Thursday, December 27, 2012

Margazhi madal

The massive open theatre was rocking to the foot stomping numbers of Lopez. The crowd was going crazy, when the elegant figure stood poised with her newly colored hair all set to dance to the tunes. I m a single drop in an ocean of fanatics, shouting and jumping to catch a glimpse of J Lo. She just parted her lips, to spell a curse “Waiting for tonight…” the alarm went off ending my beautiful opera, my sleep and her seductive curse.  I m not ready for this, waking up around 4.30 a.m. and getting ready to meet  Lord Srinivasa Perumal for Vaikunta Ekadasi.

I could see my dad moving with ebbing alacrity and mom dressed in her newly bought green sari. I knew I can’t look for an excuse to hide my head under the pillow. My brains were standing on its hind legs and begging for the dream to continue, but my heart said, “you’ll be stationed somewhere for the next Ekadasi”.  With my thoughts still lingering over J Lo, I was ready to pay my visit and get my ticket to heavens. After waging a lone battle, I was forced to pull up my socks.

The enchanting voice of MS Subulakshmi came floating in air, welcoming the devotees to Srinivasa Perumal Temple. The blue lights adoring the temple‘s Gopuram were a treat to our eyes. People thronged in serpent queues, which never seem to have an ending. My dad was happy to experience the agonizing wait, which lay across us. Not much was left for me, than to stand here with my arms crossed across my chest. There s always someone waiting to join our boat, like the girl in front of me, cursing her mother. She was in a white shirt and a skin fit denim jeans.

I didn’t t know that I was staring at her manicured finger nails, but my mom nudged me with her elbows. Oops !!! I was like a kid caught red handed while trying to steal a cookie. Still, she s my mom, smarter than me, she asked, “ Look at you, what’s that in your chin?? Can’t you come shaved?”

“ phew!! Goatee beard ma ! I haven’t come for an interview??”

“ stop your lame excuses! You gotta be disciplined while you come to temple.”

I pointed my finger to the girl standing in front of me,” then please enlighten her”

“stop pointing !!” she was grinding her teeth, furiously. My mom pulled me behind her, putting an end to the little drama.     
                Tiffs and argument continued as the queue progressed forward at snail’s pace. Hymns of Thirupavai were recited; cries of ‘Govinda! Govinda!” were heard, announcing the opening of Vaikunta Vassal.  The crowd went bizarre when the Lord’s procession entered the Vaikunta Vassal. Everyone tried to shove others, losing senses, to step into the corridor of Vaikuntam.  Vaikuntam Vassal had two Brahmin priests serving us with theertham and thulasi that tasted great to my parched throat.

                After a stunning visual treat of Lord Srinivasa along with Boodevi and Sri Devi dressed in lotus garlands,  a temple official gave us sweet pongal. Wow !! It was basked in ghee and fried cashews, teasing my taste buds. When I had a handful of it in my mouth, I knew, anyone could have made me believe that earth was flat.  I doubt, if heavens were far away, nope, I don’t think so, perhaps it was sliding down my throat now.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Carol


 A fine morning with a clear sky painted in chromic blue and cool breeze rustling the leaves covering the pathway of the Thomas Street. It s winter and one can feel the temperatures nearing single digits. The street wore the perfect robe of snow in dusty white color with dried leaves making a perfect topping.  The street bore its name from the chapel that stood tall amid little houses. It was a suburb that left effluent spiting industries and housed pines and maples. Houses were built in traditional style with a beautiful lawn spread across to invite butterflies and crickets.

Such a serene location was home to a young boy named Sam aged 12. He lived with his mom, Barb in a hugely furnished house in the same locality. The boy, whose blonde hair covered his ears and occasionally his brows and loves to pull back the hair that, comes in front of him; he had a perfectly chiseled face with a prominent cheek bone and small lips. He does two things without complaining, one was playing with his pet dog, Snowy. The next was hearing stories from Annie, the girl who lived next door.

 He could just stare at her, while she said trivial things that took place around her.  Annie loved the way Sam watched her, with his mouth open and face resting on his palms. Sam and Annie spent the evenings in the woods, collecting pebbles and chasing flies; they returned home once the sun goes hiding. During the last couple of days, the suburb had gone wary and dull due to rumors of the apocalypse. Sam felt that the evenings were awry because of Annie’s absence. His stomach churned, when he heard the gossip of some women in his neighborhood.

Tears came running down his cheeks when they told how God has decided to end the world by sending a fiery ball of fire. Imagining the fire destroying his pet Snowy, Annie and everyone sent shivers down his spine. He was afraid to ask his mom about the growing rumors. Many in the neighborhood felt, they won’t be alive to celebrate Christmas. Even Sam’s mom felt it was stupid to get a Christmas tree, decorate with bells and welcome the end of the world. Barb thought it was better to stack supplies in case of any emergency.  Cans of meat, milk cartons and cereals were flooding her refrigerator.  
It was vacation time and Sam was sitting in the kitchen, fiddling the sandwich. Barb wore an apple green colored apron with patches of her culinary arts. She was peeling the potatoes when Sam opened his mouth to speak.

