long ago. The realisation dawned on him a few minutes later. He found the other inmates on that floor staring at him. “Sorry”, he said, and left the place to catch his Dadar train to Ernakulam.-L.PRAVEEN DHANASEELAN.
THE FIVE HUNDRED RUPEE NOTE
-L.PRAVEEN DHANASEELAN
 
Ajay Menon was a Clerk in the Green Town Benefit Fund office at Ernakulam. He was able to make both his ends meet by virtue of his hard work. He was newly married and was proud of his young Wife. His Wife, Sangeetha though loving was a nagging wife, who was unhappy with their existence as it was. The reason was that they were living with Ajay’s parents who lived upstairs and this felt was something that curtailed her freedom. She used to dream of rich life which she herself had not known as a child in her own family. This marriage gave her a semblance of the trappings of a rich house hold. But her parents and her brother could not have the ease of access to her new home as they lived under the shadow of her husband’s parents which she vehemently detested. She wanted her husband to join a posting in an Arab country so that they could be independent and therefore, troubled her Ajay to go for a change of job.
Ajay, therefore, had to apply for various jobs. Finally, he got selected through the preliminaries for a job in Muscat. But he had to attend an interview at the higher level at Bombay.
Bombay! That brought him great memories. He had been there as a child many years ago. Ajay was Thirty five now. He had had his early education at the Marine Drive’s elite Felton school for a couple of years before moving over to Kerala. He was known to be a very naughty and troublesome boy while in those early years of schooling.
His mother was teacher in that school and so he had the good fortune of being accompanied by her during his visits to the school. They lived in one of the tallest building of Gandhipuram for that time in history. When his mother had to take leave, he would be kindly taken by his father to the double Decker bus stop and put into the care of the conductor who would help him go to school at the other end. The teachers at his school were kind and affectionate. The school had many Keralites and a kind of home atmosphere existed at school. He would sit in his mother‘s special Hindi learning classes, that the Government had enthusiastically introduced in the schools. The school had a mini zoo with animals such as Tortoises, Peacocks; etc.In the evenings, his grandmother would take him to the sea front where he would gaze endlessly at the Boats and ships moving in and out. Sundays were meant for the visit to the local temple here he would invariably shout and scream and indulge in all sorts of mischief, only to be severely reprimanded and beaten at home as a punishment. No parent would be happy to see his boy picking up fruits meant for the offering to the presiding deity of the temple and throwing them on the road.  He would throw plates, toys and every thing that he could lay his hands on in his moments of anger though he was only a small boy. He was very plump and heavy and that meant that his request to be carried in their arms was met with stony glares. Soon his fame spread around like wild fire. He was known as the ‘angry boy’. Strangely this angry boy image struck on to him for many years. In his heart of heart; he knew that he was a kind boy looking for love in the world. He often dreamt even as an adult about a world where people would live in peace and harmony and where people would not rub each other the wrong way.
Ajay had occasionally seen the brand new 5oo rupee notes in his father’s hands. The beautiful quality of the note and the patterns attracted his boyish imagination. On earlier occasions, he had failed to lay his hands on that note and have the feel of it. This time he was not going to let it happen .He threw a terrible tantrum and finally got what he had wanted to achieve: the 500 rupee note. Of course at that age, he did not know the monitory value of that note .In fact ,he had not known the value of money at all. To him, that note was a piece of beautiful paper, to be admired and kept in a proper place. So he took the note away from the prying eyes of the elders. He came out of their fourth floor house’s balcony, on to the veranda, found a crack on the edge of the marble floor near the place where it came into contact with the wall in the side. He thought that it would be safe there until the time when he would come back to the same place while at play. He felt that he had done a great thing by finding a safe place for there colourful 500 rupee note. The next day was like any other day, like any other school boy, he went to school with great enthusiasm. At lunch time, he was surprised to see the servant maid from his house coming to meet him. She did not give him a chance to explain. She asked him, “Where is the 500 rupee note? Where have you kept it? Did you throw it away as you usually do with other things? Ajay said, “No, aunty, I did not through it away, I can swear it.” “Now, don’t lie to me. Come on, let’s go home and find the truth. Every one is at home, your mummy, your daddy and you granny and myself. I would give you a nice spanking myself if you were my son”. Permission was taken from the school authorities and he was taken home by the maid on the double Decker bus. There was big rumpus at home and he was considered to be the obvious cause for all that. He remained perfectly calm and told them that he had only kept it in the small opening on the tiled floor. “You must have thrown it out of this top floor, you…” said the elders .No one really bothered to look into the small crack that he had referred to. And he was too young to really bother about that. The Tag of the Boy who had thrown away the 500 Rupee note struck on to him in the years that followed. The event was discussed threadbare by the relatives for many years after their settling down in Kerala. Though the father and the mother had taken it in their stride, the relatives refused to do so. They would discuss about the so called good behaviour of other children in an animated fashion. Somehow this had a lasting impact on him in the years to come. He felt in his heart of hearts that what he had told his parents was the truth. The issue of speaking the truth meant a lot to his child’s mind. He felt hurt when people accused him of lying to hide the truth. This incident of the 500 rupees note had taken place when he was 5 years old.
