Thursday, December 29, 2005

Living with sms'es

Yesterday i slept early, at 9 itself with an intention of rising early(although i never make that mistake;) ).Somewhere in between i could hear my mobile phone beeping as it received messages...with sleepy eyes , i pick it up to see who it is....its from my brother(who has lately turned into an sms maniac , he has recharged with the reliance card with which he can send 18,000 sms in 6 months at Rs180, so one sms costs 1 paisa and you have to send an average of 100 sms everyday)..Alright i read his message and suddenely all drowsiness goes away,'Terrorist attack at Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore'....ohh...what the hell?..the second beep...'The attack was targeted towards IT professionals'...next one..'1 killed , 4 injured'...i sit up with increasing uneasiness as i hear my father talking on his phone from the adjoining room...'Entha prasnam?...Is anything the matter there?'(apparently he had forwarded the same messages to him too, no wonder he sounded disturbed, more so bcoz a gang of robbers had entered my aunt's home at tvm and threatened and looted them at knife point only a week ago)...Dont know when i drifted to sleep again...in the morning i heard of the terror attack at IIS, b'lore...and the picture was clear...


After stone age, bronze age, iron age, steel age(?)...maybe we are in 'sms' age now...Some 5 years ago, a possessor of a mobile phone was supposed to be very affluent...and for the same reason it was more used for showing off than for communication...but now its the materialising of socialism in the field of mobile phone usage...everyone has one dangling at his/her neck or popping out of shirt pockets or purses...and then the world of missed calls and smses...


I must admit that i am getting very much addicted to sms'es...every time the phone beeps...i am all inquisitive to know if it's one of those funny sms'es which pull your leg , which keep getting forwarded(like emails...but it has a better and a more instant effect than fwded mails)...In short sms'es have lighted up my days than any single person has , since sometime now...


So when i keep giggling looking at my phone screen, my father shakes his head bewildered 'Innathe kaalathe pillerkkellam vattaanoo deivame!!?'...Well i cant make him understand :)

Monday, December 19, 2005

7 years in tibet


This weekend was not exactly the usual montonous one after all, my brother organised a virtual 'film festival' for me by saving 4 movies on our home pc, 2 hindi and 2 english. Its the first movie which left a mark on me...'7 years in Tibet'.

I think it was released in 1997 , and won Brad Pitt the oscar for the best actor...and did he do some acting!!...The movie is based on the book '7 years in Tibet' by Heinrich Harrer.

Brad Pitt plays Heinrich's role, he leaves his homeland Austria on an expedition to climb the highest mountain ranges, 'The Himalayas', very much against his young wife's wishes who is soon expecting their first child.The year is 1939. His team gets arrested on the Himalayas, by the British army and they are send to a P.O.W camp at Dehra Dun...It was the time when the second world war had just begun...and Austria and Britain were on opposite sides....He receives a letter from his wife , Ingrid from Austria which reads as follows: "Dear Heinrich , Please sign the divorce papers and send them to my lawyer.Horst and I intend to be married as soon as the divorce is finalized.As for your letter,yes,Rolf Harrer was born while you were climbing the mountain.He is now two years old and calls Horst papa.When he is old enough, i will tell him his real father was lost in the Himalayas.It seems the kindest thing to say as you never wanted the child anyway.Needless to say I have to intentions resolving our differences as you suggested.They were resolved the moment you left Austria.I'm sorry you have been imprisoned in India and hope this dreadful war would soon be over for everyone's sake." A frustrated Heinrich tries to escape from the prison camps, he makes so many futile attempts and gets caught by the british guards everytime....still his spirits remain unshaken as ever...Finally he manages to escape with a few of his fellow prisoners...but only he and his friend Peter Aufschnaiter manage to remain uncaptured....

Then follows a long period of battle against hunger,starvation and the biting cold in one of the coldest places on earth...Heinrich and Peter , finally manage to escape into Tibet, so that they are away from British India, as long as the war lasts.....

Tibet and its people especially at that being closed to the outside world,has been depicted with all glory.Their unique customs and religious beliefs,all pertaining to the core of Buddhism are a spectacle to behold. Peter falls in love with a beautiful Tibetan girl and marries her.And Heinrich feels as lonely as ever.The 14th Dalai lama was then only 14 years old, but he was already a well learned scholar in Buddhist scriptures.He is attracted to Heinrich and they become intimate friends , curtailing all the Tibetan customs of treating the Lama as a divine reincarnation, they have intimate chats in the Lama's chamber.Heinrich helps him to build a movie house as per his wishes.

Then follows the Chinese attack on the peaceloving Tibetans and how the clan who couldnt hurt a worm,had to take up arms to defend the callousness of the Communist China.The way they respect their enemies!!....we wouldnt think of honouring our close friends so much so...

Some excerpts from the movie:

Dalai Lama: We have a saying in Tibet: If a problem can be solved there is no use worrying about it. If it can't be solved, worrying will do no good.

[On the Himalayas]
Heinrich Harrer: A place rich with all the strange beauty of your nighttime dreams.

Construction worker: In a past life this worm could have been your mother.

Dalai Lama: Do you think someday people will get Tibet on their movie screens and wonder what happened to us?

Jigme is the Tibetan minister who betrayed his people to the Chinese, by destroying all the ammunition they had and surrendering to the Chinese.Heinrich returns the jacket which he had given him as a gift, to express his contempt for the man.
Ngawang Jigme: After all these years you still don't understand our Tibetan ways. To return a gift is unforgivable.
Heinrich Harrer: A man who betrays his culture shouldn't preach about its customs. There was a time I would have wished you dead but your shame will be your torture and your torture will be your life. I wish it to be long.



Dalai Lama: ...You can not ask a devout people to disregard a precious teaching.
Heinrich Harrer: Yes but Your Holiness, with due respect, erm, we can't possibly
[laughs]
Heinrich Harrer: I'm sorry, but we can't possibly save all the worms! Not if you want a theater in this lifetime.
Dalai Lama: You have a clever mind. Think of a solution. And in the meantime you can explain to me, what is an elevator.

Heinrich Harrer: It's strange to me that something so harmless as a jacket could symbolize such a great lie.

Heinrich Harrer: There was a time that I would have wished you dead but your shame shall be your torture and your torture will be your life! I wish it to be long.






