One fine morning, Natesan found his daughter was not sleeping in the place normally she sleeps. Has she changed places? He was wondered and searched all over the place. The place was small and there was no need for a search. She was not there. Has she got up early? And if so why and where she has gone? He waited in the faint hope that she might have gone to market or her friend’s house or Temple. Hours passed and there was no news about her. He started frantically searching for her. His neighbour’s maid gave a hint that Natesan’s cook was seen with her often. Natesan was furious. He could not go to police or cannot tell others to search for her. Now he recalled the occasions he had seen both of them talking or smiling together. They would stop on his arrival on the scene. Daughter of such a high caste Brahmin eloping with the third rate crook of a fellow, his cook. What will happen to his pride and place in the society? Everything has gone to the winds. He vowed not to see her face again for the rest of his life.
Natesan had a small sweet shop in this big village. He earned enough to run his family. But could not save much. His wife died long ago. He thought that nobody knew about his affair with his next door neighbour. His daughter might be aware of his affairs. Like doing his morning pooja reciting so many pious verses, he started another pooja of cursing his daughter with vengeance. There were many foul words in Tamil and some he invented. There was no time fixed for this. Whenever, someone took her name he had to curse her. That became the routine. Most of the neighbours knew about his affair. His voice would be louder if he could guess the person he is talking to is aware of the affair. Just to hide his guilt. After three months they came back. They had spent all the money they had. They looked very thin and malnourished. He threw them out. After all it is the question of his pride and place in the society. Now he went to the police and filed a case of kidnapping and forceful confinement.
Lawyer Muthu became a judge only three months ago after a long chase of his dreams and spending a lot of time, if not, money, for the powers that be. For him it was his first case of love. He never failed in his love or duty. He asked Valli and Karuppasamy whether they are willing to marry. He conducted their marriage in Court hall.
After thirty years he had become a Judge in a higher court. His own daughter wanted to marry someone from a different region, language and community, He was furious and threw his daughter out of his house. His daughter married in front of a marriage registrar. He refused to see his daughter ever.
The funny thing is that the women who married in front of the Judge thirty years ago or the Judge himself do not know these incidents that happened in the gap of thirty years.. Life is too long and memories too short. Faith in freedom of choice. Is it a principle to be followed in life or a principle to be enforced only if it is part of duty?