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The Pensieve

If you have something to say, I might be saying something as well

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Thrika the Nosering

You might be wondering what on earth does this title mean. Well I didn’t know until I read the book Sivappu Kal Mookuthi (the Girl with the Red Nose Ring) written by Nandhini. Technically it is a graphic novel created by Nandhini and her team at Make Believe. What starts off in the story as a ghost story something in the lines of Darling and Kanchana suddenly takes off the flight to Hollywood and ends as the the aliens-space shuttle-crystal containing power (thrika)-scientists researching ET. The readers however are left back in their seats completely taken by surprise.

Along with giving my usual disclaimer that I don’t review books, and these are just my thoughts after reading a new book, I would like to say two more things. This was the first picture book I read after Chacha Choudary and Tinkle. This is also the first Tamizh book I completed after high school.

The best parts: The ghost to alien story transition was smooth. The characterization is maintained throughout the plot with subtle differences, say, an attire change for the next day. Emotions are captured beautifully on the faces of the characters, and they supplement the words for sounds like grrr, crash, aaaa and the likes.

On the flip side: Varun’s past could have been explained or eliminated. There could have been some description about the hair-like things that kills the villans.

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Oh how I wish this book is made into a Tamizh movie… or an animation film… All the very best to their future works.

Until next,
Vid 🙂

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UnWarp – the Induction

The story takes over from here, an amazing first part written by Dhivya. Read on…

Priya was standing in the same beach, but something else seemed totally out of place. This is not the Marina stretch where she goes for her usual morning jog. There were no boats, no remnants of stalls, no laughter therapy group, and no cricket playing guys too. Above all, the beach sand and shore actually looked clean! She turned to face the new lady who was wearing a sparkling white and blue gown and accompanied by a man in a formal suit of similar colors.

“Welcome to our land – your kin has called it by many names, Middle Earth, Alagesia, non-Muggle world, to name a few. I am Vas and this is my husband Gop. We are the elves responsible for welcoming and inducting those who are visiting us for the first time. In fact, had it not been for Gop’s mistake, you would have come here during your last jog itself,” Vas gave a quick glance at Gop, before pressing her Bluetooth headset-like appendage and walking a little afar to talk into it.

“The vortex malfunctioned”, Gop smiled sheepishly. Priya thought the couple looked cute together, though it seemed that Vas was in charge.

“You don’t look anything like the elves I know – long ears, pale skinned… You both look as much human as I do!”

“Haha! That is a serious misinterpretation your kin has made. We all are just differentiated by the work we do and the responsibilities we take. For instance, we Elves and Wizards are the knowledgeable ones. Dwarves and Goblins take care of all the physical and mechanical work. Knights and dragon riders are responsible for our safety and security. And finally, men deal with money related transactions and trading.” Gop noticed that Priya gave a surprised look as he spoke, as though she had had a revelation. “Yes, this is the same as your varna caste system”, he smiled at Priya again.

“I was about to ask that…” Priya warmed up to the friendly Gop, “It is amazing to see our caste system being used elsewhere and not misused like we do.”

“Hold your thought lady, you might never know. Why don’t you come into the settlement and freshen up; then we could probably give you a short tour of what we do here, followed by an induction ceremony based on your preferences.”

Settlement… Ceremony… What on earth are they talking about? A gazillion questions pirouetted her mind, but something about Gop made her trust and walk calmly beside him, while Vas led the way in a stride.

“Did you realize you guys have abducted me into this… this land of yours without my consent? Who are you guys? What is this place? Who is she talking to over the headset? Where are you taking me?”

“You know you ask a lot of questions…” Gop was laughing.

“Well, I have been called a Pochemuchka”, Priya nodded, “But tell me why am I here?”

“Don’t panic, you will get your answers real soon.”

gop_vas.jpg
Gop and Vas – the Elves

I pass the baton for the next part of the story to Megha Sreeram. Read the next part of the story here.

Until next,

Vid 🙂

The Real Show

We know there is so much drama, hype and emotions in a reality show, right. All for a TRP rating one would think. Midnight shoots, contracts to sing whenever summoned and capturing you weep on TV – is probably lesser known. But the real show starts much earlier than all this.

I was talking to this friend when she narrated an incident that took me to nostalgia (not in the nicer memory sense).

Eight years ago – me in yet another popular TV studio auditioning for a then popular TV competition. I got till the third round where I had to sing something of a genre I wasn’t comfortable with – I thought I did a decent rendition of thoodhu varuma when I walked out. An uncle from the audience with a familiar face walked up to me and said, “you did pretty well, they were talking about putting you in already. Why don’t you call me once you are selected; I am looking for someone to sing the title song of a serial that I’m producing? Maybe we can use your voice…” It was then I realised he was a serial actor from the same TV.

No calls came and so I called this actor / producer back after 3 days. He asked me what I had sung. Then he asked me why I wasn’t selected. How would I know? “Did they ask you anything else?” I blinked. “Well, if they had not called you yet, then you should have been rejected”, he said and cut the call.

Getting back to current day, this is the story my friend had shared.

