Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Soothsayer

It was at the Mahabalipuram shores. The Fortune-Teller came up to us, armed with his parrot and the tarot cards. The Fortune-Teller was a slim man with bright beady eyes. He had the holy ash and sandalwood paste smeared on his forehead. He wore a faded shirt and a bright orange dhoti which lent color to his outfit.
"Want your futures seen madam?", he asked of us.
My sister wanted her young son to experience it. The little one was made to sit in front of the man, with the cards spread on a mat between them. The man called out to his parrot, a shaggy thin creature, to come and pick a card. The bird, however, took its time to come out of its cage. The man looked at my sister and said, "Please keep 10 rupees down on the mat".
As soon as she did, the bird came out and started its routine.
'Now that was interesting!', I thought to myself. I could've kept my loud mouth shut, but no! I had to pull my smarty-pants act there.
Out loud I said, "Well, your parrot seems to be very business-minded". The family did the laughing.
The man looked up at me and mumbled, "No, no, nothing like that...", he trailed off.
The routine was acted out. The man asked my nephew, "What's your name, little boy?"
"Vikram", came the shy reply.
"Come on out my dear, and pick a card for this boy named Vikram, come and tell us how his future is going to be. Vikram is the name. Tell us the happy future of Vikram", he crooned to his parrot.
The parrot picked out a card after rejecting many. The man delivered his usual spiel. He also suggested some do's and don't's. Some of his recitals coincided with reality. Then the boy was asked to pick a card on his own. The oration followed and wound to its natural end.
We were pleased and that was the end.
Or so we thought.
Now he asked us again. "Anybody else want to have their futures foretold?"
We all smilingly shook our heads. Atleast that was what I was doing until I realised that my sister was looking at me. "Do you want to have a go?".
I shook my head again, smiling.
The chant was taken up by others, the man included. "Go on, have a try", was the general cry.
"Alright", I succumbed. And sat in front of the cards. I put the 10 rupee note down.
"What's your name madam?", he queried.
"Mathi", I said.
"Mathiarasi", said my sister.
"Come on out my dear, and pick a card for this lady named Mathiarasi, come and tell us how her future is going to be. Mathiarasi is the name. Tell us the happy future of Mathiarasi", he again crooned to his parrot.

We all waited.
And waited.
The stupid parrot did not budge.
He crooned again.
The parrot refused to come out. I watched in growing fascination.
He asked me, "Is there another name for you? What do your friends and family call you?"
I replied, "Mathi".
He now repeated his crooning routine with 'Mathi' in place of 'Mathiarasi'.
There was no response from the parrot.
"Maybe we should try with someone else madam", he said in a doubtful tone.
My cousin leaned in and said, "Try Vijayalakshmi"
"Is that your name madam?", he asked her.
"Yes", she nodded.
The crooning was repeated now with 'Vijayalakshmi'. He had hardly finished his call, when out came the parrot like it was waiting and started to go through the cards!
"That's unfair, how dare you do that?", I mock-yelled at the parrot.
He tried to placate by saying something about 'these things happen for a reason madam we can't control them' and so on.
My family was fascinatedly laughing. I got up and made place for my cousin.
Her fortune-telling was over.
The man now looked up at me quizzically and asked, "Don't you believe in this, madam?"
I shook my head again, smiling, "No"
"Maybe that is why. I'd like to try it once more Madam. I feel bad that such a thing happened for you. I'd like to see your future. Please don't think it's a waste of 10 rupees. Please try again. But this time, before we start, please think of your favorite God".
"I don't have one", I told him.
"You don't have one? Which God do you worship", he asked.
"I don't worship any God", was my rejoinder.
He did not give up.
"Won't you think of any God when you begin some work?", he asked again.
I shook my head, which had become a much repeated gesture!
"Not even your mother and father?", he asked determinedly.
"Well, I don't worship any shape. All I have is a belief in a superior power", I told him.
"Well that's good", he smiled satisfied."Please think of something before we begin", he bade me.
I racked my brains to think of something....anything... But you know how it is. When you want to think about one single thing, your mind either goes blank or you think about a million things at the same time. Mine was the former case.
He could wait no longer. He had started the crooning, with 'Mathi' this time.
And now, the tricky parrot came zooming out of its cage, zeroed in on a card, thrust it into his hands and zoomed back.
I was a little hurt. I looked at it and asked, "That's it? I don't get the full performance? Just the climax?"
That was the cue for our man to start his speech in all its glory.
"The parrot reflects your mind. You took a long time to make up your mind about this. The parrot did the same. But when you had made up your mind you do not delay in action. The same case with the parrot. It took the card correctly for you."
Here he opened the card to show a picture of Lord Vishnu.
"What a lucky card for you madam! You have got the card of Vishnu, the God who has powers to both create and to destroy. You will be powerful in your actions too.
The depth of the sea can be measured even, but it will be very hard to know what is in the depths of your mind.
Other people can fry bajjis in oil, but you madam, can fry them even in water.
You may be a normal girl in your birth house, but you will be the Mahalakshmi of your husband's house.
If your husband hits you with his hand, you have the ability to hit him with your words. And that will hurt him more.
Most of the confusions and unhappiness that were preying on your mind would have vanished slowly. The birth of January is a very good time for you. If you have any belief in it, please go to a Vinayagar temple and give him a garland of grass."
I was grinning widely all through his oration. When he came to the frying bajjis bit, all my family started grinning excitedly.
I was now asked to pick a card. I picked one. He opened it to show the picture of Lord Vinayaga.
"See madam, do you need more proof? I just now told you that you should visit Vinayagar Temple and now you pick a card with His picture on it. Please madam, if you have belief in it, do go and present Him with the garland of grass. You have good times ahead of you", I was now smiling uncontrollablely. He looked up at me and said, "And you can conquer others with that smile of yours".
That did it.
I laughed outright. Not at him though. I was impressed despite my beliefs. He had achieved what he had set out to do. Even if nothing else, he was a good salesman and a showman. The 10 rupees was well spent!
I may or may not have had this entertaining show for my benefit if only I had kept my mouth shut when he began his show. So being a loud-mouthed smarty pants does help sometimes!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

இருளும் நீ

அமாவாசை கும்மிருட்டு..
கதைகளில் அது ஒரு திகில் இரவு,
எனக்கோ அன்று உந்தன் நினைவு.
கண்ணுக்கு புலப்படாது அந் நிலவு,
ஆயினும் மறைந்துவிடவில்லை அது.
அந்நிலவைப் போலவே, என் நிலவு நீ.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The big flop show dinner at Elliot's

Dinner on the shores of Elliot's beach. Sounds great? It did for us too. The first time we tried this was when we bought pizzas and took them to the beach. Sitting on the sands, with the waves lapping in front of us, it was a great experience!

We were eager to repeat the experience. Getting burgers and fries from a tiny beachfront shop, we went and sat on the sands of Elliot's. With a full moon shining down on us, digging our feet into the cool sand, we munched our burgers in a very companionable silence. I turned my eyes from the always lovely moon to the sea...and was met by a pair of cold canine eyes. The dog was giving us a malevolent stare (or so we felt). We felt very uncomfortable with the burger in our hands. The dog was soon joined by one of its mates and now we had two pairs of steely eyes looking at us hungrily. We felt that two girls were no match for those two mongrels.

Our fright was greater than our hunger. Gathering our bags as quickly as possible, we walked all the way back, clutching the half eaten burgers and made our way to the low parapet wall seperating the beach from the road. We settled ourselves and resumed the munching. Imagine our consternation when we realised that one of the mongrels had followed us all the way! The hungry party was joined by another dog and these two walked back and forth behind us. Again we felt to be in a very vulnerable position and decided to drive to the other end of the beach where we had had our dinner last time in relative peace!

On the other side of the beach, we settled ourselves on the parapet and took about two munches of the now-soggy burgers. We heard drunken shouts and laughter behind us and turned to see four very drunken men advancing erratically towards the parapet. The dogs were less scarier. We fled! ....Again.

