Dec 5, 2010

First Impression

Since change is an inevitable practice for human life, I also had a recent shift from the capital city to the commercial capital of Kerala in connection with a new job. Reaching here, I felt as if I lost the thread for creativity and that’s what, which has been preventing me from writing anything for my blog and reading the fellow bloggers’ posts.  

Here in the new city, I began to live with X-En-Tric, and don’t ask me who is that, since he is familiar to all as the Decent Proposer of two of my previous posts. We here share a room just as the fictitious characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson did according to Sir Doyle. X-En-Tric often claims himself as Sherlock Holmes while I am his ‘my dear Watson’, whereas I often insist him to address me as ‘my dear Holmes’, and that is the only clash between us as per the present situation. 

We decided to visit a gymnasium in order to bring in some benefit from our teaming up. So, we went to a sports-wear shop nearby and purchased some new t-shirts and tracksuits. The next day after waking up at 5’O clock in the morning we both began to dress up to make our first impression at the gym the best.

“Which tracksuit is better, this one or the other?” he asked me showing two tracksuits one in each hand.

“The maroon one looks good. You would look great in that stuff,” I said frankly.

“Okey!” he said.

“And it is better if you would wear that blue striped T-shirt,” I continued.

“Hmm...” he agreed.

“Wear that white canvass shoes, it would give you a chic look,” was my next suggestion.

He nodded while accepting all my suggestions as he had trusted me. My suggestions continued and finally he finished the task of getting ready with all my suggestions incorporated. 

“Put on that cap which would add more superiority to your otherwise already superior stature,” I said my suggestion.

“You don’t have a cap?” while putting the cap on his head, he inquired.

“I have one, but today I won’t wear it. Because, if both of us wear caps, the gymnasium people would think that we are two detectives,” he did not smile.

Meanwhile, I also had completed dressing. 

“As far as I am concerned, I don’t need dressing suggestions. Because, when I finish with dressing, I would feel a comfort and that’s how I know if I am well dressed or not,” I said. “And now, I feel that comfort, which means I am totally prepared to make the best first time impression at the gym,” I continued.

Quickly he threw a glance at me. I saw his face assuming a grave look while his eyes watching me.

I said, “Come, let’s go. We are already late”.

He said, “Wait...wait...I think there is some mistake in your appearance”

“Err...well...mistake in my appearance? I don’t think so, I am comfortable now. I am okey with it. You know, we together went and purchased this T-shirt, tracksuit, shoes and everything. And you found a mistake now in this last moment? Don’t tell me anything, let’s just go,” I said furiously.

“But no, I have to be frank and open to my friends. I will say the truth. I want to tell...” he said.

“Don’t tell...don’t break my confidence,” I insisted.

“I will tell it...the problem is with what you are wearing, your T-shirt,” he gasped.

“What’s with my t-shirt?” I asked.

He said with a grin, “You are wearing a girl’s T-shirt”

I sat sometimes in silence.

Nov 20, 2010

The Haunted Studio

After several months’ long emotional hibernation, when my friend Crax returned to the city, I asked him about his present stay. In former days, I used to visit him at a room located adjacent to an old movie studio. But, when he is back after that long interval, the old room appeared in a perished state lacking human touch.

When I saw him at the nearby restaurant, he at once offered me a tea and said as the reply to my question regarding his stay, 

“What to say buddy! That room is now like a store of rubbish. Rather than spiders and insects, the room is mostly inhabited by dust particles. So, during this visit, I had to choose the cold floor of the dubbing studio”

I startled at once, and asked him curiously, “Hadn’t you say that there was the presence of some kind of spirits in the night at the studio floor?”

“Ah,” laughing heartily, he asked, “do you remember that still?”

“I do remember. You said something eerie was disturbing you during nights whenever you chose that dubbing studio for sleeping. Can you explain exactly what was disturbing you there?” I asked.

He was thoughtful for a moment. Sipping tea he said, “It’s a girl actually”

“A girl?” I asked.

“Yes! She is – 

A cute angelic girl, 
Fragrantful, with a genuine voice!
A pretty little one
With a lovely hearty laugh!” he became poetic for a few moments.

“Is that so? What does she wear?” I asked curiously.

“She used to be in traditional attire, long skirt and blouse,” he said.

“Hmm...apart from you, who else had the same kind of experience while sleeping there?” I asked like a detective.

“Whoever sleeps in that room surely gets a visit from the little girl. By the way, she is a teenager. Don’t get any wrong impression from the usage ‘little’ girl,” he said cunningly. “Also, all others who once got her visit never dared to sleep in the same room again, except me,” he added.

“So you are not afraid of the so-called ghosts and spirits and you have no belief in such superstitions,” I made a factual statement expecting a positive nod from him.

“I don’t know whether I believe in ghosts, but...” he paused a while and continued, “but, at least I am afraid of them”.

“Then, how could you have slept in that same room again?” I asked unwilling to believe him.

“Because, you know, this girl does not generate any fear in me. Instead, what she evokes in my mind is a sense of care, protection, and affection,” he said.

I was silent.

“Whenever I chose that particular, let’s say, haunted place, for sleeping, she would come as soon as the lights go out, and would sit close to me caressing my hairs, etc,” he said.

I looked him curiously and half smilingly.

“And the interesting thing is that I am all the time in full of consciousness, not even in the first state of sleep. So you can’t blame me for imagining and dreaming fanciful things,” he said.

“What is the history of the studio?,” I asked assuming myself to be clad in the attire of a spiritual investigator.

“I don’t know actually. But heard that it was a huge prison during the reign of Travancore Kings,” he said.

“But this studio does not look like a prison. The walls are not that much strong enough” I said.

“Buddy, I mean the location of the present studio was where a huge prison situated during the time of royal rule,” he explained.

“So, how do you explain the phenomena of this pretty girl?”

“Hmm...I think it must be some sad or brutal case. The police might have trapped a girl within the prison long ago. She might have been gang-raped and killed. Perhaps I could be wrong also.” He said. 

I became thoughtful for some more seconds.

Soon, I woke up from thoughts and asked him, “Tell me the affair of the last night. Did you meet her yesterday also?”

“Hmmm...last night also she came close to me and began to chat in her usual playful manner. But, I got worried and terrified due to some unknown reasons of my subconscious.” He paused.

