Sunday, December 28, 2008


Its going to be two years dear,whispered Akash into Aparnas ears.

Hmm,thats going to be long time,its going to be one hell, missing you already.

and Akash added::this time communication is going to be diffucult too,I am going up there,where its going to be 24 hours of duty.

You mean facing our neighbours, Aparna asked

Yes hun & its going to be CI,Counter Intelligence & so may have to move across the border too couple of times.

She knew Akash was waiting for an opportunity like this & would have opted for this move.Without him it was going to be tough managing life.Even in Chennai,many a times Chats,SMS,off liners,and rare calls used to keep them going. Such was their situation.Akash was everything to her, always bringing cheer to her.In the same way,Aparna gave so much of balance & solace in the tough life he was leading.

Dhruv was 3 years old and Aparajith just 1. Managing both was fun but demanding,but being a home maker she could handle it well.Akash always encouraged her to do higher studies and perhaps take up a job too. He had very high regard for her capabilities but Aparna was clear ,nothing ,till the younger one was 3 & ready for school.

Akash went off to the border & time started moving at its own pace. So their communication was more of sms & calls rare. Being in operation Akash had strictly told her no calls from her & he would only call.And unfortunately due to the nature of his job,calls were tough to make.

In those rare moments of togetherness on the phone,they just used to pour out. Akash was a very considerate human always giving his ears to Aparna ,listening to all her problems & of course give her enough encouragement to face life.Always his words were soothing & Aparna was relieved of all her tensions by merely talking to him.Their good morning sms with a lot of sweet nothings would run for few pages, if printed.These sms became a sort of addiction & a competition as to who would be the first to send morning sms !

Meanwhile Aparna joined a school as a teacher & Aparajith was enrolled in the same school. Akash was happy for her & was sure this would give her the necessary diversion from the mundane life she was leading.She had also told him of her school being strict & it was no no for mobiles. She would always sms him after return from school, after 4 pm.

It was 230 in the afternoon ,Akash's mobile rang ,call was from Aparna. He didn't pick it up as he was in a meeting. Second time, third time..Akash was worried .School time,still a call from her ! She wouldn't be calling repeatedly unless it was an emergency. He excused himself from the meeting & called back to her phone.

A gruff voice was heard on the other side ::This is Aparna's husband speaking. What the hell you think you are doing man.I will bash you up......

Akash switched off his mobile .Aparna had left behind her mobile that day at home & her hubby had gone through all the sms exchanges..

Akash thought to himself about their relationship..Was it an Oasis in their life or they were just chasing a mirage of happiness....


Monday, September 29, 2008

The Difference is...

Suparna :I always wanted to ask you ,Rajesh,Is Mamallan your fathers name

Rajesh Mamallan :Why do you ask that dear ?

Suparna : I heard you South Indians generally carry your fathers names first alphabet as your initials

Rajesh : Oh come on,you and your knowledge on South Indians,thats only with few communities...mine is...why dont you simply refer to google

Suparna : come on show off,she retorted, Why dont you simply spell it out..(She loved that haughtiness of Rajesh )

Rajesh : well it would say,Mamallan means a great wrestler and it would also say he built..

and before Rajesh could complete Suparna could realise he belonged to the great family who built the famous...

Suparna : you are a blue blooded rascal

Both laughed at it and slowly moved towards their respective hostels. Suparna was being transferred to different city and would badly miss Rajesh's company.But she was not sure if he would miss her. Rajesh too was very fond of her and didnt know if he was in love with her.

The weekend they wanted to be in each others company, and one thing led to the other and..

Two days later Suparna was leaving and Rajesh dropped her off at the airport.

Sms ,emails were keeping them in touch & one day Suparna called up Rajesh

Suparna : Rajesh, doctor just now confirmed, I thought I should share it with you

Rajesh : You should have been careful Suparna.You know all these are complicated.

Even at his insensitive outburst Suparna was only enjoying his impulsive behaviour.

Suparna : Now Rajesh, and before she could complete,

Rajesh blurted it out : wash it off sweetheart

It was a heart wrenching silence from Suparna

After this incidence, though they were in touch , it was icy and still Suparna couldnt take her mind off him. Rajesh was married off in their traditional manner with another blue blood family.

Years rolled by, Suparna moved over to London & Rajesh had a chance to pass by it.
Suparna invited him over for a dinner.Moving up in life in just 10 years time, she had bought a mansion of a house. Rajesh was taken aback by her affluence ,which he could never imagine despite his background.

Relaxing in their sit out and catching up with old times and suddenly they found themselves relaxed,though not totally.

Rajiv, come here and introduce yourself, Suparna suddenly exclaimed

Good evening sir, I am Rajiv, after a pause, Rajiv Mamallan, said the young boy ,all of 10 years

Rajeshs' jaw dropped


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Varieties of Hues and a Rainbow


Kaushik knew he had hit the purple patch of his life.He had been offered the receptionist job in a prestigious multi divisional organisation.Manimeghalai alias Megha,his colleague, was soon his best friend turned into his fiancee and finally his wife .

A happy life they were leading,Megha explaining the various hues of life so beautifully that even the colours of anger ,jealousy soon became colours to be appreciated.She used to joke what was life without a bit of jealousy or anger.Afterall they were like pickles in a multi course meal without which even the best of food would be insipid

Kaushik could visualise each of them and together they used to laugh about the colours.Even though Pink & Gray were her favourite colours and his Blue & Brown,they realised that their favourites were shifting constantly like the Dancing dunes Of Jaisalmer.Perhaps, that was the moods of life, getting depicted.

One day as Kaushik sat beside her & held her hands he knew soon her vibrant Rainbow VIBGYOR colours would merge as a white light and she would be gone.He also knew she faced it all with a smile and her only worry was leaving him to lead a life of his own.Her whispering words were the last he heard and she was gone in a moment.

13 years later, on this 13th day of September,Kaushik sat wondering as to why Megha never told him about the colour of life he would be leading in his life,without her.


Thursday, August 7, 2008


Her blue eyes were amazingly beautiful.She was sitting there all alone in that corner table in what appeared to be a coffee shop right in midst of the huge department store.Perhaps she sensed my eyes were on her and gave a casual glance.Did I catch a smile ,I donno.I went past her,and I thought she was still smiling.

I had left India,barely three weeks back,and had been appointed in this giant of a Japanese company.They had given me a lovely apartment ,facing the famous Lake Biwa. Being a specialist in Dioxin in the field of Environmental Engineering ,me getting this job was a cakewalk.I knew by Japanese yardstick,my job would be ,lifetime assured.

Strange place,strange language and in spite of all these,I thought I belonged here.I fitted in there as a glove.The three weeks just flew off and today was the day when I decided to explore the neighbourhood,and where did I land.The girl with the blue eyes just drew my thoughts to her again & again.I wanted to walk away from that scene and did precisely that. A confirmed bachelor and at 38 never thought I will get attracted to a girl.She must be very young,not more than 20,what the heck! why is the thought going back to her.

Being from a conservative family,hordes of relatives always at home,both from fathers side and mothers side,a perinial competiton,who brought in more relatives,often culminated in fights between Mom &Dad,left me peaceless.Sisters in law problems were overpowering too..All this made me disgusted to the extent I decided I will never marry.It had gone into the psyche too much.

Back to the room,the disturbance caused by her Blue eyes was distracting me from everything I did.I was wondering if I would ever meet her again.The week passed by with Dioxin keeping me busy,but that saturday I wanted to go back to the deparment store.It was like old times,in younger days going to the temple on specific days and waiting for the heart throbs or crushes to appear ! Will she be there.

I knew it .She would be there.Sitting on a corner seat just like the previous week.The red tops & blue jeans made her look ravishing.Her eyes met mine & this time I knew I had to say at least a Hi.In a typical Indians hesitating way I approached her and out came a feeble Hi.With her smile still there she offered me a seat.We spoke for sometime and this continued for some days.I decided ,I would invite her home.It took me one hell of an effort to utter those words:: Can I take you home? ;;
Again the smile,You have to ask mama san,pointing to the elderly lady taking care of the payment counter.By that time I had bought couple of things in the Deparment store,for which I had to pay up.So here was the oppurtunity I thought.As I stood at the counter, I built up a small conversation,& then finally asked mama san,if I could take her girl out.Mama san perhaps knew by this time about my fatal attraction,still kept a straight face and asked,Who Kumiko ? I answered yes. She became a little serious and said ,kumiko is a wonderful girl.Please take care of her.

Surely mama san.She handed over the bill to me and I paid out.

I was bubbling with joy and perhaps Kumiko too.Literally jumped across to her and told her we could move out of that place.Carrying all the packets,we walked across to the car and drove down home.

The excitement of taking Kumiko was too much for me.Opened the door ,in the true chivalrous way made kumiko enter the house first.In my excitement I was not sure if she entered the house with her right leg in .Who cares,she is home.Closed the door behind.Told Kumiko to make herself comfortable,and dropped the packets in kitchen & in bed room.

Kumiko had made herself comfortable on the couch.She was looking absolutely ravishing.The tug she gave me,when I went past her ,gave a hard knock on my Brahmacharyam,which I had religiously protected all these years.

Kumiko : I am feeling a little exhausted honey.

Me :: Dont worry sweetheart,when I am around,I will charge you up totally.Just give me few minutes.Lemme freshen up.

In five minutes flat I was back to her,She looked a tired kitten.She wanted me next to her.Sat next to her,not knowing what to do next, held her hands.Surprisingly,it was slightly cold.Dont worry sweetheart,in just few seconds I will warm you up , I thought to myself.

Me:: how do I go about it sweety, err ,Kumiko..As I told you ,this is my first time,you have to guide me

Kumiko :: Just unbutton my blouse ,and dont waste time please.Her half closed eyes looked lovely.

