Apr 26, 2011

The Man with the Piggy Face

On Easter day, when the Writing Pro, who has been mentioned in the cryptic story of the ruined house, visited Cochin with his photographer friend from Bihar, I was also asked to accompany, to help them with my knowledge of the local areas in the process of collecting beautiful colonial visuals of Fort Cochin. Delighted of having an easy Sunday evening ride through the otherwise crowded areas, I enthusiastically rode my ‘sincere bike’ with ease, singing to myself a tune which I found melodious.

Seeing a petrol bunk at side, I immediately thought of my bike’s decreasing fuel level, and thus straightly rushed towards the staff there and asked him to add some fuel.

“How many kilometers from here to Fort Cochin?,” I inquired pretending to be a first time visitor of the place, while he poured petrol to my fuel tank.

Petrol BunkIt was at this juncture, this particular person, with a familiar face and with a friendly smile approached me in a sudden as if he was appeared from nowhere! With a sociable tap on my shoulder, he asked me, with no introduction, or even without an excuse-me, some money; ten rupees exactly.

I could’nt say ‘no’, at least for some seconds, because his smile was so friendly and convincing. Ten rupee is not a big amount, how many rupee notes had I burnt in smokes and how much money had I spent for buying worthless fried junk items, I thought.

While trying to reach for my wallet at back pocket, I asked him, ‘why do you want money? Just ten rupees? What is the urgent need?’

He murmured and tried to give me some vague answers, like, ‘it is urgent,”, “they are fined” and he even said, “he has no time to explain why he wants money”.

I raised my head and suddenly looked at his face, and I noticed curiously that with the clean shaven appearance, his face almost looked like that of a fully grown swine.

I questioned him, “I don’t understand? Why do you want money? And in what way I am bound to give you money?”

“Sir, we are law college students and we are penalized. Just give me rupees ten,” he pleaded but without losing his friendly charm.

“Law college student? An aged one like you?” I didn’t ask. That was my soliloquy.

Since he said ‘we’, I looked around him to see the rest of the gang, but with no success. What I saw was a car parked at a distance close to the air-filling machine. In the car, I saw a woman and a small child. In front of the car, a gentleman was giving instructions to the staff at the pump to fill up the tyres.

Curiously I saw, all those people were keenly watching me. Did that woman show some gestures?

I looked again and she again said me secretively using gestures, “don’t give him money”.

The piggy faced man asked me again about giving him what he asked.

I smiled and said, “No man, no money. I am also a penniless one just like you,” and drove my bike away.

I am thinking about closing this post with a typical Chandrika Shubham style of question regarding the person’s identity.

But, my inherent curious mindset urges me to fill the missing links using my own intellect.

JeremyHere is my salute to the master of deductions, Guruji Mr. Sherlock Holmes, and let me start my conclusions.

The piggy faced man is a dependent of the couple in the car. From the woman’s close resemblance to the man, what I deduce is that they are siblings. (and of course, her face was not swine like).

The pseudo law college student is a good for nothing guy, he earns nothing, but spends lavishly.

I seriously suspect that he asked his sister some money for a cigarette or some refreshments, (cigarette is more likely, because he asked me ten rupee). Evidently, she might have denied his request.

He wanted to revenge them and wanted to make them feel humiliated. If her brother begs for small amounts of money at the street, it would indeed bring shame to the family.

So, he approached the first simpleton he met on the street, and asked money.

Though initially persuaded, later when I proved myself not a simpleton, contrary to my common appearance, the curtain falls, and the story comes to an end.

The title is the result of a fruitless attempt to imitate the way the ever green Sherlock Holmes tales were titled.

In Last Picture: Actor Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes.

Apr 21, 2011

The Rashomon Effect

Happy News!! I have moved to www.vanitymoments.com

If you are not knowledgeable in world classic films of the yesteryears, there is little possibility for you to understand about Rashomon Effect. It is the effect of the subjectivity of perception on recollection, by which observers of an event are able to produce substantially different but equally plausible accounts of it, so defines Wikipedia. In simple terms, it is the state in which two or more people, who have gone through the same situation, giving different and sometimes contradictory accounts of the individual experience. The term is coined after the Japanese classic movie ‘Rashomon’ (1950), directed by the ace film maker Akira Kurosawa.