“Is that true?? “ mumbled Sam.

“What?” asked Barb

“Annie told me that we all gonna die soon” said Sam. He never wanted to know her mom that he was eaves dropping when they gossip.

After a brief hesitation, she said, “ No”

“Then why didn’t u buy the Christmas tree and stars? Annie stopped playing with me too.” Said Sam

“It isn’t like that, I got held up with the kitchen stuffs Sam” said Barb with sad eyes.

“Stop lying mom! You’re hiding something. They say my Snowy and we all will die” cried Sam.

Barb knew she can’t console him; she bit her lower lip and came towards Sam. “Complete your breakfast son, we can watch Tin Tin show “

“Screw your breakfast! I m going out now.” Said Sam, controlling his tears and temper. He ran outside towards the Chapel.

St. Thomas Chapel

                The Thomas Chapel was a solitary structure in the valley; it had been painted in white after restoration leaving behind little Italian renaissance. Its interior had been restored to the original shades by using vermilion clay for the reds and blue from indigo. Tall candle sticks adored the table inside the chapel; one can see the statue of St. Mary carved in pine log above the candle sticks. The crucifix was placed in the centre with urns painted to give a glossy finish. Services in the Chapel were held on a limited basis and regardless of one's religious leanings.

              Sam was sitting alone in the empty chair, head bowed down, knuckles tightly clenched. The massive doors of the chapel opened to let an old man inside. He had a drooping walk with gloves covering his hands. He was dressed shabbily and moved slowly towards the chairs. He sat near to Sam, leaving a sigh due to exhaustion. The old man’s heavy breathing annoyed Sam’s prayer. He saw Sam was crying with his mouth muttering a prayer.

              “ …. don’t like you, God. Snowy is a poor creature, how could you destroy him. At times he leaks in Aunt Rio’s place, I ll ask him not to do that again. If the world ends, many will die, even Annie too. We both will be good friends and I won’t shove her again in the mud. I swear I ll be a good boy and I ll hate you, if you’re sending a curse to our planet” said Sam.

              The old man beside Sam laughed mockingly and he put his arm around the boy’s shoulder. This sudden act scared him a little. Sam saw the old man’s face flashing kindness and warmth.

 “What’s troubling you son?” asked the old man

“My Snowy and Annie are gonna die! Becoz of the curse by him” Sam pointed towards the altar in the cathedral.

“oh ( half jokingly )!! Hmmmm !! How do you know that? asked the old man
“ I heard my neighbor’s gossip . Snowy is my pet dog and Annie is my best friend. I love to hear stories from her” said Sam

“Why do you think the world is going to end?” asked the old man

“Some say the calendar of the Mayans got ended, so everything has to wrap up. I m not sure, but I guess so” said Sam

“hmmm.. If that’s the case why does God spell a curse against us, sending cannon of fire??”asked the old man.

“Probably we’re not good people!!” Sam pouted

“Son, no one knows when the world is going to end and most importantly He doesn’t send curses to us” smiled the old man.

“Didn’t you hear about the global warming thing?? It’s His work, perhaps due to Nibiru coming towards us. “ said Sam

The old man laughed his heads out,” We always like to put the blame on someone, right? We fell into evil ways and succumbed to cheap pleasures. Never bothered to fell trees or and emit harmful gases. Now we find the perfect alibi for the God, Mr. Nebula”

“ oh!! You mean to say that we’re doing bad things, just like the gun shoot in Connecticut.” Said Sam

“hmmm !!! you got it right kiddo!!!” smiled the old man

“Perhaps He should punish the guilty, not everyone. What makes you say that world isn’t going to end?” asked Sam. By now, the lad was enjoying this companion.

“Okay! You remember Victoria (the teacher who hid the children from gunmen and died in the assault) right? This planet survives only because of them. Moreover the Lord believes in giving chances, rather than execution” beamed the old man.

“You gotta liking towards Him, aren’t u??” asked Sam.

The old man smiled and stroked the young boy’s hair, “Not exactly”.

“Then why do you come here? You are pretty tired and your dress isn’t nice too “ asked Sam

“I came … “ Before the old man could finish his sentence, the doors squeaked once again, this time it was the choir boys and girls dressed in turtle neck sweaters came rushing inside the Chapel.  

“Ouch!! Mom ll be looking for me, I gotta go Oldie! Bye”-Sam left the chapel running as if his life hinged on it. 

Christmas Carol

It was Christmas morning and Sam’s home have been flooding with peers and folks. Sam in his pajamas came walking slowly towards the living room. A huge Christmas tree decorated with stars and bells stood in the room. Everyone was busy looking for their gifts, showing least interest towards Sam. A small red box was found lying below the tree. To his surprise it was addressed to him. With creeping excitement, he tore open to find a small note.