Ajay was 35 now. And he was going to Bombay the city of his childhood. All these memories came back to him while he travelled on the Dadar express. The journey was long and slow but he could while away his time thing about his past. Would he be able to visit his old house where he had once lived with his parents, after attending his interview? He did have time to visit his old house with help of the address and the landmark that his father had given him before he had departed from Ernakulam. He was there finally in front of the 4 storey building of his childhood. He climbed up the stairs, the same stairs where he had complained to his mother about the climb when he was a child. He found himself facing the door of his childhood house .It was locked. He enquired at the neighbouring house .The lady there told him that his house was in a dilapidated state and therefore it was locked .He sought her permission to approach the balcony of that house through the back door outlet of her house .She willingly obliged him when she came to know of his nostalgic visit. He sought that niche on the tiled floor where he had kept that 500 rupee note. His fingers delved deep into that crevice of his childhood. Did he feel some thing? Yes that there was a bit of paper inside. He pulled it out gently. What was it? It was that 500 rupee note from his childhood. He had spoken the truth. And here was the truth right in front of him. A life time of wishing had come true finally. Ajay could not control himself .He screamed “I spoke the truth, I spoke the truth, Let the world know this”. Poor Ajay did not know that times had changed .This was a non –issue as far as his relatives were concerned. Many had left this earthly abode long ago. The realisation dawned on him a few minutes later. He found the other inmates on that floor staring at him. “Sorry”, he said, and left the place to catch his Dadar train to Ernakulam.-L.PRAVEEN DHANASEELAN.
THE FIVE HUNDRED RUPEE NOTE
-L.PRAVEEN DHANASEELAN
 
Ajay Menon was a Clerk in the Green Town Benefit Fund office at Ernakulam. He was able to make both his ends meet by virtue of his hard work. He was newly married and was proud of his young Wife. His Wife, Sangeetha though loving was a nagging wife, who was unhappy with their existence as it was. The reason was that they were living with Ajay’s parents who lived upstairs and this felt was something that curtailed her freedom. She used to dream of rich life which she herself had not known as a child in her own family. This marriage gave her a semblance of the trappings of a rich house hold. But her parents and her brother could not have the ease of access to her new home as they lived under the shadow of her husband’s parents which she vehemently detested. She wanted her husband to join a posting in an Arab country so that they could be independent and therefore, troubled her Ajay to go for a change of job.
Ajay, therefore, had to apply for various jobs. Finally, he got selected through the preliminaries for a job in Muscat. But he had to attend an interview at the higher level at Bombay.
Bombay! That brought him great memories. He had been there as a child many years ago. Ajay was Thirty five now. He had had his early education at the Marine Drive’s elite Felton school for a couple of years before moving over to Kerala. He was known to be a very naughty and troublesome boy while in those early years of schooling.
His mother was teacher in that school and so he had the good fortune of being accompanied by her during his visits to the school. They lived in one of the tallest building of Gandhipuram for that time in history. When his mother had to take leave, he would be kindly taken by his father to the double Decker bus stop and put into the care of the conductor who would help him go to school at the other end. The teachers at his school were kind and affectionate. The school had many Keralites and a kind of home atmosphere existed at school. He would sit in his mother‘s special Hindi learning classes, that the Government had enthusiastically introduced in the schools. The school had a mini zoo with animals such as Tortoises, Peacocks; etc.In the evenings, his grandmother would take him to the sea front where he would gaze endlessly at the Boats and ships moving in and out. Sundays were meant for the visit to the local temple here he would invariably shout and scream and indulge in all sorts of mischief, only to be severely reprimanded and beaten at home as a punishment. No parent would be happy to see his boy picking up fruits meant for the offering to the presiding deity of the temple and throwing them on the road.  He would throw plates, toys and every thing that he could lay his hands on in his moments of anger though he was only a small boy. He was very plump and heavy and that meant that his request to be carried in their arms was met with stony glares. Soon his fame spread around like wild fire. He was known as the ‘angry boy’. Strangely this angry boy image struck on to him for many years. In his heart of heart; he knew that he was a kind boy looking for love in the world. He often dreamt even as an adult about a world where people would live in peace and harmony and where people would not rub each other the wrong way.
Ajay had occasionally seen the brand new 5oo rupee notes in his father’s hands. The beautiful quality of the note and the patterns attracted his boyish imagination. On earlier occasions, he had failed to lay his hands on that note and have the feel of it. This time he was not going to let it happen .He threw a terrible tantrum and finally got what he had wanted to achieve: the 500 rupee note. Of course at that age, he did not know the monitory value of that note .In fact ,he had not known the value of money at all. To him, that note was a piece of beautiful paper, to be admired and kept in a proper place. So he took the note away from the prying eyes of the elders. He came out of their fourth floor house’s balcony, on to the veranda, found a crack on the edge of the marble floor near the place where it came into contact with the wall in the side. He thought that it would be safe there until the time when he would come back to the same place while at play. He felt that he had done a great thing by finding a safe place for there colourful 500 rupee note. The next day was like any other day, like any other school boy, he went to school with great enthusiasm. At lunch time, he was surprised to see the servant maid from his house coming to meet him. She did not give him a chance to explain. She asked him, “Where is the 500 rupee note? Where have you kept it? Did you throw it away as you usually do with other things? Ajay said, “No, aunty, I did not through it away, I can swear it.” “Now, don’t lie to me. Come on, let’s go home and find the truth. Every one is at home, your mummy, your daddy and you granny and myself. I would give you a nice spanking myself if you were my son”. Permission was taken from the school authorities and he was taken home by the maid on the double Decker bus. There was big rumpus at home and he was considered to be the obvious cause for all that. He remained perfectly calm and told them that he had only kept it in the small opening on the tiled floor. “You must have thrown it out of this top floor, you…” said the elders .No one really bothered to look into the small crack that he had referred to. And he was too young to really bother about that. The Tag of the Boy who had thrown away the 500 Rupee note struck on to him in the years that followed. The event was discussed threadbare by the relatives for many years after their settling down in Kerala. Though the father and the mother had taken it in their stride, the relatives refused to do so. They would discuss about the so called good behaviour of other children in an animated fashion. Somehow this had a lasting impact on him in the years to come. He felt in his heart of hearts that what he had told his parents was the truth. The issue of speaking the truth meant a lot to his child’s mind. He felt hurt when people accused him of lying to hide the truth. This incident of the 500 rupees note had taken place when he was 5 years old.
