Sunday, December 18, 2016

Travel for the sake of travel

I was planning for few months to go a solo trip. Loads of questions creeping with doubts and “what-if” questions,

 “What if I don’t get a bus?
 “What if the money is lost?
What if I don’t get a place to stay?

Finally made up my mind. In the first week of December, I got set everything to go, but got postponed (You know the reason). I decide to let go few more days and then the cyclone was around the corner at BOB, and, this was the right time to leave Chennai. Thus it started on Monday morning December 12th, with Pocket Aristotle as my company and pillow book.

Mom’s only advice- “Don’t go near ANYKIND of water”. Stressing on “anykind

December 12th - Monday

In the early morning, Cyclone Vardah was already gaining strength. Rain was pouring, but since I made up my mind, I didn’t care for it. Without booking anything- bus or room, I boarded Madurai bus. 475 KMS, bus stopped at Mamandoor for morning snack. It was still raining, this place was like a bus stand, but was a highway refreshment place, only meant for government buses. After stuffing a samosa, we (bus) continued to Madurai.

Titbits- In all four cities/town where I had lunch- Trichy, Rameswaram, Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram, all had unlimited rice. Unlike hotels in Chennai, they’ll give only limited rice.

For lunch, the bus stopped, just before Trichy. For Rs100 it was worth a meal. They kept vethalai, pakku, sunnabu. We were free to make our own vethalai-pakku. I was tempted, but since I didn’t clear my deck in the morning, I didn’t take chances. 

Picture story- This is the place where Azahagiri had a full and fell in mabbu.

Around 4:30 PM, I reached Matuthavani bus stand. After wading through the auto drivers, who thought I was a north Indian (Yov, French beard vechaa Hindi karanna), I took a room opposite to the bus stand. I had ample time. I went to temple in a share auto; again this share auto driver thought I’m a north Indian. When I gave ten rupees, he said “Aur Panchu rupiya thoo?

In temple, I realized I’m in the middle of Sabarimalai season, and it was Karthigai deepam. Temple visits were in my plan, but not the garbhagraham deity seeing.

December 13th – Tuesday

Previous night, I had enquired about the availability of buses to Rameshwaram, so I took morning 5:30 AM bus to Rameshwaram. 160 KMS with 4 – 4.5 hours of travel. The bus was labeled as “By-pass raider”, but it stopped at every small town and villages. At two places, the bus was completely halted, one small break 10 mins and another for 20 mins. At Paramakudi, I made use of the long stop to grab my quick breakfast of 3 idlis and vadai. 

Titbits- Some small town names were different and funny. Idayar Kudiirupu (Idayar is a caste name!), Ladennethal (Ladam is shoe which is fitted on horse foot), Muslim Paranai, Parthibanoor…

Rameshwaram temple was big, but the corridors were wet with the devotees flocking at the thirthams. Even mobiles were not allowed inside. Again here the Sabarimalai crowd was rush. Also, there was more north Indians, who were keen on visiting Ram Sethu. Speaking with a tea shop guy, he said this is no crowd!

Took a town bus to Dhanushkodi. In total 18 kms, almost 6-8 KMs were flocked by the ocean on the either side of the road. After certain point, we can take private vehicles, which will take to the abandon town.

The private vehicles charge Rs150/person. It’s almost 3-4 KMS, 20-25 mins drive through the muddy land. Although there is a new road, it is not open to traffic. Later I learned, the road is laid by central govt, which will go to the farthest point to Ram Sethu. Possibly Modi will be opening the road by next January.

Individuals of societyMet this kid at Danushkodi. He was selling sea shells, Muthuvel is studying 3rd standard. He said since today is Miladi-nabi the school is closed. I was not sure if was in school. When as what he’ll do after school, he said he’ll become a policeman. Hope he’ll fulfill his dream.


Picture story- This area is famous for its caste riots, remember Paramakudi riots. The govt. doesn’t want to take any chances in law and order, which is evident in this sticker inside the bus.
December 15th – Thursday

Today, it was history and heritage. After having a heavy breakfast, I took a city bus to Thirumalainayakar Mahal. City buses were numbered. Not much rush. Mission hospital was the stop and the mahal was walkable from there. 