Peter Aufschnaiter: Oh, by the way, I heard the Japanese have retreated all the way back to Shanghai. So even if you make it to the Chinese border you may have difficulties catching up with them.
Heinrich Harrer: I don't care if they've retreated all the way back to Tokyo.
Peter Aufschnaiter: You should if you want to get back to Austria.
Heinrich Harrer: But I don't.
Peter Aufschnaiter You don't what?
Heinrich Harrer: Plan to go back.
Peter Aufschnaiter: Why not?
Heinrich Harrer: No particular reason. But when you get there tell my wife that two years in prison camp is roughly equal ant to four years of marriage and I'm glad to be free of them both.




Heinrich Harrer: In this place where time stands still it seems like everything is moving. Including me. I can't say I know where I'm going nor if my bad deeds can be purified. There are so many things I have done that I regret. But when I come to a full stop I hope you understand that the distance between us is not as great as it seems.

Heinrich Harrer: That's the Olympic gold medal. Not important.
Pema Lhaki(Peter's Tibetan wife): This is another great difference between our civilization and yours. You admire the man who pushes his way to the top in any walk of life, while we admire the man who abandons his ego.

Dalai Lama: Do you listen to news from your country?
Heinrich Harrer: From Austria? No, not really. Give me some light, Kundun.
Dalai Lama: Why? It's your home.
Heinrich Harrer: Not anymore it isn't.
Dalai Lama: But don't you have friends and family there?
Heinrich Harrer: A few friends, no family. Keep the light steady, your Holiness.
Dalai Lama: Why? Is everyone dead?
Heinrich Harrer: Do you know there's another way a sentence can be constructed than a question? I was married but I'm divorced.
Dalai Lama: What did you do?
Heinrich Harrer: I didn't want a child so I ran away to climb a mountain.

Dalai Lama I can't sleep. I'm afraid the dream might come back.
Heinrich Harrer: A couple of insomniacs.
Dalai Lama: Tell me a story, Heinrich. Tell me a story about climbing mountains.
Heinrich Harrer: That's one way to fall asleep. Those stories bore even me.
Dalai Lama: Then tell me what you love about it.
Heinrich Harrer: The absolute simplicity. That's what I love. When you're climbing your mind is clear and free from all confusions. You have focus. And suddenly the light becomes sharper, the sounds are richer and you're filled with the deep, powerful presence of life. I've only felt that one other time.
Dalai Lama: When?
Heinrich Harrer: In your presence

Heinrich Harrer:

You have to leave. You have to leave Tibet, Kundun. Your life's at great risk. Forgive my presumption but I have made arrangements to get you out safely. We should leave directly after the enthronement, the Chinese won't expect it.
Dalai Lama: How can I help people if I run away from them? What kind of leader would I be? I have to stay here, Heinrich. Serving others is my path to deliberation.
Heinrich Harrer: Then I don't go either.
Dalai Lama: Why not?
Heinrich Harrer: Because you are my path to deliberation.
Dalai Lama: The Buddha said 'Salvation doesn't come from the sight of me. It demands strenuous effort and practise. So work hard and seek your own salvation constantly.' I am not your son. And I've never thought of you as my father. You've been much too informal to me for that. Do you ever think about him?
[Heinrich cries, nodding]
Dalai Lama: And what do you think about?
Heinrich Harrer: It's not a conscious thought really, Kundun. He is always there. When I crossed Tibet he was with me. When I came to Lhasa he was with me. When I sit beside you he is there with me. I can't even imagine how to picture the world without him in it.

Finally after the war, Heinrich returns to Austria in 1945 and meets his reluctant son of 7 years with a musical box which the Lama had given for the same with his blessings and his prayers and he gets his son back.



To conclude, its one of the best movies i ever happened to watch and will remain in my heart for ever.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Sleeping Habits

Last week me and achan went to a furniture shop at Kaloor and bought a new cot and mattress for me....and i got promoted from the bed on which i had lay as an infant,even soiled it at some places 24 years ago....well, achan would never let go of it....so the dear bed had some travelling experiences as it accompanied me and parents first to gujarath then to goa,then mangalore(enjoying the service of the Indian Railway and several carriage lorries and trucks 'en route').Achan even carried it to Lakshadweep in the ship!!... a year ago when he got promoted to Kochi office...my bed came with him...i joined him 6 months ago and my bed and myself were reunited after a long separation....alright, so i am sleeping on my new bed now......My dreams seemed to have multipied ever since i shifted to it.....


When i say sleeping is my 'hobby',I am not at all being one bit exaggerative. I am always on the lookout for excuses, so that I can crawl into a question mark on my bed.
I feel happy ---->I go and sleep to celebrate my happiness....
I feel sad/moodoff/depressed ----> I seek abode in my bed again which i hope will relieve the tension.....
When i got a job after staying at home for several months after B-tech,the first remark amma made was ......"ahaa, ini ninakku eppozhum moodi puthachu orangaan pattillalloo..." she seemed delighted about it, and my brother gave one of his vicious smiles.By the way, his assigned name to me is 'Kumbhakarni'(supposed to be the female gender of 'Kumbhakarnan', the brother of Ravanan who had a curse on him that he would sleep all his life).If anyone asks my brother where to find me...he replies promptly, "She must have gone into 'hibernation'....avalude kattilil nokkuu aadyam, avide illengil shambuvinte aduthu kaanum"(shambu is my pet pomeranian dog).After i got infected by the internet mania he would suggest looking for me in front of the PC as a third choice.....


Cats are supposed to spent 16-18 hours a day sleeping.Achan says I have long before bypassed all cats and I turn sheepish when he advises me not to waste the prime of my life sleeping, I may even suffer a nervous breakdown!!, then he goes on to the merits of early rising with his favourite adage 'Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy,wealthy and wise' :)...Hmm....he knows as well as I do , that not all the preaching in the world would make the slightest effect on me as far as sleeping is concerned:)...paavam....He is the exact opposite of me, he is wide awake at 5.30 am or before that,now that i am staying with him....i cant help complaining about him, the first thing that he does on getting up would be to put on all the lights, then go to the kitchen and drag and shift all the empty vessels to make that 'cling cling' noise, next he puts on the TV , radio, CD player and what no t, at considerably loud volume..hoping against hope that possibly i could not sustain this cacophony for a long time and would result in my getting up....alas he is wrong...i would snuggle behind my blanket till 7 .am and then get up reluctantly, coz i should be helping him to make breakfast unlike the case with amma(she is the one person whom i have assumed as my right to take for granted).....


