Saturday, October 27, 2007


Madurai,down south in Tamizh Nadu is a unique place.Wonderful temple which mesmerises visitors to this place, is unique.The lanes and by lanes to the temple are so full of people ,literally all 24 hours.The blaring music from each tea shop competing with that of the next shop renders music,if it can still be called that,at a decibel which can never be imagined by normal music lovers.But still the appreciating nods of people enjoying the tea sitting right in front of the speakers is a sight by itself !

Walking out of the station our Vijay entered the lanes to find a lodge for his stay.He liked a place ,where lot of flower vendors had displayed their flowers in a KOODAI (basket).The fragrance was just enchanting.For a moment his thoughts flashed across to his girl friend,in Madras.In the evening ,when he returned after work, he ran to the elderly vendor and asked her for the price of the flowers,lovely madura malli (jasmine).She answered it was Rs 5 for 1000..He never heard of jasmine sold by numbers.He thought he heard it wrong.When she repeated it again ,he wondered how they would count it and how long they would take to count it.With twentyfive rupees, in his pocket,he thought he would buy 4000 flowers and told her so.

VIJAY..AATHA,please pack 1000 in one and 3000 in a seperate pack.Please sprinkle sufficient water so that it lasts till morning.

AATHA..Enna thambi(what brother)ammakum pondati kuma(is it for your mother and wife)

VIJAY..Illa aatha,1000 saami padathukkum,3000 ennoda avalukkum(1000 for Gods photograph and 3000 for my girl)

AATHA...Idha paarupa ..saami ku 1000 maam,avalukku 3000..Koduthu vechava pa ava(look at this !!1000 for God and 3000 for the girl.She is so lucky pa.)

VIJAY..yes aatha,she is so beautiful and the madurai jasmine will look so nice on her curly hair.

Sprinkling just sufficient water ,she packed it and gave it to him.

That was the begining of a long story.Everytime he visited Madurai he used to buy the malli(jasmine ) from AATHA and take it to Chennai.His career path took an exponential growth and his visits to Madurai dropped.But whenever he came to madurai, wherever he stayed ,the visit to buy 4000 malli from aatha was a must.His marriage , birth of his two kids was all updated .Aatha was also becoming old but happiness in meeting an old customer was writ on her wrinkled but cheerful face.

One day vijay made his usual visit to the area where he used to buy the malli.In front of the koodai(basket)was a little girl.As he was enquiring about Aatha,she walked down.
AATHA..Enna Thambi Bayundhuteengala(What Brother,You got worried ,Is it ).

Saying this ,she asked the little girl to move and started counting the Mallis.

AATHA..enna thambi romba naal aachu indha pakkam vandhu (what brother its ages since you came this side)

VIJAY..aamam aatha(yes aatha)

AATHA..4000 poothane thambi(4000 jasmine isnt it brother )

VIJAY..Aatha 2000 poo podhum(2000 jasmine enough)

AATHA..En thambi..(Why brother )

VIJAY..Padathula 1000 poo ku mela vekka mudiyadhu AATHA(the photograph cannot accomodate more than 1000)



Saturday, October 20, 2007

I Have Won a Lottery to Porthemmet-All expenses taken care

What a day or evening it was !

I have been chosen as the only winner of a lottery which entitles me to visit PORTHEMMET on a holiday for two weeks..(First send me congradulatory reply before reading it further).All excited here."Porthemmet and its surroundings are one of last remaining natural treasures of the British Isles." What a luck for this man at this age.

It all happened like this.On Friday,my kids were forcing me to accompany them to a mall ,here in chennai.Being a believer of malls being good only for window shopping, I have always tried to avoid it with my kids ,especially during the festive season.The hole it creates in my wallet including the credit card(limit has carefully been chosen not to exceed 25k,naturally Indian rupees)takes me almost one whole year to plug.This time I yielded since I had a bonus paid by company which may plug the hole of my credit card in half the time.

So driving down my 4 wheeled rickety beauty,i went near the parking attendant who said it was Rs 150.My eyes popped out,(how the hell this guy knew I had a bonus)I wanted to move out and park it in one of the innumerable by lanes.My elder one, whose birth day was celebrated with me paying Rs100 bribe to the policeman,(For those who dont understand the relavance read my previous blogs,anyhow it hardly matters)had a sheepish smile.It said, old man ,have you not heard of towing of vehicles near malls.Policeman and you have strange association during festive time!

