Sunday, January 21, 2007
Sunday, January 07, 2007
It was 1.20 PM and we were all eagerly waiting for the train to arrive. An announcement was made “The train bound to
Suddenly the train started moving. Amma checked her watch and told Thatha “It’s only 2.15 PM and since it arrived late, the train should halt until 2.45 PM. That’s what the porter told me. Is it probably the movement because the engine is being attached?” Nevertheless, the train continued to move. Patti seeing the train move, got up and started walking briskly. Thatha was restless. Worry started creeping on to Amma’s face. The train’s speed increased. “Ayyo, train porthu, ennoda konzhathey…..Appa, please pull the chain” Amma started crying. Thatha with all his strength pulled the chain. But it refused to budge. He sagged to the seat “I am not able to do it. I have become old. He started palpitating. He was a heart patient. Amma rushed to the next coupe. There were a couple of people. She requested them to pull the chain. The chain was pulled and the train came to a halt. It had almost reached the end of the platform. Within a few minutes, the ticket checker and a constable came to the compartment.
Thatha, explained to them as to what had happened and questioned them on the delay of the train and its early start. Meanwhile, Appa, Patti and my brother entered the train. Amma rushed to the door, grabbed my brother and wept. After paying a fine, we continued our journey. There was absolute silence inside the coupe.
When this happened I was just 6 years old and couldn’t feel the depth of the situation. Today, when I sit back and think about it, I realize the intense emotions tied to it. The helplessness and anxiety of a mother separating from her little son, a grandpa who tries his best to help his daughter-in-law but is unable to do so due to his old age, and a grandma who is totally perplexed about what was happening. To top it all, the father who was standing elsewhere attending to the scooter!
The sense of parting from dear ones is generally felt when one is on the death bed. To this family they got a pinch of it unexpectedly during a common journey. But the separation was only for a few minutes and soon the re-union brought back relief and joy into the family. The silence in the first class coupe revealed all that!
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!!!!!
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I immediately closed the bedroom and the pooja room doors. I made sure that there was only one way out from the house and decided to drive the mouse away. I ran into the store room and grabbed a perambu (Bamboo Stick). Now it was a contest and the winner would survive in the house. The immense strength in me that was sleeping all these days had woken up. I imagined myself as Achilles and I had to win over Hector (The Mouse). Nevertheless, I was not going to kill that poor thing. I tapped the stick near the wardrobe.
There was no sound at all. The mouse was afraid. I switched on the torch light and I could see the glittering eyes underneath the wardrobe. It had cute little whiskers and was shivering in fear. Now that my enemy was in close range, I decided to attack it. I tapped the perambu, near the mouse. It squeaked and ran to the corner the room. “Anga irrukku….Aatho…Aiyoo kutti elli…paavum. Don’t hit it” shouted Ranganayaki standing on the stool. I tapped the stick again on the floor. The mouse ran and made its way through the door towards the pooja room. It couldn’t enter and then it turned around and ran for the main door. I followed it with the stick. The mouse ran and ran and finally stopped in the road.
The mouse turned around to see if I was following it. It had won the battle as it got away without any injury. Ranganayaki and I were watching it from the door. Ranganayaki would have been proud of me and even I got this feeling that I had achieved something in life. After all it’s a man’s thing! It was a win-win condition. The mouse turned again to the house, shook its head and ran off to the next house. It was probably saying “I will be back with a bang. Wait for me kishnaaa!”
Thursday, December 07, 2006
My wife and I reached the airport at 9.30 PM. We got down from the auto and walked towards the entranceand joined the queue. My attention soon fell on Mr. X. He was standing ahead in the queue with a red duffle bag on his right hand, a laptop dangling from his left shoulder and a novel in his left hand. He had strange mannerisms. He would either scratch his nose or turn his head here and there or pretend as if it was stuffy and would often stretch his hand. He was probably trying to attract everyone’s attention or was trying to impress somebody else in the airport “Lakshmi, look at that guy” I murmured to my wife while pointing my finger to Mr. X. “Must be one of those YO chaps” said Lakshmi. We kept giggling at his mannerisms. Soon we reached the airline desk and checked-in the baggage. Mr.X was traveling by business class in the same aircraft. He was standing beside me, but in the next lane. “So, when does this aircraft reach Chennai? Is there any book shop in the airport? Do you have any special lounge for the business class people where I can relax for sometime?” At this, a frustrated Lakshmi said “Tho daa... Irrukkartho local airport...approm enna aatam”
Soon we joined the queue for security check and it was a very long one. There would have been at least 100 people in the queue. Mr. X was already in the queue and was very impatient. He was in conversation with a gentleman standing behind him “I am a business class traveler, dunno why they want me to stand in the queue”. We were pissed off and my wife was already muttering ‘wonderful’ words about him. Suddenly, Mr. X walked out of the queue, to an airport authority, who was almost close to me and asked him “Do you have a separate queue for the business class? This queue is big and I can’t stand in this”. At this the airport authority said in a loud voice “Sir, there is only one queue. Please go and stand there”.