“God is around us, like the green trees and the blue ocean. Don’t always look inside the walls of a church, sometimes He likes to change his appearance – it could be a note like this or an oldie. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


“I m sitting in a bed with my back dropped and my head hanging down to stare at my empty palms. A pale blue linen barely covering my legs, I wonder how long I m like this.  The faint click of the clock’s needle could be heard distinctly due to the haunting silence that hangs in this room. The cot spits a squeaking sound when I tried to move. The room where my cot sits is nothing more than a void with walls trying to enclose.

The walls have a muddy wall paper that started cracking, indicating the need for a fresh paint. I lay there in my throne, chewing the leftovers in the plate. I missed to tell about the plate, the plate that is always full with things that I can barely much. The filing is always done by a woman in white. I don’t remember the last conversation with that woman, so no chance of me knowing her name.

What’s so important about the woman in white (WIW)? The bond between us is so tight, like the cloth she uses to fasten me to the cot. I don’t have the slightest idea why she does this? Probably my son would have advised her. Yes, my son who pays the WIW to clean my ass and keep me smelling like a new born.

My son never ditched me, perhaps moved me to a place where I could have more privacy. A place, where my daughter-in-law can’t complain about me. A void shared by me with plates, cot and the lone clock that hangs in the wall. I lay slumped, waiting for each day to roll by, without the slightest hint of what’s next in my kitty bag.

I m an old penny shelved in a chamber to be watched by visitors, which includes my son and grand children. Ouch!! My back hurts me, I have to lie down, please call WIW! “

The above speech belongs to a woman aged 72 living all alone in a room for 4 years. She can’t speak clearly due to Alzheimer’s – senile dementia. It affects memory, thinking, and behavior. In other words, the onset of childhood behavior when you days are numbered. The speech was reproduced without any modifications to portray the brutal reality and quest for seeking solace. Despite her son abandoning her, she hardly had any apathy towards him.

            She knew that she is alone waiting for her end, but still she gave me a smile when I consoled her not to worry. Before leaving I asked her, “What shall I get for you?” she replied, “Spend some time with me, son” Now, I had the answer for her quest – companionship!! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

cHIt ChaT- SwEthA n PherOmoNes !!!

Sidharth : hey punk ! How is it going?

Vikram: Ya! Doing good mate!

Sidharth: Is something eating you? You don’t look good!

Vikram: Nah! I was wondering about the fragrance I felt, when that gal crossed me.  Doesn’t ring a bell, dude!

Sidharth: Phew ! I don t even remember the name of my body spray!

Vikram: Not a big deal man!  It all boils down to pheromones! A chemical that is secreted in our body, which triggers the opposite sex!

Sidharth: Stop this bullshit!

Vikram: This isn’t bullshit. Each one has a distinct pheromone (smell) which is secreted by our body.

Sidharth: Agreed! But when I hugged Swetha, I felt only her Blue lady fragrance.

Vikram: Shit man! When did this happen?

Sidharth: Explain the former, so that you can comment on the latter!!!

Vikram: Okie! This is how it goes. Due to evolution, most women have lost the ability to secrete such natural pheromones. That’s why we have these perfumes in the market.

Sidharth: Oh! But the rest still have it in them. Right?

Vikram: Ya they do ! On the other hand, you were so dumb to recognize it in Swetha J J
Sidharth : This could be the perfect reason, I guess !

Vikram: hehehe !!! When we enjoy things, we never question about it, perhaps our cognizance vanishes (boom!!!)

Sidharth: Just how, I felt when I watched ‘Life of PI’

Vikram: WTF!! Didn’t we plan it today night?

Sidharth: Dude, I promised to take her out, so I had to machi.. L L sorry da..

Vikram: This is ridiculous man! That reminds me the other thing, the hug!!! When was that?

Sidharth: Last week, I dropped her in her home. She asked me to join her for a cup of coffee.

Vikram: So you joined her, for a hug too!  

Sidharth: ya ! (With a big smile) She started it, what am I to do?

Vikram: I know about you! You are a schmuck!!! Your boss always talks about pro activeness, this is a perfect example.

Sidharth: Stop pulling my legs! Probably I gotta be pro active too!

Vikram: There are two things. First, girls love guys like you, so don’t change.

Sidharth: Next?

Vikram: Pro activeness, OMG !! sathiyama adu unaku varadhu.. hehehe !!!!

Sidharth: Screw u, asshole!!  

Vikram: Dude, u gotta wrap things pretty soon. It s time to break the ice.

Sidharth: What do u mean by that??Me getting married??

Vikram: ya man! Talk to her folks!

Sidharth: U know something, when I last met her dad, he gave me a lecture on how to dress. He really pisses me, man!!

Vikram: lol J

Sidharth: Don laugh. He hates my goatee beard and expects me to solve Hindu-Crossword puzzles. Shit !

Vikram: Probably he should have seen your leave lettersJ J

Sidharth: Nejama da… u remember, how I filed a report with the word ‘borrow’ instead of ‘lent’

Vikram:  ya..  Your boss threw the file at your face, right?

Sidharth: Not exactly, but something close to that...

Vikram: So what now? Gonna solve crossword???

