The parting gift from kerala

The rains are finally here. And they have washed up quite a lot of memories.

Of playing in the puddle, trying to catch the small fishes and tadpoles, ever vary of the watersnakes...

Of being wrapped up in a blanket and listening to the roar of rain at night...

Of prayers demanded, but unheeded...

Of hugging slightly wet doggies and retaining the doggy smell in my clothes all day....

Of waiting for the rain to start, forgetting to even breath and staring at the sky...

Of listening and identifying the roar of the ocean from the chatter of rain sitting in my backyard...

Of climbing down the almost full well when parents are not at home, and taking many impromptu bathes...

Of finding a great river in a nearby stream, and finding an ocean in the nearby pond...

Of watching the coconut trees lash out in agony as the wind laments for the falling drops...

Of books read with the rain as the background...

Of birds nests down and re-errected..

Rain for me, bring the memories of childhood back.

And during a not that long time ago -

Of cycling in the rain to reach home to wait for a phone call...

Of balancing an umbrella in one hand and the assignment in another - and keeping the assignment dry so that some one then special can submit it...

Of realising that it is not to be and crying, and the rain giving me company in a new place...

Of trekking in the hot sun, and suddenly being rejunuvated by the rain...

Of heartbreaks, and each time the rain cries my heart out for me...

Of walking in the rain with friends in the security of a campus with a small area but a large heart...

Of realities, and the sadness that they bring...

But rain consoles me... and substitutes my tears so that my ego remains unshattered.


My Reservations

One upon a time, not that long ago and not so far away, when I was a kid, we had a servant at our home, called 'Rajani's mom' [ RM from here onwards.] She lived nearby, and had two kids, and the stereotypical, good for nothing husband. She did the jobs in and around the house, and went to the nearby cashew nut factory during day time. My mom and the other elders called her Ramani, but for me, she was always RM.

Now, Rajani and Rati always studied hard. My mom gave them some of the stuff which I never used. Those girls never had any tuition, except for some math and English classes which my mom took for their 10th standard exams. It was expected of them to get a job and do well in life, so they too put in their best.

Finally, Rajani managed to get a good rank in the medical entrance. We naturally expected her to get a medical admission. My mom began to explain the various student loan benefits to her mother. However, after counseling the girl did not make through.


Because another SC/ST candidate got the seat. Now, the candidate who got through was the daughter of a government office worker couples. She had been having tuitions in the best centers, studying in the best schools and colleges available, having 24x7 electricity and no hand me down clothes or torn books.

Which is less than what Rajani had. Rajani finally took up nursing. We felt bad. Everyone felt bad.

Now whenever I hear about reservations, I think about people like Rajani. Would she have benefited from all the pandemonium? I guess not. Chances are that children of tax evading business men who live a life of luxury and IAS officers will. And unless the government has a spine to bring forth the creamy layer rule [ exemption of economically forward SC/ST/OBC candidates from reservation and counting them as part of the general population ] people like Rajani are not going to benefit from it.

Looking at the other side of the coin, many of my upper caste friends are swearing that they will never go to an OBC/SC/ST doctor now. That they may doubt the merit of a SC/ST/OBC professional now. What if that person just got through reservations, and is an idiot?

The caste lines are being repeatedly defined by our government. Only if it had been done on monetary basis - atleast that line is fluid, not permanent.

F*** the B**en C***ts without brains who thought up this amazing idea.


Painful History

Today was a painful day in my life. Having gone to the doc to remove a wart underneath my foot, I listened in horrified fascination as the dermatologist explained to me about the cryo-something that he is about to do on my foot. My dad watched me transform from brown to ash to white to yellow as the doc went on explaining, and intervened :

"She is extremely afraid of pain. She tends to pass out when injections are being given."

Mea Culpa. Despite my bravado and penchant in handling slimy creatures, assorted insects, nocturnal beings, dead fish and sea animals, I am extremely uncomfortable with pain. Let me rephrase it. I am so afraid of pain that even the possibility of pain freaks me out. And having a supersized imagination is no help.

However, thanks to the finer needles, for the past three injections, I have not been freaking out. I didn't even pass out. So this time for the cryofreezing [ I remembered the name - yipee!!] I sat on the chair bravely, eventhough it so reminded me of the dentist's chair.

My last encounter with the dentist's chair - for a filler session - had me black out when the doc tried to spray water into my mouth. I was in 2nd year engineering at that time.

This time, I think of my best friend , and keep talking to him in my mind. I always do it now, to prevent me from freaking out or erupting in a violent fit of anger. That boy has the knack of making me keep my cool. I talked to him - in my mind - about my leg, the politics, and the process that the doc is doing. Nothing happened so far. The process is over. I thank the doc, and my friend and god and step out into the reception.

No blood shed, not even a bandage, I'm cool!!!

The next moment, I am giddy, and I sink into the nearby chair. The swooning - to use a Jane Austian term - lasted for five minutes or more. My dad was unfazed at the face of the inevitable, and made me sit there for another half an hour.