She went to the auditioning grounds of yet another popular TV music show and stood as the third person in queue. But 150 of them got selected much before her and they were double promoted – owing to the fact that they learnt from the judge there.

Poor girl had sung every song she was asked before she was rejected. When she came out, a well wisher had suggested her to take a detour and go meet the voice specialist there. She had to repeat sing the same list of songs before the guru asked what was her result in the panel. Then he said same goes here, and rejected her. When she came out, this is what the well wisher said: “If you had offered donation or else asked to learn from them, you would have gone through easily!”

I didn’t have words to console her when she shared the story, but having listened to her sing in person, I know she has a beautiful voice and is very much capable of going places.

Comparing the two instances, I just thought… Had I figured it out that day itself, at least I wouldn’t have doubted my ability to perform.

– Until next,
Vid 🙂

The Red Ring

“Tan tan tana tan tan tana tan tan tada tan….” screamed my phone as the alarm rang. I just flipped it down and silenced it for another 10 minutes of sleep. “Mesha raasi neyargalukku…” I heard the tone like an echo from my house + neighbor’s TV.

Damn… Getting up to rasi palan yet again. How much ever I tried, I was never able to wake up before or much after the program is over. Somehow it is not a good idea to know how bad your day is going to be, right when you start it. Well, the days when this astrologer uncle tells is bad for me, were the ones that actually turned up pretty good. Hence the fear, you see.

Today, was a little different though. He (the astrologer uncle) went a notch up and started explaining the advantages of wearing lucky gemstones and what is the chosen color for people born under my raashi – red it seems. That afternoon my recently-turned-tech-savvy Mom was sitting online and browsing. Only when she called me to sit with her and choose, did I realize she was shopping online for red stoned jewellery.

That is how I landed up at the online website of NAC jewellers, Stylori and got reminded of the CBC contest I had enrolled in. I navigated to Jewellery -> Rings -> Gemstone. Did a filter by stone color where I chose red (as per the prediction suggestion).

Once I chose a particular ring, there were options to customise it. One in particular was in choosing the ring that fits you, that I have not noticed elsewhere. No inch tapes and all – just use your debit card! So, I clicked on find your ring size. Placed my Naturals card on computer display and resized the card image on screen accordingly. Then used an existing ring, placed it on the display in the next screen and chose the right size.

The price range setting is a little irritating though – it resets to 5k plus each time the page refreshes. I wish the webpage is modified to retain the price settings, supporting people with lesser budgets!12191449_10206698449272736_2540664704821492850_n

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Now, that the choice is done. Either I get really lucky by just the thought of buying a ring and thus win a voucher, and then use it to actually buy one……. Or I buy the ring, then get lucky and win a voucher, after which I wonder what I can buy with it! Still contemplating.

Until next,

Vid 🙂

Mis-communication-ology

Time and again, we always talk about communication, on how important it is, how effective should it be… really, what is the big deal about it? I can tell you how bad things can go with lack thereof. And of course, recountal of bad is generally hilarious.

“Good Morning, ABC Hospitals, how may I help you?”
“Hello! I need to consult a neurologist. Can I get an appointment today?”
“Sure sir, urologist Dr.Kannan, visits the hospital from 5 PM to 7 PM. Would you like to take an appointment at 5.30?”
“No, I would like to come sometime in the afternoon please. Even tomorrow afternoon is fine.”
“Sir, if that is the case, please call up our other branch, where he visits on Thursday afternoons.”

“Good Morning, ABC Hospitals, how may I help you?”
“Hello! I would like to book an appointment with Dr. Kannan for Thursday afternoon.”
“Sure sir, hope 2 PM is ok for you.”
“Fine, thank you.”

(… in the waiting room at the hospital on Thursday …)
“Hi, you are here to see Kannan doctor?”
“Yes.”
“The best in the locality, I tell you. I have heard many success cases and he is highly recommended.”
“Oh really!”
“Of course. My friend had a tract infection cured recently. That is how I got to know the doctor.”
(“This guy is talking weird…”)
“What is your problem, sir?”
“Dizziness.”
“Oh, because of that you have urine trouble?”
“No. I have dizziness.”
“Oh, so someone said it is due to any infection?”
“Who said anything about infection? What on earth are you blabbering?”
“Sir, then why have you come to the urologist for dizziness?”
“?!?!?”

– Until next,
Vid 🙂

Tailing the Donkey

My school management had decided that us high school students need to have some professional / soft skills training to cope up with the outside world back then. So we used to have a trainer from outside come and coach us certain weekends. And those classes used to be fun and interactive.

During one such class, the trainer wanted to play a game called “tailing the donkey”. She asked a few of the students to volunteer to demonstrate the game. So a few of us went and stood in a line. Then she hung a drawing of a tailless donkey on the blackboard. She said we all have to draw a tail to the donkey when our turn came. Sounds easy, isn’t it!

Well, there was a catch. When the first person moved forward to pick a chalk and draw, the trainer pulled him back and said he should do the task blindfolded. She handed him a scarf and he tied it to his eyes. Should I even describe how off the mark the tail was? The entire class had a good laugh.

