Saturday, December 25, 2010

God of small things...

If you don’t believe in God, visit the maternity ward in a government hospital. What does a new born child have to do with the worldly problems? Why are some children born with bent femurs and with vocal cords that don’t produce noise?

Why are they born with eyes that can’t see? Why are they born with arteries that have blocks?

Why are some children very fair? Why do some have good cheek bone and divine smile?

Why is there so much difference for people in their birth alone? Who is responsible? What is the force that makes this difference???

But, leaving this divine power and human children, there is something in the outside world, which calls a poet or an ardent writer to watch it. The small things. Be it a chick, a calf, a lamb, a cub, a foal or anything for that case. Beauty- is always born along with anything.

A sunset yellow- colored chick, which comes out of the egg, the chick that is yet to open its eyes to see the world, the white ellipsoid that gave various thought to various people- the beauty in it is excellent. But, how many painters, even ‘Leonardo Da Vinci’ knew to touch their palette, to get black or brown colour out of white and yellow?

What percentage did he mix, so that he got various colours from the same white and yellow bases? A little mathematics would say, one could get 99x99 colours. But, look at the shades of colours of hen or the tail feathers of a cock. How many colours has it got? There are more shades than the number of font colours available in MS-word.

Not only hen or cock, take peacock, kingfisher, crow[a black and white mastery], woodpecker, parrots, kingfisher, parrots, vultures, eagles, hawks and all those little love birds, humming birds, mynahs and many more… All from shades of yellow and white!!! Is 99x99 the limit???

How lovely nature is! How lovely is the power that created nature! There is another big collection of things that are called ‘trees’ that comes out of a seed that is almost of one colour!!!

Green, brown, yellow, orange, red, violet… Oh! I couldn’t name all the colours in a tree. The leaves, fruits, bark, branches, thorns, stamens, flowers!!! Well, I got some more colours: rose, crimson, blue, pale green(stalk of jasmine)…

So many colours, from a single colour… The divinity of creation… Every small thing counts…

Once upon an evening time

In the month of May

While drinking juice of lime

Behind a stack of hay

On the twigs of a plant

Bloomed the fairy-white stamens

On the muddy, grainless land

Spreading the scent of heavens

Perfume- scent of flowers. All that is from the seed that otherwise would have been dead! The colourful chicken or cock was out of an egg, which otherwise would have been an omelet 3 weeks ago!

Living, is just, extended death. A death sentence that was delayed for three weeks, gives out such beautiful things to the world! A death, that was survived, gave out a plant, tree, flowers, seeds and again a plant…

Death, destruction- these when survived, can give us a life that inspires another life, to living! Life, the only proof, life was here in the past! What a beauty this world really is! How holy and divine these things on the crust are!!!

I’d wish men and humanity develop! I’d wish every man to see, a thousand colours inside the white crust of eggs! I’d wish, every human being to see a beautiful flower or a sweet fruit in a dying seed.

I’d wish every man to think of a harvest on seeing, a cracked land. ‘God of small things’, is every human being, filled with humanity.

P.S. Dedicated to the peahens of GCT.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My dear dearest...

“How did you get here?”

“I came riding a bicycle”

“A cycle”, she stressed on the word cycle. “A cycle. All the way, up and down, its four kilometers. Don’t you have sense?”

Mathan let out a smile and said, “If I had had sense, I’d not have loved you!”

“Oh! Really...? I’d have been more happier, then, without much of obsession”

“Now that’s enough! These idiots say there is no ticket at the 8:30 or 9:30 buses. So, get ready to go at 7:30. No much time left. It’s already 6:15”

“Yes!” Anuradha told it with a finality.

She got her tickets reserved and then asked Mathan, “Now tell me. What is that you got to talk to me?”

“It is three days since we talked as in older days. What is happening? Why is this so?” Mathan really cared about Anuradha not talking to him.

“Do you remember a year back, I told you regarding writing an e-magazine regularly? Going on telling that you want to be a writer will never make you one.”

“Yes”, Mathan knew where she was arriving at.

“But, then you said, you have lots of work to do. Didn’t you?”

“I came here to have supper with you! Don’t chase me out”, Mathan tried changing the topic.

“Didn’t you? Answer me first”

“Yes I said so. But, I had a…”

“You had nothing. I know. What was that holy work?”