Individuals of society - How do we see our heritage or how is our etiquette in public? Something worst I saw are the writings on the pillars and walls of the Thirumalainayakar mahal. These people are educated, but didn’t have a gram of brain. 

After spending almost an hour, I took a share auto to Mahatma Gandhi museum.

There was no crowd (NO SABARIMALAI DEVOTEES), the entire complex was calm, only few people. Camera was allowed, but I didn’t take any pictures. The museum displayed the chronology of Indian independence and Gandhi involvement in it. It also housed the details about the contributions made by other freedom fighters. Even Veer Savarkar is featured and he is marked as “prince of Indian revolutionists”. Vanchi Aiyer- Defined by the caste name, rather than naming him as Vanchinathan. Displayed items were- books used by Gandhi, his last blood stained cloth, his specs, slippers, letters written by Gandhi (He can sign in Tamil). I liked the illustrations on the chronology of independence.

Some anecdotes and history which I got there,

- All shastras speak but vaguely, they do not teach you better than your own eyes- Ramalingam

- Follow truth don’t look at the numbers- Rajaram Mohan Roy

- The British rule is by official terrorism; let us cripple their rule by counter-terrorism- Surya Sen

An editorial on 31st January | Newspaper- Hindustan Stand

Gandhji has been killed. This is second crucifixion in in the history of the world. Has been enacted on a Friday- The same day Jesus was done to death. Father forgive us.

- Gandhi ashes were spread all over India. Also in Karachi, Sri Lanka, Burma, Bangaladesh and Tibet (China).

- Salt Shatyagraha- Sabarmathi to Dandi- 241 miles in 24 days. 10 miles/day.

Picture story- Lunch at Madurai with sundakka vathal! I wish I had stayed in Madurai just to have another lunch.
After having lunch at Meenakshi Bhavan, I checked out of the room to travel Nagercoil. As usual, I occupied the front seat near the driver. Driver was already fighting with the Madurai time-keeper, driver was Tirunelveli depot staff. Both was exchanging choicest Tamil swear words. Driver rombo ugramma irundaru, he didn’t mind the potholes. Road was bad till we reached Madurai-Tirunelveli by-pass. This was a local route bus, but again it was labelled as “By-pass raider”. With a high temper, driver stepped on to the accelerator. 240 KMS in one stretch with no stop for tea\chucha break, but still the bus went to all towns.

Reached Vadaserry bus stand, my place to stay were just 2 mins walk. After check-in, I went to a stroll around the bus stand. It was 8PM, but baring, tea shops/hotels other shops were closed. The area was calm.

December 16th - Friday

I woke up without alarm at 4:45 AM, all thought the sunrise was not planed, since I got up early, I went to Kanyakumari. It’s 18 KMS from Nagercoil. Again here my villains were Sabarimalai pilgrims. Those swamis were flocking and doting at the sea to witness the sunrise. The horizon was cloudy, it was 6:25 AM the time for sunrise, but the clouds were too much. It’ll take at least an hour to see the sun. So I returned back to room. With this rush, I dropped plan to coming back again to Kanyakumari to see Vivekananda rock. My idea was to take a bus to Thiruvananthapuram, which is 65KMS from Nagercoil and there were frequent buses. 

Kanyakumari to Nagercoil

The sunrise was disappointing. Unaware I took a local town bus; it took a different route to Nagercoil. The bus went inside villages, twisting and turning through the small road with dense trees on the either side. Waterways, ponds.. It was a scenic ride.

Picture story- This town bus is morning special. Side seats for vendors to keep fish koddai. But no vendor boarded the bus, after few stops these seats were occupied.

Titbits- Having breakfast at the hotel, I noticed the color of the water. Asked the waiter, he said vetiver is mixed and the water is boiled. He said he can get me plain water. The taste of the vetiver water was good. Be local (Public place’la jothi oda iyekyam agidanum).

