Table of Contents

Introduction

Velu ran away from his home to find work but he was only eleven.

I

Velu, a boy of eleven, ran away from home to Chennai. The noise of the railway platform in Chennai appeared terrible to him. As Velu was sitting hopelessly, a girl of the same age came to him and started a conversation. The girl (Jaya) offered to find some food for him. As the girl went away, Velu started to follow her.

II

As Velu was following her, smoke from the vehicles kept on hitting his face from all sides. Jaya helped him cross the road safely. She collected plastic cups and warned Velu of Central Jail. Velu wondered as to what Jaya did for a living. Velu tried his best to keep up the pace. They walked for an hour and stopped in front of a big building, namely, “Sri Rajarajeshwari Prasanna Kalyana Mandapam.”

It was a marriage hall. Jaya stuck some flowers in her hairs. Velu asked her if they were about to eat from some marriage function. She led Velu to a dustbin and offered him a squished banana. She offered Velu some leftover food, and Velu refused to take any. Nevertheless, after feeling the pangs of hunger, he finally ate it and felt better. Velu decided to follow her again.

III

Velu followed Jaya to her home. She lived in Ghettos. Jaya gave Velu shoes and told him that they are ragpickers. Velu had never heard of such a thing, but somehow he decided to be a ragpicker until he got a better job.