Ajay was 35 now. And he was going to Bombay the city of his childhood. All these memories came back to him while he travelled on the Dadar express. The journey was long and slow but he could while away his time thing about his past. Would he be able to visit his old house where he had once lived with his parents, after attending his interview? He did have time to visit his old house with help of the address and the landmark that his father had given him before he had departed from Ernakulam. He was there finally in front of the 4 storey building of his childhood. He climbed up the stairs, the same stairs where he had complained to his mother about the climb when he was a child. He found himself facing the door of his childhood house .It was locked. He enquired at the neighbouring house .The lady there told him that his house was in a dilapidated state and therefore it was locked .He sought her permission to approach the balcony of that house through the back door outlet of her house .She willingly obliged him when she came to know of his nostalgic visit. He sought that niche on the tiled floor where he had kept that 500 rupee note. His fingers delved deep into that crevice of his childhood. Did he feel some thing? Yes that there was a bit of paper inside. He pulled it out gently. What was it? It was that 500 rupee note from his childhood. He had spoken the truth. And here was the truth right in front of him. A life time of wishing had come true finally. Ajay could not control himself .He screamed “I spoke the truth, I spoke the truth, Let the world know this”. Poor Ajay did not know that times had changed .This was a non –issue as far as his relatives were concerned. Many had left this earthly abode long ago. The realisation dawned on him a few minutes later. He found the other inmates on that floor staring at him. “Sorry”, he said, and left the place to catch his Dadar train to Ernakulam.-L.PRAVEEN DHANASEELAN.
THE FIVE HUNDRED RUPEE NOTE
-L.PRAVEEN DHANASEELAN
 
Ajay Menon was a Clerk in the Green Town Benefit Fund office at Ernakulam. He was able to make both his ends meet by virtue of his hard work. He was newly married and was proud of his young Wife. His Wife, Sangeetha though loving was a nagging wife, who was unhappy with their existence as it was. The reason was that they were living with Ajay’s parents who lived upstairs and this felt was something that curtailed her freedom. She used to dream of rich life which she herself had not known as a child in her own family. This marriage gave her a semblance of the trappings of a rich house hold. But her parents and her brother could not have the ease of access to her new home as they lived under the shadow of her husband’s parents which she vehemently detested. She wanted her husband to join a posting in an Arab country so that they could be independent and therefore, troubled her Ajay to go for a change of job.
Ajay, therefore, had to apply for various jobs. Finally, he got selected through the preliminaries for a job in Muscat. But he had to attend an interview at the higher level at Bombay.
Bombay! That brought him great memories. He had been there as a child many years ago. Ajay was Thirty five now. He had had his early education at the Marine Drive’s elite Felton school for a couple of years before moving over to Kerala. He was known to be a very naughty and troublesome boy while in those early years of schooling.
His mother was teacher in that school and so he had the good fortune of being accompanied by her during his visits to the school. They lived in one of the tallest building of Gandhipuram for that time in history. When his mother had to take leave, he would be kindly taken by his father to the double Decker bus stop and put into the care of the conductor who would help him go to school at the other end. The teachers at his school were kind and affectionate. The school had many Keralites and a kind of home atmosphere existed at school. He would sit in his mother‘s special Hindi learning classes, that the Government had enthusiastically introduced in the schools. The school had a mini zoo with animals such as Tortoises, Peacocks; etc.In the evenings, his grandmother would take him to the sea front where he would gaze endlessly at the Boats and ships moving in and out. Sundays were meant for the visit to the local temple here he would invariably shout and scream and indulge in all sorts of mischief, only to be severely reprimanded and beaten at home as a punishment. No parent would be happy to see his boy picking up fruits meant for the offering to the presiding deity of the temple and throwing them on the road.  He would throw plates, toys and every thing that he could lay his hands on in his moments of anger though he was only a small boy. He was very plump and heavy and that meant that his request to be carried in their arms was met with stony glares. Soon his fame spread around like wild fire. He was known as the ‘angry boy’. Strangely this angry boy image struck on to him for many years. In his heart of heart; he knew that he was a kind boy looking for love in the world. He often dreamt even as an adult about a world where people would live in peace and harmony and where people would not rub each other the wrong way.