The only consolation was that the receptionist thought of me as a highschool student. I walked out of the place before my dad had the chance to tell him that I am a PG owner, but not before he had told him of my swoon history - including the one time in highschool when my BP was being taken.


Desperate Lives

There is nothing like having a guest from outside to see your state with clarity. Having played host to a fried of mine from the neighboring Tamland, I now sit here, to look back on the visit.

The primary facet of the Mallu psyche which had my friend shocked, disgusted and furious were.... you guessed it, the Mallu men.

Now, I am not a man hater. Neither is she. We both have men as our best friends, and have quite a large collection of male friends. Women are a distinct minority in our friendship circles.

Maybe, that is the reason which led to so much of outrage. Having so many men treat you good has led to a false sense of security, which was abused by strategic revealing of 'mundu' [ a long, skirt type cloth of mallu men which help them from a quick pee to a quick fuck ] to reveal their excitement in seeing us, to invitation to their beds, to abuse, to lewd gestures, to a not so friendly 'hai' 'hello' of total strangers, to men literally putting their head out to ogle at us.

Now, we are no nymphs. We are plain women, who do not merit even a second look outside kerala. But the depressed libodos of the male mallu transformed us to beauties. Oh well.....

However, the desperateness of these guys - whom we christened as DMMs : desperate Mallu Males - also affect us in other ways. Because of them, we are not allowed to go out after 6 pm. A dinner, a trip to the beach, the freedom to wear a short sleeved top than my nightshirt when I venture out home, the freedom to travel in the local bus - all these are debated upon, or outright prohibited by my parents because of the DMMs. I am not blaming them. A father hearing comments like " Heh... you came to guard them eh?? Amazing goods..." in the Kovalam beach will be psyched. Will be afraid. Will be paranoid.

Please do not think that I am bitching about Mallu men. I am not. I am not forgetting those friends who came with me in the middle of the night so that I could attend my first job interview which led to my first job. Those friends who told me about MBA. Those friends who took me around bangalore and showed me the sights of the city. Thise who readily gave me a lift at many places.

I am also bitching about the lady living in the ground floor, who called the guy who lives in the first floor a man of loose morals because he invited a gal pal of his over to his flat - horrors of horrors! - alone. My parents were the only ones who opposed the allegations amongst all the families in the complex- may be because I too have a lot of friends.

Kerala is God's own country, but infiltrated by devils. I hope that the new government teach girls some martial arts and choice abuses in schools to defend themselves from DMMs. desperate and outrageous suggestion, yes, but the situation there is also pretty desperate and filthy.

Talking about the new elections, I am proud of the Mallu electorate. Only those who tended to their constituencies won, leading to the fall of many fiefdoms. How come my state has such heightened political awareness? What is it that make us watch closely and deliver well aimed kicks which topple the thrones of power?

Then I remember: Kerala has more women than men. When men base their allegiance through unions and newspapers, women depend more on the day to day life. Water, good roads, electricity - small stuff, but the goddesses of small things make big things happen.

Again, this is an outrageous claim. But it would be nice if someone does a study on the female influence on the dynamic and comparatively dignified political scene in kerala.


A god book, and a badass author

Another day, another book review. This time, it is A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Non-fiction, and not a happy go lucky tale.

Out of the 514 pages, I have reached page 111. Yet, I type away now, just to tell you that it is easily one of the best books that I have read. And trust me, I have read quite a lot. But no other book has shook me as much as this one, no other book had made me envious as much as this one.

This is how, if I could, I want to write a book. Simple sentences. No lyricsm or poetry. Just the account of every moment, and every feeling. And a clinical objectivity which in its very presence make your throat go dry.

If you suspect that a friend or relative of you may turn out to be an alcohol or drug addict, I suggest that you buy this book for them. If you think that a friend or relative is having a hard time, then I suggest that you buy this book for them. This is the best inspirational book, ever.

And far from the ordinary self help quakery that you find. It celebrates, unintentionally, the dark sprit of human arrogance, the feeling which make us make that one etra step when the world expect us to fall down; and another , and another till we somehow climb out of the abyss.

I suggest you buy this book anyways. Chances are, you are not going to regret it.

NB: I promise that when I finish the book and if my opinion reverse, I will post the revised review here. If this post is not contradicted, then it means that the book is dark rich black chocolate.


***********May 3rd, 2006******************************

That said, as per my promise, I suggest you click on the links given here. But I am a fan of creativity, even in its shittiest form, even if it sticks a knife in me and kicks me to death.


So let us all hear it for Frey, the guru of all copycats. I am not disappointed as the book is a good read, and given that such books sell more, its no wonder the author portrayed him as a victim. However, I am no moral angel. I care only for my pleasure, and if your lie provides me with a hightened sense of awareness, what harm in it for me?

Kavya, atleast lie like this guy does!
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