Sidharth: poda dai.. What shal I do ?? Help me out da L L

Vikram: Gottit man !!! Its Pink Sugar !!  

Sidharth: What??

Vikram: The perfume of the gal, who crossed me J J

Sidharth : Phew !! Don’t you give a damn what’s happening here??? M moving out...

Vikram: Convey my regards to your in laws dude!!!

( Sidharth balled his fists leaving alone his middle finger to point at me !! )

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Night of Broken Glass

                                                                    Berlin, November 10, 1938

The sky outside was dark with very little light and cold air blowing across the streets of Berlin. It was a not a good time to enjoy the early winter that was blooming in, or the pale brown leaves that has withered off, stripping the beautiful trees. The assassination of German embassy official Ernst vom Rath in Paris has evoked mixed responses among the German fraternity. Herschel Grynszpan , a Polish Jew shot the german diplomat in Paris, avenging his parents’ exile.  The streets were lined with mobs raising anti-jewish slogans marching towards Schoneberg, a small town in Berlin.

Schoneberg was the home for most German speaking Jews and Eva was one among them. Her skirt‘s cream color faded and was torn portraying the condition of their race. The thumping sound of her shoes reverberated room’s recess. A wooden tub brimming with hot water was held by Eva, to cleanse her ailing husband, Benny. The sight of Benny toiling at the hands of unknown fever made her lament and wail all day. They were left with rotten bread and rat eaten cheese to survive. It was a duel between the rats and the grief stricken Jews.

In the last couple of days, there was nothing they could find to abate their hunger. The fever was vigorous; creating shock waves in Eva’s mind. Very little strength was left in her to brood; all she could do to pacify Benny’s pain was to give a towel bath. Eve sat beside him, looking into Benny’s eyes. She couldn’t stand the sight of this, once joyous eyes that made her smile; ones that locked with her when they made love, was grim in the sockets.

Sudden burst of window panes shook Eva, there was a large piece of mortar on the wooden floor. Eva watched in horror, the mobs raiding Jewish homes, shoving the furniture to the streets and torching them. Fear and panic quickly arose in her, when a group of mob calling themselves as Hitler youth came running towards her home. The door of her home came in pieces, after a thunderous assault. German soldiers with swastika emblem embedded in their notorious black uniform were climbing the stairs. Eva knew that not much could be done; she just sat beside Benny, holding his arms.

Eva’s eyes had tears ebbing, with her voice strained to utter a word. The footsteps were echoing the walls, soon they would be here. She leaned towards Benny, when her lips moist with tears met Benny’s, gunshots in her room made her deaf almost. Three soldiers and a Storm Leader belonging to Schutzstaffel with MG-42’s hung to their shoulders walked in. Heinz Wagner, Storm Leader a thin man with the eyes of an eagle and nose of a fox slowly walked towards Benny. He pulled a chair towards Benny and Eva and sat across them.  He made a brief glance at Benny while stripping his gloves.

“Are we interrupting your romance my young lady?? “ said Wagner. “Gentlemen, lets witness a beautiful love story between Jewish pigs”

The soldiers laughed in mockery, while one of them was busy searching the drawers looking for valuables. He was pulling out the clothes out of the wardrobe and piling them in the floor.

Wagner had his hands hugging him, “It seems your husband is not strong enough to please you, in better words, comfort you. You can find solace in me.”  said Wagner.

Eva was furious with her blood shot eyes deprived of sleep, she sat on chair crossing her legs and twisting her palms. She watched Benny, as a tear drop ran across his pale cheek.

“Do you think your husband will disagree to this??? It’s disgusting to watch your husband like this!!!  Why don’t we send him to a beautiful place, so that we can have some fun? “ Wagner was stroking the bridge of his nose.

Eva raised her head, to say something, but she couldn’t utter a word because of her parched throat. She was weeping profoundly, knowing that soon both would be killed. All her dreams of a happy life in a distant place with beautiful landscapes were shattered.

“Such a beautiful lady shouldn’t cry. It’s time to say goodbye to him. Let’s make it neat and clean.” Said Wagner. He rose from his chair, took his Walther P 38 aiming at Benny. “Do you mind joining me, lady???”

Eva fell on Wagner’s legs pleading for mercy. Wagner never seemed to bother the young woman’s plea. While she was begging, Wagner pulled the trigger, showering Benny with bullets. She watched her husband’s lifeless body, with blood gushing out from every bullet hole.

“oops... He’s gone” Wagner laughed, soon every soldier joined him in appreciating his sadistic behavior. “My deepest condolences for your losses”.

The soldiers came behind her, leaving no place to move with their MG-42’s pointing at her. She was stepping back, as Wagner came towards her. “I m no demon to fear, I m your master to teach you tricks; tricks that can appease you” said Wagner with a half smile.

Wagner brought his arms to Eva’s shoulders, slowly untying the knot of her dress. Until then she was a mute spectator watching all the blood and gory. She spat on Wagner, surprising all men. Wagner was shocked to find himself insulted by a Jewish woman. The soldier behind her slapped her face, throwing herself down.