Me :: Easier said than done, I thought to myself as I slowly unbuttoned her blouse ,with unexplainable excitement.

And there it was .....the control panel where I had to stick the electrical cord in to Charge her Exhausted batteries

KUMIKO WAS AN EMOTIBOT ( A ROBOT WITH EMOTIONS ) WHO MIMICKED EVERY ACTION OF A HUMAN MINUS THE TICKLISH ISSUES OF LIFE ..AND BESIDES THEY COULD BE PROGRAMMED TO SUIT ONES LIKING TOO...It was year 2020,when more men & women wanted emotibot as lifetime companions devoid of tensions of & in life

( This story is dedicated to the wonderful writer Late Mr Sujatha )


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Evening

The placement section of the university had been busy and ensured all the kids got reasonably good jobs.

Roshni,Ranjith,Sneha,Iliyas,Varadarajan &Jenny were the most popular and sought after in the placement interviews,not only because of their brilliance but also because of their talent.All through their Engineering ,it was always who the best all round performer was.This never divided them but brought them closer.

Finally it was the three pairs,Roshni & Ranjith,Sneha & Iliyas,Varadharajan &Jenny who emerged out of the college into the big bad world ready to take it by its horns.
By choice they decided that each of them will join different organisations,but will ensure their togetherness as friends.As loving pairs,they thought this would be the best way to test the old saying,seperation will make the heart go fonder !What a way to test it.
With Roshnis,Iliyas & Varadarajans family being very staunch in their beliefs,they were also not sure how they were going to face the future but were determined to succeed.All belonged to Chennai.The break after their final was long and they were meeting often exchanging notes on their future.As Sneha would be the first to leave and join her job in Bengaluru,they decided to have a get together.

In one of the evening meetings,Jenny got a brilliant idea of inviting the family members too for the get together ,so that it would not only bring them all together but also give an oppurtunity for the youngsters to judge their reactions.When Sneha said she wanted to ask Iliyas parents point blank,he could give only a smile.Ranjith was tempted to say the same & so was Jenny.But they thought they had time.The date was fixed as last sunday of the month.

Mangayarkarasi,was 21 when she got married to Ratnavel Pandyan.Coming from down south,again conservatism was dominant.She was now 26,and still had not given birth to grandchildren for his parents.This was nagging them both ,but didnt know how to handle it.Both being in police,their job was also exhausting which left them with no energy for being together & to understand each other.Besides the pressures of job had led Pandyan to vices,including drinking.The only way was to go the IVF way,Manimeghalai,a fellow constable,told Mangayarkarasi( Arasi ).With great difficulty she persuaded her husband to accompany her to the doctor.Entire route ,he was mumbling that only she had the problem and that he was perfect.At docs place,it was clear who had the problem,and Arasi pleaded with the Doc ,non verbally thru her eyes ,not to disclose the fact.The Doc ,in a jiffy understood the matter and handled the issue in the most sensible manner.She never conveyed her diagnosis,but just insisted both needed to come at least twice a week,even if seperately,it was ok.

It was last sunday of the month and Doc conveyed the good news to her and she was bubbling with joy.It was 11 am and she rushed home,Pandyan was away to nearby district on escort duty for a minister.He would be back only by evening and had told her not to call since the minister was of nasty type and that he would call when he had time.Arasi prepared all nice things,mutton briyani,kaadai,Parotta,Kari meen in kerala style which Pandyan just loved and not forgetting the payasam with jaggery.
Leaving everything near the Aduppu,(Stove )Arasi left for the police station and from there for her rounds near the subway since it would need all the police personnel to control the vehicles and the maddening crowd near the jewellery & Saree shop for which that area was famous for.Besides a Brand new shop called SWARNAPURI was inaugurated just two days back.

Swarnapuri,as the name suggested was the brainchild of a political bigwig,who ensured his building violated every rule in the book.A 10 storied building,wherein he allocated the first five floors to restaurant,a mini theatre,jewellary shop & ofcourse the silk saree shops.Every floor that way was self contained shoppers paradise.The top five floors was a star rated hotel,and the basement,2 storied below the ground level, a huge carpark and a centralised utility centre with aircons,generator,laundry to the hotel and gas supply to each restaurant.
The hotel in the complex ensured foreigners never had to leave the complex and simply buy ,buy & buy only.

Arasi: Enna Kader bhai,sowkyama.( Kader Bhai,How are you)
Kader: Nalla irukken Ettamma,(I am fine ),by the grace of Allah
This Swarnapuri has really brought in good business for me & if it goes on like this I will be,God willing,be able to go on Haj with my savings soon.Today itself I have sold 200 balloons and I have orders for 200 more.Cant you see upstairs in the third floor restaurant 100 children are celebrating a birthday party.

Arasi: very good kader bhai. Muniyamma ,what are you upto?Enna indha vayasila balloon vechhittu vilayattu.( What, you are playing with balloons at this age )

Muniyamma : 100 molam of jasmines I have already sold and I thought I will help Kader bhai to meet the demand of Balloons. I have never seen Kader Bhai so excited all his life. Avanga oor kovil mela avvalavu bhakti Kader Bhaikku.Enakkum punniyan kidaikkattume. ( Kader Bhai loves his temple so much. adds jocularly,let me also get his Gods blessings )

Arasi almost felt like sharing her good news too,but decided against.She wanted it to be shared with her hubby first.She was worried &disappointed that he had hadnt called her yet.

Roshni,Ranjith,Sneha,Iliyas,Varadarajan &Jenny spoke to their respective parents and convinced them to be a part of a grand get together.Jennys parents & Snehas parents took the lead in cooperating with their children,for their kids had already confided about the objective of the meeting.They took it in their way and assured they would play a vital role in convincing other parents.On friday night it was decided they would meet for dinner on Sunday evening.Only Roshinis father said he wouldnt be able to make it and had left town on Thursday.

On sunday evening,all the members of the families trooped into the restaurant and occupied the vantage seats to enjoy the evening.Some knew the actual reason for the meeting,some didnt !The kids had their sheepish smile ,and were excited that their future would be known soon.Soon the dinner became noisy and full of laughter.

Bashas bedding store one of the oldest shop in that area had resisted all temptations of modern times and continued to exist among the dazzling buildings.Basha,a God fearing person ,firmly believed God would guide him properly and never got enamoured by the developments & money offers to buy over his place.

Basha : vaa,jaani,enna romba naallukku appuram vare.( Welcome Janni,you are here after a long time)
Jaani was his classmate and they studied together upto college.Both their families also were close.But Basha had not met Jaani for past few months and was excited to see him.
jaani : ille Basha,velai romba adhigam( I was busy with work) & therefore could not make it
Basha : appo oru phone aachum panni irukkalaam ille.( At least you could have called me )
Jaani : You know Basha, I dislike phone & mobile and hardly use them
Basha : come on friend.After you have walked in ,at least ten times your phone has rung.But why dont you pick up the calls.Is it somebody who has given you a loan or you have another family set up.

Both had a hearty laugh.Only jaani knew the real reason.10 rings and all the 10 floors had been covered.Yes swargapuri had been booby trapped.

Basha & Jaani came out of the shop and were standing and watching the tamasha around.It was time for jaani to activate the master timer and move out of the scene.He knew the damage would be so heavy that Bashas shop wouldnt escape the effect. He wanted his friend to escape.But obviously he could not spell it out.

The party in the of the kids, was going on full swing and jennys / Snehas parents took charge of the evening and gently breaking the news to other parents.Some were shocked while some simply wanted to walk away from the scene. Roshini very much wanted her father to be around and she knew he would never say no to him.
She was blankly staring out of the window.

Jaani : basha ,vaa tea kudichuttu varalam ( lets go and have a cup of tea )
Basha agreed and started locking up the shop.

Basha : With this Swarnapuri around I dont think anyone will come to my
shop anymore.
Jaani : thought to himself,dont worry Basha,it wont take away your business

Roshini suddenly realised it was her father and Basha uncle walking across on the road.She literally leapt up and started waving out, hoping her father would glance up.She screamed to her people that her father must have returned to attend the party.All of them stood near the glass window and somehow wanted to grab his attention.

Meanwhile jaani pressed the button on his mobile activating the sequence. In two minutes flat he had to be away from the scene.

Roshini called her father on his mobile.She would use it very rarely since she knew her father never liked mobiles.

Jaani was surprised his home mobile rang & that too from Roshini. He was puzzled but nevertheless answered.

Jaani : yes child, anything urgent ?

Roshini : yes Papa, I know you would make it for my sake from the tour.I am so happy

Jaani: but child,where are you.How do you know I am back

Roshini : come on ,papa, you wanted to give me a surprise but I caught you. Just look up at swarnapuri second floor.

Jaani lifted up his head. Lined up on the second floor were all his family members along with his only daughter. Her classmates & their family ,all waving out to him

It was too late. In the next few seconds, as his eyes welled up with tears,all of them,including Arasi,Kader bhai,muniyamma.....became part of history & of course statistics !


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

From The Land Of Rising Son ToThe Land Of Rising Sun..2

By 430pm it was impossible for me to even sit.Time to see the Doc urgently said my inner self.Grabbed the nearest auto and rushed to the doctor,who was attached to another hospital.The guy had one look at my moron face and mentally decided on certain surgical procedures instantly .He went thru a routine examination and finally conveyed that I need an endoscopy done and elaborated on the process.Finally he asked me for the scan reports done in the morning.Unfortunately that leading hospital had procedures and they would hand it over to me only the next day.
A small catheter from nowhere appeared but gave me instant relief.I was asked to come the next day,of course with the reports,and then only the date of surgery would be fixed.