Ajay had occasionally seen the brand new 5oo rupee notes in his father’s hands. The beautiful quality of the note and the patterns attracted his boyish imagination. On earlier occasions, he had failed to lay his hands on that note and have the feel of it. This time he was not going to let it happen .He threw a terrible tantrum and finally got what he had wanted to achieve: the 500 rupee note. Of course at that age, he did not know the monitory value of that note .In fact ,he had not known the value of money at all. To him, that note was a piece of beautiful paper, to be admired and kept in a proper place. So he took the note away from the prying eyes of the elders. He came out of their fourth floor house’s balcony, on to the veranda, found a crack on the edge of the marble floor near the place where it came into contact with the wall in the side. He thought that it would be safe there until the time when he would come back to the same place while at play. He felt that he had done a great thing by finding a safe place for there colourful 500 rupee note. The next day was like any other day, like any other school boy, he went to school with great enthusiasm. At lunch time, he was surprised to see the servant maid from his house coming to meet him. She did not give him a chance to explain. She asked him, “Where is the 500 rupee note? Where have you kept it? Did you throw it away as you usually do with other things? Ajay said, “No, aunty, I did not through it away, I can swear it.” “Now, don’t lie to me. Come on, let’s go home and find the truth. Every one is at home, your mummy, your daddy and you granny and myself. I would give you a nice spanking myself if you were my son”. Permission was taken from the school authorities and he was taken home by the maid on the double Decker bus. There was big rumpus at home and he was considered to be the obvious cause for all that. He remained perfectly calm and told them that he had only kept it in the small opening on the tiled floor. “You must have thrown it out of this top floor, you…” said the elders .No one really bothered to look into the small crack that he had referred to. And he was too young to really bother about that. The Tag of the Boy who had thrown away the 500 Rupee note struck on to him in the years that followed. The event was discussed threadbare by the relatives for many years after their settling down in Kerala. Though the father and the mother had taken it in their stride, the relatives refused to do so. They would discuss about the so called good behaviour of other children in an animated fashion. Somehow this had a lasting impact on him in the years to come. He felt in his heart of hearts that what he had told his parents was the truth. The issue of speaking the truth meant a lot to his child’s mind. He felt hurt when people accused him of lying to hide the truth. This incident of the 500 rupees note had taken place when he was 5 years old.
Ajay was 35 now. And he was going to Bombay the city of his childhood. All these memories came back to him while he travelled on the Dadar express. The journey was long and slow but he could while away his time thing about his past. Would he be able to visit his old house where he had once lived with his parents, after attending his interview? He did have time to visit his old house with help of the address and the landmark that his father had given him before he had departed from Ernakulam. He was there finally in front of the 4 storey building of his childhood. He climbed up the stairs, the same stairs where he had complained to his mother about the climb when he was a child. He found himself facing the door of his childhood house .It was locked. He enquired at the neighbouring house .The lady there told him that his house was in a dilapidated state and therefore it was locked .He sought her permission to approach the balcony of that house through the back door outlet of her house .She willingly obliged him when she came to know of his nostalgic visit. He sought that niche on the tiled floor where he had kept that 500 rupee note. His fingers delved deep into that crevice of his childhood. Did he feel some thing? Yes that there was a bit of paper inside. He pulled it out gently. What was it? It was that 500 rupee note from his childhood. He had spoken the truth. And here was the truth right in front of him. A life time of wishing had come true finally. Ajay could not control himself .He screamed “I spoke the truth, I spoke the truth, Let the world know this”. Poor Ajay did not know that times had changed .This was a non –issue as far as his relatives were concerned. Many had left this earthly abode long ago. The realisation dawned on him a few minutes later. He found the other inmates on that floor staring at him. “Sorry”, he said, and left the place to catch his Dadar train to Ernakulam.-L.PRAVEEN DHANASEELAN.
THE FIVE HUNDRED RUPEE NOTE
-L.PRAVEEN DHANASEELAN
 
Ajay Menon was a Clerk in the Green Town Benefit Fund office at Ernakulam. He was able to make both his ends meet by virtue of his hard work. He was newly married and was proud of his young Wife. His Wife, Sangeetha though loving was a nagging wife, who was unhappy with their existence as it was. The reason was that they were living with Ajay’s parents who lived upstairs and this felt was something that curtailed her freedom. She used to dream of rich life which she herself had not known as a child in her own family. This marriage gave her a semblance of the trappings of a rich house hold. But her parents and her brother could not have the ease of access to her new home as they lived under the shadow of her husband’s parents which she vehemently detested. She wanted her husband to join a posting in an Arab country so that they could be independent and therefore, troubled her Ajay to go for a change of job.
Ajay, therefore, had to apply for various jobs. Finally, he got selected through the preliminaries for a job in Muscat. But he had to attend an interview at the higher level at Bombay.
Bombay! That brought him great memories. He had been there as a child many years ago. Ajay was Thirty five now. He had had his early education at the Marine Drive’s elite Felton school for a couple of years before moving over to Kerala. He was known to be a very naughty and troublesome boy while in those early years of schooling.