Wagner came rushing towards the soldier who had assaulted her, “Officer, she is mine. I need to teach her some manners and she has to understand, what happens if a Jew spits on Fuherer’s men. Does it make sense, my young fellow?”

The soldier mumbled, “Yes Sir!!! Hail Hitler “

“Now arrest her and deport to Dachau Camp.” said Wagner, still couldn’t believe the fact that, the embarrassment he faced among his sub ordinates.  

Eva was motionless, watching the corpse of Benny, while the soldiers set ablaze the clothes that was lying in the floor. The flames were consuming the blood soaked sheets in which Benny’s corpse lay. “Nice time to enjoy the warmth in this bitter cold” laughed mockingly Wagner. 

                                                                              Journey to Dachau

                The Truck was barely covered with a tarpaulin, which seemed to dance to the tunes of severe cold winds blowing across the mountains. The tires crushed the twigs covered in early snow and followed the marks of the trucks to reach its destination. A German soldier was busy smoking his cigar behind the wheel of the truck. He was accompanied by another one, sleeping through most of the journey. The truck had mostly Jews, political prisoners and homosexuals.

                Eva sat with her knees close to her chest, arms hugging it, to soothe her body from cold. The loss of her husband was a shock and the manner in which it was staged felt her numb. The grief and anger remained inseparable, while her physical condition left her helpless. A young boy dressed in black robes looked pathetic for his age and was sobbing. The sickening surrounding forced him to empty his guts wetting the dress of Eva The pungent odor and nausea stuck Eva, making her dizzy. There was hardly any space to move around, she could feel the breath of other women in her back.

                The truck entered the massive camp, whose perimeter had been fenced with barb wires to a height of 40ft. Two queues were formed, one for women and children and the other one for men. Storm Leader, Wagner was sitting near the Nazi doctor, who was busy making notes on paper. The Doctor was a short bald man, with wrinkles near his eyes and rimmed glass for his sunken eyes. The medical examination began with the men’s queue, the doctor wrote the name followed by a number. Each prisoner will soon have the number tattooed and addressed by the same.

                After an hour’s wait, fit and unhealthy guys were separated. Eva stood in the women’s queue, with grief and agony tearing her apart. She wondered if she happened to pass the test, she ought to work in camps till her end. The sight of Wagner brought more chills; it was like choosing between two devils. Her queue started moving in a bright pace, she was surprised. Their queue was made to move to a different place without any medical examination.

                Eva was relieved temporarily, to avoid Wagner. While she crossed Storm leader, she found him staring her between his occasional sips of brandy. She never saw or understood what Wagner was whispering to the Nazi Doctor.

The queue then started moving towards a shallow pit, whose periphery was covered in black soot. The horror struck them; when they came close to reveal the exact details of the black soot. The pit was dumped with human hair which appeared to be black soot. Women started to weep visualizing the things that are likely to occur. The children joined their mothers in crying, without the slightest knowledge. Eva watched in horror when a German soldier shot a woman who refused to shave her hair. Within an hour, everyone was shaved and tattooed with specific numbers. Eva looked at her new identity that was imprinted in her left arm above her elbow, no 8. 

                                                                   Endless Night

                Eva was lying down, with her face touching the cold floor. Her eye lashes moved, when a squeaking noise came imposing. A rodent was buzzing near her cuts in her elbow. The door to the cell opened, allowing a rush of cold air to enter. With all her might she adjusted her vision, to make out the silhouette of the figure standing at the entrance. The thin figure was removing its gloves, while slowly walking in. When she saw Wagner, Benny’s death struck her like a storm.

                “Well, Good Morning young lady! How is our hospitality? Hope you enjoy the little companions!!! Guard” shouted Wagner.

             The German soldier came running with a chair for Wagner, and stood in the corner with his MG-42.
“Our last meeting wasn’t good lady. Oh! I m sorry you have a new tag to be addressed right now. No.8 !!! “ laughed Wagner, with the sound echoing in the small space. Eva was staring at the rodent that was moving in a bizarre way.

                “ I should ve stuck to my Fuherer’s words, Women needs to be confined in kitchen and be treated as child bearing machines,. “ I know you wouldn’t have much time to sleep yesterday; this is your first sleepless night here. There are many more nights to follow this. “ said Wagner with a half smile.

                Eva never uttered a word with her eyes closed; she balled both her fists, bringing her legs together like a fetus in a womb. The silence made Wagner lose his temper. He rose from the chair and started to leave.

                “Don’t let her close her eyes again. If you fail, I ll castrate you .Do I make myself clear??” barked Wagner.

                “Yes Sir!!! Hail Hitler “ shouted the soldier.

With every sleepless night that passed, Eva’s stubbornness got abated. The depression and anxiety was consuming her, moving inside the cell like a mad dog. When she tried to bring down her eyes, the soldier would kick in her stomach, making her coil like serpent. It was after the fifth successive night, she began shouting with increased hyper activity. She made bizarre actions and finally fell down. After several kicks she didn’t move.  

