00:54 A.M, Bangalore, 2nd July 2009
Exactly a score and nine years ago to the date, she was born to a militant Tam-bram family in a Chennai hospital. But, of course, it was Madras then. Her parents named her after a famous symmetric raaga in Carnatic music. For all practical purposes, she was called Ammu at home. After toying with various names he had settled on Ammu as well. He was too lazy to think of something that sounded cool, imaginative and Tam-bram. Now, thinking back he knew it wasn’t the laziness. Cool, imaginative and Tam-bram was actually impossible. She had settled down in London. Like most years when he wasn’t around, he called to wish her. Like most of the time when her phone wasn’t around, he hit her voice mail. He decided to send her a text message. Inspired by friends who had brainwashed him on the virtues of predictive texting he decided to try it. He had just started to get the hang of it after an intensive one-on-one session with the guru of predictive texting. In his eyes there was no bigger guru. No better guru. He typed “Ammu” frantically. It came on as something else in English. He wanted to spell the word to add it to the predictive texting list. He hit the send button.
20:24 P.M, London, 1st July 2009 (Daylight Savings Time)
She had just done her groceries at a nearby Tesco’s. She was at home sorting the stuff when she heard a beep on her phone. He was an old friend. As old as the hills. She opened the text message. It was a very short message. In fact, it had just one single word. “Boot”.