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 !! )