Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Culinary Delights

The showers were coming down heavily, once I parked my vehicle opposite to the grocery store. I knew that I would be soaked, before making it to my home. It’s going to be pouring all day, cats and dogs, perhaps. Before fulfilling my mom’s wish, I thought it was wise to treat my taste buds. With quick strides I made to the pani puri stall, to my surprise, I was the first customer. Gupta Chat is a hangout for most of the teens in my area. It welcomes you with puri’s stacked in big packs. A big tava, experiencing the first heat from the stove, amidst the chill weather outside.

The chef (owner  ... or entrepreneur) has an eye for detail and adroitness. He decorates the tava with cutlet around the periphery. The cutlet looks pale yellow in its edges and dark brown in its surfaces which will make you go begging. I bet, you’ll try once you catch a glimpse of these little yellow punks. He greets us with a traditional smile, (vaanga sir) but he is a cult north Indian, tracing back to suburbs of Delhi. Making a quick glance at the menu, I decided to settle down for a aloo chat, which I haven’t tried.

With his razor sharp knife he chopped the onions, thanks to his rich experience. Now he carefully placed chopped potatoes (boiled earlier) in the tava. He dropped a tea spoon of butter to the aloos. Melting butter and aloos, were making my mouth water, soon the aloos turned golden brown in patches.  He placed the fried aloos in a Styrofoam cup (to avoid our palms getting burned... common sense) Chopped onions and bits of coriander soon decorated my chat.

I was waiting anxiously for him to complete his decoration and serve my aloos. He made a blend of spicy and sweet water to the aloos, with a final touch of lemon to mitigate the hotness!!  Finally he served the aloo chat after 15 minutes of agonizing wait. Once I had the first spoon of aloos, I know it was worth the wait. Aloos cooked perfectly and crispy edges made my day. A beautiful texture was evident due to the butter, adding to this was the spicy water (pani).

The place was buzzing with teens from schools and colleges, making their presence by gossips and naughty smiles. The gulab jamuns packed in glass jars was making a mockery at my resistance. The scent of moist earth after first showers and now jamuns swimming in trickle. Felt heaven was bit near to me at the first bite of the jamun. This is how ambrosia would have tasted, perhaps most worldly pleasures are brief, by now my mom texted me. 


OOPS!! Time to move out. Thank you Mr.Gupta and to your culinary delights.

PS: Dedicated to foodie Aranya (Forest), who has taken eating as her hobby. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Va Venilla

September 9, 2085.

The world was a different place after the revolt in 2079, democracy and political parties have been abolished. Food and education became available to everyone. Employment was based on skill and workmanship; corruption soon became an endangered species. Government was taking care of us, in other words, watching us. Every stride of us was watched by them; emails and messages were screened before the receiver sees. Our houses and offices were bugged (nano transmitters and camera to eavesdrop); Human population already kissing 12 billion and space becomes a key factor. Government decided to keep a check in people’s nuptial business.

Once men and women reach puberty, bio compatible material (enclosing capacitor) is injected our body, which surfs in our blood stream along with millions of blood cells. When the hormone level crosses the threshold level, a small electric pulse is initiated from this device, which could leave us immobile for the next 48 hours. Unless the government permits, no sexual affairs can take place. Every couple is given 10 days during which the device remains inactive. This is the lottery the government issues for the people. Of the selected few, this time it was Mr. and Mrs. Mugilan.

Once Mugilan, stepped in the escalator, he was dreaming about the evening he s going to spend with his wife, Nandhini. Slowly the escalator shoved him towards the entrance of the railway platform, to bring back his senses. Glass reinforced plastic doors came alive with the aid of motion sensors; a rush of cool breeze hit him, giving him a feel of outside temperature. When he eyed his watch, he knew he was quite early to his 6.45 commuter. He found a lone bench greeting him, he moved at a brisk pace to occupy it. Mugilan was in a pensive mood, marveling the technology that has taken leaps and bounds. The gadget he had bought few days ago had all features that one could ask and envy. It could bring your blood pressure and pulse rate by a flick of its probe.

His blood pressure clearly indicated his eagerness towards meeting Nandhini. He never thought she would accept his proposal, a year back. A week was too long for a mechanical engineer to fall in love; he knew there was something in her that brought him close to her. After a late dinner, they began to walk, with their shoulders brushing aside, he proposed her. When he saw her eyes, there were tears with a broken smile, soon she was hugging him. The cacophonous sound of rushing commuter brought his senses back. Commuters were carbon fiber-reinforced carbon material with solar panels coupled to it.  Once he got inside, the magnetic rails energized to take him at 150 mph to reach his home 80 miles away. 