Now Mathan went speechless! Anuradha continued. “You can sleep at one at night and wake up at six to play online games. But go for a jog? No. Why are you..?” She left the sentence incomplete. But before he could react, she started again. “What is in this f…facebook? You can’t even log out of it? Are you doing something useful in it? Are all your works over now? Now, you are free enough to waste 24 hours a day, and even more if required”

Mathan warned her. “Talk softly. Why are you shouting?”

“I can’t lie. And when truth is spoken, it must sound good”, Anuradha said it with a smile escaping her lips.

“Oh my, thamizhachi. Sound good doesn’t refer to the raise in your voice. Bizzare English”, said Mathan and smiled.

“Now what is your problem?”, she went rigid.

“That’s the question I had in mind. And, telling a lie isn’t new to you”, Mathan said mockingly and hid his smile with great effort. In-fact Mathan loved her lies. Only he could identify, a lie from her, on earth.

Anuradha was a normal girl of a middle class family, just above the poverty line. She had to tell a lot of small lies, even to get out of her home. She had to tell lies for very small things.

Now, Anuradha filled her eyes with tears- the water droplets with power greater than nuclear weapons. “I don’t lie to few people. And, you know who they are”

Mathan wiped her tears.”I know. Come. Let’s eat. I’ve a restaurant in mind.”Mathan knew, he had talked too much.They went to the restaurant. Anuradha was sobbing. Mathan consoled, “Cool Anu… It’s ok”

All the while they were in the bus-stand, outside the restaurant, Mathan’s heartbeat was well above 72. They entered into the restaurant. Anuradha stopped sobbing and was wonderstruck. There were tables for two people to sit, three people and in all such numbers till seven. The dim yellow light gave them enough illumination to check if their food had any spider or cockroach.

The restaurant had no one at 6:45. There were only, those wealthy tea drinkers, who were single.

As they took seat, another group of people came in. They were four in number- all male.

“It’s very cold here”, told Anuradha.

“Talk softly”, warned Mathan. The hotel room didn’t play any music, and any sound was louder than a lion’s roar.

“It’s very cold here”, Anuradha adjusted her voice.

“More… Why are you shouting?” The word shouting was a little longer.

Now Anuradha giggled. Mathan loved Anuradha’s giggles. Mathan smiled. Anuradha stopped her giggles and by then ‘Romaali Rotti’ came and they both ate.

Mathan had the habit of not talking, while taking food, but Anuradha changed him in the near past. They talked about their good old days; lost pencils; spilt ink.

“I’m very happy you are going home. For four days, I will not have any problem. Really happy and…” Mathan made it sound mocking.

“Oh! Then I’m not coming. You’ll be happy forever!” said Anuradha. By then, Anuradha’s Romali Rotti was over. “I’m first”, said Anuradha.

“Talk softly”, said Mathan.

“ssss… I aam sorrrrr…” as Anuradha pulled, Mathan completed his rotti too.

“Talk softly”, said Mathan again.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Cigarette burned his fingers and the bit fell down. He blew in his fingers to make the burn cause less irritation.

Padmavathy was standing beside him. “Coffee”, said the humble, caring wife- who didn’t get a word of love from Mathan.

Mathan told, “Why can’t you be a little louder?” and filled his eyes with tears.

Padmavathy asked, “What happened?”

“I knew a girl named Anuradha. It was not just a ‘know’. It was more than…”

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The cup of tea

"Madam" called Siddharth, one of the students.
Malathi awoke from her sleep and looked at him with her half sleeping eyes.
"How long will it take from here?"
"Where is it?", she looked into her unbreakable digital Sonata. "It'll be at least three hours from here", she went back to sleep.

The second class births were hot and they were sweating inspite of the rain outside. It was winter and they were travelling to the capital of the country for an inter-school, national level competition. To be specific 'an aeronautical extravaganza'.

Malathi was the staff assisting them. They were four students- Two teams. Malathi- their physics teacher, a girl from her 'mother-tongue' medium school in South-India; gold medalist in B.Sc., M.Sc. Then, a love failure and an unhappy 'Happy married life'. Today she works for returning the money she loaned for the construction of her house. Today, She and her happily married husband live only to make the next generation live better than them. The thinking she gives, to giving a rupee for a chewing gum, is higher than Everest and vast than Pacific.

The hours, now went in silence and talks of various aeronautical parts and thinking. It was 7 a.m. and the capital welcomed them. Taxi drivers and auto-rickshaws crowded around them. They had to pick up a cab. They had to report at the school before 9 a.m. That left them with no much time after changing. They started their journey.

