Feb 28, 2011

Garden of Literature

One week back, one of my friends in Thiruvananthapuram called and asked me to just go through an article written by him, which was published in a Delhi based magazine titled Public Agenda. Since the magazine was not active online, he sent me a copy of his neatly written article in word format to my e-mail. But, unfortunately, some problem occurred to my Operating System and so I was not able to check the internet in my laptop.

Today morning, I just tried to download it and though with much effort and minutes and minutes long wait, I could open it and read it. The article, which was titled ‘A Garden for Trees from Literary World’, was about a person in northern part of Kerala, who, though a businessman by profession, motivated by his love for trees and literature, has been maintaining a botanical garden expecting neither popularity nor profit.

My friend Dileep, who was mentioned in My Inception Experience as a movie encyclopedia, interviewed this nature and literature lover and collected interesting details. His garden has more than 1000 trees, belonging to as much as 300 species. Besides, the presence of birds, harmless animals like mongooses, squirrels and rabbits make it a perfect ecosystem.

Like stamp collection to someone and numismatics to some other one, maintaining a botanical garden with trees, which got special mention in literature, is like a hobby to this special person, named Maliekal Mohammad. He got his love for Chestnut tree from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ and thus collected a sapling from somewhere in the globe. Mangostein tree, which appears in the works of coveted Malayalai writer Vaikom Muhammad Basheer and Pomgranate Tree (Neermathalam in Malayalam), which was a favourite of renowned authoress Kamala Das, also adorn this beautiful Botanical garden.

Besides, the Sababul Tree from Kahlil Gibran verses, legendary trees like Kadamba, Palasa and Simsipa from of Hindu puranas, Cedar trees of the Sacred Bible and Olive from Holy Koran also are part of this exotic garden. I think, my friend has done a great job in spotting this man and introducing him to the public. 

I hope, you wonderful writers of the Bloggosphere also have love for certain trees. Though not a wonderful writer, with nostalgia, I still remember a Guava tree which stood at the side area of my home, which was demolished some years before. 

Feb 17, 2011

The Slow Learner

It requires a lot of courage and caution to write about your workplace affairs and fellows. If your colleagues have no interest in such useless activities like blogging, writing or reading, there is no harm in penning about them. But if the team members with whom you have to work in the current period have interest in reading, writing and following your blog, writing about them will be dangerous.

But, what a blogger will do, if he/she is running out of subjects to jot down? Naturally, you would look for plots in your own immediate surroundings. But, you would find yourself trapped in a quandary seeing your workplace as your immediate surroundings. Presently, I am in such a situation, and I discovered a method to untie this trap. The trick is to write about myself in the backdrop of my workplace, allowing my colleagues move freely in the background. 

During the break, when we were having tea at the canteen, the creative guy (you met him in ‘Time Waits for No Man’) was asked about his love affair, which germinated in school days and reinforced in recent times through marriage. With full attention, our team listened what the creative guy said.  

Suddenly, ‘the full-moon girl’, (a brilliant one in our team), mentioned the presently getting-popular living-together system (please note that I am talking in the purview of the extremely conservative Indian society). “Nowadays, it’s becoming a common life style,” she lamented. 

‘The practicing clairvoyant’, another girl in our team (well, I hope, I could tell you the reason why she is called so, in any of my upcoming posts), simply laughed. From her smile, I could not completely deduct whether she approves such extra-modern life styles or not. 

Another girl, who belongs to another team (let’s call her the ‘talkative techie’), kept on talking without even inserting a single pause, citing such new-gen life style examples from her acquaintances. Suddenly, the creative guy said, 

“My elder brother’s closest friend lived with a girl for nearly six years and they got married only very recently”

“Is that so?,” the girls asked harmoniously.

The creative guy nodded. 

I thought, “hmm...creative guy’s brother’s friend lived with a girl in the same room for six years without marriage and even without the knowledge of parents!”

The full-moon girl said, “this is currently shown in many of the popular movies, and..hey..any of you saw the movie 127 hours? Danny Boyle’s?

I thought, “and they got married in quite recent times only, God, where does my traditional India head to?”

“Danny Boyle’s Slum Dog Millionaire was such a waste,” the talkative techie commented.

According to the practicing clairvoyant, she liked the Twilight series. 

“Twilight is about some horror things, right?” the Workaholic, another team mate, who was sipping a tea sitting silently, asked suddenly.

I thought, “and hmm...the creative guy never told me about such a thing. Is he telling the truth?”

Thinking so, I soon turned my face and asked the creative guy in astonishment,

“Really, your brother’s friend was living together?

Everyone surprised. 

“Err...what did you say?” the talkative techie questioned me. She asked the creative guy, “does this boy have the habit of talking to himself?”