I was running out of time for my trip ,had just 72 hours to go.My hopes started fading.

Next morning,ie Wedneday 25 th june,I sent my colleague to the leading hospital to collect the reports and they sort of disbelieved her,saying I was perfectly ok and needed only tablets.Hopes again soared for me.Can I make the trip on Friday 27th june.The doctor herself came on line and said that I should refuse surgery and come over to their (leading ) hospital and they will redo the tests and confirm.I felt like a Ping Pong ball on the Table Tennis Table.

Somewhere my inner self told me to go ahead with the surgery and postpone my trip by a maximum of three days,beyond which the trip will have no use.So finally requested my colleague to pick up the reports and come over to the second hospital.Again one look at the reports,the doctor reconfirmed that I had no alternative but to undergo the surgery.He wanted to do it on Friday evening,but I insisted he do it on Thursday morning itself.I confided in him about the pressure on my trip,but he said it would be a miracle if I could make it in the next week ie in the week of 30th june.I was determined.I said I will ,provided he did his job well I thought to myself.I forced myself and got admitted in the general ward & later shifted to seperate room.It was like getting into the train RAC and then getting the berth.

Thursday morning,the surgeon kept his word .6 AM I was wheeled in,local anaesthesia administered,part of my internals carved out permanently and sent out for biopsy.I was out by 7AM,with excruciating pain.By friday the pain had vanished and one by one the dozens of IV fluid bottles dangling around me ,as if I was one giant squid,were removed.I was on road to recovery,but was it fast enough.Everytime I wanted to ask the Surgeon about rebooking my ticket,he deftly avoided the answer.Third time my inner self guided me to a decision,I rebooked my ticket for Wednesday night ie 2 july .Can I make it,Yes I felt.

On sunday morning the Doc said I was ok but regarding my trip he would decide only on Tuesday evening.I was discharged and my kids fussed over me so much,for a second I felt extremely proud father.Only last week the Fathers day passed without these guys bothering about it.

Monday evening the Biopsy report came and it was Benign.what a relief and positive news.

Today,ie Tuesday 1st July, Doctor cleared my visit with a smile bursting out on both our faces.It was rejoicing time.So after all I am going to make it.Felt very happy.
The first thing that came to my mind was that I complete this blog ,for tomorrow I would be too damn busy.LOL

So from a dutiful Son taking his mother to a regular check up ,I landed up as a patient, in this comedy of errors,and now with everything under control I am on the way to the Land of rising Sun !!

Ok friends on this happpy note that I am off for this truncated trip and will be back on 10th july ,with more good news ,I suppose.

And,incidentally as I celebrate my five and a half decades of existance in this God created world,on 9 th of july ,I will be transitting as I would be on my way back.What a way to celebrate!!

till then take care

Monday, June 30, 2008

From The Land Of Rising Son to Rising Sun..1

I was all set to leave for the Land of Rising Sun on 27th June,directly into Fukuoka on the western extreme of the country.Since it was going to be a trip of 10 days I asked my sons if they could come over and take care of my mother, who was close to 80's ,in my absence.Both were terribly happy that a responsible father like me was actually asking them to BUNK classes.

And then one of them had a bright idea, why not I take Patti(grandma)for a medical check up.That sounded good to me and we decided to take her on 24th june to one of the top hospitals in the city for a master check up.

Dot at 630 AM on that day ,the dutiful son (thats me & what else can a Indian son be ! )drove down to the hospital and presented the details to the counter.Looked around,I had a beaming face,we were the first.It reminded meof Mr Bean Fateplayed its perfect role.The counter guy told me ,since it was going to take about 6 hours,why not I go though the test as well. why not ? The question raced through my head & after all the payment is through the card. YESthat was my spontaneous reaction.ZIP ,the card swiped I had two files in my hand,one for my mother& one for me.Pretty good salesmanship I thought of counter guy.

Second floor please,we were ushered in,a la five star culture.Efficiency being the watchword,room after room we were herded in oops usherd in.It started off with big Aahh when the needle was poked in for fasting sugar test.( its a different matter that many looked at me funnily for the big Aahh I let out,who cares !)ECG done,I walked into a semi dark room where they said ECHO would be done.I was made to lie down & for some time nothing happened and then the girl suddenly put the probe where my heart is supposed to be.Suddenly I heared as if a railway engine had entered the room.Startled,when I looked up the face of the girl,she gave a sweet smile saying it was my heart making that roar.Hmm, a lion in me I thought.

Next was the ultrasound of my stomach.The guy who was operating it was 6 and a half foot of a Doc,who was also perhaps part time into into WWF or was it the other way !
This guy held the probe as if he was holding a mace in his hand.The next second he pushed it so hard on my tummy ,my usual yell didnt desert me.He moved the probe up/down & sideways and watching the monitor very closely.He mumbled 'its moving'.I thought he said that to me.No, it was addressed to the girl who was also apperently present in the room.Why should all these test rooms be dark I wonder.

Sir ( this time it was definitely to me ) why dont you drink few glasses of water and come.This big stomach of mine which can down few gallons of beer,whats few glasses.

In 20 minutes i was back in the room and Six footer was eagerly waiting for me.But why ?

Again the same thump of probe on my tummy,I screamed,it was really painfull.

Sir its confirmed.The stone is rolling.

I replied "no friend the group is called Rolling Stones ".

That I know Sir,but in this case the stone is rolling dangerously in your stomach and not on the stage !!You need to get admitted immediately and perhaps be operated.

What nonsense,this guy must be nuts.I gave him the sweetest smile I could and wanted to escape from this WWF Doctor.Clutching the report I strolled out as if nothing ever happened.Mr Bean again !

My mother too had completed all the tests.As I walked towards the reception a flash of a pain streaked across my Beer belly or was it my imagination !!Every step I took I realised something was wrong in me.Took my mind off.Went down to the parking lot with my mother in tow & reached home .Changed to my uniform & got ready to leave for the factory.the FLASH reappeared from no where and this time it became unbearable.Oh my Japan Trip & all the appointments lined up also flashed past,but in my head !!
Now What !!

JAPAN are you hearing !!


Sunday, May 4, 2008


The day was fixed as my PATTABHISHEGAM ( Coronation ) day. Sunday is the day I go to my faithful barber,oops.Hair dresser, of 25 years.Forgot if I ( we )celebrated that.Must remember it next time since he maintains the diary,right from the day the charges used to be Rs 5.(do you get a cuppa tea for that now)

Dot at 550 am, I leave home to be his first customer,and I do have that proud look on my face when I see others waiting,after me.Only thing he has not initiated a token system.Appointments are as good as in doctors place,they seldom work.Over the years his shop ( can I call it Shop )has moved from under the greenwood tree to a modern place with couple of assistants moving around with all kind of gizmos,miniature versions of a perfect lawn mowers.

But for me,my faithful Natarajan will use only a comb,a scissor and a barbers antique knife for my nut..nothing much ,its always an army cut and a massage of the head,a routine which has remained over the years.Only that the charges have not been !! His clients include all kinds,politicians to actors. Natarajan and me belong to same village,(pure coincidence )from Thanjavur.He keeps going there every month ,and keeps me updated of the going ons there,andI see the happenings thru his narration , a la MahaBharatha Dhirudhuraashtra.All these in the 15 minutes of the choppings.

And this morning of all the days I woke up ,pretty late at 630 am,and the worries were explicit on my forehead.And in the shop, I was 7th in the Q.That meant it was going to be a long wait.Unlike me ,with sparse hairs on my nut,others were fluffy in thier head ranging from jet black to partly grey to fully silver..hmm so I sat in the corner,with a handful of magzines and was sleepy,since I had slept fairly late yesterday.Through the corner of the eyes I could see Natarajan having genuine sympathy for me since he knew I was a stickler to timings and today was just a wrong day.

When my turn finally came,happiness lit on my face I sat off on the throne and the Pattabhisheham started.The routine was always that the initial process, for example tying the apron etc, would be done by his assistants and he would be there to do the actual ritual of snipping and then the final clean up again by his assistants. One had to realise ,his time had become very very valuable.

Apron tied,head moist with water, boss came and started doing his job.I was tired and he was slightly tensed with many VIP customers (of course including me )I dozed off.A little later,when one of his assistants gently woke me up ,I saw a different face on the mirror in the front.

Yes they had nicely dyed my hair and to add to the misery ( !! )two streaks on either side !!!. they looked like painted on horns of a well fed bull ready for the JALLIKATTU.(Bull fight,famous in Tamil Nadu )

Ennappa idhu (whats all this ) I screamed.Natarajan came rushing by.He didnt know what to say I guess.I asked him if anything could be done,and from his expression I ralised it was negative .Some hyperactivity around, as if they were going to save a patient from his death bed,I knew the case was lost.Oh My crowning glory !!

Profusely apologising ,he said it will be back to my normal ,in maximum of three weeks.

Three weeks, how am I going to survive.

The most conservative AGRAHARAM area I live,is definitely going to have many eyebrows raised for the next three weeks!!

When I enter home ,the look of my family ,is going to be one of surprise,and I wont be surprised if they are startled too !!

My kids are going to be back from hostel, after their semester exams ,in two days and their reactions !!

My office and factory people are going to just wonder,what has come over me !!

and many more and many more..these are the just few which cross my mind !!

As I got up slowly from the chair,after the imagined social onslaughts,one last glimpse at the mirror to see the reflections of this moron,gave me a little confidence. After all I may not be looking so bad as I imagined.May be I am looking a lot younger.but the streaks what.May be I have to behave younger.May be I am young too..As they say,age is between the ears.Hmm..

Through the corner of the eyes I surveyed the room.Was anyone watching ?None,Natrajan was busy scolding the boy. So dont have to really bother ,I guess.

