Friday, November 8, 2013

She left and he would never leave.

He already knew that it would end this way but he didn't expect it this earlier. That was her last day in that institution; in the place he was destined to be throughout his life. She was already there enjoying every day classes, workouts, group sessions and friends when he entered the place. His parents dropped him there with no other options left for the boy. The first few days, he didn't like it there - Constant shouts, continuous monitoring, strict rules, forbidden areas - he didn't adapt to the surroundings. All he would is sit near the window hoping to catch the bus in the bus stop which he never knew wasn't going to come at all.

After a few years, he was shifted to another place and the life was still the same for him. She was thoroughly enjoying every single moment there. Or rather she seemed to be the enjoying type to him, not very emotional making him wonder why she was ever present in a place like this at the first place. He let that pass on and continued to pin his hopes on the bus stop down the lane through the window.

Is it he or she who talked first? Well, that was not clear till that moment. Not till the moment of separation. The pain was excruciating. She kept talking and he too talked. She cared for all the other people around her. She treated almost everyone similar and there was no exception to her. And then there were office people who wanted discipline in the institution. Well, for one it was a Medical institution and keeping the inmates in was a tedious task for the orderlies there.

He was not the same way when he was born. A few things at his school - which were not certain - changed him. His parents did everything they could do yet there was no improvement and this was their final option. It was his second day in the new section of the hospital and he was already feeling a few changes in him. He thought that they were close and started feeling happy. Indeed that was the first time he felt happiness after years.

On the third day, he saw her moving out with the luggage. The same bus stop he had been dreaming for years. Permanently! It was hardly three days and he felt something which would have probably changed him. She would have never known that a mental patient had feelings for her. She left and he would never leave. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

International best economy rate bowler

"The nation wants to know!" shouted Mr.X, the reporter of the Fraud first of Injambakkam.

"I saw it in a poster under the bridge near the Trisulam flyover. The fault is not mine." Ms. Y, the reporter of Mind-U feinted an accent.

"Tell us everything Ms. Y. The nation wants to know."

"It was a 20*40 poster with Mr. Z holding a ball. A caption saying "Won the International best economy rate bowler!" It attracted me. I hadn't seen the news before and I wanted to publish it under my name and get some attraction. I ran a cover story visiting and getting details from every house in Trisulam. He is a guy from Trisulam, right? I visited Z's memes page and saw some amazing stats. I was given a column in the second page. "

"Trisulam? Meme? Okay, Mr. Z it's your turn now. Please, the nation wants to know."

"I was an enthusiastic ball boy. I loved the full toss, under-arm ball right since my childhood days. But my father wanted only to pursue as DRINKS boy as that would alone ensure me a good career. I always requested to bowl the ball. Initially I was outside the rope and I was throwing from the boundary lines. Later the captain was impressed and he selected me in the squad. I delivered my best getting a 5-wicket haul and just giving 20 runs in 10 overs. That was the best ever figures. They wanted me to bowl my underarm special and for 15 overs every match and I never failed to deliver. I always worked hard for the ball and they gave me the best bowling figures award. This is the award they gave."

Image: Harikrishna Raghuraman

After the two left, Mr. X made a few calls one of which was to the ICC President. He totally rejected it stating it as a false claim. "I vaguely remember the guy named Z. He came to the match as drinks boy and took the role of a ball boy but he was rejected after a few matches. Anyone who brings drinks can also throw balls which doesn't mean that he has the best bowling figures."

The BCCI said, "Since the player went abroad saying he had won an award we sponsored him but we thought that it was for throwing balls from beyond the boundary lines. We are embarrassed."

Meanwhile the reporter Ms. Y blamed it on that Trisulam poster saying that it was their mistake and she did not do anything embarrassing. But it is clear that even if she had watched one Indian match she would have known about Z. She doesn't even know about the veracity of the memes. She doesn't know those curses people threw at him in social network. And she doesn't know that there is no award in that name. She is a reporter yet she failed to notice the forgery or verify its authenticity. Mr. Z is unavailable for the comment.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Outdoors to Indoors.

It was yet another normal warm day, as it is usually in Chennai, until the dark monstrous clouds gathered directly above us, intimidating with loud thunders. Belligerent, cool winds rushed past the bus in which I was sitting near a window. The bus was almost full except for a couple of seats and the conductor walked up and down the aisle asking for tickets. The traffic showed its sight, now and then allowing the bus to totter like an old man. The drizzle was in a full view and all ran looking for a shelter. Suddenly everything turned into a mess. The traffic came to a still, people stranded under the shelters they could find, teenagers spending time in those tattered tea shops with a tea and a snack, vendors desperately trying to cover the products, the animals standing in the open places enjoying the rain, and there I was sitting inside the bus capturing every single vivid moment. A few minutes later, the downpour humbled to a slight drizzle and things turned normal.

Image : Harikrishna Raghuraman

I was on my way to my grandmother's home, where she had been living for the past 30 years, after she had shifted from a village. My grandfather is no more alive. I got down at my stop and the earth was still alive from those few minutes of rain. I felt the odour that enlivened my spirits and the roads with potholes became water stores for the dogs and the cows. They relished drinking water oblivious of the people shooing them away. The main road to the area welcomed me with a construction site which was once crowded with bushes, thorny plants and the local animals and birds.

It was a Tuesday evening and it had been more than a couple of months since I came here. I couldn't see any one down the road. Every house I crossed was locked from the inside with people either sitting before televisions or computers or sleeping. None bothered to enjoy this vivacious scenery and the pleasant smell. There were no children playing with the paper boats in the stagnant water. No adolescent out of their houses to stand under a tree with someone shaking the branches. No adults standing near the wall talking to the neighbours. Everybody seemed to love the virtual world. None came to see who was walking on their roads and none to ask me who I was.

