Happy Birthday my friend :D


So, this is your 9th Birthday after we had met?  Not that I am counting... God! you are getting old buddy.

So, where are we? Should I start all over again from your coming late to interview... claiming some lame reason of flat tyre and stuff.. I was furious under that calm exterior.. "what a nerve!", I shouted at you inside my head... 

Or should I talk about the first drive Indu and I had in your beast, Lancer? when Nami stared stupefied at the rear view mirror, that hung itself to death.  She signaled us to call her the moment, we reach home safe.  From a playful boy, to a serious man, an 'angry bird' man.. I had witnessed various avtar of yours, and I 'gracefully' accept the way you are.

It's good to see you my dear friend; reaching heights, missing few steps, not giving up; gaining more... I see you up there now, hoisting your first successful venture. 

Enough of my flashbacks.. but a quick reminder that you are 34 today, stepping into 35, and the ride is going to get tougher, take if from me, it starts with knee pain, mild memory outages, but it is still fun, out there and amidst all your busy schedule, take a break, have a vacation, stop to admire little things. that I feel you are overlooking these days.  That way you don't need to reach out for hair colour prematurely.

As always, a small poem for you.

It's easy to stay on the shore;
Watch the waves roar,
Not so easy to ride the waves;
Gaining control...
It's easy to give up and brood;
Not so easy to fight and move...

With words let me weave a magic,
Words that plays background music,
Sax that adds power to your name,
Drums resonating untamed...

Let the birds, tweet for you,
140 characters, scrounging through,
Let the Lions roar this dawn,
Keeping the evil, forlorn.

I place before you year 2016,
It holds what you craved from your teen,
This box hold the Benz or Triumph,
This box hold the key for your health..
This box hold plenty of laugh,
This box hold everything you wished..
Unfurl the ribbon, peep in..
You will see the gifts stacked in..

Lighting a candle for your success,
Lighting a candle for riches,
Lighting a candle for peace,
Lighting a candle for your health.

Make a wish, blow one by one
Cut the soft, delicate bun
Scoop a slice and give it to friends
The smooth, Butter scotch, waits for none...

These silly rhymes, you may hate
Remember, it comes from agony aunt's tale,,
Whatever you may think about this,
This carries a warm "Happy Birthday" wish.

Happy Birthday, Manu! have a blast! Let god shower you with his choicest blessings.

My dear wall



My dear wall ,

For the first time I realise, I neglected you for more than three months.  You had been my best friend, who was always with me, a confidante, for more than 8 years.  I wrote on you my deepest pleasures, I wrote on you my disappointments, I cried on you over my miseries.

What's happening in my life?  It's been a roller coster ride.  Ups and downs.  Forty five is a difficult age.  An age when you are confused if you are young or old?  Just like adolescence there are changes in your body, mind.  One day over the moon, the next deep down the dungeon. You become a misery for people around you. From someone who doesn't expect anything out of anyone, slowly you start to expect some response, a reciprocation of actions, words, gifts.  When they don't materialise, you are deep down the rut, sympathizing with yourself and end up loathing yourself and make them loathe you too.  But, can't help but wonder, why it is tough for people to be attentive, why are they rushing, where are they rushing to?  Why can't they stop and take the time to look or appreciate things on their way? It is only fair or isn't it?  Should not spontaneity be a trait to everyone?

This exactly was why, I neglected you. I don't want my folks or friends to see me like this, after I am long gone,  I want them to remember the cheerful Viji, who takes that extra mile to keep people happy. But, what the hell If I can't talk to you my dear wall, who else can I talk to?

There are some good times too, a new job, few new challenges, new young minds to work along. Life is good in that end.  Family, is good.  My son turned 20, turning into a responsible young man.

Trying out few new things I feel that I truly deserve, a huge silver nose pin for example, getting that was the most beautiful moment.  Seeing my friend's, new born.  Couple of trips out of Chennai.

What more?  Nothing, except the terracotta clay is lying untouched for 2 weeks now. The huge canvas along with paints, lying idle too.  All this blabber, trying to figure out when this phase will pass.  I long to roll in to a ball and sleep for days and never to wake up for few days, weeks, years, decades, maybe a life time. But, I refuse to give that pleasure to me. I refuse to stop.