We drove a little way farther and parked our bike in a well lit area, but not before checking carefully to see that the place was canine-free and drunkards-free. I'm afraid I'm gonna sound like a broken tape but my honesty and a wish to write only actual facts impels me to say this. Hardly had we taken about two bites of that cursed burger, we were joined by got it! It circled our bike, nosing its way around. I completely lost interest in that burger. I accepted defeat. I could fight no longer. We both felt the futility of the situation. We threw the remains of that luckless burger to the mongrel which gobbled them up in no time.
Oh.. the relief was enormous! To be free of those fixing stares, to be able to walk without being followed by four-legged hungry monsters (this from a girl who loves dogs!!!)...what a pleasure in life!

A funny thing. This did not happen to us when we ate pizzas at the beach. Was our veggie burger mixed with some kind of meat (Ewwww!) which attracts dogs? Or has the count of stray dogs increased out here? Neither option is a happy thought!

The next time we will try out with some other food...maybe dosas. That will answer atleast one question!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007


பரந்த பாலை கண்ட
சுகந்த சோலை என

விரிந்த ஆழி தந்த
நிறை நல் முத்து என

கற்பிக்க வந்தவனை
காதலன் எனக் கொண்டாய்

நின்னையே சரணடைந்தேன் என
அவன் காலடி கிடந்தாய்

பேதையே! அதுவல்லவோ நீ செய்த பிழை?

காலடியில் உள்ளதால் அவனுக்கு நீ
எட்டித் தள்ள மிக ஏதுவாய்ப்பட்டாய்

பூமித்தாய் என நினைப்போ உனக்கு?
மிதிப்பவனை மாரோடு அணைக்க எண்ணுகிறாய்?

மூடப்பெண்ணே! போதும் உன் அங்க ப்ரதட்சணம்.
நிமிர்ந்து எழு! உலகம் காணுவாய்.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I'll think my wishes through
before I wish again

-from the song Journey Home from Bombay Dreams
Two lines that kept running in my mind... over and over...

Thursday night
I'm on phone with my friend.. as usual we're discussing everything over and under the sun. We got to accidents.
"You know, I've always wondered. How will it be if I got caught in a road accident? Something like out of Kaaka Kaaka!" as usual it is me with this quirky thought.
The topic ran its usual gamut and ended.

Friday afternoon
I start my bike with my sister in the pillion. There we were, sailing along happily.
We reached a traffic signal just as it turned green. We sail past and reach a narrow bridge. Out of the corner of my eye, I detect a fellow walking drunkenly along the pavement. In a split second, he falls on my bike, flailing his arms.

I lose control. The world has gone black.

Someone has made me stand. I'm not able to. I lean on the railing for support. I can see blood drops falling on the pavement. Where are they falling from? My chin hurts. I wipe it. My palm comes away smeared with blood. My blood.

I turn back. About ten men (or so it felt like) are lifting up my sister. She is totally unconscious. I feel terror as I have never felt before. I black out again.

"Get inside the car", someone is pushing me. I see my sister being held up by two men. I sink into the seat and pull her towards me. "Wake up Wake up Wake up", I'm yelling at her, slapping her cheeks. The unknown terror is building up. "Wake up and look at me", I'm yelling out her name. I hear someone saying "It's nothing, It's nothing". One of the men holds out my phone. "Give me the number to call". I automatically punch in the letters and give him the number.

She opens her eyes. Unstaring eyes. She opens her mouth and screams...on and on and on. I turn and look out the window. I see the river beyond the bridge. A feeling of unreality sweeps over me. 'This cannot be happening to me'. I know no more.

I'm in the hospital. I see the terror stricken faces of my relatives. "What happened?" I ask them. A stranger steps up. "A drunkard fell on your bike. I was in a car behind. We brought you here". I could remember nothing. I feel a wetness on my cheeks. I've been crying. My mother and aunt lean over me. "I'm sorry" was all I could say. Over and over again. My uncle's face swims into view. Then my father's face. To all I have one thing to say - "I'm sorry"

My mother comes near me. "Where's my sister? I wanna see her", I cry out. A screen has been put up between us. "She's fine. Her wounds are being cleaned", my mother tries to pacify me. "I wanna see her. Take me to her. I wanna see her", I scream restlessly through my tears.
They open the screen and show me her face. She's looking at me. "Are you ok?" I ask her fearfully. Her small nod worked wonders to appease my conscience. I realise that the feeling of responsibility is the scariest of all!

A doctor comes to my bedside. "Since you're unmarried, we're gonna ask a plastic surgeon to come sew up your chin ok?"

"My head hurts", I whimpered. Through my whimper I noticed that her hair had been artifically straightened and looked very dry! Funny the things we notice!

"Hello!", A white coated man is leaning over me. "I'm the plastic surgeon, I'll be suturing your chin now." I yell out at him, "Before you do that, you gotta do something about my head. It hurts like crazy!"

CT scan machine is not working. We're both being shifted to another hospital. With the ambulance sirens screaming.

More about the hospital experience at Admitted to Apollo.

Maybe it's a coincidence. Or maybe not. Whatever it is, my belief in the power of thoughts has become stronger than ever. Because of this, I'll be more careful in voicing my thoughts.

There is a traditional custom practiced among us to ward off the evil eye. Camphor is the main player of the ritual. Camphor together with other stuff such as red chillies, salt, pepper, pumpkin etc are taken in hand and circled around person(s). Then they're all burnt up outside the house. This is supposed to cleanse the aura around us. It had stood by my stead in some occasions previous to this. That is why, though I have no belief in any religious ceremonies, I always submit to and practice this custom. This ritual was performed on us friday morning.

After the accident, opinions were voiced by various members of the family-

"It was a miracle they came out with so less injuries".
"This is all God's doing. Thank the lord nothing worse happened".
"Only because of the ritual they were saved with minor injuries".
"To escape with just this in such a busy road! You are very lucky".

Yes I was.

From now on, I'll think my wishes through.

Admitted to Apollo

We were taken into the Emergency. A smiling doctor comes to me, "I'll be first injecting this local. You have to bear only that. You won't feel the stitches at all". She pokes at the flaps of my chin skin with a needle. 'Only this? Woman you're killing me', I want to yell out. But I know that I had done enough screaming to last me a lifetime. I only grit my teeth and wait for her to complete her tailoring.

A series of tests follow. I'm being stretchered from room to room for X-Rays, CT Scans and whatnot. I have no idea which followed which. All I remember now are the bright white flouresecent overhead lights rushing by as my stretcher was wheeled here and there.

Doctor's Decision : Admit into Intensive Care for acute observation. Which translates to 'suck out as much money as you can from these fatheads'

We were in full control of all our faculties soon. We did NOT need to be the ICU. But the hospital wasn't happy with the amount it had made on us with just emergency care. It wanted more. Two days in the intensive care shot up the medical bills to more than what I make in a month!

A small example of the hospital's business strategy: A nurse came up to me on saturday with a large cotton swab. "We need to take a nasal culture sample. This is a routine procedure. Please don't be scared"(as if I was). She made a feeble swipe just inside my nostrils. I did not even feel it. "Thank you that's it", she smiled with a false brightness that is the trademark of all the nurses. "Did you even get anything?" I questioned her. "Yes mam", with another of those oh-so-bright smiles she left.
After getting home, I saw that I was billed 620Rs for those swipes!

Another funny term they used at that hospital was "Acute Observation". For all I know, they did not observe me, acutely or otherwise. I was visited by a series of doctors - A neuro surgeon, Two plastic surgeons, A general surgeon, A chief doctor and a few more guys who had some specialisation I've forgotten. None of them observed me acutely. They observed the monitor which had a series of wires connected to me. They observed a chart at the foot of my bed. And they left.
Two of them came near me and spoke to me. One of them palpated my stomach with a gloved hand. One tested my reflexes, once. Most of them spoke to me from the foot of the bed. That was the extent of 'acute observation'.

The monitors and the charts were given more attention than the actual patient. Once, one of the electrodes attached to my chest had come unstruck. So the monitor showed my respiration level to be extremely low. According to the monitor, I already had one foot in the grave. The nurse got excited and called another nurse. "Respiration level is 2". Both of them looked at me. I was placidly lying there, watching tv, breathing as well as them! But still she asked me to breathe in and out. I did. She wasn't satisfied that I was fully alive. Then one bright soul had the idea to check my ECG leads. What a relief! They glued it back and smiled at the monitor.

The next day, we got ourselves discharged 'against medical advice' not heeding the chief doctor's warning that there is a one in hundred chance that we may get fits.

Well, so far, no fit has seen it fit to come near me!