Came out of the shop (!),felt some boys in the nearby tea shop were watching me.Hmm may be they have mistaken me for a famous film star .Got into the car and drove back home.

At the signal,a young & slender traffic cop who was making use of most of the shadow of a thinner lamp post ( you see its 38 c already )bent down and had a good look at my face.I was beaming.A young girl looking at me.I realised later ,being on Bandhobast duty on the Chief ministers route,she must have been wanting to make sure I was not a thug or terrorist and hence the inquisitive look !!Well these things happen,I thought to myself.

As I approached my house,I was preparing myself to act natural and as if nothing happened..Will it be possible ?


Friday, April 11, 2008

The Cactus Blooms...Concluding Part

Kaal called up SI Manikkavel

Kaal :: Manikkavel,I quickly need the locations of Samaj's various addresses in the city and want you to check the marriages to be conducted by them tomorrow. If possible find out the time schedule of the various marriages.

SI :: Yes Sir ,Give me 10 minutes I will report to you sir

SI called up the control room and sought the information from them.They in turn flashed the message and in next few minutes the complete address information was available. But keeping up the tradition of maintaining confidentiality, samaj refused to divulge names and time of marriages.

SI Manikkavel :Sir all the information on location is available but we could not get the details of the marriages since they maintain the confidentiality.There are only three places ,sir

KAAL :: Then we have to arrange for the raid party.Please arrange for it.

SI Manikkavel :: Sir,I have a small request .Tomorrow I have a very important family marriage to attend and Muhurtham is between 7and 8 am.I will attend it and immediately rush..

KAAL :: If it's muhurtham for you ,it will be the same elsewhere.By the time you report for duty,it will all be over.Don't worry I will take charge directly.Please inform control room to advice the respective police stations to assist us.

He still was not sure if the terrorist angle was correct.From the call printouts which Yama had brought along,he wanted to talk directly to Chattisgarh number.Upon calling he realised,it was a genuine quarry contract the boy had been working on.
He wanted to call off the Terrorist Look Out Notice and informed the control room.He shared the news with happiness with Yama.

D -1 ::: 1130 pm

Arumugham calls Appasamy and conveys all the developments.All of them heaved a sigh of relief. Now, at best, it could be a case of kidnapping which could be handled legally.

At the same time ,as Kaal was driving back home with Yama,he realised that Yama wanted to pursue the case ,also he had not yet received any confirmation on the change in action plan from his bosses.

Kaal decided to go along with Yama and calls up control room and informs raid parties to be ready by 6 AM at the three venues.

D - 0 ::: 330 am

Appasamy picks up Aish and Raaj and rushes to the venue.He wanted everything to be completed at the earliest and vacate the place and surrender.He looked at Aish and found her so serene,calm and composed.He felt bad that her parents were missing the marriage

D - 0 ::: 430 AM

The venue is just filled with few dozen people and the couple looked so lovely in their traditional attires.Both were beaming with happiness.Somewhere Appasamy again felt very sad for the girl ,who had left behind everything for the sake of love.The serenity in her face was so wonderful ,for a moment he thought of her as DEVI herself.

His mobile rang.It was Arumugham.

Arumugham : Ayya,the raid time is fixed for 6 AM. Please complete everything fast and vacate the place.I will give you a ring when they are 15 mins away from your place.and a second ring when they are 5 mins away.That outstation cop is still treating this as a terrorist case,hence be careful.If anything happens please surrender,never argue with him.It will help the couple.

Appasamy : Thank you Arumugham.You are a good hearted person and want to unite a young couple. God bless you.

D - 0 ::: 5 AM

Anthony Kaal wakes up and finds Yama already all set for the call of duty.This guy will never change he thought to himself. Yama hurried him to get ready.

The function started.. The first was converting her.Aish became Aishwarya and signed the document

Immediately after that the marriage function formally began. It was 510 AM. Appasamy was praying that the priest would go on a fast forward.He had already informed the priest of the urgency.The normal duration was one hour,Appasamy wanted it to be conducted in 30 mts.

Priest started explaining,the KANNIGADHANAM,as the first step.The father of the girl is supposed to give away the girl to the boy as a Dhan.The role of parents was taken over by Raaj's sister and Brotherin law. He was anxious that Aishwarya understood and in his own pace explained it in English and in his sanskritised broken Hindi.

Aishwarya apparently was enjoying it.Appasamy was on pins.He wanted to vacate the place by 530 at all costs,when it was still dark.It was already 520 AM.Aishwarya's serenity was so Godly,it helped him to calm down.He wondered whether she was aware of the impending danger.

The priest started explaining the second step,PAANIGRAHANAM,which signified the promise made by the couple to be together in life and keep each other happy.Again the explanation both English and hindi.

D - 0 ::: 530 AM

Anthony Kaal and Yama got into the Jeep along with his Gunman.They contacted the control room to check the readiness of the raid party. All set...

The priest started the third and final step ie the sapthapadi..the seven steps and each step signifying the guiding principles of life.

The mobile in Appasamys pocket vibrated. He knew he had totally run out of time..

The way it was going ,the explanation for the seven steps would easily take at least 7 minutes and after that rushing out would mean straight onto the face of the cops.There was no way the function could be curtailled at this juncture ..

The formal marriage got solemnised in the next few minutes and the registers signed by witnesses.

The only other way,a thought flashed across,as soon as the marriage was over, switch another couple in their place and and hide them off in the small anteroom.
He precisely did it and the phone vibrated the second time. 5 minutes, he thought ,was going to be long.

He had substituted Raaj's younger sister and brother in law, who had got married just few months back . He requested the priest to recite normal slokas.Tension was writ on everyones face and they tried their best to hide it.

In walked Kaal,Yama and his gunman.They had a look around,and as they turned around in disappointment,Anthony kaal noticed that the bride was wearing a toe ring,Metti,which was sported only by married woman.He hesitated for a moment and then briskly walked away.

As soon as their heads disappeared the happiness returned to everyones face.In two minutes the groom and the girl took everyones blessings and were taken away by Appasamy through the numerous lanes and by lanes .

After roaming around for several hours in the car,they went to the magistrates place and surrendered.

Kaal was called in to interrogate and in just few minutes he realised it was a sweet end to a beautiful love story.Aishwarya was called seperately by Yama to find out if she married Raaj willingly which she confirmed.Kaal wished them the best of luck.Aishwarya and Yama spoke for few minutes in their language and both seemed very happy with whatever they exchanged.

Yama meanwhile had also received the communication from his bosses that the boy was clear and no way connected to terrorism,and he finally looked at the development nonchalently.

Appasamy could not get over the fact that Aishwarya had the courage to face it all and never showed any sort of unhappiness of missing her people.He realised she was a very mature girl and they all had to learn many things from her.

As he started moving away from the scene one thing haunted him.Why cant we all be mature enough to co-exist and look at conversions as a horrible thing.Would it have been possible for Raaj and Aishwarya to marry maintaining their own respective religion.Would the society be accepting such a situation.What would happen to their children ?Would the society be accepting such a situation ?Was it mature enough?The calm composure maintained by Aishwarya was an eye opener for him.

As they came out Kaal and Yama had a good laugh at the of events and decided to take the rest of the day easy since Yama's return flight was only at 6 pm.Yama called up home and shared the deveopments with his wife .Finally his wife requested him to buy couple of famous silk sarees from T Nagar.When yama requested Kaal, he said the best person to help, would be his wife.So they drove back to Kaal's house.

As he entered his house Anthony Kaal called out to his wife

Kaal :: Saraswathi,Saraswathi,look who has come.My good friend Yama and he wants your help.Before that,I need a clarification.When do South Indian Hindu woman wear the toe ring : after the marriage or during ?. Saraswathi explained,Anthony Kaal burst out laughing.He knew he got fooled at the marriage hall.or did he delibrately overlook it,though he had spotted it !!

Anthony fell in love with Saraswathi years back and after all kind of resistance both got married but retained their respective religious identity.They decided not to have a kid since they didnt want each of them to influence the kid on religion.
So all along this episode of Raaj and Aishwarya,perhaps his love marriage and its difficulties were running in the back of his mind and he perhaps played soft on the issue and wanted the marriage to happen!!. For example he could have posted a policeman right thru the night at the marriage venue,but he didnt.He looked fondly at Saraswathi and told her about the incident. Both shared a beautiful feeling that it ended well !!Perhaps a repeat of their marriage with more of action in between !!

So in the end Appsami and Anthony Kall, who were very tough persons in their own respective beliefs crumbled before true love.Both of them like the CACTUS had a lot of thorn around them,but now BLOOMED in all splendour of the goodness.

D :: + 7 ::: RAAJ'S house

Raaj,Aishwarya,his father and mother enjoying the Sunday at home.Being Non vegetarian day,Raaj's father had bought good Mutton.As Raaj's mother started to move towards the kitchen,Aishwarya,jumped up saying she would cook the best Briyani for the family.Both Raaj and his father also liked the idea and supported it.
Raaj's mother gave a reasonably stern look at them and said it would be better that Aishwarya rested as she must be tired after a late night movie of the previous day.. (heart of heart she thought to herself::after all she knew the taste of Raaj and her father better ).

message conveyed..Kitchen domination was mother in laws prerogative and the daughter in law rather wait...

and thus started the mother in law ::daughter in law episode which will go on forever and ever......


Everything in this Story is a fertile imagination from my head..except for...I leave it to your guess !!! AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR P A T I E N C E

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Cactus Blooms.....Part 3

Could it be::: Could it be a simple love affair, which Yama is looking at a different angle..but being a trained anti terrorist cop,Anthony Kaal did not want to jump into conclusion.He always went thru the process of elimination to arrive at any decision.

