Friday, August 15, 2008

Independence


One more independence day. Celebrations. A handful savoring the true essence of freedom. The martyrs forgotten.

Forgetting anger, apathy, agony, anguish, and every negative emotion in the world, I flavoured myself with the excitement of a new world, a new life, a new spirit, A rejuvenating August 15th. Freedom. Back to those school days. In line. Attention. "School saavdhan, Vishraam". Some voices reverberated deep in the eardrums. The NCC guys. The national anthem sung with fervour. Patriotic songs from all over the country. Irrespective of language, culture, caste, creed. Gujarati, Marathi, Malayali, Bengali, Tamilian, Punjabi, Telugu, Kannada, Kashmiri all as one, we used to sing. 'Yeh wakht ki awaaz hein, milke chalo. yeh jindagi ka raaz hein, miklke chalo..."

Today once again, history repeated. Thank u SIMC. 09 years. It had been long since I left my Kendriya Vidayalaya. My mentors. My teachers. I forget not. They moulded the untouched clay in me. Adding the requisite water, smoothened with adept hands, caressed some soft strokes, perfected heat to set and left me to conquer the world. I did. An Engineer I became. A job I earned in the Central Govt. Life went on, unsullied. It was time for a change. A PASSION enthused. My life questioned the spirit. Life suddenly a burden. Life's little surprises whispered. "It's time to quit." Freedom from the old schools of thought. My intuitions compelled me. I accepted. A new lease of life today. A new campus. The pristine atmosphere. A certain peace in every single twig. Every drop treasuring a smile. Am here at Symbiosis.

Morning. Cycles introduced in the campus. Evening. The thrill of a long lost habit came inviting. A ride uphill. A free ride downhill. A breath of fresh air. Virgin emotions tickled. A variety of freedoms on display.

The freedom of being single. The freedom of being a man. The freedom of being my parent’s son. The freedom of being born lucky. The freedom of loving life. The freedom of expression. The freedom to survive or exhaust.The choice is mine and will always be.

I fly high. A life not too long to survive. The Mayfly, she who reminds, Life is small. Past a burden. Present a Gift. Tomorrow a mirage. I Enjoy. I enjoy the freedom of today. Tomorrow mayn't be mine to enjoy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Prayers...


We like to send our condolences to the family of Dhananjoy sir (Photography Dept.), who lost his wife a few days back. We at this time would like to let the family know that they are in our deepest thoughts and prayers.

From the SIMC family.

To all of us,

Let’s all pray silently for a minute. May the departed soul rest in peace.

Monday, August 11, 2008

SIMC salutes you...

She is Sweta Mantri, another of my SIMC’ian friends. But she is special. Guessing what makes her earn this special niche on my blog?? Let me confess that she is one of those very few who earns so much of respect from the depths of my heart.

A source of inspiration to all the fellow travelers, a tough character in the script that destiny engraves. An icon of strength, courage and determination. An example of resolve to battle any of the strongest odds pitted in life.

In front of her stands fate guilty and ashamed, losing the battle of tenacity, not just once but an umpteen no of times. Her ever smiling visage that makes the face of a sullen destiny hide humiliated.

And as does her Orkut profile say:

“I would take a deep breath n enjoy new challenges. I believe in beating d worst by d best!!”

Way to go dear, conquer the zeniths, attain the pinnacles of glory, we all love you a lot.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Before kicking that bucket away....

As always coincidences rule the roost… yet again this time with the bucket list… though I can’t remember where, am sure I read thru someone’s blog about ‘THE BUCKET LIST’ as a must see movie, the same day I received the tag from sandeepettan...Now let me share my bucket list ;-)

* To travel the world had been on top priority from long, but for that I require money.

*So let me first start with my career. The first of the things in my list had been an MBA in media/communication management specializing in advertising from a reputed institute. And that dream is coming true with Symbiosis, Pune.

* Next on the chart is to get placed in an AD agency of repute long before completion of the course, which hopefully will happen with all your prayers.

* Then comes the real game of life, of starting an AD agency of my own, maybe after working fro 2-3 years and I get bored with work, or maybe sooner, even before I join the company. ;-). No ideas about that for the moment.

** So keeping all this apart, there is a small dream I treasure - To start a small evening school in my village, where though I never intend to teach physics and chemistry, would focus on a unique initiative of giving refined education in English to a few young students who are inclined and interested to learn the subject.

*** To pen just ONE book is one daydream that would hopefully cease being a dream for long.

* Supposing that I receive money from all available quarters , i will go globetrotting with my SLR. First to those places I missed to inspire myself with, within INDIA. Meet the people, discuss, exchange ideas, enjoy the cuisines, involve in their culture. Then to some great cities from yore, kicking off with Paris, later to a culturally rich and huge city called Istanbul/ Constantinople. Later see the pyramids of Egypt…Roman masterpieces and a 100 places more... :-)
Then arrives the following little things to be done intermittently...;-)
* I wish to tour a concentration camp for once.
* I wish to catch a fish and release it too.
* I wish to eat fresh grapes, pick fresh coffee beanz, pluck tender tea leaves from Darjeeling, pick apples from Kashmir and more…
* I wish to go scuba diving, take some corals from the sea in Lakshadweep.
* And a long remaining fantasy, - Go to a nudist colony and be naked.

Lots more to be added in this list, & so this may get updated month by month irrespective of the constrains I face as I surge forward.
This I believe will be the leading lamp to guide me through my ambitions, hopes, aspirations desires and dreams.

Thanks to sandeepettan who lent me this novel idea to keep track of my own life’s little purposes. Am I too late to have done this is the only question that perturbs me. But nothing is late in life is a policy I uphold. And since there is no place for regrets in life, I wish forever to travel in the journey of life with fun and awe, laughter and giggle, smiles and tears, all encapsulated in one.

AND I TAG - **** Cherian ( if he hasn't done this yet), ** *Sarin, ** Maria & * Devidas

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Enveloped...

