Saturday, August 28, 2010
Note: The characters and the events are fictitious and are purely imaginary.
Comments and suggestions are most welcome.
It took six hours of strenuous exercise from the internationally famed make up man and six long hours of boredom in my busy life for me to hide my identity and to bring out the “hidden me” out. I was advised by my security experts to keep the whole exercise a secret, hence no one other than my family knew. As was planned I sneaked through the back gate of my large office to join the crowd out and got mixed with the crowd as I slipped out of my official residence, the CM’s residence. The fact that my own main security at the main gate was not able to identify me meant I had passed the litmus test and I set out to live the life of a common man, the hidden me.
I had made plans of visiting the college I graduated from. They say college life shapes the personality of an individual. During my last visit there, all I was allowed was to light the kuthuvilakku and spend only twenty minutes in the college as per my security expert’s advice. Today was going to be different.
I went and stood in the appropriate bus stop for the bus to come. As it was peak hours a crowded bus came, I somehow managed to sneak in and got down at my college stop. Now it was a walk through the kilometer long stretch into the college. Lost in my nostalgia I started walking, only to be stopped by the security at the gate. “ID Card”. I told him I am an old student and wanted to make a donation, he showed me the direction and let me go. I was experiencing a strange freedom, there were no red siren cars leading and following me, there were no security experts guiding me, there were no PA’s making way for me and the red carpet welcome was missing, I was on my own after a really long time. I went straight to the college canteen to have my favorite elaichi tea. Then I decided on taking a stroll around the campus. The trees under which we used to chat all day long were no longer there, instead stood new dept blocks. The stage where I gave my first speech very nervously was decorated and changed beyond recognition. The classroom benches where we used to sit were occupied by fresh students. It seemed all had changed, till I reached the hostel.
I went up to the first floor to the room no. 121, where I spent the first year of my college life. There in a corner of a shelf, were inscribed two names, “Vetri” and “Sankaran”. It was then that I remembered about Vetrivelan. My roommate for the first year, the topper of the college in the first year, who had to drop out of the college as he had no funds to finance his education. All our efforts to pool in money and make him continue the studies were able to sustain only for the first year. After which he had miraculously vanished and became untraceable.
With a heavy heart, I finally went into the college office to give donation to the college. I was given the donation form. Inside the office room was a board showing the gold medalist of each year. There my name was inscribed in Bold letters for the year 1980, Sankaran S. There was a big banner near to this board on my last visit bearing my name being alumni of this college and that too a gold medalist. But today for some reason I was seeing the name Vetrivelan on the gold medalist board. The “hidden me” had identified that it was Vetrivelan who truly deserved to be the gold medalist had he been born into a wealthy family. Suddenly all the events which happened more than 30 years back ran in front of my eyes.
Then I looked into the donation form. It had various options where I could donate. I chose “Student Funds”, which would finance the poor students who cannot manage the steep fees and filled in the amount. Then there was a space asking for the name. I had to give a name to the “hidden me”. I had not thought of it still now. For obvious reasons I could not give my original name. After thinking for a while, I wrote the name “Vetrivelan”. The “hidden me” got a name.