Mar 31, 2011

A House in Ruins

I feel that I have written enough number of posts by this time to keep you informed about my Trivandrum days, especially about the hostel, where I spent some of my memorable time. To spy the new occurrences of that place, I called the Writing Pro, whom you met earlier in some of my posts.

He greeted me in his usual cheerful manner over the phone and informed that he was currently at his home town for a short visit. While answering my casual inquiries regarding the hostel, he hinted that everything is not going pleasant there. 

“Do you remember some incidents of missing valuables there? I think an incident regarding the missing of somebody’s cell phone was reported just a week before you left that place,” he said.

I was remembering it. “Yeah, I do,” I said. “At that time, an inside talk was there regarding our landowner’s son.”

“I never heard anyone mentioning his name in connection with those mysterious affairs,” he became curious, “what was that? Tell me?”

“As per what I eavesdropped while peeking in everybody’s business inadvertently, the landowner’s son did all those stealing to keep away certain occupants, whom he disliked,” I disclosed.

“Is that so? But, we got some clear hints about the real culprit behind all those games,” the writer said.

“Who are you talking about?” I asked.

“Do you remember him, that short one, with a plum like appearance, who lived in that marketing guy’s room?” the writer asked.

My memory failed me.

“Hey, don’t you remember him? The one who usually appeared alone, that reserved one, an introvert?”

Reserved! Suddenly I remembered him. A reserved nature never suited to his body appearance, that’s why the word ‘reserved’ struck my mind.

“Yes I remember him. We never talked. Whenever my eyes happened to meet his, either he or I used to withdraw the gaze, intentionally or unintentionally,” I said. “Are you telling that this guy did all those thefts?” 

“Hmmm...yes! There were no evidences against him, but till last week,” the writer said.

“That means, you found something against him, right?” I asked.

“ you remember when was a theft first reported in our house?”, he asked. 

“Was that the case of the missing cell phone?”

“No man, try to make your memory a bit sharper. It was this introvert guy himself, who complained that somebody has stolen his money from his bag,” the writer said.

I suddenly remembered it. “Yeah, that was the case of some foreign currency, as he had claimed.”

“Yes,” the writer said, “Nobody knew that he had the collection of foreign currency.  We have only his word for it. He could have easily fabricated such a story of theft. What he actually had done was creating a virtual thief, under whose hiding, he could have done all the stealing.”

The writer continued, “Another issue popped up after some days. It was when a new guy in our place found his bike’s petrol tank filled with sand while trying to kick-start his bike.”

“How did you assume that it was done by him,” I asked.

“We had no doubts against him. But, we later found that this new guy actually was a super senior of our introvert guy in college. The new guy avoided him though they were known each other. What the introvert guy did was revenge.” the writer said over the phone.

“The next in the queue was the cell phone mishap. Somebody’s cell phone went missing. Later it was found lying inside the water tank completely soaked.” The writer recollected.

I said, “It was this time everyone suspected the landowner’s son, and some occupants believed that everything was done by the landowners themselves in order to initialize the close down process of the hostel”

“Hmm...these all happened when you were living with us. After you left, SK’s mobile phone was also stolen, no clue. But, when the software guy was locked up in the bathroom for more than 2 hours, we sensed danger. As far as the situations were concerned, only one person had the opportunity to lock the bath room, the introvert guy. He might have had his own motive for doing that.”

The writer continued, “The next was the worst. Our water-well was found mixed with washing powder. And this time, we caught him red handedly, with some circumstantial evidences. We are going to request the landowners to get him out; otherwise we all will leave the place. We can’t say if he would give us poison the next time.”

I asked, “So, what do you think about this guy? Why does he do all these mischief? What makes him behave like Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights? Is he a psychopath? Or a kleptomaniac? Do you have any reasoning about the queer behavior of an absolute normal person like him?”  

“He has some family issues, that’s what we know now. As we know, he is in a relationship with an older woman, who is actually the other woman of his own father.”

Readers, I think, this post is better to be treated as a fabricated story. I can at least save myself from the rage of the introvert guy, in case he plans a fatal revenge on the Blogger after reading this post.

In Last Picture: Actor Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff in the 1939 adaptation of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

Mar 23, 2011

Digging Food Corners

Reading my nostalgic article, in which I revealed my emotional ties with the past city, where I lived for a few years till bidding farewell to it four months back, Rek the Blogger had given me a curious tip on how to make same bonds with the new city. She suggested that exploring food corners will help in making emotional ties with the new place. Already a semi-foodie, I decided to follow her advises and dig food corners as much as possible.

But due to eating regularly those food items prepared in harmful oils and junk foods with no nutritious values, I lost taste in everything. But still my hunt for places which would give health compliant food continued with no end.

