Add to Technorati Favorites

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Finger "chips".... The ring finger

It was a normal sunny school day. Sharan was in his junior high school on THAT day. The day when the Fall took place. Just like how he had travelled to school all these years he took his red atlas bike (he had insisted on a gear changing one, but it was his uncle, Gayathri's second brother Keshav who had insisted on that one. Maybe that was why the Fall happened. Luck. After what Keshav had done, and as Sharan grew he knew his uncle's true colours, which made him to think like that.) His bag loaded with books, his favourite books, he set off to school, the same old 3 km route, which he had traversed all those four years. The route itself was like life , full of changing scenarios, a residential apartment from where he starts. Next stop: a below "middle class" locality, then the bustling urban heart of the city main road, a slum where people squatted on the road, whilst their children did their "morning jobs" alongside stray dogs searching for a treaure amid the rubbish accumulated along the sides of the road. Then came a fork to the left leading all the way to the hills to the north-west, a highly acclaimed religious centre, a temple atop the hill top. Ahead of the fork was a car show room and a petrol bunk. From the fork the road took a broad turn. The turn contained the showroom and the petrol bunk. The ill-fated turn. From where Sharan's life will take a turn. Turning his peacful sleep into nightmares. Turning confidence into self-doubt and the feeling of being a loser. Few shops ahead on the straight road. Than turn left. Few more shops and there lies his school. He loved his school. He was a different kid. He loved almost everybody. All his teachers. He admired them. He wanted to be a teacher one day. As well as a scientist. He had eclectic tastes. He wanted to know a lot of things. Lot of them all of them. On the way as he passed the slum he caught up with a class mate of his. They chatted as they pedalled. Ahead. Oblivious of what lay ahead. What strange turns the peaceful morning is going to take on the turn where the petrol bunk lay. They passed the fork on left and whizzed past the show room. Time took a slow motion. What happened next was so sudden so horrifying that would shake him out of his sleep for the next few days. Would make him horrified behind the wheels of his car which his family would buy after two years.


Sharan's front wheel struck the side of a moped which had lost control in front of him screeching to the side of the road. And the driver balanced himself and took off as if nothing had happened. He didn't know unknowingly what he had done behind him. He receded to a dot as he drove down the road. Meanwhile, the lorry that had been coming down the road raced past the bend. Sharan lost his balance. And fell down. Down as he went. A lorry on the opposite side he saw it racing down. He fell along with his cycle. Down they went together as his horrified friend looked helplessly those seconds of imminent disaster. Sharan fell along with his cycle as the lorry whizzed passed. rrrrrrrrr... right over hishead. Splattering his brains. Red splats. Blobs all over the highway.

Vrooooommm... screech.... splat! one moment alive and the next under the wheels of a speeding lorry.

Sharan woke up. Sweat beading on his brow. There! The nightmare was running again in his head. It was like a superhit movie. Running non-stop for several days. On-demand from the audience. A horror movie. His right ring finger pained from the surgery that had been performed the previous day. It had been "set right" by using a wire. The docter said it would be "alright" in a month when the wire would be removed. But the effects of the incident will linger on as a bitter taste in his mouth forever.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bheegi bheegi...

