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It was as if an invisible thread stood in the way! The hustle and bustle of the madding crowd stopped where Kanadukathan began. This sleepy hamlet in Karaikudi district was our perfect choice to usher in the new year. As I walked, hand in hand with my love, I could hear the crickets chirping their approval of our union. The pitch blackness was interlaced occasionally by a few spluttering lights from the sparse lamp-posts. 

It was a study in contrasts! Rows of houses stood on either side. Opulence writ large on some of their facades, they looked tantalizingly inviting, ready to present a musical face-off between celestial damsels. This is what paradise looks like, I whispered in his ears. 

Some of the mansions stood witness to the passage of ravaging times, forlorn and deserted. I wondered if their owners roamed the vacant interiors, yearning for the presence of a fleeting life. Nay! It was better to shove aside these thoughts and soak in the quietude. 

Somewhere, a bell tolled, signaling the time for evening prayers. I thanked the Almighty, for allowing me a glimpse of paradise on earth itself. Heaven wasn’t just gold. It was golden. In its calming silence. 

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