When I woke up on December 18, 1993, I was still a little kid.
I was in my first day of school and was reading the newspaper in class when I realised I was missing the title ‘Bananapalooza’ in the headline.
The story I was reading was about a girl named Nanamalu.
The movie was about how, when her father died suddenly, she had to leave the village and move to the big city of Calcutta.
The city was the place of her dreams and she wanted to become a singer.
That dream, she told the newspaper, would never come true.
But, as we learned later, Nanamumalu’s father had been murdered by the Communist Party (CPI).
We were just a few weeks away from going to university and there was an awful sense of dread about where we were going.
I had just been born and was just three months old.
It was a very difficult time for us.
The first year of my life in India, I had a hard time sleeping.
I used to wake up and have nightmares.
It felt like we were in a dream.
When I would go to sleep, I would think about my mother and I would have a nightmare of my mother.
There was a sense of despair and anxiety that I would wake up with the feeling that everything was going to end.
But the realisation that I could not have that dream did not come until after my second year of school.
I started dreaming that I was Nanamala.
At that time, there were no movies in my class.
I did not have any books.
And I had not learnt anything about my life.
I could only think of the life that my parents had lived.
My dream of a dream was something I had to carry with me.
I felt that it was a dream, that it had to be true.
I wanted to make the dream a reality.
The day after school ended, I went to my room and told my mother that I wanted her to take me to the theatre.
She went to the house and started talking to my mother, saying, “Don’t tell my sister.”
I was the youngest of five children.
My father was in jail, and we had not been able to communicate for some time.
My sister did not want to go to the cinema.
We were always alone in the house.
My mother was the oldest of us and had no other siblings.
She also had no money and no job.
She could not give me money to buy anything.
It is a very hard time for me.
We lived in a cramped house and there were only three rooms.
My parents were illiterate.
They had no education.
My brothers and I were the only brothers and sisters of our family.
I would always get scared.
I went into a trance and started telling Nanamalmalu all the things that I had experienced in my dreams.
It made my dreams seem real and true.
The next day, Nanumalil went to school and got good marks in the entrance exams.
She was studying at the age of nine.
But Nanammalu was very shy.
I asked my mother if I could play with her.
She said, “No, you cannot.
You cannot be around her.”
I kept repeating, “I am not her”.
She told me to go away.
I said, I am not.
My brother was in prison.
He did not know Nanammalu and he did not understand what I was telling him.
I got scared and went home and told Nanamamal.
But she did not listen.
She kept saying, I do not want you.
My family was not able to understand what was happening to me.
It did not matter to me what happened to my father.
My only hope was to find Nanamma.
I told my brother, “She has been in Calcutte.
I have been in her home and we are going to the movie.”
My brother said, Nanami, she is not my sister.
We did not go to see the movie because I was too scared.
We went to Nanam Maloo and played with Nanam.
Nanam told me that her father was a teacher in the city and she did know him.
When Nanam heard that I did a bad performance, she started crying.
I cried too.
I tried to convince Nanam and told her, “You are my little brother.
Please, do not worry.
You are my sister, and I am happy that you are okay.”
But Nanammal did not believe me.
She told Nanami that I am making a big mistake.
I am trying to tell her that she is crazy and she will never see me again.
The night of December 22, 1993 was the worst time of my entire life. Nanamm