65 KMS to Trivandrum. I asked the driver, how long it’ll take; he said 2 hours and sometimes 3 hours too. My calculation was one hour. I thought the driver is kidding, but he was correct- He was slow, he didn’t honk. There were stops for every 5 KMS. In fact Trivandrum and Nagercoil route is dotted with houses and businesses. 80% of the distance is single road with traffic. Overtaking was impossible, that too with this “Enna pani mutamma iruku” driver. Double road stated at Amaravila, outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram. The two-hour drive took more than three hours. Already 1 PM, I had no time- either zoo or Napier museum, because, if I’m late then I had to pay for another day in checkout or do some negotiation with the hotel. 

Napier Museum was small. Mobiles cameras were not allowed. It was only 10% in the Egmore museum size. Mostly 13th – 16th century bronze works. Uniqueness- replicas of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, Chinese artifacts, Javanese shadow puppets and masks from Sri Lanka. The museum is like a lovers (Jodi) park. Every bush was occupied by a Jodi.

Titbits- Seems like they don’t have the habit of giving “change”. Auto’s use meter, but they round off to the high denomination. Name boards in city buses were only in Malayalam and they were not numbered. 

Zoo and the state central library were nearby, but couldn’t go as I didn’t have time. I had my lunch in hotel named “Shalimar”!, the famous bullet-rice, looked heavy, but my stomach felt lite. Returned to Nagercoil after lunch, I want to make sure, I had enough time to get packed so that I don’t want to rush myself to catch the evening bus to Chennai.

Picture story- A pond in the middle of Nagercoil town. The whole district is filled with waterways. Wonder how it’ll be in the interiors of Western Ghats.
Nagercoil is a beautiful and well connected town; TNSTC\SETC buses are available to any part of Tamil Nadu from the Vadaserry bus stand.

My journey ended at 8:30 AM the next day at Chennai.

*** All travelling in TN was done via public transport. Auto inside Trivandrum.
*** Next coast to coast- Chennai to Mangalore.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Smoking Alone Under the Moon

A white stick, under the neem tree,
I smoked alone, for no friend near,
Raising the smoke I beckon the bright moon,
For he, with my shadow, will make three men,
The moon alas is no smoker of cigarette.
Listless, my shadow creeps about my side,
Now we are high, each goes in our way.

Remixed from a Chinese poem by Li Bo.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Why My Thala Rocks

I met this man (I don’t know his name) at Kodambakkam while I was vrooming on my bike. He asked me lift. I picked him near Liberty bus stop. He said he was walking from Nungambakkam after attending the cremation in Marina beach. Now you know where I’m coming from.

On further talking with him, he said he is a road-side vegetable vendor near Poonthamalli (Poonamallee), some village after Poonthamalli. He was wearing a white shirt and vesti, on the head he was wearing the AIADMK flag, which was wrapped in typical rural style. He continued with his village accent. He started from his home in early morning 6 AM (6th Dec), since no transport was available; he took lifts and walked throw GST, Arcot Road and Mount Road. He reached Rajaji hall around 10 AM. He struggled in the crowd to get the glimpse of his leader. He used choicest words on policemen who didn’t let him to the see properly.

He was there at Rajaji hall all day. In the evening he walked through the procession to the beach. He was surviving without food, but only occasional water packets and tea, even that he couldn’t afford as it was priced high.

I said I can drop him till Porur, but he said not to trouble me and got down near Vadapalani bus stand. He said he’ll sure get some vehicles or he’ll walk all way through. He started to walk.

There were many people who travelled many a distance for this event. Spent their money and time.

The vegetable vendor is my Thala.

Journalists- It’s not only film stars travel to pay their last respects. Don’t write for footfalls.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Samsara, Karma & Moksha


By reading the name of the topic, don't assume this post is something related to pubs and bars!!

For some time, I had these questions in me. In fact not some time, it’s for some years. Pondering over it, I thought of writing it here. Now before we go into the questions, I would like to share some agreed Hindu ideas-

Samsara- The cycle of successive existence. Continual process of rebirth.