September 15, 2085

The pink covers barely covered her nakedness, with energy efficient LED’s exposing the flawless skin of Nandhini. Her body was supple, thanks to her yoga classes.She was resting her head on her palms, tilting it to watch her hubby’s eyes. With naughty smile escaping from her lips,
Mr. - what makes u smile, sweetheart?

Mrs.  – if I said no. 

Mr. – what?? 

Mrs. – If I have refused ur proposal on that day, perhaps you would‘ve missed something great in your life, isn’t chubby J J ?? (Her palms brushing his undone hair)

Mr. – Not exactly (with his lips pressed to form a thin line, making a mockery at her) 

Mrs. – oh L can you come again??

 With laughter echoing the walls of the room, she began to take control of things, once she pulled over the covers. It was like a cocoon, wrapping him, she killed the LED’s and with a faint touch, symphonies of Ilayaraja came alive through amplifiers. The couple was beaming with joy, not out of satisfaction, but the search for new life has finally ended. 

December 28, 2085

            Nandhini came out of shower, with beads of water dripping from her hair. She was making a walk mixed with excitement and alacrity, so that she wouldn’t trip off. She was screaming my name; she does this when she couldn’t find her dress. I was already nervous about my presentation, adding to this, I was fretted about Nandhini s tantrums. When I went to the bedroom, I saw her posing like a model in Vogue’s magazine.

Mrs. - Come here...

Mr. – Com’on Nandi.. I’ve my presentation tomorrow. My boss’s already chewing my balls.

Mrs. – idiot... Come here.

Mr. – that’s better… what now?? Lost ur lingerie???

Mrs.- shut up. 

 She took my hand and placed my palms on her stomach. A couple of nervous twitches were making me elated; Felt butterflies were swarming inside her, soon I was jumping. Nandhini took my arms and she was crying in my shoulders. The moment we were longing for; a meaning for our life. I want to cry too, but I felt stupid or joy made me dumbstruck.

Mr. – It’s a girl.. Like you..With blue eyes and auburn hair.

Mrs. – yup (holding back her tears) we have the prenatal diagnosis to be done.

Mr- - hmm... Don’t worry sweetheart... It’ll be walk in a park.

February 15, 2086

Maternity Block – 1A
10.55 A.M.

            The couple entered a long hallway with white tiles, leading to a small front desk. A plump woman aged not more than 50, was giving her best smile when she saw Nandhini. After a brief conversation with her, the couple moved left towards the PD (Prenatal Diagnosis) Lab. Mugilan and Nandhini were at the cubicle allocated for them, after an hour’s time, they were called in. Nandini was taken to a separate chamber adjoining the lab. She was rested in a bed, covering her, with poles to record her vital signs. A slim titanium probe found its entry into Nandini’s wrist to collect blood samples for DNA fragmentation of the child. Entire DNA blueprint was sequenced to look for prenatal diagnosis.

11.37 A.M.

Tension was creeping Mugilan, with sweat dripping down his neck despite air conditioner working full blast. A non breakable glass separated the chamber from this lab.
            Soon a sturdy nurse dressed in whites came in with an electronic notepad in her arms. Her biometric card revealed her name- Thamarai. Smart and autocratic, the room had her presence. She was running the show in this lab, with all other staffs fearing her power and prowess. She made rapid stares at me and notebook, before she started her conversation.

Thamarai: Hello Mr. Mugilan .. How are you?

Mugilan: ya. Doing good... is my wife fine?? (He was squeezing his arms revealing his anxiety)

Thamarai: Perfect.. no problem. But we have some news for you Mr.Mugilan.

Mugilan: What do you mean by that?  

Thamarai: PD results have brought something interesting. Which I m afraid isn’t good….

Mugilan: what???  For heaven sake tell me, what’s happening??

Thamarai: Please be relaxed... Listen to what I m about to say.

            The government is concerned about the well being of this world, so marriages are organized between the healthy, skilled and intellectuals. Based on Law 56 and clause ii of our laws- Healthy couples can produce better off springs for future, thereby, a marriage between a engineer and a yoga teacher was permitted. Plainly speaking, your marriage was accredited only based on that.

Mugilan: I know that and I ve read all my liabilities, what‘s the issue now??

Thamarai: There are no issues with your marriage, but the conceived child is more likely to be threat to our world. PD results. i.e. Genetic mapping* of your child showcases genes that are linked to violent and sadistic behavior. These genes have a high of probability of 98 % to undergo mutation, resulting in abnormal behavior in its adolescence. 

Mugilan: It’s a probability dammmit, not a fact.. There is no certainty that it ll occur. Screw your mapping and genes… I want Nandhini and my child back.

Thamarai: It’s a high level threat, sir. We can’t take chances, moreover as per the Laws…

Mugilan: Fuck your laws and your government. No matter what happens, even if my child grows into a fucking terrorist or psychopath, he is ours. Don’t dare to do anything. 