I received my last red uniform a long time back. If my memories aren’t dampened with the moisture in my belly, it had been a long 6 years since. Centenary celebrations sparked a row thus giving us the new luster. How boring was the leisure granted while my coat was to dry! And the next day I was the cynosure of all eyes. All appreciated my dress to a great applause. Memories too take time to dry isn’t? I was fed with a lot of intellectual nourishment; in simple words some were real food for thought. Today I am lean, permanently idle and old and it’s all silt and rust I carry. Alone in this big city, none to notice, none to care, I wither in the sun, shiver in the cold and wrinkle in the rain. I am paralyzed, unable to move, in a condition to move any compassionate heart. Some dry leaves give me company today. Time snails.
Age as well caught up with me, but without any assurance. I suffered. On the brink of geezerhood, not a single soul bothered. Umpteen I gave news of a job, many to whom I whispered a baby born, some I gifted those fragrant love letters. None ever enquired my sorry state. Lives made. Celebrations done. People forget. It’s not a mistake. It’s human.
Heard that young people have taken over, one who moves faster, is more reliable and cheaper. But wasn’t my service reliable and cheap, or has things turned turtle? Free sells anywhere and has it become so? Maybe so… how will a forgotten chap like me know? Overheard an individual mentioning email or was it female; auditory sense prevails but cloudy with dirt in my ears. Still it’s beyond my scope of understanding; at times I sit wondering whether it’s a fairy tale I heard. How can a letter go electronically via a computer, and reach anywhere in the world within seconds? And the stranger wasn’t mentioning postbox, mailman, post office, mail van, stamps, envelopes nothing at all…My head crumples like paper. Loud echoes reverberate even in sleep. It hurts. Occasional silence spells doom. And who is this courier? I hate to accept a lesser rival rising above me, but alas telephone too, in its smaller versions has looted a lot from my niche.
My head aches imagining so wild. Those rosy days. Those quiet moments. Musings mirror the lost tenderness. Memories envelope me. The first sky-blue inland I gobbled. Folded carefully in all the ---FOLD HERE--- marks and sealed, it took time for the petite him to adjust to my belly darkness. Only a small stream of light seeped in and it felt like a stolen twinkle from a firefly. The stamp was so shy. Opening her eyes and staring at my darkness was initially impossible. Later we were strangers in unison. Her giggle was so fresh like the anklets of a little kid. None knew where and what next, except that the inland was from a loving mother to one Mr. Adwaith in Bombay. But heard that Bombay changed to Mumbai, Madras to Chennai and Calcutta to Kolkata. Unsure because it’s long since I read such an address. At sharp 3:00 pm that day, Keluettan, our khaki clad postman opened me and stole my 3 hours of friends in a gunny bag. Keluettan retired long ago and a young Suresh took over. He still comes, clothed in a new blue uniform, steps to revive a dying department with a fresh look, I learned.
Though I have no qualms, I ponder over some. Never did I get a chance to love, I did like some cute stamps, but they left at the next clearance. The longest I had lived and joyously enjoyed was on continuous Govt. holidays. An idealist Gandhi stamp lay idle chatting. The orange envelope though wasn’t too friendly, was kind of matured. Postcards were more friendly, as they were open hearted, didn’t have to hide anything. I got a lot of information reading those little postcards, costing just over 15 paise then. Competition postcards though were costly, thankfully improved my general knowledge. Lovely days of yore have elapsed. Rustic innocence lost, faster lifestyles rule. Hurry is the watchword seen through the windows in front.
As years passed on letters at the same address went to Mrs. Thushara Adwaith, Greeting cards to Malu and Chinnu. And it all stopped abruptly. Once I eavesdropped on a dialogue between Keluettan and a colleague. The loving mother cum grandma shifted base to Bombay after her husband’s death. Who knows if she is alive or not? Once Adwaith too had posted a letter, I forgot to where.
As time progressed, my belly grew tighter; at times the no of letters reached the level of my red cap too. It was too difficult to get pregnant often. I don’t complain, as it was fun and joy with so many companions; infinite good news had a stamp of my service in it. The feeling was bliss and even at this age goosebumps rise in me. What is lost is more treasured. The worth of something or someone that never comes back, but still haunts our sleep is understood too late. Isn’t?
In front of me sits a banana seller, a vegetable vendor gives company, my vision is through my black lips, rather than my eyes. Is my name cut off the rolls by the India post too? I am saddened at the ignominy of being forgotten, but which door to knock and how? Questions knock me down in disappointment. Negativity creeps in. My concrete base seems as solid as it had been, nowadays a resting place for the hawker.
My dress gave away a couple of years back, initial shyness to show my skin turned to shamelessness when the whole dress ripped away at the ruthlessness of nature. Now I stand stark naked, a little insane, a lot tired, inviting death to accept my final letter. Not a stain of red remains, except for the few unfriendly drops that had crept in while getting painted. Letters are forgotten and so is letter writing.
A teenager is running towards the hawker. And she has a paper in hand. Surprise! She kissed it and dropped it in my pockets. The inland looks blank at me. No banter exchanged. No jokes shared. Quiet clarity of the hawker’s husky tone lingers. Hopefully Suresh will come. Pray this reaches on time and saves my face from further disgrace. Is it my revival? Questions still bother me. Time alone will reply.
Is something scribbled behind? My eyes are deceiving me. Faintly I decipher the words. A few little hearts in red and…

Truly yours,
malu@gmail.com,
Bengalooru.


What name is that? Bengalooru…Has my city changed too? More of those questions knock me off the cemented platforms. Am I falling? No remorse, no regrets. I have performed my duties to the best of my abilities.


The story afterwards: The inland reached on time, Malu didn’t have to send another inland. It was all E-mail and SMS from the Gen-next.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Framed....