Monday, November 05, 2007

A Magical Journey

In the midst of the busy hustle and bustle of Chennai Central Railway Station, there were four figures scanning the information board.

"Shatabdi Express on Platform 2A"

We four started in search of 2A. We saw platform 2. We saw platform 3. And we saw a solid wall seperating the two. Nowhere could we see 2A. I and Niv turned to each other. "This is just like Harry Potter! Are we supposed to walk through it?", we giggled. Then Sarat walked a little way ahead and found 2A tucked between 2 and 3 snugly.

We were excited to be on Shatabdi. It was our first time. Our idea of an 'AC Chair Car' was a usual sort of train with no option of berths. With this impression I entered my coach and was hit with stares from a sea of faces! It was like entering a plane. It was like I was given a new toy, to play with and to discover the many things that it can do.

The train pushed off and soon an announcement came on air from the Train Superintendent. The whole setup was so like a flight. I wonder which came first? Plane or Shatabdi?

Soon we were given tea and sandwiches. Munching the sandwiches, we spent the time talking and sight seeing through the window. Time crawled on. The sandwich was over. The topics were exhausted. It was too dark to see outside. Ennui was setting in.

Relief came in the form of Coach Attendants. This time they were bringing soup. That helped to somewhat vary the monotony.

Even a soup has to end sometime. Out came a book which helped to pass time. But the chairs were in an uncomfortable angle to enable a good read. By this time another hour had passed and our guardian angels now came in bringing dinner. And that provided entertainment for a half hour. After that, we again began to crave some entertainment.

That's when Snehil entered the scene. Snehil is a lively one-and-a-half-year old sitting right behind us with his Ma and Papa. He was fascinated with our camera and came sat with us. Soon he was fascinated with other stuff. My bracelet, the fan switch, the story book, the magazine, an old ticket, pencil, wafers all were playthings! By a strange and happy coincidence, when it was his bedtime, we had reached our journey's end.

'Twas a happy and content four that got off the train at Bangalore. Wait...don't I mean Bengaluru?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

கன்னியின் கனவில்...

மென்மையான காதல்,
அளவான நேசம்,
பண்பான புரிதல்,
லட்சிய குணம்,
எழுத்துக்களில் ஆர்வம்

இவை யாவும் கொண்டவனை
மணந்து கொள்ள தான் ஆசை

ஆனால், என் செய்ய!
நான் பாஞ்சாலி அல்லவே..

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Singing in the Rain

Generally we sing when we're happy. I do too. I love Rain. When rain comes, my happiness increases. Soooooo, I tend to sing whenever there's rain! It's been raining for a whole day here. Plus, browsing Priti's blog showed me the way to post my songs! By 'my songs' here, I mean those I have sung (of course!). Maybe sometime in the future, I may write and tune my own songs (fingers crossed!). For now, I can only sing what others before me have sung, like the one below.

Nila Kaigiradhu

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Gift

It was their second wedding anniversary. Myra woke up to her husband's gentle nudging. "Happy Anniversary, Myra", he smiled down at her.

"Same to you, Lyan", she grinned sleepily.

"Come, get up. Come and see my anniversary gift", he pulled her to her feet.

He almost dragged her along the corridor to his lab at the other end of their house. "Lyan, slow down", she laughed breathlessly. But he ploughed on eagerly, not listening to her. They came to a stop at the door to his lab.

"Mrs.Lyan, I present to you", he threw open the door of the lab, "SWONIZON!!!".

Inside the lab, in the midst of all Lyan's strange appratuses stood a large obelisk. It was stragely shimmery and looked as if it was made of molten silver.

Myra caught her breath. "Oh its so beautiful. What is this?".

"This, My girl, is our dream come true!"

"Lyan, you don't say so! Have you done it? Really? Oh Lyan I'm so proud of you!".

Myra's husband was an enthusiastic scientist. Myra knew that he had been fascinated by the concept that many parallel universes exist at one point of time, and that he had been trying to achieve a way to travel through these universes.

"Myra I've done it! The Swonizon can travel through the universes!"

His feverish excitement had caught on to her as well. She pulled on his sleeve and tremblingly whispered, "Lets go for ride!"

"Wait a bit. I've got another gift for you!"

She turned to him in happy anticipation. He dragged her close and planted a resounding kiss on her lips. "Love you", he murmured. "mmmmm" was all she could mutter.

He then walked towards the machine holding her hand. He drew a pattern on the wall of the obelisk. It parted, revealing an opening wide enough to walk through. They walked in and the wall slid back smoothly. Lyan drew some patterns on the wall. Before she knew it, they were moving! Myra had the feeling that she was being pulled forward. She could feel each and every movement of every atom in her body.

After what seemed like two minutes, she felt back to normal. Lyan repeated his patterns and the wall started parting. Before they could fully open, Myra who was so eager to see the new world, stepped out pulling Lyan along. As they started to walk out of the obelisk, Lyan's hand scraped against the walls and at the next instant the walls had closed in on Lyan!

Myra turned in horror and yelled out "Lyan!". But it was of no use. The obelisk gave one final shimmer and zoomed out to a small dot. Absolute terror froze Myra to the spot.

After sometime she looked around, taking in her surroundings.
She was by a large tree which had some statues underneath. She did not know the country. She did not know the language. The only thing she knew was that it is the place she had last seen her Lyan and it is the place where she would wait for his return.

Years have passed. If you pass by that tree, you may see an ageless, dirty looking woman in torn clothes sitting under the tree, looking longingly at each passing vehicle, hoping that one of them will bring her Lyan back.

She sits there, with a torn cloth tied over her lips, holding in the one thing that her Lyan left her...the last kiss.

Author's Note: The incidents in the above story are of course a product of my imagination, but the woman is not. She's a real woman. She can be found in the area near the Nandambakkam bus stop. She will be either sitting inside the bus stop or under the big tree near the bus stop. The cloth tied over her lips is real too. That was the one thing that brought my attention to her. And the strangely haunting look in her eyes...ahh...that's real too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Voices in my head

"Come on girl...You can do it."

"Oh yea right! Like I believe that."

"Man! He's cute!"

"What the f***???"

"Does she hate you? Why? Doesn't she like what you did? Why? What else could you have done? Could you have explained why you did it? Would she have listened? Is she worth the bother? Oh what the heck. Forget her. If she doesn't understand she's just not worth it!!!"

"Why me?"

"God please take him. Please. Please."

"Ooooh that was amazing!"

"God please make her see sense!"

"Do you have any idea how much I hate you?"

"Do you have any idea how much I like you?"

"If only ..."

"So what are you planning to do now?"

"Can you believe she did that?"

"What's the point?"

"Get out of my way you ass****"

"You are soooo good at this!"

"That's it baby! You've done it! Great going sweetheart!"

"Hope you know that what you're doing is absolutely wrong. It's frowned upon!"

"I just wish..."

"Why not?"

"Yes it is."

"No you won't"

"Can't wait to get the hell outta here"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Made to Order

Priti bade me to write something on a topic she gave me.
Here's to you prits! My small effort :-)

மனம் ஒரு மகாபாரதம்

அடுத்தவன் அழுதென்ன சிரித்தென்ன?
கண்டுகொள்ள நேரமின்றி

'என் கதையே பெரிய கதை'
சலித்துக் கொள்ளும் மனமே

ஆர்வமிருந்தால் படித்து விடலாம்
அடுத்தவர் மனதையும் எளிதாக

அங்குள் இருப்பது வெறும் கதையல்ல
சுவையான, திகட்டாத காவியம்.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


முடிவில்லா பாதை போல் எதிர்கால எண்ணங்கள்,
நட்சத்திர குவியலாய் ஆசைக் கனவுகள்,
பார்க்கும் குழந்தையின் சின்னக் கண்களில்
எனக்கு மட்டுமே தெரியும் தண்ணிலவு,
நீந்தி விளையாட எண்ண அலைகள்,
மூழ்கி முத்துக்கள் எடுக்க ஆழ் மனம்,
சுடும் சொற்களால் வறண்ட நெஞ்சம்,
கோபம் கொண்டு கொதிக்கும் உள்ளம்,
நட்பு தந்த பசுமையான நினைவுகள்,
சுற்றம் தந்த நெடிந்துயர் பெருமை,
ஆசையில் பொழியும் பாச மழை,
பொங்கி பெருகும் ஆனந்த வெள்ளம்,
அன்பு பீரிடும் அருவி இதயம்,
நாள் தவறாது உதிக்கும் பசி,
மனதின் மையத்தில் ஓர் வெற்றிடம்,

இயற்கை - எனக்குள்ளும், என்னைச் சுற்றியும்.