My long sleeping tenures have awarded me with vivid dreams....am pretty sure nobody could see all the set of dreams i have seen :)......while in school all characters from science,maths and socialstudies would make my dreams...Once i was in the INA with Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, on another ocassion our immediate neighbour was Bill Clinton, Raja Ram Mohan Roy paid us a visit at our home....maybe i will stop here before the reader gets serious doubts about the sanity of my subconscious mind:)......



Well, well and well...i cannot stop smiling when people say they dont take tea or coffee at night bcoz sleep escapes them.....i virtually live on tea and coffee(a habit inherited from my mom) irrespective of day and night and i guess i have grown resistant to ' caffeine' .....bcoz sleep, for once, never eludes me....

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Sea of Change

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players :
They have their exits and they have their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts ,
His act being seven ages . At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school boy , with his satchel
And shining morning face , creeping like snail
Unwilling to school . And then the lover ,
Sighing like furnace , with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow.Then a soldier ,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth . And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part . The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon ,
With spectacles on nose and pounch on side,
His youthful hose , well saved , a world too wide
For his shrunk shank ; and his big manly voice ,
Turning again toward childish treble , pipes
And whistles in his sound . Last scene of all ,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion ,
Sans teeth, sans eyes , sans taste, sans everything .

-William Shakspeare in 'As You Like It'

One thing thats very difficult to put up with , in life is its changing phases. I have always had problems accepting that i was no more in carefree childhood once i got to my teens and yet again when i crossed that one into the next...Always feel weird when i read e-mails from childhood chums relating to how their husbands/wives/children/inlaws are , as the case maybe. In my mind they always remain as the little kids with whom i played hide and seek or quarelled for a 'Tinkle' or a 'Champak'.....it somehow makes me feel insecure that they are no more in that role as much as i am not...Everyone seems to adapt to these transitions with so much grace...but i had always hated losing things..however small and trivial they might seem to be....Amma once in a while reprimands me for turning our home into something like a junkyard , coz i had stacked so many of my precious belongings from my past...notebooks from primary school upto engineering,water bottles, tiffin boxes, pencil boxes...its and endless list...my brother says i must be nuts to hold on to all this garbage...cant blame him...after all i am not quite like him...As much as i hold on to things i have to let them go....

Now comes the most difficult phase , perhaps the most important,the most difficult and the most feared/longed......'Marriage'......Almost all my friends (with only a few exceptions : the number gets low everyday) have tied the matrimonial knot....majority of them already within it, some are anticipating....i maybe joining them in a year...

I can never ever make a fair choice which is better, the single life which promises loneliness but is also free from responsibilities....or the married one which promises companionship but demands several new roles to be played with care... i guess i am being greedy:) i want the best of both...and its not possible to get a rose without thorns...Maybe i will let time decide for me , as it has always done.....Meanwhile i can prepare myself for the immediate change that my role will have to undertake , emotionally and otherwise.........

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

'The little roads to joy'

I had been in the Janasatabdi express , last friday evening, as usual on my way to trivandrum from eranakulam to spend my weekend at home......My co-passengers sitting next to me being two youngmen of my age group.....i was just peering to see what they were so busy with....the two of them exchanging some books and discussing and grinning...:)...just felt curious that they didnt even notice me ;) or anybodyelse next to us......then i saw their objects of interest....one of the guys was immersed in a "Balarama" and the other in a malayalam film magazine,"Chitrabhoomi".Somehow my neighbours had some intution of my yearning to get a look at the magazines (meant exclusively for children:)), and they passed them to me......and i am face to face with kuttoosan, dakini, maayavi , luttappii and many such dear ones again.......I never knew i was so much in love with 'Balarama' and 'Poompaata' as i used to be in childhood.......I felt as if the train i was in ,was taking me back in time and not home.....................

A Flash Back:
The thought of a railway station was almost analogous to the idea of getting to read children's comics and story books....In those days i was officially known as a bookworm....Begin a summer vacation and our celebrated journeys from mangalore to trivandrum......The 'Malabar Express' would leave the station at 6.15 pm,but we would set out from our quarters at about 2.30pm,and our journey to m'lore rly stn would take us just 45 minutes even if we came in a bullockcart!....but achan had some really incredible ideas,what if the taxi got punctured? or what if there was a traffic jam?.....these are only a few of his fears......my bro even complained that his time allowance was enough for us to even manufacture a new car(in case the present one brokedown:)) anyway any of this never happened..and we were always at the station at 3 pm..and latest by 3.30....Achan wouldnt rest till he had the porters carry all of our 'little' luggage to the correct platform...and settled their account after a nice bargain.......Me and brother would be devouring the many books bought from the counter of 'HigginBothams'...............


Coming back to the present, i realise once again that there is nothing like the simplicity of childhood.....Oh..why did we have to make our lives so complicated and difficult??.....By and far each one of us is a different version of a hypocrite....we ignore what our heart wants...and imagine ourselves to be complex beings in a yet more complex world.....


I am going to subscribe 'balarama' again and wait for wednesdays to arrive as i used to once....even my younger bro agrees with me on that.......Its high time that we recognize the little sweet things which make life worth living....

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

On your birthday..........

This describes the thoughts of a girl-The next day is her guy’s birthday. When the whole world is asleep, she stays awake. Both of them had to be separated due to some cause. She thinks about the lovely days when both of them were together- sharing their joys and sorrows. But however hard she tries, she cannot forget him and she has nothing to give him on his birthday other than her heartfelt note, in the end she also adds that she wants him to be happy- that’s why she says that she is ready to take all his sorrows and to give him all her happiness.
When this day comes to a dark end,
For the bright beginning of the next morn,
When the song of night lulls men to sleep,
I stay awake here, just for you!
Your day is fast approaching,
Just a few minutes are left ahead,
When you are amidst your dear ones,
When you receive their lovely gifts,
I’ve none but this heartfelt note.
You may take it as a gift, or just a stranger’s note.
The bygone days are gone forever, I know,
But there are certain questions
Which still remain unanswered,
Why did you wipe out my tears?
Why did you broaden my smile?
Was it to let me drown,
Deep in an ocean of tears?
Though we are trying to forget each other,
How will I forget your day?
And on this lovely occasion, I tell you my dear,
Let all your tears be mine
And all my smile be yours,
Here’s all my happiness,
Take it, for it’s yours.

