The boy who came in from the cold…

Suresh is a general odd-job man. He runs a video business. He also runs a food business. And more.

Sometime around 8 pm tonight, Suresh walked in to my home, bringing this young mentally challenged boy. Looked to be around 10 or 12 years of age. This boy was apparently roaming around, lost, near a photo shop. Suresh has had some experience filming children in special schools, and so could empathize. He tried speaking to the boy, but couldn’t get a proper response. He waited for an hour on the road, but no one came looking for the boy. Then he brought the boy to my home, for my better half runs a special school, and may be able to help. He dropped the boy here and went away.

Now, this boy could speak only four words – Amma, Appa, Anna, Aaya. Nothing else. He was at peace. He didn’t seem perturbed at all. Any question put to him brought only one or more of these four words in response.

I spoke to him in Tamil, asking his name. Suddenly he said something that sounded like Asmir. I asked him “Asmir?”…He said “Anna”…It went on like this, and I thought he said “Asif”…I asked “Asif?”…He said “Amma”….

“Which school?” Ambika asked. She named one special school after another, all to no avail. “Amma, Anna, Appa, Aaya” was all he said. He did respond to one school name. But soon ignored it.

This being Deepavali eve, we had some sweets at home. We gave his some Adirasam. He just ate it up in no time. I asked him if he wanted more. He nodded. And had more.

Now, this boy had no identification. All he had was two labels from a dress-brand, and a bunch of bit-papers (say 40, 50 of them), all with “Sri Rama Jayam” written in Tamizh. That’s all he had.

The boy sat in front of me. Silence. Above, in the wall behind him, was a picture of Ramana Maharshi. I looked at Him. He smiled from the picture.

Meanwhile, Ambika, my better half, was busy. She called Rekha, who runs another special school, Matru Mandir, to figure out if she might be able to help identify this child. Rekha is a real metal person, and she soon sent her driver and her nephew. Idea was to photograph the boy, and then have it given to TV Channels, and to register the details with the local police.

Some arrangement was also being made for housing the boy for the night in a special home.

Just as we were about to leave, Suresh landed up again, bringing a man and another boy. They were family! They were absolutely overjoyed to see the boy! Suresh had gone and waited at the local cop station, and sure enough these folks had landed up there, all in a huff. And he brought them here.

It was sheer drama. They were all emotion. They fell at Suresh’s feet. He jumped.

I asked them the boy’s name. They said “Ramesh!”…Nothing that I thought of!

“Which school does he go to?” asked Ambika.

Turned out that they weren’t sending him to any school. The person who came was Ramesh’s fathers elder brother, Shankar. And the youngster was Ramesh’s elder brother, Ganesh. Ramesh’s father it seems is a painter. Well, we gave them details of Rasa, the special school run by Ambika, quite near Ramesh’s home. Shankar was overjoyed. I noted down their details…

What an evening…

All wasn’t so well that ended so well!

Happy Deepavali! 


21 Responses to “The boy who came in from the cold…”

  1. GJV Says:

    that was a sure bright ending and hopefully a brighter beginning
    happy deepavali

  2. Ambika Says:

    great account of the happening…..
    only correction i would like to make is that arrangements were made for him to actually stay in Rasa’s Special Home and not ‘a ‘ special home……
    truly a visit from a Special Force …. after all he did have the name of Sri Ram( the Lord of Ramaa – Ramesh) and it is His Homecoming that we shall celebrate in all splendour tomorrow….
    and this was a homecoming too!!
    Happy Deepavali…..:)

  3. Vaishnavi Poorna Says:

    It was a wonderful experience and i thought one of the rishis whom i long to have darshan of, had come to our house!!!! :

  4. NGS Says:

    Phenominal experience and blessed indeed. Amma, Appa, Anna, Aaya and then the Adirasam…God is Great.
    In todays Times of India, Speaking Tree writes thus : In divine Mathemtics, Zero = One = Infinity.
    Happy Deepavali

  5. Ilak Says:


    Very touching. Kudos to the noble service Rasa is doing.

    Happy Deepavali indeed!

  6. Radhakrishnan Says:

    It is events like these which reinforce the belief of inter-connectedness. Awesome and touching. Radhax

  7. Srinivasa Says:

    Good episode, Kamesh. Happy Deepavali to all.

    NGS, Happy Deepavali to you too! Nice to see you in this neighborhood.

    Kamesh, I remember being puzzled when I read this part, “Rekha is a real metal person’. Is this Madras slang, perhaps?

  8. gkamesh Says:


    well u cd say ‘kamesh slang’…just coin words as i see them….

  9. Srinivasa Says:


  10. Srinivasa Says:

    मुँह मीठा कर लो, सर जी 🙂

  11. Ramamurthy.S. Says:

    Great work Kamesh and Ambika. Keep it up. I wish that boy adds to his vocabulary after joining “Rasa”.


  12. meera Says:

    Nice story! But can’t say the same for the writing. To matter-of-factly written. It’s hard to fell the emotions. Really nice title though!

  13. gkamesh Says:

    Hi Meera

    As Veeru would say, you begin well, and end well, and so thats just fine! When I write the one on Veeru, then, that would be a thriller!

  14. Joseph NR Says:

    o Boy ! what a roller coaster ride life is !

  15. Ravi Chandhiramouli Says:

    Kamesh – I wish there was some word that will “convey” silence. Read it about a dozen times. “Silence”.

    What else can I say.


    P.S. Happy Deewali to you Ramesh, Ambika – the equally best half, Vaishnavi and all the beautiful gods in Rasa.

  16. Rajaram Says:

    Waw – what an experience Kamesh.
    This guy Suresh must be a hell of a person – kudos to him.

  17. Padma Ramakrishnan Says:

    Here in the US, we would have had the local and state authorities starting with Child Protective Services (with the very best of intentions), doom this child into foster care while the social workers (and media in some high profile cases) prey on parental inadequacies. The “community” you speak about in this situation intervened with far better results. What a blessing for all concerned. Touching account!

  18. Sundhar Says:


    Great job as usual. Let the lights of life shine on those who bring joy and remove darkness on those who need light but never get to see it shine.

  19. Ranga Says:

    A True “RASA” of life portrayed by Kamesh. Great work rasaites!
    God Bless your students and the Masters

  20. mathangi Says:

    kamesh, ambika,

    a “special” experience. As usual you seem to “attract” special experiences…. who is “suresh?”. truly a great guy …… persevering in his attempts to reunite the kid with the family….. hats off to him and to kamesh for describing the “happening” so well.. it really came alive for me!!!!

  21. swetha Says:

    Even i was there at Akka’s place when the boy came there…

    Great that u guys managed the situation so well…

    What i think is that god had destined ramesh to RASA, thats why he played such a drama….

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