Her mother thinks she’s the prettiest seven year old in the whole world. Actually, in the whole universe. The name of the child is lost to the wind, remembered only when being introduced to strangers. Kannamma she is, and so she is called.
But prettiness isn’t all that is required, so her mother takes Kannamma in her peacock blue pattu pavadai to the doors of music. The Paattu Maami
Her mother has left her. Little Kannamma must somehow struggle through the the Sarali Varisai
She runs back home. She shows her mother her red thigh. Welts gifted in the process of learning music. Her mother tells her that this is how one must learn. That this is normal. To have bands of red across her young flesh. To keep beat. To consume music. The little one wonders if this is how her mother has chosen to punish her. By banishing her to an old woman’s house every afternoon.
Kannamma runs to the roof. Why would her own mother wish such pain on her? She examines the welts, and cries. She decides in that moment that she hates only two people in the world. The red-dotted Paattu Maami and her mother.