Muru alias Murugan was visiting his native Ariyanoor, a village in Tamil Nadu, after a decade. He wondered if his friends would still be around, especially Ayyan, his favourite. During the bus journey, the good, bad and ugly memories of this little village flooded him. He recollected the people to be generous, helpful but most of all superstitious. Yes, what a superstitious lot!
It was half an hour since he alighted from the bus but his cousin Ganapathy who was to pick him up was nowhere in sight. He started walking down the pathway to look for some transportation. He heard a tring tring of a cycle. He was delighted to see that it was Ayyan. Wow what a start! Ayyan seemed to be exactly the way he remembered him – a pitch dark face wearing a pristine white shirt!
Muru sat on Ayyan’s cycle and spoke breathlessly about how glad he was to meet him and questions about the village. Ayyan confirmed that generally the people were confined to their houses after 8 pm as they believed that ghosts were spotted in the village. Damn them, the superstitious lot thought Muru….nothing will change these people.
The cycle stopped at Ganapathy’s home. Muru asked Ayyan to wait and went to the door. Ganapathy’s wife greeted him and looked for her husband. Just as Muru was about to explain Ganapathy came behind apologizing that he got delayed as his vehicle misbehaved and he struggled to repair it.
Muru ran to the door to call Ayyan inside only to find the road deserted again. Ayyan….Muru started. “Oh Ayyan! “ Ganapathy explained “Sorry to break this news but Ayyan passed away two days back. It was a hit and run. He was on his cycle on the highway and a lorry crashed into him. He was dead on the spot”…..”Anyways how did you get here?” .
Muru was speechless and glared into the dark night seeking an answer.