Man in fireAnbuChelvam


AnbuChelvam is a hardworking man.  Every morning he would wake up as soon as the rooster starts to crow.  He liked starting his day early and working on his farm when everyone else is still fast asleep.  He lived a simple life.  After breakfast, he would feed the chickens in the coop, and he would let the cows out in the field to graze.


He stopped working at noon to have lunch and a little siesta.  In the afternoons, he would go to his neighbor’s house to help him with his chores because the old man had already lost his eyesight due to a rare kind of fever he had years ago.


Everyone in the neighborhood admired and respected AnbuChelvam.  All the girls swooned over him, and all the men wanted to be friends with him.  He was always ready to help whoever came to him, and on more than one occasion, he had offered his home to visitors who came to his town for business or pleasure.


Kind, generous, industrious not to mention good looking, that’s AnbuChelvam in a nutshell.  But he wasn’t always like that.  He used to be a rich, worldly man who didn’t care about anyone else except himself.  He had a wife and a little boy.  He had been married for eight years when he came to this town he now calls home.


He didn’t pay much attention to his family.  He took for granted that they would always be there.  But he lost them in a tragic fire, one night while he wasn’t home.


“If only I’d come home early, I could have saved them.”  He would often say to himself.  Instead, he had been drinking in a local bar with his colleagues.  When he got home, he saw fire trucks and police cars, and his heart stopped.  That was five years ago.  He never talked about them.  No one knew about his past.


No one knew that he had been a monster who let his family die because of his selfishness.  He could never forgive himself for what he did to his loving wife and his precious little boy.  The ghost from his past will forever haunt him.


Yet, no one knew about the other AnbuChelvam who left his old life to start anew in some place among strangers.  All they saw was a hardworking man who was always kind to everyone and who kept to himself most of the time.

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