Monday, October 31, 2005

The Last Days...

Why did life have to be so tough??? The best part of my american life was the people i met, befriended and who endeared to me in ways I will never ever forget for a lifetime. The last few days i have experienced a happiness that found its way to finishing my packing, days in advance accompanied by the melancholic hues of parting. Friday night, I went for my last malayalam film, ever in LA - Bharathchandran I.P.S with my juniors...they remarked that going for a movie will never be the same again without me - all I could tell them was thanks for accompanying me for even the most horrendous of movies and never complaining for wasting their money even if the movie turned out bad. Saturday night, I went to the home and the people whose affection, simplicity and friendship I will never ever again find emulated in my life. My life in LA began 3 1/2 years back from their home...Babuettan and Binduchechi and their three children Sachin, Sidhu and most of all Sethu who were undoubtedly my best friends here. On the way, I talked to Bipin Sadhwani, I told him how I couldnot have an excuse for not being at his wedding now...we talked a lot until suddenly the car ahead of me sudden-braked, I saw it early and braked too, my tires screeched, but the van behind me was late, and he swerved to the next lane to avoid hitting was a close call. Bipin wudnt talk to me after that and hung up...I thought fondly of my tempestuous relationship with him but then we were part of some great adventures too.

Babuettan and Binduchechi were happy for me, but their faces couldnt hide the sadness. To the kids, I tried my level best to tell them in all the simple words I could muster that their Jiby Uncle was leaving, but it wasnt of any use. They were cheerful as always, telling me they would see me in India...I am sure the kids will ask about me for a few days and like classmates they leave behind at an old school would forget me as a good memory of the past. Sethu, only 1 1/2 when I first landed here, and the light of my existence, I hugged him tightly, watched Tarzan with him, quarrelled with him - called him a baby for a last time, oh he is such a smart aleck now with a ready tongue, kissed and pinched his chubby cheeks a hundred times, tried telling him I would miss him and all he said was, he would be a big boy when I saw him next.... I felt my eyes welling up then. Like good old days when Jisha, Binduchechi, Babuettan and me would huddled around the table as usual at dinner in animated chatter...we did it one last time, my toungue loosened by a couple of pegs of chivas, babuettan poured to me, we talked about the future...someday about their plans to return, and how I should return if nothing worked out, the kind of gal I would marry and a lot of jokes followed about that...including the three new suits the kids got and how they asserted they would only wear it first time for my wedding.

I had to tear my way out...had planned to attend church at 11 at USC...but it was impossible to leave these people who gave me so much love and friendship...I baulked and baulked...I decided to give church a miss...finally gathered my wits, grabbed the kids hastily and said byes...binduchechi wished me like nobody else would ever match her affection, babuettan told me like the last 31/2 years his house would always remain open to me and that he would be there to help me any way he could...I cried all the way back home. Evening, again missed church...I dont know why i keep doing that...My classmates from school, I wonder if they called, we now have a call-conference which runs to a few hours every sunday evening now...but today I gave it a miss...I was just not in a mood to say anymore goodbyes. Last week however wuz non-stop comedy, old memories, poking fun, people were getting disconnected, fone batteries were dying out, ppl wud call someone and get back on-line...and in between one of these disruptions there was a brief silence.
Muthu asks: "Aarekke ondade ippam"
Someone replies: "Njan Onde. Avanum Onde"...and after a brief silence..."Pinne Mattavanum Onde"!!!
Muthu totally confused asks: "Ethe Njan, Ethe Avan, Ethe Mattavan!!!!!"
Its impossible to bade farewell to these guys...from 5 to 25 we kept falling all over each other, kept in touch like crazy, our school egroups sees like 150+ emails a month...I am sure they are all going to do great.