Then the second person went forward, took the scarf and blindfolded himself, and went on to draw the tail. His tail was very close to the target that the rest of us actually clapped for him. Thus the line went on, and it was finally my turn. I didn’t get why the trainer sniggered at me while I took the scarf from her. I was puzzled, but I didn’t understand or react. I went to draw, and was the last in line. Once an activity is completed, we will generally discuss what is the take away from the activity, and that day I was guessing something in the lines of importance of observing. You know what the trainer said? “I didn’t say anyone but the first person to blindfold himself! Why did you take all the pains to?”

It was obvious we all had faces red with shame. But to think of it, not just while tailing the donkey, but even in our day to day activities, we all blindly follow instructions; or simply do what we see other people do, irrespective of its necessity to us, or the outcome. During these times, we get too lazy to think or question. To me it was a lesson well learnt, no doubt about that.

– Until next,
Vid 🙂

Leave No Stone Unturned

Arya was lying down in the middle berth of the train travelling back home for the weekend. She tossed and turned only half asleep as she was so anxious to be back home already. She missed her grandma’s constant nagging, friends teasing her and her dog Casper gnawing her fingers gently. Few more hours, she consoled herself to catch up some sleep.

Someone pat on her folded forearm waking her up from sleep. Maybe I am dreaming, Arya thought. “Hello!”, a voice boomed and she woke up with a jolt. The compartment somehow seemed very strange and there was a complete stranger standing right next to her and talking. She was a little perplexed.

“I am sorry, but who are you? Where are the others in the compartment?”

“They should have got down. As for me, I am God. You can call me by any name of your choice. Of course, that is what people generally do.”

“Yeah right! You are God… Har Har Mahadev! Ok, agreed. haha….. Actually no, you don’t look old, beardy with tattered old clothes”, she said eyeing him down. He was a young fellow, should be in his mid thirties, wearing a hand me down jeans with both hands in the pockets and a grey t-shirt with the words I am Omnipotent on it.

“Maybe because you guys associate wisdom with old age, and believe that ‘God’ is wiser!”

“Oh my! Maybe… You actually caught me there. But that doesn’t make you God, really.”

“Can you prove I aint?”

How dare he challenge me, she thought, but he is claiming to be God, how will I disprove that. She tried to collect her thoughts. “Your tee… It says you are omnipotent.”

“Yes, it means that there is nothing I can’t do.”

“I know what that means”, she said, enraged. “Create me a stone heavy enough that cannot be lifted.”

“Haha… Let’s see… Do you agree that you cannot lift yourself? What if I turn myself to stone? Will you still try to ask me the next obvious question in your mind (i.e) to lift the stone?”

“Hmmm, yes… I mean, no I can’t then … But…”

It was at that moment the train chose to speed through a tunnel, thus blackening the surroundings for a while. And as guessed, when light came back, the stranger was nowhere to be seen.

A puzzled Arya suddenly realized that the train had already arrived at her station. She collected her bearings and dumped into her handbag and got down the train hastily arranging her handbag as she walked. That was when she realized something graze her fingers. She took it out and was amazed to find that it was a small stone figurine resembling that man!

“Grandma! Look who is here… Un aruma pethi Arya…” Arya ran into grandma’s room and hugged her. “Know what! I think I know why people make the deities’ idols out of stone!”

 

It is said that God is all-powerful, or as theologians put it, “omnipotent”; there is nothing that he cannot do. This is part of the definition of “God”.
So can God create a stone that is so heavy that he cannot lift it? Either he can or he can’t.
If God can’t, then he isn’t all-powerful. If God can’t create a stone that he can’t lift, then there is something that he can’t do: create the stone.
If God can create a stone that is so heavy that he can’t lift it, though, then he also isn’t all-powerful. If God can create a stone that is so heavy that he can’t lift it, then there’s something that he can’t do: lift that stone.
There is, therefore, no way of answering the question above that preserves God’s omnipotence. If there is an omnipotent God, then he neither can nor can’t create a stone so heavy that he cannot lift it. This, though, is absurd; he must be either able or unable to perform this feat.
This is the paradox of omnipotence.

-Until next,

Vid 🙂

The Legend of the Commuter’s Catatonia

Remember this scene in Aaytha Ezhuthu where Sidharth and Trisha will go round-trips in the same bus? Well this post, though similar, is not even remotely romantic. Of course, people who know me would be aware of it already.

In a single line, I travelled the same route in the same bus to and fro, three times (one and a half times to be precise).

To be a little more explanative, I was so exhausted that I friggin’ slept off thus didn’t alight at the bus stop when I had to.

Ok fine, I will tell the whole thing. I was just one week into work and three days of office bus routine. We used to have bus shuttles at 5.30 PM, 7.30 PM and 8.45 PM. My manager used to make sure I have work atleast till 5.40 that I invariably miss the first shuttle, Then he would say, “now you can work for 2 more hours!”, with the same old sadistic smile that is always stuck to his face during such conversations. “I know, how lovely!” I can’t tell that loud though, how sad 😦

So one fine day (not so fine, you will know by the end of this story), my manager is not around and I don’t have much work to do, I decided to take the 5.30 bus. My bus usually takes the Tambaram route and then goes to Chromepet, which is kind of the last stop. The catch was, in the first shuttle, the Nanganallur bus goes upto Chromepet, not the Tambaram bus. Like I am to know that! Believe me, they are stark opposite routes and both are bloody convoluted which takes a solid one hour to reach home.

