Saturday, November 24, 2007

Peck on the cheek

Today at 6.30 PM, Besant Nagar beach

"Sir Murukku Sundal". The small vendor kid at the beach kept pestering Abhishek who was engrossed looking at the relentless waves. When his trick failed to make any impact, he harbored to his last resort " it for the pappa. She will love it." He was referring to his 7 year old daughter, who oblivious to all these happenings around her was building a sand castle with the precision of an engineer.

It seemed like a penance to her. She was so focussed that Abhishek wondered if she even realized that he was looking at her craftsmanship without battling an eye lid. Irrespective of Vasthu or Feng Shui or anything, she decided on doors, window and facade based on her moods and whims. She looked proud as if she was preparing a blue print plan for the Twin Towers.

Just as he was admiring his daughter’s creativity and commitment, he saw a women far away playing with a child and a bald guy standing right next to her. His brain cells to answer one question.

Was it her?

21 years before Central Bus Stand Trichy

She said nothing. Usually she could talk non-stop for almost 100 words per minute, but today she chose to remain silent. It was a silence of mourning, silence of loss, silence of anger and a silence of helplessness. They went to the Rockfort temple, ate samosa and poli at Chinthamani's, saw a latest movie in Maris Theatre, ate ice cream at Michael’s and walked back to the Sattiram Bus Stand. It would be possibly the last time he would see her or talk to her.

This country was filled with hypocrites. We are the second most populous country on the face of the planet. This was the land which gifted Kamasutra to the world. And still most people behave as if men and women dropped from tree tops and not the "natural" way. When a man and woman talk outside, they had to be either lovers or siblings but could not be friends. The stares of the so called "society" are so narrow minded that it narrows the relationships to nothing.

For the past one month she had been avoiding him and he had been puzzled by that. One day he confronted her and asked her straight if she didn’t like him and his friendship. The answer was something that he had not expected. She had attained womanhood and so her strict orthodox parents were shifting her to a ladies boarding school somewhere in Ooty. At the outset it seemed ridiculous to him, but anyone who had known her orthodox family or parents would understand that there are people who still live in rock ages.

He had been her best friend for the past few years and the thought of a day without her seemed like the Mona Lisa painting without her smile. He saw her straight into the eye for one last time and nodded his head. He then presented her a pair of earrings he bought for her from his little pocket money. Tears flowed from her eyes and she walked away without a good bye.

He remembered how it had all started on one fine day of fighting.

30 years before at Mr. Ethiraj's Tuition Center

"May I come in Sir?" quizzed the little pony tailed girl and entered into the 600*600 room. She was wearing the pink colored checked uniform for girls with a new bata shoe. Seemed somewhat rich kid. The general practice being seated in the alphabetic order, she was seated next to Abhishek. He gave her a mean look. She had separated him from his dear pal Balaji with whom he had shared the bench for the past month. She had eyes like buttons, round cherubic face and a pony tail which hardly was held by a rubber band.

She gave him a warm smile and he smirked in return which showed clearly that he was in a hostile mood.
When Mr. Ethiraj went to drink water downstairs, he pulled her pony tail as an angry gesture.
"How dare you do that?" she squealed like a rat caught between the door.
He laughed. She was in pain and he enjoyed it.

Another half an hour later she yelled at him again.
"You took my Tom and Jerry eraser without asking me? How dare you do it?"
"What are you going to do? Squeak like Jerry?" he laughed at his lame joke as his friends joined in.

"I told you never to touch my bag without asking me." She was yelling at the top of her voice and was close to sobs.
Mr. Ethiraj just popped in and beat him with his customary thick stick.
He asked him to apologize to her and he realized that it was not her fault that she was seated next to him.

Then she introduced herself.

"Hi. I am Avanthi and I am new here. What is your name?"

Today at 6.40 PM

It was getting darker and they had to get home early. She looked at the sand castle by running around it and beamed which meant that she had accomplished her mission. Abhishek took a picture of the sand castle with his Mobile camera and showed it to her. She jumped and squealed as if she had won the Architect of the year award. They walked towards the parking lot when she started to run without any warning.

"Avanthi Stop. Dont run."

He had named her in memory of his long lost dear friend.

The women with the child turned back and looked at him.

He looked like someone familiar from her past.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Oops...I did it again

I admit that I am possibly the laziest blogger alive. Originally I wanted to write a blog to chronicle my thoughts and views with news, songs, reviews and everything.

Sometime later, I started writing stories and now they never seem to end. In a way this blog of mine has become identifiable with stories and nothing else. So when a sudden desire arose in my mind to have a news and commentary blog, I had to start a fresh one.

This blog is my lazy but pampered child and it will remain the same. This other BLOG of mine will be a news and commentary blog and will be something “Just like that”. I hope to write something or other regularly in this blog and keep it up. Lets see how far I keep up my word.

As usual…your priceless reviews and comments are welcome.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Whenever Hum Mile

