Oct 31, 2011

Not So Innocent Children

One second please…Let me just introspect. I am in an attempt to recollect something. I can get easily disturbed from my thoughts if you people keep on talking and chattering like this. I am trying to write some of my past experiences in order to make my blog alive. Yes, I remember, it was in my childhood days, more exactly, during my school days, and to be precise, I was then a fourth standard kid wearing knickers and backpack, which was full of text books, and additional story books, usually borrowed from classmates, and with a water bottle in hand. 

Water bottle! Yes! Water bottle is my today’s subject. I hope you also are well familiar with water bottles. My water bottle was a light green coloured one with a dumbest shape. Dumbest is the word immediately came to my mind when I attempt to describe it, because I don’t exactly remember its shape. 

One usual day with repetitive lessons, teacher’s punishment stick, orations, writing exercises, and yawns. The time is some more minutes to 4 PM. We are all set to respond to the final bell, to pick up bags, umbrellas, and water bottles.  I have already done with packing my text books in my bag. And the water bottle? Yes, it is there next to my right hand, so that I can pick it up easily in the process of running outside with enthusiasm. 

Someone sitting in my row suddenly complained, “teacher, I am not seeing my water bottle. It was here till a few minutes ago.”

Everybody’s attention turned to our side.  Teacher came and asked him to search everywhere, “You might have misplaced it somewhere accidentally,” she said.

“No teacher, I just have put it here itself. I remember it very much”, with a pathetic expression, he said.

His friend, M, suddenly poked his nose into the water bottle affair. “Let’s have a search through everybody’s bags. What if someone has stolen it? Let us start it with my own bag,” saying so, he undid his neatly packed bag, and showed us all that there is nothing suspicious.

He then checked the bag of the one who lost his water bottle, “Perhaps, you might have put it in the bag and then forgot,” he said, “but here either is not your bottle”. He finished checking that bag also.

“A water bottle? Where could it have gone? It must be somewhere beneath the seats”, I thought. Suddenly, M turned to me and said smiling mysteriously, “Now, let us check your bag. Show it me!”

I objected. ‘Why? I haven’t taken anyone’s bottle. Why Should I? I have my own one”. As one of the academically highly performing ones in the class, I cannot even be suspected for such a theft case, or that is my ego. But, M compellingly grabbed my bag, undid its straps carefully, and dramatically pulled out a colourful water bottle, the same one which was reported to be missing a few minutes before. 

I opened my mouth while shockingly staring at the water bottle. “Strange!” I thought. “How could have that water bottle came into my bag?” It was true that I had noticed an unusual bulge in my bag while waiting for the final bell. 

“You have stolen it,” M blamed me. Scared, I looked at the teacher seeking help. Here goes the dignity of the teacher’s pet. “Teacher, it was not me who put it there in my bag,” I was about to break into tears.

The teacher, who was a catholic nun, said with a smile. “God will reveal the truth one day”. She then left our row.

Years after, I heard about my friend M, that he was arrested by police, for trying to harm a small kid. When that little boy, knocked his door step seeking some water, M served him with a glassful of kerosene. Hearing that news, I suddenly thought about the old water bottle affair, and though with no proof, made some speculations on how that bottle came into my bag without my knowledge.

Oct 21, 2011

Kothazham, a Village for Fools

If no interesting personal affairs happened during a particular course of time to narrate in your writing space with the adornment of fiction, the best thing you can do to save yourself from Blogger’s block will be thinking about a general idea. In this chapter, I am also going to do a somewhat similar thing.

Like some countries or cultures have certain places with phantasmagoric characteristics, for instance Thomas Moore’s Utopia (it is fiction by the way, not a part of culture), my state Kerala has also one such a legendary place in its vast repository of myths. Have you ever thought about a village for all idiots to dwell in? Or what it is like if all people coming from this village are morons? Well, you might have heard of the legend of two villages, located close to each other, of which one is for all hard working people, whereas the other for all the lazy ones.

But now we are talking about a village for all fools. It is a telltale idea – somewhat subtle and imaginary – about a fictitious village in Kerala, a South Indian state. The village name is very hilarious, it is called Kothazham, and now don’t ask me what did this word mean! Because it is as meaningless as it seems. In Kerala, if someone asks you, ‘which Kothazham you belong to?’, that means you have committed some huge blunder. 

It was during one of my studentship day camps, I came across an old, dust-ridden copy of a book titled, Kothazham Tales. Though I had heard about the word Kothazham many often, I never knew that this place was an imaginary one, associated with foolishness. I want to share you some of the tales which I learned from that book. Perhaps, you might have heard the stories in many other formats with citations referring to various other sources.