“Photo frames done here”
The steel plate hung like a prisoner restrained with manacles. The sheen on the metal plates had worn out. The white calligraphy peeled off from the black background in separate quarters. Dancing to the tune of the passing wind was the only distraction. Ramu squatted in the lonely quarter of the room. His memories flooded with moments of the once princely style of living. The teeming crowd, those bustling streets, thriving business establishments, wealthy households, colorful living, opulent smiles, happy faces and the cascade took him to a higher echelon of thoughts.
“Worth emulating” – many a passer by had quipped at his workaholic nature.
The golden frames often competed the golden morning rays for the skin tone. Ramu had lost number on the frames he had done. Gods, goddess, animals, birds, sceneries, vehicles, men women, children and how many infinite subjects in Gold, silver, wood, and pulp. And once experimenting with cardboard sandwiched and glued one upon another for a marvelous creation. He still vividly remembered the smile on the innocent face and the golden watch his parents gifted. The watch stopped ticking long ago, almost at the time when time began its ugly taunting grimace. The kid won many a laurel for the painting Ramu-da had framed in the special cardboard construction. They believed his handicraft as a luck charm till they too shifted home like the little humming birds that left the nest once the little wings were strong enough to fly. How weak and tired his heart grew then. Always missing the thought of missing the kid’s little laughter that broke his thick blanket of seemingly small miseries. He sometimes felt a pang during idle hours that his luck left with the kid and his embellished frame.
How his hands used to carefully chisel the designs on the four corners and around the frame. The generous applause and the demand for more of the variants echoed in his present state of woe. How happy had his workers been? How lavishly was every festival celebrated? The affluence in those unselfish smiles always welcomed the best of work from their hearts. Times had changed, people too.
The once particular incident of an enquiry and the subsequent order for a thousand look-alike photo frame surfaced in his thoughts. How striking it looked when the similar elegance with different captive gods smiled in a stack, ready to be imported. The deadline and the extra effort he put in ensuring his workers getting the due were highly appreciated. The letter of appreciation lay cobwebbed and uncared in yet another unknown corner of the warehouse today. The business lost out to the flourishing new business, to faster output, to better designs.
“ Below par compared to your designs ” – he remembered the smirking remark from a patron; and how he mockingly depreciated the imported, colorful photo frames as swarming mosquitoes out of nowhere, till yesterday when the little kid doubted “Photo frames done here? Doesn’t it come readymade?”
He remembered the transitory phase from where his small world started going topsy-turvy and the carelessness with which he looked down upon it. The usual sense of optimism kept him going, till he knew the business sinking. Alas it was too late for a revival. To stay afloat in the readymade market was more than difficult, he found himself getting strangulated with the workers who found the heat unbearable without overtime. Lamination changed the whole outlook of his little crafts. He lost the entire niche clientele. Even the loyal workers shifted base once his purse suffered. Not one from the umpteen gods he gave life to helped his business survive the intense of times. He had framed them for good and now he stood framed and frozen before the loneliness surrounding his survival. The morsels of food looked at him in pity, and he flung the saucer like a flying disc. Food spread on the disintegrated walls and cracked floors. Even the insects didn’t come to inspect. Everyone had deserted him. Disgust and shame had overhauled his personality. He found hatred everywhere, a sticking repulsion. His eyes had grown vacuously callous. Anguish dug it deep nails deeper to reach his bones. It split open. It was torture in a different league.
He knew his little mistakes, to have trivialised the competitor in front of his huge business, to marginalize the instincts had been another and his inability to cope with the new environment of change had done him in. he closed his eyes for a tear to drip, but again the reluctant tear evaporated.
A head stooped and looked inside his shanty. Ramu didn’t care to enquire the stranger for there was nothing to rob, not even his dignity.
“Uncle, can you do me a favour?” Now what more of him remained to help? – Ramu thought in the distraught emptiness snuffing life out from inside and outside. He puffed the beedi’s last inch and snuffled inquiringly.
The stranger enquired again “ Can U?”
Without waiting for the tired head to nod, he continued. “Can you frame this photograph for me, in golden borders, with the grape yard creeper design, & a small base at the bottom for a light to fit”
Ramu opened his palm and accepted the rolled photo.
“The advance or the whole amount will be paid as you say”- The stranger said with an emphasized tone.
The acceptance was immediate. The elastic band swiftly removed, Ramu’s eyes glued at the photograph. A waiting exclamation took seat. It was long since his eyes had grown so wide and suddenly moist.
The little boy had grown so big and handsome.
“ What happened to Kaku sahib?” – Ramu enquired out of all eagerness.
“ He is no more, died a peaceful death a week back…and he always jovially told us to frame his photograph with those special photo frames at Ramu’s…” The boy’s voice trailed.
Ramu’s eyes brimmed within and his heart felt heavy with a deadly emotion pinching the crevices through which blood flowed all these years.
“What are you doing beta, do u still paint a lot?”
The sweet childish innocence once again covered the strangers face.
“ Am creative head with an advertising agency, enjoying my work of art and evaluating others too…” Pride reflected in his overtones.
A sense of gratitude prevailed in the breathing. Ramu’s face creased a healthy half smile, the forehead wrinkled in countable crumples. Kaku sahib’s death is paying him money, making him a little wealthy, helping him a week of tasty food. For the first time in life he thanked almighty for an unwelcome death.
“ Baba always appreciated your work and recounted that your luck charm brought us the good in life…”
Ramu wet the dirty dhoti’s corner with some disobedient tears, while the stranger continued.
“…and am here today not just for your work of art, but to appoint you as guide for the trainees in my Ad studio… are you ready to accompany”
No questions, on where when and how. Ramu though unaware of Advertisement and its nuances or explanation nodded involuntarily. He felt an inexplicable feeling of good submerging his self. A whisper rang around. A blanket of warmth surrounded him. Ramu felt the viscousness of Kaku’s soul. He supposed that Kaku had come to return a slice of the once stolen luck, to help him survive.
Life didn’t seem miserable like it seemed hours before. Blood started to flood the parched nerves. Energy began to fill the cells devoid of food. Starvation took a great exit. Life instilled Ramu enquired
“Let’s go?”
Bending his back out of the hanging roof, he wiped the dust off the steel plate, unshackled it, and sheltered it with a newspaper. His bones ached at the smoothness of the untried cushions of the car. The sheen returned with the minor glitches suffered during the test of time… The car moved on to another destination, wind desperately kissed his forehead, acknowledging and welcoming him to where life waited with golden frames for a new guest.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A lonely Bouquet …


The morning blanketed itself in sinister silence. It had drizzled the previous night. Water pooled evenly in the uneven potholes of those seemingly unending roads. The breeze wasn’t welcome. She too remained absent. Neither a twig moved, nor a leaf rustled. The only sound was an alien breathing echoing. It was mine. The breath grew quicker and translated itself to a panting. Moonlight glistened on those palm leaves hanging loose and uninterested. My legs grew tired and found it miserably uneasy to walk. Two haunting lights pierced from an unpredictable distance. Sound of the rummaging engines disturbed the ghostly silence. My energetic hands waved. A screeching halt and I scooped my fright in. The scent of jasmine and lavender smelt around. The talcum powder shower with the garlanded jasmine on those black hairs stole my breath away. A damsel sat with her chin, ear and hair resting in an easy mood, unaware of my presence. A blue headscarf hid the rest of those assets. I stopped being attentive. The rickshaw traveled hastily to the nearest bus stop. She got out with a death like silence, unconcerned, unaware and indifferent. I forgot her. A few frail figures stood, some waiting for the bus, some for the early morning newspaper dispatch and some other idly sipping a cup of the brewing hot tea. The neighbor’s cigarette swirl addicted the morning air momentarily.
Every approaching headlight around the corner expected a bus. Little drops of rain fell soothing the tensed air surrounding me. I breathed easy. A little drop fell on my specs and blurred my vision. A single bell and the bus stopped, with the back door welcoming my arrival. The rest continued waiting. A double bell. Just as the fingers gripped the bar and moved to the vacant seat, a single bell invited the screeching brakes to throw me off the feet. A lady clad in a saree with the creamiest of hues entered from the front door. I watched her in quiet curiosity. The same carelessness took her lazy pace to the neighboring seat. The distance of the aisle was the only separation. Drops of rain continued pelting itself on the glass like little sprays of sand. The wipers danced with the drops and slept back in the rusty slot. The LED’s danced and encircled the Gods behind the drivers cabin. Darkness prevailed outside. The melancholic Hindi memoir enhanced the silence in the mood with the love lorn singer humming at the peak of emotions. Her eyes closed in vacuous clarity. The same indifference outlined in the clear-cut profile. The bulbs lent light on her flourishes.
A small ring adorned her cute little nose in the left nostril. Every breath through her nostril made the gold-plated move up and down. A drooping head fell sideways on her shoulder. She looked around and caught my eyes. A dark red bindi remained lifeless in the cheerless forehead. I sat in custody. The disturbance didn’t quiet disturb my menacing stare. My silent yet serious glances made her uneasy for the first time. She looked away, to the closed windows, lifted the shutter and looked out at the scenes thrown to light by the blinking streetlights. More rings adorned from the top of her ear till the bottom lobes, in various shaped circles. Two in silver, one in steel and yet another in gold. They mingled and danced at every swerve of the bus, sometimes kissing her bare neck in admiration. The spherical pearly locket dangled from the lowermost ring like the cutest fruit of the young mango tree.
Yet another of her stolen look and I was still in silent admiration of those spotless cheeks. She bit her nails out of a docile anxiety, the nails shied away at the drool from the pearly white teeth. I acknowledged her cute fingers speckled with four different rings. The little finger decorated with a simple silver plated circle, ring finger gleamed at the golden embellishment, the middle finger proud of a possessive emerald stone atop and the index finger charmed with a copper flamboyance, while the thumb basked in its nakedness. An untold number of leaf green bangles slipped deep down near her elbow, embroidered in golden hue on either side like guards on duty. She rested her hands on the lap and the bangles lay in idle innocence. Her eyes tried their best to bear my stare, moving to and fro to all sides of the screen. The golden thread of gold streaming down her neck en-route her breasts stopping at her navel found the sudden unrest a disturbance. Perturbed, the bosoms heaved faster and her hands stroked the smaller black beaded chain harder. The amulet stared shamelessly at the cleavage about of give birth to cute little globes. With the smaller necklace bathed in sweat, those diamonds sniffed the droplets of fear. A smaller droplet flowed down the groove to a blissful stay in the warm indoors. I smiled. The fingers on her leg twitched in displeasing expectation. With more than two rings bejeweled in each, the fingers found it difficult to squirm. She shifted her legs and the silver anklets snuggled with a giggling tone.
A sudden whiff of air and the veiled headscarf fell backwards; the vermilion streak drew closer in clarity amidst the pendant and its decorated tail splitting the hair in two. My head turned away, staring at the pictures of the infinite landscapes outside. Gazing at the pleasant sun rising far away in yet another horizon, my journey continued. She left somewhere in the middle, but the addicting fragrance of her jasmine garland, the arresting charm of her lazy gait and the beguiling spell of her ornaments still remain captive in my senses, long after the incomplete journey…