“Then...?” I grasped a breath.

“You know what do I do in such emergency cases? I would extend my hand to reach the mobile phone and would slide its display pane so as to get some light in the room,” he said.

“Then what did you see?” the question was actually dropped from my lips.

“Nothing. As soon as the light appears in the studio room, the apparition goes and what I see inside the room is perfect blankness.” He said.

I relieved and asked him seriously. “That’s ok. Well its better if you will take that appointment so soon,”

Thoughtfully he said, “Hmmm...I too think so..well..err..what did you say? What appointment?”


I said smiling, “Buddy, I am serious, go and consult a good psychiatrist. I think you are not late so far to get a mental treatment”

Nov 9, 2010

The Villain

I was woken up in the morning by the sharp tone of SMS alert. I unlocked the phone, checked the first message, and read,

“HELLO SAW U IN MY DREAMS YES’DAY”

At first, enviously I realised that I had not seen any dream for so many years; in fact, dreams and dreaming were my childhood fascinations. Don’t think it was my girl friend or someone like that who sent me the SMS. It was from my sensitive friend, Kiran Ravindran, a senior journalist and a film maker by profession, who had some interesting short films and documentaries to his credit. He also is the author of a noted book, which deals with the history of playback of Malayalam cinema. Another sharp note of the SMS alert made me wake up from thoughts. This was also from Kiran. He used to send SMSs like this fashion, one sentence in two or three text messages. The second SMS was a continuation of the first one,
“BUT A HORRIBLE ONE”

Stopping forcefully a destined-to-be-satisfactory yawn at midway, I immediately dialled his number and asked him about the dream. I had read Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams and I knew that the modern day psychoanalysts have different opinion regarding Freud’s views. When asked about the dream, he said,

“I can’t remember much of it, what I remember only is the fact that you were of a certain villainous character in the dream.”

That was half true. Kiran had just directed a short film for which the screenplay was mine. Apart from asking me to do a role in that film, he gave me the freedom to choose the character also. I chose the character with a villainous nature. That might be what caused him to see a dream with a villainous me, I thought.

When asked more details of the dream, he promised that he would try to remember the forgotten parts of the dream and would tell me in the format of a story filling the missing links.

Two days after, in the evening, he rang up at my number and asked me to meet him at a nearby teashop.

While sipping a glass of hot coffee, he revealed that he failed to collect the forgotten links of the dream.

“But, it was something like a public function, in which both of us were attending,” he said. “Suddenly a commotion started among the gathering,” he continued.

“A commotion? What was the reason? Who started it?” I asked.

“It was you who started the commotion. You caused the trouble among the people who were attending the function,” he said.

“Oh, I see, Ok! Describe me in your dream. Did I wear any sort of costumes like that of a ruffian? Did I have a local headgear around my head?” I asked.

“No, you were in casual wears,” he said.

“Ok, then?” I became more curious.

“Your rebellious actions caused casualty amidst the people. You made something like a blast. Many people were injured, some dead,” he said.

“Were you also injured?” I asked.

He said, “No, I was not injured. But when I called for help, you did not come up. You did not help me.”

“Oh, that’s sad,” I said, “Ok then?”

“I don’t remember much of the dream plot. But I was asking you, Oh, how you could do such a terrible deed! And with a pathetic expression and fear, I woke up. It took some more minutes for me to realise that it was a dream,” he said. 

I seriously began to reflect upon his dream. 

And the film that we did have much similarity with his dream. 

Nov 3, 2010

The Great Sequel

Combined Sequel to The Love Messenger and A Decent Proposal

The desperate lover of the tale of the Love messenger called me from gulf countries some days before, just one day after the decent proposer called and conveyed me the reply of the girl. When I saw a strange, yet familiar kind of number blinking on my mobile display, I understood that it was the desperate lover from the gulf. I asked whether he had tried that number, which I gave him. 

He said, “Yeah buddy, I contacted my teacher using the number. But, when I called him, he was busy. So he asked me to call next day.”

“Did you call him the next day?” I asked.

“You know the nature of my job! I could not even just rise from my seat the next day. And two days after when I contacted him again, he was still standing somewhere else. I really felt that he was not interested to give me her number,” he said.

“How pitiful! So you were not able to contact her. And the tale of the Love Messenger is now at a dead end. What would I tell my Blogger friends?” I got worried. 

“No, but I contacted her....,” he started.

“What?” I shocked.

“Yeah I talked her on phone...that’s what I am telling,” he continued.

I was silent. For a moment, I thought about the decent proposer. He always had nice thoughts about his love interest and considered himself as not worthy to have her as his life partner. But, this girl’s nearness had made him happy and delighted, which I had witnessed on that day when he proposed her over phone. He had got the reply from the girl the very next day that he proposed her. I had asked him over phone,

“Tell me buddy, what was her reply? From your voice, I am truly unable to deduce her answer. My friend in gulf has not yet contacted me. That means, I have no second part for the love messenger. Tell me your story. Let me give my Blogger friends at least an end to the tale of your telephonic proposal, be it happy or sad!”

“Calm, calm, I’ll tell you,” the decent proposer said.

The voice of the desperate lover from gulf over the phone woke me up from my thoughts, “Hey! Are you there? Are you listening to me?”

“Yeah, I am eagerly waiting to know how you contacted her!” I said.

He said, “Yeah, I had known that she would soon join a specific bank as an employee, since she had already cleared the qualification exams.”

“I remember. You had mentioned such a thing,” I said.

“Well! I googled to find the website of this particular bank and picked up the phone number of its local office. I rang up there and asked whether a girl by her name is working there. After a few moments, I heard that nostalgic well-familiar voice of my beloved,” he said.

“Wah! Wah!” I clapped forgetting everything and my phone fell down freeing itself from my loose clutch. While picking up the phone from the floor, the previous-day telephone conversation which I made with the decent proposer again bobbed up to my mind.

 “Whatever be her reply, I still feel that she deserves better than me,” he had said.

“Oh, that much humbleness is not suitable for great personalities,” I said hilariously.

“What happened to your phone? Can’t you hear me?” as soon as I retrieved my phone I heard the desperate lover’s voice over the phone.