At night went to sujith's house at USC...mathew also walked in, simi, sujith's wife had as usual cooked a sumpuous dinner of kappa, fish curry, rice, aviyal and sambhar though I'd threatened not to come if she made anything out of the ordinary. After school got over in May'04, I hardly saw these guys a dozen times since but every time we meet we pick off our conversations in the same jolly manner like the old days when we used to meet almost every day. They warned me i was taking the hardest possible route to settling in India and how easy it was to get demoralized if I listened too much to the people around me. We broke up, promising to meet again, in India, I am sure I will meet all these people...too many wonderful memories ever to forget these wonderful people. I am back home now, my sis and I talked for a long time, then we quarrelled real badly, and she went to sleep. After going on a tangent for a year our lives now divert again. She was the one person who had the power to keep me here, but she said "Go for it"...I wrote this post I dont know for what, maybe to relieve my mind of all the farewells I bade and didnt...I sleep real late these days...dont think i'll be jet-lagged on getting back. Should I post this or not, wht the hell, i've written far worser here it comes, but I wonder what my feelings will be to read this post, 2 years from now...would it be a feeling of loss, or a swelling-out of sweet memories that will accompany me then?? If you all still have the patience to read me, we'll find out together!!!

Snap 1 - Thats Sachin on Babuettans lap, Sidhu on top of me and Sethu dangling from my leg.
Snap 2- Thats my sweet, cuddly hamster on my lap.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Some Cricketing Memories...

Sachin Tendulkar's 93 and 70 has brought a smile back on every indian face. Last 3 1/2 years I didnt miss much cricket because his form and fitness had gone downhill ever since. And though Arun Hari wrote about our sporting interests I thought of some cricketing memories that were worth penning down. When we played a good team in college most of us were reduced to bits-and-pieces cricketers but playing against ourselves on the medicos grounds or against average teams we totally trannsformed into the Cyber Tigers that we gave as the name of our team. Sometimes we played like 10 10-over matches at a stretch on a single day...and those days happened quite often in a college were we encouraged student leaders to call a strike for the most craziest reasons like a new mohanlal film releasing or sometimes for no reason at all. Still remember a strike called in CET where a senior let loose water from the tank and the guys called a strike for water-shortage!!!

The medicos basketball court surrounded by trees and overgrown plants and wild grass was our home-ground. We would travel on bikes and arrive at viswan's house...take his bat, grab water-tumblers, caps, he would put on his sun-glasses gotten free from buying boost(he claims they were ray-ban though) and we would arrive with a lot of hullabaloo and a feeling of great self-importance at the ground. The fighting starts from the moment the teams are selected, Viswan more often than not unhappy with the team he himself wuz involved in selecting, moving over to the toss, a quarrel whether the toss went heads or tails, to a fight inside the batting team on the batting order...chaos, chaos all the way. But then I guess we were all so spirited and ethusiastic, and did it all in good fun. The fall-guy wuz always the umpire who had to be from the batting team...a decision he made could never be good or bad completely. If he gave a batsman out or ruled a run against his own team...the choicest abuse in malayalam wud be hurled at times at him, if he ruled against the fielding side he risked getting beaten up...but then the funny thing wuz at the end of every match whatever happened it wuznt odd to see one man, looking sour and complaining how his team-mates underperformed and very seriously planning his strategy for the next match...he took a loss so seriously he would listen with sharpened ears to everything the rival-team said, hoping to glean their gameplan - that is if there were any in the first place.

Once I remember after a game, everybody else was resting but not Viswan - he wanted to fine-tune his bowling and told me to take guard...i hit a huge straight-six which landed on the terrace of the men's hostel and he sportingly went to get it. When he returned I wuz surprised that he still wanted to bowl and to even my own surprise I hit another six to the same terrace. Now Viswan wuz mad, he wouldnt get the ball and forced me to go. From the terrace, I threw the ball back and headed down. On the way down wuz met by a irritated yet gleeful Arun Hari. Viswan had forced him to take guard disrupting his rest and he too hit a six to the same place!!! Another time, we started playing at 10 in the morning...and after sometime two souls...totally disoriented arrived shakily on a bike, shan and anoop. A little into the game, anoop's shoulder dislocated when he fielded carelessly, we rushed him to medical college, where the doctor said..."njanum vellamadikkum, but raavile 10 manikkadikkunna oruthane njan aadyamaayitte kaanuva". Anoop in unbearable pain shouts out, "Panna *@$%*!# mone, vaachakam adikkaathe ente kai sheriyakkada"!!! We thought he wuz in for it, but the doc was thankfully a jolly, young fellow. And then chakka shouted at shan saying "Nee, kaaranam alle avanithe pattiyathu" and to our utter surprise, Shan the then-ruffian broke out inconsolably into took us a lot to comfort him that day, even to this day we make fun of his sensitive side which got revealed many times since that day. Then there wuz this incident which became part of our day viswan was so woefully out of touch with the bat, that even after a hard day's play he made ken bowl at him for close to an hour to regain his technique. Oh! those were the good days.