Karma- Good deeds and bad deeds, which determines the state of one individual’s next life. Good deeds better life. Bad deeds leading to misery and suffering.

Moksha- Release from the cycle.

It is the soul/athma/inner self which is in the cycle.

I assume all these are not in physical form or we never knew, let me go to the questions,

            1- From where does the soul enter the cycle?

            2- Assume the soul is in its 5th rebirth. So the state of being is determined by deeds done in 4th life, 4th -> 3rd , 3rd -> 2nd, 2nd – 1st, 1st - ___ . From what deeds the 1st life is determined?

           3- Does the 1st life have predefined deeds for the soul? Assume all 1st life souls are good. Then how does the actions by 1st life soul’s leads to misery in their 2nd life?

The samsara cycle makes some sense, but I couldn’t get how the journey of the soul starts.

Lots of questions. Any answer?

**Above art work by the blogger

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Wise Monkeys

I’m going to start with a usual disclaimer- I don’t know about economics. 

Like others, I thought on Nov 8th, that this situation will become normal in 2-3 days. But the very next day, I felt the impact in the name of a medical emergency. I had money, but I couldn’t take it from my account, or if I can take, it was very meager considering the bill to be settled in the hospital. Fortunately, after two days, my bank raised the swipe limit and it was breather. So I had a “minor” inconvenience.

Is there a minor and major inconvenience? And don’t say I might have handled situation in different way, your suggestions are in hindsight. And, don’t suggest others to go cashless or mobile money. You cannot dictate on how I use my money, especially when I pay taxes and whatever I have is hard earned white money.

And you bhakts, few months before you were chasing around beef, how come you people suddenly became economics expert. A courageous move, is not necessarily a right move. On top, the courageous move is not planned well. With daily one announcement, people like me had to do ATM hunting even after almost two weeks of the so called demonetisation. 

"A courageous move, is not necessarily a right move."

Simple analogy (Which I made after reading or hearing so many talks\texts)- You have a one wheeled cycle (which is the economic system), the spokes in the wheel are the currency. There are 100 spokes on the wheel, which supports the system. You remove the 86 spokes instantly (86% of 500/1000 denomination), which you assume are bad spokes. Then you install half-spoke a day and that too with all the hiccups. How will the cycle run or can be used?

There are lots of monetary economic literature available, newspaper are churning up columns. Our government is living in hope and prayer. Even if govt succeeds in its objective, people had suffered or at least I suffered your notion of “minor” inconvenience.

Remember, our economy succeeded recession, when globally it affected other countries. So if we succeed this, then it will be because of the resilient of the people (Success is getting back to normal. Not the cashless, eradicate black and counterfeit money).

Friday, November 18, 2016

Why do People Pray ?


Why do you pray? If you were asked this question what will be your response, 

- I pray because I was told to pray by my parents

- I pray because, I might get my wishes fulfilled

- I pray for my well-being

- I pray for strength and peace

- I pray because of faith

Irrespective of which religion you are in and god you choose, the act and objective of praying must be more or less same. No body pray god saying that their neighbors has to suffer. They may wish, but not  மெனக்கெட்டு (menaketu) pray for it.

Another thing to note is only humans pray, or at least we should believe animals don’t pray, because we assume they don’t have god. Now as I write this, a question popups in me- Do we need god in the act of praying? The first man, who prayed, did he/she/they do it by fear or faith or to put it sarcastically did god decent from heaven to Earth and teach man to pray.

If we say praying is faith, then there is no point to discuss further. It’s your faith and your choice, but why do you pray for someone who doesn’t have faith or doesn’t believe in faith.

Lots of questions…

**Above pic by blogger @ Mahabalipuram

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Being Righteous & Virtuous


It's been a while since I blogged, close to two months. Lots of things\events happened in these two months. 

I thought by leading a righteous and virtuous life, one can escape from the misfortunes or misadventures of the life, but I was wrong. The ordeal is same for all, irrespective of how we lead the life, the only take away is how we absorb it and move forward. Are we (or I) going to lead the same righteous life or are we going to change course to cheat the sufferings, I’ll stick to the former and keep walking. 