Friday, September 30, 2005

In a Lighter Vein......

My absent-mindedness is well acclaimed....atleast to my family and a very few close friends....since childhood.....there are many many cases which might seem quite funny to the onlookers..but it wasnt that hilarious for me...:)...

Instance 1 :

My father has just returned from market..and has left the vegetables and goods that he bought on the dining table for mom to sort.....
i am a primary school student....roaming around with some book in hand....my younger brother pestering me to play robber and police with him....am trying my best to shoo him away..and concentrate on the story i am reading.....
After a while mom comes to father and asks him why he didnt buy eggs from market inspite of her constantly reminding him.....
He says he did buy them..and had even noticed the shopkeeper place it in his bag....mom says she didnt find any...father gets up from the chair on which he had been resting...and comes..to the dining room...then he remembers..he had taken out the packet of eggs and kept it on the nearby chair ..incase someone broke it while taking out other things....
And that chair has another occupant at the time....me!!!(fully engrossed in my book of course).....father asks me to get up....and lo and behold....... the poor crushed eggs beneath.......
I got a good beating that day....
But after Thomas Alva Edison ,who in his childhood is said to have sat on eggs to see if he could make them hatch like the mother hen......the honour goes to me......

Instance 2 :
Everyone except me is at the dining table, my brother is extra hungry and wants to eat at once....but mom is surprised that she cant find her bowl of cooked rice....each of the curries was very much there....what could have happened to the rice alone??...me and bro had shipped the dishes from kitchen to dining table as per mom's order....father gets suspicious....he calls me..and asks what i did with the vessels given to me...i reply innocently that i put them on the table....but my face says that i am not sure....he gets up..walks towards the refrigerator..pulls it open to reveal our dear rice bowl sitting inside:).......
I am red faced as ever.......

This post is dedicated to the many countless umbrellas, handkerchiefs and erasers and pencilboxes that were separated from me...in my lifetime........all bcoz i was too much of Miss AbsentMinded....

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Knowing Thyself

Came across a wallpaper that said "You cannot set the course for where you want to go, unless you know where you are...."

It made me think about how ignorant i was about knowing myself........i had always been perplexed about what i wanted with life in general.....

i wanted happiness, wanted to do meaningful things, do things which would set me apart from the crowd,give me mental satisfaction, and in all i wanted to be one of those rare people who made a difference to the routine monotonous life they lived in......but the funny thing about it is that i dont know what exactly would bring about all this.....

At times i feel that it is money that matters most in this world...and then i think i must opt for a career and a way of life which would bring in lots of money...and with it all the importance and power it brings in....but then i was seldom attracted by luxuries...they havent meant much to me ever......and i have found myself most uncomfortable in the midst of extravagant comforts.....so its not pots of money that i want after all....

To be with friends and people who understand and reciprocate positively about the way i feel about things and appreciated my presence ......that part was never under my control....people come and go....you have to just stay aside and acknowledge each of them......

Then there is this spiritual inclination from early childhood....about restricting yourself to methods and conventions..like meditation and such which would bring about peace and control of mind..and ultimately lead to self realization and salvation from this world....but i havent stuck to it continuously ever....keep making detours...until one more failure or emotional breakdown brings me back.......its been like that always......


A bit of patriotism which got into my head from the school where i studied, where we were taught that it was simply great to live and die for one's country.....and i want my nation to be a forerunner in all aspects.....i myself want to be part of it....yet again i dont very much know how........

At times i want to be a writer( a reader first:)).....although i am not very much confident how much sense it would make to others ..as to what i write..:)....but i do think too much...and if i dont write..so much of my valuable musings would be going down the drain :).....thats bad..isnt it??................

Wish i would know answers to at least some of these, sometime from now.....so that when its time to die.....i get the feeling that...after all it was worthwhile.............

Monday, September 19, 2005

Something out of the way.....

Atleast once in your lifetime you get a tremendous shock that shakes you all over..I had just had one...today..just watched my beliefs and theories go up in smoke....I had till a little while ago been the proud owner of 24 years of observation and analysis of human behaviour..and i thought i knew too much....there goes all my pride.....god has shown me how insignificant i am..and how limited my horizon of thoughts could be.....

I had had the singular pleasure of getting closely acquainted with a unique human specimen......and to think that i had been treating him like other normal humanbeings....when all the time......he was so entirely different.....

One of my theories which have failed him is this...i had this impression that there couldnt be a single living- being in this world...which could resist love and compassion...why, i have seen even animals ,wild animals responding genuinely to affection and kindness........ maybe its a rule of nature that there should be an exception to every law or theorem......just to show us that we could never be perfect.....

After all "Perfection is a journey ....." as one of my good friends once quoted.....

Saturday, September 17, 2005

a memorable farewell - II

the thing that was bothering me most was whether i should include names or not...
after all...this ain't a fairy tale.
a story needs characters...so after much deliberations i have decided to name some of 'em..

so pickin up from where i left......

anoop was driving , kk the owner of the vehicle(well...i suppose, u cud say..his dad was the owner) was sitting in the front ... me vivek and another frnd was sitting in the back...

we left from our college and was going to the next big hangout place... that was the only place where was hadn't made our prescence felt... we had to mess up the farewells there also.... we were on our last mission ...on way to conquer the last frontier... and conquer it we wud..at least thats what we thought...

as we were approaching a junction ..(jose junction near hotbreads) we had to take the left turn ...so anoop put on the left indicator, it was then that sum1 noticed a pair standing on the road on the right side..and he shouted to anoop "vandi odikkedaaaa right ilottu" .... anoop suddenly veered right with the left indicator on....

and then it happened....