So many more incidents like Kevin unarguably our best player, who we joked, would bowl,then run to get the ball where the batsman hit it, even if one of us lazy souls were close to it, in case it got lost in the kuttikaadu he wud find it, aim at the stumps and more often than not knock it down...he made up for the slackness his teammates displayed and always inspired us to match him. But then, Viswan would wonder why even the Kevin magic failed to work when he had him in his team. But as a captain, viswan was a player's dream...he would buy us juice and sambharam to energise us in between a tournament or even our internal medicos games so that we wud win him a game. Dont think we'll all ever have the time or the numbers to play a game again...but those cricket matches, will always remain among the best memories we took out of college.

P.S - Snap - 1 : Our Eden Gardens - Medicos ground
Snap - 2 : Ball Lost!!!
Snap - 3 : A Kodak Moment - Viswan's legendary mischeivious smile caught on camera!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

And Now, The NRI Votebank...

After the politics of reservation, religion and regional causes here comes a new votebank that politicians in Kerala and India can aim to corner...the NRI votebank. The Congress-led Kerala government has prepared the draft for a bill giving voting rights to NRK's. Almost the entire top leadership of the Congress in Kerala is now in Delhi lobbying with Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi to get Central approval for a bill which may turn around the Congress' fortunes in Kerala.

I dont know the exact figures of NRK's abroad but i am sure it must be atleast 15 lakh(the overall number of mallus outside kerala must be atleast 50 lakh or 1/6 of state's population!!) and if the massive campaign for the Smart City on the net is anything to go by and from my own interaction with and knowledge of mallus outside kerala the UDF looks set to corner a majority of these votes...remains to be seen if the government can get the logistics of this complex operation of collecting international votes in place by next May when elections are due.

An undeniable aspect of Kerala's well-being today is the emigration of Keralites to places outside and their massive investment back into the State which helped us overcome the crippling effects of militant trade unionism, industrial stagnation and zero job creation. The left parties though unhappy i doubt will raise a voice because they realize the only reason they still survive is because kerala overcame the bad effects of communism thru this continous inflow of money that kept the whole economy on its toes.

I read somewhere that the total difference in votes between the LDF and UDF in the panchayat election was 7 lakh...with the NRI vote plus the increase in udf supporters who sat at home for last months election I hope Congress(I) makes up the deficit in the assembly elections. Its not that I am a hardcore Congress supporter but this government is doing such a great job compared to previous ones that they definitely deserve a 5 year term and not the 20 months they will get now. The irony is that if other states bring up such bills the Congress High Command will be in trouble as I have seen most Non-Resident Indians, north of the Vindhyas to be ardent supporters of the BJP.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A Journey Begins...

Thank You all for the support. When I blogged that last post I was admittedly unsure about what to do next. But I have looked at my options, thought them all out and I know what I am going to do. I am going to prepare for the IAS exams...history, geography, english, civics, economics, gk and current affairs were always my strengths in loyola, the last few days I have spent reading the vast syllabus and I realize I am goin to gain so much knowledge with this effort it will finally drive me to what I always wanted to do...write books. Besides if I get through I will be working at the grassroots, I'll actually be dealing with people's problems, I get to implement a lot of policies and I know I am street-smart enough to have my way around our politicians. And the best part is, if I qualify thru the prelims there's a Malayalam paper I would need to prepare for and I look forward to reading all those wonderful novels in Malayalam i missed and man...maybe that will help me even write a script for a mallu film.

The way I see it...and as you guys will have felt after reading the above para, its a win-win situation whatever happens, I have thought my vistas out well, I am not somebody who makes a decision for the heck of it. I am amazed at the clarity with which I see things now, coming to the US was the right decision because I have seen life, I have faced hardships, I have known disappointment, I have seen the world, I became so much wiser and finally it gave me the courage and determination to pursue the IAS. Doing my B.Tech brought out all my abilities among a very encouraging set of friends and M.S gave me a technological edge which I am sure is goin to help me in the road ahead and the last 1.5 years helped me to realize how mediocre my life was goin to turn out if I went to work just praying for evening to turn up, and then left work in the evening praying for night-time so that I could go to sleep. I am planning to return by the second week of november and make up for lost time. I'll be stationed at trivandrum and studying with correspondence material...all those great libraries, my dad's friends in the ias are resources that will keep me focussed in this himalayan task besides the reassuring presence of my ammachi, pops and mom.