My diary pages got filled with memories and experiences.. ups and downs.. as of now it has ended down and under. The slate is clean, back to square one (what a cliché!!). I have shared lots of happy moments in this blog, so let me keep my misfortunes in my diary and keep this journal (blog) to the spirit for which it was created for (Sharing my Idiosyncrasies, Cinema, Tamil Writing, Politics....)

So what is about to be cooked in this blog in coming few months- few short stories, A to Z Country series and anything else is bonus.

OK let’s boil some tea…..

*Above image by the blogger. Location- Marina Beach, Chennai. 
Disk-claimer- The models! are not aware of this photo. Any resemblance of living or dead is coincidental and they don't represent the text in the post

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Madras 300

Yesterday, I was watching a documentary, it was about two people trying to trace the path of the early men (~15, 000 years ago), who crossed the Bering Strait from Asia (Siberia) to America (Alaska). The travelers now were in the icy glaciers, one commented that it was lonely and scary. One said “the men then crossed this land for the betterment of their children and future generations”. Right through the film they were trying to put themselves inside the shoes of the people who belong to 15,000 years before. You might have seen similar kind of films. The point is these travelers or the film makers are from the 21st century, they (we) have been on this urban setup all our life, and, when we move to the forest, it is obvious we feel loneliness, but for the man who had not experienced the evolution of civilization, their migration (or the walk) might be just a part of their day. If the above argument holds good for anthropology, then it should hold good for history or reading history too.

We cannot or shouldn’t pace our judgement on the 15th century happenings with the 21st century mindset. Kings were barbaric, foreign invaders were greedy,,,, these are the process of social evolution.

Madras 300 (Published by Sandhya Publicationsis the collection of essays and lectures given in 1920’s and 30’s by notable professors, researchers and historians in and around Madras area. Every chapter deals with the different aspects of the evolution of Madras from early 16th century.

Al though, it might sound dangerous and contrary to what I said in my opening paragraph, after reading this book, I tried to imagine the landscape of the late 15th century and early 16th century of this Madras area.

The period of medieval Tamil kings were over. The power is shifting or shifted towards the Palayakars, Marathas, Nayaks, Nawab, Golconda Sulthanate. This area had small pockets of villages. The native rulers didn’t mind to lease the land to East India Company. The company meant strictly business, they didn’t have any agenda to conquer the land or carry out religious propaganda. As the rulers the native people must have welcomed the settlers with warmth and they never cared who ruled them, as long as they don’t disturb religious and caste setup.

The company was leasing lands, villages (by 18th – 19th century they were annexing kingdoms, you can find a correlation here- Raise of industrial revolution in west-decline of business prospects from India- And, raise of British empire in India- British crown started to rule India directly in 1858). 

Back to the book and my imagination, the company built this city. The book recounts how the early company officials disliked slave trade. How they encountered the water problem. Their measures taken during famine. Subduing caste wars between, for instance Valakkai versus Edakkai. Efforts taken to maintain temples. Developing infrastructure and communication- roads, rails and harbor. Setting up local administration. Creating recreational places, educational institutions and libraries.

In a sense, East India Company was knitting India as one entity. If we have time machine and travelled to year 1710. Encounter someone in Elambur and say to them that in 1947 there will be one nation from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, they might have laughed at you. Things might have been different if British (or Europeans) were not here, certainly no Chennai.

This city should have retained its name as Madras, not Chennai.


The below is the artistic impression of British surrendering Madras to French at 1756. I have no idea of why there is a dog, that too turning its back !!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

மேடம் நீங்க..


எல்லாம் முடிஞ்சதா

இன்னியோட எல்லாத்துக்கும் ஒரு முழுக்கு

டிவியில பார்த்தேன். கூட்டம் போல. நான் கூட வரேன்னு சொன்னேன். நீ தான் கேட்கல

பரவாயில்ல. நீ என்ன தைரியமா வளர்த்திருகேன்னு வெச்சிக்கோ.. ஹிஹி

ம்ம்.. சாப்பிட்டியா

ம்.. வக்கீல் வீட்டுல சாப்பிட்டேன்

அவரு இல்லேனா இந்த கேஸ் இன்னும் இழுத்திருக்கும் இல்ல..