Thursday, April 03, 2008

TaGgeD... :)

THANK YOU PREETECHI... IT WAS NICE DOING THE TAG...

1.LAST MOVIE YOU SAW IN A THEATRE


It was a sponsored programme :-)..JODHAA AKBAR… I laughed throughout the first half, seeing all the unready moustaches and bearded minus moustache, of course getting rude glances from those serious viewers..

2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING?

I am not completing any these days… Two in the Q… “ LAJJA” –Taslima Nasrin, “TAGORE – A Biography” – Krishna Kriplani

3. FAVORITE BOARD GAME?

Definitely not the Blackboard Game…. But yes, LUDO… :-) …

4.FAVOURITE MAGAZINE?

Can’t say…cos am more of a voracious newspaper reader….still for my conviction… Readers Digest, Childrens digest…and meow…;) -- Human digest too..

5. FAVORITE SMELLS?

The female fragrance of the shampooed/perfumed hair, in a sweat-smelling & crowded BEST bus in Mumbai…

6. FAVORITE SOUND?

The sound of the gentle breeze, tickling and rustling those leaves of the huge mango tree at home…, An afternoon song of the Lazy Cuckoo perched on the papaya…, Varying sound of the drizzle to the downpour on the leaves and the tiled roof of my ancestral home..

7. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD?

Loneliness…and Indifference from those unexpected quarters..

8. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE?

Again its time to go to offizzzzzzzz… :) So boring to sit retired even while working!!!

9. FAVORITE FAST FOOD PLACE?

Idli Annan at the Victoria Terminus Subway at Mumbai… His unique make and mix of the 3:5 ( number: price) Idli-Vada-sambhar-chutney is a mouth-watering favourite…

10. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME?

Manchaadi (Pet name..:P)

11. FINISH THIS STATEMENT. "IF I HAD A LOT OF MONEY I’D...?

Travel and travel taking infinite photos in Matt finish….:-) .. To start an evening school in my native village where kids are taught to speak good English...

12. DO YOU DRIVE FAST?

Yes!!! Too fast on my YAMA-HA

13. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL?

Unfortunately till date, I slept alone…In the present condition animals * are fine too…
* is for a Feminine breed …;P

14. STORMS-COOL OR SCARY?

When my Boss storms to my cubicle asking for a forgotten & non existant report…itz ??? Kewl for him and SCARY for me..;-)

15. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR?

Forgot the name…Think Dad got it for me at Rs. 5/- from Guruvayur…

16.FAVORITE DRINK?

It’s Lemon Juice with salt-sugar in equal proportion, Then Frooti…and off late the Appy…A taste that still lingers is the LEMON MINT COOLER from FRUIT YARD at kaloor, Cochin …

17. FINISH THIS STATEMENT, "IF I HAD THE TIME I WOULD...

Start a Time bank, Save the excess time, Accumulate and….. Barter it ‘Hour’ wise for love, to those who require only a little more of minutes to make the world a better place to live…Gift it ‘Minute’ wise to those who have only seconds more to live, Tantalisingly suspend it ‘Second’ wise from my roof, to sensitise those who never knew the value of time … & the balance will keep on growing in my Time-bank with interest…

18. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS ON BROCCOLI?

U mean, Brassica oleracea italica??? :) I had a look at the dictionary…:p

19. IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY COLOR, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR CHOICE?

White…So that I look matured at least in some deceptive eyes…;P, else NO..i dnt like it….

20. NAME ALL THE DIFFERENT CITIES/TOWNS YOU HAVE LIVED IN.

Thiruvananthapuram, Vadakara ( Calicut) , Thalassery( Kannur) , Surat, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Calcutta…

21. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?

:-) SOCCER, but esp. the Santhosh Trophy Football.. :-) I love the Kerala Vs________ games…
22. ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU.

Holding High the Infinite Figments Of Imagination…

23. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED?

:-) Floored !!!!

24. WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE BORN AS YOURSELF AGAIN?

100%, It’s ‘I love me’…still with some minor polishing work done on the dents suffered en-route this birth!!!

25. MORNING PERSON, OR NIGHT OWL?

The Knight Rider….I sleep and ride on my dreams.…

26. OVER EASY, OR SUNNY SIDE UP?

Sunny’s side up…hahaha…

27. FAVORITE PLACE TO RELAX?

Open grass lawn as my bed, A tree to shade, Natural breeze as the fan, A river by the side whose waters are soothing music to my ears… :) [ & I should be alone]

28. FAVORITE PIE?

Anant pai.. The Indian Amar chitra katha king… :)

29. FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR?

A Mint flavoured light green colored ice cream from Baskin-Robbins, if not any of the butterscotch flavours topped with honey…

30. OF ALL THE PEOPLE YOU TAGGED THIS TO, WHO'S MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND FIRST?
:)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Habitats to Homes...

Appu looked through his plastic aquarium. Finger sized fish swam in the transparent waters. Silver strips glistened at every swift manoeuvre.