His mother was teacher in that school and so he had the good fortune of being accompanied by her during his visits to the school. They lived in one of the tallest building of Gandhipuram for that time in history. When his mother had to take leave, he would be kindly taken by his father to the double Decker bus stop and put into the care of the conductor who would help him go to school at the other end. The teachers at his school were kind and affectionate. The school had many Keralites and a kind of home atmosphere existed at school. He would sit in his mother‘s special Hindi learning classes, that the Government had enthusiastically introduced in the schools. The school had a mini zoo with animals such as Tortoises, Peacocks; etc.In the evenings, his grandmother would take him to the sea front where he would gaze endlessly at the Boats and ships moving in and out. Sundays were meant for the visit to the local temple here he would invariably shout and scream and indulge in all sorts of mischief, only to be severely reprimanded and beaten at home as a punishment. No parent would be happy to see his boy picking up fruits meant for the offering to the presiding deity of the temple and throwing them on the road.  He would throw plates, toys and every thing that he could lay his hands on in his moments of anger though he was only a small boy. He was very plump and heavy and that meant that his request to be carried in their arms was met with stony glares. Soon his fame spread around like wild fire. He was known as the ‘angry boy’. Strangely this angry boy image struck on to him for many years. In his heart of heart; he knew that he was a kind boy looking for love in the world. He often dreamt even as an adult about a world where people would live in peace and harmony and where people would not rub each other the wrong way.
Ajay had occasionally seen the brand new 5oo rupee notes in his father’s hands. The beautiful quality of the note and the patterns attracted his boyish imagination. On earlier occasions, he had failed to lay his hands on that note and have the feel of it. This time he was not going to let it happen .He threw a terrible tantrum and finally got what he had wanted to achieve: the 500 rupee note. Of course at that age, he did not know the monitory value of that note .In fact ,he had not known the value of money at all. To him, that note was a piece of beautiful paper, to be admired and kept in a proper place. So he took the note away from the prying eyes of the elders. He came out of their fourth floor house’s balcony, on to the veranda, found a crack on the edge of the marble floor near the place where it came into contact with the wall in the side. He thought that it would be safe there until the time when he would come back to the same place while at play. He felt that he had done a great thing by finding a safe place for there colourful 500 rupee note. The next day was like any other day, like any other school boy, he went to school with great enthusiasm. At lunch time, he was surprised to see the servant maid from his house coming to meet him. She did not give him a chance to explain. She asked him, “Where is the 500 rupee note? Where have you kept it? Did you throw it away as you usually do with other things? Ajay said, “No, aunty, I did not through it away, I can swear it.” “Now, don’t lie to me. Come on, let’s go home and find the truth. Every one is at home, your mummy, your daddy and you granny and myself. I would give you a nice spanking myself if you were my son”. Permission was taken from the school authorities and he was taken home by the maid on the double Decker bus. There was big rumpus at home and he was considered to be the obvious cause for all that. He remained perfectly calm and told them that he had only kept it in the small opening on the tiled floor. “You must have thrown it out of this top floor, you…” said the elders .No one really bothered to look into the small crack that he had referred to. And he was too young to really bother about that. The Tag of the Boy who had thrown away the 500 Rupee note struck on to him in the years that followed. The event was discussed threadbare by the relatives for many years after their settling down in Kerala. Though the father and the mother had taken it in their stride, the relatives refused to do so. They would discuss about the so called good behaviour of other children in an animated fashion. Somehow this had a lasting impact on him in the years to come. He felt in his heart of hearts that what he had told his parents was the truth. The issue of speaking the truth meant a lot to his child’s mind. He felt hurt when people accused him of lying to hide the truth. This incident of the 500 rupees note had taken place when he was 5 years old.
Ajay was 35 now. And he was going to Bombay the city of his childhood. All these memories came back to him while he travelled on the Dadar express. The journey was long and slow but he could while away his time thing about his past. Would he be able to visit his old house where he had once lived with his parents, after attending his interview? He did have time to visit his old house with help of the address and the landmark that his father had given him before he had departed from Ernakulam. He was there finally in front of the 4 storey building of his childhood. He climbed up the stairs, the same stairs where he had complained to his mother about the climb when he was a child. He found himself facing the door of his childhood house .It was locked. He enquired at the neighbouring house .The lady there told him that his house was in a dilapidated state and therefore it was locked .He sought her permission to approach the balcony of that house through the back door outlet of her house .She willingly obliged him when she came to know of his nostalgic visit. He sought that niche on the tiled floor where he had kept that 500 rupee note. His fingers delved deep into that crevice of his childhood. Did he feel some thing? Yes that there was a bit of paper inside. He pulled it out gently. What was it? It was that 500 rupee note from his childhood. He had spoken the truth. And here was the truth right in front of him. A life time of wishing had come true finally. Ajay could not control himself .He screamed “I spoke the truth, I spoke the truth, Let the world know this”. Poor Ajay did not know that times had changed .This was a non –issue as far as his relatives were concerned. Many had left this earthly abode long ago. The realisation dawned on him a few minutes later. He found the other inmates on that floor staring at him. “Sorry”, he said, and left the place to catch his Dadar train to Ernakulam.-L.PRAVEEN DHANASEELAN.