நினைத்ததை சொல்ல
உரத்துச் சிரிக்க
தேம்பி அழ
சொல்லாமல் அறிய
யாரும் இல்லாத போது
தோள் கொடுத்த தோழமை.
அந்நட்பில் தனிமை இழந்தேன்

சில்லென்ற மாலையில்
அழகான கடற்கரையில்
இளங்காற்று வருடுகையில்
மனம் விட்டு பேசுகையில்
உன் ஆழமான புரிதலில்
அந்நட்பில் கவலை இழந்தேன்

இழந்தவை எத்தனையோ.
கண்டறிந்தது ஒன்று.

இழப்பு - இனிமை தான்.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


It was her favorite pastime. Reading. She always found it so exciting. It felt like people from the days of yore were conversing with her through those printed pages.
One such book was holding her enthralled. Her eyes flew over the lines, taking in every word, '...on hindsight, I realise that...'

"Hindsight? What can that mean?", while she was looking it up in her trusty dictionary, her agile mind was busy offering its own meanings. "Maybe it's looking at what's behind. Or maybe it's looking through the behind. Oh what nonsense am I talking? Here it is. Dictionary says 'Hindsight n. - recognition of the realities, possibilities, or requirements of a situation, event, decision etc., after its occurrence.' So that's hindsight huh? Well."

Back to reading it was. But there was a quitely nagging thought at the back of her mind - 'Looking through the behind? Why on earth would I get such an idea?'

It was while she was lying awake at night after switching off the lights, that the old story she had read came to her mind. "If that man can look through closed eyes, why can't I look through the back of my head?". The idea took her fancy strongly. She got up, rummaged her bookshelf for that book. "Aha, there you are", she read the story again giving special importance to the measures the hero of the story takes to see through his closed eyes. He had spent years in the effort.
"Can I make the story come true?", she wondered. "Oh, go sleep you idiot", she chided herself, "This is a not a story book. It's your real life. Stuff like these don't happen in real life"

The idea persisted. She could not make it go away. She started practising the same methods. She put a candle behind her and tried to see the flame while closing her eyes. Though she could easily imagine it she could not see it. Everyday, she used to sit for a couple of hours and try.
"Oh I give up", she was exasperated. "It's been three whole months and I see not a thing".

But she was vaguely familiar of an impression of the flame when she closed her eyes. "Am I seeing it or imagining it as usual? Well it won't hurt me to try a li'l longer".

Stronger and stronger became the image, until one day when she screwed up her eyes tight, she saw an orangish oval. "Is that the flame?", She was excited. And lost her concentration. The image vanished.

Months sped by. She had used up more candles than a church. "Last day today. I give up if I don't see", she decided. She shut her eyes tight and started concentrating. The orangish blur slowly began to take shape. In a few minutes, it was the flame!!! She could even discern the blue part of the flame.

From that it was but a step to see other less brighter things. Slowly but steadily she practiced until one day her tremulous idea became real. She could see through the back of her head! She had developed a 'hindsight' - true to its literal meaning! But she revealed the secret to none but a trusted few of her cronies. Her extraordinary ability helped her become what she is today - an ultra successful undercover agent.

Even now, as she walks away from me after reading the above, what I have written about her, she knows that I'm smiling at her. I wave at her and she waves back....without turning.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Of Shares and Bonds

I had taken the day off from work. The morning passed by in front of the TV and with my book. Towards evening when I was looking for something to do, I was delighted by a message from my buddy, "Hey we're coming to your place now. Lets go shopping!".

Alrity! I was all geared up. Any time spent with my best buds was always fun. Since our respective lives now had other priorities, the time we three spent together had reduced considerably. Any planning that we do to get together almost always ended in a flop show.
It was impromptu outings like these that spelled F-U-N!

An evening of shopping followed by an absolutely scrumptious dinner at Pasta Fresca - A dinner peppered with animated conversations and shared confidences - The evening had all the ingredients that would make a Girls' Day Out all the more enchanting!

Life is beautiful when it's shared with best friends!

Friday, October 05, 2007


A hot morning. Heavy traffic. You know how it is. You are impatient. But you have to move in inches. Further down the road, the traffic cleared a bit. I was whizzing past when I saw a guy on the road side telling two others "Hit the brain, I think", pointing behind him and then pointing to his head. That slowed me down. This isn't a normal conversation.

A few feet from them, I saw a man being helped to sit by two others. One of them was patting the man's cheeks saying "it's nothing sir. it's nothing. Sit up". The other was holding the man by his armpits.

The man himself was bleeding from his head. I could see bloody skin peeled off from the top of his head. His hair was matted with the blood. The blood had run down his neck and his shirt was wet with it. What really bothered me were his eyes. He had a wild, bewildered look in them. He looked as if he did not believe it. As if he didn't know what's happening around him.

I passed on.

I did. I then realised to my consternation that I did not stop and offer help. I was in a two wheeler. I accused myself of not offering to take him to the hospital.
I tried to appease my conscience saying that the five guys would take ample care of him. I did not need to barge in. But conscience is a tricky friend. It still bothers me that I did not stop.

Did I do the right thing?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Girl and The Machine

Rewind to a coupla years back.
"I'm planning to buy a two-wheeler", I told the Pater.
The mercury hit the top. "My daughter on a scooter? On these terrible roads? I absolutely forbid it! I won't have you breaking any bones!" (He meant others' bones of course!)
Right-o! Another dream down the drain. But, the spark wasn't completely extinguished.

Fast forward to the present.
My unc came up to me, "I can't use my bike because of my operation. Do you wanna take it to office or something?"
Do I??!!
Though he was apprehensive about the Pater's reaction, I convinced him with my mother's golden words - 'What they don't know can't hurt them'.

I was all set to go. With his helmet (which I believe he got as a wedding gift - 40 years ago) on my head, like a good girl I went straight to office. I was already late and had to hurry. So I took the short straight path. After an usual day, I was eager to start home, with a stop on the way for some shopping.

With my jacket on, without the hindrance of that helmet (I know, I know, breaking rules and all that - but the wind rushing through you - what an exhilarating feeling! (Plus my sense of fashion (ahem!) prevented me from wearing that scrap metal (I've got to stop here before I put up any more parentheses))), I started my journey.

It was my dream to take a bike and explore hitherto unknown streets in my town. I was so excited that I was gonna live my dream! I started with taking any and all side streets that took my fancy. I avoided known main roads. I explored my area to my heart's content. I must admit, I did hit upon numerous dead ends and no-entries. I went in circles. The journey which should normally take me about an hour took me nearly one and a half. But did I care? Oh no!
What did those matter when compared to the Liberation that I felt?

Thursday, September 20, 2007


--A Sequel to Sunny Boy--

A gentle romance had bloomed between our hero and heroine. The relationship had progressed so far as to calling each other by their own private pet names. Soumya was 'Jenny' to Vinay, after his on-screen sweetheart. Vinay was lovingly called 'Vinu' by his girlfriend.

Vinay was in a good mood. The next day was his birthday. His girl had promised him a surprise gift. He had tried to find out from her what it may be. Try as he might, she was pretty adamant about not giving him the least hint. "It's gonna be something that nobody else has given you before" was all she would say. He spent the whole day day dreaming what she might have in store for him.

"Happy Birthday Vinu!", of course it was her voice that wished him at the stroke of midnight. "Thanks baby", he was happy that her wish came first. What continued was another of those talks-that-last-through-the-night! It had become a habit to Vinay to discuss everything under the sun with his Jenny.

The next day dawned bright and clear. She met him with a parcel. "Here's your gift".
Vinay eagerly tore the wrapping. Inside was a talking clock!
"A clock??", he was surprised.
"To remind you of me with each tick", she smiled. "Also, I want you to wake up with my wish in your ears".
"What do you mean?", enquired Vinay.
"Check out what it plays for the alarm tone", said Soumya.
He pressed the button to play the alarm. "Good morning Vinu. Have a happy day!" trilled Soumya's digitized voice.
"You're right. No one else has given such a thing to me", said Vinay trying not to show his disappointment at such a tiring wake up call!