“Oh, nothing! You tell me then what you both talked together?” I dint go for an explanation of my cell phone accident.

He said, “Well, as I said before, we still are good friends. We asked each other about the new happenings around us. Nothing was mentioned about the short term flirtatious affair that we had.”

“So, that’s it? The story of Love Messenger ends there? My efforts to collect your institute’s number have no value?” I became slightly furious.
“Life is like that,” the desperate lover said. 

“What would I say to my Blogger friends? Do they need to wait for further sequels,” I asked out of excitement.

“That’s your job. Mould our characters in whatever ways you like. But as a living man with blood and muscles, what I can say is that this is the end!”

As I switched off the phone, the decent proposer’s curious case again popped up to my mind. As he informed me, the reply from her girlfriend to his proposal was negative. As she told him, unless she had another on-going potential affair, he would have been her first choice. Being slightly philosophic, the decent proposer had opined that, ‘beautiful girls are half married,’ which is being disagreed by me. Though he was of the opinion that she deserves better than him, as a friend who knows him well for the past a few years, I am of the opinion that he deserves better.

So, the tales of the decent proposer and the love messenger end here without much hype. Unfortunate for many of the readers, partially due to my helplessness, both stories ended unpleasantly. But, as long as I stick on to the policy of writing only the truth; all such life-stories are likely to end with a sad connotation. 

(The End)

Oct 27, 2010

A Decent Proposal


As my last post has been silently declared a first day ‘box office hit’, I received an offline chat from one of my friends. It ran like this, 

“WHY DON’T YOU WRITE ABOUT 
YOUR UNLUCKY BUT HIGHLY ENTHUSIASTIC 
AND SINCERE FRIEND?”

It was from my friend who was with me during the trip to Alappuzha houseboats. Apart from his sincerity, enthusiasm or unluckiness, what makes him one of my best friends is the fact that we have got some common nuts loose. It is true that I used to write about my close ones, and ‘Alwa and Jagan Jugg’ was a result of my sister’s request to write about her. Now, I am also planning to write the second part of ‘Love Messenger’, as Renu the Blogger demanded it in the comment section of my last post.

“What will I write about you, when you are my friend?” I mailed him.

“Write about me. We have so much college memories, right?” he replied.

“But, see, I want some sudden inspiration to write about a person or an incident,” I tried to explain.

“Ok, when you come next time home, meet me at the city. I hope that I can give you something inspiring,” he said.

So that was fixed. After a few months long interval, I visited my native place and went to the closest city.

“Ah, the city has become developed further. New buildings, new youth, fresh faces,” while walking towards the vegetarian restaurant in the newly built posh looking shopping mall, I attempted to bring nostalgia to my mind imitating some classic characters in vain.

Waiting at the restaurant, which was packed with many handsome teenage boys, I ordered my favourite chilli paratta. While eating the poorly prepared chilli paratta, I watched a teenage girl stepping out from the family room to the hall where we were sitting. Seeing many young boys there in the room, she hesitated a little, turned her face smilingly to look her parents who were after her, gained some more confidence from their return smiles, and walked past the boys haughtily. 

When the supplier approached me with his politeness to check whether I wanted something more, I started to teach him like a veteran glutton,

“See, it is not like this that you should make a chilli paratta. Be careful while...,” I started and at the same time my mobile phone blasted with Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and I saw on my mobile display a blinking ‘X-EN-Tric calling’. I saw my friend standing at the door looking for me.

After the formal greetings and wishes, he asked about new occurrences in my life. When I asked his, he persuaded me to tell mine first as he has something very auspicious to tell me. I said about my boastful adventures I had on my journey to there and he patiently listened to everything I said. 

After my words, he declared that he was going to call a girl right then and would propose her on phone. I went silent.

I witnessed him pulling out the phone from its sheath, dialling a number and asking over the phone in a sweet voice,

“Hello are you there?”

“......................”

“Oh, is that so? Are you with your friends right now?”

“.....................”

“Ok, let me tell you one thing frankly. If you don’t like this, please forget it. Okay?” 

“Oh, please tell me without creating suspense” (it was my guess as her reply).

“Let me propose you? Can I marry you?

“Oh, what are you asking? How horrible? Have you ever thought about its consequences?” I guessed.

“See, both of us are matured now. I think now that I have enough money to lead a happy life with you,” he cleared his stand.

“But, what about others? Won’t your parents object it?” I guessed like this.

“Ah, my parents won’t object any of my decisions. As far as my mother is concerned, she is ready to accept whoever I like as her daughter in law”, he said.

“But what if our parents think about caste? We are from two distinct castes, right?’ she might have asked like this. 

“Forget caste. Of my four grandparents, only three were Nairs...,” he said. The fourth one was a Brahmin, I knew. 

He continued,“...see, I don’t want an immediate reply. Take your time and think about it well. Please give me an answer within the next week. If, you like it, say yes. If you don’t like it, you need not to say no. Just say nothing. I will take your silence as your non-willingness. And behave me the same in the office in the coming days also. Even if you reject my proposal, please crack jokes at me in the office as usual”

After switching off the phone, he smiled at me. “How is my courage? Won’t you appreciate me?”

Shaking his hands, I said, “Thanks for giving me a subject to write upon!”

“What? So are you going to write about my proposal?” he asked breathless.

“Obviously,” was my reply.

“Ok...well...if you write about it, write that my eyes were bright while I proposed her. Write that I was all the time smiling while talking to her. And also add that your friend is a good looking tall guy with confidence and optimism. Won’t you?”

“Yeah, sure, I will do it,” I said.

Dear friends, and here is one more post from me for the readers to guess the end. I don’t know the future of my last post (Love Messenger) which had a twist of suspense at the end. But, in the case of this post, I can assure you that there will be a second part as she had to answer his proposal within one week. So, obviously (To be Continued)

PS: Read the combined second part of The Love Messenger and this post Here.

Oct 21, 2010

The Injection Enigma

About twenty years back, when our protagonist guy was just a small boy on shorts, a team of nursing students visited the school as part of social health check-up. The kids were asked to go to the staff room one by one to receive injection to get saved from any sort of fateful diseases that might have caught them. While standing in the queue at the door of the staff room, waiting for his turn, he heard his friend who had just gone inside, screaming out of pain while the injection needle piercing the vein. Already he had seen many of his friends coming outside of the room weeping forcefully and wiping their tears.