THE FIVE HUNDRED RUPEE NOTE
-L.PRAVEEN DHANASEELAN
 
Ajay Menon was a Clerk in the Green Town Benefit Fund office at Ernakulam. He was able to make both his ends meet by virtue of his hard work. He was newly married and was proud of his young Wife. His Wife, Sangeetha though loving was a nagging wife, who was unhappy with their existence as it was. The reason was that they were living with Ajay’s parents who lived upstairs and this felt was something that curtailed her freedom. She used to dream of rich life which she herself had not known as a child in her own family. This marriage gave her a semblance of the trappings of a rich house hold. But her parents and her brother could not have the ease of access to her new home as they lived under the shadow of her husband’s parents which she vehemently detested. She wanted her husband to join a posting in an Arab country so that they could be independent and therefore, troubled her Ajay to go for a change of job.
Ajay, therefore, had to apply for various jobs. Finally, he got selected through the preliminaries for a job in Muscat. But he had to attend an interview at the higher level at Bombay.
Bombay! That brought him great memories. He had been there as a child many years ago. Ajay was Thirty five now. He had had his early education at the Marine Drive’s elite Felton school for a couple of years before moving over to Kerala. He was known to be a very naughty and troublesome boy while in those early years of schooling.
His mother was teacher in that school and so he had the good fortune of being accompanied by her during his visits to the school. They lived in one of the tallest building of Gandhipuram for that time in history. When his mother had to take leave, he would be kindly taken by his father to the double Decker bus stop and put into the care of the conductor who would help him go to school at the other end. The teachers at his school were kind and affectionate. The school had many Keralites and a kind of home atmosphere existed at school. He would sit in his mother‘s special Hindi learning classes, that the Government had enthusiastically introduced in the schools. The school had a mini zoo with animals such as Tortoises, Peacocks; etc.In the evenings, his grandmother would take him to the sea front where he would gaze endlessly at the Boats and ships moving in and out. Sundays were meant for the visit to the local temple here he would invariably shout and scream and indulge in all sorts of mischief, only to be severely reprimanded and beaten at home as a punishment. No parent would be happy to see his boy picking up fruits meant for the offering to the presiding deity of the temple and throwing them on the road.  He would throw plates, toys and every thing that he could lay his hands on in his moments of anger though he was only a small boy. He was very plump and heavy and that meant that his request to be carried in their arms was met with stony glares. Soon his fame spread around like wild fire. He was known as the ‘angry boy’. Strangely this angry boy image struck on to him for many years. In his heart of heart; he knew that he was a kind boy looking for love in the world. He often dreamt even as an adult about a world where people would live in peace and harmony and where people would not rub each other the wrong way.
Ajay had occasionally seen the brand new 5oo rupee notes in his father’s hands. The beautiful quality of the note and the patterns attracted his boyish imagination. On earlier occasions, he had failed to lay his hands on that note and have the feel of it. This time he was not going to let it happen .He threw a terrible tantrum and finally got what he had wanted to achieve: the 500 rupee note. Of course at that age, he did not know the monitory value of that note .In fact ,he had not known the value of money at all. To him, that note was a piece of beautiful paper, to be admired and kept in a proper place. So he took the note away from the prying eyes of the elders. He came out of their fourth floor house’s balcony, on to the veranda, found a crack on the edge of the marble floor near the place where it came into contact with the wall in the side. He thought that it would be safe there until the time when he would come back to the same place while at play. He felt that he had done a great thing by finding a safe place for there colourful 500 rupee note. The next day was like any other day, like any other school boy, he went to school with great enthusiasm. At lunch time, he was surprised to see the servant maid from his house coming to meet him. She did not give him a chance to explain. She asked him, “Where is the 500 rupee note? Where have you kept it? Did you throw it away as you usually do with other things? Ajay said, “No, aunty, I did not through it away, I can swear it.” “Now, don’t lie to me. Come on, let’s go home and find the truth. Every one is at home, your mummy, your daddy and you granny and myself. I would give you a nice spanking myself if you were my son”. Permission was taken from the school authorities and he was taken home by the maid on the double Decker bus. There was big rumpus at home and he was considered to be the obvious cause for all that. He remained perfectly calm and told them that he had only kept it in the small opening on the tiled floor. “You must have thrown it out of this top floor, you…” said the elders .No one really bothered to look into the small crack that he had referred to. And he was too young to really bother about that. The Tag of the Boy who had thrown away the 500 Rupee note struck on to him in the years that followed. The event was discussed threadbare by the relatives for many years after their settling down in Kerala. Though the father and the mother had taken it in their stride, the relatives refused to do so. They would discuss about the so called good behaviour of other children in an animated fashion. Somehow this had a lasting impact on him in the years to come. He felt in his heart of hearts that what he had told his parents was the truth. The issue of speaking the truth meant a lot to his child’s mind. He felt hurt when people accused him of lying to hide the truth. This incident of the 500 rupees note had taken place when he was 5 years old.