I am bracing up for a few years drowned in books, I am feeling sorry for my parents, as happy as they are with my choice I can feel the fear that envelopes them for their son who is leaving behind a life of comforts, a country of plenty and possibly great wealth and that too at an an age when i was naturally expected to take their matters too into my hands, thinking of them will make sure I wont let my guard down for even a minute. The last few days I got many emails of encouragement from school and collegemates which I will day when I get to my destination all those emails will be posted here. In a way this habit of blogging opened up a pandora's box in my life... the more I became honest with the posts I put up here, the more troubled I kept getting and of sinking further and further into a life that would lead me only into unhappiness...dunno when I'll be able to blog again...lot of loose ends remain to be tied up here before I leave...i again have a lakshya in life...and nothing beats that feeling!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Oops...I Did It Again!!!

Hmmmmmm! Well forget two months of stayin away from blogging...I am back to where I belong in less than two weeks...and i feel real sheepish forcing you guys to leave comments on that last unneccessary post. Oh...well 10 days is a short time, but thats more than enough to change a lot of things in my life. I quit my 85k job, my fourth job in little over a year and am back in the cool confines of my apartment living out my last days in America. The trip to India will actually be the last return of this native. Never thought i could do a nri-returnee so early in life, infact despite all my boasts never thought i could summon up the guts to ever make this decision. Sad part and hard part is i have no absoluting freakin idea what to do next in life. I have tried four times and failed to find my space in IT...I dont wanna be pressured by monetary concerns to be led down that way again. WTF...I have known hunger already in life...with Rs.30 a day I could have two square yummy meals a day and I am no stranger to travelling on ksrtc buses, if I spend wise, I have almost an year of savings to fall back on. There's a lot I hope to do travel across the length and breadth of India. Be with me, my God...go with me all they ways I need to traverse, before I find my right calling and can safely say its time to settle down.

Well, it all began the night I decided to quit blogging...Oct 6th...I had the "Never Say" post ready to go out that day, had just been offered a full-time position by Universal, I was ahead with my whole life ahead looked blissfully comfortable, decided to wait a few more days till my blog anniversary to see if the wait would change my mind about blogging. But then, then I got struck down by a flu...what seemed like a normal fever still hasnt left completely...I didnt give it the rest it deserved I guess, I was back to work in a hurry trying to keep ahead of the schedule, but that messed up my body totally...and with that my work went downhill...thinking about the work gave me trouble sleeping, a whole vicious cycle started and before the last week ended I was totally fatigued, my mind had numbed out, I hated my work and I hated myself even more for trying to become somebody I was not...I was never meant to be a programmer, looking back every struggle be it the MS, be it the 4 jobs later, all today look like an attempt to cover up a decision made 7 years back about doing my B.Tech.

Except for collegemates and my sis, nobody in my family knows about my resignation and the decision to leave America...i havent told my schoolmates yet, coz then my fone wont ever stop ringing. I know all hell will break parents are away in Kashmir where my dad has a conference besides they both takin a much-deserved, though ill-timed vacation...when they know of it I hope they back me to the hilt with this one as they always have. The rest, my uncles, aunts and cousins...I know what they will say...there's a lot of flak awaiting me from that quarter for "squandering" my good luck(read green card!) phone is switched off all the time now! I guess they cant be application for US citizenship has taken dust over the last few months as I baulked at mailing it...what I am doing I agree wont make sense to 90% of practical people. My sister has decided to return back to US after her xmas vacation...I wuz scared my decision would make her position weak...she has a wonderful job she enjoys doing and has a good set of friends too now. I was never ever a good brother to her...I should have stayed on till she got married...but I am thinking selfishly...I am not getting younger and time's running out on a life I've not ever had regrets to this point...I still need to find out what to do with my life and in America, with a Master's degree in Computer Science, plenty of software jobs and an Indian accent I know I'll forever be strait-jacketed in the IT field. I wonder if a better future will await me in India.

