Saturday, March 24, 2007

Go Springboks Go

Angane pavanaayi shavamaayi.enthokke bahalamaayirunnu.malappuram kaththi,machine gun,bomb,olakkede moodu.. This memorable dialogue by Thilakan in Nadodikattu best describes the reaction that came to my mind this morning around 2:30 am while the last rites were being performed at Port of Spain.

India lost to Sri Lanka yesterday, putting to an end the intricate Net run Rate calculations all diehard supporters of the team were indulging in.

However , we can still afford to smile. This was best exemplified by this sms message on Asianet Plus . "Bermuda ki Jai" , went the message. The sender's name ? Dravid.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Series of Events

Madhavan was now at the head of the checkout queue in the supermarket. He fidgeted, praying the checkout clerk would not get suspicious. His plans were set. He had already rented a room in the nearby hotel. Go back there, have a heavy dinner and then the sleeping pills mixed with the vodka should do the trick. Pity that he, the local bank manager, would need to end his life this way. But there was no other way. He had only one regret - he would not be able to help that young lady, now what was her name, yes Priya. She really needed the loan for her husband's treatment. He had decided to sanction it, but with him gone now, there was no chance she would get it in time. Oh well, everyone had their own problems. His own was he had used the bank's money to dabble in shares. The auditor was coming for a surprise check tomorrow and there was no way he could escape detection.

He laid down the two bottles of sleeping pills on the counter. The clerk looked startled and asked, with a smile,"Not planning a suicide, are we?". Madhavan laughed, real loud. The laughter sounded fake even to his own ears.


Gopal looked up, startled. The man standing in front of him in the queue had suddenly laughed.What an insane laugh it was too. Sent a chill crawling up his spine. Looked a respectable gent.Oh Well , he had enough problems of his own, without enquiring into why others would laugh out loud suddenly.

But at last , it looked like his own problems were coming to an end. He had lent a considerable amount of money to his old classmate , Priya. She had urgently needed it for her husband Suresh's treatment. The only problem was , the money had not been his in the first place. It belonged to the local goonda Mahesh. And now Mahesh wanted the money back. It had really looked curtains for Gopal , because he knew there was no way Priya could somehow get him the money. And God knew, he couldnt raise any himself. And just when things had started looking really dark for him , he had got the call from Priya. She had succeeded in getting the loan from the bank. Gopal had sent a silent prayer of thanks to the unknown benefactor, the bank manager.

"Julie...I love you"...His mobile was ringing. Gopal let it ring for sometime so he could listen to his favourite tune.


"Julie...I love you". Ajit was startled. The mobile phone of the man standing ahead of him in the queue was ringing. Set so loud too. Ajit screwed his nose in disgust. Why wouldnt the guy pick up the phone. Ajit's nerves were all jangled. They usually were just before a job. This wasnt usually how he started out. But he had had to come to the supermarket because he had forgotten his gloves. And he was nothing if not thorough.

Ajit quickly paid for the gloves and hurried out of the supermarket. As he turned the corner , he bumped into a lady. His right hand automatically went towards the gun hidden in his inner jacket pocket. He looked up. She had a pretty face. He calmed down. "Excuse me madam", Ajit asked, "can you tell me which way is the bank?"


Priya was humming a song as she walked home. There was a spring to her step which had not been there for some weeks now. The bank manager, Madhavan, had saved her. She would now be able to repay her dear friend Gopal. At last it looked like all her problems were solved.

As she turned the corner, someone bumped into her. She staggered back, her breath knocked out. She looked up. The man who had bumped into her was looking at her. He had a furtive look. "Excuse me madam", he asked her, "can you tell me which way is the bank?". "Take the next left , the bank is the second building on the right", Priya told him. As he hurried along , Priya called after him ,"But it will be closed now." She could have sworn his mouth opened in a grim smile. She suddenly felt chilly. Priya looked around. There was no one nearby. It was getting late. Priya hurried towards home, where Suresh was waiting for her. She smiled as she thought of how he would react when he heard the good news.


Madhavan reached his hotel room, after a long walk.He had wanted to work up an appetite for his last meal. The chicken biriyani he had ordered on the way up smelt delicious. He quickly gobbled it up. "And now for dessert", he smiled to himself. He emptied both bottles of sleeping pills into the bottle of vodka, mixed himself a drink. He switched on the TV. No point in dying an uninformed man. The local TV channel was on. There was a "Breaking News" banner on the screen. He turned on the volume. The announcer was breathlessly blurting out the news,"There has been a burglary at the local bank. The whole bank building has been gutted by a fire believed by the police to have been started by the burglar to destroy any clues." Madhavan watched fascinated as the camera veered to the smouldering remains of the bank. His bank. But but, he realized if the bank had been destroyed it means, the money would be gone too. All of it. So how could the auditor tell if any money had been missing before the robbery.He was saved. The glass of vodka remained in his hand, untasted.

"Thank you God," Madhavan prayed fervently, tears of joy streaming down his face."This was the only chance I needed. I will never do anything wrong again"

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A New Hope

Sriram looked up at the ceiling for the nth time. The noisy fan was whirring overhead. It was his fifth day at the hospital. He had been admitted there after being diagonised with cancer. How slowly the days had seemed to pass.He remembered the day he was admitted like it had happened just an hour back. "You are too young to die", the beaming nurse had said in a reassuring voice. She had a calm ,competent manner, with a lovely face to boot. "I have nothing left to live for", he had almost corrected her.