So I saw this lady I have seen on the first 2 days, and boarded the same bus (she gets down at Tambaram!) And I took a corner seat. And I dozed off. Of course, I was very careful to check midway with squint eyes where I was -somewhere near Selaiyur. Good. Ten more minutes, a short nap would be fine, I said to myself.

When I woke up again, I could see Kamakshi Hospital which is the next signal to my office on the same road. I wondered why, still groggy from the sleep. I went to ask the bus driver what was happening and then the truth hit me! The bus has come back to office after dropping all (well, almost all) the associates. The bus turned into my office campus and I got down. It was time for the next bus shuttle and so I slowly tiptoed (most important thing was I should not get noticed as the one who just got down from the bus) into the bay where they check your bus passes and tell you the bus numbers, and asked, “Chromepet ku endha bus number anna? ” Thus I got into the correct bus, which apparently went again all the way via Tambaram and what an achievement it was to get down at my bus stop and get back home 🙂 🙂

P.S: This secret is known only to me. Even my Dad and Mom don’t know. You might argue that the bus driver will know anyhow. There lies my ingenuity. I told him I forgot something important at office and will take the next bus back home. Psst, he didn’t even guess I might have dozed off!

P.P.S: My Grandad asked me when I got home if I had some misfortune that day. When I asked why, he said that I had Chandrashtamam. Now these are bad days that will strike you once a month according to your astrological signs. I have a strong guess what it might be, but it is taboo to talk here.

P.P.P.S: I had a serious urge to rewrite the story and include dead bobcats in it, but seriously who has heard of bobcats in Chennai :O

P.P.P.P.S: When I said legend in the title, I meant it. No part of this story is true.

P.P.P.P.P.S: I tried my level-best to get upto 7 post scripts and beat Jenny Lawson. Urghhh, 5 was all I could do.

P.P.P.P.P.S: Ok, 6!

– Until next,
Vid 🙂

Life moves on…

She woke up with a jolt to her friend’s voice sounding afar, “Wake up lazy bones, you are going to be late for the lecture”. Sleeping in on a lecture day was a very bad thing to do and Arya rushed to make up for the lost time.

She and her friend somehow made it in time to get their favourite last seats. The lights dimmed and a boom voice started talking.

“Hey, Arya! You were muttering the same thing in your sleep all night. Nightmare is it?”

“What was I telling?”

” You said, ‘I am sorry, I killed you.’ I thought you watched some murder movie last night.”

“Oh, I said that!? Chuck it man, its nothing. Just a bit of survivor’s guilt.”

As her friend returned to her phone to search in Google the meaning of that phrase, Arya leaned back in her seat and the voice from the mike faded.

It is always the same dream. A woman with a flock of white hair and looking ageless walks out of the waters. I am standing on the beach shore and she comes to me. “How are you, my child?”

Though it is a simple question, it always feels like a hot fire poker was rammed at my face. I am fine, I live today because you were not saved first, because I was. It is all my fault to have asked for a morning walk; my fault to have chosen the beach on that wretched day; my fault to have been unaware of the early morning’s earthquake. I am sorry, I killed you.

“Don’t you blame yourself for something that is not in your hands to control. Take care and bless you!”, she smiles. As I reach out to her, the dream dissolves.

She wiped a tear off the corner of her eye. Nine years have gone by. But she knew that she will carry the guilt with her forever. The lecturer’s voice got back on focus again. Life moves on…

– Until next,

Vid.

In one of those ‘ruled’ Colleges…

Location – Computer Science Block, second floor

Participants – namma hero V, a girl who is celebrating her birthday today, FS (Floor Supervisor), FS gang’s leader

Before commencing, it is mandatory to say a word or two about these FS. They are basically the rowdies you see in movies, but just clean-shaven, attired in starched white shirt and black trousers.

V was walking along the corridor with his usual I-have-no-clues-where-I’m-heading look in his eyes and a casual strut.

FS: Thambi, lace seriya katla! Class ku porathukku munnadi seri senjutu po pa.

V: (Imsa pa ivanungaloda…) Hmmm seri…

When V was busy tying lace, a girl just walked past him. But as things always don’t happen that simple, she walked back to him. She handed V a chocolate bar from the box she was carrying.

V: Why? (with a scared and quizzical look)

Girl: Because today is my birthday! Wait a minute, you belong to my class only right? (like it makes a difference, since talking is prohibited anyways.)

FS: Thambi, innum nee classroom kulla polaya. Enna anga pechu, girls-boys pesa kudadhu nu unakku theriyadha.

V: Enna sir, oru chocolate dhane. Naan vera inniku lunch sapadla. Marubadiyum karappanpoochi irundhuchu. Please oru vaati vitrunga.