D-2 :::IG's office 6 pm

IG ::: what's the status Yama?

Yama::: Sir, good news .We have some leads and from it points at a boy living in Chennai.He could perhaps have contacts in Chattisgarh too.. (yama could never look at an issue differently )

IG ::: Then what are you waiting for,I will issue a formal order for you to move to Chennai by noon flight and you should be there by evening.I will ensure interstate protocol is maintained.Take your best commando with you.Dont forget your service weapon and be careful..

Yamas fingers already started itching..A mosquito to swat ,he thought
He called up Kaal to inform him of his movement to Chennai.Kaal had no choice but to welcome him but same time realised he had to do some more homework on the boy,Raaj.
He didnt want a mistake to happen

D-2::::: 6 pm..chennai

Appasami called up his contact in the crime branch,Arumugham,a straight forward cop of 35 years experience,who never wanted any innocent to be punished.Being in the control room he had access to all the going ons in the city.

Appasami confided in him about the issue and wanted to know about the activities of the cops on this .Arumugham sounded a little casual and told Appasami that Cops were busy with a terrorist chase who had kidnapped a girl from North East and had no time to be after simple love issues.

Appasami felt the chill..he knew it was going to be a case of mistaken identity.He again shared the news with Arumugham that it was the same boy he was referring to.

Arumugham :: appo surrender aaga sollunga.Illena vambu.(Please ask them to surrender,otherwise it may become a problem )AC Anthony kaal is a tough cop and known for his encounters.

Appasami :: Arumugham.Naan ungala than nambi irukken (I have hopes only on you ),Let the marriage be over ,the next minute they will surrender

Arumugham ::enakku puriyudhu,aanaal eppadi naan melidatthukku solluven (sir I can Understand but how do I convey this )Just ensure that the boy and girl dont surface in public. I just got the information that a top cop is arriving from North east.

Appasami :: purinjudhu,edhum vishayam irundha ennakku solluveenganu nambaren(I have understood,if there's any development, I hope you will keep me informed )

Arumugham :: surely sir.girl is coming to our place as a bride surely we want to welcome with open heart

D - 1 :::: 9 am

Aish was getting slightly worried. She knew something was wrong but didnt know what exactly.She was praying hard that everything went on fine.Tears welled up in her eyes,and Raaj saw it.He realised in the confusion of past few days he hadnt spent much time with Aish. In fact she was all alone and who ever was conversing with her were perhaps doing it more out of curiosity.

Raaj :: Sorry Aish ,about all these developments.But I am sure evereything will be sorted out.

Aish :: I wish so .But whatever it is,I want to be be with you,now and forever.When are we buying the wedding sarees. We were to do it today,isnt it.

Raaj :: Sure,I am just waiting for Appasamy sir to tell us since ,he is cooordinating the entire thing.

Aish :: I never realised there was so much complication,I hope everything goes through smoothly.I thought it was a simple love affair and marriage was the logical conclusion. But now I realise ,the society comes down so heavily on love ..

Appasami was maintaining mobile silence with all of them since he didnt want anyone to be traced.From the discussions with Arumugham he knew Raaj's and Aish's photographs must have been splashed to all police stations and in the event of Raaj being identified as a terrorist,he would be a sitting duck to police if he ever ventured out.So the only way was,after marriage surrender so that everything would be ok.He proceeded to meet Raaj and Aish. He was already late by several hours and he realised the youngsters would be tensed

Meanwhile, Raaj became anxious and switched on the mobile and called Appasami

PING, the signal from Raaj's mobile was tracked by the service provider who instantly relayed it to police control room.

Appasami,realised Raaj had commited the cardinal mistake and that he didnt have much time in hand.He reached the place in next 10 minutes and in no time he had both Aish and Raaj whisked away

D -1 ::: 1pm

Anthony Kaal on the way back home asked his driver to take a detour via Raaj's house.Something in him was telling that he would definitely get a clue on what was happening.His orderly and SI Maanikkavel accompanied him.As he walked around the house he chanced upon a crumpled computer print out which read:: Raaj and Aish cordially invite you for a lunch at Hotel Hemsagar at 1 pm::.There was no date mentioned on it.His SI Maanikkavel was immediately asked to check on it and they understood it was for the next day.

So ,Kaal realised that it was question of time before they zoomed down on Raaj and Aish.Also the service provider had provided the vital information of the mobile phone. But the main thing remained ::: he had to find out on the terrorist dimension.Otherwise ,Yama would do the rest...

He immediately ordered a quick check on all marriage halls and temples to find out if the marriage was to be held,the next day.Everywhere they drew a blank .In all the thorough police work,they had overlooked a point that the girl belonged to a different religion and a conversion was neccessary and this was done only in few institutions.

Appasami,Aish and Raaj reached another safe house and the program on shopping was called off.With the list,Appasami promised everything would be bought in time.He conveyed to them that the marriage time was advanced to before 5 AM ,an auspicious Brahma Muhoortham.

He left both of them around 7 pm with a clear instruction to maintain no contact with outside world and that he would pick them up at 330 AM ,the next morning.

D -1 ::: 630 pm

Kaal met Yama at airport and both were very happy to catch up on lost time.Went to a restaurant on the way and as they were chatting on the case in hand,Yama went into details of the girls family.Kaal realised that he had missed a crucial point of religion on this matter and he knew what to do and where to go...Yama was also restless..

(to be concluded)


Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Cactus Blooms.....Part 2

A quick review of the situation and Appasamy decided that there was no way Raaj was going to make it to her place and perhaps the rendezvous could happen only at Guwahati.This meant Aish had to reach Guwahati airport on her own and Raaj to reach and wait for her there.For obvious reasons ,Appasamy had advised her tickets be booked on a different name and so even downloading the E ticket would not have helped as she would have failed the identity test at ticket counter. So Raaj was asked to call her and convey the revised schedule.Despite advising Raaj several times to have the mutual conversation from PCO,both ignored it.

Aish was very worried now since she had never travelled overnight on her own,and she was wondering if she should confide to someone and at least escort her to Guwahati.She resisted the temptation. But despite her calm exterior she felt the turbulance inside.

D -4, she couriered her letter to her parents and took off by a bus to her destiny ...

Raaj meanwhile had left Chennai and reached Guwahati.His return was booked by Guwahati Chennai,but for some strange reason ,Appasamy tore off that made him book another ticket, for both of them via Kolkatta, but this time he ensured it was not a E ticket and both their tickets were in different names.

D -3 morning Aish reached the airport and literaaly melted into waiting arms of Raaj.With just hand baggages,both entered the airport and for a quick wash.It was already late for the flight ,and both rushed past the security and dropped into their seats.Announcement ..SWITCH OFF MOBILES..was met with a crestfallen Aish..She had left it behind in the washroom..they were soon airborne to KOL..

Courier reached Aishs parents and they were dumbstruck. The whole of previous night they were frantic ,for their area was infested with terrorists and kidnapping was order of the day.Aishs father was politically well connected and had pulled strings at right places to locate her..

Venue ; Inspector General of Polices office

Meeting of ATS..Anti Terrorists Squad Head, Yam Rajkumar Deka,with IG police

IG : Yama,one of of top business mans daughter is missing and her parents feel she must have been kidnapped by terrorists.I want you to personally handle this case and find the girl immediately since this may have political ramifications

Yama realised this was no normal case since IG himself was personally involved.But he was not bothered about it ,since all that mattered to him was terrorists and he just hated them.

Meanwhile ,Aishs parents didnt know what to do since this was elopement .Their repeated calls to her mobile was ringing away.How could they know their daughter had left behind the phone in the airport rest room and in a silent mode !!They also chose to remain silent on the letter !!

Yama called on them and went thru the details of their daughter in a most professional way.He took her photograph and wanted to know if she possesssed a mobile.They gave the number to her and he immediately got his office put a tracer on the mobile thru the service provider.He wanted to know where the mobile was now and also the printout of last couple of months.

The mobile was located by the watch and ward staff in the airport and after taking necessary precautions that it was not a Explosive Device ,handed it over to the police control room,who in turn flashed the details to Yama.Several hours had passed with just no clue of the girl.But with this breakthru Yama was confident that he had caught hold of the trail !!

A quick download and he realised countless calls had been to a mobile number in Chennai.Meanwhile ,the mobile handset also reached him and he found photo of a boy as screen saver on the Phone.He was slightly confused.

He immediately wanted the flight manifest of all the flights which left Guwahati and scanned for Aishs name.It was not there...Appasamy was one step ahead !!

The reports from service provider reached Yama about the Chennai phone..he got all the info he needed,address,his call lists etc etc ..Something bothered him..From Chennai number of calls had been made to Chattisgarh too,a land infested with mafia and naxalites...Did that mean the boy was connected with Northeast terrorists,Mafia and Naxalites..did that mean the boy had trapped this girl for some reason or did it mean she had voluntarily joined the group..

With time slipping away,he found that one flight had left for Chennai in the morning on scanning through realised Raaj had booked his ticket along with a girl..but unfortunately both had not travelled in the flight..So the jig saw puzzle continued.He was itching to solve it.

His immediate reaction was to seek the help of Chennai police and do a background check on Raaj.

He called up his long time friend and Buddy ,Anthony Kaalavendan. Both had undergone Anti terrorism training and were with the elite force for over 5 years.They always used to hunt in pairs.Anthony Kaalavendan,nicknamed,KAAL, always used to plan well and laid the trap for the terrorists and Yama was simply trigger happy and executed them.The pair of Kaal and Yama sent shivers even to the most cold blooded terrorists.Both of them were extremely quick and dare devils ..

Now reverted to their respective states both were in touch only occasionally wishing each other for new year etc.Their bonhomie in tact !!