It took me fifteen years back when I lived in other district and visited this place frequently, practically all those festival seasons. We used to take autos, not till her home, but only till the main road leading to hers. My dad did this because he was more than acquainted with all those in the area though it had been eight years since he left the place for a job. The bus stop near the road had a wooden furniture shop whose owner was a family friend. We usually spend some time there and move on. Everyone's gates would be widely opened with children in view playing and the parents talking. As we crossed each home, people used to come out and talk with my dad. They would enquire about my studies and my mom's welfare and would invite us for a coffee. My dad politely refused every time and they allowed us to leave with a word that we would have a coffee with them in that visit.

The shop at the corner of the street, we called it Murthy stores, irrespective of the change of the names (Murthy to Subha to Ayyanar), always made me feel at home. We, cousins, are more in number and we could get anything saying that we were from that house. The shop keeper Anna never refused to give anything and our elders always compensated it. The huge tree in front of a nearby house always had nice fragrant flowers and I have never left the place without sticking its petals to my nails and making demon-like appearances. And in each house, I always got a comment how my father was when he was young , many a time same set of stories repeated. My grandparents introduced me to their neighbors and proudly said that I was their first grandson. It used to embarrass me even at that ingenuous age.

The "thinnai" in the front always had people and kids on the wall in front of it. Whenever I entered, there would be umpteen people to tell, "Hey Hari, come!" with a smile. Practically there would be no place for us, more than twenty in number, in that home. We will form groups (usually the kids) and sleep in meighbours'. (When guests came to others', they too slept in our home). But all the kids, we slept together in one room. We talked and laughed throughout the night while the elder who was responsible for us that night used to have a hard time sleeping as we never allowed him/her to sleep. My dad or uncles or aunts.

The drizzle came down again bringing me back to present. There I was, in the street with my home at view, yet none noticed me. There was none on the "thinnai" and suddenly loneliness engulfed me. I opened the gate with none to receive me. My grandmother was working in kitchen and asked me to sit. Most of my cousins are married and a good number out of the city. 

The nature retains its quality from the beginning. Same downpour, same heat, same fragrance of the first earth after rain, same wind. But people do change. That place looked like alien. I yearned for the old place with the old people.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Round and white!

This post has been selected by BlogAdda as one of the BlogAdda's Spicy Saturday picks Aug 17, '13.

"Papa? I had an egg today!" The kid said with a wide smile and a pride in her tone. 

"That's so nice. Come here. What else did you have?"

"Sambar rice and curd rice too. But leave that all, I had egg papa."

"Today is your first day at school. What did you learn?" 

"Papa, The egg is perfectly round. It felt smooth in my hands."

"Yeah, that's nice."

"That's the first one I have ever had mama!" The kid turned towards its mother. 

Her mother felt so sad struck by the reality that they had sent their kid to this school to have at least one meal a day. She faked her smile. The kid stared at her face. 

"I used to have them every day when I was a kid, dear," diverted its dad. 

"Was that egg also white in color and round in shape?" 

"Yes, the same attributes." 

"Wow, so cool papa, I am going to have yet another one tomorrow. Now I shall go to sleep dreaming about eggs!" 

A few minutes passed. By then, the kid had slept. 

"I am happy that she can have one full meal a day. Though she can never learn things, she can eat. That's all I want." The kid's mother cried.  

Her husband gave her a concerning look. Their voices faded away in the rain. 

Next day, almost every single face was staring at the news channels. 

"23 Students died after eating poisonous mid day meals." 

Source : The Indian Express 

P.S: In memory of those innocuous kids who had died after eating poisonous mid-day meals.  

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Stupid EB line man!

Sarcastic remarks on TNEB and its employees have become a trend, well, for the past few months.

Power cuts - Curse TNEB.

Low Voltage - Curse TNEB.
Voltage Fluctuations - Curse TNEB.
Power comes back at 4.01 instead of the scheduled timing 4.00 - Curse TNEB.

Source : The Deccan Chronicle

A common ignorant man might think that it is blatant that power cuts are because of lack of proper maintenance by TNEB. But giving it a closer look proves us otherwise. Unfortunately, I too have been on this side of the people to curse TNEB, mainly its employees whom we call as "Current-karan" (Similar to Auto-Karan, Bus-Karan (Kadan-karan). or similar to Auto-wallah). But I was forced to change my stance at a midnight of a day. Yes, it was around 11.30 PM.

I had my semester exam the next day, the most macabre paper. Having studied for one and a half days without taking break unless essential, I was so tired. I wanted a solid five hours sleep to keep myself from falling asleep during exam the next day. So I finished my works and retired to bed by 10.30 checking my alarm which was scheduled for ringing at 4.00 AM the following morning. It was around 11 when the sleep hit me and simultaneously the power cut.

"Damn!" I thought expecting the power to be back soon. Mosquitoes kept me widely awake along with perspiration. I tried the EB contact number but in vain. A very standard, poised tone "This number can't be reached right now!" Try it after sometime, same result. Even IRCTC website can be accessed with some persistence but not the EB office number. It was 12.00 and I couldn't sleep. I buckled up to go to the office. I hastened along the empty, dark roads to the office which was deserted. There was none in the entire office and slowly people started pouring in at an eerie hour of the day. 

There were some angry conversations and few even hinted interest in ransacking the place. By then, a two dozen people filled the ground below the office with a dozen vehicles blocking the road. Suddenly people left with some destination in their mind and I followed them to reach the post which gets from a station from Kadapperi to my area. There were a few on the top of that post and were working with determination to locate the trouble and clear it. They had been there for the past two hours which left me surprised. Exactly when the power had gone. 

Silently lauding them, I left the place after things had been cleared. I rode my vehicle in joy only to find that the power cut again in another 15 minutes. Again the call process and the direct visit. This time, a malfunction in the transformer near my home and flabbergasted to find two people working before I reached there. After all, they are not what we hear but what we haven't heard. 

They work 24X7 running from places to places, posts to posts, transformers to transformers, faults to faults to keep us cool in the air-conditioned room. They don't attend our calls to hear our complaints but they redress our complaints. They are not the one who cut power but they are the one who just turns the switches on and off. 