Machiko Kyō in RashomonNow let me invite you to my own day-to-day affairs to see how the Rashomon Effect marked a record in my life. Before proceeding, I strongly advise you to just scan the story of a natural food corner which I found in my new city. In that article, I had described, how tastily was I felt the variety of vegetarian food provided by the friendly supplier there. 

I received a lot of enquiries regarding the location of the food corner from my net buddies as well as from the office mates. One evening, while I was sitting in the food corner with my mate X-EN-Tric, I got a call from the Creative Guy, my colleague whom you have met in the posts tagged under the label Workplace Affairs. He wanted to come to the food corner with his dear wife, as they were en route to home after the routine city jaunt. 

“Is this a comfortable place for women?,” he inquired and I replied in the affirmative.
Toshirō Mifune and Machiko Kyō in Rashomon

Within the lapse of a few seconds, the Creative Guy appeared at the entrance of the eatery accompanied by his wife (now what’s her name? Ok! The Creative Girl!). I saw sparkle in their eyes; both of them are with much hopes and dreams about the wonderful dinner they are going to have, I thought.

The Creative Guy and the Girl chose a table at the corner, which they found as comfortable, and with smiles on faces, they ordered something that they felt appealing. Sitting at our table, we watched them, and especially I was anxious to know the result of the food which I recommended. 

I watched the changing expression of the Creative Guy with each bite. He was struggling really hard to swallow the food. Creative Girl also did not find the food satisfactory, which I could read from the way she tried to eat the Chapati with several gulps of water. 

With a pathetic expression, the Creative Guy looked at me and said shaking his head,

Akira Kurosawa at work“Nice food, really tasty!”. 

Let’s examine why this difference in experience happened. In the first phase, a person that is myself, who daily eats from the hotels, which supplies junk foods, goes to a new place in the city that provides natural food and finds the food there very tasty. Whereas in the second phase, a person, the Creative Guy, who daily eats the home-made food, goes to the same place, recommended by a person like me, who felt this place entertaining, and finds the food does not offer that much variety.

What happened was the difference in perception. And thus, the Rashomon Effect is proved correct.

In pictures: Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon (1950).
In last picture: Director Akira Kurosawa at work.

Apr 17, 2011

Call from the Dead

What would be your reaction if you receive a phone call on a fine morning from someone who was supposed to have died during an earlier period of time? You would be shocked with a shiver or you would at least go unconscious, wouldn’t you? Sometimes, a hilarious smile might sprout at the tips of your lips from the simple thought of some friends who are trying to give your feeble heart a chill in the morning. But, whatever be the fiction, the same was the experience that one of my good friends faced a few days before.

You know him by the name Ronnie Raj; he was the one who accompanied me while I was on my partly unwilling visits to the dirtiest bar in my previous city as described in my nostalgic post. You have also met him as a seeker of stories in the heavily applauded (?) Girl on Crutches

At the same bar, we had met one person, Sanand, who turned out to be a man with great knowledge and experience in arts, films, drama, writing, music, etc. Though a multi talented person, his growth was hindered only by his habit of non-stop drinking. 

One day (quite in recent times, after my shift to this new city), I happened to hear that sad news from Ronnie Raj – Sanand’s death. The death happened in night, when he was hit by a speeding car, while he was on his wobbly walk after the routine visit to the bar. A common friend of Ronnie Raj and Sanand found him in an unconscious state, and though he was admitted in the hospital, his life was not saved, so was I informed by Ronnie Raj. 

One day Ronnie Raj called me and informed with no introduction, in his usual style,

“Buddy, today morning I got a call from Sanand!”

“What?” I clutched on furniture in order to save myself from collapsing, “Wasn’t he…dead?”