A board said, 'Connaught place'. As the taxi moved on, they found another board inviting them. "Modern School, Connaught Place, New Delhi". They all elongated their elastic lips for a smile. They got down with all their baggage and looked at the board more carefully.

"At last we're here", said the most traditional person in the group, Raj Varma.

"We paid him to leave us here. So, We need to be here. If we've paid him to take us there, we'd be there", said Thomas not even knowing, that the statement was unnecessary.

As the sun rose to top and set in the west, they had won enough awards to let their school's name be known there.

Malathi was getting a headache. She was reminded that she had no tea in the morning, in all this hurry.

"Mam, We have come to Delhi and we must not return without being to McDonald's", said Vinayak.

Malathy looked into her wrist watch. It was 6:28 in her unbreakable digital sonata.
"OK", she said in reply, keeping in mind, the return train is at 21:30 hours and also that her headache was growing bad.

They left Connaught place at 6:30 p.m. and a taxi took them to McDonald's.

The menu card was given and those students who had never looked out of their car window during a journey, ordered almost everything the menu had.

"A Pizza"

"A Chicken..."

Malathi had never seen these things. She got the menu and the teacher got to be a student now. Her students explained her about every dish in menu card- What it was sort of...

More than the disgusting explanation, it was the rates that the students told, that made her dizzy.

She looked into the column, with heading 'tea'

Iced tea with lemon
Canadian iced tea
Australian tea
Lipton milk less Tea
Special McDonald's
Aroma Sinensis
Camelia sweet delight

The last one sounded more like an ice-cream to her. The bullets before the news were looking great. and those black bullets on the red background was more good looking. Her headache grew worse.

She ordered. "Tea", she said and smiled to the waiter.

After she could wait no longer a cup of milk, sugar cubes and tea bags arrived. She was in a state of shock. "Is this restaurant or kitchen?" asked Malathi. When Vinayak told her that tea was served this way in this sort of restaurant, Malathi was shocked. She tried to make a decent tea, but something was missing. Her headache grew even worse. She called the man who served it, and gave it back to him saying, "Please give me tea". he tried his best to argue, at last he had to do the mixing.

Even then it didn't taste like tea. She held her head and rested.

By the time Pizza was shared and eaten, it was 8.00 p.m.

"Long supper", said Malathi.
"Thought it was a dinner", told Vinayak.
"I thought both were the same", said the teacher.
"No", said Siddharth and explained it to her in detail.
"OK. I happen to learn a lot of things from you guys. Its time, Lets leave", they paid and Malathi looked at the bill only after getting out of that place. The tea her added more to here fine headache.

By the time, they reached station, it was 21:15 and they hurried to the coach position, and got seated. Train would leave in 5 minutes, Malathi's headache was growing unbearable. She would have cried then...

Students arranged the luggage in correct positions.
"Madam, your supper!", Vinayak brought a box of chappathis.
"Chaaai... Chaaai..." shouting so, a man walked along the platform.
"Paanch Rupya!", said the seller.

Her headache was half gone. She smiled at the five rupees tea, and gave a weird look to all her students.

After a hour and a half, all started to play cards...

Monday, June 28, 2010

If only she had...

An engineering college...

Second year...

It was the time for all these transfer and lateral entry candidates to get in. It was mid-july, and it was talk of the class-room about a girl, who would join them, later the next month. Lateral entry boys and girls came. Being new to the flock, they were enjoying this a little less. They were, not like the general lateral entry students. Each were interested in many different things, but none was studious and technically strong.

One was interested in making friends and hang out with them. One was a girl and was interested in films. She would never miss a single film of “Vijay', which released at a rate of four in a year. And the other guy was very interested in reading and understanding about sex. He used to read a lot, comment and even teach guys poor in 'that' knowledge. Eventually, the latter was named 'vatsyayan'- the man who wrote 'Kama Sutra'.

But, the girl who will come on transfer, was getting more attention than anyone who had already come.

# # # # # # # # # # # # # #

“It is because of two reasons. 1)many girls in our class are 'not-so-good' type- as far as visibly concerned 2) The few who came in the 'beauty' quota, would not open their mouth, in the fear of being loved”, said Govind, the Class Executive. He was the leader of the think tank for 'such' situations. He always had a text book way of answering and was to the point.

“But our guys keep talking to them. It never concerns them, if they are one among 'many' or one among 'few'”, replied the official comedian, seriously.