As the days went by, Vinay began to get the feeling that he was having too much of his girlfriend. Not only was she constantly in his mind, she was physically present by his side at every available opportunity. Though their workplaces were different, they met for lunch, coffee and evening walk. If they did not meet, they conversed over phone. Or it was text messaging. Vinay felt that they each need a bit of personal space. The danger of them becoming much too dependent on each other was imminent. Such a thinking led him to accept a project at Delhi.

Though it almost physically hurt him to think about leaving his Jenny, he convinced himself saying that a separation might actually do them good. When Soumya heard this, she was devastated. "You're gonna be gone for a month?"
"It's an official assignment Jenny. I can't say no", he tried to persuade her to let him go.
"I can't be away from you that long", she wailed.
Heightened of his earlier impression about their increasing dependency, he told her with a hard and firm voice, "It just has to be done".

Is this the parting of ways? Or will distance teach Vinay the preciousness of their time together?
Or will the same distance help Soumya understand that she can be happy in her own space?
Only Old Father Time has the answers.

Mood Music

A drive in ECR is always pleasant. If you have music to accompany your drive, it's the tops!
On one such drive, I was fiddling with the radio to find a good station. My taste in music usually changes as frequently as the weather. That day, I tended towards melodies. I hit on a station that was playing a hitherto favorite song of mine, Evano Oruvan from the flick Alaipayuthe. A soulful high pitch rendering by Swarnalatha.
I was shocked to hear my friend say, "Hey change the damn song. Why is that female screeching so awfully? Find a station that plays a better song".
He changed the station to a one playing a lilting number. He looked at me and said, "Why are you listening to such sad songs now? Let's hear happy songs Mat".
Though I didn't realise at that time, the change in the tune made a definite impact on my mood.

Another time, when I was listening to another melodious number, Mudhal Mazhai from Bheema, my friend came up to me and suggested that I hear another song from the movie which was of a buoyant nature. The Rangu Rangamma she suggested played a significant role in keeping my mind in a happy frame.

Generally when we're sad, subdued or in silent contemplation of life, we tend to listen to music that reflects our mood. But, I find that people such as my aforementioned friends, who tend towards cheery songs are invariably almost always in a cheery mood. They liven up the place.

Do songs define our mood? Or do we select the songs we wish to hear based on our mood? I found that whatever my mood be, listening to a bouncy number always perks me up! Life is happier :-)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sunny Boy

--This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living is purely intentional--
-- Dedicated to RNVK--

Vinay was your average kinda guy. Although if you go upto him and say this, he won't accept so (like the other average guys).

He had an average life - he studied engineering with a hundred thousand others. He signed up for work at a software company like a million of his fellow engineers. He had the average dreams of a young Indian. He had crushes on movie actresses. He was crazy about Jennifer Aniston. He was in love with Andrea Jeremiah. He dreamt about the perfect girlfriend. He had the average gang of friends.

In the average life of our hero, the next average thing to happen was an interest to pursue higher studies. Marketing was his forte. A distance-learning course of MBA was his choice.

The students taking the course planned on meeting each other and sharing notes. Little did Vinay knew that he will be sharing more than notes at the proposed meet!

They all met over coffee. Vinay glanced across the table. The world stopped. Time froze. Eternity became nothing. Never became forever. He had seen his Andrea. All his universe was concentrated on a single point. SHE was there. He did not know her name. He did not need to. She was his Jennifer. She was his dream. He felt like he was falling through a black hole. He was not scared. Because her hands were there, to hold him up, to cradle him, to soothe him,
to love him. He knew that all the 24 years of his life, he had travelled many paths just to reach this destination. She was his destiny.

He woke from his daze to realise that someone was talking to him. He shook his head and saw. It was HER!

"Hey Vinay ", she smiled.

"How do you know my name??", he was surprised.

"Oh I asked. Listen, I heard that you need some help with accounts. Maybe I can help you with that?", she offered.

Can you feel hot and cold at the same time? Vinay did. Like many average guys, he does not read Shakespeare. But if he had, he would've identified with the bard who said
"There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;"

Vinay knew this was such a tide."Thanks. I'd love that.", he grinned.

"Sure, anytime", she turned and walked away.

He realised he hadn't asked for her name. Though his mind said 'Andrea' and 'Jennifer' over and over again, he was sane enough to realise that he couldn't very well call her by either.

"Um..Hey..your name?", he called out.

His vision turned and threw over her shoulder the two syllables that were to be his mantra,

So bloomed a gentle story of love and friendship. What happens thereafter? Ah well, that's another story. Yet to be written, by the Hand that writes all.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


It was a sunny morning in Chennai. ('like a million others' I hear the voices in my head say disgruntled.) The 'sunny' in the above sentence definitely doesn't strike the same note as the "sunny beaches of Florida" you read about in guidebooks and adverts. This 'sunny' scorches. It makes you sweat copiously. It saps your energy. It spoils your mood. But I digress.

As I was saying, the sun was making itself felt ferociously. I got down from my bus and started the walk to my office buildings. I was not in a sunny disposition (pun intended!). The prospect of a walk in that sun daunted me. Nonetheless, I hiked on.

It was after I had taken maybe about 20 steps that I realised something wasn't just right. There was a bunch of guys walking maybe 20 feet ahead of me. They were under the sun. They had clearly defined shadows moving along them. Whereas me, I had no shadow to speak of. I didn't feel the sun either. I looked up and saw that a little cloud was shading me from the sun. I whispered a silent thanks and hurried on.

Now that's when I realised something very interesting. As we walked on, I was always under the shady part and those guys were always under the sun. I looked up and saw that the cloud was actually moving along the same direction as I. And at the same pace too.

Of course, such a natual phenomenon might occur to anyone. But me, I refused to take it that way! I felt absolutely special. I felt like The Alchemist's Santiago. I felt that all the Universe had conspired to protect me from the scorching rays!

Well, who else had their very own heavenly umbrella?!?!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

In the Woods

"Lets stop here for a while. I want to rest", the pater stopped the car.
We were driving our way homewards when the above happened. There were nascent woods on both sides of the road.

My mind already crammed with romantic ideas sown by the likes of Enid Blyton, Nesbit, Lucy Montogomery etc., I could not pass on this opportunity to read in the woods!
Armed with my book, I took the footpath that snaked into the woods. There was I, in search of a good tree bark, wandering in that little copse. Sound romantic enough? Well that's when reality bit!

I realised that I had stepped onto some droppings (human or idea!). I cringed. My balloon deflated a little.Luckily there was a trickle of a brook running nearby. I went to it and washed my sandals clean of the soil.
Then I wended my way again in search of a suitable tree. I finally hit upon one and leaned on it and started reading. Soon, I was joined by other intrepid explorers such ants (large, mean looking black ones), flies (in varied sizes) and other less likeable members of the insect kingdom. To add to all these, there were blood thirsty mosquitoes that were pecking me.

Nonetheless, I bravely went on reading (just for the heck of it I admit!). My bravery paid off. I had the novel experience of sitting under a drizzle and not getting wet! That's right. Soon it started drizzling. And I realised that only from the pitter-patter of raindrops on the leaves. The trees grew close enough to form a green umbrella for me! So, to be fair, reading in the woods does have its perks! But it isn't such a song as they make out to be!

So the next time someone tries to sell you the idea that 'reading in the woods' is a romantic not-to-be missed experience, bonk them on the head.
Oh, and you're also free to show them this post! ;-)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Tiny Delights

  • realising that you're opening your eyes to a holiday
  • snuggling under the blankets when there's rain at the window
  • eating ice cream and watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S
  • smiling at a stranger
  • reading your old birthday cards
  • being kissed by a baby
  • hearing that you're loved
  • getting your favourite book at half price!
  • getting the crack code of a coveted software
  • having phone lines blocked on birthday night
  • driving high speed and listening to woh lamhay
  • getting drenched in the rain
  • eating amma's hot pongal with tomato chutney
  • falling asleep without bothering about the morrow.
  • suddenly realising how much you love someone
  • having a lot of comments to the blog (hint!)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Life of a Celebrity ;-)

I went to the pharmacist near my home to get some medicines. I was visiting the shop after a long time period, maybe 3 months. I got what I wanted and was waiting to pay. The shop assistant looked at me and asked, "Ma'm, don't you want ------?" (naming a medicine I used to use sometime back frequently). I looked up at him, surprised that he remembered and told him "No I don't buy it now".
"Oh if you do, don't go to any other shop Ma'm, always come to ours", he said.
"Ya. Sure. Whatever", I replied, still in a daze that he remembered stuff like that!