The problem is not with these lower end people but with the people at the higher end. This post here is not to complain the higher end of the people but to show the true face of the lower end of the people. That's their part of the story. Coming to mine, the power was back by 3.30 AM, half an hour ahead of my scheduled alarm. I hesitantly changed it to 5.00 AM and woke in time to revise for the exam. 

Yes, I did feel sleepy throughout the most of the day! But I managed to write my exam without dozing off. And as I write this, the power goes off twice. Curse the higher level of TNEB. Is that okay? 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

No "AND" please.

Cup and Saucer, Bread and Butter, Over and Out are a few of the hundreds of Siamese twins that exist in the language. Well, for one, Deaf and Dumb is certainly not one. It's not a twin but an example for cause and effect. All dumb people are not deaf. And certainly all deaf people are not dumb. 


On the other day, I was returning home after a taxing day in college. As usual, the train was crowded - what else to expect at 5.30 PM on a weekday - and I managed to board it. I stood near the compartment door or what they call, foot-boarded the train. Earphones doing their work effectively, I hummed along with it. The trees and structures whizzed past me and so the stations. The hue and cry of the city didn't affect me in anyway except that I got down at every station and boarded again at the sight of green flag of the white attired guard. Everyone was shouting "Please leave way!" all along till they got down and they never forgot to give us a stare as if there was enough space inside and I was standing near the door to show off. Pity them. 

And then three school kids got in. White unbuttoned half-sleeves, grey full trousers and an emblem stitched to their pockets. Anyone could have easily taken them as some ordinary school kids but giving them a closer look indicated me something different. They were silent and I was curious. I removed my ear phones to hear their forthcoming conversation. But removing my earphones didn't do me any good for they didn't open their mouths. It was blatant that they should be weary of the day similar to me. 

Then moved their hands. So fast that I could not easily see their position and momentum. Heisenberg's uncertainty Principle. I had to give more attention to see what they were doing. They were communicating. Yes, by sign language. I was moved yet at the same time thrilled. Like any other layman, I mistook them as Deaf and Dumb. But something which happened immediately wronged my mind. A Gentle man tried to catch the train after it had started and he fell down on the platform badly hurting him. Everyone understanding the peril before our eyes started shouting out loud. I instantaneously noticed them with their mouths opened in fear. They too were shouting. They were successful in making the noise though they didn't know it. I heard them and others near didn't care to. 

These kids are a part of the special school and they are trained very well on sign language. They communicated very casually and in fact more emotionally than us through their eyes. Though they were not dumb, their deafness made their mouth mute. With proper training, they could voice their thoughts. 

That evening, I noticed a contest in Indiblogger to write for a cause based TEDxGateway Mumbai. I casually browsed through the videos not for entering the contest but to check out the issues these people talked about. And I noticed one particular talk by Ruma Roka who is the founder of the Noida Deaf Society, which uses specialized vocational programs to help the deaf achieve gainful employment and more fully integrate into their communities. I decided to write about the one I witnessed that evening. 

We all can see one Visually Challenged person or many travelling to work. And we can see stupid people working everywhere with all their senses wide open except their mind. But have we seen one who is deaf or dumb who has gone to one proper job? By proper job I mean, the job which is not an underemployment to that person I am talking about. No definitely, we haven't. Why are these set of people refused every where they go? Since they have no hearing or speaking ability? But job is a mental work though a little physical work is needed. I am not telling that they should be employed in a job where communicating is important but there are jobs where these people can shine. 

Ruma Roka says this one important point which can be an advantage. "They are deaf and they are focused on their job without any distraction." See her talk hereFranklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012. We need not get down on the field to bring the change. A few small changes in our mind, in the way we perceive things can bring upon enormous effects in our society. 

Links : 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Bannerghatta Biological Park

Bangalore. There is always an exaggerated hype about this particular city. I was eagerly awaiting to enter the state of Karnataka and I actually did a couple of weeks back. The pleasant weather and the Tamil-speaking auto-wallahs welcomed me to the non-metropolitan Bangalore. Well, it has not attained that status officially. At least that is what the Government says. I remained so surprised about the pleasant weather throughout my visit and what caused it. The first two days were the usual shopping days at mega shopping malls in the city and my wonder about the no-sun factor. We planned for a visit to the gardens of the city the next day. After all, it is the garden city of India.

Bannerghatta National Park
I was changing the TV channels and finally settled at Discovery. That was when I got this idea of the zoo safari which my friends  had mentioned. I asked my uncle to take us to the Bannerghatta Biological Park. My dad and I took the two-wheeler. Others took the car. He rode the bike and I was sitting on the pillion incessantly talking about the place, weather, buildings, roads, signs and almost everything that occurred to my mind. My dad escaped my non-sense talk. Rightly said that Helmet is a life-saving one. He was wearing a helmet and he escaped my speech. We followed the car; the ride was 26 KMs and took around an hour to reach the destination. 

We parked our vehicles at the parking lot and made our way to the ticket counter only to find that only the zoo is opened for the public and the safari tickets would be available after 3.30 PM. Everyone took it easy as they shouldered their way through the crowd to the gate. I hastened to the zoo entrance turning my head often to the Safari part. The very first sight of the white peacock displaying with that loud shrill made me jump in joy along with my sister's 3 year old kid. 

This followed by several other birds. Various species of Macaw and their flamboyant display of their colours was a visual treat. They were so active and were flying, jumping and giving shrill noises. Parrots, Pelicans, Monkeys, Deer, Crocodiles were in large number and of different varieties. Sambar, Black buck, Neelgai and several more followed. 

There were 6 emus and a pair of Ostriches and I was only amazed to find that many animals in that park were adopted by celebrities. Former Indian bowler Anil Kumble has adopted very many species. He is also the Vice Chairman of the State board of Wild Life.  Wild Elephants were silently grazing and so the Zebra. 

Bears constantly roamed around to draw our attention.The Wolves and the Jackals silently lied at one end of their cage without responding to the people trying to provoke them. The Lion-tailed Macaque and the Hanuman Langurs climbed out of their cage and played with the people around. The reptiles weren't much of an attraction as they hid and proved difficult to spot them. 

