A couple of years ago, I had tried translating a few stories from the Tamil book Ullame Ulagam by Thenkachi Ko Swaminathan. I was just going through those, and realized that one of the posts that I did translate got left out from being posted, so here it is. I didn't translate all the stories, but I hope I will find the book and I can! Enjoy this one, and if you want to read the rest of what I had translated, use the hyperlink above!
The train started.
A youngster climbed on hurriedly.
He had a nice cardboard box in his hand.
He came and sat down.
He hugged the cardboard box to his chest.
The old man sitting opposite noticed this.
The youngster said: “What are you seeing… costly footwear… I have travelled a long distance to buy this.
“Didn't you get it anywhere else?”
“I was searching for something like this for a long time. I tried, going to many places in search… Finally, I got it here.”
“What if you hadn't got here?”
“I would have gone mad!”
“Is it so very rare?”
“Wait a little… I will take it out and show you… See it and and then speak!”
He opened the cardboard box. While he took out the footwear, his hands faltered… One of it fell out through the window!
That youngster threw the other one out immediately, not even pausing to think.
The old man was astonished.
“What is this… You have done like this!”
“This is what that has to be done… This is only right…One of it fell outside, the other I have in my hand… It will not be useful to the one who picks that up… It will not be useful to me either. Now, the man who picks those two slippers can at least use it!”
The youngster peeped out of the window to see the outside world.
The old man closed his eyes and thought. He understood:
To give, you don’t need money
You need a heart!
Translated by me from "Ullame Ulagam" by Thenkachi Ko Swaminathan (publishers Vanathi Pathipagam).