Dear wall,  I know and I am sorry it is not a happy post or a poem with all those rhymes, that you might feel proud to wear. I know, I bequeath you with a massive frame, with no painting, not a dash of colour, not a sketch, not even an alphabet.  I know if you can, you will delete this post.  But, let it remain.  I want this to be a milestone post, to measure my happiness in the coming weeks.  A yard stick, that will give me the satisfaction to probe and feel the hurt or like a feather soothe the pain, all self created.  This deep rut I had been in for sometime now, the happy face I show to the world is tiring even to me.  God save those people who are connected to me in social networking sites.  It they see picture of a piece of nose sticking out, or the long agony aunt posts, some half boiled photographs... I hope they don't curse me.

So my dear wall, enough of me.  Tell me about you, how are you apart from losing your followers, (a few I remember by names, I don't blame them), apart from feeling neglected, apart from bearing few bitter, sad, melancholic posts, do you feel otherwise good?

Au Revoir friend.  So long... yeah, will be back soon if my spirits lifts up or I won't be back.

Warm Regards,
Viji





Dear Sowmi


Dear Sowmi,

Hope you are cracking jokes wherever you are.. Or wetting the diaper as Asha's baby.

One year since you left us?  Parted ways?  No! I don't think so.  You are with us every festival,  every Utsavam at Parthasarathy koil,  every time we eat vada, bajji or while drinking sathumadhu (rasam)  in tumbler,  while watching TV,  while listening to prabhandham...  Trust me!  I see you,  whenever I see a strongly built,  tall,  very fair,  bald man.

I see you in myself whenever I grin.. I learnt to keep grinning like a fool from you..  I know it automatically brings a smile on others face.  Usha says she remembers you whenever she takes selfie.  Vasu thinks of you as a friend.  Srikanth thinks you are full of fun.  Periamma  and you are the most complete people I have ever known.

How can I forget your temper and "poruthadhu podhum pongi ezhu"  gunam. All those autowalas whom you fought with for their atrocious rates.  Your making us walk miles to catch auto to save some odd 10 rupees.  Your chiding people who jump queues.  I wish you jumped into politics,  you would have easily won,  my charismatic dearest brother.

You know sowmi,  you are one person who talks with perfect intonations, be it Tamil or English.  I still have the Mukesh Kumar cassette you gave me..  You introduced me to few hindi songs.  "mere sapno me rani kabh"..  I love singing them in tamilish hindi.." Maere sapunomae rani kabhu aayaekithu"..

For me and for all your friends and all our relatives,  when we say sowmi,  we automatically smile.  That is all..  As my favorite Bach says.. " your mission is over",  so you have migrated to another land and I am sure we are waiting to get know ur V2. 0 Dhruv.  He is going to bring in more smiles..

I know you are muttering "please stop" and I will stop now.

Unadherumai thangai,  (erumai thaan arumai illa)
Srimathi


Insane love

video

Sometimes I wanna wear you like a cloak,
Hugging tight,  as if I am cold...
Sometimes I wanna hang you on a rack,
Feeling sweaty and need some air..

At times I feel you are sweet,
And my diabetes,  makes me wanna eat,
At times, you are a hot 'cross' bun,
I silently drop you till someone takes the brunt.

There are times,  you make me feel mushy,  tearsome,
And at times,  you make me worrysome,
Yet few times,  I feel like kidnapping and demand a ransome.
Other times, I wanna a hold on and pay lumpsum.

It will all be over this lifetime,
So let's do some over time...
Let us laugh, fight, kill and like
Like today is the last day left, of our lives. 

Conch


Another shore,  another age
I walked those sands, searching... 
Some shells,  some foliage, 
I ran at the waves rushing.

Beyond the third white wave, 
Curled against the fourth... 
The brittle crab shell swayed, 
Bobbled,  speding forth...

My heel firm and grounded
The waves raised with a crisp honk.. 
The catamaran,  I spotted, 
On the wall, seated a white conch...

Staring at the conch, I dreamed, 
My fingers traced the tiny lines... 
The lines circled edging for release,
I placed it near my ear,  it whined...

The song of another shore,  another age
I hear you now,  calling me 
I hear clearly,  my voice interlaced
I stand here,  it's you I feel...

Looked up at the sky, 
Looked at the sand, 
Looked side ways, 
Looked beyond...

Without a clue,  where to move, 
I followed your voice from inside, 
Another year,  another month,  or forever, 
But,  one day we will meet,  soon enough

This day we will recite those lines, 
For another shore,  another age, 
Your words will still beckon, 
I will follow your words,  till there is no return.

Was that a dawn or dusk, when we met?