Today was a better day compared to yesterday. Your day. The day of the diary. The emptiness of yesterday transformed into wisps of white clouds bringing in hope. Rain of hope. Raining down on the lush green fields with crops ready for harvest. Harvesting of the past. Yet leaving out the roots underneath the grounds. Roots of the past. Readying for the next cropping. Cropping of the new seedings of hope again. Writing this co incidentally i hear the song.... Bheegi bheegi from gangster literally translated like this (i find this funny!!)
Wet, everything wet,
the damp night
damp memories,
damp happenings
look at your moist eyes...
Today was the day of joy. Of endless television viewing. Of never ending chitter chatter of the small boys who play cricket down the street disturbing the afternoon nappers. Of the moments of silence while everyone is out. Of the appetising "outside" food. Black forest cake and samosas. Of the dinner : a ladle of baby corn soup with veggies. The warm yet wet turned cool air in the evenings blew off the flames of despair dancing and prancing bout from yesterday's emotional power cut. Today I finished Arundhati Roy's "The god of small things"... evident here in my language ain't it diary. Its had its effect. Of the strange swirl of Kerala in the shimmering backwaters of my memories. All encased complete with the scents and sights. Of the coconut oil, and coconut tree canopies overlooking the murky waters, the plantain chips fried with the scent of burnt wood in the stove and the yellow chips with the black seed in its centre, the ripe mangoes whose strands lodged between two teeth and the lone boatsman down the waterways...
Tomorrow starts another Monday. Mondays have always been powerful days. Children rushing to school for a new week (some with a "Oh no. Dreaded Monday" on their minds), Offices opening well in advance, Start of a new week. The Som war starts...
Sharan's father worked in a private firm, which transferred him to different places all over India. Everthing has its advantages and disadvantages. Repeated transfers made him not develop friends relationships, didn't make him crawl out of his crabby shell. But just like the needle of an injection it administered bitter medicine, for good. Good things to happen. He visited many places, saw different people, customs, cultures. Observed them, Silently. Not asking, not interrupting. For he was shy. Shy of the unknown force which would gobble him up if he spoke. He sang once in the Republic day celebrations in the fifth place they where transferred to. A remote coastal village in Tamil nadu. To be there immediately after experiencing a big city like Howrah in Bengal would have been a culture jolt to some one who travelled less. But here he was for the fifth time. pat! the transfer order came. Pack your bags. And they were here. He was there singing in the middle of the group. Why he was in the middle just before the microphone? A question he cannot answer till date. Was he there because he sang well? or was it because he was the blue chakra in the middle of the national flag formation they had made? or was it just pure randomness. Whatever. Whether people listened or not, he sang. He believed he sang well. Not the higher ranges though. he was incapable of shouting. The plain shouting. The shouting you call people across the street. The shouting people use to call vegetable vendors, people selling ripe bananas yellow, green and the less common red. shouts for the keerai karan ( the spinach vendor) , shouts children emit when the ice cream cart comes with the never ending bell... ting ting... He didnt know why! He believed he wasn't here for shouting at anybody. His more than less normal anger levels were evidence to that. Bheegi bheegi... he hummed one of his favourite numbers... sleep engulfing him. Unknown to him what lay ahead of him. Had he known would he have slept?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Stunned with suprise!!!

He continued writing.
... This seems to be very lucky for me, writing into you, diary!! He just called me on the phone, five minutes back. My friend called me after what happened yesterday!! Well since I didnt start writing yesterday I am not telling you what happened. But it IS unfortunate that I got the nerve to start writing my "memoirs" on this dull day, dull as a rusty old pipe lacking its lustre. Well as I was finishing writing into you this afternoon, he just called. The uncomfortable silence which reigns after a rift between friends ran parallely, though both of us talked. I felt my voice and demeanour over the phone betrayed my uneasiness, spoke volumes how I had lost the affection I had for him "once upon a time". On the other side I felt his voice too, sounding not under any emotional pressure. Maybe he was under it , maybe not. I never had the power of "knowing" what the other felt. This one quality he had. That was fabulous. Most of the time he was right about what was going inside the person opposite him. But that was "before". Now that "tables have turned" to my utter surprise once he was utterly wrong bout what was goin inside me... accused me of something cheap... but i didn't get angry.. as usual.. it is as if i dunno how to get angry... u'll notice that diary as i write to you..."
Sharan was the second child the Iyers had, Mr. and Mrs. Jagan Iyer. His elder sister, "akka" that's how they call their elder sister in South Indian dialect of tamil, two years elder to him they shared a wonderful bond of the bro-sis magic as they grew up. Sharan and Kamali both where shy children, courtesy their father. They didn't chitter chatter like other children did, they were normal kids but shy very shy. Come relatives or visitors, they withdrew immediately into their rooms after the initial exchange of feeble greetings, like terrified crabs into their shells concealing their soft bodies. Though Gayathri did tell them tales of how talkative Kamali was when she was very young, apparently she started the "withdrawal" with her brother's first steps, and he followed suit. There were several fables about their childhood their mother used to remenisce even as they grew up, like "education has no 'boundaries'", "the locked in; key out", "the saga of the how rathna's foot got into the rasam", "the shitty train" and more others. Well, these were the names Sharan had given the incidents, keeping them to himself. Inside, Sharan was a fun-loving boy, the one who hollers into the night to wake up people for fun, playing pranks, singing loud when he poured the warm water over him as he bathed and always with a mischievious smile plastered over his face, his inner face. The exterior was just SHY. He wondered how difficult he found even to ask for something in shops, as simple as a packet of chips!! He got over it gradually, not fully though. Maybe that is why he found an outlet into his diary. Though life was funny, entertaining and good, he did still harbour dark incidents in his mind. Like the " Behind the wheels or under them?", " The war within", or the "unfotunate joke". It wasn't exactly that time was hostile towards him or he was the "most unfortunate wretched mortal" on earth. But like every human did, he had his share of bad experiences too.