It was his turn the next. As soon as he stepped inside the room he faced the sisters who were filling up the syringe. In a proud manner with boosted up chest he declared,

“I won’t cry!”

Curiously the sisters looked him, and one of them asked him with affection,

“Ah, that’s good, but why don’t you cry dear?”

He had no answer to that complicated question. However there was a soliloquy, (I am Tomz! Tomz doesn’t cry!!)

He was telling the truth. He didn’t cry that day.

******   ****** ******   *****  ******  *******  ***

After twenty years, our protagonist grew up. He came to the capital city of his State and became a Blogger! One fine morning, he started to sneeze and cough. He felt that he too was caught by viral fever, and so decided to visit the hospital.

At hospital, he peeped at the doctor’s diary while he was writing the prescription. He got worried seeing the doctor writing for an injection to be administered to his young client. As soon as he stepped out of the doctor’s room, he immediately ran to the pharmacy. Meanwhile, the young nurse who was guided to give injection to our protagonist got worried without seeing him. She chased him and finally found him at the pharmacy in a hurrying mood.

She asked him,

“Don’t you want the injection the doctor prescribed?”

“Oh, was there an injection? I didn’t notice. Was that so much important?” he asked creating an innocent expression.

“Yes, the doctor marked that it was highly important. Please come!” 

He had no other choice except to follow her unwillingly. At the injection room, he cried and screamed, whenever the nurse made a move to inject him with medicated syringe. 

“Oh...God...Jesus...help me...help me...!” he cried when the needle pierced his vein on his hip.

The nurse mocked him, “heee heee, this Tomz brother is too afraid of injections!”

So, one can’t go on with his pretensions for long is the moral of the story.

Oct 3, 2010

The Love Messenger

While associating with Ronnie Raj’s documentary, which he did about a renowned prolific Malayalam poet, I happened to listen to the poet’s recorded sound as explaining that every writer will face a creative block in his career. I was thinking about a Blogger’s block in my blogging life which has been preventing me from writing anything for the blog. Surprisingly, today I got a subject to write upon, which is actually the favourite subject of humans, the love. But, to rescue myself from the kind of embarrassment happened to me due to the publishing of posts like ‘Fragrance of Love’ and ‘My First Love’, let me first say that this post is not about my love, but about my friend’s.

While working in the Gulf countries, this friend acquired a few months’ leave from his company and came to his native place to try his luck in higher studies. Since tuition centre was in the city he came to our place where a gang of ‘full-bloomed youngsters’ were staying and where I met him. 

We had a very interesting time together as a gang, of which majority are in the initial stages of their professional career. Sometimes we played caroms till 2 O’ clock in the night making a sleep-loving young software engineer curse us all for not switching off the lights. Sometimes, we brought liquors secretly to the second floor without letting the uncle and aunt (the landowner and wife) know, but with the knowledge of their son, to celebrate someone’s birthday or a new job joy. (Somehow, I had acquired the image as a gentle drinker and thus eliminated from the risk of heavy drinking). Sometimes after one or two pegs, we turned on the music system in the highest volume and put vibrant steps on the floor waking up the uncle and aunt from their heavy sleep in agony and letting the neighbours go on with their sleep listening to the soulful music coming from our throats (especially mine ;)). The very next day we were threatened by our landlady that ‘this will not last long’ (she had identified my voice).

I happened to notice the happiness on the face of my friend every day after coming from his class. We had some casual talks and one day he approached me with a request to compose a sugary sms to be sent as a reply to a message that he received on his mobile. When he flattered me saying that since I was a writer I could write better than him, I helped by composing what he asked me to do. When I thought that the job was over, he again approached me to compose another beautiful sms as a reply to what he received as a reply to the former sms. So, the job continued with seemingly no end and only when he told me, I came to know that I was working as a love messenger between him and a girl he met at the tuition centre. 

So, their love flourished, as he had said. He daily described what happened between them at the tuition centre while the teacher was away for a few minutes. I began to habitually see a pink coloured scooty pep resting at our house’s parking space, which he used to take from his girlfriend during the lunch time to come to the house. When the classes were over, he prepared to go back to the Gulf. Let me say for your information that a marriage between them was almost impossible as they both belonged to different religions. And I think, none of them might have taken it as a serious relationship.

A few months after leaving for Gulf, he contacted me on phone. We had some formal greetings but nothing mentioned about the girl. He contacted me again and again and on one occasion I asked him about the girl and he said that he tried to contact her but she had changed her number. 

Yesterday, he called me again and after some formal talks, he directly entered into the matter of his old tuition centre affair. ‘Is he still thinking about that girl,’ I wondered though I had never seen her.

He requested me, ‘Buddy, the sweet memories of the days that we all spent as a gang there still stick on to my mind. Buddy, if you don’t mind, please do me a favour!’

‘What favour,’ I asked mercilessly.

“I tried to call her several times, but she has changed her phone number. Buddy, please go to my tuition centre. It is on the small by road that leads to the city’s popular TV channel. Before reaching that channel, you would see a two storied building on the right side and you will see a board something like ‘Lokmanya Tuition centre’. Please collect the phone number imprinted below that. I will call you tomorrow evening to ask you the phone number and I will try to contact her through my tutor. He must know her phone number”.

Today, after noon time, I started my ‘sincere bike’, and went through all the cut roads in the vicinities searching for a tuition centre, where two young lovers shared their romancing moments some months ago. At last I reached there and spotted a small board with letters ‘Lokmanya’ hanging on the second floor.

'So, it was the place which I envisioned as a closed lovely place while my friend was narrating about his puppy love,’ curiously I thought while writing down the phone number.

While kick-starting my bike, I also chanced to see two eyes watching me from the window of the Lokmanya tuition centre. The teacher of the institute. She might be wondering that why was this guy not visiting the tuition centre and inquiring about the coaching classes, if he really needed coaching.

('May be' continued) 
PS: Read the combined second part of A Decent proposal and this post Here

Sep 6, 2010

The Little Plagiarist

With my photographic memory, which I am really boastful of, I still remember the days I went to the elementary classes, so many years ago, with fresh spirit and juvenile enthusiasm. It was my fourth grade, where I was really enjoying the status of one of the smart students in terms of academic performance. I remember that the experience of writing my first story happened there.