Yama:: Kaal, how are you man

Kaal:: What a surprise Yama,whats the occasion !

Yama;; I need your help,Kaal,I want to locate a terrorist and possibly he has kidnapped a girl and come to chennai

Kaal::I tell you Yama,you are still the same and I think you are chasing a wrong horse.My place has no terrorists.Come and spend your holidays here without of course your revolver

Yama(impatient now )Kaal are you going to help me or not ,I dont want that guy to escape.If confirmed I want to come down there and hunt him down.

Kaal :: You have not changed a bit Yama,trigger happy to the core.Ok mail me the details I will have that checked.How soon you need it

Yama:: I need it yestertday ,Kaal

Once he got a positive response from Kaal ,Yama breathed easy,since he knew once Anthony Kaal set his mind on something,it was as good as done.In the next few seconds all the details were flashed by Yama to Kaal

D-2...Raaj and Aish were picked up by Appasamy and co from airport late in the night.Raaj was expecting his parents to be at airpoirt and receive their would be daughter in law. But that was not to be.Appasamy didnt want any chances and already had them shifted to safe houses.He was not going to have the anticipated problems rule over.From the airport he took both of them to outskirts and despite protests from Raaj,convinced him that it was a wise decision to stay away from home.

D-2 Anthony Kaal sent his team member SI Manikkavel to do a routine check with the boys photograph,mobile printout and get clarified on calls to Chattisgarh,his visit to North east and his calls to the girl.

Manikkavel..Sir the house is locked and neighbours say that the boys parents left home two days back saying they were going out of station.Its confirmed that the boy lives here and he is doing granite business from Chattisgarh and Andhra.The family I understand is pretty decent ,sir.

Kaal had a chuckle,Yama and his conclusions on naxalites,terrorists etc.

He called up Yama,but he was insistant on his plot. Kaal convinced him that he would trace them out in next 24 hours and call him.Yama wanted to come down personally and take the boy out.Kaal knew what that meant....At the same time ,a thought flashed across his mind..Could it be ...?

(to be concluded )


Friday, March 14, 2008

The Cactus Blooms.....Part 1

Year ::: 2005
Location ::: Chat room for 40+
Topic of discussion ::: Who is superior: men or women

Heated debate going on .The room has two participants Aish and Raj alias Rajesh. Seizing the silence of Aish ,Raj PMs her for the private chat.
Bored Aish responds..they realise both of them are nowhere near 40s and just drifted into the room to know what ADULTS talk.Thus started a long chat friendship which they never knew where it would culminate

Raj .. Where are you from

Aish .. NorthEast,and you

Raj .. South of Vindhyas,chennai.Have you ever been here.

Aish .. No,would love to

Common topics,topics generally to impress each other,Raj typically showing off ,Aish in her own style underplayed every word,when actually she could boast of a thousand things.Both were from conservative background with both families adhereing to their respective religious beliefs fairly strictly.But these two were in a world of their own ,without realising that were slipping into mutual love and the whirlpool had managed to suck them in with no escape !

With their cams on ,hours melted into days and days into years.Hours of mobile talk,sms ,mms were exchanged and 24 hours didnt seem to be sufficient for them.Yes three years had passed and it was time for them to take the next step..Marriage..was it possible ?..conservatism all around,was a solid wall and they wanted to break it !

Aish..Raj,I am willing to cross over.Will it be ok if we get married?

Raj .. I am dumb struck Aish.I didnt have the gutz and you are so cool about it.I am sure of myself but my people ,I honestly donno.But that means you will be away from your exotic place and wonderful parents, probably for good.You sure about it.(actually Raj was the one who was unsure,but put the ball in Aish s court ! )

Aish .. I fully realise that ,Raj.My life here is very different.Dad is 24 hours into business and politics and Mom is into kitchen 24 hours for the hordes of relatives who are perinially plonked in my house.I have never known love and you have given me that in full..

Raj thought to himself,oh my God I have perhaps not been true to her with a list of girl friends, perhaps multi timing.But somewhere he knew Aish was the right girl for him.But,he also realised that it would be very difficult for him to convince his parents

He didnt know how to open out the topic to his parents and the nudges from Aish was increasing ,since her parents had already started looking out for a boy for her.Collecting all his strength Raj opened it out to his parents..

Raj.. Appa(Father ), I want to settle down in life.I am in love with a girl.

Manikkam,(Rajs father)..So with few rupees pouring into your bank from your business you feel, you are free to chose without our permission, is it ?

Raj Its not like that,I am sure you will like her and she is a wonderful girl

Rajs mom sensing her husbands moods quikly changes the topic.

Days roll by and one day when Raj confides that the girl is from a different religion too ,all hell breaks lose.Luckily Rajs uncle Appasamy,who was into business and several kinds of activities which he never discussed at home,came into the picture and became the moderator and cooled down Rajs father saying that the girl was willing to come down and be here for good.When the issue of religion came ,Manikkam was convined by everyone that she would convert and hence all issues would be settled.He took charge and spelt out the modus operandi..

Only Appasamy knew that ,it would be the begining of all problems ,at least for next few months.

With the green signal from his parents,Raj called up Aish.He went on talking to her,virtually a monolog,how his parents were convinced about the wedding,conversion and finally accepting her.Not for a moment Raj thought about the feelings Aish would have undergone..the seperation she had to face from her parents,a virtual rejection on conversion,and finally why she had to be ACCEPTED by Rajs parents for she had done no mistake....Aish smiled it away ,but had no one to share and the one person she could, was excited beyond words on his parental acceptance of her !!

Raj.. How do you feel ,Aish

Aish .. I feel very happy Raj,we dont have much time.Can you fix the dates fast

Raj .. Sure,will call you up tomorrow and confirm

From then on things started moving fast with Appasamy literally hijacking the show as chief organiser of the marriage.All necessary documents were exchanged on courier and fax and as scan messages.Flight tickets booked and Raj was to go to her place to bring her .Naturally he had to change flights at three places to reach her remote place.He was to reach her place ,have a rendezvous with her at the airport and take the same return flight.

They would arrive two days ahead of the marriage,D DAY,do the shopping and other formalities for the marriage,including the conversion,and so on...Appasamy cleared told Raj to advise Aish not to leave any letter or confide with anyone about their plans for this could result in complications.Only Appasamy knew what the complications were.Any sort of communication could d be done by Aish with her parents,only after the marriage.

All arranged and Raj kept Aish informed of all the developments,including the last advises given by Appasamy.Also,since time would be the essence everything was arranged in a very tight schedule . She sounded slightly nervous.

Aish agreed to everything but felt she was obligated at least to write a letter to her parents.She sat and wrote a letter to her parents,edited it at least thrice ...She went to every place she was fond of..her school,playground,her teachers who had always taught her the values of life,the tea gardens which she had smelled throughout her life..etc She realised she was going to miss it least for sometime to come.All the while she wondered when and how to reach the letter to her parents.Aish also felt like confiding it to one of her favourite aunts,who she thought was not as conservative as others,but was unsure .Bottling up the emotions was proving to be a tough task,and for the first time Aish felt down right nervous and it was showing. For once she felt Raj was also too busy ,since her calls were also answered with a sense of urgency or impatience..

Five days prior to the rendezvous,(D DAY -5 ) ,a strike call given by airport staff coincided with their travel date ,and all confusion started.

(to be concluded)


Friday, February 29, 2008



Engum goshangal.....(Everybody is chanting )

Kannaji swamiji..Kannaji swamiji...Kannaji swamiji..Kannaji swamiji

Athu than ennudaya tharpodaya roobam ...(Its my current identity)

Manadhil ninaivalaigal..(procession of thoughts in my mind )

After slogging for 30 long years, got my two kids married off pretty early in life.Both settled in a distant foreign country..With my better half bidding me bye several years years back..the nomad in me surfaced..I wanted to travel, travel and travel..Resigned the job,gave off all the useful things to an orphanage..with that only few things connecting my past remained such as my degree certificate etc..I decided these were mere papers in my life and quickly disposed them off in the river and along with it my past..Turning back one last time at my single room HOUSE,which had seen a 30 year history of me and my family, I walked towards my destiny which was waiting patiently for me several hundred kilometers away..

With no clear cut plan I hopped between cities but just ensured that I covered most of the heritage places and the periniel rivers..The grandness of our country was overwhelming me often..nights invariably spent in Dharamsalas or in smaller villages in the temples..If the place was to my liking I used to enjoy staying for a longer time..Athithi Devo Bhava (Visitor is like God )pervaded everywhere and never had any problem for food or shelter.

Kaalam ,was an enchanting place of a size between a village and a small town.On the outskirts was a temple which hypnotised me to stay back.My beard had by then become long and flowing.It was in this temple the transformation occured..

One day , I was sitting in a corner and praying .When I opened my eyes,an elderly couple were sitting in front of me.They gently asked me if I belonged to south and what I was doing this far away from my hometown..I dont know why I said that but I said two things..My name is Karuppanna sami and Kanna moochi aadaren,( playing hide and seek..).

The elderly person suddenly was highly thrilled and he exclaimed..Sir you are Kanna ji swami and hiding the past and seeking God..he was ecstatic...but I never said any of those words !! He took leave of me and next day to my surprise,he brought his whole family and perhaps relatives( 20 of them ) with varieties of fruits etc.Sitting in front of me they started singing bhajans.Being God fearing I also enjoyed ..This continued for few days but the crowd went on increasing..Because language was a barrier, most of the time I replied questions with a nod or a smile..perhaps that was why Kannaji Swamiji was also called as Mouni Baba..I had no escape from the love of people .It occured to me one day..if so many people had so much love for me why not reciprocate and stay with them..After all life is giving love and taking love..That decision of mine was my past forgotten till this moment...

