Tuesday, December 11, 2007

ULMANASU PORATTANGAL...................... CONFLICT .. WITHIN

My name is Desigachariar ,living in one of the palatial houses in the Edward Elliots Road. Born in an illustrious joint family of Madras which had Diwan Bahadurs and Rao Bahadurs by dozens.Originally hailing from ThiruKudandhai or Kumbakonam from interior Madras state,our Great grand father had migrated to Madras. My father was a Diwan in one of the princely states before he settled down here.I remember my childhood days- taken to school by chariot and playing in this huge house of ours with my schoolmates.It was so huge that while playing hide and seek we used to really get lost.I had my own secret entry points and hiding places that I never got out in the games

Today my only child and son Aravamudhan is coming back from USA.Its been many years since he came back to India,having settled abroad for over 30 years.The only contact had been through the phone for just a few minutes and that too once in two ,three months.I have been termed as the most timid in our family and never dared to ask any one any question.In fact ,when my wife was alive,I had her as my soul and sole company.But we also hardly exchanged words beyond basic communication.

The taxi entered the compound and I could spot Aravamudhan and his wife but not the kids.For a moment, I thought they would be coming in a seperate car but nothing like that happened.After exchange of pleasenteries, ARA (ARAVAMUDHAN )came straight away to the point.He wanted to sell off the house since he didnt plan to come back again to India.He opened out the plan.One of the biggest builders in India had approached him with the proposal of out right purchase and build a tallest multi storied complex.I would be alloted a duplex flat in the opposite building with an ante room where a caretaker would live .The next day ,the builder and promoter would come in the morning to get my signature.Nobody wanted my views.Even if someone wanted it ,I would have only mumbled and nobody would have understood it.

That night,the procession of thoughts of the last 70 years were the only thing which gave me company.My eyes were too tired to shed even tears.Morning sharp at 9 ,two latest cars zoomed onto our portico.The portico was large enough to accomodate a dozen such cars.The sudden excitement in the house was hurting me.

ARA :Appa please meet Mr Ismail the builder and Mr Agarwal the promoter

Me : hmm

Mr Ismail : good morning Mr Chariar.I understand this house has been in your families custody for generations and it would be little painful when you sign the papers and give your rights away,but please dont worry theres going to be a huge complex coming up making you proud.

Me : hmmm

Mr Agarwal ;Sir ,would you mind signing the document here

Me : hmm

A heritage perhaps lost in that one stroke of my signature.Suddenly I felt I had betrayed all my forefathers.Each ones face adorning the hall was staring at me..Desiga( As they used to call me ) ennada pannitte (DESIGA,What have you done ).Tears welled up,but I couldnt utter a word.Thats me always..

A person was introduced as a Chief engineer(CE) who gently spelt out how they were to go ahead with the demolition.

C E :Sir,We are quite aware that this is an old construction , built with all care ,to last centuries.Therfore,we are going to use a very latest technique to bring it down.(Oh My God ! ).We are going to use Implosion technique with a special white flame method.The entire house will momentarily be turned into white heat state when everything gets pulverised and then the controlled explosives will ensure a perfect implosion.All that will be left is dust.Then our bull dozers move in and level off the ground.Would you believe it sir, all this will take just 30 minutes.In fact we have informed all TV channels and each one is vying to cover the spectacle.

Upgraded Technolgy redefined to wipe out Ancient History of 300 years!!

What a spectacle it would be ! I felt for once I was seething in anger, but only internally.I dont know why I can never express it.I must do something,thats all I could think.

Being perfect hosts ARA and his wife saw the guests off.Then he came and sat in front of me, perhaps a little guilt over powering him.His wife went in.Suddenly I heard her call him. MUDA, MUDA...oh my god ..what a lovely name Aramudhan has been truncated into MUDA,as his pet name...MUDA,muttal or a fool in Tamizh..!!