That particular day, as I entered the class room, my main competitor (well...friend of course) received me with a surprising information. Showing me a folded single lined paper torn from the notebook, he revealed that he had written a story. A story? I wondered! When asked, he opened the paper and said me to read. 

Here my memory defeats me; I don’t remember much of his narrative. However, the story was about a boy of our age, written following the same style of the popular children’s books. The boy, as per the story went, received some good punishment as a result of disobedience. If my memory is correct, my friend had given a title like, ‘Arrogance is Unwise’ to beautify his story.

I remember the excitement I showed off on reaching my home that day. As soon as reached home, I announced that I was going to write a story. Without even changing the dress, I started writing on a piece of paper. Giving a special care in following the same narrative pattern of my friend, I attempted to write down his exact story. On completion, after giving his same title, ‘Arrogance is Unwise’, despite of some minor changes in the word order and usage, the story was exactly a copy of the one written by my friend.

I now remember, how intelligent I was, for I carefully concealed from my parents the source of my inspiration. My parents read the story carefully, and my first story received with a huge amount of criticism from its first readers. Starting from its unsuitable title, my poor handwriting and my unnecessary usage of certain words also became subject of controversy. According to mother, the suitable title to the story was ‘Disobedience’.

Though my first attempt in story writing went fruitless, after one or two years, I started to scribble on my old notebooks some children’s stories. Since I had a certain kind of hatred towards human beings, my stories had animals as its characters. Sometimes the subject line was how the animals overcame the atrocities of humans. It is to be mentioned that none was meant for publishing, but was written just for the writing pleasure. 

During this period, I understood that, the abovementioned first story writing experience was an instance of plagiarism. Probably, I could be the youngest plagiarist.

I don’t exactly remember at what period of my growth, I stopped writing animal stories, which was a mode of creative pleasure. However, when I noticed my lost interest in writing such stories, I shockingly realised that I was no more a child. 

Aug 14, 2010

The Girl on Crutches

Ronnie Raj called me again on yesterday! Don’t ask me which Ronnie Raj. He is well familiar to the noble readers as a too conservative fellow and as an Online Detective. That time, I portrayed him as an upcoming music director. This time he has to don his role as an upcoming short movie maker. He is actually a substitute, one who could be presented in my blog in any form belonging to the creator’s genre.

When I picked up his phone, with no usual introduction or formal inquiries or even without a customary ‘hello’, he straight away asked for a theme for his new short film.


“I heard that you have nice concepts, nice stories and you write many ‘out-of-the-box’ things on the internet. Why can’t you suggest me a good theme for my new short film?”

“New short film? You are going to make a new short film?” I asked him in a tone of disbelief.

“Yes, I want a story, at least a thread. I prefer something that would be digestible to the new generation,” he said.

I said nothing. I was thinking about a girl, whom I often see on the way back from my office every day in the evening. A bubbly pretty girl, she used to be standing in front of her house chatting with her friends. What makes her a subject of my attention is that she walks on crutches. Possibly, an accident took place in the near past might have caused fracture on her leg. As I presumed from the visible happiness on her face, she will be cured soon.

“You there? Or gone? You have nothing to give me as an idea?” Ronnie’s sound woke me up from my thoughts.

“I have a story. But it is a love story....,”I began to explain.

Ronnie jumped in between, “That’s a great idea. Young generation will definitely like a romance,” he said.

“But, it is not purely a love story. It has some tragic elements...,” I said.

“Oh you stop the introduction. Come straight to the story,” Ronnie said impatiently.

“My hero is a young man, of our age, working in the city in....well...in a software company,” I began my story.

“That’s great. Youngsters will like their hero as a software engineer...come on...,”Ronnie encouraged me.

I continued, “He regularly meets a girl while he is back from his office. This girl is beautiful with kiss curls and her dressing sense makes her even prettier. The crucial characteristic of this girl is that she walks on crutches. Due to some accidents, one of her legs has been put into plaster. She is waiting for the recovery. But seeing every day, our hero and this girl gradually fell in love each other...” I paused.

Thoughtfully my friend said, “A girl walks with the help of crutches. Sad”. He added, “Please continue,”

“Well...through glances, smiles and chats, they became closer and finally lovers. Our hero takes her for many programmes, which happens in the city in weekends. So their love flourished. You may add one song sequence here featuring our hero plucking flowers for her and such nice scenes...”I said.

“Don’t teach me how to conceive a shot. I will manage that part. You continue with your story,” my friend became irritated feeling somebody’s encroachment in his business.

Though embarrassed, I continued, “This boy went for an official tour for two weeks. In Hyderabad and Delhi, he spent a fortnight impatiently without seeing his sweetheart. When back, he saw a miracle,”

“What miracle?” asked Ronnie raj curiously.

“The girl was completely alright. She was cured from her illness. The plaster has been removed and as a result of some medical exercises, she was walking in the normal way without the help of crutches. Seeing her lover back, she ran towards him expecting a tight hug and a kiss,” I said.

“He will be delighted seeing her like that,” Ronnie tried to complete the story.

“That’s the curious part. Instead of becoming happy, he was shocked. He was shocked and became pale as if he has seen a ghost,” I said.

“Why so?” Ronnie asked.

I said, “There I have two versions. This boy may have some serious defects. He thinks that if she knows it she might turn him down. He might have thought that if she too has some disabilities, both of them could adjust each other.”

“What’s the second version?” Ronnie asked.

“The case of humanity! The boy loved a girl with a disability. He was ready to accept her as the way she was,” I said.

“So, how would you conclude the story?” he asked.

“Buddy, this is just a thread. We have to create the end part,” I replied.

“Presently I am planning to do a film with a socially relevant theme,” he said.

“That’s OK. But tell me how is this story?” I asked.

“The film that I plan to do is based on the political struggles and strikes.”

“Is that so? But how do you feel about my story?”

“My film will have fights, battles, slogans and blood everywhere. It will have revolutionary songs”

“Okey. You do that. But I am asking your opinion about my story,” I shouted.

