(contd from previous page)
There were a lot of passengers waiting at the station to go to different places. There was one Gentleman Mr. Rangaswamy who was looking to arrangements for evacuees to go to their native places. There were associations who arranged for our free travel to Madras and gave each about 2 rupees for expenses.
After getting the ticket I sent a telegram to father at Sevilimedu that I had reached Calcutta, and that I will be coming to Sevilimedu village (near Kanchipuram) shortly.
I reached Madras and came to 30 Salai Street*. There Payya alone was living. All others had gone to the village. The whole of Madras was practically evacuated as some days before Japanese planes came to Madras and bombed the harbour. Then myself and Payya went to Sevilimedu village to see parents. I remained there for a week. Afterwards, I had to go to Shimla, where a small portion of our office was functioning.
A few days before I could start for Madras (to go to Shimla) I had an attack of fever. For this one Doctor Rajamanickam LMP treated me. He could not diagnose the fever properly. So Payya** was asked to come to the Village. When he came he said that this fever could not be treated here and that we should go to Madras General Hospital.
So we went by train from Conjeevaram (Kanchipuram) to Madras Beach Station. As I could not walk I was taken in a stretcher to the taxi stand. From the taxi stand we went to General Hospital. Afterwards the Doctor checked me up and said that I was suffering from Malaria fever without shivering. This is peculiar. All people who came from Burma by walking suffered like this.
The Doctor in charge of my room was Kalyanasundaram. I enquired if Dr. K.S.Sanjivi was in this hospital. He confirmed that he was working there. I told him to inform Dr. Sanjivi that I was here and that I wanted to see him. On hearing this, Dr.Sanjivi came to my room and saw me and told Kalyanasundaram that we were classmates. He told him to take special care of me while in hospital.
* This was my grandfather's ancestral home in Mylapore, Madras.
** My grandfather's brother, who was a doctor.
Next: Burma to India – one long walk: Pg 6