The next day,several trucks came and took away all the things.Century old stuff.My son explained the agreement was to dispose them off to museums world over,of course with all Govt formalities.How considerate I thought !.The granite and marble stones,at the entrance of the house, bearing the names of Rao Bahadhurs and Diwan Bahadurs would also be preserved. Great Service ,I thought.That evening we were moved to the opposite house.Next morning was the D Day.I woke up as usual at 4 am and completed my morning walk to beach.By 6 am the TV vans had occupied the vantage points to cover the first time spectacle.By 9 the experts had wired the house with explosives.The implosion was scheduled at 10 am.Once again,Lot of excitement in the air.

Suddenly two things crossed me.White heat turns you into ash..and secondly a secret entrance to the house from the rear.I quietly slipped out from balcony grabbing the ganges water pot placed in the makeshift pooja room.Entered the house from the rear and nobody spotted me.Poured the ganges water on my head and prostrated in the now vacant pooja room in the direction where the beautiful pictures of God used to be hung,facing East.Their smiles and serenity all pervading even now.

Outside the loud speakers were announcing that in less than few minutes it will all be over.The countdown will start shortly. I too realised it.Said sorry to my forefathers for being what I am.Suddenly I found myself to be at peace..Started chanting the all powerful Gayatri Mantra

OM BHUR BHUVASUVAROM....... 10..9..8..7..
THATSAVITHUR VARENIUM..... 6..5..4...
BHARGO DEVESHYADHEEMAHI.....3..2...1...
DHIYOYONAPRACHODAYATH.... ..0


Aravamudhans wife :MUDA...wheres appa gone to

ARA :He is so upset.He must have gone away from the scene.But he will soon return.

Perhaps he was wrong .Mr Desigachariar had gone into the scene,never to return




TC
CU

84 comments:

Raghavan alias Saravanan M said...

naan thaan first :P

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@Raghavan alias Saravanan M
Vaanga Boni Panniteenga.Thanks
Aanaal pona murai laastu ! En adhu..lol
TC
CU

Raghavan alias Saravanan M said...

believe me or not, i presumed this climax.

that's how all these burdens sometimes end up! no matter how every1 says 'stay cool. be relaxed, take it up' etc etc..

at some point, all those hidden burdens have to come out and needs a venting sir!

i am sure there are definitely some poor souls existing in this world!!

let them all rest in peace and may god lend them some good shoulders to cry, ears to listen, heart to support!

An excellent post as usual.

Cheers,
Raghavan alias Saravanan M.

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ Raghavan alias Saravanan M
Nandri..amakkalama oru comment koduthuteenga.
TC
CU

Raghavan alias Saravanan M said...

sir, it is showing the date as 'December 11,2007' for this post. Just check it out.

I got confused at first sight!

Raghavan alias Saravanan M said...

@CU,

//Nandri..amakkalama oru comment koduthuteenga.//

Nandri. Periavaa sonna perumaal sonna maadhiri!

but i hope you agree with it. Just am curious about your opinion or level of agreement on this.

Raghavan alias Saravanan M said...

//Vaanga Boni Panniteenga.Thanks
Aanaal pona murai laastu ! En adhu..lol
//

My pleasure sir.. vaazhkaila edhumea nirandharam illai - sariyaa? adhea thaan! :))

was busy for sometime.. so could not :)

Thank you for your regular visits and enquiries at my space sir!

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@Raghavan alias Saravanan M
Date .yes.got the draft ready on 11 dec but uploaded it only now..maathiduvom

Vayasukkum budhhikkum sambandame kidayadhu.i honestly believe age has nothing to with maturity.But with experience is gained and thats the truth,from which people can gain

Enna kareetta !
TC
CU

Raghavan alias Saravanan M said...

//Vayasukkum budhhikkum sambandame kidayadhu.i honestly believe age has nothing to with maturity.//

I am also in the same track!

//But with experience is gained and thats the truth,from which people can gain//

Konjam kozhappama irukkea! but idhukkum naan keattadhukkum enna sambandham?

//Enna kareetta !//

i already told, periavaa sonnaa perumaal sonna maadhiri!
//

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@Raghavan alias Saravanan M
But with AGE,experience is gained..AGE vittu pochungo..
Sorry
TC
CU

c e e d y said...