FS: Enna pa kalaikariya. Idhellam seri varadhu. ID card kodu, mathadha aprom paathukkalam.

Now, to explain the ritual called taking away the ID card. These people devised an ingenious method that whenever you enter the college without ID (forgotten/stolen/confiscated from you like in this case) you need to pay fine. Since a confiscated ID card is mostly impossible to get back, you end up paying fine forever, or writing an apology letter and getting the card back and paying fine through all this drama which might take months.

That was when V realized his phone was vibrating in his pocket. FS seemed to have realized as much.

FS: Phone ah kodu pa thambi.

V: Balance illa sir.

FS gang oda leader (who enters the scene by then): Poda dei… Poi apology letter ezhudhi eduthutu va. Aprom phone lam thirumba kedaikadhu. Parents kootitu vandhe na SIM vena thirumbi tharadha pathi yosikkalam. Ahem, idhukkum fine sethu kattidu, illana hall ticket prachanai aidum paathuko.

(to the girl) Neeyum apology letter ezhudhidu ma. Solla marandhutene – Happy Birthday.

Classmate: (whispers to V) Machi dark room la adi vangama thappichaye nu sandhosa pattuko!

– Until next,

Vid.

Call it Whatever

It was a phase of life when I firmly believed no human being is trustworthy and all menfolk are complete *******s. But nice things do happen at times, you see.

So this day, last year there was a tamizh post I chanced upon and commented on it and thus learnt the word used for comment. Little did I know that the tiny feedback would give rise to a beautiful bond that I share with you today. I would say that the friendship has come a long way – and stop feigning to understand the phrase, because you have used the same twice in your blog already, in the same context.

I don’t know if you will ever have anything nice to tell about me. But you have complained that I don’t. So here goes:

You are the best I know in narrating stories; narrating anything for that matter.
You lie so well, but beware I know when you lie.
When you are at it, you go out of the way to make someone happy.
You sing passionately; when you sing, I mean.
Your memory on both good and bad, is impeccable.
You have a knack at capturing moments; especially my lousy poses.

Here is to all the insane, wise, happy, quarreling, daring, depressing times we had. Cheers!

Btw, I put the title ‘whatever’ just to annoy you 🙂 ❤

– Ever the best of friends,

Vid 🙂

Orange, Viboothi and more …

This post is part of the Chennai Bloggers Club’s CBC VIBGYOR BLOG TAG where some of us will write a post on the colors of VIBGYOR each day starting 1st of September to the 7th of September.

The color theme for today’s post is ORANGE, and dont we all remember the orange (kaavi) clad sadhu’s giving spiritual talks and sacred ropes and ash to solve any problem when a devotee goes and visits them? Is this one such instance? Well, read along …

We never had a music teacher at school for quite sometime. So we students used to get together after school and practise ourselves for group singing competitions. One such regular was Bharath Vikas Parishad, where they generally give songs before hand and we have to choose from one of them.

On the day of the competition, we had all gathered in the venue and were whispering planning last minute. Suddenly the noise in the hall died down and a woman donned in orange (kaavi) robes had entered the hall followed by her retinue. They all walked right to the front row and got seated. The day’s events started only after she gave a go – “should be very important person huh!”, I thought.

The practice paid edho-konjam reward and we successfully completed performing during our slot. Then we broke for lunch and there was a gap of half an hour before results were to be announced. As usually happens, the MC said that the stage was ours, anybody can volunteer to sing or mimic or show their talent (technically, they wanted the crowd to be entertained).

It wasn’t exactly voluntary in my case, as my friends compelled and pushed me to go and sing something solo. One person actually went over to the announcement desk and noted down my name and school, so I had no choice but to go on stage when my name was called! Extempore singing it was, almost 😛

Standing at the podium and blinking, I had just a few seconds to choose a song and start singing before the crowd might most probably start jeering. I started off “Ramam bhaje Shyamam manasa…” and somehow managed to complete the song, though my hands were shivering all the while 😦

Here comes the best part. Remember the retinue of the samiyar woman I told? One of those guys called me and questioned me things that almost fit to a resume. Then he took me to this kaavi-clad lady and said, “Amma, ippo paadinadhu indha ponnu dhan…” (This is the girl who sang just now…)

That lady stared at me for a few seconds, then turned to her sidekick and nodded. He opened a manja pai and gave her a box. She took some sacred ash (viboothi) and smeared on my forehead, and said “Ennul irundha iraivana nee ezhuppitta… Nalla iru!” (You aroused the God in me, bless you) 😀 😛

You can imagine how much I would have been ridiculed by my friends. You know what they refer to the song till date as? Viboothi Paatu!!! Thus this is the story of how a song Ramam bhaje Shyamam manasa (referring to Rama / Krishna) got the identity of ‘viboothi paatu’. The irony!

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Green is Possessive

This post is part of the Chennai Bloggers Club’s CBC VIBGYOR BLOG TAG where some of us will write a post on the colors of VIBGYOR each day starting 1st of September to the 7th of September.

The color theme for today’s post is GREEN.