Continuous days of June rains. Earth quenched her thirst. Then the streams took birth. Muddy brown water over-spilled and meandered, clearing paths for its own progress. Now was the turn of nature’s spring to take charge. Pellucid and with them came uninvited guests of a different genre. It was Appu’s favourite pastime to venture into those unchartered waters. Sometimes with Amma’s consent and mostly by evading her constant gaze.

Today again he ran down the cemented steps, forgetting in the hurry, his habit of counting the number of steps. Before mom came searching, the little fisherman had to populate his marine museum with five more of the little fish or fishes. He decided to try all mathematics while going back, two steps at a time, or to try even three by stretching his little legs to the maximum. His tiny body stooped enough to concentrate, lest his catch went missing. Magic stroke of luck and his heart leapt. There in the corner of the stream swam in attentive assembly a shoal of little fish, a young breed like him. Playfully some hid behind the submerged and dancing blades of grass; some turned around and the rest swam behind. Almost motionless he rested the polythene bag of water on the wall of wet earth. Appu had mastered arresting the school of fish. Every step as casual, but more careful, his breath unprepared to disturb the air, even the ripples found it difficult to get stirred. Silence of death prevailed, a ghost he inspired. The closer his steps, the more he forgot his surroundings. It was drizzling slightly. The little legs in one flash posed a footballer about to take a free-kick.

“ Apppuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu…”- The shrill angry call swept him off his feet. Appu slipped and fell. The cutie buttocks hiding in the small trousers were wet. A visibly frightened Appu looked behind.

“ Who told you to come out in the rain?” – Divyechi stood stern in a questioning pose. Sky-blue skirt and white blouse as uniform, School bag in one shoulder, holding an open umbrella she came closer and pinched his ear lobes. Appu’s face twitched as if his tongue tasted something vinegary.

“ Hahahaha…” he heard the giggle and looked atop the mud walls. At the edge, stood Chakkara, his naughty neighbour, with a small umbrella in her shoulders, head posed to a side and clapping her hands in joy. The girl who always poked her nose in the unwelcome had shed water once again to all his plans. His archrival, she liked him getting punished. Appu read what traversed in between. Divyechi while returning from her convent was directed by Chakkara to his mischief.

He bore the ignominy since the only chances of escaping Amma’s daily reward was to plead Divyechi.

“ Get all the rain in your head and catch a cold…” – Divyechi murmured on and on while drying a naked Appu.

“ Echi (sister), don’t tell Amma, please” – He whispered reluctantly.

“ Let me see” – She was too demanding. Appu’s lips went in a half crescent grimace behind her.

“ Please Echi, I won’t go out in rain again, promise” – Promise was added to every sentence, a newfound term after last academic year’s progress.

“ In that case, OK” – Echi agreed.

Wrapped in the pink towel, he marched ahead.

“ Why did u take bath now?” – Amma came from nowhere and questioned.

Before Appu opened his box of lies, Divyechi interfered “ He slipped in the courtyard”

What a sign of relief he had. A naughty smile decorated him. One eye briefly closed and opened, he acknowledged the lie, another of the impish learning from the third standard. Divyechi smiled at Appu’s genuine innocence.

He planned to avenge the treatment and decided to pay Chakkara in full. He thought, his blood still boiling. I’ll dig a trench, make her run the way and she will fall. Appu laughed at the smartness of his ideas. Clever boy!!! He patted himself with the comment Lathika teacher used to confer for his marks in Maths.

Rain steered clear and Appu reinvented the plans to fish hunt.

Stepping into the stream like a cat, his vigilant eyes were ready to battle any adversity. In a split second he splashed a sheet of silvery water. Along with it lay on the side a handful of little fish. Struggling to adjust to the new conditions, they fought for breath. Appu ran and carefully palmed one by one and dropped in the mobile aquarium. Though within a freedom curtailed boundary, lucky enough to get their breath back, they swam open eyed and confused. Appu imagined them as searching their parents and friends; still his selfish heart didn’t long to let them free. He loved their fins and the manner they took breath in and out. There were nights when he woke to see how his little fish slept, but they never did. Appu concluded this for their melancholy minus their loved ones.

When the total population reached ten, the fish found it difficult to swim in the packed contours and fortunately Appu understood it. Summer vacations came to an eventful end by June end. Set to join fourth standard in yet another big city, his heart longed not to lose his precious collect. The impossibility of Achan (Dad) allowing fish in the suitcase looming large, Appu was upset. Tears brimmed the contours of those black lashes.

“ Appu, why are you crying?” A soft tone rang like the cold breeze of the sultry summer afternoon. Chakkara came closer and sat beside him.

Hearing his woe she smiled and said – “ Don’t you worry Appu, leave them in our well, they will have more space to swim and every year when you are here you can see how big they have grown.”

“ Ohhh, wow!!” exclamations upon exclamations studded the fluffiness that Appu felt deep inside. His wide-open eyes, for the first time looked at Chakkara in admiration. Days of pent up anger melted at the breakthrough idea.

Unable to contain the excitement he ran, took the self-designed aquarium, looked through as he always used to, but now for the final time and poured the contents into the tumbler. He requested Divyechi to lower the tumbler with his fish friends into the well. Appu and Chakkara leaned hard to see the tumbler hitting the water softly. Into their new home, a freer place the tiny fish could grow better, start life afresh; rear a school of fish and ultimately a big population. Appu’s mind crossed the boundary of imaginations. He foresaw the subsequent trips, where the fish grew as big as what ‘Salim mappila’ got them everyday to fry, but he was firm never to allow his fish into the frying pan. They would be his friends, thanking his Chakkara for the new life. He couldn’t find the tiny silver streaks anymore; still he felt their happiness knocking at his heart.

The fishes have grown, so has Appu, and a happily married Chakkara. Her kids play outside the silver painted gate, with permission, and without any steps to count. The tiny fishes swim ready to flow to the paddy fields. The kids have but a novel idea. Appu Maman’s white banyan cloth as a sieve as well as to see the fish clear, ‘Kunju’ held one side of the cloth and ‘Thenu’ the other. Both moved in the shallow waters like a four-legged monster.

“ Lift it” – Kunju shouted and Thenu did. Five tiny fishes struggled and Appu reclined in the armchair remembering the bygone days. 17 years shifted like a single shuffle of cards. His fishes big and dark enough haven’t lost the silver streak. Visible to the naked eye, they shy away to their own secret crevices, cursing him or blessing Chakkara, he never can contemplate.

“ Appu-mamma…, how tiny and beautiful they look, isn’t?”

“ Beautiful catch!!!” - He nodded along in appreciation, “ who caught it?”

Kunju took the credits and Appu saw his past reflecting through the transparencies. Silver strips glistened at every swift manoeuvre….

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Eternity...


“ Mom, get me the watch from my drawer”

“ Which one do you want? The one with a leather strap or the steel!!! ”

“ Anyone ”

Busy, yet ornately strapping the black one around my wrist, memories ran faster than the seconds needle.

Years back where a watch reflected flamboyance. A tender age that yearned to be old. The 10 year old graduated from primary classes. Another vacation chugged him to the tranquil native village. Grandma longed to cuddle him in her lap. He who loved freedom always blushed in the attention. He continued playing, plundering runs at will from a deflated bowling. His 6-year-old brother waited for a lapse in concentration.