The practicing clairvoyant said smiling mysteriously, “he used to be like this, follows very slowly what others speak.”

“Buddy, we passed that subject hours before, are you hatching upon the same idea still?” mockingly the creative guy said.

I laughed it off. The full-moon girl tried to recollect some other incidents in which I acted similarly, “last day also he did something same, hmmm...what was it?”

“The novel False Memory has the same theme, memory,” saying so, the Workaholic stood up suddenly and left the table. He is such a work fanatic, who would quit a conversation even by pausing at a syllable in the middle of a word of his opinions. 

I began to recollect the incident, which the full-moon girl cited. That was also during a tea-break time some two days before. We spoke about Malayalam film directors. There are two directors with the same name Lal. One is Lal Jose and the other one is Lal Paul (or simply Lal). The full-moon girl had mistaken the same name Lal for the two directors. When the creative guy requested my mediation, I also shared my knowledge regarding the names of the two directors. Even after everyone quitted the subject, I was thinking about that. On reaching back to the front of computers, I had asked the full-moon-girl jokingly, while she was seriously involved in some jobs,

“Any one of your classmates who studied with you in that film institute is alive still?”

I remembered the incident clearly. Well, that was the flash back.

Waking up from my thoughts suddenly, I announced to the gang who were about to leave the canteen after some heated discussion.

“Yeah, I remember, it was the curious case of film directors Lal Jose and Lal Paul,”

The gang, who were discussing some other things, stood up harmoniously and saluted me.

Feb 7, 2011

Time Waits for No Man!

Slowly I opened my heavy eyelids and saw the bright light rays getting in through the half opened window curtain. Moving aside the curtain with one hand, struggling to open my sleepy palpebras, I gazed outside through the slits of the windows ajar and found that the freshness of morning had already gone.

Without moving, however, exerting much effort, I glanced all over the darkened room where I was lying. The brooding dark and the closed room together appeared like that the place is located somewhere in the strangest places of the world. I attempted to wipe off the fog that covers my memories in the process of recollecting the incidents that took place last night.

I remembered the days I got up in the early morning to attend the gymnasium like a smart guy and returned after heavy workouts to reach the office punctually. Since the office time is 8.30 in the morning, I had to wake up a little bit earlier than usual in order to adjust time for my morning exercises and all. That short ‘nostalgia-generated-fever’, which caught me last week had collapsed all my routine practices, I thought.

And now there was this creative guy, a colleague at my new work place, who used to take innovative initiatives to make the life of people around him better. Influenced by the environment conservation school of thought, this creative guy had prompted me to accept the lift of his vehicle daily to office and back as we both stayed in the same direction. So, I had to leave my ‘sincere bike’ most of the days at my settling place to go with him so that we could together cut the emission of hazardous gases by a minuscule percent. 

So, everyday, he used to come to pick me from my place and in any of such days, due to any reason, if he couldn’t come up at the proper time; he used to sent me an SMS, like ‘DON’T WAIT FOR ME...’ or something like that, so that I could have made use of the service of my bike. 

I turned aside and glanced at the time-piece to shockingly see that the time was 8.15 AM. My colleague used to appear between 7.45 and 7.55 in the morning or at least that will be the regular time he used to send me the SMS alert. With awe, I searched for my cell phone, which I found lying close to my head on the bed itself.  

I checked my cell phone and saw three missed calls and one message on its display. I found that the missed calls were put by my colleague. The message must be the kind that he usually sends me in case he couldn’t come at the regular time, I thought. By the time, I realised that, I have been sleeping blindly all the time in my dwelling place in Cochin unaware of the time. ‘Poor creative guy!’ I thought; ‘he might have left for office after finding his three calls unanswered!’

I opened my inbox and read, 

“I’M WAITING OUTSIDE!’. The message was sent at 7.50 PM and then the time was 8.15.

Frantically, I stood up in seconds and ran towards the door to jump outside after unbolting the lock with a banging sound. There I saw the creative guy standing close to the gate thoughtfully. His eyes were fixed at some distant parts of the sky, perhaps he might have been visualising things happening at infinity.

Hearing the sound, he turned his face and saw me in a pathetic appearance.

Scratching my head, I apologised, “Sorry...I have overslept...”.

Seeing my state and the standing posture, my colleague burst into a hearty laughter. Has he been waiting at the exact place for the last twenty minutes? I asked.

“Yes, If you had woken up a little bit later, you would have made me standing there at the exact spot for another twenty minutes more, at least till 8.30”, he said laughing.

As I had not bathed, and even had not brushed my teeth, we both agreed that it would be better if he goes to office at the correct time.

After he left, I began to get ready in express pace. 

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