So with no choice and with few impatient drivers ceaselessly honking behind me,I went in circles in the parking lot till I found a slot,next to a Benz.The owner gave me a look which said -what audacity to park your car next to my beauty.
Now coming to the point,entering the paradise of the mall, I was looking around for a shop(do they call it shop I donno in the current days lingo)which had The word discount mentioned on it.None ,what a waste!Come to TNagar every shop screams it!!

My kids they seemed to know the mall like the palm of their hand.They went into a shop,whos ads i have seen in newspaper and tv,with one(or2 or 3) of top actors,who perhaps charged over 2 crores on this.So i knew I was heading for trouble,since i was going to be a share holder in payment made to the boss could have been kind and paid me more bonus.

And there I saw on the display -buy two shirts and get one free and if you are lucky earn a lucky all expenses sponsored trip to "Porthemmet and its surroundings are one of last remaining natural treasures of the British Isles." WOW.

Honestly what attracted me in this ad,was buy 2 get one free.I was happy for my Diwali shirt.Even after much cajoling,my kids never wanted it since they were not branded ones!My logic started working over time in telling them ,what matters is to cover the shame and brand do not matter.I got one of the dirtiest look from them.Nothing worked and I was heading to shell out the bonus and perhaps another months salary too..the two shirts and the free one landed in my lap since they would not touch it with a 10 feet pole.Perhaps my next years Diwali shopping too is taken care of.

So, praying that the bill dd not exceed the limits of my card,I presented it at the counter with a non chalent look.
And then all hell broke loose.The counter man rushed to a manager who was literally running towards me.I knew my card had failed and was quickly going thru excuses i should utter to that guy.From nowhere he got a garland and a mike and announced to the whole world that I was the winner of the lottery.My God that moment,That moment I was in cloud nine.Where the hell was this place.I didnt know.My grandpa always used to curse my knowledge on geography.

He gave me a write up on the place and how I should go thro the formalities.But the tickets were only for me.Kids,no way, I had to pay for them.Since it was valid for three weeks,kids cannot accompany me as exams were around.One look at the write up I knew i had to buy a lot of things.Swimming trunks(Do adidas,Rbk have it ),and perhaps a body to match that.So Talwalkers was the only option .would they be able to do wonders on my battle of the bulge,in 2 weeks time.. I should find out right away..Thousands of thoughts freewheeling in my mind.Swimming after so many years,will I have the stamina..I just gently lifted my both arms and swayed them.....

Appa,Appa...are you ok? That sounded like my childrens voice ,but feeble.Appa,Appa are you Ok..again..Perfect ,You nuts.Whats de doubt about..No pa You had dozed off in front of PC and blabbering something and lifted your hands above..We were very worried..

Oh.dont tell me that was a dream

In front of me was the all real i thought..There was also an article from DNA (Daily News And Analysis,Mumbai based paper)which read....Man launches a imaginary site and hundreds duped !

You have time visit the website,so real it looks

So a fun filled dream..and an exposure to fake WEB LOKA !



PS.For those who read upto here,hats off to you! I owe you all a treat !

Sunday, October 14, 2007

purindhum puriyavillai..DID I UNDERSTAND !!

It was a 4 storied building where I spent my chilhood.Each floor had four flats or apartments.We lived in first floor.A lovely terrace where we used to play all sorts of games(!)including cricket.Obviously every second ball used to be hit out of the terrace and next 15 minutes spent retrieving it.4 apartments but only six of my age to play with.Kite flying was one of the favourites in the city I lived in,with elders participating forgetting their age.When elders occupied the terrace we were mere spectators doing all odd jobs like fetching water,etc.There were three south indian families in all .All south Indian families generally addressed as madrasies!All that was known was..south of Vindhyas only madras existed !

Kishore, Mohan, myself were the three boys,mohan being younger brother of kishore.Naturally ,being the eldest,I had the advantage of making mohan do the running around like picking the ball etc.They lived in the third floor.
With too many people in my house I used to spend a lot of time in kishores house.Theres was a small family.kishore,mohan ,his father and mother and Kishores fathers brother(Donno how to call a chitthappa in english).He was called KAKA, with the looks of a hero wearing spotless dresses with an ever hanging fag in his mouth.A hero for most of us.He used to hold Lakshmi vedi in his hand allow it to explode,during DIWALI time.Unimaginable by any standards by us.He never went to work and perhaps was living on his brothers income.But the stylish man always had his seperate room ,squeeky clean.We were never allowed to step in there.

