Saturday, November 25, 1963, 6:00AM, Near Besant Nagar Beach
“Adi Serupala Naaye…Nee thunga en auto than kidachudha?” Karthick woke up to his usual suprabhatam. Gathering his books, he hurried up to vacate the Auto. He had no other place on earth to sleep. Street autos were his house. Except for the scholarship of college fee, he had nothing to his credit to be named as lucky charm. Drive to become a Pilot was the only motivating force for his existence. Karthick hated weekends. If it was a weekday, a bath at the corporation bathroom followed by a full day at college was more comfortable than finding a place to sit and study during weekends. Still Saturdays were special to him. He set out to meet his two friends Thiru and Muthu. Thiru and Muthu weren’t as poor as Karthick. They had the lavishness of the sleeping in the big seats of the MTC buses. The Thiruvanmiyur bus depot was their permanent address. Nothing catchy in life still these youngsters lived with the will to win.
That day Karthick felt very tired after walking nearly 4 Km to meet Thiru and Muthu. On the other hand Thiru and Muthu had a tough time sharing their breakfast in a single plate. Their mood was bad. Irritation grew within them. But they wisely used it as a motivating force to make good out of it. They had no idea of what they are going to do. But then, they all set out in search of scrap items. They spent the whole day collecting waste products that can be re-used. That night they all met at the beach with their collections. That night was the most interesting night in their lifetime. Their creativity and technical skills overflowing with unbound enthusiasm reflected in the final product. The first rays of the sun sparkled bright across the shore. The shine on the three friends’ face was even brighter. They stood there admiring their work. Piece of Art, Technical extravaganza, they didn’t know how to classify it. They had before them a self designed single wheeled vehicle which runs on force. All you have to do is place one foot on the rider machine and gently have it running with the thrust from your other foot. Karthick proudly demonstrated his invention to his friends while Thiru and Muthu watched it cheerfully. Thiru had a sheepish smile hidden within him. Muthu too couldn’t resist an emotion of great satisfaction overflowing through his eyes. Karthick pondered over what could be the reason behind their happiness. He had no clue until Thiru revealed his masterpiece. He had assembled a small calculator display with a type writer and other electronic articles and made something unique. It looked like a type writing machine with a display! He could show date, time and make other simple mathematical calculations with his new TY-DISP. TY-DISP…this is how Muthu called Thiru’s electronic machine. Thiru was a brainy techno-chap with high ambitions of becoming a space engineer one day. Muthu too is brainy but led an aimless life. Thiru’s company had great influence in him ultimately sowing interest of becoming a scientist in future. The three friends were rich in all aspects except the fact their pockets were empty always.
Jyotsna had returned from the US just a week back. She had gone there for her Masters degree. She was the best friend of Muthu. She tried to contact Muthu, but he was not reachable in any of the conventional ways. She knew that these friends will always be found along the seashore over the weekends. Keeping that in mind she came there to the beach that evening. And as expected she met the TANGO gang there. Karthick, Muthu and Thiru were very happy to see Jyotsna after a long time. They all studied together at the St.Peter’s college. Though Muthu was close to Jyotsna, Thiru and Karthick were good friends too. It was she who named the trio as the TANGO gang. Jyotsna and the TANGO gangsters exchanged the initial cordialities, having met after 3 years. Without any delay, Jyotsna started with her usual mantras of sweet-chilly words. “You guys will never come up in life…How many times I have told you guys not to be loitering around the city like this? Won’t you guys ever have the mood to have a proper shave? Be sensible…first find a job, find a place to reside, learn to be neat…only then you people will be ever able to think of your dreams coming true..” She was unstoppable. Every sentence she speaks will end with a stern stare at Muthu. Thiru wanted to divert her with their new inventions. She was in no mood for that. She said bye and turned away. She went few steps ahead and came back and shouted at Muthu…”Won’t you come at least till the road to get me an Auto? Should I beg you for this?”
Muthu quickly moved forward saying “Ya sure…lets go”. On the way, Jyotsna with all her love and affection spoke in a tender voice to Muthu. “See… listen to me. I will arrange for a temporary part time job for you. My Cousin said he will work it out for you. Join that. Initially do that job; this will help you in many ways. Please do it for me…” Saying this she got into the auto and left the place waving bye to him. Muthu had no clue on what to do next. He scratched his head and headed towards his friends again…
Today…March 7, 2008
Muthu-No idea about his whereabouts
Thiru-People say he is taking care of his farm house at his native place
Karthick-He was a clerk in a bank, then cashier, then manager, now retired and at home playing with his grand children.
Jyotsna- She frequented the US for studies and never married. She is the eldest and most respected woman in her family. “God Mother”
The mechanical scooter developed by Karthick is now automated…runs on a battery.
The TY-DISP of Thiru and Muthu is now called Laptop… I want one too!