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As dreams fade away

ThilakavalliThe music in Thilakavalli's life stopped playing when she lost her father as a child. Three siblings too died at an early age leaving Thilakavalli lost and forlorn. She now has only her mother but she doesn't live with her. She works in the sugarcane fields "in a far off village" and pays her an occasional visit, invariably during the village's most happening event - the festival in May. She looks forward to her coming because "mother brings me lots of goodies".

Thilakavalli is under the care of her uncle and aunt, whom she calls "Amma". And her uncle makes no bones about the fact that she can study so long as he can afford it. Which means, Thilakavalli is destined to join the growing dropout population. Pity, because she isn't a mug. She topped her class with 435 marks out of 500. But to what use? Her uncle's words keep reminding her of what lies ahead, dismantling Thilakavalli's dream and her yearning desire to study further.

The government has erected a stage of sorts in the vicinity. School functions, village events, festivities, and political rallies - all happen here. The stage backdrop has a banner painted in bold, Tamil letters. Translated into English it reads "Opportunities and Education, if available, women could reach up to the skies."

Over the years, the black paint of those bold Tamil letters has faded. Ironically, so have many dreams.

Back to School
Country Road, Take Me Home...
The Panchayat Middle School
So near and yet, so very far
No Money, Honey
As dreams fade away...
Wannabe Doctor
The "Teacher's Colony"
Give us this day our daily bread...
The "Tuck Shop"
Murugan "The Messiah"
A Stitch in Time
Band of Brothers
MGR Nutritious Meal Scheme
Help us if you can
The Magic called "Moses"
Imagine All those People
The "School Needs" List

 
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