I just need to close my eyes,
Hug myself,  dance for the song in my mind
The song once you sang on that long drive,
My steps halting,  as you stepped to my side...

We moved together like breeze; effortless,
We moved together like blaze untamed,
We held each other,  like insane,
No strain or stir,  pure music in our steps...

A cloud burst, unearthing us,
Carrying us to an undisclosed haven,
Your breath on my hair, the warmth I felt...
Our breath in sync,  we swayed and held.

Was that a dawn or dusk, when we met?
Was it shining or dowdy as we were swept?
Not a drop of water or a grain of food we took,
Our bodies paralysed,  yet we stood...

Time elapsed,  a day? a month? Or a year?
In a trance we stood by each other.
The earth sped,  we moved together
Faster; yet slower than ever...

Hope

The shortest distance, I thought
Was between two hearts,
I only had to take a step,
And already there at your door step.

Several months,  your door shut,
I worked alone fearing distress...
Wearing a smile for the world to see,
Gripping the pain holding it within me.

You have your reasons for staying shut,
Not realising, you are inducing a cut,
I try to force myself closer,
You add more distance and walk further.

I am not used being without you,
I don't want to force more trouble on you,
I keep asking do I deserve this pain
But without you my life is vain...

I remain... Bearing pain..
Dawn or not,  I will remain,
Life or end,  I will continue,
Hoping your love will renew.

With love,
Hope



A ghost story



Everything was perfect until two days back I told my mom, that my heart beats fast and feeling scared to go to the restroom during nights. She casually told me to avoid going to that bathroom during nights and use the one in her room instead.

Only those who had experienced living in South Indian houses and not apartments might relate to this story. She further told me that, one of our neighbours told her the story of a woman who lived long back in our house, who was very unhappy and jumped in a well and committed suicide.

Someone who never believed in ghosts, I started to dread every nook and corner of my home. My mom took it upon her shoulders to reassure me and told me not to fret. She further added, that the well was closed soon after the incident, as if that would comfort me.

A small pat on my back one day, a cold touch on my hands the other day and a series of scary dreams today, making my scream all squished up like a toothpaste followed by my son’s answering scream woke the whole street up.

Dreams! Those that was all indianised version of Annabel dragging me by my feet, the floor where I was lying down tilts and tries to take me down, a washing machine comes racing my way and a woman hanging from the celing to my left and to my right a head bent with hair streaming down, like that of the Tamil movie "pisasu", but slightly creative the dream was as it was curly hair and grey hair interlaced unlike the straight and jet black hair. I raise my hand to pull the hair, for whatever reasons God only knows and it was that exact moment, I opened my eyes screaming and my son let out an echoing scream that was induced by mine…

Mom came racing in and said it was just a dream and asked me to drink water.

I sat up still shaking and after a while everyone left to mind their own businesses.

I don’t really remember, how long I sat and stared at my hands furled on my lap.

I chided myself…. uff! It’s just a dream.

When I unfurled my hands to raise myself up and my eyes narrowed and I raised my palms towards the light, was that… Hair?

