A diary need not be a dreary chronicle of one's movements; it should aim rather at giving salient account of some particular episode, a walk, a book, a conversation. ~ A.C. Benson I have to say,”sorry”to these people MS.Anu hasan conducts a talk show on Vijay TV, which is called ‘Coffee with Anu’.This show is supposed to be a popular programme.I don’t watch this programme regularly,when I do channel surfing and when I happen to come across this programme ,I do watch the programme. In this programme,Anuhasan conducts interviews with many actors,playback singers and mainly people from the cine field..Anuhasan makes the show very interesting,she has a vibrant personality and the stars ,we can see feel,are very comfortable with her,answering her questions.At the end of the show she asks the famous personalities whom she interviews two interesting questions. 1.In your life you might have hurt somebody,done harm to somebody knowingly or unknowingly.So if you are given a chance to say “sorry “to any one whom you have hurt in that manner,whom would you say sorry,to? 2.In your life many people might have helped you reach the position that you have attained today.If you have to thank anyone or any persons in your life,whom would you thank? Very interesting questions.I always wanted to see whom did the stars want to apologise to.Many of the actors said,”No.I did not do anything to hurt any one.So I don’t have to apologise to anyne.”Iam saying this because I watched only a few telecasts of this programmes,may be there were many who actually said that they wanted to apologise to so and so. Anyhow ,my intention here is not to find out who said sorry to whom and who thanked whom.No,dear,not at alL.But the questions were so interesting that they made me think.I did a lot of introspection.While I was lying on the bed,not getting sleep many a night,these questions came to my rescue.”Mythili,did you hurt anyone?Did you humiliate any one?Did you tell a lie,knowing pretty well that you were telling a lie?” My dear friends, these questions tore my heart ,causing the heart to bleed.Yes,I knew that I had hurt people,I had humiliated a person.I Committed not a mistake but sins. My friends,I put my head down in shame and I have confessions to make. It was the year 1958/59.I was studying in a well known private school located at Triplicane,Chennai.I was in the sixth standard if I remember correct.The Founder of the school was a benign soul.He was keen that the young minds of the students have to be sprayed with good thoughts ,good stories that would enliven their spirits.So he invited great personages in the field of Harikatha such as Shri Anantharama Dikshidar to the school to give us harikathas of Ramayana,Mahabharatha etc.Once Shri Anantharama Dikshidar was invited and he gave the harikatha of Bhaktha Prahalatha.All the students sat down and listened to him,we were mesmerized by his voice and the story as well. Well the Harikatha session was over.The founder had made arrangements for Prasad to be brought from his house to be distributed to the students.All of us stood in queue and received the Prasad.Here I must tell you that the Prasad,if I remember right , sweet rice,was in a silver bucket and a silver ladle was used to give each child the Prasad.Distribution of Prasad being over,the teacher asked the cook,a middle aged woman who cooked the mid day meals for the poor students,to get the bucket and the ladle cleaned and return them to the person who brought them from the Founder’s house. The cook came to the teacher who was in charge of distribution of prasad and told her that the bucket had been cleaned but the ladle was not to be found.The teacher was shocked.After all, she was responsible for the distribution of prasad,now what explanation will she give the founder and his family about the missing silver ladle,what will they think about her?One could almost read her thoughts.She asked the peons and ayahs to search the entire ground, where the harikatha was held,to see if the ladle was to be found.Alas,the ladle was not to be seen there.Lastly,the teacher and other teahers as well,called the cook and asked her,”Mami,please tell us the truth.Have you taken the ladle and hidden it?Please tell us,we will return the ladle and we will not talk about it at all.” The lady’s face became red with shame.She started crying and amidst her sobs she said,”Teacher,you know me for so many years.Do you think Iam capable of stealing something ?Please don’t say such a thing again.”She wept.The teacher,called out to the students who were still present in the ground and said,”Did any of you see this aunty taking the ladle and walking away, to hide it somewhere?”