Before leaving work yesterday in frustration and a last-ditch effort to find an answer to how fast everything could turn upside down in life, I typed God on google and hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. It took me to the Interview With God site. Whenever friends have sent it to me I've never been in the mindset to see it. I have realized for quite some time God has stopped talking to me or hearing what I have to say...well I've not been to a church for almost two months to hear His Word either. After the presentation, I knew I was doing the right thing, there would always be God to back me up, whenever I had nothing, whenver I was empty-handed, whenever I looked to him for solace...those have been the times I felt his presence and I have felt then I was the luckiest boy alive, not the times when I was happily surrounded by friends, not the times I achieved anything, not the times I looked at my little wealth and smirked I never saw or felt Him around me. I have 50 days to rethink...after that I can walk in to an IT firm in tvm, cochin, madras or bangalore any day and get my developer job, I have 5 months to the IAS prelims and almost a year to the CAT...none of these vistas appeal much to me, besides there's always a road open to self-ruin I have seen too many people walking into. Instead of a hallowed royal arrival - of relatives and family friends inviting me to dinner, and of nights spent at resorts and houseboats with friends, a damp welcome will await me...none of that scares me, all I know is I just cant wait to rediscover my India and rediscover myself, the India I came so close to leaving behind forever in memories, God willing, I want to once again believe in the saying I once vouched for...Everything Happens for Your Own Good!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Never Say, Never Again...

And finally, my anniversary beautiful year of tugging at my heart and soul has passed by...all i have written has surprised me...never thought i could be so honest about myself with so many friends, family and strangers reading. Life certainly has come back a full circle...i still remember keying down the first post at the san diego state university library, tired of job applications, worrying where the next job would come from, a bank account strained to the last penny, in a vast city with not a single soul i could call a friend, reading this article on rediff about blogging and deciding to give it a try...and here I am, 45 posts later...having made the most of what first started as a hobby, then a time-killer and today a passion. Cant forget the first time I publicized this blog, hesitatly to classmates, when Arun Hari also started to write, the first comments on this blog when Neil came visiting, and then Silverine and thru their sites came to know of the wonderful fraternity of kerala bloggers already sharing their wares.

I have connected with so many talented mallus miles and miles away from me as we admired each other's writings, exchanged viewpoints and broadened our horizons, reading what ordinary people like me do to make the most of our lives. Visiting all your blogs has become my first priority while kicking off the morning's work and i've been so able to relate to all what you guys write that i have found it hard to curb my comments from getting long and infuriating. Every comment you guys left here have been so has given me so much confidence and driven me to write a better blog the next time on...I will definitely keep in touch with you all and look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in december. And I've been pleasantly surprised by quite a few silent readers emailing to convey their appreciation for my blogs. I have wondered whether its a nice idea to take a small break from blogging and get back to it refreshed and rejuvenated during the india trip in december. My posts have become stale, my perspectives repetitive, and having found my comfort zones my writing style failed to evolve, nor did I make the effort to nudge myself out.

I approached this post certain that this would be my last. But as the post took shape I realized I was in danger of eating my words. Countless times in the past year, even under the severe grip of the writers' block I have overcome all my mental barriers to keep my dear blog going. The two-month break I plan to take is going to be hard on me but then time flies...the flights of fantasy that await me in december will certainly get my creative and literary juices flowing again. I hope to return to my blogging with a vengeance then. Meanwhile with the free time that opens up I am goin to sit down and start a new writing project...besides I am entering soon into my first business venture here with a friend. I have also realized if making my livelihood doesnt have anything to do with writing or doing something creative I dont want to come back home(thats as crazy as i get!)...I'd be as much happy here. Over the course of the last one year I hate myself for having conveyed to my family, grand illusions of literary talent, who believe I have supposedly inherited them from an ancestor who wuz a mahakavi. Its a heavy cross i will always bear, and I can never rest in peace unless I make an honest effort...and thats why I badly need this sabbattical from blogging and focus all my energies on this new writing "misadventure".