The Porcupines and their spines made me feel a shiver down my spine. The Leopard's growl instantly drew much people near their cage and a big leopard kept walking with frequent roars. The Hippopotamuses were playing among themselves and they didn't mind us, so we. Ducks, Platypuses and Otters also added beauty to the wildlife present.

The white peacock welcomed us in and now the Indian peacocks gave us a warm exit. Two of them made brilliant spectacular displays. There were a series of sudden flashes and another peacock started displaying. I wondered how much they love attraction as we do. 

This brought the end of the zoo and my safari dream was still there at the back of my mind. I ran to the ticket counter to ask if there were any tickets issued. They gave us a positive reply as my face became bright and we bought them. We were the last ones to buy them.

They took us in a grill-windowed van along a bumpy road which made everyone jump and everything jump. First of the few animals to be spotted were deer, bison and a couple of really wild elephants. Everyone in the van had cell phones or handy cams and they incessantly clicked. We entered the Bear Safari zone only to find them playing inside their cage. So far, the safari had nothing to thrill us. Then it happened. 

We entered the Tiger and Lion safari. To our left, far away there were a pack of lions roaring and moving around. We stopped there for a few minutes and started. Suddenly the van before us stopped and everyone looked through the grills to find a young lioness moving in a circle growling loud and hard. That was the very first incident to shake us. It practically didn't allow us to go. We waited for her to move but she never gave up. So we changed our route and proceeded.

And then the other came. A Tigress between our vans. It moved from one side of the road to other. I was sitting in the last window seat and she came near me, lifted her face. I saw her canines glowing right in front of my eyes at less than 2 feet, only a grill between us. I sat stuck to my seat and I didn't dare to take my camera out to take a flash. 

She moved away from me and I peeped outside to find a white Tiger standing at one corner. He seemed so weak and old. I was recording their movements till my uncle pulled me in. The first tigress came back near me and she saw me. I looked at her eyes, her whiskers, tongue lashing in and out. I felt awe-inspired by her and she stood there for what seemed like an eternity.

We proceeded with her image vivid in my mind to be stopped by a group of 3 young Tigers. They were so active. Two of them noticed the vans and they rushed towards us. If they simultaneously attacked the van, it would certainly topple. But they bumped into each other and one jumped on the other. The third stood in its hind legs and its fore legs on the cage fence. Majestic one really. That sight marked the end of the safari. 

We were told the story of two small boys who managed to sneak into the park only to find the death the very next day. They believe the elephants caused it. But I would say the boys caused it. The animals reflect our behaviour. We came out of the park and filled our hungry stomachs. In a few minutes we hit the main road leading to our home. I will remember this safari for many more years to come. 

Bannerghatta National park is situated 22 Kms south of Bangalore. The official website is hereThe journey to the park takes nearly one hour from Bangalore.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A brief memoir for a brief life.

Writing an article with a word limit? Writing an article with 1000 words or more is always easy. A rant about something has been a walk in the park for me. I have always been remembered fondly as a garrulous and an obstreperous one in any place I have made my presence. But being brief, that's a difficult one. Brevity is the soul of wit. Fine, let me try. (Yes, I know that I have already started to rant!)

A 6 word Memoir. Describe self in 6 words. Everything I have acquired or yet to acquire is  by experience. Things in life are always split into two categories. Learning and Teaching. Once I have learnt something, my job doesn't end with doing it, explore it and I have to teach it. This completes a cycle. See an eagle. An eaglet learns to fly by falling from its mother. And later, it teaches its eaglets to fly by falling. 

And here goes my 6-word Memoir. 

Learning from experiences, teaching after exploring. 

This six word memoir is part of a CBC (Chennai Bloggers Club) tag to encourage and enliven the spirit of blogging. Chennai Bloggers club is a Chennai based group through which we keep the blogging spirit alive. Discussions, learning and teaching. Apart from that, we are also constantly involved in social issues. This tag was passed on to me by Karen Xavier-Fernandez who blogs at Contemplations and Ruminations and I am passing it on to Ashwini, who blogs at 
Just The Way I Like

Thursday, May 30, 2013

First year and a reason to cherish.

Again a long gap for a couple of months. This semester is really taxing and it practically didn't give me much time. No, not even to pursue my passion. And now a reason to celebrate. 365 days over. Its been a year since Freezing Eternity was born (31st May). It feels like only yesterday I was planning to start a blog. This year has been a great one for me especially in this virtual world. Blogs, posts, comments, contests, friends, updates, tweets and others. And I really feel so happy for being here and writing what I think. 

This blog was not started last year in contradiction to what my first post tells. On the contrary, it was two and a half years back. One of my best buddies, Vignesh Natarajan, who blogs here, introduced me to the world of blogs. I always loved reading his blog and various other blogs he followed. It was at that time I thought to blog though I had lacked several criteria for blogging. But the zeal of expressing what I think made me stick on to it. And thus it started, December 2010. I had put a couple of really bad posts and later I took my blog down. It was during my last vacation that blogging occupied my mind and here I am. With more than forty number of posts, though very less in number compared to an active blogger, I took to blogging. I loved it, admired it and got inspired by my fellow mates. 

There is IndiBlogger, BlogAdda, Blog-a-Ton giving me various reasons to post and constantly encouraging it. And then came the Chennai Bloggers Club. I loved the club so much and we are active there interacting, have several threads discussing about topics at length, getting advice, celebrating days, meetings and of course, writing posts. 

The day I started writing was a disastrous one. An old man died near my home the previous night and there was his funeral proceeding that day afternoon. There were fireworks displayed, crackers blasted, and whistles blown. And the hut beside my home was set ablaze in fire. It quickly spread to the nearby trees and there was some real damage. There were additional blasts inside the burning home; exacerbating the effect and the fire engine came near the climax. 

I was staring at the house bewildered. Before gaining my senses back, I got the worst news. My uncle died in the hospital following a sudden cardiac arrest. His demise came in as a sudden shock leaving us in despair. Things got over the next day and the entire family was in grief agony. 