“ Chettan (brother), am tired bowling, please give me the bat”

“ Eda, two more over’s, maximum 5 more minutes”.

He dashed inside and I ran behind. Eyes groped in the dark and adjusted slowly. His little hands pointed and decided on the bigger needle first. It stood pointing 6.

“ Ha ha, Till 12:30 only ” – Tinku quipped after looking sharply at the needles of the grandfather clock. He had perfected the mathematics of five. The bigger needle at 1, 2, or 3, anywhere till 11 multiplied by 5 presented him the perfect time.

First standard taught him the simplicities of the hours, minutes and seconds in a clock, thought both of us weren’t aware of the importance of time. The pendulum oscillated without rest.

Grandma watched the proceedings from the portico and smiled

“ Enough of your cricket. Now take bath and come for lunch”

“ Ammammey(grandma) pleaaaase” Tinku pleaded with a lengthy overtone.

“ After lunch, I will give you a surprise ”

Tinku agreed with a smile.

Evening woke early.

“ Dress up kids, don’t we have to go out”. Grandma said kissing Tinku’s small nose.

His eyes slipped to sleep and the cute body shrinked itself into an embryo shape.

x--------x

Full sleeves and tucked shirts in the knee length trousers clothed us to a gentlemanly demeanor.

“ Where are we going?” I enquired the third time.

“ Thalassery town” - Ajitechi answered.

She looked beautiful in her Aqua blue sari and a matching blouse. The bangles shied when the fingers adjusted her earrings that swung with those black stones embroidered by a thin strip of gold. Some strands of mischievous long hair kissed those earrings before someone noticed the naughty act.

Tinku jumped to her waiting hands.

My mind pictured and discussed the falooda’s waiting in crystal glasses. The ‘rose and white’ mix, topped with vanilla flavoured ice cream was the food aficionado’s delight. The transparent small slippery balls that teased the teeth and danced around the liquid gave a smile. And the noodle like ingredient had heavens tasting on earth.

We walked on a different course altogether. No falooda’s?? Now what!!! We wondered.

The shop of shiny, leathery, silvery and golden watches hung on the glass sheet; most of them displaying 10 minutes past 10 were a treat.

“ Lallu, select the one u like”

I looked in awe; an inexplicable happiness swathed my skin, and in all kindness returned some Goosebumps of excitement.

Frames of me being the most important in the sixth class, and a crowd of boys and girls hovering around me to have a glimpse of the newfound fortune stimulated some corners of the heart.

“I too want the watch” – Tinku interfered.

“ When you are as big as your brother, there will be one for you”

Unrelenting he remained silent, cheeks red and puffed in anger, eyes brimming with tears. Ajitechi had the answer with a digital watch from the showcase. 06:47 PM, and the colon played hide and seek.

“ I liked this one ” – With a watch in hand I declared gleaming.

“ Take another one Lallu, it’s a ladies watch” – Ajitechi had her opinion.

“ NO”

“ Let him have his choice” –Ammamma stood by my side.

And thus I wore a silvery steel strap, with a name calligraphed in the smallest of print on the dial. Sst Shalini- it read from HMT.

Years rolled ahead. Watches upon watches, each costlier, beautiful than the preceding came to adorn my wrist, but none could give the feeling of being wealthy and important. The Sst still lies on my desk, ‘a souvenir’, wind it and it unwinds memories of Grandma, Ajitechi, Thalassery, their warmth, our childhood…Thus filling the turf with umpteen examples of simplicity, selfless acts of kindness, of unspoken deeds of love, reminding those nostalgic evenings which never will be back to fill the void that grandma left, again to make me feel important at least once again.

The pendulum oscillates, without rest, without complaints, at every crossing half hour, the silent tick-tock's chime loud, waking me out of my reveries, elucidating the new world ahead and the multitudes of opportunities it has in offer.

Thank you Grandma, for accustoming me to what time is, to my parents who taught me the importance of time, and to all who integrated in my life to make every passing second entertaining and life meaningful.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Liberty...


I set her free from the dungeons of my heart.
I float with the melody of the winds.
I feel as light as a bun of cotton.
I sense victory in thoughts.
I defeated my fallacies.
I liberate My Self.
I set ME open.
I can inhale.
Freedom,
Choice,
Now.


NB: Do see a Pyramid/Triangle and not an Underwear!!!!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tongilicious...

“Shree khodiyar American Indian sweet corn” – As queer a name, yet something aromatic, something specific too... Maybe the four-wheeler is hand in glove of an American Indian!!! ‘Four-wheeler’ a misnomer, lets call it a cart.

A teenager guarded them- shy, shabby and smiling. The corn lay calm on the coal bed. Basking in the warmth of the puffing pulsations, the faintest green sheath continued browning in the redness of coal. Flannels flew while the corn conversed the coal. Anger? “No, it’s our love” - They said. Well aware of their destiny... a few moments of passion.

The petro-max shed a convenient shade. Five of the already prepared corn cousins lay conspicuous in the lower compartment, sleepy, tired and weeping for their love life stood incomplete and a little jealous for the one taking pleasure from the fondling of those masculine wood splinters now.

“How much for one?” – Pop came my question.

“ How many do u want?” – Pat came his inquiring reply.

The bargain starts, ending on a positive note. I cornered my eyeballs to have a glimpse at the simmering intimacy.

“ Two of the hottest, fresh cones please.”

He stripped the papery green sheath, already darkened to spots of isolated black. In half nude husk, they did shy a little. Lemon takes its turn in a hemisphere, a slight squeeze and came the juice, sour and translucent. Dipped in the Reddish-orange mixture of salt and chilly, they exchange a deep kiss. Like a shy guy smeared with his girl’s lipstick, lemon goes licking the bare body of cone, up and down, top to bottom. The skirt forcibly lifted, my cone looked innocent in shame. Pretty they looked with the tiny kernels stacked like a hundred little teeth.

My hands took the offer and the lusty front teeth dug into it ferocious. An assembly line of cute yellow stood audacious, but in disturbed disarray. The taste buds excited at the new prospect, tongiliciously tempting, irresistibly mouth-watering, tantalizingly aromatic, and invitingly succulent. Sour, salty, hot and tasty, what more of a flavor could my buds long for on that wintry night on the beach where waves blend one upon the other in another saga of love.

Friday, February 29, 2008

The streak of Vermilion…

Hanging on the doors of a Mumbai local is window to an unfamiliar, faster world. Forgotten are lives of some similar beings, overlooked are the helplessness in some recognizable eyes, disregarded are the depth of some hungry souls.

Every day follows the other like a faithful follower. The almanac torn page after page for months to breeze past. Seasons expire, yet... life never comes to a standstill.

Walking through some narrow lanes left alone with the trail of a once beckoning history dilutes time. The towering Gothic structures admittedly evoke awe.