Saturday, September 03, 2005

a memorable farewell.........

the mother of all farewells...
that was how it was meant to be...
we wanted it to be the best... people wud talk bot it 4 years to come....
we did make it the best...

there werent many things we didnt do in college..
but one thing that nobody had done was.....

and finally some one had the guts to do it..

there were broken hearts everywhere...and we used to b the heartless guys who wud mess up their sweet farewells...
we never gave them privacy...

just like the dog in "bobanum moliyum" we used 2 b there in every frame..it never mattered to us if they wanted us in or not...
and then things began to take a turn for the worse...
the problem that wud haunt us for weeks to come ....
it was the van... a maruti omni van...

i was in the back seat enjoying the music...which was played out very loud

to be continued.........

Saturday, August 27, 2005

'Summer Vacations'

Summer Vacations….. the whole of April and May every year..was the period most sought after, me and brother looking forward to it all through the academic year. We went through the annual exams in March taking comfort that it’s the final trial and the vacations are just round the corner..after all..”If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”..the only difference being it was the hot summer ahead.
There would be a week's delay in our journey to trivandrum bcoz achan had to settle things at office.Those days were spent eating mangoes ..seated on folding chairs in the back courtyard of the quarters..lots of mango trees around..gentle sea breeze now and then ..immersed in lots of tinkles,amar chitrakathas, famous fives, secret sevens and later nancy drews and hardy boys..looking up only to throw away mango seeds ..amma would come and join us for a break from household chores….i remember her remarking..that we were in Santhiniketan of Tagore with the ‘Sarayu’ flowing past..only it was the ‘Oda’which took the waste water from the kitchen :)
We make our historic journeys in the much loved ‘Malabar Express’ which my brother later renamed to ‘Malabar Kaalavandi’ as he felt it took it forever to reach trivandrum. The train pulling up at Trivandrum station and achan hurrying to find enough porters to carry our little luggage that included four pillows for each of us :).There would be either one of my two uncles waiting with a car to take us home..

At the end of an hour’s journey we land at home..ammomma comes to greet us crying and smiling altogether..and her favourite remark after eyeing me and bro critically..’randu peerum aake ksheenichalloo?’ and then she turns an accusing glance at amma as if she had been starving us :)..there was seldom much truth about that..it was always her love ..and we were her favourite grandparents always..much to the envy of our cousins ..my brother has an excellent sense of smell..he announces that he can smell chicken curry and also paayasam and many more things..amma forces him into the bathroom which he reluctantly obeys..i go wandering about..examining how much has changed since last when I had been there..little plants were grown up trees..new shops by the road side….in the background I can hear ammomma recounting how many people were recently dead , who all married, details about our rubber plantations and its tapping,and how she was getting old and sick and couldn’t manage everything alone..


My cousin ‘Kunji’ would be waiting patiently for our arrival..she was an only child..so it meant a lot to her when we made it home. She is my brother’s age..four years younger to me and six months younger to my brother...a real kaanthaari and prankster then :).
‘Kunjiyum Inganum’ that’s how they were referred to..’Ingan’ was my bro’s nickname and he was a real paavam..and Kunji would order him what to do ,she was always commanding taken after her father a bit :).. She inspired him to climb up the numerous window bars upto the ceiling….she virtually created a havoc all the time she was there..her home was next door..but the moment she woke up she would coerce uncle to take her to ours..i can still see her coming holding on to her dad’s arm and holding a toothbrush in the other and ..brushing ,bathing ,eating and sleeping were all with us..in between when they quarreled..my brother would shout at her ‘neeyenthina ente veetill nikkunnathu?..nee poo..enikku ninne ishtamilla’..and suddenely she stops fighting and begs him not to tell uncle about whatever mischief she had done, he would take her home..and she didn’t want to be home at all…


Dramas were enacted…story, screenplay and casting all were done by me :) ..we performed behind close doors..once we were in the middle of our favourite one .. me as a rigid and stubborn hostel warden and the other two as hostelites who played tricks on the warden..the light went off and my brother took up the opportunity to creep up behind ‘kunji’ and scream in her ear.And she shrieked so loudly that not only everyone from our home but also the neighbours came rushing……..


Inpsired by the' secret seven' and 'famous five'….we conducted tea parties……me and brother pestered amma into buying packets and packets of bread,butter,jam ..we couldn’t really have gingerbeer and such stuff..so we settled with whatever was available.And the time for the party was set..’Kunji’ had agreed to bring her toy tea set..amma wouldn’t give us the real one..saying we would break it….she was really annoying at times…As the auspicious moment arrived..it started to rain heavily ..oh..now what if kunji doesn’t come??...our party would be ruined without her and her tea pot!!..Amma remarks pessimistically that she wont come..and warns that if we don’t eat up all the things we have forced her into buying, she will teach us a lesson….We get more and more worried …but then somebody walking up to our house with an umbrella in hand in the pouring rain...as the person came nearer..we recognize her..its ‘Bindu’ mami….and beside her a little creature with her hands tightly around her tea set:)....dear darling kunjii..no matter how much we ill treated her at times..and how much we quarrelled..she would never go back on her promise..or let us down..she was plentifully naughty, true, but she adored us very much…And we conducted our party behind closed doors..and discussed important things like going exploring around the abandoned house nearby..what if there were hidden treasures which people had forgotten to come back for(as it happened in stories :)) or atleast there would be maps saying go 10 feet north..then 5 feet south.. you reach a well ..go down ..and there will be a box full of gold coins and ingots!!..:)….We did go ..but kunji was too frightened that snakes would spring up at her from the overgrown bushes and she started crying….and sadly we had to abandon our quest there..