The day could never go worse anymore. I had published my first post the next day, which was ready two days before. And here is the next year. Every time my blog celebrates its blogoversary, these events will keep ringing in my head. I pray for my uncle. May his soul rest in peace. 

And then there are many more whom I would like to thank. Shreeraman, Sathish, Divya, Janani, Guru Ramprakash, Rajkiran, Hariharan, Madhu, Shruthi, Sai, my CBC admin Susan, other CBC people Sowmya, Ashwini, Akash, Sivaranjini, and of course Vignesh for motivating me. Thanks to these and others who have constantly been patient to read my silly posts and comments. There are many others whom I didn't mention here yet have been my wonderful readers. I also thank my sister Haripriya and parents for reading every single post and criticizing it. 

This blog, I visit here every day, reading my posts, laughing at my bad mistakes, smiling at comments from friends, checking for the page views, thinking about a new post and just passing my time staring at this same page you are here. This blog has been my good companion giving me reasons to cherish about my very own world. My sincere thanks to my readers and friends. I really wish to be regular here this year. Happy Birthday in advance Freezing Eternity. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You are not doing it, It is me.

"The Director is on the line."

"The director? Phone please, father."

The actor held the mobile in his nervous hands which were trembling with fear and curiosity. Had the director decided to book him for his upcoming film? This very thought gave him goosebumps and there was a smile on his face. He decided not to ask him about the film. He wanted to hear the director telling him that news in his voice. He didn't tell anyone about a very slight chance he had to take a lead role in the director's classic. Instead he thought that he should wait for the public announcement.

"Hey, this is the director speaking."

"Sir, yeah! I am so much enthralled to speak with you."

"So, ready for a change? Drive to my office! I shall talk to you about a lead role in my upcoming film."

The director cut the call after saying about - the news the actor had been expecting through out his life - the agreement. He was at a loss for words and there he stood frozen midst his people asking him questions like a statue in the beach which stands unfazed midst the rumbling waves.

This had been his passion from the moment films were introduced to him or he was introduced to the films. His friends always told him that he had a talent for acting and he really didn't know if it was true or mockery. He was fortunate enough to have some good friends in the film industry. He clung on to them and was waiting for an opportunity which would change his career. Well, it did come. Not so easily.

Three minutes in a 3-hour long film was his first cast. Then 6 min in the next. It extended as an arithmetic progression. Finally the day has come to act for the entire 3 hours in a lead director's film. He was so excited for the next few days that he started growing his beard, exercising to keep his body fit. It was a film on the forest dwellers and he lived nearly for a month with them in the dense forests. He had not eaten food with fat content since the call. He looked similar to the protagonist of the Hollywood movie, "The Machinist". His hair had grown long enough that he could try a French plait. The shoot was supposed to start by the beginning of the next week. He didn't know that there was a storm coming to knock him down. 

It was Sunday, a week before April in which the film's shoot was scheduled to begin. He was incessantly talking about his shoot to every Tom, Dick and Harry. One such Tom reported him the tragedy. The prayer ceremony was going to happen on the next evening much ahead of schedule and he was not informed about that. He called the director, there was no response. He tried his assistant's number and he picked up the call. It was so unfortunate that he picked up.

"Sir, what happened? I was not informed about the ceremony change."

"Uhh, Please hold. I will put him on the line." 

Him? Who him? He was perspiring. There could not be a mistake. But the director would not have done it deliberately. What if he had? He would know everything in a moment.


"Director? I wasn't..." 

"This is not the director speaking to you. I am the son of the producer."

"I wasn't informed about the change."

"Aren't you informed about the change? Oh, yeah! How could the director tell you? He was feeling a little bad about this."

"What is there to regret in telling me about the change of the dates?"

"Change of the dates? No, I am not talking about that. I am talking about you. You are not doing the lead role. You are not doing it. It is me."

He was stunned, wordless and his face looked pale like a dead fish taken out of frozen ice. However, the speaker continued. 

"I am the son of the producer of this film and my father had accepted to produce it under this condition. I am playing the lead role."

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I saw you today

Shaun Reed came to the dining room after bidding goodbye to his two sons. One was 15-years old and other was 17 years old. He had to rush up to his friend's company to check its progress and then to his lab. He called his wife.

"Hey, Jeez, It's getting late. My breakfast."

"Coming Shaun. Can you be a little more patient?"

"You know my schedule. Don't you darl? I have too many works eating my time."

"It's your fault. You shouldn't have taken up the task of supervising your friend's company."

"Don't start it again! He is my best friend and it's my duty to do it for he has entrusted me with this task."

"Where is he now? Why did he leave the place without telling anyone?"

"He wanted peace. He didn't have it in his life. When he will return is a million dollar question. Let us have some hope."

He was about to finish his breakfast when the door bell rang. Shaun attended the door. There was a post man standing with a smile on his lips. A black rimmed spectacle adorned his beard face.

"Shaun Reed?"

"You know my name?"

"It's there in the letter sir..."

"You look so familiar. Who are you?"

"New post man assigned for duty in this area sir." He handed the letter.

"What? From Hayte Kle?"

Tears started welling up his eyes. The visitor nodded his head in approval. Every day since his absence, Shaun Reed used to check his post box for his mails, mobile for his calls. But none came and today at last a post from him.

Shaun sat in the sofa thinking in retrospect. Those days were always adorable for him yet hurtful. Both were from the same college and Hayte got a job whereas Shaun entered the research line and continued his passion. Hayte flourished and started a company. Shaun became a scientist. After Hayte's sister's marriage, he bought a home near his sister's. He had taken care of everything, he had only his company duties. He asked Shaun to help him with it.

One fine day, (Probably bad day for his people) he left the place. None knew where he left. 15 years passed by since then.

"Hey, the envelope down here." Jeez shouted. Shaun came to his present. She gave him the envelope and it was addressed to Shaun Reed, him. He told her that he would see it in his office. After checking on Hayte Kle's company, he left for his lab. He noted in his mind that he should read the letter on reaching his lab.

He entered his cabin and tore the envelope open. His face showed a mixture of expressions as his gaze lowered down the envelope.