                Wagner instructed the soldier to transfer Eva to women’s camp the very same day. Two Jewish prisoners held her in a stretcher, which was more of a thick steel plate with rusted edges. Eva didn’t know that she was experiencing her sleep after several days of insomnia. No fellow prisoner came near her, fearing the punishment they would face. She lay like a dead meat with her chest moving up and down to prove her existence.

                                                                          A New Bond

                The camp’s wall had dark patches with spongy appearance. The damp and moist conditions prevailing inside nurtured fungi. The women and children hardly remembered when they had their last meal, except for a few pieces of stale bread after a big fight among them. The boy in black robes sat near Eva, watching her staring at a small pebble.

“What’s your name?? “ asked the boy.

 “ Eva.. Eva Benny” said Eva, without realizing Benny is no more. She started to cry silently.

“ why are you crying?? Is your mommy dead? “ said the boy.

“No. it was my husband, they killed my husband. Where’s your mother?”  Said Eva, controlling her tears.

“I never knew my parents. Born and raised in the street s of Berlin. “ said the boy.

“What’s your name?” asked Eva.

“ I don’t know. Some call me Paul, the old hag near the town used to call me Alfred. You can call me as you like” said the boy with a sheepish smile.

“Aren’t you well, Alfred? You puked on me, when we came here. What happened?” asked Eva.

“It must be the porridge. Many told me not to have it, because of the dead rodent floating in it. I couldn’t bear my hunger, so I drank.” Said Alfred.

“Holy mother! Never do that again, Alfred”  said Eva, closing her mouth with her palms.

“Yesterday the soldiers shoved you inside, did they hurt you? I tried to wake you, but you never moved” said Alfred.

“They hate us… we’re Jews!!!”  whispered Eva.

“ Are they bad??? You sound nice and kind. Then why they fight us?” asked Alfred.

“ If I knew the answer, probably I could have saved Benny” said Eva.

                The shrill sound of the siren reverberated the walls of the camp. The time for the guards to swap their positions and also the prisoners in the camp to stop their chit chat. A lone soldier would move across the camp, to look for prisoners who loved a bit of talk and play. Before the sound of siren could dampen, the prisoners were ready to lie down in cold concrete floors.

“Shall I sleep near you? “ asked Alfred with his eyes so desperate.

“Yes dear!” said Eva, with a small smile that hung in her lips after a long time. Eva slept in peace with Alfred’s arms around her.

                                                                           The Night Ends

Most of the time, Eva was assigned the job of dragging out corpses from the gas chamber to the pits for burial. She thought she was lucky to survive so long and wondered what made them to keep her alive. Women and children were used for experiments conducted by Nazi doctors for their new inventions. As feared, the Germans have planned to Zyklon pellets in their military combat. Naked women and children were ushered into a large room that housed fake shower heads on the walls. When the doors shut, a Nazi would pour Zyklon-B pellets into an opening (in the roof or through a window) which would turn into poison gas once it contacts air.

The gas killed them slowly while they were battling for a pocket of air to breathe. Alfred spent most of the time in pushing the bodies to the pit. Alfred loved to play pebbles with Eva, trying to muster life into her. She giggled rarely, whenever Alfred tried to do some slap stick comedies. They shared a bond, just like the one between a mother and a child.

With days getting shorter during winter, this lasted very little. Alfred wandered in his torn boots, in shallow pits collecting pebbles. His loitering was disturbed by a soft moan. The sound that escaped from the lonely cell, that stood rooted across the pit. He slipped the pebbles in his trousers and ran towards the abandoned cell. As he came closer, the moaning grew intense. Beads of perspiration lined on his forehead despite the bitter cold. The fingers became numb while trying to hold his nerve.

He peeped in, with his fingers holding the edges of the wooden frame of the cell. Wagner lay top on Eva, with her dress torn apart exposing her privates’. Her arms were fastened to the wooden logs piled inside the cell. Wagner lay half naked with his trousers and holster housing his Walther lying side by side. With each thrust, she groaned in pain. The sight of Eva’s suffering at the hands of a beast brought fear and guilt in Alfred. Wagner lost himself in the physical pleasure without realizing the presence of Alfred.

Horror struck Eva when she found Alfred holding Wagner’s Walther in his trembling hands. Eva shouted “No!” to stop Alfred from marching towards this unmatched duel. Wagner was caught in a whirl surprise to see the little punk holding his gun.

“You little devil, that’s not a toy! I don’t see find any courage left in you! Drop the bloody gun, you bastard!!!” barked Wagner. Before Wagner opened his mouth, a loud ringing sound escaped from the Walther, splashing blood and pieces of Wagner’s brain on Eva’s face. Eva sat dumbstruck watching Alfred ‘s body shaking in panic. She knew guards will be soon all over the place, leaving no place to escape. Eva pulled Alfred to her, placed his head in her bosom and cried silently.

“No matter what happens, don’t move away from me” mumbled Eva. Alfred nodded in approval. “Let me tell you a story, which has no pain and agony,……..”. Eva’s story slowly echoed in the graves of the children, while the soldiers came marching in.