Some months back, I realized I was no more writing just for myself, I began imagining myself to be some columnist with a few dozen dedicated readers, that I believe is the power of the makes us journalists who raise questions about society and politics, satirists who mock prevalent norms, authors whose ordinary lives find exaltation in their writings. I know not if all the predictions of blogs replacing todays forms of mass media like newspapers, magazines, etc will happen but I know on a personal front the huge impact having a blog has had on my psyche, it has been my alter-ego, more than anything else I am left with wonderful memories in published form for eternity which i will keep revisiting, and there is so much still left to pen down, I know I will come back...

AMDG - Ad Majorem Dei Glorium

Friday, October 07, 2005

Gimme a Reason...

The dust is yet to settle down on Kerala's Panchayat elections. Alliances and last-minute adjustments are still on...ironically politics is only for the common man...for politicians convenience has become the byword. The hilarious spectacle of CPM-BJP, Congress-BJP, Congress-CPM, League-BJP, League-CPM tie-ups in many of Kerala's villages indicate how grassroot politics work despite all the bravado and stances taken by state leaders. Despite all this, what left me most disheartened was the cold-shoulder Keralites lend to a Chief Minister who has worked tirelessly and almost 24/7 in bringing so much development and dynamicity to a government machinery which has stagnated all these years and as I write, this man is in Chandigarh attending the Chief Ministers conference and bagging more funds, projects and support from the central government. Shame on you all!

Oommen Chandy's sins:
1) Bringing a Smart City Project to be located on land provided in 60's and 70's to industries to set up shop and start functioning but who stayed away bcoz of fear of lockouts, militant trade unions and which left all that prime real estate unused all these years.
2) The much delayed expansion of the Trivandrum International Airport which has been in the negotiating phase for 20 years and he achieved it in 6 months.
3) The Palayam underpass...another project which wuz talked and talked abt for years! What I love most about the Congress is how much our Trivandrum roads have widened over the last 4 years of their rule!!
4) The Vallarpadam Trans-Shipment Terminal - Though Antony got the sanction for it, it has been Chandy's pereseverance as he lobbied with tirelesssly with Manmohan to make this project realize fruition and make Cochin the hottest cargo destination in the Indian Ocean.
5) The Mass Contact Program - No CM has dared to step outside the air-conditioned comforts of the Cliff House or Secretariat so regularly and interface with the public, hear out their complaints, take steps to solve their problems like OC has done...visiting 14 districts, sitting with the people 12 hours at a stretch clearing files which had gathered so much of dust over the ages....comeon mates give this man something to cheer about.

Its a pity, all thats wrong with Kerala's pseudo-morality gets blamed on this man... if an ice-cream parlor case, kiliroor sex-scandal, VAT implementation all gathers flak...we as citizens are equally responsible to prevent these from happening just as much a politicians. VAT succeeded in Andhra Pradesh but failed in Kerala...despite an astute man like Vakkom Purushothaman at the helm, the powerful Vyapari Vyavasayi Bullshit Samiti has ensured the valuable revenue collection that wuz needed to take all our develolment efforts ahead failed. So much is being made of the DICK-factor in these polls, but everyone knows how badly they fared in places they stood without CPM support...again shame on all you people who could vote for an enemy of the state like Murali and Karunakaran. What a pity, Antony didnt quit much earlier...4 years of his hesitation(or fear?) to act against dissidence have alienated the people from the Congress. Our 92% literate and most politically-aware state saw 9 MLA's make a mockery of democracy by affixing their loyalty to Mr.K rather than the people who voted them in by resigning their seats. Thankfully the days of blackmail and political brinkmanship are over...

I was so disappointed with the election results until I talked to my mom, who said the UDF actually stands a bright chance in the assembly elections. With a 60% polling rate, the victory margins for the cpm were not big though they they won 70% of the seats in this elections. In assembly elections Kerala has an almost 80%+ polling rate and this 20% rise is entirely made up of udf voters who are unfortunately not as politically zealous as their left brethren to venture out of their homes on polling day. Her reasoning gave me a lot of hope. Moreover I remember the case of Digvijay Singh in Madhya Pradesh who overcame incumbency in a strange way much similar to what the Congress is going through today. After winning a landslide election and first term he lost every following by-election, parliament and panchayat polls but turned the predictions of every political pundit around by winning a second term as Chief Minister. Well, Kerala never had a CM win a second straight term but this is a crucial year in our State's history and development and we finally have a man who is humble, sincere, courageous and intelligent and has the long-term plans, the political will-power and the energy needed to undo 40 years of Kerala's self-destruction. All you people, wont you give him another chance, for our sake and for our future generations, if not, gimme a sound reason...