Dear Shaun Reed, 

I don't wish to beat around the bush. I am sorry for everything. I am sorry for leaving you alone for 15 years. I am sorry for not looking after my parents and I am sorry for leaving that responsibility to you. I am sorry for not attending your marriage yet I am happy that I had made some efforts for the life you are living now. I am sorry for burdening you with my company responsibilities but I didn't have one to entrust them with this. And I am sorry for giving you that “major” burden. I don't have a reason for this. But I am sorry for the great battle going on in your mind whether to tell your wife that one of your boys is actually not yours but mine. I am sorry for that too.
The truth which you and I alone know. It is definitely not an ugly truth but not a truth to celebrate with others. The day your first child was born dead and you were not in a position to accept that, I had no other option but to give you my child, my adopted child. Yes Shaun, he isn't my boy and I actually adopted him from a very far place. I adopted him to remove the silence in me. I adopted him to make my parents believe that I had a child with some girl. I adopted a boy to forget my past memories with her. With her, Shaun. I wanted to forget her. 

And here I am without him. But I am happy here, Shaun, with all kids clouding my thoughts with their innocence. And I am happy that my son is safe with you with my friend. With my brother. I have always seen you as my brother, my younger brother.

You know my life, Shaun. You know my hurts and insults. You know my cowardice. You know my denial and weak mind. I have had enough experiences in my life in just 28 years what an octogenarian would have seen in his entire life. I never realized who were true until things started changing. I was always surrounded by selfish crocs who were waiting for me to slip into the water so that they could have their feast. I succumbed to their wishes. I never had courage to tell people what I had in my mind. I never had strong mind to take strict decisions in my life. Please don't grow your children that way.

Tell them that you once had a friend named Hayte Kle and the story.

""He was good, generous and intelligent. But he never had confidence in him. He was always clouded by fear throughout his life that he might become a loser. He never had the courage to tell what he had in his mind. He always stood first when it came to others. He was such a nice guy to hang out with. He always preferred relationships to his ego. And so he lost his self-respect and self-esteem. Everyone took advantage of his weak mind and used him for their benefits.

There was no one except a few which included your dad who had been telling him constantly to be confident and strong. But he didn't listen to our words and he started losing by gaining. He rose to a supreme position in his field but failed to keep true people near him. Courage eluded him when it came to his own life but supported him when it came to others'. He was one of the reasons that you two are leading a good life now.""

Be confident in life, learn to take strong decisions, never expect from others, learn to be a little selfish, learn to say 'No', never lose your self-esteem, be friendly to all, be careful in your life, shed your innocence after a point, Never take your victories to your head, Never run behind people instead make them come behind you, recognize the true people around you, and at last, never ignore people in life. I know how painful it will be.

I owe you a lot for taking care of my company and checking on my parents. I heard that all our close friends are doing well. Help them in case they need. Hope She is also fine. My parents too would be reading my letter now.

I hear you asking me a question. “You don't wish to see us?” I saw you all. I am very happy that I saw you today in morning. Every one of you. Bye.

With Love,
Hayte Kle.


I saw you today. The postman. Shaun started crying. Like a child. He had never cried in the past 15 years. Not after the day Hayte left everyone in despair. He threw away the letter in anguish sorrow. A newspaper flew onto the floor from the envelope. A photo caught his face, Hayte's and Shaun read the headline. 

"The Unknown guy, who has been in coma for the past 15 years, dies today morning."

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Change, Are you ready?

I have always believed in this proverb. "Little drops of water make the mighty ocean." Whenever I think about a single change which is likely to bring an all round prosperity to our society, I often get confused how a single change will shake the entire society which has been built slowly for millions of years! The way we live today is a result of the slow but steady progress of the "minds" of our ancestors over a huge period of a little above hundreds of thousands of years! And how does a 'single' change is likely to change the entire condition?

And what else can we expect? A revolution? Like the French or the Cuban one? No, it isn't possible in our India. India isn't a country suitable for revolutions. What else can we possibly do to bring about this change? Only small changes in ourselves, in the minds of the people who wish to see a change, in the hearts of those who are eager to change this society, in the thoughts of those who just sit there to watch a change will bring about the change we desire. Yes. Everything, every single thing starts at a single point: "Me". If you wish to see a change in the country, first try to bring a change in your actions and that shall lead the country to.

One can ask me many questions pertaining to this. "We are common citizens and what can you expect from us to change this complex society?" Well, the answer is simple. It is in the proverb in which I have always believed. Little drops of ocean water make the mighty ocean. A tiny change in yourself and that shall shake the world. Let me introduce you a new character Mr. Changer alias Mr. C, who is a social activist.

Small change #1: There are several "Save energy, save power." campaigns going on all around the world. The environmentalists protest with placards "Don't waste power and hence the natural resources!” We all talk about those big, showy campaigns. We run marathons, participate in debates, give lectures etc., But how many of us follow that in our places? How many have that slightest attitude to switch off the fans and lights in the room when we leave the room, though we are going to return after two minutes? The statistics reports that nearly 50% of the energy used for home purposes are wasted in the inefficient usage of electricity like the above one.

It was a bright day and Mr. Changer was standing out of his home admiring the bright sun after 3 days of heavy downpour. Suddenly a small kid, around 7-8 years, called him.

"What’s the matter kid?"

"Changer sir, do you know where the control of the street lights located? It is a bright day and yet the street lights are all on. It is wastage of power, right? None seem to have any concern about it and switch it off. I myself will do it."

Mr. C was completely lost. He didn't notice that those lights were ON. He came out of his home, walked towards a lamp post and turned the switch off.

The kid smiled, "Thanks Changer sir."

And that kid left the place. C thought that he should have been the one to thank him. But he did and C admired his social thought.

Do we have this?

Small Change #2: Accidents, accidents and accidents everywhere! Yes, I do hear you saying that you are all very cautious in driving vehicles and it is not your fault. If every individual who rides vehicles justifies him/her, then who is the reason for accidents? Oh, it may be the vehicles themselves. Yeah we can blame it on the vehicles and even the road blocks. “I was riding vehicle and suddenly my vehicle fell in love with the bumper of the car in front of me and it wanted to impress the dash board and so it sped hitting (on) it! And so the accident.” Well, this might work only if you survive. What can we possibly do?

