‘Rising Heat’: Perumal Murugan’s first novel is now available to readers in an English translation
It was an ungodly hour. Must have been twelve or one at night. There was a knocking on the door. Appa would wake up to the smallest sound. He got up and opened the door. It was Thatha and Paati. “Amma...!” he burst out in disbelief and everyone woke up then. The two of them were standing drenched to their bones and shivering like fledglings. Thatha was shedding more tears than the water on his back.
“Payya...look at what I’m reduced to! We came running all the way with just the clothes on our back.”
Appa didn’t say anything. He held his father by the hand, brought him indoors and gave him a towel to dry himself with and a veshti to change into. Paati changed into another sari. They still could not grasp what had happened.
Thatha could not speak at all. He was sobbing and stammering. And seemed . . .