I know not who I am.
Yes, you heard it right. I am called by many names, so I am not sure what my real name is. I live here, in this remote village in the state of Kerala, in southern India. Vamanapuri is my home and has been from the time I started crawling. I do not have any mother or father, yet the whole village itself is my guardian. So for your ease, you can call me Vamana, which is what most people call me. I am proud to be named after this quiet little place.
I am happy. Fourteen years ago, to this day, I was born, in the temple of the Lord Krishna, which is on the outskirts of Vamanapuri. Maybe I was cursed to be an orphan, which is why my mother must have left me to die on the steps of that temple. I was raised by the priest of that temple, who found me in the morning. He has always been my favorite person in the village. He has always been honest with me, never has he claimed to be my father or done anything to harm me. I do wish I knew who my mother was though. Maybe one day she will come back, and then I can ask her why she left me alone. No one can take me away from Vamanapuri, I will not go from my home.
I am not the quiet type of child; I think you might have come to know that already, by the way I have spoken to you, a complete stranger, without being scared or shy. I like to talk a lot, and am very adventurous. I have a great friend who always is with me. I’ll take you to her now. She doesn’t live far from here. Just on the banyan tree near the river that flows by the village. Her name is Ena and she is an eagle. I saved her when some evil kids had hit her with a sling. Since then she has always helped me when I am in trouble.
I like reading. I go to school and they teach me lot of things. Sometimes people like you who pass through this village, give me some books. My friends at school do not read much though I ask them to. Their parents are also not interested to teach them anything. All they want is for them to become fifteen fast, so that they can work in the fields or in the house, or sometimes, with girls, get them married. I don’t like such parents. I stay as far away from them as I can; what if they make me work…? I want to enjoy this life while I can. Then I will take over, from my guardian, the priest, and work at the temple.
If you are staying longer, I’ll show you the local guest house. That is where people like you usually stay. If you are interested, I will tell you of my biggest adventure. Remember I had told you that I would never leave Vamanapuri… but I once had left it… I’ll tell you about the time I went to the city, to Kochi.
Are you interested? If you are I will come tomorrow and tell you more about it. If not, I thank you for coming to my beautiful village. And I hope you come again soon. Do let me know. I will be at the banyan tree with Ena. You can ask the guest house manager to call me, if you want to hear the story. Oh and thanks for being such a great listener, and hearing me out. It feels so nice when I can talk with people you know. Bye…