Relationship


Dreams and reality
When I was 23 and it was a day before my wedding, my mom stopped by me and pulled me into a private conversation. Her gyan, I heard half hearted, impatient and did I dismiss? No! I could not have dismissed, it was there and still there reverberating in my ears, I can still recall the exact words she spoke.
Mine was the "arranged marriage", typically Indianised way. I had few of my friends asking me how I can start my life just like that with a stranger? How can I even think of going to a bed with a stranger? How could I even think of spending a lifetime with someone I was introduced barely a month before?
It was a private corner in the store room of the wedding hall, I chose to hibernate. There was still a day and half for the wedding and the wedding hall was filled with few close relatives, kids running around laughing. The store room gave me the privacy to cry my heart out. My mom caught me crying, it was then she pulled me to listen to her gyans. She asked me why I was crying?
Mom: As a bride, you should be happy. Did we not get your consent before the wedding got finalised? You got second thoughts? Do you love anyone?
I negated; nodding my head. My first crush on a cousin of mine and a colleague from office who proposed came to my mind. Am I doing a mistake? I bit my lips and told my mom, "I am too young Amma and I think I am not ready for wedding yet." Mom said, "At 60, if you are unmarried, you would still not be ready. I wasn’t ready, when I married your dad too and I was 25. Trust me you will never be ready. But, 'these’ things should happen early, only then when you retire, you will have a grown-up son to support you."
I looked at my mother with new respect and to my eyes she was like Lord Krishna preaching Bhagavadh Gita to Arjuna.
Mom: What are you exactly worried about?
Me: What if he is a violent person? What if he doesn’t allow me to visit you all after wedding? What his family doesn’t like me?
I paused then added, what I thought I dreaded the most, " What if I overslept? I should cook, clean and it frightens the hell out of me."
Mom: He looks like a fine chap to me. He respects elders. You will get used to cooking and cleaning.
Mom: (Wicked grin)I told you several times before, you should have learnt cooking and you could have helped me cleaning. If you had, you won’t have such fears now right?
Me: hmmm…
Mom: I would like to warn you about one more thing. Whatever you dreamt about marriages won’t happen. The reality will be opposite to what you have dreamt.
Me: hmmm..
Mom: If you thought he will take you out everyday for a movie or for a dinner, then drop such thoughts. If you are lucky it might happen once in a month or two maybe.
Me: mmmm…
Mom: Remember dad is spending so much of money to get you married. Think twice before you talk back to your husband or in-laws.
Me: Mom, on the contrary I am planning to give my salary to you after marriage.
Mom: Don’t even dare to think such things. For us, self respect is more important than money.
Me: (heads lowered, tears started to flow)
Mom: But, they have daughters, so they will understand. I am sure they will put up with you.
Me: Put up with me? What do you mean?
Mom: Before I forget, you know what wedding involves, ahem! You know what I mean… Don’t throw any tantrum.
That was the last straw and I rushed out of the room and locked myself inside a rest room and puked.
Between tears, doubt and hope, if not radiant, I glowed time to time at the attention people showered on me and at those hasty exchange of shy glances with my fiancee and at the camera flashes, and while exchanging garlands. We finally entered the holy state of matrimony, with so much of doubts lurking inside, it was like entering martyrmony and not matrimony.
Did these fears last?
It did till the next day. Till the embarrassment of bearing with relatives, ushering me inside the decorated room where we were expected to spend our wedding night. The fears lasted till, I saw my husband, standing there embarrassed, eager, tired and ready to bolt away at a slightest chance. I felt confident and the motherly protective instincts raised inside me and I smiled at him and in a while, 'things' took its natural course and my son now is 19. Retirement is not far away and whether I expect him to support me or not, my mom’s Gyan proved right, I would still be a young mother, when he gets married.
Needless to say, we grew to love each other, while those of my friends who married for love drifted apart.
My mom’s final Gyan proved right. She said, "expectations leads to disappointment".
I do sense few raised eyebrows.
But, arranged marriages are an experience unto itself.
If I am given a chance to travel back and choose between love or arranged marriage, I doubt I will have that Dutch courage I had then and I am sure, Suresh, my husband would have ran the other side.

" Beauty is only skin deep", they say…

I used to feel bad all those years back when my cousins spent their hard earned money on fairness cream. They wanted to get rid of their tanned skin, who am I to opine otherwise, though I always believe tanned skin is healthier than the fair ones? They believed in the myth that fair skin is the most sought after. So, they lavished on fairness cream and using them made them happy and turned them confident women. That’s what eventually matters isn’t it?
A decade or two back, women were obssessed with beauty parlours, every street had a small parlour, untidy, unhygienic, but served the purpose. Beauty care got cheaper then and almost anyone, rich or poor can indulge. The affordability, made women more confident. Trimmed eyebrows, waxed arms and "U" type haircuts, bleached faces became common. This was during late 1980s.
Later during initial orkut days, when online romance started to brew up, women who were ready for long distance relationship, started to use Photoshop designing tools to add some whiteness to their skin, some redness to their lips, some blush to their cheeks, few pounds off their body, lushier lips and posted photos in networking sites.
These days photo shopping editor is just an app away and can do everything and anything for us. Easy to operate.
I tried to edit a photo of mine to check how it works and here you go! After everystage, I have captured the image and from being erm plump, I can make my face look slightly thin? Whether it looks good or bad is something else altogether.
Every new innovations has their challenges and advantages, you win some and you lose some. I seem to have won a fairer skin and thinner face but lost being natural and slowly starts to believe in this make believe world and believe the mirage.
Beauty is only skin deep they say… It has now turned into a only a Photoshop tool away…

wisdom comes with experience

At one, I learnt crawling was fun. At forty one, I still feel crawling is fun #blamemykneesnotme