“The seriousness would be due to: 1)unavailability of girlfriends or 2)his already close friend not talking to him” thought the head of the 'think tank'. He even thought in a textbook fashion. “Have you seen anyone talking in public? Take our classroom. Everyone knows our guy Thirunavukkarasu talks to Aswathi over phone for hours. But have you ever seen them talk in person?” The head made everyone think.

Viswa called back the silence.

“It all depends on their mind. 'Heart' is the most important thing. Its very important that the people who talk, understand each other. Understanding...” as he pulled it longer, the only other person, who had been silent, started to speak.

“i'm going to give an attempt. Love is blind. Let it be even all those 'negative to senses' thing. A try... If it doesn't work, i don't worry...” Prem delivered his speech with a smile.

“If it did???” Govind, the executive spoke. If it was someone else, it was no worry for Prem. It now came from the best thinker.

The door was not locked. Vatsyayan entered the door, pushing it hard with his left hand. His right hand's middle finger was in the centre hole of a DVD. “How to ...”, as Vatsyayan continued, all except Prem turned to him.

# # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Their excursion in second year was in the month of August. Prem's first plan sank in mid-sea. He had to wait. News spread that she was from 'Neyveli'. The couple of boys, also stood in race with Prem. They even boasted about the beauty of girls in their district. It made Prem even more enthusiastic. Prem was adamant. He grew more romantic, senseless, shameless and courageous. He wanted her love. He was waiting all day for her arrival.

Days went by... August was coming to an end...

Finally, August came to an end...

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It was september.An engineering mathematics class.

“Application of partial differential equation, finds place in...”

“May i get in sir?”

“You are too early for the next class. ...In temperature determination, curve fitting and...”

“Sir, I'm a new student to this class” Prem was the firs to look at her. “Sorry sir. Had a small difficuilty in finding out this class room”

She was wearing a chudithar, a green and yellow with the same coloured shawl. Her hair was single plaited, clearly combing it from front to back. She was of the correct size for a twenty year old woman- not thin and not fat- was fair and she found her spot in the fouth bench. There was only a walk gap between Prem and ...

“Whats your name? Introduce yourself to the class”, said the professor, not revealing his liking to know the girls name.

“I'm Ishwaryaa. I'm from Neyveli. Did my Higher Secondary in Cluny, a famous school in the township. I was born in Kerala. Brought up in Neyveli. My dad is an Engineer in the NLC”

Her english was great. Prem felt like she sung. He was happy that, he had already fallen in love with a very beautiful and smart lady. Now it was all about expressing his love.

# # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Something hit him. It took some time to realise he was dreaming. It was the smallest broken piece of chalk in the hands of the professor.

“...curve fitting and... curve fitting and...” he repeated it as 'Joker' tells to 'Gambol' an 'The dark knight' and stared at Prem.

Someone came to rescue. Prem didn't bother. He was happy about the disturbance.

“May i get in Sir?” Prem got time to look at his saviour. A girl.

“You are too early for the next class” Professor turned to Prem. He put his head down.

“Sir, I'm the new student to this class. Had difficuilty in finding this room. I'm a day-scholar. I reached here...”

“Thats enough. Get in... Introduce yourself” Prem was startled with all the world's shock in his eyes. It was not a song, it was not a green and yellow chudidhar. It was a miniature model of, of... He couldn't even tell an animal for reference. Prem had no words. He no more cared for the introduction.

Finally he got the simile. The “Unknown animal”, with the tortoise shell glass and hell a lot of pimples on her face, that were not visible for her dark colour had spoiled his two months of imagination.

# # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Days went by...

Govind's words were ringing in his mind... “If it did???” and it did... Saddest part for Prem was what Viswa told him. “Even dark girls have heart. Try to understand her feelings, buddy. All cannot be Aiswarya Raai. Some have to live with Ishwaryaas too”

# # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Days went by...

With Prem's abnormal behaviour, Ishwaryaa left him. She no more talked to him. She never asked him why!!!

If only she had...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

And then, she cried

Standing on the balcony of his house and staring at NH 45 was Prathap. He had completed his college and was awaiting his call letter. It had ended yesterday; waiting started yesterday. His reason behind this waiting was something really a reason. He no more missed anyone; forgot promises; cried a lot for missing his college. He was practical enough, not to cry for people who would be with him till the end. He didn't believe in anyone's promise. He had no one to live for, now and here on.

His home, this balcony where he stood, to watch 100s of buses and motor vehicles moving, polluting the air behind them, was the only thing on crust for him. His parents always talked against his will and he didn't like them. They told it was for his good. But he didn't feel so.

