When reporting turned nostalgic

I ran out of story ideas for my final reporting assignment.

Luckily, my professor gave me a school principal’s phone number and asked me to contact her for a story.

I was a bit overconfident I must say. I was pretty sure that she would spend at least 30 minutes with me. I was already thinking of a headline and was structuring the story.

I went to the school and called her.

“Mam, this is Poorani from ACJ, Radhakrishnan sir asked me to contact you for a story, can I meet you now?”

“Naliki madhyanam vanga” ( Come tomorrow afternoon )

“Mam..10 minutes, I have a deadline”

“Naliki madhyanam vanga” (Come tomorrow afternoon )

“I'm in the school already mam, 2 minutes please?”

“Naliki madhyanam vanga” (Come tomorrow afternoon )

(Phone gets cut)

All I could get out of her was ‘Come tomorrow afternoon.’

My ‘persuasion skills’ were butchered to pieces.

Then, my professor asked me to cover problems at the Anna Centenary library.

Being a regular visitor to the library, I was pretty happy with the idea. After parking my vehicle, I gave my belongings to the counter near the gate and proceeded to the entrance.

Suddenly I thought I saw a familiar face. I could not place that face though. I was raking through memories — in Salem, in Chennai, any where.

Fortunately, she seemed to undergo the same battle in her mind.

Both of us were pointing at each other, with puzzled smiling faces and uttering,

“ ninga?”(you are?)

“Wait … I know you”

After 10 minutes of staring at each other, I introduced myself and she snapped her fingers.

“Ah Poorani! okay okay.”

I was still blank. But, I tried to cover it up by giving the “Aaahhh” expression.

She could figure that I was acting. She said, “ Don’t you remember me? We went to school in the same auto. I used to carry you on my lap also!”

Memories rushed back. I went to school for 12 years in the same auto and the auto rides are as nostalgic as my school.

I thanked the universe for the failed story idea and went on to have lunch with her.

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