Another day, I went to get a wallet at a big departmental store near my home. I was browsing through their selection, when the salesgirl came up to me. You would expect her to say "May I help you with something?". I did too.
But what she said was, "You back from office early today, Ma'm?".
I was startled and looked at her and gave her an enquiring look. (When I'm surprised or startled, I tend to lose my vocalising ability!)
She smiled at my surprise and told me, "We see you everyday, passing by our shop in the evening".
I said "Oh". (not very good with words, as I said earlier!!)
I was even more surprised at her usage of "we". Then I saw her fellow salesman standing behind her a little way off, giving me the same smile as her.
"Oh....Uh....that's very nice....Uh....Yea I came back early from office..."

Well, now I know what a celebrity must feel like!!*tongue in cheek*
It must be tiring to lose your privacy and have complete strangers come up to you and recite your daily schedule,likes and dislikes!
Although I won't say that I didn't like these two little exchanges! As a human being, it does feel nice that others take notice of you!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A bird in hand

Another thought on being content.. Interpersonal relationships is one main area where being content is a super important trait to have. Sadly, many of us lack it when it comes to relations.

In my experience, I see that no matter how many ever friends I might have, if someone's friendship is what I cannot have, then that is what I'll seek. I can never be content until I have made her/him a friend too. Unfortunately, in the process I may upset a few apple carts, but I plough through, nothing deterred.

People, it doesn't matter if we have a hundred birds in hand, it's always the two in the bush that attract the eye!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Escape Route

The most common human tendency is always 'to look for something better'. Very few of us are truly contented with what we have, be it in anger or happiness.

This is all the more common when we're in trouble or when we're stressed. We look for 'a way out'. We want to 'get away from it all'.

One of the escape routes that I've found very useful is taking a walk thru the past. And if you have a friend who comes along with you in the walk, it becomes pleasanter. Reminiscing over the shared memories always elicits a smile and provides temporary but good relief from your troubles. For after all, what are troubles but clouds that pass by! And these reminiscences are the ray of sunshine that seeps through those clouds!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What price feminism?

Feminism - the word triggers varied responses. It gets the bristles up for most of the men and women. Very few people I have seen can discuss feminism in a calm, collected, objective way.
Why are there so many wrangles over it?

Debates in my office canteen that start over feminism always end in a catfight over who's better - man or woman? Both sides pointing out the others' mistakes, both sides accusing each other and both parting in mutual dissent!
How can you debate over which is better - heads or tails?

Women and men are not same. They're not made that way and they can never be. Women and men cannot be treated same. The differences have to be understood and respected.
For me, Feminism is a way of life. Feminism is having the same opportunity as offered to a man. Feminism is being understood and accepted as a woman.

Men who practice feminism treat women with understanding. They accept women as another human being. They do not degrade or discourage women on the basis of the woman's gender. They do not feel threatened by a woman. They do not hate the entire womankind for the mistake of one woman.

Women practising feminism do not consider men their adversities. They understand the differences between their sex and the opposite. They ask for equal opportunities. They do not ask for superiority. They ask for a place by the side of a man and not over him.

Bottomline : Women and Men are never same. They can be equal but never the same. Understand the difference.
Be a Feminist and live in harmony.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Night to Remember

The city makes you blind. The city spreads a sheet of artificial light over your eyes. It clouds the true beauty of the night with it's dust and dirt. You don't get to see the pale pearly glow of the moon, nor of the pin pricks of twinkling lights of the far away stars.

I was visiting relatives in the countryside and was lucky to 'sleep under the stars' one night. At first, sleep I couldn't. Instead of the usual concrete , my ceiling was the inky blue sky. Instead of a boring(but necessary!) fan, my ceiling was filled with stars. They all grouped right above my head. The stars wanted to be with me. They spoke strange secrets. I could not feel the world around me anymore. I felt among the stars. I was looking at them, talking to them. There were also two shooting stars who gave me a glimpse of their celestial beauty. That was the night I felt one with the universe.

Slowly, the stars put me to sleep. When I woke after a short deep sleep, they were clustered no more over my head. They had drifted apart. I could see tiny blinks yonder. But they were few and far between. They had moved away. I wonder why.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Muppet is Me!

Came across a couple of personality tests while browsing.
Normally in these kinda tests, any result will suit you! It's fun to do it though.
Me fits Kermit the Frog (they say!).

You Are Kermit

Hi, ho! Lovable and friendly, you get along well with everyone you know.
You're a big thinker, and sometimes you over think life's problems.
Don't worry - everyone know's it's not easy being green.
Just remember, time's fun when you're having flies!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tag of Blog

So people have started this thing about games in blogs. The idea is kinda creative. I was tagged by Satish. According to this game, I'm supposed to give 8 facts(why 8?) about me.
Well here goes,

1. I was Jane Austen in my previous birth.

2. I once averted a national disaster just by walking down a street.

3. I once wrote a 150 line poem in my dream. But I forgot it when my mom woke me up.

4. I was told the secret of life. But I was also made to swear to keep it a secret.

5. I'm currently reading Ponniyin Selvan and have realised that I'm the reincarnation of the leading lady.

6. For my last birthday, I was given the gift of the gab.

7. I write bestsellers under a pseudonym. Under NDA with my publisher, I'm not allowed to reveal the pseudonym.

8. I love making up stuff! :-)

Alright, My turn's over. I'm now gonna tag the following bloggers...
Guys, gear up. Lets have those 8 facts!



A peep into a tiny mind

My cousin and I were excited. Our little cousins were visiting us and it spelled fun with the family! Little GG, this cute nine-year-old is telling us a story she had made up. All of a sudden, she tells a poem she had made up in school. "It's called Green". We're amazed. "Oh, I wrote a Limerick too". Follows 'Red'. "And a Haiku". It was 'Blue' now.
We plead for more.
And what followed was..


Green is the joy of nature
Green is the whistling of grass
Green is nice bright happiness
Green is the surprise of breaking glass
Green is a cucumber, smooth and soft
Green is fresh apples sitting in the loft
Green is vines swinging to and fro
Green makes me happy like a frolicking doe
Green is the joy of nature

Red (a limerick)

Terrible, terrible red,
A battlefield with bloodshed
I hear a loud rumble
Of a castle going to crumble
So I ran home to my bed

Blue (a haiku)

Deep loyal and dark
As beautiful as a lark
Sea with a giant shark

5 W’s

Who? The green grass
What? Whistles quietly
When? In the afternoon
Where? At the meadow
Why? Because of the wind

Purple (a couplet)

Purple, purple magical and deep
Eggplant that’s good to eat

Purple is the sister of pink
They have a very close link

Purple is the sign of love
As lovely as a white dove

"Hey GG, how about I give you a topic and you write something on it?" I ask her. "Ok" she says matter of factly. "Give her something out of the ordinary. I want to see how deep her thinking goes", my cousin tells me. "Oh I've already written a deep poem. I got it while looking at a fan", pipes up GG. She rattles out 'Life'.


Life goes spinning at a pace
Life goes spinning in your face
Life goes spinning round and round
Until you fly and never touch the ground

Pretend you’re a fledgling learning to fly
Upto a point that’s high
If you miss a flap or two
You’ll fall down and that isn’t cool

Pretend you’re building a bridge
With a tall pointed ridge
If you miss a brick or so
It’ll fall down and you’ll have a row

Life goes spinning at a pace
Life goes spinning in your face
Life goes spinning round and round
Until you fly and never touch the ground

It took us time to close our awestruck mouths. I finally give her the topic 'Morning'.


The flowers are opening their petals
The sun is rising on a new day
The dew drops are splashing on the grass
I could shout hooray

Hooray, hooray it’s morning
A few flowers are opening last
Hooray, hooray it’s morning
I can see a mast

The flowers are opening their petals
The sun is rising on a new day
The dewdrops are splashing on the grass
I could shout hooray


I like India a lot
Even though it’s hot

I have family there
I know they care

India is very nice
I’ll be there in a trice

Saturday, August 11, 2007

What do you do?