“Anu, (that was how Prathap Anirudh was called at home) come, lets go there”

“Lets be here. I dont want to come with you. I know where you are going...”

But protests only led to tears. The waterpower sometimes took Prathap's heart off and at times it was a voice of power. He had no other go but go and obey. From simple things to life deciding factors, it was this way.

“I want to read B.A. Journalism”

“u've got 93%...”

“93.8%” corrected his mom.

“Ya. And you want to do B.A. Are you a fool??? Apply for B.E. Counselling”

“I want to be writer...”

“you can become a writer, even after B.E. But, B.A.can never give you engineering knowledge”

“Thats the curse of the country now. Engineering... You can study four years and serve as anything in this country. What a course of study? Foolish...”

“Thats enough. Get the application for B.E. Tomorrow, understood?” There was finality in the words.

He had joined a good engineering college in the state. But now his percentage was 77... 77.46 to be exact. But, all this wasn't his problem. Now he stood on the balcony, with tears filling in his eyes and 4 stories in mind without a climax for all four of them.

# # # # # # # # # # #

It was her third year and with five semesters gone. It was the time for all these inter-college shining. It was then, this group of debaters and personnels strong in co-curriculars joined hands to form a team. She had seen Prathap in 100 places around the campus. He was quite a good cricket player and good at writing and quiz. He had a lot of certificates in all those inter-school cultural. But the way she saw and adored him did not exceed 5 minutes. Well, 500 minutes weren't enough.

His protruding adam's apple- well, three quarters of an inch out of his throat- and his laugh-not smile. Each time she had thought, “Why am i seeing a lot of him?”

Then one day, “Hi”, she was the first to speak...

“hi, whats your name?” There was a pause, as if he sounded he alredy knew her name.

“...” it had started... With exactly fourteen months to go between this day and their day of exit from college, she had got a great feeling from this friendship, that she could not from any of the past relationship.

She knew her limits, and kept her mind free from any worries. But, Prathap disturbed her, and when this group was formed, Prathap was disturbed by her. It was then she started to talk to a boy so young and cool. The other males she had talked to would not exced 10. A girls school and a college with zero interaction with staffs. She had no one to talk to and in this college, opposite gender interaction among people in the same class room was low.

Days went by and disturbance became, obviously, the happiness in friendship. They talked for hours and shared everything life gave them. Days went by...

# # # # # # # # # # #

“will you marry me?” the pause after 'you' showed his love on her. That pause told her many things. Then he lied, “I don't love you. But, I'd like to live this life with you, grow old with you”

She stared in disbelief at his words.

“But... but, i never thought that way. I always looked into you as a good friend”

“If not today, then when? I don't know if i could see you hereafter. I had no feelings for you, got it just hours back. This separation, that will hurt”

“I like you Prathap...” If a 'but' was added after that, Prathap would have killed himself. But, he quickly took over.

“Now stop! I know that. I want to hold your hands forever. I want to be with you! I'm afraid of losing you”

“This happens to everyone of us. Sit down and think. What you tell can never happen. How do you think this could? My family...”

“Don't you love me?”

The sound had considerably gone down, and now a silence took over. She took over.

“Love? mm... It has more than one meaning in my lexican”

“Now, take it, the love that ends up in marriage. Do you love me?”

“No! I love you some other way. The love that lasts forever. I will not be able

to get it from a husband, Prathap”

“Now, I don't fear losing you. But, everytime when the quesion of life comes in front of me, its you in front of me, in the form of answer. I want to live it with, you as my wife”

“Prathap, understand. A life of tears and loneliness. Do you think all this will be adjustable and avoidable? Can you live alone in a house with only me beside for everything? Don't you want any one else?”

“You can't think this way even before it had started”

“I don't want it to start. Put a fullstop to it. I always longed for a friend like you. Caring and affectionate. But, do a little thinking. I'll be beside you as a good friend always, but never your wife”

“Have you got syphilis?!!”

Prathap sounded serious. He was hard at it. He walked away and she started sobbing; tears filled her eyes.

# # # # # # # # # # #

16... 17... 18... she kept looking at her mobile. Now, the number of missed calls was 47... 48...increasing by 2 in a minute. She lay awake till 2, ”Why did i don't want him?” She slept off. 74 no answers and a long press of red button was all Prathap did.

# # # # # # # # # # # #

“The number you are trying to reach is currently switched off” She had tried the whole day. “Thats it”, she wept for an evening.

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