.The students looked at each other.Soon, about six o seven students went near the teacher and said that they saw the lady taking the ladle in her hands and walking away,stealthily.The teacher asked,”Did anyone else also see her taking away the ladle?If anyone else had also seen this happening,please come and stand by me.” My dear friend,I, the stupid Mythili went near the teacher and stood by her side.At that time I never thought about anything else,I never thought about the repercussions of our action. The cook stood there tears rolling down her cheeks.Her daughter was also a student of our school and that girl stood there, being hurt and humiliated.A few minutes would have passed.One of the students shrieked,”Teacher,here it is!”Yes,the blessed silver ladle was on the stage my dear,behind one of the chairs that were kept there.The silver bucket and the ladle were returned to the founder’s house. Our teacher went to the cook,took her hands in hers and apologised to her profusely.The cook’s daughter glared at us.Our teacher gave us ,the students who went and stood by her,the dressing down of our lives for telling alie.The lady and her daughter washed their faces in one of the countless number of taps that were in the ground and walked away.The receding figures of the mother and daughter is still etced in my memory.How hurt they would have been?How humiliated the girl would have been when her mother was suspected of stealing something that belonged to another person? That evening I returned home feeling sad,guilty and being ashamed of myself for my action.I had not seen the lady walking away with the ladle.So why did I tell a lie?Why did I say that I saw her taking the ladle away?I wanted some importance,that’s all.I consider this episode a tragedy in my life.My mother had given me values and principles to abide by.It was not her dream that I should be a gold medalist, or be rich and famous but all she wanted from me was that I be a good humanbeing and even at a young age, I failed her. I seek the forgiveness of the lady ,the cook who was hurt by me. "Mami,you may be at the lotus feet of God.Wherever you are,please do forgive me.I was a young girl,I did not even understand what I was doing and I heaped this blame on you.Do forgive me.” “God, I will be standing before you on the Day of the Judgement.At that time,please do punish me for the sin I committed in hurting the feelings of an honest and innocent woman .” I finished my education,got married and went to live in Bhuvaneshwar with my husband.We lived in a big ,beautiful house.An young woman came to do cleaning work in our house.She would work for a few hours and leave.I being a new bride,used to wear some jewellery like a necklace,,ring etc.One day I came out from my bath,finished getting ready for the day and I found that my ring was missing.It was a beautiful ring,two white stones and a blue stone in the middle.This ring was particularly precious to me since my brother had presented this to me.I searched for the ring everywhere,no,it was not to be found.I told my DH about the missing ring.He said that it would be at home only and told me to look for it carefully. But,I seriously felt that I knew who would have flicked the ring. “I know,the maid only would have taken it.”said I. My husband said,”Mythili,don’t be absurd.She is a good girl.She would not have taken it.You would have misplaced,go search for it.”I was unhappy. After a few minutes my DH called me to our room and showed me something.There in the gap between the planks in the cot and its frame lay the ring ,glittering away gloriously.My God,I could almost feel my face reddening.My DH did not shout at me but he chided me,thousand times a day,reminding me how I put the blame on a poor girl. From that day,till date,I just don’t suspect the maids at all.I keep my things carefully but I never follow them around in the house. I take this opportunity to say “sorry”to that young woman who came to clean my house in Bhuvaneshwar.It was my good luck that I did not ask her whether she took my ring.Had I asked her,what would have happened?That young woman would have been badly hurt and I would have died a million deaths when the ring was actually to be seen there in my room only. “My dear lady,I have forgotten your name.But I have not forgotten your face.I thought ill of you my dear,please do forgive me fo that.” Apart from these two persons,I might have hurt many unknowingly. ,in which case I apologise to them from the bottom of my heart. Now we come to the second question.If you get an opportunity to thank someone,whom would you thank? Oh,my dear.The list of people that I have to thank is an endles long list. I thank God for sending me on this earth as a woman,for I know what it is to be a mother,not an easy task at all,but enjoyable all the same.I have been enjoying being a mother to two lovely daughters who are my best friends. I thank my parents for passing on to me a little bit of their good qualities.My father would have five rupees in his shirt pocket and would give away the five rupees to any one who would want to borrow money from him,not buying the vegetables for the house.He would say ,the person who borrowed the money from him needed the money more than himself.I thank my mother for being there for me. I thank my brother for giving me a fine education when he could ill afford it. I thank my husband for being what he is to me,my entire universe,that is what he is to me. I thank my brothers in law for the abundant love they carry in their hearts for their brother.I thank my sisters in law,I love them and am very proud of them. I thank all my ilite friends,you did the impossible,you prayed and prayed and brought me back from death. I thank Malathy and Jey,the wonderful couple ,who work behind the screen in IL and who have brought golden sunshine to my days in the evening of my life.