“Yes, I was about to delete his number, thinking that I might not need his number any more. So when I saw a blinking ‘Sanand Calling’ on my mobile display, you could naturally guess my excitement”, he said.

Since he couldn’t hear any response from the other side of the phone except some agitated heavy breathing sound, he continued,

“It was a wrong information, which I received from our common friend. Sanad was hit by a vehicle and was unconscious, but he was not dead. Now back to life with added strength, that’s all.”

I had almost the same experience during my college days. At school I had two friends with the same name, Amal. One died in an accident when I joined college. His death shook my heart and I caught fever for two days. I shared my sadness to another friend who was with us during the school days. 

“Amal died?” he had difficulty in believing me.

One day when he went to shopping, he met Amal on the way. Surprisingly he asked,

“Amal, aren’t you dead?”

Later he came back and happily said, “buddy, don’t worry, Amal is not dead. I saw him and talked to him”.

“Which Amal you met? The tall one?”

“Yeah, Amal was tall, don’t you remember?” 

“Oh,” I said, “the dead Amal was the smaller one, who sat with me in the front bench”

After a few seconds silence, with a slight embarrassment, he said,

“Oh, I don’t remember that Amal”.

Apr 8, 2011

A Collage of Gifts, Surprises and Awards

It looks like that this fleeting week, which followed the week in which Team India won the Cricket World Cup after 28 years long wait, had so many surprises and fun in store for me. Many things happened during this week, which either brought bundles of joy or gave me jolting surprises. I’m writing this post during the late hours of my birthday, and I hopelessly wish that if I had started writing it a bit earlier, I could have made it my birthday post, perhaps with the title, 'The Sweetest Birthday I Ever Had’. But, thinking again, I convince myself, and decide, no, no more birthday posts again! I had already an entry on the ‘Most Memorable Birthday’, which I posted in the beginning stages of this blog, but written even before the starting of it, in the format of an e-mail, which was sent to a few selected friends at that time. And of course, we always have a special affinity towards the firsts in our life. So, no birthday posts again!

And another positive thing is that, my intuitive ability level seems to be slightly increasing. Two days before, while wandering through the pages of my blog aimlessly, I sadly thought, it is a long time since I got a friendship tag or friendship award from my blogger buddies. I felt that it is the time for one; somebody is already on the way to reach my blog with a rejoicing notification that I have been awarded a wonderful award. My intuition turned true the next day. It was an Arizona Blogger, Deirdra Eden-Coppel, who visited me and informed that I have been awarded the Creative Blogger Award. When I visited her back, what I saw was perhaps the most creative blog of the entire blogosphere; you can visit it here. Within hours, another notification also had flown in to my blog informing that I was awarded the Versatile Blogger award. This time it was Irfanuddin, the Bihari Blogger, with whom most of you are well familiar through his Apniboli. I take this opportunity to thank both Deirdra and Irfanuddin. You can find the awards in my 'Friendship Awards' page.

So, let me go back to the story of my birthday. I am a late sleeper and last night when the clock struck 12 'O clock, my friend X-EN-Tric greeted me with the first birthday wish of this year, without even letting me for a satisfactory shock. Before taking up that surprise, he startled me once again by gifting a beautiful Louis Charron pen. 

When reached the office in the morning, the situation was also not different. My teammates surprised me with an animated greeting card – that they had prepared the day before, by making me away from my seat for a while – which eventually got circulated among all the people in the office. This time, you also have something to be delighted, because, the theme of this greeting card was Vanity Moments itself! By making the entire people in my office visiting my blog, you will also get some free page visits! Seeing my interest in fitness maintaining, my friends gifted me a pair of jogging suit for the gymnasium.

I will post the b’day card here to let you know the creative talents of my team mates, (well, you know them all through the stories of the Slow Learner and the Teasers). If you feel that my team mates have written something which I don’t deserve, please forget it. Because, you know this blog is meant for that purpose only, to show off!


PS: I successfully posted this article before the end of April 7, which makes it my birthday post.
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