In medias res, NalandaWay


“Sriram, can I speak to you for a few minutes?” it was Selestinal on the phone.

Selestinal is from a village near Villupuram in Tamil Nadu. She came from a poor family but managed to complete graduation and later B Ed. She used to work at NalandaWay Foundation for over an year till August last year.

Seles was a great find for us; she was passionate about children, education and always had the eye for details.

It took me a while to change her to call me by my name instead of “sir.” She married the man whom she had loved for more than 10 years. She would blush like a ‘love-struck’ teenager when all of us quizzed her about how they managed to stay committed for so many years in these polyamorous times.

When we started the Chennai Children’s Choir she personally ensured that we included children with visual impairment and other disabilities. She worked with us up to eight months of her pregnancy.

Last evening when she had called, we spoke about the new developments in office, about her 6 months old baby, our colleagues; we had spoken for more than ten minutes but she did not bring up anything specific about why she had called.

“Is there anything that I can do for you Seles?” I asked.

“Nothing Sriram. I have been generally feeling low and lonely for some time. My one year at NalandaWay was the best period of my life and speaking to you reminded me of the happier times. I always felt better when I spoke to you,” she said.

I smiled when I heard her. It felt nice.

Happy, actually.


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