I am Muthupandi. And I am 92 years old. I am still alive. My children and grandchildren don’t like me anymore because I don’t have any strength to tell a story or play with them. My life is about to end in five or six years. But they don’t even want me to live anymore as everyone is considering me a burden. Is it my fault?

My own family members are going to kill me tomorrow, not with a gun or a knife or any weapon. They are going to kill me with a ceremony. My grandfather died because of this ceremony. This ceremony is called Thalaikoothal.

My children have invited our close relatives. Early morning they will wake me up and massage my head with oil, and give me a ceremonial bath. Then, they will give me tender coconut to drink, so that I get pneumonia and die soon. But I don’t want to die. What should I do? My plan is to escape tonight. But how will I escape? My only hope of survival is to call my close friend Thangaraj. Will he come or not?

I asked a boy Jeeva who supplies milk to us to call Thangaraj. After a few hours the little boy came and told me that my only hope was dead. I could not control my feelings and fear. Jeeva said with an emotional tone that he would help me to escape from this. I thought my friend was reborn as Jeeva.

He told me to be ready at 12:30. It was12:00 and I was ready to leave my family. I was waiting for Jeeva to come. Jeeva came on his old bicycle, and helped me sit on the carrier. Jeeva and I raced to the railway station.

We boarded the Kovai Express and reached Coimbatore. Jeeva helped me find an old age home. It all happened five years ago. Today, I live free as I smile on...

The writer is in class VI, Navadisha Montessori School, Chennai