A tragic end - but a reality - a conflict between progress and monetary gains versus age old traditions and nostalgia - I had similar situation - we had a house in our village in gujarat - age old - I moved here and in my case even though I wanted to preserve it - my dad sold it off saying that he cant take care of it......
lost are those childhood memories - great write up - is there a possible answer to this ????

Compassion Unlimitted said...

Its a tough situation.Instead of viewing it for monetary gains if it could be viewed slightly differently,perhaps a different situation arises..Honestly donno.But change is eternal
TC
CU

Preethi said...

oh my... what an end...
My grandfather had a big house in alwarpet.. a few years back he decided to sell it and move to his son's place. But he wanted to do it secretly as he dint want to give the house to his neighbor a rich gangster.. an old man arrived one day and stood transfixed at the rama sita statue in the gardens. When my granddad expressed that he had no desire to sell the house the man sat there in front of the statue saying he just wanted to drink it all in.. then he was called inside and he sat in the pooja room and meditated.
My granddad impressed with all this agreed to sell the house - to the owner of sanskrit college and his son... he sold it for less than market value.
A few months later we were passing by and lo behold the neighbors cars adorn the garage.. and the ramar silai is now gone (that was the commission the old man took for cheating my granddad)...
Remembered this story when I read yours.. thought I will share it with you...

Preethi said...

Just a note to introduce you to my other blog http://poetictrails.blogspot.com

I am trying my hand at poetry there.. please do read if you have time.

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@Preethi
Looks this post has already kindled old memories in You,Ceedy,Ragavan..but then lifes like that,isnt it..take it or leave it kind..and gently it nudges us to move on!!
TC
CU

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@Preethi
Poetic talent..of course I will be there..My God I have all the time in the world for friends
TC
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m.flowerr said...

A touching and an excellent write-up!
And like i have mentioned earlier,you should try out with a fiction lasting for a few hundred pages!

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@m.flowerr
Thanks for the encouraging words and suggestion..will remember
Thanks for dropping by
TC
CU

Prats said...

sometimes reality is too hard to digest however logical and practical it can be....but the sentiments that go into memories are what makes life.
Very nicely written...liked this read.

PurpleHeart said...

Tragic but an understandable end ! I have seen so many elderly residing in one of the houses in an apartment complex, talking about how much the land was theirs and how they have become just one among the residents now. But they laugh it off, kinda, seem to enjoy this too, u know, or that's what I believed. May be were they hiding their feelings ? Good post !

Deekshanya said...

Awesome post! There are some things we cling onto with love, like the house we live in, hard to part and connecting it so much to our life... very well written!

Shalini Gowrisankar said...

Nice write up and a tragic ending..Some times reality is too hard to go by it .

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ Prats
Very true,Prats..reality is bitter!
Thanks
TC
CU

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@PurpleHeart
Taking it in their stride is easier said than done.But it stares at them.Thanks
TC
CU

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ Deekshanya
Hi..Attachment ,the main enemy within I guess.Thanks Deekhs
TC
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Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ Shalini Gowrisankar
Agreed Shalini,but thats life isnt it ? Thanks
TC
CU

Kalyan said...

lovely reading...as they say, sometimes, Truth is stranger than fiction!

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ Kalyan
Thanks Kalyan for passing by,first time i guess..keep coming
TC
CU

Curious said...

Awwww...

Soetimes it enrages us when me meet ppl like Muda le? Why can't they appriciate the value of history..and not jus any at that... it's his own families!!! F$&ing money!!! (Saari for that)

My grandparents house in chennai jus saw it's 48th b'day... I would never trade that house for any steel and mirror complex...! I am also sure my granny would do the same, heaven forbid if my dad thinks something like that! :)

Good one-inga!

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ Curious
Welcome curious for your Profound expressions!!If this story triggers those expressions, so shall it be..Blog gives that oppurtinity to let out or pour out.isnt it.So far the reactions have been similar,one of nostalgia..
Thanks for your words.keep coming
TC
CU

Preethi said...