The same nurse (he had found out her name was Chitra) used to come in every morning around 11, giving him his morning round of medicines. And Chitra always used to drop into his room in the evenings, right before her shift ended. She always had a smile on her lips.And a lively manner. He never could make out how fast the time flew when she was with him. In another life, another time, he might almost have fallen in love with her.Almost , but not quite , he thought bitterly. The sound of the rain falling gently outside lulled him to sleep.

When Sriram woke up the next morning, the sun was already out. And smiling at him from the window ledge was a flower, which had not been there the previous night. He looked closely. There was some soil on the window ledge, and there the lone flower had sprouted, looking like a palm tree in the desert. Glistening with the water from the rain , swaying against the wind, raising its little head up to the Sun, the flower seemed to Sriram to be a beacon of hope. For the first time in days, he looked forward to the rest of the day.

Chitra came and was surprised to see Sriram in a jovial mood. He was sharing jokes, smiling away like one without a care in the world. And she was glad, for she had come to love this morose looking young man. She loved him more now that he had obviously decided not to give up without a fight. With each passing day, Sriram regained his strength, waiting eagerly for when Chitra would come again.

Days passed. And then one day , when Sriram woke up, the sight that greeted his stunned eyes chilled his marrow. For, the flower was no longer there. The whole window ledge was squeaky clean. Like a door shutting out the light, he felt all hope , all prayers , draining out of him. Like the drowning man clutching at the straw only to find it no longer there, he waited like the condemned man for the door to open and bring him his death.

The door opened. Chitra was there holding a paper in her hand. He looked at her, without speaking. He nodded dumbly, towards the window ledge. She saw the flower gone, came over and squeezed his hand."Sriram", she said, "We just found out. The cancer you have got is completely benign. Its curable. Some mixup with the lab results", she continued , but he was too dizzy to hear. There was a roaring sound in his ears.

He felt elated, on top of the world. It seemed almost as if the flower had sacrificed itself, so he might live. It was absurd , of course, but what was logic or reason to a dying man who had just been given a fresh lease of life. Like a mad man, willing to risk his all on one throw of dice ,Sriram grabbed both hands of Chitra in his own. "Will you be mine?" , he asked her. Chitra was silent, but the twinkle in her eyes gave him the answer he wanted to hear.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Cricket Lovely Cricket

Nike just did it ! Its first ever cricket ad - a smash hit , featuring all that is beautiful about how the game is played in India. And talk about timing - two weeks before the World Cup starts.

Took me some time to get the actual meaning of the lyrics , but the Konkani sounds just beautiful. Check out the ad (for those who were on another planet the last week and may just have missed this piece of magic)

Lyrics (Translated from Konkani):

'Wait, partner, wait
First let me play
If you don't play, I'll keep chasing you all day
Our game is like this only
Where we have no time to think
It is the game of cat and mouse
That I have begun to love
And in the falling running breaking
My destiny is entwined'

p.s : I know the transalation is nowhere as beautiful as the original lyrics. If anyone knows the actual Konkani words used in the ad, please post it in the comments.

Dont Think Dont Think

The Idle mind is your worst enemy, thinking pitiful thoughts
Insidious it is , breaking you from within, making you nought
Just one way to escape , be busy, no time to think
Leisure is a fool's choice, only fools stand and blink

Dont lose a moment, dont worry about the Why and the How
Every minute is precious, the best of your life starts Now
Dont pine over your losses, time spent pining is lost forever
Get up , start moving,you must realize its now or never

Life will hand you lemons, remember it was never fair
No use complaining, all you got was your due share
You have your chance, do not sit and on failures dwell
Like the wise man said, the best revenge is to live well

The past is past, thinking about its not gonna help
Seize the moment, swallow all your sorrows in one gulp
Dont blame Destiny , Its not Karma, no such thing as Fate
Because Life is What you make it, the sooner you realize the better mate

Friday, March 02, 2007

A Story Without A Title

It was so dark, Chandran couldnt see anything. He felt suffocated, short of breath. "This too shall pass", he told himself determinedly, gritting his teeth. This saying usually used to comfort him, but not this time. He still felt uneasy, butterflies in his stomach. He had heard that thinking pleasant thoughts relaxed the body and mind. Might as well give it a shot. He had nothing to lose anyway.

He thought of Chandni, in the village they had grown up together. He could see in his mind's eye the bubbly twelve year old , running out to meet him, holding his hands and leading him into the house. They had always been made for each other. She was always the little one, looking upto him in wonder. He would always be doting on her every word. They had been what the elderly people in the village called the Ideal Couple.

They had grown up, she into a lovely young lady, he into a handsome young man. The love they shared had only grown stronger. They really made a most attractive couple. And they were to get married next month. Alas, it was not going to be. "The best laid plans of mice and men" sprang to his mind. He had always been good at quoting others.

He had loved her so much he would do almost anything for her. And he had. Oh why had he ever done what he did. The lure of quick money could be his only excuse.

He could almost see Chandni now, alone in their house ,waiting for the call that would never come...

"Ready Chandran?", asked the jailer.

"Ready Sir", Chandran replied.

At the jailer's nod, the hangman pressed the lever. Chandran's body plunged down into the dark , empty space below.

"He is dead alright", said the jail doctor, examining the body after the mandatory 10 minute wait.