Ronnie said calmly, “Sincerely speaking buddy, it is better if you stop storytelling and do some other jobs that you know well”

In Last Picture: Spice Girl Emma Bunton after a fall

Jul 30, 2010

My Inception Experience

There were compulsions from two sides in making me watch the movie ‘Inception. One was a young blogger friend’s latest blog post about the movie which was written emphasizing its ‘dream element’ and the other was a new house mate’s suggestions regarding the serious talks that the film stimulated among the film critics.

The person in the second case, (let’s call him a mini-encyclopaedia of the world cinema), told me about the curious structural twists the movie possesses. Apart from encouraging me to watch the movie, he also taught me that the film ‘Inception’ belongs to the ‘heist genre’ and it is an example of ‘caper films’. Above all, what temped me the most to watch ‘Inception’ was the fact, that the top three things I admire in my life have the ‘dream element’ in common, viz., Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, Sigmund Freud’s ‘Interpretation of Dreams’ and lastly, the dreams themselves.

I would say 'Inception’ is one of the greatest movies of the world cinema history. I really enjoyed the dream elements and the surprising twists the film had and really its structure that interconnected dreams captivated me. I was ‘boastful’ after watching the film and I said about the film everywhere I have acquaintances. One such a person, who became victim of my suggestion to watch that film, was my film teacher Louis Matthew (who appears in this blog in an earlier post titled Left...Right, Left...Right).

Though busy with some meddlesome schedule, he agreed to watch the film and to comment what he had felt after watching the movie. The next day, I was pulled up from my early morning bed by his phone call, which I attended in half sleep. Attempting to open my partly closed eyes rubbing, I spoke him in half closed husky voice. 

“I saw the film, but it did not surprise me as much as it did you,” he said.

We had a discussion regarding the structural twists of the film and the intertwining of dreams.

Quoting Leonardo DiCaprio, I said, “One has to see the film at least twice to understand its main plots and sub plots”

“The reason for the film not surprising me much is actually another film...,” he explained, “a 1965 made 'The Saragossa Manuscript', which had several layers of multiple sub plots. The film would completely baffle the spectator without clearly telling whether the protagonist is watching dreams or he really is a part of the real happenings”. (Later, I checked what my teacher said in the internet and found a blog post written by American poet Silliman, who described ‘Inception’ as the Spiritual Grandchild of ‘Saragossa Manuscript’.)

After a twenty minutes talk, we stopped the conversation. Then I remembered that I had been dreaming another house mate SK, exactly the moment I was woken up by my teacher’s phone call. SK, who was appearing in one of my earlier blog posts as the victim of my horoscope experiments, had just two days before left for his home town, and to my best knowledge, he would have been back only after a few weeks.

“I understand now that the film ‘Inception’ is true in many aspects, especially where it narrates the cases of shared dreaming and lucid dreaming,” I said my roommate who was staring at me in a ludicrous manner hearing my alien like talk over the phone.

Widening the eye balls, he asked, “What do you mean?”

“While waking up, in the half conscious state I saw a dream, that the man SK, who left for home has today come to our room and asked you something. He was smiling all the time and I am so sure that he was wearing his T-shirt with white and black stripes.”

Watching the staring eye balls of my roommate, I continued in growing enthusiasm, “It was a lucid dream and even the thread of his dress was so clear. I wonder, what it would be called, if a dream takes place at the exact surroundings in which the dreamer sleeps.”

“So, you mean that you dreamt SK in the morning exactly at this room?” my roommate inquired.

“Yes! That’s what I mean! Only creative persons can have such clear dreams,” I claimed.

I saw a hilarious smile sprouting at the corners of his mouth. Slowly, it became a big embarrassing smile.

“Don’t laugh like that. Is there any funny thing happening,” I became irritated.

“Nothing,” he said in between laughing, “the thing that you supposed to have dreamt was happening here exactly the moment you mentioned”

“What?”

“Yes. Don’t say such idiotic things again. SK came to our room when you were woken up by that phone ring and he left after taking a bag that he placed here. Will you claim again that there happened something creative?”

I was silent and when his jeering reached at its heights, I warned him in a revengeful tone,

“You wait! I am gonna write about this thing in my Vanity Moments!”

Jul 24, 2010

The Third B'day and a Beautiful Gift

Today Vanity Moments turns three. The blog, which launched on experimental basis in July 24, 2007, with the single purpose of featuring my Shankhumugham video along with a screen made script written in English for the non-Malayalam speakers was initially named as ‘Droplets’. Only later, the blog turned out to be one of the ‘biggest boasting stations in the blogosphere’, which featured sequence of boastful recollections from the blog owner (that’s myself).

The initial purpose of the blog was, as I said before, to act as a mediator in bringing my Journalism day project Shankhumugham beach video to the world of travellers. I was happy, when the video was awarded a consolation prize in the Kerala Tourism–YouTube video festival and I was expecting a memorable gift from the government. I was offered a one day & night stay on a houseboat in the famous backwaters of Alleppey as the prize when I was actually expecting something that I can keep as a memento for a life time.

The offer for a houseboat trip, which was initially allotted for 1 pax did not make me happy. ‘What would I have done alone on a houseboat that floats in water with no hold up?’ I asked myself. However, I decided to accept the facility and planned to get one professional camera as I thought that taking photographs of the journey will be the only resort to escape from the boredom. But, later Kerala Tourism decided to give the facility to two persons, that means, the winner can take one more person to the boat.

I contacted one of my best friends, (who secretly appears in some of my previous blog posts) who after spending the college days with me had left for Cochin City pursuing a promising career. Over the phone, hilariously he replied ‘so you want me to act as your girlfriend, since you have none!’ I also remember the funny comment made my previous boss, ‘if you had married, you could have taken her for a honeymoon trip at the cost of the government’.

However, the day was 11th July 2010. While taking some photographs using the professional Nikon camera (thanks for my friend in Thiruvanathapuram for giving me the camera), my travel partner reached Alleppey beach on a prior-fixed time and we went to the ATDC houseboats at around 11 O clock. Despite of the lack of any documents proving my prize, we were welcomed warmly by the three staffs of the houseboat. We embarked on a sightseeing journey through the backwaters and I felt it as something like a journey that made by the Grecian King Ulysses during the legendary period.