Thamarai: Sorry sir, you have spoken against the government and threatened its security; you will be detained for 6 months. 

With a shrill sound, she called the guards, “Pull him back” offered resistance, but it was no gain. He was struck by them, each blow breaking his ribs and arms. Blood was dripping from his cut lip and he had trouble breathing.

Mugilan: I’ m m m sorry.( he was breaking down, literally begging ) please save my child. I promise you, (he was sobbing). We even had a name to our child. Please mam . Help us..

 Thamarai: Sorry Mugilan it’s all over. Abort the protocol

Right across the lab, inside the chamber, Nandhini was asleep due to the LA (local anesthesia) that was administered. Nurse standing beside her slipped a drug called mifepristone into her IV (intra venous). This will stop all the love and care (fluids and hormones needed for the growth of the child) from its mom, shattering the dreams of the couple. 


I express my sincere thanks to my few readers for their patience to read this. It’s nice to have a doctor in a family, to provide same valuable assistance in this work. Thanks brother.

*Genetic Mapping in a tool discovered in early 1900’s to diagnose illness that has plagued many families. The genes responsible for causing ailments were linked and separated. It is easier said, than done, parental traits could be identified using a complete DNA blueprint of the child. It’s more like buying a laptop from a Dell store; we can customize the needs of a child. More controversies have come up, due to its ethical reasons. This tool is still in nascent stage, and the above work is purely based on an article, where scientists were able to create the DNA blueprint of the child even before it was born.



Sunday, September 2, 2012

With Love, Mr.Murphy

The air was humid, but still there were no signs of shower despite patches of dark clouds hanging around. Charu was already late for her office; nothing really went according to the plan. Today was quite important; she was expected to make a presentation. She had to burn her midnight oil for presentation, and to her horror she failed to keep a tab on her alarm. When she woke up, it was 8 in the morning. To make things worse, her scooty refused to start. Now she was in the bus stop, chewing her finger nails and waiting for the bus. She was making short strides luring the attention of by standers there, occasionally fiddling with her mobile. When she saw the watch it was quarter past nine, she knew she had screwed her chance. There were humpty number of 27D (bus no) in this route, to make matters worse, not a single bus was found.

            How come everything go wrong in a single day? That too, when you are so grave to make it to the top. Charu forgot her alarm; Scooty betrayed her and now no buses. Perhaps she might say, it was her ill luck or throw blame on Fate. To throw some light on this bizarre thing, a guy named Murphy, engineer (Bravo!! only they do things differently) working on Air Force, coined a Law trying to explain such acts. It was called ‘Murphy’s Law’.  By now you must be annoyed that too many laws are acerbic, but let me tell no definitions will be penned here. To give an essence, “If something is about to fail, it will fail”, Just like a drop of water running down your skin. It’s quite difficult to predict it s path. Adding to this, we have had similar experiences while standing in a queue for fetching tickets. We often feel that our queue was moving at a snail s pace, but in reality it isn’t so.

            Most absurd things can be explained or rather tagged as Murphy s Law. We often find ourselves sitting beside the most attractive girl of my college, that too in the toughest test. Our pens failing to work in the semester exam or the extra pens getting lost when we needed the most. Welcome to this annoying Murphy’s world, present UPA government seems to be caught in this whirl. Every now and then a fresh scam is being dug from the annals of their reign. Despite their achievements (if there had been any) there s burst of anger and revolt springing from every echelon of the society. We don t give a damn when everything goes accordingly, but when something goes bad, we look for reasons. These laws tend to hinge on the cons and make a mockery at us.

              Mr.Raaid has two keys to open his door, but only one can open the lock. The keys look alike and are kept in a pouch. Every time after his late night parties, he stands in his dark veranda fumbling for the right key; he is made to look schmuck ending up in the wrong key. He tired an experiment of 18 trials; normally as per probability one s likely to have 9 successful attempts but on the contrary the results are different. He succeeded in only once, pleasing Mr.Murphy. There are mathematical equations to give sense to this bizarre law, but still, to every solution there is a new set of problems. (Another Murphy’s Law). Murphy s Factor and constant will help us to predict the mishaps in our life, but life becomes software programmed to run. There will be a robocalypse, baying for blood and devoid of emotions.

            Keeping aside these mathematical equations and predictions, let’s enjoy this thrilling ride with ample twists and turns. I know only when my hands are dirty; my nose will start to itch. Ironically, this itching intensity is proportional to the difficulty in reaching it. This life is the best vacation God has gifted us, packed with emotions and trust. This trust – we believe about the million stars in the sky without any doubt, but we tend to touch the freshly painted wall despite the notification, just to be sure. I m going to sit back and enjoy my trip rather than dwelling on Mr.Murphy and his Laws.