“Green is a color that encourages us to want to own things and people, to collect and possess”.

Dad used to get frequent transfers and thus we had to keep shifting houses. In one such apartment, there were this family of an uncle, aunty and their daughter of seven years. She studied in the same school as I did, but she was not someone whom I preferred to mingle with, as she was one of these reserved single children who kept to themselves. Plus there was a decently huge age difference between us.

The only time when I had ever seen the girl excited was when their relative paid a visit. She ran to the gate and hugged and was pampered by the relative, that conveyed mutual affection and liking. It was a weekday but we had quarterly holidays, so the dads and uncles had gone to office. I was playing in the verandah, when I heard a commotion next door. The aunty was shouting at her daughter and the daughter had apparently been crying all the while because her eyes were blood shot.

“What kind of respect is that you are giving me, your mother, by being silent to my question? You better answer right now or else…”

“I don’t like what you gave … I liked only mami‘s.”

“How can you say that! Who is your mother here? Will your mami buy things for you everyday? You are my daughter and you have to obey my words …”

“You only asked me an answer…”

“You dare talk back to your mother? That too in front of the relatives … What will they think of me?? That I did not raise you properly …” And she went on in this fashion for another ten minutes and cried and stormed into the kitchen. It was then I saw the kid silently sobbing and joining hands in prayer and murmuring something.

The aunty came out again … “Oh my! Why are you crying? It is me who should cry. Did you know the day you were born they took you away from me and kept you in an incubator? They let me see you only after a couple of days! Avlo ellam kashta pattu valathuttu naan unna thittuvena? (after raising you with such difficulties, will I scold you ever?)”

She gave her daughter a tight hug and a teary kiss on the forehead and went back to the kitchen again.

I really do not know what the girl prayed for, but I wish with all my heart that it comes true!

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Conversation with God – Part 3

Train Chronicles – 1

The train was nearly empty. At one corner window seats, two people were sitting opposite to each other – one was our hero and another fellow, supposedly a railway employee, from the looks of the ID card peeking out of his shirt pocket.

Our hero started a light conversation, “Anand varalaingala inniku?”

“Yaaru?”

“Railway quarters Tambaram-lendhu indha train la dhan varuvaaru. Avarum namma railway union dhanungale!”

“Theriyaliye..” Which is exactly when the ticket checker chose to enter the scene. Our hero diligently produced his ticket.

Ticket checker said, “Enna sir idhu  Tambaram lendhu Trichy  vara nu potrukku ticket la?”

“Aama sir naan Trichy dhan poganum, Chozhan express la…”

“Pinna indha pakkam porenga?”

“Egmore la poi seat pidikkanume, adhukku dhan…”

“Appo Egmore ku ticket enga?”

“Naan poga vendiyadhu Tambaram lendhu Trichy dhanga… Enna en veedu Tambaram… Seat pidikka mattum dhan naan Egmore poren…”

“Neenga 2 thappu pannirukkenga. 1 – First class la yeri irukkenga. 2 – neenga ticket vechirukka direction lendhu edhir direction la porenga… So, neenga Egmore vara ticket eduthutu, anga poi Trichy vara ticket edukkanum, purinjudha!”

“Ada ponga sir puriyama pesurengale… Tambaram lendhu Trichy porathukku edhukku Egmore vara ticket edukkanum?!”

“Station vandhuduchu konjam erangarengala… Fine kattanum!”

Indha azhagula, namma hero-vukku railway employee pola bandha vera!

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Varsha’s day out

Mama woke me up telling we are all going to Mysore boo. Yeah!!!! I was going to see crocodiles and birds and tigers and lions… And Papa and Chithi were also coming. I ate porridge watching Chota Bheem. Then Papa gave me bath and Mama put on a new pink dress and pink hair band and matching chain. I thanked God for everything and fell down and prayed.

Then we started in car. Papa was driving the car and Chithi and Mama sang songs. The road was very beautiful and I saw cows, big building and color color flowers.

We stopped at a roadside tea shop where Papa went to buy water bottle. Mama and Chithi took me to the opposite grove and I saw many coconut trees. And I saw one… two… three cows. And the cows said maaa. Then Chithi showed so many lambs eating grass. They were white and black lamb also. The baby ran away but then went back to the mama lamb. One kind aunty got us a baby lamb. My mama held the baby lamb in her hands and we took photos. Then Mama gave baby lamb to Chithi. She held it and I patted and said Hi, how are you? Mama also took photos.

Then I slept all the way to Mysore. Mama woke me up to go for boating. There we waited in one long line and got into boat. The boatman said don’t touch the water, big big crocodiles come; there are eighty crocodiles in water! Then Chithi and Papa showed me three crocodiles. The crocodile was sitting on rock and it was opening its mouth and it was sleeping. Then we saw many many birds and cranes and pelican. But I wanted to see more crocodile and tiger and touch the water.thumb_COLOURBOX1274087

We wentimages one big round and got down the boat. After the the crocodile will close its mouth and wake up. Then it will jump into the water …. shhhhh …. and then it will get fully wet, and it will drink water. Then it will come out and bite you Papa, if you dont get me icecream. So Papa got me pink icecream and yellow icecream. So crocodile went back and saw the tiger and they became best friends. Then it will become caterpillar crocodile!