I also drive vehicle and I drive almost every day. And out of 10 vehicles, 9 don’t care to turn their indicators on or horn when they take a left and 4 don’t care to turn on their indicators even when they take a right.

Once a vehicle was taking a left turn in a day time but he didn't turn his indicator on. Mr. C saw this at a distance from his vehicle and drove to him.

"Hi Social buddy, what‘s up?"

"You didn't turn on your indicator while turning left."

"Hey, lefts are free in India and one need not turn on his indicator while turning left."

"Then why do vehicles manufactured in India come with a left indicator at the front and the rear?"

"But you always talk about energy saving? I saved power now without turning on the indicator unnecessarily."

"Oh, you quote energy saving now?"

(A vicious smile!)

"Turn off your head lights. It is day time."

The guy couldn't reply and left the place. He took a left turn without his indicator ON again and ‘THUD’, a sound of a metal body crashing against other. C rushed to the place to find the guy on the road with his bike 30 feet away from him.

Small Change #3: These days, there are loads of opportunities abroad and we all study here and leave the country. After few years, we return to see our relatives and friends and to show off our standard. We follow the rules in that country but never care to follow them here.

Mr C went to a theater to see a documentary. During interval he went to buy a pack of popcorn. He heard a conversation between a dad and his son. Seeing the guy’s appearance, C thought that he should have recently returned from foreign. C noticed that the son’s pocket was full of empty chocolate papers. He approached the kid to inquire that.

"Son, why are you having many empty chocolate wrappers in your pocket? Why don’t you throw them off?"

"There are no dustbins around here sir."

"See over there, all are throwing their wastes in that corner. Put it there and the sweeper will clean it later."

"But that isn't a dustbin. I need a bin named "Please put your trash here" or something like that written and so I can throw it in the bin and not on the floor."

C was inspired. "What if you don’t find one?"

"I will carry these all the way to my home and put it in the dustbin there."

"Who taught you to do this?"

"We are from abroad and the rules there strictly tell us not to litter. My dad also told me not to litter there. Isn't that same everywhere?"

I patted his back and at the same time his dad threw his plastic cover on the floor several feet away from the corner.

Small Change #4: We all have become so selfish. We always want our work to be done first. We don’t care about others. We have become so self-centered and we never care to care for others.

Mr. C went to a show and they announced in the end that they would distribute gift bags to the people present there and the gift bags are less in number. They requested the people to form a queue. And suddenly the people from various corners of the hall rushed and crowded the place in front of the stage to get the gift bags. C stood as the last person in the crowd and got peevish because of the people’s behavior. He thought that he was the last person in the so-called queue and was surprised to find a small girl standing even behind him. He went near the girl and asked her in a loud voice so that everyone could listen. All turned to face them.

"Why are you standing here while the queue is so much far before you?"

"The organizers announced to form a queue and as per my calculation, the queue should end here."

"But the queue doesn't end here. See it has stopped much ahead you."

"Sir, a queue means one person should stand behind other and not two behind three or four behind five."

"Haha. That is fine. You are standing here and you think that this is going to make difference in them?"

"It will certainly sir. People are always afraid to stand at the last because they might lose the gift bag or whatever. They don’t want the last position. And so I have taken it and all of you can come and stand before me so that I will always be the last person to get the bag if there is any left."

The people hung their head in shame and they formed a queue. Almost all got the bags and the organizers gave that girl a big gift.

I have quoted you some small changes which we don't notice as necessary ones and there are further many more. See the incidents and all of us will know how these small changes will do miracles. Take a small step towards the change and we shall see a large change in the society. I shall rest my post here.

P.S: This blog post is submitted for the Indiblogger-Indichange-IDiya contest. Read more about IDiya here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

And they declared an indefinite closure!

For all the school students in higher secondary level, they have a fantasy about their college life! I was not an exception to it when I was in that stage! No studies, no books, no classes, bunks, cultural, ragging, freedom, leadership and strike! All the above except one have been a part of one's college life for centuries. Strike?! How or since when does this strike become a part of college life?

Fortunately or unfortunately, the films (especially, the Tamil counterparts!) which have college life as their main theme bring in strike as if a college life without a strike is incomplete! Announce strike for anything and everything you can! No election in college, strike! One student prohibited for writing exams, strike! No proper food in mess, strike! No facilities in college, strike! Scandal against an authority, strike!

And then, there will be four or five guys walking in heavy splash of rain around a corner with umbrellas protecting their skin while students will be shouting slogans getting wet! These guys will use a mike or whatever you call to maintain discipline! "Please call off your strike and go back to your classes else strict action will be taken! A group of student representatives can meet us and give your complaints and we shall look at it!" The students will not give up! They will shout without any amplifier but at the same pitch of that authority guy! "No, unless you fulfill our demands, we are not leaving this place!" Then suddenly, one can notice 3 or 4 vans full of police personnel entering the campus! One naughty guy in the crowd will do something eventually leading to charge!

Police will arrest students and now those four guys (Still in umbrellas though the rain has stopped) will support these students and announce "AN INDEFINITE CLOSURE" till a decision is made! The reopening date will be announced and there will be classes again! What is the result? A long period of holidays for students! Demands fulfilled! etc., etc.,

What this has to do with the current scenario? I too had that and I saw one yesterday! LTTE and SriLankan Government! Will our Government be just and stand against SriLanka President for its war and mass murders in 2009-10? Will Manmohan Singh announce Rajapakshe as a War Criminal? This has been the question nagging very few minds since the war. But now this is the question in every mind after the public witnessed that innocent face of Balachandran Prabhakaran! And that innocent face has provoked millions of people all around the world what thousands of decaying bodies did not! They are the Tamils and there is no surprise that Tamil Nadu people are much more agitated than others.