When life gets hard,
When living takes special effort,
When you have to wear a mask all the time,
When waking up and facing a new day is a terror,
When your mind is tortured by fevered imagination,
When you do not understand people,
When people do not understand you,
When you do not understand yourself,
When you trail along listlessly,
When you stop caring,
When your hatred consumes your goodwill,
When depression becomes too familiar a feeling,
When mind refuses to form feelings into words,
When your mind gets pounded by feelings without an outlet,
When you want to 'escape from it all' but cannot,
What do you do?

You hope.
You believe that tomorrow will be better.
You look for simple pleasures in life.
You count your gifts and are thankful for them.
You live.
And life...goes on.... day by day.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Rues of a bus traveller

Do you travel by bus? Frequently? Have you ever noticed how you're always crowded in your seat? No? Is it only me then?
I'm lucky to board my bus at it's starting point. I normally get good seats. Its only as the bus goes its way picking up more people that the trouble starts.
The females who insist on sitting with me are
a) fat (very).
b) puny but with arms and legs sticking out all over the place
c) normal sized but with huge packages slung over their arms and shoulders.
If I ever get the good fortune to sit with a neat woman, she almost always gets down the next busstop and any one from the species described above will come to be my seat partner.
If you shrug and say that I'm just overreacting, listen to this.
The bus is almost empty when I get in. I choose a seat that I consider perfect (not too close to the driver and not too far from the door). All other seats except one are empty. I repeat, All.
This woman gets in, with a tremendously large aluminium basin filled with odds and ends. She comes straight to my seat like a homing pigeon (crossing empty seats on her way), thrusts the basin under the seat (right where my feet are) and sits oh-so-nonchalantly next to me, supremely unconcerned that she's digging her elbow in my ribs. Wait, the fun doesn't end here. I find to my horror that the odds and ends are actually FISH. Oh, the smell. It was my ingrained politeness that made me shift my seat without a murmur at her.
I tell you, somebody out there is out to get me!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ode to the Stoneheart

You who have darkenened my days
Made my nights a sleepless daze

They fall from me, angry tears
Mute curses I throw at your ears

Do you have an inkling to what I feel?
Do you see anger in my eyes of steel?

What sin was it that I did
in a previous birth, now I'm punished

Will pretty sunshine
Ever be mine?

Or will my dreams
Be endless screams?

Hope moves me along
Ever so strong

For you may bend me, all you might
Break will I never, in my might

I pity you savagely, heart of stone
For your errors, may you atone

What a sad life you must lead
Without Love in your stead

You may lie, saying you don't need
A heart of love, but do heed

Love can be received, only if given
and 'tis what makes this world, heaven.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Music that melts

This man exceeds superlatives.
What a gift it must be to be able to move others' souls? How will it feel to be like Ilayaraja, the man loved by millions ?

This is a wonderful piece of his, that I never can hear enough.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Ride in the Rain

It all started with Niv.
"I'm so bugged today", she said.
The work day came to an end and Mat asked her, "hey do u wanna go for an icecream?".
Niv was like, "No lets go to the beach. I just wanna take a good break".
Mat was incredulous. "Did you see the time? Its pretty late. we should've started long back if you wanted to go the beach".
"Oh come on, its not that late. We can still go and come back home early", Niv convinced her friend.
They hardly had travelled 10 minutes when big drops of rain splattered around them.
"Oooh rain!", they cried in unison.
"Thank god you're wearing that helmet. We can reach the beach even in the rain. It's gonna be fun man!", Mat was excited.
In a few minutes they were soaked to the skin and the rain was falling in big sheets.
"Why don't we turn back?", Niv was concerned. "Yeaaaaa, it IS kinda heavy", Mat ageed. A stupendously loud thunder blasted in agreement. The dark gray sky was streaked with the silver wires. The sky was a rock concert!
Mat had a weird idea, "Why dont we just go for a ride?".
Niv nodded in glee, "oh yea, lets take the GST road".
It was a heavenly love affair. The rain loved these two girls who loved it back fervently!
It's now Niv's turn for the weird idea, "Hey lets grab some samosas somewhere. They'll be good to eat in the rain".
"Oooh yes lets!".
So they turned around, entered a side road, at the end of which they reached a subway.
Mat was not keen to cross that. "Hey you sure about this? What if we get stuck in the middle?".
They stopped the vehicle and stared at the expanse of road ahead, hidden beneath the rain water that's atleast knee deep.
"Go on girls", a man next to them in a bike bid them. And that's all it took.
Niv accelerated.
"Wheeee", they both shrieked. It was like trying to drive a bike in a river.
But the scooty managed to get them safely scross to the other side.
"Man my bike is something, huh? Great going!", Niv was proud of her and bike's accomplishment.
Finally they found a shop outside of which they parked their vehicle. Standing in the rain, drenched to the skin, with their teeth chattering in the cold, munching hot puffs, these girls had the time of their lives!

The Parallel Universe Theory

I was reading Micheal Crichton's Timeline when I came across this concept of "Parallel Universes" or the "Multiverse".
Multiverse sounds like a poem but it's not. It's the concept of many universes co existing paralelly. This also connects us to Time travel and stuff like these. The book was fascinating.
Can such a thing be?
Take, for example, me. When I'm at home, talking to my mother, I live in the world of relatives and their craziness. When I'm with my father, well that's a completely different world! When I'm with my cousin and family I live in a world of fun and well that's a different world too! With my friends it's a world of amazing camaraderie. With my colleagues, its a world of programming and deadlines and meetings and stuff. When I'm by myself, ah well, now that's a world I love. A world with my quirky thoughts and splendid dreams. parallel universes exist? Yessiree! At a teeny weeny tiny micro cosmic level they do...for me! And I know for a fact there are many kindred souls out there, existing in all their universes and going strong!
You go people!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Flower Rock

"Coorg is almost flooded!" - our gang was dejected at this news.
"So are we calling off the trip?"
We had planned for a weekend at Coorg and the trip was in danger of being dropped. That's when Naveen suggested Poomparai.
Poomparai - first time I had heard of this village. Supposed to be an hour's drive away from Kodaikkanal, this sounded like a good destination for us almost burnt out chennai-ites!

After a lot of Last minute plannings and confusions friday night found us on our way to Kodai. The little Maruti 800 mustered up all her energy to shoot us across the potholed roads. Saturday morning at the Kodai foothills we met the gang from b'lore and swapped vehicles.
We girls were unceremoniously bundled into the monster of a bus. The bus was built for load but defnitely not for speed. After a very slow and sluggish journey up the hills we reached the Kodai town and were met by a man with a Bolero from the resort where we were to stay.
Now that guy knew how to drive! He whisked us through the mountain side and we reached our cottages.

The Wilusa Holiday homes made a very favorable first impression on us! The rooms were neat and sweet and confusingly constructed. That made it all the more endearing. Our love with the cottages lasted until we found out that there was no water supply. Housekeeping informed us that once the power supply is back we'll get water!!
Ah well, philosophers that we were, wanting to waste no more time inside those rooms, I and Nivi set out on a small expedition to explore!

When a girl who's completely brought up in a concrete jungle of a city is let loose in a mountain side filled with little paths snaking from her, can you blame her for losing her head??
I was completely enthralled with the possibilities of adventure that lay before me. Armed with a stick(I had heard that if u keep tapping the undergrowth while walking in a forest path, snakes won't come near you. They can sense the vibration or whatever) and a camera we set out. We could see a waterfalls in the distance and we decided to reach it. Though we never reached it, we did end up discovering a small brook that actually fed the falls, with numerous distractions of side paths on the way!
After a while, when others came in search of us, we realised how late it had become and walked back to the cottage, all the while listening to remonstrations on how unsafe our act had been!

Then in the evening we found that only our tiny maruti was available to take us out. The bolero was making some other rounds. Of the eight, Five of us bundled into the car (no mean task, given the size of my fellow travellers!) and visited the main Kodai town for an hour of cycling around the lake and some shopping.