Our houseboat darted slowly through the heart of the backwaters touching many places including Pallathuruthi, Kainakari, Vembanad Lake, Chambakulam, etc. We also had a brief visit at the Chambakulam church during the evening mass (it was a Sunday). Our camera helped us very much in collecting the wonderful stills of the destinations. In the noon time we had a wonderful lunch with Karimeen fry, salads, curd, lassi and a pineapple specialty.

In the evening we returned via a short cut to our starting point and finally anchored there in the night. After supper we went to the deluxe a/c double room, which was allotted for us and it was about 11.30 pm when we said good night.

In the morning at 5.30, we woke up as both of us had to go to our own offices since it was a Monday with its usual blues. After our breakfast we began to say good bye to a few wonderful hours of my life. Our Grecian journey now comes to an end, I thought, but this time there was no Troy to be captured, no Paris to be defeated and no Helen to be retrieved. 

This prize was for my Shankhumugham video, which was aptly titled as "This Beautiful Land," and let this post be a "Beautiful Gift" to my three year old Vanity Moments blog.

Jul 6, 2010

The Science of Horoscopes

A hartal day. The Opposition in alliance with a few supporting parties have announced a strike to observe civil disobedience in all over the Republic of India protesting the price hike. That means no office, no shops, no movements on the streets, no picnics, no theatres, and what you have at hand is only sleep. Our landlady has already left for a visit to her relatives deserting us and that means no food at all! Understanding this situation I had stored one pack bread and two eggs purchasing from the nearby shop the last day itself as I felt that the combination of bread and omelette would be a favourable one. Two eggs means, one for the morning and the other for the noontime. As the hartal ends at 6pm, the case of supper could have been easily managed.
 
In the hartal morning, I picked up the newspaper and accidently let one glance drop on the daily horoscope column. As an Arien, I just looked at what the fortune-teller had told about Aries for the day. It read like this: Till 6 pm, unsuccessfulness, discomfort, loss of money. After 6 pm, availability of favourite food. 

Hearing me reading out loudly the daily horoscope, my housemate SK, who has been reading the GK column sitting beside me, began to giggle.

“I can’t understand, why these educated people also go after such nonsense,” he remarked.

“I am just reading it to check whether they have at least one percent of truth. After all, we can’t swallow whatever been taught in the name of modernity,” I argued.

“If we have the will, we can change whatever is destined for us,” my optimistic friend said.

“What is your Zodiac sign?” I inquired.

“Hmmm...I believe...yeah...I am a Capricornian,” he turned the pages of his newspaper.

I read the daily fortune of Capricorn, “Success in everything, Happiness, Recognition, till 6 pm. After 6 pm, Unsuccessfulness, Loss of money, Botheration”

SK continued his giggle and glanced at me through the top of his specs with a hilarious mocking manner. 

I began to prepare my breakfast. After taking out one egg from my bag, I went to the kitchen. After making an omelette in my own style (I like the Bull’s-eye both sides fried), I returned to my room. 

At my room, while adjusting the table space to give room to the bread pack and omelette plate, I picked up the bag in which the second egg was kept. When I placed it on another space carelessly, I heard a pathetic sound of the egg crashing. I understood the misfortune. Without wasting time, I ran to the kitchen with the egg bag and carefully poured the egg contents to the frying pan. I called SK, who was standing close to me and said him, “your good luck!”

With a hilarious smile, he said, “Sometimes Horoscopes are true”

I replied sadly, “Yeah, loss of money to me and happiness to you!”

SK winked.

The hartal ends at 6 pm. When I went to SK’s room, he persuaded me to go outside to have tea. I started my bike (yeah, the sincere bike) and asked SK to keep his purse as I was wearing a pajama with no pockets.

When we reached the junction, we found that the tea shop owner has given a full day rest to himself. We drove further through the dead street and found one hotel, which is a specialist in non-veg items, was kept open. I asked SK about eating one Shawarma (an Arabian chicken speciality), which was my favourite dish for sometime. He agreed.

After savouring the delicacy of Shawarma, when the bill came, my eyes protruded and SK had a brief giddiness. The price was something huge that we could never imagine for two Shawarmas.

SK paid the bill and when we came outside the hotel, he sadly said,

“Now, I believe that horoscopes are completely true. Today’s experience shows that”

I looked at my watch. It showed 6.20pm. I said,
“Yeah, after 6 pm, loss of money and botheration to you.....”

“....and availability of favourite food to you,” he completed.

I winked.

What do you think about the credibility of fortunetelling and horoscopes?

Jun 13, 2010

One more achievement, 30,000!

“Time runs fast, yet no changes made”

This was also a day similar to the one described in one of my earliest posts titled “After Travelling 20,000 Kilometers”, in which I drove my bike after lunch from my room to the office anticipating an exciting thing to happen. Just like the climate described in that post, this day also was marked with slight drizzling and wet breeze.

It was in the last May, on a rainy day, my bike’s speedometer registered 20,000 kilometers. After which, one year has passed, and on yesterday, while returning by my bike from my office to room in the evening, I saw with my ‘thieving left eye’, the sight of a digit 30,000 appears to the view panel of my speedometer by pulling up a hesitant 29,999.

I don’t call it an achievement, but still the choice of the title of the post is a question. I got a comment for the post narrating the one year back incident from one of my occasional readers. The blogger friend congratulated me for my ‘achievement’ and when last day I noticed a 29,997 on my bike’s speedometer, I thought about recording it in my blog, since at present I am really running out of subjects.

At each point of this ‘achievement’, I stopped my bike and took different photographs using my mobile cam. I planned to take the snap of the moment when my speedometer shows exactly 30000 – 0, of which the last digit denotes 100 meters. If you travel 100 meters more, the digit will be 30000-1. But, unfortunately, when I stopped my bike, the reading was between 0 and 1 after 30000 kilometers. I thought about pulling my bike a little bit backwards, so that I can take the snap of exactly 30000-0. But you know! Speedometer is like Time, there is no going back and hence the so called ‘Time travelling’ is not possible.

It’s the time of a self analysis. What changes have happened to me during the 10000 kilometers time? To tell frankly, no changes at all! Expect my job shift to a new company, I am using the same jacket, staying at the same place and hanging out with the same friends.