I don't feel like analysing the story... beautifully written. Tragic yes. But as the other Preethi has said this story is close to my reality as well... I was the only one on my grannie's side, a huge beautiful bungalow sold...1...2..3....sold. damn.

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@Preethi
Welcome Preethi..Sorry I triggered the sadness in you and made you nostalgic..We all learn as we pass through the path of life
Keep coming
TC
CU

Ziah said...

Kadhai viruviruppa irundhudhu:) Nice.. :)

The Artist said...

In chennai all the old houses have been grabbed up ....and now they are targeting the tier 2 cities....many houses in my locality have been transformed into luxury flats or so they call it...

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@Ziah
Thank you Ziah..Sowkyama..In mumbai you dont have these issues I guess
TC
CU

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@The Artist
In Tier 2 cities too...oh my God..
thanks Artist for dropping by !
TC
CU

Ponnarasi Kothandaraman said...

:) Pazhamaya paathukagra gunam perumaiku uriyathu!

Namaku mukiyamnu padrathu aduthavangaluku mukiyamnu pada matenguthu intha maari vishayangalil..

Aravamudan wud have atleast waited till his dad existence in this world! :)

Ponnarasi Kothandaraman said...

I meant,
Aravamudan wud have atleast waited till his dad quits his existence in the world! :)

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ Ponnarasi Kothandaraman
Vaanga Princess..What you say is right..Why to rush into things when one can always wait and arrive at a considered decision
TC
CU

Gayatri said...

wowie. SUPER story.

you should publish a book yknow, a collection of all your short stories. =)

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@Gayatri
Hey thanks for passing by..1 april is far away..why do you want to pull my legs..lol..Thanks ma
TC
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Joy said...

Nice title...I think everybody has sentimental values about the place where they grew...I used to get dreams about my childhood home,even though I still can visit it...Great post.

rayshma said...

so beautifully written!
cud "feel" for the characters in the piece... very, very touching!
i hope it's ok if i blog-roll u... love reading ur blog.

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ Joy
Thanks for passing by..You are one of those few lucky ones.Touch wood !!keep coming.
TC
CU

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ rayshma
of course you can Blog roll me..I am honured !!thanks for your nice words
TC
CU

Priyamvada_K said...

CU,
Felt :( after reading it. Two questions:

1. Why couldn't the father have spoken up, asked the son to wait until the father's days are over?

2. Why couldn't the son have been more considerate?

The real estate greed has become too much.

Priya.

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@Priyamvada_K
Hi Priya ,thanks for your comments.
Father had always been a timid person never able to express his opinion assertively..
And son after having been away from roots for a long time perhaps was viewing things more practically (Donno if this is the right word )with a laced with materialism !
On the whole each one stuck to their line of thought ..
Thanks Priya, for your words.keep coming
TC
CU

Keshi said...

ur compassion is certainly unlimited.

Keshi.

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@Keshi
Hi ..welcome..Your comment,I could not really decipher..is there an inner punch to it..LOL
Thanks Keshi for passing by..We are going too see more of your place with the cricket team around there !!
TC
CU

Thinking aloud said...

looks like you touched arw nerve there...it is disheartening to see all the ancestral land gounder th hammer...:(

kadha nalla irake...tamil was fine?

and as for my hubs reading my blog...u have a point - there will be no surprise but he's going to read all the glowing praise abt him...:)

so either ways i win...

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ Thinking aloud
That was a swift rejoinder.Welcome here !
Tamizh is wonderful:whats the story behind it Singapore,Neighbours ??keep it up
Naaku Kannada Gotthillama !!
Keep coming
TC
CU

வேதா said...

as usual a latecomer :) anyways i am always the first to comment :)
A touching story and i really envy the way you potray,it gives me a feeling of actually living with the characters.