Monday, August 15, 2005

The happiest day of my life......

they say the hardest things in life to forget are the ones that you really want to forget...
it couldnt be more true in my case
there was one incident that i'll never forget no matter how hard i try...

it was one dull day...so i woke up my cousin from sleep and dragged him to play football behind our house... you wont be able to gauge the story in all its worth unless i give a background of our house location..
so here it goes....
it was surrounded by dense trees on all 3 sides...only the front side was clear..my house's name is pamban...and as it is, there are lots of snakes around...no kidding. .the silence of the night wud always be broken by the shrill howl of foxes... so nobody ventured out in the dark.. there was a small clearing near our house where we used to play football when daylight broke through the vegetation... and that was where it all happened...

and so we started playing ... while chasing the ball my foot accidently slipped into a hole and when i withdrew it there was blood oozing ... the blood was coming from a small puncture wound. the first thing that came to my mind was "oh no.. it's a snake bite wound". it did look exactly like a snake bite.. when you are 8 years old ...only the worst and horrible thoughts come to your mind...
my immediate conclusion was ..."oh god...i was going to die"

we stopped playing and went inside the house..i was soooo worried didnt drink nor eat anything ..and i was shaking all over...because the wound was just a puncture mark, nobody noticed it..... i didnt tell anybody thinking that my mom wont b able to bear the truth...

but my cousin coudnt wait for long..he knew that if we waited then all wud b in vain...he told his mom about the incident and then there was a lot of commotion ...there were no men in our house then as everybody had gone for work and unlike nowdays there was no cell phn around so it was impossible to contact someone on the move....

at that time my moms brother came to our house and when he saw what the commotion was all about , he immediately asked me to take a pee...i thought he had gone nuts...telling me to urinate when i was about to die...then he explained that if i was bitten then i wudnt be able to urinate..... and so i tried ... it was so embarrassing... everybody looking anxiously to see if anything was coming out....thankfully even though i didnt drink much water that day, i was able to let a lil bit out...when he saw this he told everyone that there was no problem with me....but the women of the house were all so scared they told my uncle to take me to a snake doctor...

and so went in an auto ....me telling him all the while that mayb we sud go in a taxi as i might not last the distance...if we didnt reach there on time.....i kept reminding him that my mom wudnt forgive him if something happened to me cus of the auto travel... .and after what seemed an eternity we finally reached there ...the place is called pappinsheri its a very famous place for treating snake bites...they have anti venom stock of almost all the snakes...

when we reached there the doc immediately told me to take a pill...a brownish small round tablet.. i took it and waited for the inevitable to happen....

just as i was waiting ....one man was rushed into the room..he was shaking all over and the doc gave him a similar tablet...he swallowed it and after a couple of minutes he promptly vomited it....and then everybody grew dead serious and he was rushed into another room...
it was only later that i came to know that if there was venom inside me then i wud hav vomited the tablet...thank god that i didnt vomit cus of the tension...if i had earlier known bot this i wud have promptly vomited...

we stayed there for a while to do some check ups..after completing those...i was declared venom free.......i was sooo relieved and happy....i was on cloud nine....i had never felt this happy in my entire life ever before ...

i was the happiest person on earth at that moment....
even though the reason for the happiness was really silly indeed....

Sunday, August 14, 2005

"Cast Away"


One of the plus points of achan’s job was that it took him to exciting little places unknown to the rest of the world..and many times we accompanied him on these adventures..


It had been in March 1990,achan had to go on an inspection to some LHs in coastal Karnataka.And as amma was reluctant to stay on her own with us kids on her own, we joined him for his one week long tour.The first two halts were Bhatkal and Karwar LHs,mostly similar to our own one.The third one was on a huge rock some kms into the sea from Karwar,which was a port.We went in a steam boatand as we neared the place,we shifted into a small hand paddled boat,there was a staff of the LH accompanying us as a guide.We anchored on the banks of 'Oyster Rock' thats what it was called, all the oysters clinging on to the rocks,with some trees spanning a little land are,waves lashing on all sides,the LH standing majestically on top and the staff quarters right beneath it.

The LH as well as the Head Light Keeper’s quarters and the engine room and all were designed by the British almost a century ago.Appeared like a complete musuem,century old glassware and kitchenware, the hearthplace and antique pieces of furniture..it was fun running around inspecting them.Later on top of the LH,with the Arabian sea on all four sides and the mainland far beyond on one side,seemed like we were in the middle of nowhere….

I remember amma actually did cook up rice and parippu curry and fish fry(one of the staff went fishing exclusively for us :)) that afternoon.There were only three people as staff, they being the only human inhabitants of this tiny island,dared not bring their families, insufficient living facilities held them back. They lived on rainwater collected in a tank during the Monsoons and had to use that all through the year.It was like “Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink”.

As night fell,all the excitement of being in this queer little place dwindled, bcoz there was no electricity.We lit up hurricane lamps and all of a sudden everything looked spooky and eery to me..the sound of the roaring sea below and the chilling quietness..it was entirely different at night time..


While I was trying to get some sleep, happened to overhear achan telling amma (I always have this habit of unintended listening which hardly brought me much good :))I could hear his voice clear,”the staff here really have a tough time,especially during the monsoons,this tiny island is completely cutoff from the mainland due to the rough sea.All the food and other essentials have to be shipped in before June and then for three consecutive months, nobody risked going out in a small boat into the violent sea.... A few years ago, one of the staff had his family staying with him here, and his seven year old daughter fell ill with ‘Pneumonia’.That being the rainy season , there was no way they could get her medical treatment and she died here.She was buried a few yards away from where we are now.People here say they see her,clad in white, walking past, on the day of her death every year..that day happens to be in this week it seems…Humanbeings who suffer themselves to death, have their souls roaming around without peace..thats what Hindu belief says….” I hear my mother gasping and upset over the little child’s fate, simultaneously a shiver goes down my spine.I try to picturize the unfortunate kid and then I felt I could see a white aparition looking at me through the windowpane…I closed my eyes and prayed that it be morning soon, and was relieved when we left the place, the first thing in the morning.

When I landed there the previous morning, I had thought I would want to stay in that mysterious place for ever, but now I was the most anxious to bid farewell…this was one of the ironies of life..how your preferences and priorities and likes and dislikes can change with lightening speed, it amazes you sometimes..after all we are on the lookout for happiness and serenity all our lives..

Back in 'Time Machine' again..

Now when I look back,everything seems so unreal..maybe it should be due to the contrasts life draws up with time…..

The first year in KREC school..me in III std, brother in LKG…..achan took us to school every morning..those 15 min of walk along the NH 47 ,traversing a little forest of acacia and eucalyptus trees is quite memorable..achan called that part as ‘Vanavaasam’ and we, the ‘Pandavas’(but there were only three of us :))

My younger brother was an exceptional child, he never cried or ran out of his class ,very much unlike his classmates who were bringing down the roof…I still remember how he sat like “the Buddha” in his trance , while there was utter chaos around him..kids trying to escape out and teachers running after them to close the doors.In the midst of such a pandamonium ..he opened his tiffin box and ate his biscuits calmly….