May 26, 2010

Fragrance of Love



"It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all!"
-Alfred Lord Tennyson

Have you ever thought of the properties of love? I mean, by what measures, one can identify a love? Is it a touchable thing? Does it smell? If it smells, does it stink or smells good? Does love have a shape? If so, is it in the same heart shape, depicted in Valentine’s Day greetings cards? Don’t worry! I am not trying to start my post with a regular and often practiced cliché! What I am trying to convey is that I know at least one property of love. Yes! I know the smell of love. Or at least to me, love has a fragrance, and more accurately, love has the smell of Epiphyllum Oxypetalum.
 
Now, what is this complicated thing? Well...Epiphyllum Oxypetalum is the Botanical name of a flower, popularly known as Nishagandhi (Nisha gandhi – The one that emits fragrance in night). But, let me tell you one thing first! After finding a Nishagandhi flower, smelling it would not give you the fragrance of love. Because, when I discovered the smell of love, I did not know a Nishagandhi flower. I actually mistook another flower with strong fragrance for Nishagandhi flower. So, the smell of love is the smell of a flower which was mistaken by me for Nishagandhi flower! Now clear?

The story behind the discovery of the smell of love is of a few years old. It is connected fully with the girl in My First Love (What? You haven't read it yet? First go and read it and come back!). She used to sing during some occasions in college. All the time I used to sit in the first row in the college auditorium with my friend (the naughty friend in Pretty Littima’s Profession, we reunited in college after that adventurous seventh standard) listening to her voice and watching her movements. Her occasional glances darted at me had made me happy.

Somebody brought to the class a bunch of sweet and strong smelling flowers. Actually it was not of the shape of a flower. It almost looked like a small leaf with a light green shade. I liked its fragrance at once as my teenage days were fully perfumed with love. (No, of course I was not a lover! But love was there in my heart.) I asked the flower’s name to the boy who brought it to the class. He expressed his ignorance about the name of the flower, but someone invented a name, ‘Nishagandhi’. I liked that name, and at once I fixed its name in my mind as Nishagandhi. Only later, I came to know that there was another flower by that name.

Well, on that day, when the girl was singing in the auditorium and I was watching her sitting in the front row, my shirt’s pocket was full of the sweet smelling flowers. The aroma of this flower was so strong that the singing girl’s appearance and the flowers’ fragrance blended together resulting in the formation of a specific image in my mind. Her songs lasted for some minutes and she repeatedly sang the songs in equal intervals. All the time, the flowers were also emitting its strong scent creating in me some passionate and nostalgic effect.

Days had passed and when I was in a sorrowful condition regarding my love interest (those who read My First Love can understand the reason of my sorrow), the flowers with its strong fragrance made me sickened with love and grief. In one such occasion, I went to the isolated auditorium with a pocketful of the ‘Nishagandhi’ flowers. Standing at the front row, I imagined the old days in which she sang standing at the podium and I listened to her song experiencing the smell of the flowers. Standing straight and closing my eyes, I took out some flowers from my pocket to smell them and to check whether the so called ‘time travelling’ was possible. Well, you please don’t doubt me! I had actually tried it.

After so many years, when I matured, when I understood love as an emotion and a basic need, when I forgot the girl almost, when I became more practical, when I learned to laugh at my old silliness, when I stopped assessing others with my virtually perfect intelligence and when I lost all my teenage love mannerisms, what still gives me the fragrance of love is the Nishagandhi flowers.

It is a very long time now since I saw a Nishagandhi flower. Now I can’t recollect the smell of it. But, I hope that the next time when I smell it I could sense the emotion of the same love with its genuine innocence and happiness which are common to the teenage days. Perhaps, this feeling might be the single thing that forces me to believe that love is divine – the fragrance of love!

May 12, 2010

Catching a Copybook Crook

The celebrated sixth standard again. This time it was the English class. And the thick moustached English teacher with his punishment stick in hand was very much obstinate about our regular submission of neatly written copy books on his table before he reaches the class on the second period of all working days. Since he was a fear factor of the students, everyone was keen on not disobeying his demands and if someone fails to bring the updated copybook, even the next classes would go silent hearing the fearful swishing sounds of his flexible stick immediately followed by the moaning sounds of our fellow mates.

This was just like another day. After the first period, the English teacher came to our class and after asking some questions from the last day lessons, he took a new chapter. He first gave us an outline of the story and after telling us to read the entire lesson silently, he started to check the copybooks one by one.

After checking all the available books, he said, “Has everybody submitted the copybooks today?”

A unanimous uproar from the students denoting affirmation was the reply. But the teacher felt that not all the present students had submitted the copybooks. He asked again to confirm the reply. But, what he got was the same answer.

Without trusting the students he asked the class monitor to count the copybooks on his table. He found that there was a difference of five between the number of the copybooks and the number of the present students.

The English teacher became furious. He asked us angrily raising his voice to stand up those who had not brought their copybooks. First, there rose a head, a back bencher, and then three more students followed him in the confession process. He asked all the four to come forward and stand at the corner of the class.

He asked again, “who is the fifth one, come...come...don’t try to fool me!”

But, no one moved.

The teacher did not give up. He asked the monitor to read out loudly the name on each copybook. “When the monitor calls your name, come forward and join with those who are at the corner of the class,” he said to the class.

That verification process was on. The class monitor began to call the names of the students reading the name-slip on each copybook. Students one by one began to walk to the front side of the class to join the corner. The number of students sitting on the benches was shrinking and the number of the students standing at the corner was growing accordingly.

Finally there remained only less than ten students on the benches and it became nine...eight...seven...etc so soon.

When the monitor called out the spectacled one’s name, there were remaining only four more students on the benches and I was one.

When the monitor read the next name, I decided to surrender as there were no means of escape remaining.

I picked up my bag and pretended as searching it. And I said, “What a surprise, I think I have not brought my copybook!”

“Tom! You!” that was actually a scream from the monitor.

Everybody in the class shared the broken pieces of the monitor’s scream.

The English teacher wondered, “I never guessed it would have ended like this”

He picked up the stick and asked me to extend my palm, I obeyed. Usually, the punishment for these sorts of ‘crimes’ was one beating. I got two.

Not for not submitting the copybook and not for the teacher had some grudge for me, but for not becoming truthful.

Did you guess the suspense?

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