That day, when I reached my settling place after a one and half hour long heavy workout at the gymnasium in the evening, I saw my room-mate X-EN-Tric immersed in some melancholic professional thoughts.  To cheer him up, I suggested him an outing so that on return we could have tasted something delicious from nearby eateries. Thoughtfully, he said,

“What’s the use of going to eateries buddy; everyone serves the same oily, fatty and non-nutritious junk items,”

“Don’t worry, today I will take you to a new place, you just get ready; this is not like any previous hotels, I assure you, you will feel really comfortable there,” I said trying to make my voice maximum dramatic.

Unwilling to believe what I said, he looked at me curiously.

‘’Which place is that?” he asked.

I said, “Ok, if you really want to know, I will tell you some clues. Take the case of Chapati, one of our common food items.” Watching his speculative eyes, I asked, “did you find any difference between our home-made chapattis and the ones that we get from hotels?,” 

“They both look absolutely different. Comparing to the home made ones, what we get from hotels is hell,” without a second thought, he said.

Triumphantly I said, “then today I will take you to a place where we get the real taste of the homemade ones.”

X-EN-Tric’s eyes brightened.

Driving my ‘sincere bike’, we explored the busy evening city. Taking so many twists, curves and turns and by escaping from many collisions miraculously, we finally reached the destination located at a comparatively less crowded place.

I took him to a Natural Food Centre, which I had found during my Sunday jaunts. While sitting on the cane-made chairs, I commented,

“See, even the chairs here are nature made.”

He agreed.

Some quotes written on the walls of the food centre went like this,

“Does your stomach have a grinding stone?”
“Drink your food after chewing it thoroughly”
“Don’t drink water with food”

Though I have some personal disagreements regarding these quotes, I appreciated their attempts silently. Even tourists were also visiting that place for healthy food. 

We both had a steam cake (puttu) each, prepared using the coconut shells, in accompaniment of a local variety of Spinach curry; that means completely natural. We had already ordered a fruits combo each, which was a mixture of water melon, banana, papaya, and some other fruits. The person who served us food, who lacked the common appearance of a supplier, apologized us as if we were his guests at his home, by saying he could not prepare all usual fruits, since that day they could not collect some of them.

In the end, there came a Jappi, and what’s a Jappi? Well! Jappi is a drink prepared using coriander, cumin seed, fenugreek, cardamom and some two more items. However, it tasted superb! They claim that Jappi is the best energizing drink comparing to coffee and tea. Both coffee and tea consist of a kind of sedatives (caffeine, you know?)

Surprisingly, they didn’t charge much. But, when we left that place, my stomach was almost full. So, I said X-EN-Tric, 

“Buddy, tomorrow also I plan to dine from here, but not as much as I consumed today. Because, you know the proverb? Even Nectar is poison, if taken to excess!”

X-EN-Tric laughed heartily.

My special thanks go to Rek the Blogger for giving such a valuable suggestion. Even though she meant it for making emotional ties with the place you dwell in, it helped me in a different way.

But, from this article, did you get something informative?

Mar 15, 2011

Interview Experience and Two Ghost Tales

Before going to Bangalore to attend a conference last week, I had a plan to post two ghost tales, which were very popular in my region in Kerala. I don’t remember, how many times had I heard these two tales with slight modifications from many local human sources and also there is no count for how many people had heard those two tales from my own mouth.

But while on my two days trip to Bangalore, NRI Girl, a popular blogger mailed me asking my participation in an ongoing interview series that she conducts among her Blogger friends. Being a blogger, who, during the last two years, produced some posts, which were received well by my good Blogger friends, I was also considered by the NRI Girl as an eligible candidate worthy to be interviewed by her. Here is the link to the interview in which I answered to some of her nice questions. Thanks to her for giving me an opportunity to explain the reason for my interest in blogging.

Here are the horror stories as promised. In the first one, a man was walking in midnight through the isolated country sides after watching the second show from a theatre in town. In Kerala, you can see at least one town associated with a village in most of the areas, and thus the whole Kerala state is counted by many as a semi-urban settlement.

While walking to home, he met a guy. Since our man was alone, he thought about walking in the company of the other chatting something so that none of them would feel the boredom of travelling alone in the night. At a point, the fellow traveler took out a cigarette and match box from his pocket. While trying to light the match stick, the match box toppled and fell on the ground. Seeing this, our man bent down to help the other to get the match box. While picking up the match box from the ground, with a shock, he noticed the feet of his fellow traveler. His feet were actually those of a buffalo. 

Horrified, our man soon escaped from the spot running. After covering many furlongs, he saw a person wearing a dhoti walking at a distance. He ran to him and tried to explain what had happened between him and his fellow traveler,

“There…there...a man...the buffalo-footed man…”, he said while panting heavily.