Ajay was 35 now. And he was going to Bombay the city of his childhood. All these memories came back to him while he travelled on the Dadar express. The journey was long and slow but he could while away his time thing about his past. Would he be able to visit his old house where he had once lived with his parents, after attending his interview? He did have time to visit his old house with help of the address and the landmark that his father had given him before he had departed from Ernakulam. He was there finally in front of the 4 storey building of his childhood. He climbed up the stairs, the same stairs where he had complained to his mother about the climb when he was a child. He found himself facing the door of his childhood house .It was locked. He enquired at the neighbouring house .The lady there told him that his house was in a dilapidated state and therefore it was locked .He sought her permission to approach the balcony of that house through the back door outlet of her house .She willingly obliged him when she came to know of his nostalgic visit. He sought that niche on the tiled floor where he had kept that 500 rupee note. His fingers delved deep into that crevice of his childhood. Did he feel some thing? Yes that there was a bit of paper inside. He pulled it out gently. What was it? It was that 500 rupee note from his childhood. He had spoken the truth. And here was the truth right in front of him. A life time of wishing had come true finally. Ajay could not control himself .He screamed “I spoke the truth, I spoke the truth, Let the world know this”. Poor Ajay did not know that times had changed .This was a non –issue as far as his relatives were concerned. Many had left this earthly abode long ago. The realisation dawned on him a few minutes later. He found the other inmates on that floor staring at him. “Sorry”, he said, and left the place to catch his Dadar train to Ernakulam.-L.PRAVEEN DHANASEELAN.
THE FIVE HUNDRED RUPEE NOTE
-L.PRAVEEN DHANASEELAN
 
Ajay Menon was a Clerk in the Green Town Benefit Fund office at Ernakulam. He was able to make both his ends meet by virtue of his hard work. He was newly married and was proud of his young Wife. His Wife, Sangeetha though loving was a nagging wife, who was unhappy with their existence as it was. The reason was that they were living with Ajay’s parents who lived upstairs and this felt was something that curtailed her freedom. She used to dream of rich life which she herself had not known as a child in her own family. This marriage gave her a semblance of the trappings of a rich house hold. But her parents and her brother could not have the ease of access to her new home as they lived under the shadow of her husband’s parents which she vehemently detested. She wanted her husband to join a posting in an Arab country so that they could be independent and therefore, troubled her Ajay to go for a change of job.
Ajay, therefore, had to apply for various jobs. Finally, he got selected through the preliminaries for a job in Muscat. But he had to attend an interview at the higher level at Bombay.
Bombay! That brought him great memories. He had been there as a child many years ago. Ajay was Thirty five now. He had had his early education at the Marine Drive’s elite Felton school for a couple of years before moving over to Kerala. He was known to be a very naughty and troublesome boy while in those early years of schooling.
His mother was teacher in that school and so he had the good fortune of being accompanied by her during his visits to the school. They lived in one of the tallest building of Gandhipuram for that time in history. When his mother had to take leave, he would be kindly taken by his father to the double Decker bus stop and put into the care of the conductor who would help him go to school at the other end. The teachers at his school were kind and affectionate. The school had many Keralites and a kind of home atmosphere existed at school. He would sit in his mother‘s special Hindi learning classes, that the Government had enthusiastically introduced in the schools. The school had a mini zoo with animals such as Tortoises, Peacocks; etc.In the evenings, his grandmother would take him to the sea front where he would gaze endlessly at the Boats and ships moving in and out. Sundays were meant for the visit to the local temple here he would invariably shout and scream and indulge in all sorts of mischief, only to be severely reprimanded and beaten at home as a punishment. No parent would be happy to see his boy picking up fruits meant for the offering to the presiding deity of the temple and throwing them on the road.  He would throw plates, toys and every thing that he could lay his hands on in his moments of anger though he was only a small boy. He was very plump and heavy and that meant that his request to be carried in their arms was met with stony glares. Soon his fame spread around like wild fire. He was known as the ‘angry boy’. Strangely this angry boy image struck on to him for many years. In his heart of heart; he knew that he was a kind boy looking for love in the world. He often dreamt even as an adult about a world where people would live in peace and harmony and where people would not rub each other the wrong way.
Ajay had occasionally seen the brand new 5oo rupee notes in his father’s hands. The beautiful quality of the note and the patterns attracted his boyish imagination. On earlier occasions, he had failed to lay his hands on that note and have the feel of it. This time he was not going to let it happen .He threw a terrible tantrum and finally got what he had wanted to achieve: the 500 rupee note. Of course at that age, he did not know the monitory value of that note .In fact ,he had not known the value of money at all. To him, that note was a piece of beautiful paper, to be admired and kept in a proper place. So he took the note away from the prying eyes of the elders. He came out of their fourth floor house’s balcony, on to the veranda, found a crack on the edge of the marble floor near the place where it came into contact with the wall in the side. He thought that it would be safe there until the time when he would come back to the same place while at play. He felt that he had done a great thing by finding a safe place for there colourful 500 rupee note. The next day was like any other day, like any other school boy, he went to school with great enthusiasm. At lunch time, he was surprised to see the servant maid from his house coming to meet him. She did not give him a chance to explain. She asked him, “Where is the 500 rupee note? Where have you kept it? Did you throw it away as you usually do with other things? Ajay said, “No, aunty, I did not through it away, I can swear it.” “Now, don’t lie to me. Come on, let’s go home and find the truth. Every one is at home, your mummy, your daddy and you granny and myself. I would give you a nice spanking myself if you were my son”. Permission was taken from the school authorities and he was taken home by the maid on the double Decker bus. There was big rumpus at home and he was considered to be the obvious cause for all that. He remained perfectly calm and told them that he had only kept it in the small opening on the tiled floor. “You must have thrown it out of this top floor, you…” said the elders .No one really bothered to look into the small crack that he had referred to. And he was too young to really bother about that. The Tag of the Boy who had thrown away the 500 Rupee note struck on to him in the years that followed. The event was discussed threadbare by the relatives for many years after their settling down in Kerala. Though the father and the mother had taken it in their stride, the relatives refused to do so. They would discuss about the so called good behaviour of other children in an animated fashion. Somehow this had a lasting impact on him in the years to come. He felt in his heart of hearts that what he had told his parents was the truth. The issue of speaking the truth meant a lot to his child’s mind. He felt hurt when people accused him of lying to hide the truth. This incident of the 500 rupees note had taken place when he was 5 years old.
