Kappu – Only Once {Part 5}

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was first held in 2010. The challenge is that we have to post every day of April, except on the four Sundays. April 1st is a theme with letter A, 2nd with letter B and so on till April 30th which will be Z themed. This year, I’m planning to do short pieces of fiction (not a series), or a poem based on a word with that letter.

Index of Posts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Kappu – Only Once

Part 5

But is this appa? He looks like him… the thick beard, the uncombed hair, the shoeless feet. But he has changed too. He is walking straight, his shirt is not wet with liquor, but his face is still set like stone. When he comes near us, there is no smell of liquor or of milk packets either. Who is this man?

“I told you, Suma. I told you not to come near this building. Why did you come? It is not for us, Suma. Come, let us go. Please let us go,” he says. And there is sadness in his voice. Not anger, but sadness. I have not seen him like that since years.

“She wants to learn, uncle,” says Nalini, but my appa asks her to stop.

“She cannot learn here. She is not welcome. I know. I have seen. You cannot help her, girl. Stand aside.”

He reaches for my hand, and pulls me away.

“No. Maybe she will not learn from here, but she can from other places. There are…”

But even the madam cannot stop my father.

“No madam. Suma will not fit in anywhere. Please do not give her hope. There is not any.”

As he pulls me to the turning, I see the madam running behind us with Nalini, Malini and Prannoy.

“Please. Think about her. Talk with her. Listen to her. I will wait at the school for you. I hope you let her to try.”

But the whispers just die down as the distance between us grows.

When we enter our tent, appa looks at me and sitting down, tells me a story.

“Once, long back, your brother had thought he could learn too. Do you remember Sriram?”

I remember him. I cannot forget my anna if I want to also. I remember appa telling me he was gone to Salem, to earn money.

“Your brother got thrown out from a big white building. Many times he went back; I had told him not to, he did not listen. Once, a big scary man caught him and pushed him. He hit a tree. But Rama did not stop. He tried, till he became mad.”

I am crying now, but appa does not stop.

“I took him to doctor; spent all our money. You will not remember, Suma. You were too little. We had a small house before. But nothing could save Rama. When we thought he got better, he was not really. One day, he just left us. It killed your amma too. She fell ill, and went to your brother. Without money, and no one to give us any, we are here now.”

He is crying too.

“I do not want to lose you too, Suma. I only have you. Let us leave from here.”

I take his hand and hold it. We sit like that for some time.

“Appa, I want to learn. I will not go mad if I learn. See this,” I tell him, and show my yellowed pieces of paper to him. “It is nice, appa. I think madam and Nalini and Malini and Prannoy will help me. Let me try na, appa. Not from white building, but from anywhere.”

But appa is silent. He turns away and lies on the bed. I wait but he does not say anything. I lie down outside the tent, and go to sleep.

I get up when someone holds my hand. I see appa sitting next to me, looking at the burn on my hand. He is crying again.

“I did not drink yesterday. I only thought of what I had done,” he says. “Maybe I can let you try. It will make up this wrong I have done. I will try too. Do any work. Save the money for you. But…”

“You will not lose me, appa. I will never become like anna,” I tell him before he can say anything.

He pulls me and we go toward the long winding road.

Once madam and Nalini and Malini and Prannoy help me, I will learn soon.

Once I learn, I will help my appa soon. And he need not drink ever again.

Once I help my appa, we will get a house soon. Just the two of us.

Once we get a house…

But once, I have to learn. I only need help once. Then I can help myself too.


Index of Posts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Like last year, I’m taking the challenge along with my friend Bhavya. We’re writing on the same themes each day, and giving each other the themes on alternate days. Day 15, the word chosen by us was ~Once~.

(© 17th April 2015)


Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

22 thoughts on “Kappu – Only Once {Part 5}”

  1. Thank you, for not writing a sad ending 🙂 Thank you for a brilliant story filled with hope… Suma can learn, her father need not drink again!!! All is well that ends well…lovely story da 🙂
    (Bhavya recently posted… Once Upon A Time)My Profile

  2. Thank God her father saw the error of his ways. How true, If we could educate all the little children in the street, then they can build a future for themselves. I wish and hope every Suma in the world gets an opportunity to make a better life for themselves.

  3. I loved the way you weaved in a twist into the story just when I sat expecting a predictable ending 🙂

    Thank you for sharing Leo 🙂

    I hope all of Kappu’s hopes come true…

  4. Heua, I just read all the five parts thinking of leaving comments on each, but just could not stop my curiosity of knowing more.

  5. I like Suma’s attitude, she is not looking for a crutch but a catalyst and that makes a world of a difference. Love the way you have written her, I really really like Suma. And the story full of positivity and a strong message.
    (Jaibala Rao recently posted… No Good Deed)My Profile

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