ம்ம்.. ஆமா

உன்ன தேடி உன் ஆபிஸில் இருந்து.. ராமோ.. ராமுவோ ஒருத்தரு வந்தார். உன்ன போன்ல பிடிக்க முடியலையாம், கிடச்சாலும் நீ கால் எடுக்கலியாம்..


என்ன கதை படிப்பவர்களே, ஒண்ணுமே புரியவில்லையா. இது நானும் என் அம்மாவும் பேசிக்கொள்வது. நான் யாரு ? என் பெயர் @#$%. இது என்ன @#$%னு கேட்குறிங்களா ? இருங்க மேல சொன்ன கதையை கொஞ்சம் தெளிவா சொல்லுறேன்.


ஆட்டோ வீட்டின் முன் நின்றது. இறங்கும் முன் மீட்டரை பார்த்தேன் – 110.00. டிரைவரிடம் நூற்றியிருபது ரூபாய் கொடுத்தேன். அவர் பத்து ரூபாய் திருப்பிகொடுத்தார்.

மனதிற்குள், “பரவாயில்லையே சென்னைல இப்போ ஆட்டோவில் change எல்லாம் தற ஆரம்பிச்சிட்டுடாங்களே!

Change வாங்கிக்கொண்டு திரும்புகையில், ஆட்டோ டிரைவர் என்னிடம் “மேடம் நீங்க..

அவர் என்ன கேட்க வந்தார் என்று எனக்கு தெரியும், ஆனால் அதை காதில் வாங்காத மாதிரி gateய் திறந்து நான் வீட்டிற்குள் வந்தேன்.

அம்மா எனக்கா காத்திருந்தாள். என்னிடம் இருந்த papersசை வாங்கிக்கொண்டாள்.

எல்லாம் முடிஞ்சதா” என்று கேட்டாள்.

இன்னியோட எல்லாத்துக்கும் ஒரு முழுக்கு” என்று பேரு மூச்சுவிட்டு sofaவில் சாய்ந்தேன்.

அம்மா தண்ணி tumblerரை எனக்கு நீட்டியவாரு தொடந்தாள், “டிவியில பார்த்தேன். கூட்டம் போல. நான் கூட வரேன்னு சொன்னேன். நீ தான் கேட்கல

பரவாயில்ல. நீ என்ன தைரியமா வளர்த்திருகேன்னு வெச்சிக்கோ.. ஹிஹி” என்று சொல்லி நான் பல நாட்கள் கழித்து சிரித்தேன்.

நான் இப்படி சிரித்ததை பார்த்து மனதிற்குள் சந்தோஷபடும் அம்மா, அதை வெளிக்காட்டாமல் “ம்ம்.. சாப்பிட்டியா” என்று கேட்டாள்.

ம்.. வக்கீல் வீட்டுல சாப்பிட்டேன்

அவரு இல்லேனா இந்த கேஸ் இன்னும் இழுத்திருக்கும் இல்ல..

ம்ம்..ஆமா” நான் என் போனை எடுத்து எனக்கு வந்த கால்களை பார்த்தேன்.

உன்ன தேடி உன் ஆபிஸில் இருந்து.. ராமோ.. ராமுவோ.. ஒருத்தரு வந்தார். உன்ன போன்ல பிடிக்க முடியலையாம், கிடச்சாலும் நீ கால் எடுக்கலியாம்..” என்றாள் அம்மா.


இப்போ கொஞ்சம் தெளிவாக இருக்கா.. அந்த ஆட்டோ டிரைவர் என்ன ஏதோ கேட்க வந்தார் இல்ல! என் பெயர் எதுக்கு @#$%னு சொன்னேன் தெரியுமா. பாதிக்கப்பட்வர்களின் அடையாளத்தை வெளியிடக்கூடாது. அதுதான் ஊடக தர்மம். இந்த தர்மத்துக்கு கட்டுப்பட்டு நான் எழுதுறேன். ஆனால் என்னதான் டிவியில் காட்டிட்டாங்களே.. பெயர் கூட சொல்லிட்டாங்க.. விவாதிச்சிட்டாங்க.. ஆனா நான் சொல்லமாட்டேன். உங்க கற்பனைக்கே விட்டுடறேன். 26 வயதுல்ல, இப்போதிக்கு சுடிதார் போட்ட பெண். இப்போ கதைய தொடருவோம்.