She: "Sorry. I am late."
He: "Do you realize that you say this almost every other day?"
She: "I said sorry. Duh"
He: "I beg the bus boy almost daily to stop it for you."
She: Don't worry. I will get him a new T Shirt for New Year as a favor.
He: You can't be serious can you?
She: Why? Did he speak bad words at you?
He: That's what has been missing. The look he gave...damn...I feel disgusted.
She (almost whispers): So what do you want me to do as a return favor?
He (whispers): It's actually quite simple.
She (huskily): What is it my darling bubblegum?
He (huskily): Come to bus stop atleast 2 minutes before for heavens sake.
She: Hmmmm...back to square one.
He: Why do you always come late?
She: I told you a 1000 times. I have to help mom make Tiffin for morning, lunch for my brother and dad and also get ready to come to office.
He: Why don't you have a maid servant at home? Is you dad so stingy (grins)?
She: You can't stop pulling my dad's legs can you?
He: are welcome to do the same to my dad.
She: hee hee...stop laughing. That was a bad joke.
He: Ok....easy tiger. So what did you eat?
She: Idly.
He: With?
She: My mom and brother.
He: haa haa...Very funny.
She: ok ok...chill. With milagai podi.
He: No chutney?
She: In all the morning rush, it is kinda hard.
He: God. Will you do the same after you marry me?
She: (pretends to think hard) Depends on how you mom helps me do the morning chores.
He: I will tell you now itself. I prefer idly with chutney.
She: And what if I decline to prepare chutney?
He: Well...Rupa is always there.
She: Who? That rat faced girl opposite your house?
He: You know that she has a crush on me.
She: If that twitch that’s slowly beginning to show by the side of your lips means a blush, then... (Drags her voice)
He: What will you do?
She: Haven't you heard in tamil "kolayum seyvaal paththini"
He: (moves back) Yappa. I am getting married to a very very violent girl.
She: Better you get that right Mr. Yaada Yaada.
He: Why is our conversation so banal and clichéd?
She: Huh. That's because the idiot in our heads have exhausted all the goody-goody words last night and are now suffering from what I call a talker's block.
He: Hehe! So, what about last night Darling?
She: Yeah right! It’s the telephone conversation we were having while you were busily looking out of your window into that Going-to-be-Ms.Universe Rupa's apartment.
Me: Oops. Game over :-(
She: Oho! So after these few months you can’t even continue a conversation with me for more than 2 mins huh?
He: Oi Sweet Cheeks! Look, you don’t get it. Let me explain.
She: Ah there you go again. The Choochpooch and the Blah blah's.
He: (moves closer and whispers) Honey, you know what? You are so hot I could book a room without heater in Switz for our honeymoon. What say?
She: (sarcastically laughs) Haha! So funny! And you know what? You are so sweet the ice caps there might just turn into Kucchi ice!
He: Damn! I thought of using those lines during our honeymoon. You stole it. :(
She: Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!
He: Ok ok. Peace. If you are so mad at me, why don't you return all my kisses?
She: !!!!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007


It was raining. Not that he cared, but he wished he could just look at the tiny drops of water fall under the spell of gravity like he did in his childhood days. At 2 AM, the whole bay was deserted and he was the sole occupant of the area which was usually filled with around 400 insomniac busy bees.

It was not scary, but depressing. Abhishek was not able to concentrate on the error message and the bug really bugged him. The developer who developed the module was out with conjunctivas and hence his senior and Mentor Abhishek had no choice but to fix things up. It had been quite a while since he had done any sort of coding stuff since being promoted as a team Leader.

Cursing the bug, he decided that maybe he needed coffee to refresh his senses. He went down to the first floor and found the coffee boy sleeping sitting in the chair. Not willing to disturb him, Abhishek placed the coffee cup beneath the machine and pressed Strong coffee. It was his 7th (or 8th?) coffee of the day. He wondered if someday his blood would turn brown in color. After filling the cup to the brim, he picked a 50-50 packet and placed exactly Rs.8 near the book log. As he walked back, he saw a pair walking to catch their late night cab.

It reminded him of his friend Murugan who worked in the same project a few months back. There was a girl called Manasi in their project and she was a gregarious and a nice girl. Murugan mistook her openness for liking and out of the blue proposed to her. It’s quite strange but men do not realize the consequences when they like something or someone. For them the ultimate aim is the possession of it at any cost. Practicality takes a holiday on those issues.

Women on the other hand are mature. They draw a line in relationships and do not cross it. They are clear about what they want from life and also look at every possible impact of a decision that they make. Manasi politely refused and said that they could be friends but not life partners. Murugan behaved good for a while, but soon his impatience and stupidity took over and he made threats of suicide if she didn’t oblige. Unable to take it no more, Manasi complained to the HR and Murugan was terminated. It was sad that no one even bid a goodbye to him nor felt sorry for him as he packed his belongings.

Ironically life does not come with a Ctrl Z option to go back and correct our mistakes. What’s done stays done and things come to a dead end. The rule applied to Abhishek as well. He wanted to be an IAS officer in his school days. But fate played a different role when he got selected in the campus and gradually lost the motivation. He had worked unearthly hours to earn the good will of his superiors, but had turned an insomniac in the process. For the outside world IT is a lucrative world with fat paypackets and rich perks. How many wondered what went behind the closed doors and prison like enclosures?

He was reminded of the trick used to catch monkeys with peanuts. The monkey clutches the peanuts placed in a small jar that is tied to a tree. Since its fist is full of peanuts, it will not fit through the mouth of the jar, so the monkey’s hand will be stuck – he won’t be able to get his hand out of the jar that is tied to the tree. The monkey will let himself be caught by the hunter rather than let go of the peanuts. The monkey does get the peanuts...but only behind the bars.

Not to sound very pessimistic but there were perks of this profession. He had bought jewels and gifts for his mom and wife, had admitted his daughter in the top school in the city, traveled to foreign countries with his family, bought a house in Ashok Nagar and of course the huge pay package he received every month end. But he had butchered his ambitions as price for the happiness.

He saw the rain drops on the window go down at a leisurely pace. Some things go at their own pace irrespective of the way the whole world functions. Inspite of the coffee, he felt sleepy. Unable to concentrate and unwilling to work anymore, Abhishek decided enough was enough. He locked his machine and walked out of his bay. As he almost placed his access card, he heard the phone ring. He knew that it must have been from the onsite coordinator about the status of the bug. For once he thought of returning back, but changed his mind.

He knew what their next target would be. He picked up his mobile and switched it off. As he did so, unknowingly there was a smile on his face.