Ajay was 35 now. And he was going to Bombay the city of his childhood. All these memories came back to him while he travelled on the Dadar express. The journey was long and slow but he could while away his time thing about his past. Would he be able to visit his old house where he had once lived with his parents, after attending his interview? He did have time to visit his old house with help of the address and the landmark that his father had given him before he had departed from Ernakulam. He was there finally in front of the 4 storey building of his childhood. He climbed up the stairs, the same stairs where he had complained to his mother about the climb when he was a child. He found himself facing the door of his childhood house .It was locked. He enquired at the neighbouring house .The lady there told him that his house was in a dilapidated state and therefore it was locked .He sought her permission to approach the balcony of that house through the back door outlet of her house .She willingly obliged him when she came to know of his nostalgic visit. He sought that niche on the tiled floor where he had kept that 500 rupee note. His fingers delved deep into that crevice of his childhood. Did he feel some thing? Yes that there was a bit of paper inside. He pulled it out gently. What was it? It was that 500 rupee note from his childhood. He had spoken the truth. And here was the truth right in front of him. A life time of wishing had come true finally. Ajay could not control himself .He screamed “I spoke the truth, I spoke the truth, Let the world know this”. Poor Ajay did not know that times had changed .This was a non –issue as far as his relatives were concerned. Many had left this earthly abode long ago. The realisation dawned on him a few minutes later. He found the other inmates on that floor staring at him. “Sorry”, he said, and left the place to catch his Dadar train to Ernakulam.-L.PRAVEEN DHANASEELAN.
THE FIVE HUNDRED RUPEE NOTE
-L.PRAVEEN DHANASEELAN
 
Ajay Menon was a Clerk in the Green Town Benefit Fund office at Ernakulam. He was able to make both his ends meet by virtue of his hard work. He was newly married and was proud of his young Wife. His Wife, Sangeetha though loving was a nagging wife, who was unhappy with their existence as it was. The reason was that they were living with Ajay’s parents who lived upstairs and this felt was something that curtailed her freedom. She used to dream of rich life which she herself had not known as a child in her own family. This marriage gave her a semblance of the trappings of a rich house hold. But her parents and her brother could not have the ease of access to her new home as they lived under the shadow of her husband’s parents which she vehemently detested. She wanted her husband to join a posting in an Arab country so that they could be independent and therefore, troubled her Ajay to go for a change of job.
Ajay, therefore, had to apply for various jobs. Finally, he got selected through the preliminaries for a job in Muscat. But he had to attend an interview at the higher level at Bombay.
Bombay! That brought him great memories. He had been there as a child many years ago. Ajay was Thirty five now. He had had his early education at the Marine Drive’s elite Felton school for a couple of years before moving over to Kerala. He was known to be a very naughty and troublesome boy while in those early years of schooling.
His mother was teacher in that school and so he had the good fortune of being accompanied by her during his visits to the school. They lived in one of the tallest building of Gandhipuram for that time in history. When his mother had to take leave, he would be kindly taken by his father to the double Decker bus stop and put into the care of the conductor who would help him go to school at the other end. The teachers at his school were kind and affectionate. The school had many Keralites and a kind of home atmosphere existed at school. He would sit in his mother‘s special Hindi learning classes, that the Government had enthusiastically introduced in the schools. The school had a mini zoo with animals such as Tortoises, Peacocks; etc.In the evenings, his grandmother would take him to the sea front where he would gaze endlessly at the Boats and ships moving in and out. Sundays were meant for the visit to the local temple here he would invariably shout and scream and indulge in all sorts of mischief, only to be severely reprimanded and beaten at home as a punishment. No parent would be happy to see his boy picking up fruits meant for the offering to the presiding deity of the temple and throwing them on the road.  He would throw plates, toys and every thing that he could lay his hands on in his moments of anger though he was only a small boy. He was very plump and heavy and that meant that his request to be carried in their arms was met with stony glares. Soon his fame spread around like wild fire. He was known as the ‘angry boy’. Strangely this angry boy image struck on to him for many years. In his heart of heart; he knew that he was a kind boy looking for love in the world. He often dreamt even as an adult about a world where people would live in peace and harmony and where people would not rub each other the wrong way.
Ajay had occasionally seen the brand new 5oo rupee notes in his father’s hands. The beautiful quality of the note and the patterns attracted his boyish imagination. On earlier occasions, he had failed to lay his hands on that note and have the feel of it. This time he was not going to let it happen .He threw a terrible tantrum and finally got what he had wanted to achieve: the 500 rupee note. Of course at that age, he did not know the monitory value of that note .In fact ,he had not known the value of money at all. To him, that note was a piece of beautiful paper, to be admired and kept in a proper place. So he took the note away from the prying eyes of the elders. He came out of their fourth floor house’s balcony, on to the veranda, found a crack on the edge of the marble floor near the place where it came into contact with the wall in the side. He thought that it


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