Summer holidays were intersting days when parents used to quietly send of their children to neibhours house ,passing off the headache,i guess.So kishores house used to be my place to spend the day ,since the terrace was there anyhow for the evenings.
Kishores father was an intersting person too,full of jokes and he used to sport a funny looking hat whenever he went out.A sort of straw hat which,the chennai policemen use in summer.He used to leave home in the morning at 7 and return only by 10pm or so. But every afternoon,kisores mom used to ask us to go off to the terrace or go onto the street for two hours.I thought she wanted to rest and she was particular KAKA should not be disturbed.

One day,I was told, Kishores father got transferred to a remote part of the country and I never saw him till I left that city.Years rolled by and I was around 14 or 15.
One day Kaka passed away and it was a sad day.Not many people had turned up and those who were around also ddnt understand the customs.Calm and composed Kishores mom called mohan (who was by then around 11) aside and told him ..Mohan I want you to do the ceremonies since KAKA was like a father to you.. Appa maadhiri da..appa ne vechu koyen !

Enakku appo athoda artham puriyale


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Shame on me

The other day,I was driving down with my son,after buying his birthday gifts.His friends were waiting in the hotel since he had to give them a dinner treat.Crossing the Anna flyover,missed the signal switching to red entered the Embassy side.Out of the darkness suddenly a burly policeman came and stopped the car.Knowing fully well I was at fault I downed the glasses.Looking at me the policeman said you dont look a habitual offender nevertheless you have violated...Mannichudunga,Thappu en perla than,I said.Out came a photo copy of a newspaper report from his pocket which read RS 1000 penalty for traffic violations!He said Sir,Edho thappu panniteenga,Ayudha pujai varudhu patthu kodunga! Ashamed as it is,My lousy head froze and I gave him Rs100.My son sitting next to me was watching the tamasha and was silent,putting up the glasses I started moving when my son muttered..I was all these days proudly telling my friends that I was a very wonderful driver and never committed mistake and then we silently drove to the hotel..
Now it was a double for me.bribing a police guy and getting a lousy progress card from my son!One thing also bothered me..he never commented on the Tips i Gave the police guy..Has this become a no issue at all.I am totally confused
Any how

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Siru Vayadhu Pachaigal..AASAAN...Childhood memories,,GURU JI

I might have been 10.Raju mama used to visit us at least once a week.His arrival among many other things was very eagerly awaited by me.He used to buy a packet of orange cream biscuits.Dont remember the make but the taste used to stmulate the taste buds so much that the very thought of it even now makes me swallow saliva.
A very handsome person ,smartly dressed and having a PUFF hairstyle which he used to be very proud of.A comb in the pocket used to be his constant companion.In his mid twenties he was an eligible bachelor.

One day i found his visits to the bathroom was increasing and so was his visits to our house.I simply enjoyed it for the biscuits too kept coming.I asked my chitti as to why Raju mama had to use bath room so many times and with smile on her face she said he went there to comb his hair.Me ,being brilliant ,suggested to Raju mama that instead of visiting bathroom to comb his hair,we could locate a small mirror outside.He literally applauded me and in his next visit remembered to buy a small mirror(of course along with my orange biscuits)and hung it on the window near the bath room.

After that his time in front of the mirror was more than the time spent talking to us.None in the house bothered neither did I since my quota was regular.One day raju mama was talking to himself and his hands were showing some mudras!I ran back to my chitti and told her something was wrong with him since he has started talking to himself.Still my chitti reacted only with a smile.One day i saw Raju mama talking softly to some one across the window ,the neibouring house.Standing there was swathi, my friend sandeeps sister.Raju mama was talking to her and still combing his hair.

Then suddenly my quota of biscuits went dry since raju mama stopped coming home.Nobody talked about him too at home.Six months later I eaves dropped and understood that Raju mama had married our marwari neighbour and RAN AWAY..a terminology used for love marriage of yester years.

It all dawned on me ,the secret of combing hair and mudras in front of neighbours window.They must have planned. The meaning Love was not in my dictionary since ,unlike these days exposure to reality for us was close to zero.Today even a 5 year old knows whats love !

Of course as I grew up I also stood in front of mirrors and combed my hair.Results mostly were disastrous.But my AAsAAN on art of love was definitely Raju mama.!


Many years later ,after the traditional patch up, I met Raju mama who by now was a well settled business man,courtesy his wifes side.His PUFF in the hair had given way to baldness,but he had a comb in the pocket.I thought he must be gaurding it from his son,lest history repeated itself