"I can only hope that things get better soon" says Chellakannu | Milaap
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"I can only hope that things get better soon" says Chellakannu

Written by Akshay Balan Publish date 19-Oct-2017

There are some things, I believe, that are sure to test my resilience as a writer. How, for example, am I to write about someone's true grief without tainting it? Do I state simply the facts? Or do I write about how I felt about the grief? It's hard to describe someone's pain when you don't feel it the same way as them. I could just feel for them, not like them. It's better just to tell an honest story in the context that I have. It's the day after Chellakkannu's second grandson died. When I walked in, I did not see myself to be entering a home in mourning. But there I was. Unlike what movies would have you believe, the atmosphere does not go in sync with life. The morning light pierced brightly through the trees and hit Chellakannu`s face. I thought I saw the light reflect on her tears. But perhaps I was just imagining it. "He was only five" That's how Chellakannu began. "We knew that there was always a risk. His heart was weak." Chellakannu didn't seem to be crying. She stood stoic, as if she spent her tears away through the night. At this point, I did not know what it is that I could say. I did not know Tamil well enough to convey my condolences. I could only hope that she understood. In my silence, Chellakannu continued. "His elder brother died too. About two years ago, when he was seven. He had the same condition as well." Chellakannu breathed deep and held her hands tight. "I always told both of them not to run or lift heavy things. But he went to the shop running the other day, even though he knew he shouldn't. At night, he got a fever, he started breathing heavily and then..." She held back tears. "Anyway, we tried all we could. We even got a toilet built to keep him from getting diseases. I can only hope that things will get better soon." Just then, a small, frail three-year-old boy, her youngest and third grandson, walked into the yard carrying a small tumbler of water. Chellakannu rushed to the child saying, "How many times do I have to tell you not to carry anything heavy?" Chellakannu's family has utilized the loan successfully, having built a functional toilet in their backyard. Chellakannu is grateful to her lenders for their support.

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