Weekends spend playing cricket in the LightHouse compound that ended with someone hitting a six and losing the ball into a pond beneath the rocks on which the LH stood or to the sea on the other side.Chasing frantic crabs all over the beach..collecting shells and conches with Arabic letters encrypted on them..(I was so sure they were :))..and in school monthly unit tests..midterm and annual exams..and then the summer vacation.

By April first week, we packed up and got ready to board the ’Malabar express’..in those days a train meant Malabar express and nothing more to me.

Monday, August 01, 2005

the golden years....

for me.......the golden years wud b the time just before high school..

every day during our holidays, me and my cousin went hunting for hidden treasures and smugglers...our main locale being the kannur fort...after all, tipu sultan was there , so there was bound to be hidden treasures na?

i guess , reading too many enid blyton novels at that young age doesnt help either...

we used to stake out at the fort from morning to evening ... sometimes even skipping lunch...such was our dedication and determination to eradicate whatever smugglers there were...
we believed they changed their plans cus they saw us watching..

by cycle
we chased down lorries... to try to uncover the treasures they were smuggling
we chased cars with hidden number plates to catch the kingpins..

we were not going to let them rule our town...this town belonged to us...this was our domain...our kingdom..our world....

when in reality they were the fish lorries and army cars covering their number plates when the majors were not around...

and then there was the "ghost to ghost hook up " picked up from alfred hitchcock's 3 investigators..we used to call all our frnds and tell them to call us if they spotted anything suspicious...nothing could be done in that town without us knowing...
the dons had to know...that was the rule....

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Making a Difference...............


I need to breakin from my memoirs to talk about something thats simmering within me since last couple of days.Just happened to have an argument with an Indian chat friend working in Dubai (not Neeth of course :)) and I feel I must speak my mind about it.A casual talk about the trip he had to a foreign country in the far middle-east, its a lovely place he says.Me hearing it and feeling a bit envious, wish I could travel around too.Then he makes this statement "They keep it so clean and superb..Indians should learn from them"Somehow that remark hurt a lot even though the stmt was 100% or maybe 200% true.I told him 'dont say Indians..its not somebodyelse..its we..its you and me'.And then he said he hated India,the crowded buses, the roads with gutters, the politicians who are bent on filling up their pockets and nothingelse, the corrupt officers,strikes...no development and nothing called law enforced in the land.He hated our orthodox cultures which had made his parents enforce unjustifiable restrictions on a young man.

Yes.................................................................................
Thats all true..................and theres much more to it.....................................................................................

We with our stinking cities,hopeless roads and the worst conditioned buses and trains, have nothing much to defend against these allegations.But what hurts is that these come from not a foreigner but from a fellow Indian who found greener pastures and now feels kind of embarassed that he hails from this hated land.
Who is to blame? Nobodyelse but ourselves.Half of our unemployed educated youth are mislead by antisocials or politicians and they end up as a social menace.Unemployment and poverty reigning everywhere, we are nowhere even after 56 years of independence!!.The other half of our better privilleged educated, end up settling in foreign lands,obviously everything is much much better there, why should they sacrifice their lives for a country doomed never to come up.And a good part of the people who go abroad ,enchanted by all the dazzling world in front of them, think themselves in heaven itself.

Where is all our self respect gone???? Dont we have any duty towards our motherland!!??How many countless times have we stood with arms outstretched and blurting out"India is my country and all Indians are my brothers and sisters.I love my country and am proved of its rich and varied culture and shall strive to be worthy of it"....thats the pupils pledge we made everyday in school years ago....sadly enough now I feel this oath mocking at me...My younger brother once said about a debate topic at college "Brain Drain is better than brain in the drain".So who is going to make the change?It has to be us..me and you..Everytime we say "this land is never going to prosper, we are questioning our own existence.Because one who doesnt respect or value himself , his parents or his nation can never be expected to command respect from others , bcoz these three are the ones with which one identifies himself.

Patriotism is inherent in all of us.....................its just that uplifting feeling when we cheer the Indian cricket team , Sania Mirza, Leander Paes or Narayan Karthikeyan to win for us.Each one of us need to get that feeling of oneness..then our battle is more than half won.
We never shun our dear home where we lived,laughed and cried and grew up,isnt it, even if its dilapidated and about to crash,we hold on to it with a feeling of affection, thats what we need for our country.All the social maligns that we possess are due to discontentment and selfishness.And we are to eradicate them one by one.....


Quoting John F Kennedy "Ask not what your country has given you, ask what you gave your country". Even the smallest stone can cause ripples....

Friday, July 29, 2005

" Turning Point "

















And at last we were in Mangalore, Surathkal to be exact, 22kms from the coastal town of Mangalore, carrying a luggage that could support an army battalion(there were 21-25 bags in all i think :))..the railway porters shaking their heads in disbelief when achan tells them that it is all 'palahaaram'(sweets) and nothing more..and indeed they were..my word..I really dont know why ammomma chose such an embarassing way to show her love towards us.:)She had appointed people to cook up tons of 'achappam,murukku,pakkavada,munthirikothu and many others..the list is too long to remember :)Anybody would have thought our sole mission in life is to eat('theettipandarams')..

I am fond of travelling and being in new places..so i was kind of elated when we got to our quarters, the lighthouse nearby, thats where achan worked, and the beach and the sea.Me and brother playing our little games and i always had him enchanted with my 'pulu' stories which the poor child simply adored.It was the summer of 1989.

Then one day in late May amma got me ready for an interview at my new school,KREC Eng Med School adjacentto the Regional Engineering College, Surathkal which was just 15 min walk from our home.Achan warned me several times that I should appear smart and a 'midukki' when the teachers interviewed me and not be a 'mindapoocha'.I had my heart beating in my throat when we reached there.I made it a point not to give out a single word other than my name all through the interview and by the end, achan decided that they would advise him to admit me to a school for the deaf and dumb...such was my performance.