One day a Kothazham guy, on his return journey after a trip to a distant place, became very thirsty and came across a water-well located in a forest. Greedily, he drank water from the well, and found that the water in it was sweet. Since he was dying for a drop of water all the way, his senses had tricked him to believe that the water was sweet, despite of the fact that the water was of normal taste. Well, you may call it a kind of Rashomon Effect.

On coming back to Kothazham, he informed his friends about the existence of such a magical well, and they all set out a journey to the forest with a long and strong rope. In the next scene, they were all trying to bring the well to their village by tying the rope around it and pulling with maximum force. 

In another tale, a Kothazham guy had to entangle the edge of a rope on top of a nearby tree. As the agrarian people usually did, he tied a small stone at one edge of the rope, and threw it aiming the top of the tree. The stone, got entangled on the branch of the tree, and by misfortune it was a dry branch. Since the Kothazham guy knew that the rope with stone would fall down with the fall of the dry branch sooner or later, he climbed the tree, undid the knots of the rope, and put it down. He climbed down from the tree, and again began to throw it onto the tree expecting that the next time it would got hooked at the right branch that he was aiming at. 

Oct 6, 2011

Love that Never Sets: Story Told by an Atheist

The Unsure Atheist, who made a ‘virtual appearance’ in one of the previous chapters of Vanity Moments, offered me a great help some days before during his busy working schedule. Here I think I need to explain two phrases, which apparently look meaningless. Here you go; this atheist is called unsure, because, I hope he will one day be back to belief in God after shedding the intimacy with atheism, which he currently undergoes. The second phrase is virtual appearance – that is because when he appeared in Job Time Gabs last time, it was in the form of office messenger chat texts.

“Buddy, I have something to tell you as a theme for your next blog post,” during the breaks, he said.

“Well, that’s a good idea, now I am really running out of subjects with substance,” happily I replied.

He said, “Well, now what I am going to tell is about love, precisely it is about my friend’s love”

I thought a quick frown flashed on my forehead, “Love?? No! That’s not my subject. I am not the one to write about love. Don’t think I am a loveless one. But, what I am trying to do are mysteries, humor, and the famous ‘O Henry twists’”.

He said, “Buddy, this one is a different tale. He was one of my best friends. But now I have deep hatred for him. He is a stupid, ignorant, idiotic fool.”

“This could be a bloggable thing,” I murmured unknowingly. “Well, tell me more?” featuring an interested expression, I said.

He said, “This is about my friend and a girl to whom he had a deep crush. We all had our secondary school days together. At that time, when he revealed to us about the deep love that he carries in his heart, we all supported him. It was me who told him to go straightly to express his affection to her,” 

“Unsure Atheist knows how to write a blog. He tells his story exactly the way I write,” curiously thinking so, I implored him to proceed.

“My friend, this hero of my tale, I pity myself for calling him using the word hero, is a scatterbrained, and fainthearted guy. With fear and shiver, he approached her and somehow presented that he loved her,” the Unsure Atheist paused.

Obviously irritated by his lack of self-confidence, she said, “But, I’m already in love with some other one”

The story is becoming curious. The Atheist continued, 

“What she told was not false. She was actually in love with some other one. So, my friend withdrew himself from the race for love. But after some months the girl dumped the other one,” he said.

“Oh, then?” I used a motivating figure of speech to encourage the story teller.

“Then, my friend went to another state to study business management. She also joined the same school for the same course. But, this time she had another lover,” the Atheist went on.

I nodded.

“But after a few months long love, she ditched him also and started dating another one. This time it was a Tamil boy, who became the victim of the clutches of her love”, he said, gnashing his teeth.

Watching my face which lacked expressions, he proceeded.

“After the course, she got married to the Tamil boy.” 

“So, that’s how the story ended?” eagerly I asked.

“No! After two or three months long married life, she divorced him,” the Atheist said calmly. 

Britney Spears was quicker in identifying her wrong choice and quickest in decision. She took only one night to find that the one she married was not the right partner for her life.

Inquiringly I looked at him.

He said, “Buddy, after these all matters, my dim-wit, good-for-nothing, rattle-pated friend still followed her. He called her and said that he wanted to marry her. And this time she accepted his proposal.”

“So, what’s next?” I wanted to end the story somehow.

“We all called him and asked him to withdraw from his decision. But, he is all set to marry her. Buddy, this is the story. See, I have deep hatred for him. He is so foolish and dull,”

In the end of the conversation, I thanked him for giving me another thread.
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