The other one watched him with inquisitive eyes. With a mysterious smile, he raised his dhoti a bit and asked our man,

“Didn’t his feet look like mine?”

Our man looked at what was the new person pointing and with a chill in his heart found this new person also had the feet of a buffalo….!

Ok, now the second tale. It was a moon-lit day and two fellows were travelling on a jeep in the midnight time. On the way, they had to drive through the steep hair-pin roads that went uphill. When took a new curve, they saw in front, a woman with a new born child, waving at them. These guys stopped the jeep and inquired her how was she left alone with her child at that late night time. She replied that she lost her way and requested a lift on the jeep till the forest ends. 

They agreed and continued driving with her and her child at the back seat of the jeep. After travelling a few more distance and covering some more dangerous hare-pin curves, they heard some noise from the back seat. One of them turned back to see what’s the source of the noise. With a startle, he saw the woman with a horrid look, with viscous blood oozing through the edges of her mouth, was eating her own child sitting at the back seat.

The police inquired about the mysterious case of the mother eating her own child and came up with some interesting findings. This hilly region was where some illegal activities like prostitution and woman trafficking used to take place during the night time. The child eating mother’s was a story fabricated by the criminals behind the illegal activities to stop the night time journeys through that area.  

Mar 9, 2011


Have you ever been teased by your mates? At least for the sake of fun? Well, in my case, teasing was a usual practice wherever I studied, wherever I worked and wherever I stayed. Proudly, I will say that I was the one with maximum number of nicknames among my friends during my school days. I won’t criticize my friends, for, I know, I also have certain shortcomings, which will motivate anyone to tease me.

But what is the need of these late reminiscences? Well, the reason is that, I am being teased by my mates at workplace. Well, you already have met them in the ridiculous story of the Slow Learner. The gang of the culprits includes the dynamic Creative Guy, the energetic Full Moon Girl, the thoughtful Workaholic and the fun-loving Practicing Clairvoyant. 

Let us scan through some of the funny conservations in which I was the victim. 

An eye test organized by Lawrence & Mayo is being held at the conference hall. Everybody is being called one by one to pass through the test. It is my turn now. I go upstairs, undertake the test, get it passed, come back happily with an ‘absolutely normal’ verdict. 

To the guys there, I announce out of excitement, 

“The lady Ophthalmologist said I am completely normal”.

It is the turn of the Creative Guy. He says,

“Did she really say like that? Hmmm…most possibly she might have meant only the case of your eyes!”

It took a few seconds to me to understand completely what he meant.

* * * * * * * * * * *

One of our colleagues in the team of the Talkative Techie moves to another wing of the company. So, we plan to have lunch from outside. But, at the time everybody is busy with some other things. The Creative Guy and Clairvoyant have other appointments. I have to go to the laptop service centre to get its complaints fixed (well, now you know the reason, why I was not reading your posts and commenting!)The full moon girl is in a tightened situation trying to manage everyone to get for the lunch. 

Finally, the Creative Guy, myself and the Workaholic agree to attend the lunch. The Full moon girl is happy and she calls the Talkative Techie pressing the extension numbers.

“Hi Talkative, somehow I managed everyone except the Clairvoyant for the lunch…”

She stops and asks the Creative Guy,

“Creative, do you have any special preference for today’s lunch?”

Creative thinks for some moments, and says, “hmm, I want something vegetarian!”

The full-moon girl conveys the same thing to Talkative over the phone; she now asks the Workaholic his preference and communicates over the phone what he likes.

She turns to the Clairvoyant and tells her,

“Clairvoyant…Clairvoyant…don’t worry! We will bring something for you after the lunch. What do you want?”

The Clairvoyant loved Black Forest.

Finally, the Full moon Girl turns to me and asks me,

“What do you want today?’

“Nothing heavy. I want something light,” I said.

The full moon girl said seriously to Talkative,

“And the Blogger guy also is coming. He wants nothing heavy. He prefers something light only. Can we offer him a tube light?”

* * * * * * * * * * *

I was continuously mocked for my awkward laughing style. One day, hearing me laughing like that, creating an innocent expression, the Practicing Clairvoyant loudly asked me, inviting everybody’s attention,

“Did you laugh the same from your childhood days also?”

My face turns red. Quickly I dart a blazing glance towards the Clairvoyant. She is terrified and says, “Well...I mean…nothing...err...hmm...just that…”

The terrified Practicing Clairvoyant later agreed to design a logo for my blog, which you can see on the header and in the Logo page.

* * * * * * * * * * *

And to know how the Workaholic teased me, follow my next posts. 
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