There started protests! Students form a major group of social society who react to the situations and so they joined the protests. Arts and science college students started this and 8 are on hunger strike. And yesterday my college, CEG (Anna University) witnessed a large number of students gathering in support of the Tamils in SriLanka!

Image: Harikrishna Raghuraman

Around 10 A.M. in the morning, I noticed a very few number of students sitting in front of our prestigious Red Building! A mere 100! But that replicated within afternoon. Around noon, there were 300-400 students and the multiplication continued. Around 2 P.M. around 1000 sat for strike! Police personnel (more than 15 vehicles and hundred police men and women) who have been outside the campus since Friday expecting a situation like this entered the campus! Press people started visiting the campus for the news and the number kept on increasing! The Dean and the VC requested the students to call off their strike but the students did not give in!

And this news spread like a wild fire! Many Engineering colleges had the same situation around afternoon and there came the cinematic announcement! Indefinite Closure for all the engineering colleges! I don’t wish to take a stand here! But I love their cause if it is a real social affection which made them sit under the hot sun! I loved their spirit and their patriotism, their broad-minded nature! I too went in and stood there for some time supporting those suffered and suffering people in our neighbouring country! But I left the campus after some time and the strike is still going on! 

But this caused some undesired results! The hostel students were asked to vacate their rooms immediately! Boys before 8 P.M. yesterday night and Girls before 9 A.M. today morning! And all the major travel points, Central, Egmore, and CMBT witnessed a whole crowd of students starting to their home towns! Many students didn't get tickets and didn't have a place to spend their nights! One of my friends was in the same situation and I called him to my place for the night! Fortunately, he a got a bus ticket and safely ended up his place! Some headed to their relatives and acquaintances in and around Chennai!

And now I am at home typing this! I am not enjoying this holiday because this is not another festival or rain holiday! This is not even a holiday but a closure due to some justified cause! I have a request to all those who didn't participate in the protest today like me. This is a holiday, I know! But not a holiday to enjoy but a holiday to think in retrospect and in prospect! Give your voice for people like us who are suffering there!

Friday, March 8, 2013

My mother is a woman and I need no other reason!

Women's day! International Women's day! What do I envision for the Women in Chennai? The question is not this! The question is not about the individual's opinion on Women. The question should be "What does the society envision for the Women in the current scenario?". Well, after so many brutal and inhuman incidents against them, people will quote rights, safety, laws, self-protection and so many as the major demands. We should start from the scratch I guess!

Almost all have dominant role playing women in their life. I am in no way an exception to that! My mother is one of the very few persons in this mortal world I am looking up to. Well I also have a small lovely sister! A lot of friends who are from this side and a lot of acquaintances too! Everyone in this God-created world must have realized the importance of women in their lives. If not the entire femininity, but at least mother, sisters, aunts, friends (Female), wife, daughters and so on. If these women take extra care on their men counter parts, the world will always be glorious. I am not blaming that everything is their responsibility but I am telling that things will be remarkable if they handle their men counterparts correctly.

What does this society envision for women?

W - Will power

O - Optimistic

M - Maturity

E - Enthusiastic

N - Noble

I recently saw a question in Quora! "Why don't we find girls doing as good in quizzing as their male counterparts?" One female quizzer replied this way, "I've taken part in my fair share of college-level quizzes and while never great or anything, I managed to win a few. On my way to food stalls after one such quiz, I overheard the all-male team from another college ribbing each other and laughing about how it was a damn shame the way they got beat by girls. My eyes burned hotly with tears and I cannot explain in words how angry and impotent I felt at that moment. It might not sound like a big deal and maybe I should have laughed it off, but I was much younger then, more fragile and thin-skinned and those random men had made me feel pretty spectacularly worthless." 

We still see them as weaker sex of the society! Once these views change, the entire concept will inverse! If you really think that they are weaker sex of the society, let me tell you something. You would not have been on this earth if not for a woman. Your mother! Your day mostly starts with her waking you up. Before you go to bath, your clothes will be kept ironed. By the time you finish, she will serve you hot breakfast with lunch packed. She will keep worrying about you if you don't give her a call after reaching your workplace. When you come back, she will give you a hot or a cold beverage depending on your mood which she will know it from your face! Which other woman you need to respect the femininity on this world? She is the embodiment of all women on this earth. Had you at least thought about your mother once, you would have never thought to degrade other women in this society. Each woman in this world attains that "MOTHER" role at some point of her life. If not for her character or actions, give the respect for this role of her. 

A serious doubt here! We, both the genders, have given the due respect for
great women in history. Mother Teresa, Margaret Thatcher, Medha Patkar, Irom Sharmila, Rani Laxmi Bhai, Queen Victoria, Marie Curie, Indira Gandhi, Suu Kyi, Helen Keller and many. They also belong to this "so-called female section" of the society but we give them their due credit. Why is this partiality for these great women? One might answer that they all serviced and sacrificed. You think your "MOTHER" has not serviced and sacrificed? Bringing you up to hear your swear words is both service and sacrifice. Respect them! Many of us here will have sisters or female cousins. We just move our lips when we tell that single line of Pledge! "All Indians are my brothers and sisters!" Do we really think like that? If so, the Delhi incident would not have taken place! Many of us have friends who are female and yet we don't consider them equal. Today is one of my best friend's birthday who is a female! I am wishing her through this post.

We Indians have certain principles which quote Women as the embodiment of sacrifice and fragility more than any other country! We call our country Mother India. We have given feminine names to all the rivers in our country. We call our language as mother tongue! One step ahead, in myth, Shiva has given half of his body to his female counterpart Shakthi and Vishnu has given a place for Lakshmi in his heart. These may be myth yet these concepts are spread through out to make us realize the importance of this section of the society.

One may consider me as an active feminist or so! Irrespective of that, I have a cause and reason to see them equal to men! I respect them because I respect my mother, sister and my friends! I see them like I see men! Hope this International Women's day creates a change in the perspective on them!

P.S: This post is written as a part of CBC's a week long marathon on account of International Women's day! I thank Susan Deborah (Admin of CBC) for asking me to write! 
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