…. போன்ல பிடிக்க முடியலையாம், கிடச்சாலும் நீ கால் எடுக்கலியாம்..” என்றாள் அம்மா.

கோர்ட் உள்ள இருக்கும் போது எப்படி..” என்று நான் சொல்லும் போது எனது போனின் vibrator சிணுங்கியது.



ஆமாம் நான் தான் @#$%


ம்ம்.. சொல்லுங்க கார்த்திக் ..


சரி அதுக்கு என்ன?


இல்ல சார், இப்போதான் எல்லாம் முடிஞ்சிருக்கு


வேணாம் சார்


இல்ல.. கொஞ்ச நாள் கழித்துப்பார்ப்போம்.. ஸாரி..

போனை கட் செய்தேன். “யாரு ஆபிஸில் இருந்தா” என்றாள் அம்மா.

இல்ல.. டிவியில எதோ talk showவாம்.. இன்னிக்கு ஒன்பது மணிக்கு


ஏன் நான் இன்னும் பிரபலம் ஆவனுமா. இப்பயே என்னால சுதந்திரம நடமாட முடியல. எல்லோரும் ஒரு மாதிரியா பாக்கறாங்க

தைரியமா இருக்கனும்” என்றாள் அம்மா.

அம்மா இப்படித்தான் புலம்பி புலம்பியே எனக்கு தைரியமாக இருக்க சொல்லிக்கொடுத்தாள். அன்றிறவு எனக்கு தூக்கம் வரவில்லை.

நான் ஏதோ பாதிக்கப்பட்டதாக முதலில் சொன்னேன் இல்ல.. ஆமாம் ஒரு வருஷத்துக்கு முன்னால் எ… தூக்கம் வந்துடுச்சி…

காலையில் ராமிடம் இருந்து எனக்கு போன் வந்தது. இன்னிக்கே ஆபிஸுக்கு வரேன்னு சொன்னேன்.

ஒரு வாரம் பத்து நாள் கழிச்சி போலாமில்ல” என்றாள் அம்மா.

இல்ல வேலைக்கு போனா refreshingகா இருக்கும்

சொன்னா எங்க கேட்கப்போகுற. எத்தனை மணிக்கு வண்டி வரும்?

மதியம் ஒரு மணிக்கு..

சரி நீ டிவி பாரு.. அதுக்குள்ள நான் சமையல் ready பண்ணுறேன்” என்று சொல்லிக்கொண்டு அம்மா சமையல் அறையினுள் நுழைந்தாள்.

நான் டிவியை அணைத்தேன். 

அம்மா கொஞ்ச நாள் டிவி, நியூஸ் பேப்பர் எல்லாம் என் கண்ணுல காட்டாதே” என்றேன்.

அம்மாவுக்கு புரிந்திருக்கும்.

மதியம் 1:30 மணிக்கு வண்டி வந்தது. Tempo Traveller. வண்டியின் கதவை திறந்ததும், “மேடம் நீங்கதான் @#$%” என்றார் டிரைவர்.

ஆமா” என்று சொல்லிக்கொண்டே நான் உள்ளே சென்றேன். எட்டு..பத்து பேர் உள்ளே இருந்தார்கள். எல்லோரும் புதிய முகங்கள். எல்லோர் முகத்திலும் “இது.. அவங்களா..” என்பது போன்ற reaction. நான் காலியாக இருந்த ஒரு ஜன்னல் ஓர இருக்கையில் அமர்ந்தேன். ஒரு மணி நேர பயணம். யாரும் எதுவும் பேசவில்லை.