As I shook myself back to the current ,

Kannaji swamiji..Kannaji swamiji...Kannaji swamiji..Kannaji swami was the only thing I could hear...

and the never ending lawns of MY Ashram is the thing I could see,

Did I want to be a nomad or a Sanyasi ?

A question sweeps though me

Am I a sanyasi or A swamiji..Is there a difference

This village KAALAM is giving me an answer but is this the answer in totality

If others see Godlinees in you,you become a Swamiji

If you realise the God in you,you become one !



THE BEGINNINING......take off from a beautiful yester year movie..The Guide

Monday, February 11, 2008


Hi Honey,how are you da, I have just reached Narita..I should be reaching Chennai tomorrow night ..said Rajesh

Why tomorrow night da,its been a week already..said Suparna

Not getting the connecting at Changi da,Can you take the trouble of making a room booking in the transit hotel at Changi .You know its eternally under renovation and on arrival I may not get accomodation.I just want to rest for sometime there da.Please..

Come on why dont you ask your pet secretary Anju to do it,I am sure you would be talking to her every halh an hour ,on some pretext or other

Come on honey,ever since she joined the company you have been pulling my legs

Sure da will do the booking.Still, please make a last minute attempt to make it by the earlier flight da..missing you one hell

Same here too da

Suparna and Rajesh,a wonderful couple,both working very hard to achieve what they deserve.Dinks by choice,they were looked upon as ideal couple by all and sundry.Always full of fun and laughter,snatching time for themselves between their busy schedules and endless travel.

Recently Suparna had joined a MNC and was literally drowned in work 20 hours a day and Rajesh busy expanding his business in Japan. Suparna was slightly uncomfortable with the behaviour of her boss Praramb and had mentioned this to Rajesh .Her boss made her uncomfortable by asking many personal questions and sort of acting fresh ,but was well short of what could be called as harrasment..Her saviour was her peer Rohit who understood her problems and often doubled up and completed some of her assignments very subtly.Suparna was grateful to him.She was particularly worried when she was travelling with her boss,but fairly comfortable travelling with Rohit.

Of late she felt she was being stalked but couldnt clearly make out who it was.She started imagining it could be Praramb. She confided in Rajesh about her discomfort.Rajesh assured her that it was purely figment of her imagination arising out of her dislike for her boss,who was much elder to her and wouldnt be doing such a thing ,especially when awareness was on penalty for harrasment was high.

One day Suparna confided this to her best friend in office Renu and good friend Rohit.He adviced her to ignore it and these things would get solved by themselves.
Renu ,said her brother being a senior officer in crime branch of police and it would be best if she took his suggestion.Rohit was uncomfortable with the idea and felt involvement of police would not be advisable.Suparna being a modern girl wanted to hold the bull by its horn and requested Renu to go ahead discussing it with her brother.

The next morning Suparna left for Hydrabad,and as she was returning back to chennai,she again felt she was being stalked but really couldnt pin point who it was.
The next two days in Chennai,she didnt have any respite.

As she was drowned in her work,late in the evening Renu walked in and sat across..

Suparna,my brother called up .

Its like this,its true this guy has been stalking you.They caught hold of him and took a confessional statement from him......

Suparna thought to herself,so it was true and as Renu continued the monolog she was drained off her energy..

Realising her state Renu dropped her home.

Back at home ,lying on the couch ,the entire thing was going in her mind again and again...


Rajesh had hired a private detective agency to keep a tab on Suparna..and when the police arrested the shadow man, he let out everything


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Basanthi.....A Real Reel Story::Present 3

I was always called a brave person in the college and in the village,but I realised I was no match against love.Thumping heart,weak knees and perhaps trembling too..If this was my state what would be hers.The silence was broken by her,she had passed the exams.Stretched her hands and in that was a colourful Mala of beads.Thanks giving were written all over it.Locked to her mesmerising eyes and said this was not neccessary
Basanthi :Shami (sami,a repectful word ,was pronounced by her that way )Enakku padippu solli tharuveengala (will you teach me )I want to pass SSLC.
Me :Nichhayamaga (surely)..But in the heart of hearts,I didnt know how to go about it

One or two more meetings,we decided ,apart from the night school classes we would spend the saturday and sunday for studies.The location ,of course had to be a far off place.We decided on the PICHAVARAM ,one of the most beautiful mangrove spots in the country,near Portonovo.One could simply get lost in those places,an ideal place to spend time together,of course on studies.

One major worry of mine got cleared with The zamindar of Namalaipatti deciding to marry off his daughter Thenmozhi elsewhere, since they were in a hurry..My sisters marriage got cleared and now I was free to go on with my plans.

Weekends were obviously awaited by me and it was the same for Basanthi too..a bond developing so fast we started discussing,life after college.There was a pressure on her to get married to a person from her community from Viluppuram a place not far away. So Time and Social pressure were the things weighing very heavily on us.We decided that I have to leave for USA immediately after results and then...A million and when to get married?Before or after?Will her family wait eternally for her to decide?already pressure on her since she has become educated.Exams were closing in on us and so was the decisive phase..Somewhere along the line we realised we hadnt even talked of marriage but had taken it for granted , as the inevitable.She was astounding with her studies.Her concentration level was so high that there used to be times when I yearned for her loving glances !I knew she was destained for something big.

Both of us completed our exams and were confident of our success.She had picked up English too.I got admission in one of the best University , and that meant just a few days left for the departure..It dawned on us that it would be impossible for her to get passport etc all by herself,besides the visa was a tough issue.It meant I had to confess the developments to someone who could keep it confidential and at the same time resourceful. I called on my best friend in madras,who was taken aback since he knew my family well.But his acceptance to help was immediate.We decided the best solution was to get married immediately.How ? My friend pulled in all his resources and the date in registrars office fixed .All along Basanthi was a silent spectator to the developments and silence was her way of conveying her acceptance.That was my Basanthi.For marriage she wanted me to buy her a colurful silk dress in her typical tradition,which I did.It was a sort of skirt and blouse.She looked terrific at the registrars office..All along we had not thought about the repurcursions.

I was nervous,as my departure date was nearing.Surprisingly she was confidence personified .Amazing girl.I knew my friend in Madras, was the only person through whom I could keep the communication channel on and also heavily depended on him for visa and other formalities.

My departure,settling down there etc etc all went off in a jiffy. Suddenly ,I realised,at least I had made out a genuine reason for going overseas,How would she manage.My God,I had never thought of it.Hows my Basanthi going to face the situation and the world.What sort of human being I was?always thinking of me and my family ?I wrote a long letter to Basanthi and apologised to her..She replied calmly that she had already opened out to her parents,who were shocked.But knowing her firmness on issues,including education,they accepted it.But they didnt know how to handle the situation, if she left their camp..

My friend in Madras was one hell of a guy running from pillar to post in getting things organised,visa papers ,neccessary documents,airline tickets etc and the sweetest news was she got the visa (in my hurry I forgot to ask her what dress she wore for the interview,though it made no difference) ..and her departure to the land of opportunities was fixed for August1975.I thanked my friend ,in Madras ,profusely for all the coordination ,after he put her on flight.I donno how I would have handled the situation without his help..

Basanthi landed and then on life for us had turned more eventful.

Somewhere,in late seventies I opened out to my parents about the developments and disappointment was too much for them to digest not because of my decision but more because they didnt know how to handle the social pressures which would surface once my decision was made public.They would stand isolated.My sister managed the situation so well that my admiration for her went up multifold.She had apparently convinced them not to react.She perhaps realised that our society will accept people once they were elevated in social standings.Malarkodi, very effectively sponged off the tensions of my parents in her own way and I felt her husband Avudayappan played a significant role too..Thanks to them..

The only way Basanthis family was kept informed of our well being was thru photographs and words of solace thru my friend.Understand they remained isolated in their tribe.Surely Basanthi must have felt deeply hurt but never once she showed it.

In a short time,I became the head of a major research institute and Basanthi was pursuing her studies ,relentlessly..She completed her Doctoral on topic close to her heart.Nomads and their influence on the society..Her writings hugely applauded,she became an invited speaker to many Universities.An NGO started by her,LINK UP,Networked the Nomads of various countries and made them mainstream contributers of respective societies.Books written by her were receiving accolades..

Our only child SNEHA(friendship)was growing up giving us the much needed diversion.
Then one day it occured to me when Basanthi was away globe trotting;That thought crossed my mind ..Enough was enough...With both of us busy in our own work,Sneha was not getting the attention she deserved.Made up my mind to talk to Basanthi upon her return.

Me :Basanthi,The pressure of our work is telling on Sneha

Basanthi :Amaam Shami(Yes)I do realise that

Me :I feel,one of us have to take care and that is going to me.Will it be ok?

Basanthi was adament in not accepting that decision.Having never said no to any of her demands,it was very tough for me stand firm.But finally I convinced her that her contribution was far more larger since it addressed people directly.

As years rolled by and as Sneha went away to hostel,I started devoting more time to LINK UP,the NGO run by Basanthi.

By then we visited, Madras which by then had become Chennai.The offial reception by the Government and meeting with the CM was higly publicised in the media.Basanthi was literally a celebrity and with that the social acceptability..Both our parents were looked upon in awe.Yes,over the years both the families had become close to us and no more heart burns..

And then one day it was announced that Basanthi was being awarded the famous BONEL prize for her contribution to the society.As usual I was in all excitement.Basanthi was her cool composed self,and reacted saying it was possible only because of me.I was dumbstruck.

The day of award giving was declared as 16 th of April,2008.Telephone calls from world over including from those who had predicted our marriage would fail,poured in.