Enter one of the interview board members and I wait with bated breath for the inevitable to pass through her lips to me..and get me doomed.She said"she is admitted"..later i heard achan saying to amma that it was bcoz i had answered the arithmetic problems correctly,which had been assigned to me during the trial, that i got admission even though i was in 'mute' mode all the time :)...whatever it was..i was relieved that i escaped the scoldings..so much the better!!

Thats how i got into KREC school, that small,unassuming place which made me all that I now am..from the trembling , petrified creature..I had a long way to go..

" The Unexpected "


Sometime prior to the annual exams that year, achan came on leave from Bombay.He said he was transfered to a place called Mangalore and we were going with him..me , amma & aniyan...and I was shocked!!.I could hear him say that we are to be admitted to a very fine school there, that kids talked in English and all..I felt nervous from head to toe..eventhough the present was an English Medium one ..nobody spoke in English..My God!! how was I going to handle this?? and I lost all peace of mind..a string of nightmares followed about this dreaded school.

The Early Days
















As long as I can remember, I was homesick like hell and from kindergarten to StdII, the 4 years in Chinmaya Mission school at Trivandrum wasnt a very welcome one.Amma still remembers how i had instant stomachaches and headaches many mornings and how they disappeared as the sound of uncle's bike grew distant(it was he who took me to school :) ).Not much company at school,infact I was a born introvert and very shy in mingling with other kids.Then there was this character of an "all in one tution master"..he was a relative cum neighbour to my family..i never knew why he came exactly when the "Ramayana"was being telecast..(imagine my plight..all the locality is in my home watching it..we were the pioneers in owning a TV set, a B&W one ..which was a very privileged one those days).All the time the tn. master taught, my mind was elsewhere, but then it was not my fault..he chose the wrong time to impart knowledge..so he has to pay with a less attentive student..:)..Thus with frequent genuine and not so genuine illnesses & sick leaves, I completed my second std from school.

Down Memory Lane

I guess its almost the same with everyone of us...when asked to pinpoint the best part of our lives,almost ninety percent of us would choose school or college days.Me being no exception..school life is my favourite,although I fear I have already lost many of the fond memories in the mad rush that ensued in the years that followed.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Descent

even the moon which showed travellers the path down the centuries deserted me..i was all alone , struggling against mother nature...i knew then that this was one battle that i was about to lose...and then the unthinkable happened.. when i thought things couldnt get any worse..it happened..

and i was in no situation to control natures fury.. but i was left with no choice, had to fight my way out...like a cornered mouse i started my fight back.. ..all hell began to break loose...
and then it made its entry.......it suddenly came out of nowhere.. one second the road was clear and the next second it had engulfed the road completely.. the wind brought it to me..

i knew i had to pass this wretched place as soon as possible...there was no way i could wait for it to go away.. things cud get worse...
i had to find a way out of here...

Sunday, July 24, 2005

"Entry,Exit and....the part in between"


Many times i have wondered..why is each one of us born..live our unique lives and die one day...What difference does it make to the universe that one more of human species had lived and died here??..then there is this theory that people remember u by ur deeds..that is true of course..but theres nothing called immortality..in thoughts..Sometimes it scares me and maybe kind of depresses..that the world would go on the same way as it is now..even if i died today..each one of us by ourself makes no difference to this vast universe..and yet we struggle our way to living here..
Childhood was a kind of real bliss..mostly bcoz we are ignorant about a lot and lot of things..and life is so much less complicated.And i would say people who can remain as children at heart all their lives are the most fortunate..bcoz the more you think the more mad you get..:)..
Death is as much difficult or more to comprehend as life is..Have never been able to acknowledge death all my life..its so mysterious..so unwelcome....Our world is more like the one Jim Carrey lives in "The TrueMan Show"..every single being doing his part..and the best actors are analogous to the most successful ones!!...But then we cannot remain stationary when everyoneelse is rushing forward..if you do you are bound to get crushed in the stampede!!..so we have to march on and on..not knowing where it will take us.......We know neither the beginning nor the end..only the part in between..

Sunday, July 17, 2005

where sky meets the earth...

as i stood on top of the mountain, i could feel the icy cold wind blowing. even with 6 layers of clothing , it made no difference to the bitter coldness....the overwhelming feeling rose in me as to whether i would be able to make my stand here..the choice was not within me...and the high altitude made things even worse...breathing became a difficulty cus of the lack of oxygen... i drew a deep breath. trying to inhale the one thing that was aplenty from down where we came from, but up here even the air we breathe became a luxury....

i closed my eyes trying to comprehend why so many brave men gave up their lives to scale this mountain.....and as i gradually opened my eyes and took a look around.... my wonder turned to pure amazement...all i could see was endless rows and rows of snow covered peaks, glowing like gold in the hue of the evening sun . i knew then... that it was where, i also wanted to be one day... as i stood there, gazing for what seemed an eternity...time was rushing on.....the sun had to set. up here, there were... no birds to chirp away on their way home.... no trees to shed any leaves in the freezing breeze..

and i knew my quest has come to an end, this is where i have to turn back..my road ends here..
with a heavy heart and a sad soul i gently lowered my head and looked down on the snow i was standing...wishing that i could take a part of this with me forever and ever...as i started my walk back, i could feel the crunching sound of the snow beneath my feet...and i felt it was my heart that was feeling the pain....i had to come back here...one day......had to complete what i had left undone...my soul would b there forever , i had to take it to where it belonged...up where the earth meets the sky...........

Friday, July 15, 2005

reeling under the spell...

movie reels....
"cause"...... defines the best from the rest...
i always enjoyed watching movies that had a cause attached to it...
like freedom in braveheart and..
i will always remember how the bridge was guarded in saving private ryan
i suppose all of u will hav entirely different opinions bot this and thats what i wanna hear 4m u all...

the corner that's not so soft......

hi friends,
its after much delibration that i decided to put this topic on the board....kya kare, nobody seems to b interested in riting bot anything other than luv these days...

i dont hav anything to say, but i kno a lot of u r really good at it...i meant writing ,ok :-)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

closer 2 heaven dan ever b4

it all started like any other trip....but little was we to know that something beyond our wildest imagination was about to happen on that Dday.
As i sat in the back seat of the car looking out ...the only thing that my eye could conjure was the endless stretch of barren land.....miles and miles upon.. we rode , me wondering when we will ever cross the dead zone....
to be continued ...........