A close friend from my college days called up. He was very agitated. His parents had begun earnestly looking for a girl for him but nothing was working out.
He: Neeyokke blogil oro thonnivaasam ezhuthi vekkum. Athine anubhavikkunnathe njanum.
Me: Enna patti aliya.
He: Dey Thanthapadi vilichirunnu. Angere ennode chodikkuva enne kuriche naatukaarkke nalla mathippaanalle enne.
Me: Lol...I call this poetic justice! I am going to write about this!
And so I thought of all the times the past caught up with people around me, of course not excluding myself.
My dad's best friend in college was a class act in roguery like my pal above. He is still an eccentric character and I just adore this man. He runs two Indian restaurants in Rome and has called one of them Kama Sutra!
Once his wife returned to their native place for some family function. A villager approaches her.
He: Mole ethe kudumbathiletha?
She tells him.
He: Avide oru thaanthonni ondaayirunnallo aa kattakayathinte koodeyokke nadannirunnathe. Ayaalokke rekshapetto aavo!
She: Aa thaanthonniyude bhaaryayaanu njan!
We were doing our master's then, fresh off the boat and exploring america intently. That was when a friend's dad was visiting LA and we took him around the city. And of all places, he notices a strip club.
Uncle: Oh strip clubs! Must be very expensive.
Friend(in the spirit of tour-guiding): Oh not really. Just 20 dollars per song.
We glare at him. Friend locks his mouth with his hands.
Uncle(stunned, thwacks friend on his head): Saale, tu mera paisa aisa hi barbaad karega!
Friend(rubbing his head): Innocent fun, dad. Please don't tell mom.
A few years back, I was in TVM on my way to Delhi for the UPSC classes. My parents were sitting around me, I couldn't say if they were happy or sad but they were both tensed. Suddenly my mom speaks up.
Mom: Did you know, that 20 years back your dad was intent on quitting his university job and wanted to go back to Idukki and join politics! I took a strong stand and thankfully good sense prevailed.
Pops: Onne mindaathirikkaavo. Aavashyamillaathathokke pillere paranje keppikkaalle!
Mom: Illa avanum ariyatte, avante appante vazhikalil koodayaane avanteyum pokkenne.
Me: Really? That takes a big load off my back. I couldn't understand why all this was happening to me.
I looked at my dad. He replied with a sheepish grin. From father to son, the struggles with idealism had found new roots in the next generation too. My mom knew at that moment, that the inherent pragmatism of the Karoors had no place in me.
I had always thought our mom was a curious mix of conservatism and modern ideas. The hard part was always figuring out where she stood on our dealings with the opposite sex, and to be safe I always kept that part of my life masked from her.
There was this time when my sis was finding it awkward explaining to her why my bro-in-law had to visit her before the wedding. And as fate would have it sis heard a story from mom's best friend that made our ears pop!
It seems he had caught my parents hanging out together at the Indian Coffee House at Thampanoor and a few other places before their wedding.
When we questioned mom, she is shocked for a second, then blushes, a clear concession of defeat, then puts on the lawyer's robe and cunningly prods, "Ee kallangalokke aara ningalode paranjathe?"
Pops used to be a very rash driver. He had to be at the head of the traffic and he knew no rest till he passed every vehicle on the road. Once he drove my friend and me back from Nagercoil where we went to write the TN Entrance Exam in sharp 40 minutes(the distance is like 60kms). On returning my friend remarks, "Dey entrancinte result varunnathine munpe exit aakum enne njan vichaarichu, ho jeevan thiriche kittiya aashvaasam!"
Ironically, a few wise people in Trivandrum decided to form a Road Safety Council and guess who they put in the governing body! We ribbed Pops about it and he defended himself by saying he had changed. That is when mom remarks, "Speedil odikunnathinte perspective kodukkaanaayirikkum pappaye avare member aakiyathe!"
In our family taking the cars out and returning with minor dents or scratches is a common happening. Equally common is that none of the guilty parties, parents or children, will reveal their hand and try passing the blame on to others, if and when the laceration is detected. Last time I was home, I came back late at night and saw a ghastly dent on the rear bumper. My face fell. Just the other day, sis had taken the other car out, rammed into a roadside wall and landed the vehicle at the workshop. I knew I was in for trouble, but when did this happen - I just had one beer! So I tepidly walk in, tiptoed past my parents bedroom and then I hear whispers. What do I do? I eavesdrop, of course!
Mom: Avan Vannu
Pops: Inne vittekkam. Naale avante thalayil veche kodukkaam!
That's when I barge in.
Me: Ingane venam parents aayaal.
Mom(changes sides!): Eda pappa konde idichatha. vaikunneram enne prathi aakaan nokki, pakshe nadannilla!
Me: Deyvame, ingane aanalle enne pande pattunna ella poralinum ningal utharavaadi aakiyathu.(That day was my chance to play saint! :)
And finally my big moment!
I always used to boast to my friends that I had an unblemished reputation in front of my parents unlike all of them, until this happened. A few years back, my dad visited me in the US and we shared a few beers. I outrightly overtook him 3 beers to his 1. He went back and told this to my mom who got very concerned.
She: Ayyo avanode entha parayaathe kudi nirthaan?
He: Rekshayilla! Nammude mookinte keezhil ninne avan kaanicha paripaadi enthaananne ariyaamo?
He: Ivide pottichirunna kuppikal ellaatheennum avan ooti, ennittu level correct aakaan vellavum narachu!
My sis heard this conversation and dutifully reported it to me. I couldn't figure out how Pops found out, nor do I have the courage to ask. My best guess is that one of his cousins had the drinks "on the rocks' and found it unnaturally dilute! Pops, I know you always suspected Appachan too for this, maybe he also tried it out, but I am a guilty party too. You must be wondering how you got caught between two errant generations! That was your college-going boy showing off to his friends, please don't take it to heart. Peace between men!
P.S - Well, there's no escaping the past. Some day in the future, even this post will come back from the past. I wrote only about the good times. About karma, my mom would tell me - if you don't suffer for your actions, it will be the next generation that has to. She would cite me numerous examples to build her case. Meanwhile, check out this blog for those interested in writing of a very high quality. Also my fave song of recent times is finally up on youtube. Happy Vishu to all!