Mama said that we were going to goto waterfalls and Varsha will do chappi chappi in the water. Finally they took me to dam and showed me water falling (read as fountains). Then I slept on the way back home. And me, Mama, Papa and Chithi all got home happy-faced!!!! 🙂

– Until next,
Varsha (I mean, Vid 🙂 )

How would you react

I chanced upon this conversation between two friends:

“How would you react if I told you I was a lesbian. Of course it is hypothetical, but still wanted to know what people would say.”

“I would say – so what, you are still a human being…”

“Really? I liked the reply…”

“Oh, come on… its not like you asked me out or something… if so, I would have told you I am straight, sorry!”

“Haha!! Of course…”

“See, if a boy and a girl who are both straight can have a platonic relationship, then why not this… Simple logic… Its like wishing someone Happy Valentine’s day or asking them to be your Valentine. They are essentially not the same.”

“I love you!”

“I love you too!!”

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Art by Aadhi

This is a continuation of the post story Aadhi’s return journey which in turn is a sequel to a fellow blogger’s story, Beginner’s Luck.

It was a crowded market place, and Aadhi was buying items off the list his mom had given to him. A hand patted him on the back. “Machi, epidi irukka? (how are you)… Long time no see, infact, seeing you for the first time after college! Man, you are still the same, I say…”

It was Aadhi’s close friend from college, Nishanth, who had gone abroad to pursue higher studies and they had lost touch after that. Aadhi was so delighted to see him 🙂 They went to a coffee shop near by and started catching up with each others’ lives.

“So Nishi, what are you doing in Chennai now?”

“You know right, my whole family is very music-oriented. Uncle wanted to publish a book on the yesteryear musicians and he wanted their portraits drawn if possible. The moment I saw you in the market, I decided that you are only going to do it for me. I am helping him with the book, and he will sure agree on my choice. Also, he has already seen the portrait of me you gifted on my birthday. He will be pleased to hook you into his project. What say?”

“Oh! Art for a book? I am not very sure I will be able to do it, but let me see what I can do. Send me the details, okay. Nice seeing you after long, dude. But I gotta rush now. Text me, huh! Ciao!!!”

The day he recieved the copy of the book and saw the first few pages, he was very happy and satisfied. It read Sangeetha Bhushanangal – Annaalil Pudhumai Kandor; underneath it a tiny line that said Ooviangal: Aadhi.

“Now, I call upon Mr. Aadhi, who has done the portraits in this book, to talk a few words on his experience in working shape this book.”

“Hi everyone! Well, I am not accustomed to such diases and magnificient talks. I got acquainted to this project through my friend Nishanth, so a special thanks to him. I work with an IT company and drawing sketches is just a serious hobby, I should say. As far as my experience with the book and the stalwarts of those days is concerned, it was brilliant. I came to know snippets about them as well in course of the work. How great they had been; and what dedication to music! It was very easy for me to relate to their geniuses, because I see one day in and day out at my home…”… he waved his right hand at his mother who was sitting in the first row, her face beaming then.

The dinner was a grand one and Aadhi went around talking to all the big shots. Nishanth was by his side all the while, telling each person he spoke to, how proud he was of his friend. Our boy was grinning from ear to ear each time his friend said that! 😀 On the way back home, Aadhi offered to drive the car, because his parents were his guests to the function, essentially.

All the way, our excited Aadhi was describing all that happened in the function to his parents. In his excitement, he missed to see a stray dog cross the street, as the street lights also were not helping really. He hit on the brakes suddenly…. Screech… and an Ooooh! His mom who was sitting behind had hit her head on the front car seat.

His dad started angrily, “What a carelessness this is! Can’t you even drive a car properly? What if it had hit her eyes!! And you call yourself educated…” The rest of the journey was one silly fighting match till they reached home. That night, as Aadhi entered his room to sleep… there was no wishing “good night”s… no “I am proud of you, Aadhi”… no “good job, son”… No expectations, he thought. And with a sigh, he went off to sleep, thinking he had to get back to the muck called IT job the next day morning. #reality sets in…

Art by Aadhi...  lol... actual art by Deva :)
Art by Aadhi…
lol… actual art by Deva 🙂

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Days go by…

This is a chain love story as a part of CBC (Chennai Bloggers Club) chain story relay. In this we write a love story as this month is for love. 20 Bloggers will write one chapter of a love story to make a beautiful love story. 🙂  How do you know it will be a beautiful story? Never mind, Love stories are beautiful.