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ வேதா
Better late than never..Thanks வேதா..for your lovely comments.Honestly many of these characters do live in reality too
TC
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Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ Thinking aloud
I have managed to pinch your 2008 wishes pic..hope you dont mind ..thanks..Too lazy to scout around ma..
CU
TC

Thinking aloud said...

go ahead..2008 belongs to all after all...:)

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@Thinking aloud
Wonderful thought and explanation..God bless
TC
Cu

CoNfUsEd said...

hmmm.. interesting piece!

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ CoNfUsEd
Welcome,first time I guess.Thanks for the nice words..please do drop in whenever you have the time
TC
CU

Swati said...

Too sad that the old has to be lost to accomplish new. Cant we have both?

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ Swati
Hi..Looks diffucult..old has to give way but then ,I get an idea from all the comments so far and yours included..lets see if I can express it later..
tc
CU

Mystery said...

damn..ore soga effect ah irruke....but i guess this is reality..

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ Mystery
enga ..aaliye kaanom..Soga effect..maathiduvoma..seekiram..reality also has brighter side..lets look at it soon
TC
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Keshi said...

hv a good one CU! :)

Keshi.

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ Keshi
Hi Keshi .thanks for passing by..You have one of those fabulous posts ,drawing people from all corners of the Globe..keep it up
and Thanks for your comments here
TC
CU

adam said...

Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it's been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@adam
crazy
tc
cu

★●Shadow Stalker●★ said...

I'm not sure I agree with your poll at all, after seeing your blog, the only advice that comes to my mind is blog 12-15 times a month, it's not about thinking & pondering over & over again what you should write, try writing everyday incidents & all, which catch your attention.

-Sam.

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ ★●Shadow Stalker●★
Hi..thats a good suggestion..a sort of diary..let me see..thanks for passing by..first time I guess
tc
CU

ScRiBbLeR said...

That was so very touching...!!!
Though till the end I expected a twist to a happy ending..:)

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ScRiBbLeR
Hi..thanks for your comment..looks the twist seems to be order of the day..hmm..all the comments including yours are giving me an idea ,which I suppose come out pretty soon..keep coming
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CU

Sudhakar said...

Nice Story.How did you catch the character's name!Appropriate.Sad ending though.I felt may be some other pleasant ending could have been possible.Nalla imagination.

Sandhya said...

i think i cant express my words after reading this post........

BTW why dont u write a book?????? I'm sure u r gonna rock.

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@Sudhakar
Welcome ..thanks for the comments.As mentioned earlier,lokks I have to come out with a revised edition soon !!lol
TC
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Compassion Unlimitted said...

@Sandhya

Hi..long time ..Looks it touched a raw nerve for you too..regarding book,You too sandhya!!..I thought april Fools day is far off..On serious note,I dont think I am talented enough to write a book..Any how thanks for the words
TC
CU

crazyBugga said...

why man u like to make ppl cry? [:(]

crazyBugga said...

and BTW, i think ur comments section shud have a blog of its own. Enna thalae? my scroll bar became like a sundeli [:)]

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@crazyBugga,
thanks for the comments..i thought reality should be portrayed,but realised that this became a choker..looks time I changed the story line..pl come back sometime next week,may be it will tune with everyones liking
tc
cu

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@crazyBugga,
//Enna thalae? my scroll bar became like a sundeli //
That was a good one..lol
TC
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preetilata said...

god..u write brilliantly.
kamon accho?..amar porikkha bhaloi holo. r new yr to eshe gelo. ki plans??
notun bochorer onek onek shubheccha janai.

bhalo theko bondhu
:) :) :)

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@preetilata
thank you.Writing brilliantly..thanks a ton!!
Abaar esho.
Wishing you a happy New Year
TC
CU

Aarthi said...

This was really shocking...I didn't expect him to do that...sad ending....:( Sorry I really got held up with my work...atlast i got sum time to drop in here....:)

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ Aarthi
welcome..sometimes tragedies in life are too much to handle,especially if they combine with guilt..
TC
CU

remi said...

Greatings from Belgium

Compassion Unlimitted said...

@ remi
Welcome..first time I guess..please keep passing by
Tc
CU