A lonely hand outstretched disturbed the meditative admiration. The rag picker had a haunting look overlooking an expectant coin to be dropped. The tobacco chewed and darkened teeth shone with a brownish red tinge. The lips widened making the teeth conspicuous. Another shuffle and the coins rubbed each other creating a sonorous harmony, music ensemble of a deprived lot. The left hand hit her belly involuntary, portraying hunger or a silent request to help her survive!!! The bubbly young kid with the hands on her hips swayed left and right. A look at her and she hid behind the shade of the polyester saree. The piece of cloth hung in tatters, a part of the mounds exposed. On the left hung a sack burdened with an uncared soul. The tiny future obliterated in the burgeoning populace of the emaciated. Snuggling in the race of survival!!! Nothing earned, nothing lost.

Unexpectedly, in split second amazement a smaller palm came outstretched. The shy little champion had become bolder in the enquiry. A look at the tiny palms evoked sympathy. The lines of fate callously double-crossed the lines of luck in those little requests. Pity squeezed the better out from the principled male ego and a rupee coin involuntarily tossed into the stretched out little fingers. The fingers folded, making a safe niche for the worthy coin. She looked at the begging guardian with a feel of achievement, who by then had turned to the next passer by. A sense of earning enveloped her twinkling eyes. So did a sagacious illumination in the darkest corridors in the donor. He had unknowingly directed those little hands to follow the murkier world of easy money.

Shanties as a home and occasionally with streets as a cushion, lamppost bases to recline, unaware of how life has to be indulged, they survive struggling, digging the same hands at times to empty some pockets of cash, sometimes to search for the crumbs of left out and decaying food in the dumping yards, ending in a rage.

The rag picker prepared to move. A coin fell and she stooped to pick. A shameless streak of sindhoor faintly decorated the scalp, splitting her hair into two equivalents. Value of the maroon stood demeaned. Any worth for her vermilion marks?? I stopped wondering and went ahead to enjoy the simplicities life offered at a discount.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Little Nothings...

......A Fairy tale based on the true life tale of two lovely souls.......

Once upon a time lived a princess, far away beyond the reach of eyes. Wearing anklets, dancing through, ran she all along the woods she loved so tender. Kingdom danced and so the subjects merrily, happily daily till dawn. Day along she sat alone, on a bank too grassy smooth. Pristine were the waters clear, carefree swam her fishes colorful, lovely smiled the flowers, and blissful slept the sky blue yet white, but prettier than all looked her dimples charming. Time ticked and she wrote verse upon the leaves of a little plant. Loved she reading the little words of joy and so she did write every day never-ending. The water she drank and the fishes spoke – “why not come down and be our queen?’

Smiling cute in reflections, she replied- “A gentle, handsome prince awaits a me so lovely, lovely...”

The fish swam down dancing her fins. A little drop splashed, kissing her dimples charming. Ripples drowned in her reflection.

Time went on and the plant did grow. As they did, so did she. The king loved her so, much more deeply than could the queen. Time came and she betrothed. So intense were her looks so elegant, the prince did swoon a little bit. Then the queen her mother so warm, packed great many jewels of gold; trinkets dazzling, dresses fine and all that made a royal bride. Everyone wept in tumbler full. The fishes did miss their queen in dreams, so did the leaves with verses poetic. Mom she pressed against the bosom full. Bosoms exchanged a love so warm.

“Keep this golden ball so valuable, it will help you when in need”

“Yes mom, always I will treasure it true”- she replied.

On a decorated horse she left to the groom’s kingdom, farther than where thoughts could reach. Far and far they rode so fast, warm a day so scotching hot. Thirsty, thirsty did she feel. Got down she to have her fill, the ball did roll far and far. Didn’t she notice and knew it late. Wept and wept she till sleepy tired. Nightmares stole her fancy dreams. She searched it on and on, did not find it her eyes gentle. Went near to take a sip, knelt down and ugly frog one leapt from it. Startled she did cry so loud. Asked the frog so tender toned –“why weep u maiden dream?”

“Alas! What will become of me? Lost a gift my mom did give.”

“Cry not, cry not, maiden dream, you will get it one day fine. A prince charming will give you back, all the gifts back in life.” Said the frog.

Stopped she crying loud, whimper-whimper all that lasted. Turned around and saw she dark. Prince, Horses, jewels of gold; trinkets dazzling, dresses, all disappear in one ominous stroke. All alone did she stand, stronger, bolder in her heart!!

Butterflies came dancing, and so did glow flies teasing her. Little dimples could not hold, tears so big tumbling down. The fish didn’t come again, and felt like self to drown below.

“Never will I tell my mom so nice, the king and queen do will weep” – saying thus she made a splashing jump. Came the frog to her rescue, carried her to the kingdom deep below. Woke up, attired a mermaid queen, left her legs so slim and bare. Instead did she swim the river, like a queen of the world below. Years rolled and years rocked and no sign of the prince to came. Waited waited eyes her soar, wrinkled did her skin so tranquil. Frog did care her day and night.

Far and wide did she swim, no wonder the prince didn’t come. Tired to her heart, wept she once again all alone. Came swimming the fishes seeing so. Nothing , nothing said she smiling. Tears none knew did exist, as the river drank it all.

“Maiden dream , why you cry? “

“Aging am I, day along, where did go my charming prince?”

“Weep not, weep not, maiden dream, time is not so too late”

A gentle smile did caress, the little globes of twinkling eyes.

In her joy and happy words, kiss did she a lip on cheek. Sparks of light made it big. Startled looked she at her. “Where did go my fins and tail?’ surprised she looked around.

Stood she on dry earth, the frog looking far. Ran she far and far, hopping, jumping did reach the frog.

“ Take me to that little hill, lies in store a surprise big” – The frog did croak.

On tip-tip, tap–tap, plash– plash from the bottom to the top, ran along both the friends till morning broke. Reached they both the mountain top. Far saw she a glittering globe and a thousand little notes. Remembered she the little leaves, once did she mend it tender. Cushioned ran she faster still. Touched she the golden round, and did she know the bigger truth.

“ Ohh my mom, the gift is due, what u did give me once so new” – laughed and danced she the sprited princess. Came back all her jewels, gold and trinkets, dazzling dresses wrapped her up. But searched she for her prince charming, who did take her all along. Saw she him with another princess, happier merrier than ever before. Didn’t she call him to disturb, didn’t she wake him from a reverie.

Turned to hug her frog near, instead saw she a prince so handsome, charming.

“Who are you young man magic?”

“ Ohh!!! My maiden dream, how u forget?” - So tender toned did he ask, a smile adorning the roving looks.

Frog was he transformed and told her the story now too past. Long ago came a rolling globe. As he took it, did it flash and in a curse was he swept. Wrinkled, shriveled did his skin, and was he told to stay away. Spoke the voice of the sky then loud. A princess will kiss you once, take her to the golden globe, may you be free of the curse of fate only then.

And on top of the world was showering love in drizzling drops. The prince did kiss the princess once, deep in the lips of love. Locked in love, both their eyes closed in bliss.