         I express my sincere gratitude to all readers (if there are any) for spending some time to read my third story (quite a big one!). It’s been a great journey all this November, while I penned this one. The above story is a fictional one, but the places and events of Kristallnacht are factual. Kristallnacht refers to the wave of violent anti-Jewish pogroms which took place on November 9 and 10, 1938, throughout Germany. Maximum efforts were put in to record the actual details of the concentration camps in Germany. I hope some justice was done in bringing you the events of World War II. This story will be my tribute to the thousands of Jews who were slaughtered in one man’s barbaric ritual. 


 and many others who have been helpful in drafting this .


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

sshhhhh.. Keep Quiet !!!

This is an article that could get me arrested, if I didn’t chose proper words. The words of my hatred or anguish need to be spilled or fabricated like a sugar coated capsule. Many incidents in the last couple of months have queued up swarming for their right to express. Renowned cartoonist for his sarcastic cartoons against political parties, motorcycle maker’s advertisement depicting a particular caste in South India and now two girls for commenting on Bal Thackerey’ s  death in a facebook. The government was ready to pull its socks to put them behind the bars.

According to article 19(1), freedom of expression states that "everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" with restrictions on different bases. These bases include Security of the State, decency, public order, defamation, integrity of state etc. So the law says that everyone can express his/her ideas at their free will. It’s like asking us to make a coffee, without coffee powder and the best part is government is ready to give coffee maker as a freebie. That’s how laws work in our country.

On Independence Day, the President and the Prime Minister talks about the freedom. The freedom and the rights, that needs to be cherished and exercised to its core. The first thought that springs up my mind, “you must be joking!!!” OMG! I have made enough mockery to screw my life for the next 3 years in prison. As an outraged individual and being battered at free will, I m left with a Hobson’s choice.

In general the laws of our constitution have more loop holes than in fishing net. When we analyze the salient features, it is heartening and painful to say that laws were framed to soothe different levels of our society. Our constitution has framed laws to exercise our right to express and to treat subjects with iron fist in case of blasphemy.     

On the other hand let’s look at the flip side of the coin. Human nature tends to control things by acting on its vulnerability and milked the benefits for it’s worth. This is where derogatory remarks against women or race occurs leading to a barbaric ritual. Everyone will have a license to pass comments on anyone they like. If your boss wants us to prepare a presentation, we can pass a comment, “F*** u!” In reply he or she can say “my pleasure, your place or mine”.

A country with more than 1.2 billion people with diverse ethnicity and culture, it is next to impossible to frame rules without any lacunae. I feel pity for those trying to solve these never ending problems. The wheels of change seem to move at snail’s pace, showing least interest to dethrone the devils lying in our backyard.

If you want a solution, that could throw us some light on how laws work in our country, watch the guy who walks on a tight rope. If we walk straight without balancing on our sides, we are likely to fall in the sea of sorrow. On the other hand, if we can master the trick of balancing (switching sides) we can make home.

PS: I express my sincere apologies (Mr. Prime Minister and Mr. President), if I had hurt the sentiments in the event of exercising my freedom of expression.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Chit Chat

Vikram: Hey Buddy! You sound dull, what happened??

Sidharth: My girl friend kissed goodbye!!!

Vikram: Really! Now you both started kissing ah?? Woowww !!! Treat???

Sidharth: Dai .. yen da..

Vikram: Machi !!! Just kidding da. What happened?

Sidharth: I never laughed when Swetha cracked a joke
Vikram: Was it really a joke??

Sidharth: That’s the problem, man. I heard the joke umpteen number of times; probably I should have laughed at the joke, not for the joke!!! 

Vikram: Hmmm.. The thing is the neurons in your brain have started firing.

Sidharth: Don’t sound like Mr.Rangaswamy, our Biology teacher.

Vikram: He is a legend dude. I miss his lectures. When your neurons start firing sequentially (sending electric signals), you will not laugh or else you will appreciate the humor.

Sidharth: So, the brain doesn’t recognize humor. Right?

Vikram: yup. That’s why Santhanam and vadivelu doesn’t work after some time. While laughing, the neurons never fire, it’s a complex process, but

Sidharth: podum.. Iduku Swetha joke parvala...

Vikram: Cool da.. What did you do?

Sidharth: I should never have fallen in love with Swetha.

Vikram: hehehehe… I missed the count on your love affairs da. 3 or 4 ?

Sidharth: C’mmon man! Stop the crap. I’m damn serious about my love. You never understand what love is?

Vikram: oh! True love? There‘s nothing called true love, it’s just a hormonal rush.

Sidharth: Stop your testosterone and estrogen stories da. I m already fed up.
Vikram:  It’s a bloody truth. Every time a gal passes me, adrenalin pumps in.

Sidharth: You are a pervert! You sound like a stray dog, looking for a mate.

Vikram: Average man thinks about sex 19 times in a day, in that context, I m happy to be a pervert. To answer your second part, man is a social animal.

Sidharth: I had enough for the day; let’s not make it a big deal. I need a break now.

