Youngest in his family, Selvam,
13, lost his mother who used to sell fish at the village
market in Muzhukkuthurai, in Cuddalore District. She
was the sole bread-winner in a family where the father
is addicted to alcohol and disinterested in the children.
The tsunami destroyed their house and ruined the family’s
fishing boat and nets. They now live in a temporary
shelter, with the elder brother turning bread-winner
and head of family. He makes sure Selvam continues his
schooling -- no other sibling studied beyond fifth grade.
Selvam occasionally thinks of his mother and talks about
what happens to people who reach heaven after death.