The story starts with episode 1 and then flows here. The latest episode by Rajiv (who is an amazing mridangist & blogger and my school friend) is what I shall continue. Thanks for the intro and passing the tag, Rajiv! Without further ado:

Ahalya woke up with a start. She was reminded of the last encounter with the strange fellow whom she kept meeting again and again. She went up to the mirror and looked at herself. She was not exactly what you can call pretty, but she did have a charm in her eyes. She smiled at that thought 🙂

She made her bed and took her phone in her hand. It was blinking. When she unlocked and checked, it was a Facebook message… from someone she did not know… Her heart beat faster as she opened the profile. It was the same face, boyish, rugged and a casual smile. The name read “Guru, the Sapient”. She got back and read the message -“I liked you when I first saw you. Those eyes, they captivated me. I didn’t think I will meet you again. But now we have met. I thought it would be nice to know each other better… Remember me? :D”

A: Hi, that was quick! Sapient? :O That wise, are we?

G: It also means attempting to appear wise..

A: Ah, okay wise man 😛 What is it with the eyes??

G: I generally don’t look into eyes and talk.. that’s what people complain.. But yours were inescapable!!!

A: ??!! (She was glad he cannot see her blushing right now.)

That was the last line of chat that Guru was able to see for nearly a week now. He did not initiate any further conversation, worried that he had crossed the line.

It was 13th Feb already and he was to start for Bangalore that night for an official work. But he did not have the heart to go. He was wishing he had not seen her. At the same time , he did not have the guts to get back and talk to her. She had not accepted his friend’s request yet.

He did a last try.

G: Good morning!

After 6 hours of constant checking for notifications, he got a reply.

A: Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?

G: Haha!! All of them at once.. you read the Hobbit?

A: Of course, my favourite. Hey I am sorry about the other day, power shut down at my place.

G: (Phew!) So, all set for tomorrow?

A: Sweden is going to be my ticket to freedom. Still am not able to believe I am leaving Chennai… So the answer is no, a lot of shopping and packing is still pending.

G: Okay.. Hey listen! This time shall we plan and meet? There is a restaurant next to the gift shop I met you in. Meet you there, say, in another half hour?

A: Woah, woah! Hold on… We both know it is not possible to meet up now, and you still plan when and where?

G: Why not? Oh come on, I am starting right now. Cya soon.

A: What if I don’t turn up?

G: I know you will.. And he went offline..

Ahalya was wearing a printed orange-white-black full skirt and black shirt. She stood at the entrance of A2B twiddling her car keys and waved when she saw him. He parked his bike and she came by and shook hands with him. She was the only girl he had seen shake hands. They got a table and ordered chaat.

He placed the charcoal-drawing paper on the table and pushed it towards her. Her wide-eyed, lit-up face was a treat to watch then. “Thanks!”, she uttered finally.

They ate in silence. The waiter kept the bill and she picked it immediately.

“Hey usually girls don’t do this..”

“Do what?”

“Pick the bill when they go out with a guy.”

“Is there any rule? Should it not be mutual? You pay the next time, I will keep my wallet at home and come.”

“Next time? When is that? How?”

With a sly smile she said, “I am starting tomorrow morning. You are the Sapient, figure it out. Bye!”

… to be continued by Gitanjali Naidu who likes to be known as one happy thing who scribbles at <http://rhapsodic-xana.blogspot.com> – among other things 🙂
– Until next,
Vid 🙂

Aadhi’s return journey

This is my first attempt at writing a sequel to someone else’s story. For the first part, please read Beginner’s Luck.

Aadhi sat on his favourite window seat in an empty bus on his way back home. He loved it when the wind hit his face. His thoughts went back to what happened that evening at the beach. For a minute he thought he might have become one of those wannabes.

He never had much interest in sketching initially in school. His mom was an arts graduate and she was a popular artist in their known circle. Her sketches had also appeared in magazines. Aadhi was always proud of his mother’s talent.

But the pride did not always top the charts; there were other emotions fighting for the limelight in his thoughts too. Disappointment with himself, that he will NEVER ever be able to be as great as his mom. You know, these skills generally skips a generation.

Once he had done a portrait for his friend of his friend’s mom as a favor. His friend hung it in his house, and it was appreciated by everyone who visited. A distant relative, his uncle wanted a reference of an artist and got Aadhi’s contact. It was Aadhi’s dad who picked the uncle’s call.

“Hi I am looking for an artist to draw my family photo into a sketch. I saw your son’s skills in my relatives place and got this number from them. Can I talk to him?”

“Aadhi has gone out to play cricket with his friends. I can suggest you something better though. Aadhi’s mom is great at sketches than him, she is a degree holder in arts. If you are interested, I can probably talk to her.”

“Sure sir, I would like to talk to her. I can relate as to where Aadhi got his genes from.”

He was reminded of the old man suggesting about art as a profession. He did consider it too. Back then… But he was scared that he would fail. Being the only son, his circle expected him to get a high-grosser job, go onsite, earn loads of money, get settled and do his parents proud. He felt did not have the strength to fight back.

And his fickle mind then remembered the old man again.

“True its your choice. But when you are gifted with two hands and if you are using only one what would people call you?”

“Its not about the picture dear. Its about how you enjoyed doing it. I saw your face when you do it. You were in a different world. You didnt do it for money or to impress me. You did it because you enjoyed it and there my dear son, art manifests.”

True, he loved doing this. He knew it was where his heart lay. He stopped at the stationery shop across the street to buy pencils before getting into his house…

– Until next, Vid 🙂

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