Vikram: Did we have an argument? How about a beer tonight, I’ll host it.

Sidharth: No da… I gave up drinking.

Vikram: what the fuck!! Last week you had a beer with us, why shifting gears to spirituality???

Sidharth: nee vera. I promised Swetha, that I would abstain from drinking.

Vikram: did she ask you to refrain from drinking or our hangout?

Sidharth: C’mmon da! Swetha is not that type. She cares me a lot and is over possessive.

Vikram: Machi! Great da! You are at good at romance; better write a love story, you can earn millions.

Sidharth: Stop kidding! I m neither good in scientific facts nor at writing stories. Probably you could try.

Vikram: lol.. Toilet papers will be better than my articles.

Sidharth: hahahaha.. 

Vikram: I recently read a one liner, wanna hear? “My husband claims to be a great sexual athlete, just because he always comes first” share this with Swetha, I meant the joke.

Sidharth: gotta do that. I’ve to get a gift for her birthday.

Vikram: Awesome dude. Don’t ask my advice.

Sidharth: Please man, help me. Be serious, I m don’t suggest me tales on 21 mating positions

Vikram: She might like that too. Anyway, there is a famous quote,

Sidharth: (sighs !!) what now, another sarcasm on women?

Vikram: I m spilling the facts da. Nevertheless, “Women will remember the first kiss after men have forgotten the last”

Sidharth: So what?? Wait.. wait.. woowww.. great man…  great..
Vikram: Don’t forget the beer da.

Sidharth: Holy Shit! I m leaving now.

Vikram: Don’t tell me it’s Swetha, asking you to come now.

Sidharth: Yup its her.Sorry da.. Catch you later. Bye.

Vikram: I’ll be here, next week to hear your confessions. Have fun buddy.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Education = $

It was one such Sunday afternoon, after a heavy lunch in Barbeque Nation; I didn’t have many options to pick. The weather outside wasn’t so pleasing, scorching sun made me uneasy. To my surprise I found a flux welcoming me to a speech delivered by an educational expert (most importantly in an air conditioned hall). It was a large hall with a flocking crowd, lined up for a motivational speech. The crowd had a unique mixture of students and parents. Once the guy in a navy blue tuxedo (Expert!!!) stepped in, there was a thunderous applause.

In a flick, lights went off, to turn on the LCD projector, thrusting a bright image on the giant screen erupted. To my surprise, all I could see was a three letter word ‘RTE’. Very few in the audience were able to come up with the correct expansion for the abbreviated word. Right to Education entitles free and compulsory education for the children of our country. With my palms resting my face and my eyelids are pretty eager to come down. To my horror, they have already met once and next in queue were my grey cells.
It could be an agonizing lecture, but still had some salient features that left me thinking and ashamed. It was wise to discuss those excerpts of the expert here. Most information has been provided as if the expert speaks to us.

"The laws were perfectly penned to provide quality education. Unfortunately they work only in papers; a child can define the word ‘EDUCATION’, but he or she never appreciates this entity. There a gap between the expert committee that frames the syllabus and the schools that tries to teach. Once I happen to watch a vendor, who was crushing canes for making juice, I didn’t find much difference between the vendor and the schools that exist now.

Recent TV interviews left me shattered; schools have started luring toppers from other schools by kind and cash. Schools have become more of concentration camps (during world wars), channeled with n number of tests and personal agony. It’s more of a sin to talk about games in residential schools and most of them have scrapped grounds, paving way for some more slaves (in the name of students).

The current curriculum is a perfect foil for a disrupted life; a life that needs a recipe of games, watching cartoons, tantrums and a bit of sheepishness and all this becomes a distant dream or Neanderthal. The routine packed with special classes and extra special classes are emotionally draining, every now and then someone giving extra tips on how and when to study???

Every week there’s a always a bloke trying to put all the pessimistic attitudes in us, by giving us a picture of current percentages for engineering (98%) and medicine (99.99%).  After all this hue and cry, lost adolescence and joy of schooling, some (in fact many) shell out lakhs for a seat in a professional college. It’s more of a pride that takes centre stage, to see ourselves or our child in an engineering or medical college.

During the first day of my college, there was a self introduction session, to break the ice. Very few were able to make a proper introduction about themselves. I was forced to seek help from my fellow mate, to introduce myself. This could be a funny situation, on the flip side it portrays the inability to define who we are.

My biology teacher often makes this statement with a half smile, “  after 12 years of schooling in a English medium, can u write a letter without mistakes??? “ I still find it difficult to write a letter without errors; often my letter has all tenses shuffling across. To err is human and to forgive is divine; but to all my errors, my educational system is the perfect alibi. The new jargon should be perhaps, “educational systems have ruined me”."

I don’t want to make you furious by adding my suggestions or ideas. I m no expert dressed in blazers, with sarcastic jokes to keep the crowd alive but I appreciate where I stand now. I have the desired cognizance to address the crude reality and adroit fantasy. My phone buzzed with a forward, making me smile “Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance”.

PS: Thanks for the pic and a more apt title for my blog