Try something big and bold today -- you'll make a great impression! Your friends will never see it coming, and it's a good idea to keep them on their toes. That big smile just can't be faked!

Enter... The monk

Aug 11, 3:15
Hi diary!!! Today's been one of those dull, sleepy. monotonous days which never seem to pass. Can't forget "those things" which happened, yet today and those days are coming around a full circle. And I am coming to terms with it. Not exactly the "everybody is happy" way (Even I am not quite very happy as things are turning out. But then you gotta get going with things long over...). Nothing worthwhile happened today jus a bit of "edge of the seat" finish by Matthew Reilly in his "Seven ancient wonders". Yes thing of note is this: Today I start writing, to you my diary, finally!!! (It needed "The god of small things" by Arundhati Roy, "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho , two years of procastination to write and "those feelings of unrest , bitter yet sweet 'memories' (can say that!!).......
wrote "the Monk". He had travelled another year from the age 20 that july. Sharan (that's his name) was easily the boy next door. He was tall 6 feet 1 inch and still growing... Average build, chestnut coloured skin. One of the typical South Indian Iyer boy types. He looked straight out from a colony of book-worms in the muddy slosh of the SouthIndian University where he studied. His mother, Gayathri, a typical Iyer mother, was the ideal mother, lots of affection and love, the PDA(Publlic displays of affection, though not artificial, but causing Sharan to give his sheepish grin in public), the lots of ghee(melted butter) in everything from the steamy hot dosas, idlis and not to forget two heaped spoonfuls in his lunch of rice and accompaniments and most of all the unlimited love for her children, Sharan was very lucky to be blessed with such a mom and he felt so too. Mr. Jagan , Sharan's father, was just the same as his mother had lots of love for his children but he had in him something damn opposite to the PDA syndrome. He never displayed out the emotions and feelings for his dear ones around. Sharan realised that as he grew up and found those instances exceedingly funny when his dad ought to have shown some feelings such as birthdays and anniversaries. The man's eyes spoke volumes about the love he had for each one of them yet his manner was formal, a "its your birthday and i wish 'happy birthday' " . period. Yet Sharan understood the reason behind it too. Sharan's dearest friend, philosopher, guide and yet the one with whom he fought, quarelled , argued, waged cold wars with was his elder sister Kamali, two years elder to him. They understood each other perfectly. She even got his "advice" which he offered her on phone, as she was 300 kms away in the hilly plateau region of hemangiru in the neighbouring state of Karnataka.

After completing his undergraduation with a month to spare for his joining the new job he had qualified for, Sharan began writing into his diary, his first page written, contained nothing interesting he felt. Who knows what may become of it, and him tomorrow!!