I had just boarded the aircraft. I was traveling in this airline for the first time. The interiors were good and quite appealing. I reached my seat, dumped my luggage and settled down. I started fiddling with the seat belt and soon my hands reached out for the newspaper and the magazines. A middle aged man in a blue blazer entered the aircraft and walked towards my seat. He put his laptop and sat on the aisle seat next to me. He had a Sony palm top in his hand and an organizer on the other. He updated something with the stylus and soon picked up his phone and started talking. He had an excellent accent. The in-flight announcements had begun and safety instructions were in progress. I was searching for the earphones all over the place and finally it stuck me that it could probably be beneath the seat. I put my hand under the seat and picked a large pouch. The guy sitting next to me gave me a stare and his eyes were really wide. I turned around to realize much to my dismay that I had picked the life jacket! And it so happened, that the air hostess was explaining about the life jacket.
Monday, November 20, 2006
We had reached the Chennai airport by 9.30 PM. The place was crowded with students and their parents. There was just noise...noise and noise! My Chithappa, Chithi, Mama and Mami joined us in the airport. We were talking about the preparations for my cousin’s wedding, which was supposed to happen in few weeks. We went talking until the announcement of my flight departure. It was time for me to depart. Couple of tears rolled down my mother’s eyes. I hugged her. I could feel the warmth of mother’s love. “As soon as I reach I will try to call you. Then let’s start using google talk for our daily conversation”. With that, I disappeared into the crowd. After the baggage check-in and security check, I boarded the aircraft. In about 28 hours I would be reaching the SFO airport.
I landed at the airport and Rakesh, my college senior had come to pick me up. He drove me through the 101 freeway and soon we reached his apartment. I was an addition to his room, joining his other roommates, Arjun and Rahul. Soon, we got to know each other and were literally in seventh heaven, until spring blossomed. Along with fresh leaves and flowers, I had to welcome Catherine Mosses (or Cathy). She was a crush among the guys – her cat walk, her tanned skin and those curly hairs and above all her dimple smile. I had met her in one of those monthly Desi parties. The occasional meeting had turned into regular ones and soon we became close to each other.
It was a Sunday. I had just finished cooking dal and rice for the lunch. The phone rang and it was Cathy. She was complaining of pain in the leg due to an injury and wanted help. Though I was close to her, I had never gone into her apartment when she was alone. I was a bit hesitant but still proceeded. I reached her apartment. The door wasn’t closed completely. I went in and she was waiting for me in the hall. Probably she had just come out after a shower. Her hair looked wet, she was in skimpy clothes and her eyes were strained due to the pain. She moved her skirt and exposed the wound just above the ankle. My mind was losing control and the lust factor was overtaking me. I just couldn’t control myself. The devil in me was rising.
“What the hell is happening? What are you doing to that young girl?” That was Neha. I was shocked. “Fortunately, the door wasn’t locked, otherwise… Get out from this room, you filthy piece of shit”. I was embarrassed. Words weren’t coming out from my mouth. I was dumbstruck. Cathy was in tears. She didn’t open her mouth. How could I explain it to Neha, that I hadn’t done anything! I had totally fallen in the eyes of all these girls. I was ashamed of the entire episode. I went home and all I could do was to cry. I wept the entire night. How would I be able to face Neha and her friends? I planned to kill myself. But death is not a solution. I decided to marry Cathy. I had to do this. The conservative family background, the dreams of my parents everything was shattered to pieces.
Today I stay alone in my apartment. The wonderful relationship called marriage had turned into a disastrous one. My parents are forcing me to get married to a Tam Bram girl. How could I tell them that I am a divorcee? Will the other girl accept me? I shouldn’t ruin the life of another girl. Probably I was punished for that wrong thought! All I can say is “Veeperathe Buddhi, Vinashe Kaale”