Monday, October 03, 2005

Drowned by a Song...

Its Sunday, 8:30 pm. In my cubicle trying to kick ass ahead of a trying development schedule, further aggravated by my leaving for India midway. Its so quiet all around me...I just love the ambience of my office at night, nobody to disturb my train of thought and at the 24th floor, I look thru a colleague's telescope down at so much human activity...the last children coming out of the theme park, the editors and sound engineers at universal studios burning the midnight oil lost in their work, the dark windows of the Sheraton beyond which my naughty spirit thirsts for a peek, the city lights and the cars with their headlights in the distance making quite a pretty sight. I feel so far away from the city and its million hordes of which I am another insignificant soul. I have realized, I am just not in the mood to wrack my brains. Its a nice time to blog, my mind is far far away from the confines of this building, the vastness of this country, the infinite expanse of the seven seas and falling through a tiny hole, deeper and deeper into a dark abstract region called nostalgia whose workings in me i still fail to understand but which ironically lights up my existence whenever it gets monotonous.

Chanthupotte made its rounds by LA this weekend and our guys decided to watch it with a lot of misgivings. Well who could blame us...after all, the hero, Dileep wuz playing a Hijra and for mallus so used to their moustacheoued heroes who are manliness personified there wuz a mental block to overcome here. But we came out satisfied, the movie didnt lapse to cliches like the hero turning manly after the interval or to the end which raised the movie a few notches and finally credit has to go to has to be the best-ever performance by one our heroes in a few years, he doesnt let down his guard in even a single he playes the effemminate Radha-krishnan to perfection. Well it wasnt my intention to write about the movie but the effect one of the songs in that, "Azhakkadalinte Angekarayilaayi" soulfully rendered by the timeless nightingale, S.Janaki and emoted to sublimity by Sukumari has had on me since then...its so beautiful and it brought back such a flood of memories..I thought of all the women who joined hands to bring me up...and out of nowhere the blogging process which I fear is dying within me re-awakened.

From my mom(a post on her will come some day and it will be my best) in whose lap, the moment I rest my head, even today in a few minutes I fall asleep, my maternal grandmother whose folk songs must have put me to sleep so many times those days and even later, when she knew we were studying well, would come up from behind and sing to us a few lines as a reward and when we begged her to sing more would back off with a shy smile(this december one of my projects is to beg, plead, cry and threaten her to sing all those harvest songs once more for me to record for posterity)...oh she's the most beautiful woman in the whole world, my paternal grandma...with the most sweetest smile in the whole world, so innocent and childlike and talkative ever since I've known her and all the heroics and mischief's of my ancestors from my great-great grandpa to my dad and uncles that she would recount and the spell that it would cast on me, and all the subconscious ways that must have affected me. My maternal grand-aunt whose only son became a priest leaving us as her grandchildren by default and oh...what a treasure trove of stories she is about my toddler days and my eyes always well up in tears when she tells us fondly of how I fell sick once and kept puking all over my face, and how my little eyes blinked up at her thru the vomit and with all the menfolk away how she took me up and ran many a mile across the paddy fields to the meppilikutti hospital.

This december I will savor each and every moment I get to spend with my three ageing girlfriends and our home which has been silent for so long will once more echo with laughter and light up with happiness...finally things have started to change...these days I look forward to spending more time with family rather than friends though i worry how i'll accomodate time for all these dear souls...we will once again make fun of my ammachi asking her "appachan ammachiyode I love you enne paranjittondo" and she will blush and run to my mom complaining "mole, ee pillere enne kaliyaaakkunnu" and my mom will give a sly smile and plot her escape bcoz she would be next in line wuth our taunts if she dared interfere with an "ithrem years kalyanam kazhinjittum mummy entha pappaye 'ithe' ennne vilikkunnathu" and so many more pokes....oh growing up was so fun...I could ramble on and on....but theres work to be done and deadlines to be long as i can have my sweet memories and comfortably earn my livelihood, life's a fine balancing act that I should never complain about.