நைட் என் கதையை சொன்னேனா ? ஓ அரம்பிக்கவேயில்லையா.. ஒரு வருஷம் முன்னால என்ன ஒருத்தன்.. அது என்ன ஒருத்தன் ஒருத்தர்னு கூட சொல்லலாம்.. வண்டி ஆபிஸின் முன் நின்றது

எல்லோரும் இறங்கினார்கள். நான் கடைசியாக இறங்கினேன், முன்னால் நடந்தவர்கள் ஏதோ பேசிக்கொண்டே என்னை பார்த்தும் பார்க்காதது போல ஒரு மாதிரி திருப்பியும் திரும்பாமல் கழுத்தை திருப்பி என்னை பார்த்தனர்.

ஆபிஸில் பாதி பேர் தெரியாத முகங்கள். தெரிந்தவர்களும் தெரியாதவர்கள் போல் முகத்தை மாற்றிக்கொண்டனர். ராம் மட்டும் என்னோடு பேசினான், அதுவும் HR என்ற முறையில்,

இப்போதிக்கு உங்களுக்கு எந்த teamமும் கொடுக்கல. கிஷோர் QBRக்காக பிலிப்பைன்ஸ்ல இருக்கார். வர டூ டேஸ் ஆகும்” என்றான் ராம்.

அதுவறைக்கும் நான்..”

நீங்க ஆபிஸுக்கு வரலாம்…. உங்கள ஆபிஸுக்கு வரவைப்பதுதான் என் வேலை.. floorல எந்த teamனு managementதானே முடிவு பண்ணணும்” என்றான்.

ம்ம்.. அதுவும் கரக்ட்

இரண்டு நாள் இரண்டு வருடங்கள் போல் இருந்தது. யாரும் சரியால பேசவில்லை. தெரிந்தவர்கள், “ஹலோ..எப்படி இருக்கீங்க”, “welcome back..” என்று ஒண்ணு இரண்டு வார்த்தைகளை உதிர்த்துவிட்டு சென்றனர்.

மூன்றாவது நாள் கிஷோர் முன் நான் உட்கார்ந்திருந்தேன்.

அவரும் வழக்கம்போல சம்பிரதாயமான வார்த்தைகளை சொன்னார்.

இதை கேட்டு கேட்டு அலுத்துப்போச்சி” என்று நினைக்கையில் அவர் மேலும் தொடர்ந்தார்.

@#$% அவனுக்கு எவ்வளவு வருஷம்?


நாலு வருஷம் ஜெயிலில் இருந்த அவன் திருந்திடுவானா @#$%?

தெரியாது கிஷொர். என்னோட மன திருப்திக்காக கேஸ் போட்டேன்

கொஞ்சம் நேரம் அமைதியாக இருந்தோம். கிஷோர் தனது laptopல் எதையோ தட்டிக்கொண்டிருந்தார்.

அடுத்த மாசம் ஒரு new team வருது @#$%

கிஷோர் நான் கொஞ்ச நாள் இந்த ஊரவிட்டு போகலாமுன்னு இருகேன்

ஏன் என்பது போல முக பாவனை செய்தார்.

“அதுக்காக நான் வேலைய விடலே. Belfastல நம்ம processஓட pilot batch ஆரம்பிக்க போவதா கேள்விப்பட்டேன். அங்க .. ?

கஷ்டம்தான் @#$%.. நான் try பண்ணுறேன்..”

ரு மாதம் கழித்து சென்னை விமான நிலையத்தில் இதை எனது டைரியில் எழுதிக்கொண்டிருக்கிறேன். 

அப்புறம் ஒரு வருஷம் முன்னால என்ன ஆச்சின்னு கேட்குறிங்களா? அட அதை விடுங்க. அந்த நிகழ்வுகள் உங்களைப்போன்ற மக்களின் மனதைவிட்டு மறையதான் நான் ஊரைவிட்டு கொஞ்ச நாள் தள்ளிப்போறேன். அப்புறம் பார்க்கலாம்.

வேறு சிறுகதைகள்

நீ என்ன பாரதி கண்ட புதுமைப்பெண்ணா