“ Love me, love me, till we part” – wept the princess in arms so cozy manly.

“ I promise we won’t part, keep my word or let the world split apart”

Owed she a lot to the prince charming, who gave her life not just once!!

Drove up a chariot golden, with horses beautiful, decked with feathery plumes and a golden harness; Drove them far to a kingdom, with another king and queen waiting. Showered blessings infinite the heaven, fairies, imps and angels piloting the route ahead.

Time and tide did pass again. Little prince and princess played around, running behind the new king and queen now throned. The king and queen did live, ages and ages of a happy life, eternal.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Checkmate.....


“Violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, red” – Nancy miss spoke loud and crisp, pin pointing every color on the rainbow chart.

“Akash, write the colors on the board…” came her command pretty soon.

“Black, gray, black, gray, white, white, gray”

The offshoots of the already impending cloud of laughter burst from the young mouths. Akash looked devoid of blood as his sweaty hands wet the blackboard and chalk alike; the cute black in his eyes swelled and swam in tears, yet not a single drop dripped. He contained for it had been years of humiliation and embarrassment.

“What absurdity?” She thundered .

The giggles petered out wondering on whom the intended anger was!!!

Akash breathed the air around in all intensity, out of fear, dread and the cane that was to follow his palms.

A stoic silence prevailed.

“Go to your seat, young boy” agape stood the 4th standard pals.

Nancy miss had interrupted a tradition.....


The oval plaque read in golden letters.

Congratulations.

Presented to AKASH NAIR for being recognized as the

'Best Photographer' in ‘Black & White’ section at the International Junior…….."

A different eye at last brought laurels to the once ‘outsider’ in Art classes. Myriad of colors sprinkled and splashed across the walls of recognition, yet for eyes so unique stood they as spots of the same intensity. The enormous canvas of the world of colors arrived as a mere panorama of subtle shades in black, white and gray rainbows, a chess board of the black and white soldiers.

With a jerk his eyes opened to reality as the announcer boomed over the microphone…

“Let’s give him a standing ovation for transforming a rare congenial defect into opportunity and directing many more crestfallen to a path of success”….

Applause cheered the air around. He saw a million colorful smiles light the stage in harmony.

“May his blacks and whites take him far and wide, farther than the many in the colorful world can reach…..” Nancy miss completed the incomplete….


N.B - Monochromatism

Saturday, February 16, 2008

"Aunty, Poppins or Gems?"

The park quite lonely, the benches lonelier. If not for someone’s private moments she stayed lifeless, still surviving the battering weather year after year. Waiting, waiting and waiting she aged… the coat of paint lost its sheen and wrinkled. Expecting the unexpected visitor to sweep the dead dry, leaves relaxed on her sleepers for days. If not for the occasional breeze, the burden would have ‘weighed her down ‘. The infrequent rains refreshed her, yet after which she stunk of the decaying matter around… she then longed for the sun and his light, which again turns oppressively blistering. Seclusion made her panels go broke and broken like the poor little child’s teeth…



Far away on a sweltering afternoon, sun blazing on his most intense of temper
atures, a lonely Red sari walked a different gait… neither fast nor slow, a determination reflecting deep within her. Eyeballs went in circles and ovals, the rest drooled… in anticipation the bench craved to kiss her rounded bottoms…she came near one, wiped a tear or two and did something none ever cared to…the summer foliage parted ways as she wiped it with smooth satin hands…. Cruel enough a poking nail pricked her…Out of passion, or for disturbing a long slumber? A wry smile adorned her. The simplicity standing proof of a long traversed painful journey behind… She sat leaving room on the right… yes!! She too was waiting like the rusted iron nails waited to prick her. The wooden ply creaked, aching joints of lustful surprises…? Her gaze straightened and focused; to a blank point nowhere near…the wind carried a flurry of dust into her gaze. The burgundy dyed hair acted a cameo, swaying sharp kissing the cheeks and an ear, forming a fa├žade for the face. The nose lusted an emanating fragrance. Dust accepted failure and she positioned better. Easing her gorgeous spine and resting the torso on the bench support she sighed… a deep breath from the bright yellow spread air around... one leg upon the other and eyes closed in meditation another tear spoilt her mascara... the cuckoo sang, the sparrow chirped, but she remained composed. Her thoughts like nomads, left alone uncared in search of some answers. A droopy eyed, parched and scrawny stray by now took shelter near; quizzed at an unusual visitor in the vicinity…he lay quiet in a corner, resting himself against the tawny grass, once exuberantly green.

The breeze brought a shower of yellow leaves, another brought it nearer. Her eyes frantically searched…a young gun gained her attention. Hovering around made no impact…mistaken identities, she wasn’t the kind he expected… he walked off and so did the dog. Bored and unimpressed.

Time swept the change. The blazing sun gave a little respite and evenings made frolic in a farther distance. Kids played and her attention deterred her again. She sat vacuous. A child came running full speed as if he won’t stop at all. Near her he applied brakes… making a screeching sound and mimicking the brakes of a bus, he took reverse and parked himself. She smiled at his innocence. He came closer and in rapt attention checked her cheeks, stretched both of his closed fists and asked “Aunty, do u like Poppins or Gems?”

She stood startled, the question echoing deep… before the answer she had to give, her thoughts and eyes explored the park. No one resembled her ‘Gems’ Bond. She searched frantically. No, he is nowhere around, her multi talented, chocolaty pal. Loved and lost. She felt it bitter to acknowledge the truth. Her man had left quiet. The one she always shared her feelings with. The one she always treasured in her heart. He did promise to meet her once last to speak. Where has his boldness and persona gone? She wept incessantly with a thousand dins picketing the inner thoughts.

“Aunty, Poppins or Gems?”- The innocence reverberated with the question he always teased her with. An aunty added purposely to fight. She always chose Poppins as he loved Gems the most. He used to pick the same color from the Gems pack as that popped out of her Poppins silver and rainbow wrapper. The frames moved in the split second on how he dressed like ‘Gems’ Bond and enacted the thrilling TV AD adventures. And him applauding the talented lego bricks arrangement of hers with the available chocolate colors.

She kneeled amidst the running tears and smiled at the kid getting impatient to race his way back to the swing. She whispered to the little champ “Baby, Aunty doesn’t need chocolates anymore. You can have it both.”

His surprised looks and the thanks melted like chocolates in her heart. He ran driving.

Nothing more in the offing to wait , she rose from the bench. Two leaves fell, one where she sat and one where she cleared for the someone she waited. Now for how long will the benches wait for someone to kiss them clean?

Walking past the swing she heard a whisper. “Aunty, Poppins or Gems?”- This time but not for her.

Her bated breath waited for the small girl’s pick. ‘Gems’ - She said and picked a purple oval from the pack. The kids laughed and exchanged two different colors of both chocolates to each others mouth. She walked down the steps quiet, happier for the legacy continues, with different twists and turns, laughs and cries…sweet and sour times to flavor every occasion. Life so sour at times, only to make it sweeter later. She knew that someone better waited for the gem in her.