We started back when it was almost dark. There we were, driving through the dark mountain, five people who are all new to the area. We were discussing the next day's plan. Sunday was to start with a trekking to see Bisons. Suddenly, Satya who was driving shouted out, 'hey look, a bison!'. Sure enough, there it was. Standing at the side of the road, blinking in our headlights, munching away and looking as contented as a...cow! Then farther down, our headlights caught a wild hare in the act of crossing the road! Even farther down, our headlights caught a bridge. Even if the others didn't pull us up, this one sure did. All of us thought "That wasn't there when we came!". About turn. "We missed a turning, and I know where" - Man! Was I glad to hear our driver say this!

Saying hello to our friend the bison again, we finally reached the cottages. The temperature had dropped considerably and our hands were beginning to freeze. The idea of a Bonfire was gladly welcomed and the resort people took us to a big clearing that had been dug out a precipice. We settled in the stone seats around the fire and partook of our dinner.

Sitting around the fire, talking, we lost all count of time. When we woke up the next morning no one had any energy for trekking! We just lazed around. When we were waiting for the others to get ready, I and Nars went on another of those walks in the countryside. We took another unexplored path and ended up at a pasture like clearing. I took one look around and felt that I had stepped into an Enid Blyton. There was a green green meadow below me, dotted with black goats and an authentic goatherd! To add to the already pretty picture, we came upon a tiny babbling brook!!!
Dipping our feet in the ice cold water, yakking away to heart's content - Pleasures of the countryside!

After a while, we bundled up again in the two cars and bid adieu to the lovely village. It was back to Kodai for boating and cycling and walking around the lake! When it was dark, we started back, singing lustily at the top of our voices, with the mountain air working our lungs! Now that was one fun-filled, memorable trip wasn't it??!!!

Thursday, May 31, 2007


It felt like hell.
She felt nothing in her life was going well.
At first it was a friend she lost.
That broke her some.
Then it was a most prized possession.
That broke her more.
The tears were unstoppable.
It hurt to let things get away.
It hurt to lose.
It hurt to live with 'without'.
Why? - was the only question.
Answers there were none.
It was her granny who consoled her
"I know how it feels, honey
You're beginning life now.
I have lived it thru.
Believe me, there's more.
But, my girl, be strong.
Your life will go on,No matter what."
The words and the love
lit a spark in her.
She's ready to lose more.
And she did.
But it didn't hurt as much.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

My First Travelogue!

Sonu Nigam is humming ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ in my ears. A cold wind is brushing my face. We’re coursing along a mountain route. I see a great green carpet of tea plants in the moonlight. I hear snatches of conversation around me; “Hey you took the 9 of spades”, “lakshminarayanan srinivasan are you there?”, “hey Praveen adutha paatu paadu da (Hey Praveen, sing the next song)”. How did I end up here?

We’re on our 3rd day of our much-looked-forward-to trip! It all started with one of my best friends getting married at Salem. Our gang planned to couple the wedding trip with a sight seeing tour. Since about a month before the actual tour, lunch time conversations consist of nothing but “trip planning”.

We started from Chennai Friday night. Two decks of cards came out when the train started moving. After some good games, we all felt considerate of other passengers and told each other dutifully that it was time to switch off the lights. Up came the berths and we all curled up intending to sleep. None felt sleepy!!! Slowly we looked at each other and all sat up in their berths. The conversations started then! We discussed life in general, love, marriage, family, parents, friends, colleagues, career… everything but the kitchen sink! One by one dropped off and finally it was just me and Vidya still continuing the discussion! Conversation with a friend lasting all night long – try it! I can’t explain the special feeling of bonding that arises from such convo!

We got our first look of Salem in the dawn of Saturday. That whole day and the Sunday morning were spent totally in the marriage celebrations! Sunday afternoon our van was ready to take us to Marayoor, the place where we had booked rooms.

We started from Salem all geared up for the sightseeing! With stops on the way for lunch at Kangeyam, to get a permit to enter Kerala at Pollachi and for tea at Udumalpet, we finally reached our destination Marayoor, Idukki District, Kerala at night. Our rooms at Chandana Residency were comfortable and we liked the first look of them which washed away our fears of getting cheated by what we saw of the hotel in the Internet! Since our rooms were adjacent, we could go from one room to another just by climbing over the balconies! We all freshened up, had dinner and while some went to sleep, some of us assembled at the balcony and played cards till after midnight! I went to sleep in pleasurable anticipation of what the next day has in store!

I awoke to the sound of Nivi saying “Mathi wake up!! Come and see outside, it’s great”. I sat up groggily and blinked at the muted sunlight. My watch showed 6.00am. I pulled on a jacket and went and stood at the balcony. All I could see was a green, green field spreading from the other side of the street and beyond that a row of brownish green mountains whose tips were wearing cloudy crowns. We planned to take a walk and left the room. That’s when I got the next surprise. Our room opened to a corridor through which we saw more mountains in the same uniform. Our hotel was plump in the middle of a valley! We took a long slow walk along the street with Thiru clicking away with his new camera. We bought coffee from a small mom-and-pop shop on the way. After we drank that down, we walked back to the hotel ready to start the trip!

While we were getting ready Suku was planning the day’s course with a map. Since we wanted to make Munnar our ultimate destination we decided to make Dolmen Caves our first stop. This cave lies on the way to Munnar from Marayoor. We reached the place where the mountains formed a kind of “U” and the road to the cave was situated in the bend. The road was not open to the Van so we walked down the path. We kept walking through the undergrowth, and suddenly we saw that ‘Two roads diverged in the woods’. Since both of them looked well traveled by, we chose the right one and just kept forging ahead without reaching anywhere. After a while the track ended abruptly!After that it was just a sheer fall. So we all trooped back and now took the left track. We passed a small culvert on the way and when we over the wall we saw that there was a tiny waterfall!! With a whoop, we slid down the sides and reached our waterfall. We squealed with joy when our feet touched the water…it was so cold! Some one then had the bright idea to thrust just the head thru the screen of water! We all lined up and did it!!! After a while we realized that we still hadn’t actually seen the Dolmen Cave. But no one was in the mood to leave! We finally left the place and walked on. The end of the road had a small dark Temple. We assumed (maybe wrongly!) that maybe the Temple is the cave after all! But we didn’t regret not seeing the cave a bit!

We came back to the Van and went to our next destination, Lakkam Falls. This was another amazing place for waterbabies like us! The Falls wasn’t a mighty expanse. It was a medium-sized yet proud sheet of water! We spent, like, an hour in the water, forgetting everything like lunch, time, and the need to go to the next place! I think the best kind of trip is the one you take where you enjoy to your heart’s content and don’t bother about wanting to include everything on the map!

There was a particularly deep place just at the feet of the Falls where we could actually swim! That was my first experience of swimming at a place other than a pool! When I went underwater, the whole world around me was green, the sunlight was piercing the water and I could see tiny rocks far below at the waterbed! That was a lucky-to-be-alive moment!

Other friends who hadn’t gotten into the water started yelling it was time to go, only then we left! From there we reached Munnar where we had time only for lunch and some souvenir shopping since we had to travel about 40+ km back to reach Marayoor. By the time we started it was dark. The full moon kept us company all the way back. There were fireflies blinking like tiny dots of fire along the road. That wide huge expanse of mountain sides in the moonlight was one sight I’ll carry to my deathbed!

The next day our driver refused to take us up the mountains again, saying that the Van has some problems. So we decided to go visit some lower areas. Our first stop was Tirumoorthi Dam where we went boating. On the way we saw windmills which presented a mighty sight! From there we visited Aazhiyar Dam. I felt a secret connection to this Dam since my mother had told me that my grandfather was the Chief Engineer for this Dam Project.

Next stop was Monkey Falls. It wasn't as much a falls as a cascade of water. We scrambled up to find the origin of the falls and saw that the flowing water was actually a leak from an old dilapidated dam! But since we reached the place near closing time we couldn’t spend much time there. Tired, wet and happy we finally left the area and were on our way to Coimbatore to catch our train!

The trip has given us a lot of memories, filled with laughter, jokes, ribbings, leg-pullings, bursting-into-song moments, feasts for the eyes and of course fights! Without the fights there wouldn’t have been the proper mix of spices to make this complete! Fight we may, Love we may, our principle was Har pal yahan jeebhar jiyo, Jo hai sama kal ho na ho (Live every moment here to your heart's content, The time that is here may not be tomorrow)!! And we did!