On 10th April when we were to leave for Europe,had a silent prayer in our pooja room.As we sat across the dining table,and discussed many things.Finally when we came to the nitty grittys, I asked her what she proposed to wear,perhaps a very silly question.A smile from her and she walked across to her cupboard and brought out the dress. It was the same one which I had bought her decades back for marriage,a typical colurful gypsy dress,but made of silk.Both of us felt so excited and romantic too,despite the years.Rest of the stuff could be brought from India.

On my part I had preserved the beads given by her to me and Basanthi was more than happy to sport it on herself.

On that day,when Basanthi was to be given the award,we were allotted the front row.I was flanked by my parents on one side and Basanthis parents on the other.My father gave me a gentle squeeze on my shoulder perhaps meaning how much he respected my decision.Two persons I would have loved to be around,Malarkodi (my Sis ) and CU(my friend from Madras)couldnt make it.

As they announced..We invite Dr.Basanthi Selvaraju, who calls herself ,very rightly,as the Global Citizen to receiv.........

Tall,ever graceful,in the traditional dress as Basanthi walked up to receive the award ,she gave me that glance through the Orakann(corner of the eyes)which transported me back in time by decades....Oh My Basanthi !!I am so lucky.....

This is a reproduction as heard from my friend Selvaraju !!


To know more about NariKoravas and Gypsies and the exotic Pichavaram, One could browse following..of course there are many more sites !!

About Nomads and NariKoravas






About Pichavaram




Monday, January 7, 2008

Basanthi ::::::::::::::::::: A Real Story::PAST 2

As they gathered the food with happiness lit up on their faces,An ora kann paarvai(a glance from the corner of the eye )from her said it all !!In a flash they all left . I could hear their joyous singing as they walked away but something was closing in my heart!!

A tap on my shoulder, I realised my friends,were waiting to shut the door and go back to hostel.Everywhere it was congrats for me :Chinna Pannai What a function you conducted,Never has the hostel seen one like this..But nothing registered.That glance from her was going thru my mind again&again..

Wondering if an oppurtunity to meet her again would come I passed the days!One day my a classmate of mine, active in social service league, said he needed help in conducting an evening coaching class for students from 6pm to 9 pm.This was generally for children of hostel cooks,attendants and likewise.Almost 300 students from class 1 to 10!!Reluctantly I accepted and was alloted class 9 and the subject was History and Geography and I was supposed to be good in Maths.Dimly lit classroom had about 20 students and as I started taking the class I saw a movement outside the room.I went out and to my utter disbelief there she was standing ,listening and taking notes on a piece of paper.

I blurted :what are you doing here

She replied :listening to what you are teaching,I love history and geography..I am planning to write privately and complete school.

I could see the glow in her eyes or was it determination.She refused to come in and sit,perhaps knowing she might not be accepted in.The paper she was writing must have been picked up as a rag ..

From that day for the next 8 weeks I was a regular teacher always selecting History and geography as my subject!!and she was my pupil outside the class !!But by the moment I completed my class she would have vanished..

My annual Exams ended and for once I was reluctant to return home for the two months holidays seemed to be years.I wanted to tell her bye but she was nowhere to be seen.Even if I saw her on the street I wondered if I would be able to talk to her..The social pressure was obvious..I wanted to tell her Good Luck for her results,but i didnt know if she had written the exams too!!

The appointed day,bag baggage and all I sat in the train compartment and there she was walking down the platform, with all colourful malas and beads for sale.As she came near me, the train started moving .When our eyes met, that anxious & bewildered look in her eyes said a thousand words which perhaps would stay with me for the next 2 months or longer.

My entry in the village is always colourful,and this time too it was the same.My only sister Malarkodi,father and mother ensured that I was choked with pampering.My sister noticed the change in me and was pulling my leg as often as she could.I was restless.That ,oratthu paarvai from the corner of her eyes was too bewitching!!.I was desperate to see her.But How ? Rushed to the university,Railway station and every other place where I thought she might be,but nowhere to be seen.

A major festival,all of us including my Father visited the templetown.Crowds everywhere and suddenly she appeared just a few feet away selling Beads to the pilgrims.I was excited trying to catch her eye and when the eyes met,I thought it became misty for both of us.I realised Malarkodi had also caught the scene !!The jostling crowd seperated us and she was gone.

I realised couple of things,I was in love with her.Something also told me that I must make her succesful in Acadamics too...Why that feel.God only knows and Perhaps time would answer..Was I mad ?Was it possible? I have to make it possible..but then how?how will the family take it?especially my Father..Can I face the pressure from the society?A million questions crossed..but then I realised She would also face the same questions?I felt small,that I didnt think of her problems..Again was she interested in me ?Was it crush,infatuation or mere stupidity..another set of zillion questions..I decided I want to make it happen,come what may!!

Evening returned back to our native place.After dinner,as was the custom Father was sitting on his easy chair and I was massaging his legs.Malarkodi was sitting across and mother standing behind father.He opened the topic.The zamindar of Namalaipatti,who were many times richer than us ,wanted Malarkodi to become his daughter in law ..and at the same time wanted to know if I would marry his only girl Thenmozhi. I reacted as if I was hit by a thunderbolt,and Malarkodi did not fail to see my reaction..
Fathers booming voice continued..Enna sollareenga Selvaraju Thambi..(What do you feel about it Selvaraju )

The only thought which flashed in my mind was to buy time somehow.

Father : Enna selvaraju thambi,Badhil kaanom (Why no reply selvaraju )

Me : Thangachi ku 18 vayasu kuda aagale,naanum mel padippu padikkalaamunu ninaikkiren.Aana, Mudivu,eppovum pole neenga solrapadi than (Sister is not even 18 and I was thinking of studying more.However decision is yours )

Father : ille thambi,Neenga solvadhileyum Gyaayam irukkudhu.Unga mudivule enakku abaara nambikkai undu,Nalla yosicchhu than solluveenga.Sari ,avanga kitte solli paakkaren
(What you say is also right And I always believe your decisions are correct.I will convey our views to them )

God was kind,that day and The zamindar of Namalaipatti also accepted our views.But heart of heart I knew I didnt have much time.I didnt want Malarkodi to suffer because of my delay and decision.Prayed hard for a solution.

Two months passed away like two years.Returned back to the temple town station and the Hostel.That was going to be my Fifth and Final year.Everyday I was walking up and down the station platform to get a glimpse of her .The uniqueness of the station was that it was flanked one side by the temple town and the other side the University.Hence it was a sort of an observation point to catch a glimpse of people criss crossing between the two places.

Finally,One day I saw her walking towards a lonely spot in between the innumerable labs of our Engineering college.Instantly I realised she wanted me to follow her,which I did .Trying to walk as naturally as I could, I didnt realise, that I was actually running towards her.There she stood between the Internal combustion Lab and Steam lab,waiting for me. I was anxious as I closed in on her and didnt know what she wanted to convey.

part 2 of 3


Friday, January 4, 2008

Basanthi ::::::::::::::::::: A Real Story :PAST 1

The year 1969..One of the most beautiful Universities of Tamizh Nadu peacefully located near a magnificient temple town .I joined engineering. I am Selvaraju alias Chinna Zamin (Younger Zamindar). I was also called Chinna Pannai (CP).Belonging to the Zamindar family on the banks of river Cauvery and 18 villages under us,of several thousand acres employing over 14000 farmers in the field during the peak harvest season.The only son,my father ,a benevolent dictator, ran the Zamin in a most effficient manner.A forward thinking man,wanted me to study so that I could incorporate the latest technology in the Zamin.

While I kept a low key profile never bringing in my background among my friends,slowly most of them started talking about the power we wielded in the district ,in a hush hush manner.Always a top ranker in the class ,Engineering fascinated me since my maths was exceptionally strong.A typical research person my professors used to comment !!In my fourth year,my friends forced me to contest an election for Mess Secretary post.Just no one contested against me and won it unanimously.

The location of the hostel was close to the railway station and bordering the campus and railway station was a no mans land,occupied by GYPSIES,popularly known as Nari Koravas .Generally nomadic in nature,they had set up tents and for reasons best known to them ,had settled down there for a few years now.The men folk carrying guns perhaps junks from First World war .Hunting around in the bushes for birds and small animals one could see them around our campus in their loin cloth and varieties of beads around their neck.Their language sounded totally alien to us.The women folk very good in making colourful bead malas used to sell them on the roads.
The hostel mess used to be one source of food for them and the left overs were generally distributed to them.

It was Hostel Day celebrations.There was competition between various hostels as to who did the function in the grandest awards,only prestige at stake !!
One visit to my zamin ensured my fathers promise to under write the total expenses besides 100 sacks of rice,pulses etc etc,500 poultry,150 goats......This would have been sufficient just not for our hostel but several hostels put together.But I could never convince my father since he wanted his son to show his might !!
The hostel day went off with the pomp which perhaps the college had never seen ever.The food was so much in surplus and so we decided to call the representatives of the korava community and take the food .

Around 10 pm ,as the function and dinner came to a close,we opened the rear gate of the hostel mess to allow the Koravas to cart away the food.Some of them drunk were making so much noise and I got furious and went out to shout at them.As I came out,a group of 10 koravas I could spot and slightly away below the street lamp,there she was,breath takingly beautiful girl belonging to the korava group.Very tall as she was,with the head lowered,perhaps due to the behaviour of others in the group.As she gently lifted her head and locked her eyes with mine,I found myself mesmerised by the vulnerabilty of her looks,a divinity and an aloofness which made her look distinct and regal in her traditional clothes.I became numb and didnt know what took over me in the midst of the chaos there..BASANTHI,shouted one elder in the group and she rushed towards him...So she was BASANTHI,perhaps my Basanthi !!

PART 1 of 3