Thursday, September 26, 2013

Last call in the "uncertain" Life

Life is as “uncertain” as a dice not knowing what number you will get. Life sometimes is more “uncertain” that it sometimes throws a number not on any faces of the dice. You are left confused and conflicted with the reality that you refuse to accept it. You thought that you have considered all probable scenarios; your plans so solid that you are led to believe that you are aware of all possible outcomes of the game. But in the end, the least imagined chance takes place and leaves you in a state of shock making you a fool, laughed by the cruel endeavors of fate.

On Tuesday, the 6th of August 2013, I was bored without any work to do in office and was passing time in the cafeteria sipping coffee. Without much reason like any other day, I dialed his number and waited. He picked up the phone shortly and answered “Thambi! Ennaya?” in his usual caring voice. I asked him the de facto question for I don’t remember ever to have started the calls with him without those words, “Enna Perippa, enna panreenga?” (Perippa, What are you doing?). He replied that he was at work in School. I could hear few voices in the background. On any other day, I would have responded that I will call him later when he is not busy and I called for no important reason. But somehow on that day, I remembered that he was unwell with cold and cough during the previous weekend. It was I, who had persuaded him to go to the hospital with me after he had ignored repetitive requests from Perima. I had told him that I also need to go for a checkup and he partly agreed to go to the hospital for me only. It was the very first time that I drove the car with him personally.
Remembering this, I asked him if he is alright now. He nodded that he is slowly getting better now. He was speaking in his usual soft voice. Not satisfied with his answer, I insisted “Why are you at work when you are supposed to be resting in home?” again. He rubbed off saying that he will leave soon. He added that he is not going to shop anyway and spends time only in his office as Correspondent in the school. I was feeling fine and thought he needed a break anyway. May be I was speaking loud or the anxious tone I had when I heard that he is in school,  he started laughing when I reminded him again “Go home and take rest soon”.  “You are the only person to have not scolded me before. But now, you have too.” He remarked. Even though I and my sisters, Bhuvana, Packia and Manicka try to advise him whenever he does something against his health, my words would always be soft and appear as an advice while theirs are mostly orders - not following them will have consequences for him. Somehow he felt that my advice that day appeared like their orders to him. We laughed together and I rephrased that it was just an advice for his own sake. He laughed again softly and said that he will leave soon. We wished good byes to each other and I told him that I will visit him the following weekend when I come home. “Seriya, Vachurava”, (Ok. I will end the call now) he spoke softly. I replied back “Ok. Perippa.” and the call ended, unknown to me or him that it would be the last we would ever speak to each other.
The next day evening at 6:14 PM, I called Bhuvana’s number and she was saying that he is currently admitted in Intensive care unit in the hospital though unknown to both of us, he might have left us already… forever. The dice played a number not in any of its faces and we stood lost.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

With only Memories to hold - My Perippa - Part I

The song is ended,
but the melody lingers on...
Irving Berlin

There is a saying that we never realize the importance of someone until we lose them. For me, I never realized that I would lose someone of such importance in my life so soon. As a matter of fact, I still deny believing that I have lost him. The way of understanding my greatest loss, is to realize that he cannot become part of my future memories and all those precious tiny moments I had with him so far are what I will have to hold on and cherish forever. The thoughts I will have; the dreams I want to share; the wisdom I long for; the blessings I need from him; would not be reaching anytime in need anymore. The days and every moment I had spent with him were memorable in every little way possible. The least I can do now is to write down the tiny droplets of the time that I remember of him, my beloved Perippa.

  1. It is hard to recall the very first memory with him. Was it visiting him in hospital when he was hospitalized for the accident that hurt his finger or was it for some other reason? Was it the day he was driving Avanti Autogear in the early morning to play shuttle badminton in Cosmopolitan Club? I can recall only his smile vaguely at both the times.
  2. I and my sister Bhuvana are crazy about non-vegetarian food right from childhood. I very well remember the days he would take us to the restaurants Sampurna or Jamuna once every week without fail. We would sit on the corner table and will order a small plate of Biryani for myself and Bhuvana and also a plate or two of Chicken 65. He would ask if we want Boneless or Bone-‘ness’ chicken and we will give our choice for the week with much thoughts. Though I never preferred bones in chicken roast, I would order that just for a change and the way it is pronounced - “ness”. I believe we continued our trips to Sampurna until they closed. I can’t remember why or when we stopped these trips though.
  3. As I mentioned in the first point, he used to play Shuttle Badminton in Cosmopolitan Club daily. During school holidays, we would accompany him to the Club and will take the unused rackets available there for our own play. Though we were never allowed to play in the courts, we used to play beside them hitting the shuttle corks higher and higher. One more interesting thing in the club is that they had playing cards tables and he would take me near the rooms to get the damaged playing cards packs for us to play in home. We had so many of those packs that we never had to worry about not having playing cards at home. I wonder if Bhuvana still has those packs, for she unlike me keeps all her games and toys very safe.
  4. My mom had told me about this memory though I do not remember it now. As we are a big family with three brothers and their families living together and not to forget their 4 sisters who live not very far from one another, our vacation trips used to be in car occupied by twice the capacity it is said to hold. Imagine 7 adults and 3 kids travelling in a 5 seat sedan or sometimes add few more as they are the only remaining ones waiting for a ride. As the car would always be over occupied, my dad would be left without any space and he will be forced to travel by bus. My mom says that I had once questioned Perippa on why my dad is always left to come by bus. The remedy he made was simple. Just squeeze my dad to sit in the already packed small car and to not leave him out in our future trips. Of course, even my mom was not happy to share the space inside the car.
  5. What was different about this less educated (Perima tells me that he never finished 10th standard in School) business oriented person is his undying interest in Computers and Electronic Gadgets. It is not far from true if we consider him to be the very first person in Town to own a Personal computer in 1980s itself. I have seen the earliest of personal computers like IBM PC XT and IBM PC AT because of him. Our initial days with the computer were in the small room made in our shop especially for keeping the computer cooled by an air-cooler machine and an air-conditioner later. The earliest memory I have in that computer room is that of a hot summer afternoon when we had brought in pillows to sleep in the room when he was working on the computer. We just loved being in the room with him and that may be one of the reasons of my passion about computers. I was brought up with computers from the early age.
  6. Fast forward a few more years and I have grown up and obtained knowledge well enough to operate a keyboard. And what about him who was least educated in Tamil let alone in English, he was off to Computer classes in the early morning and had tutors teaching him Quattro, WordStar and Dbase – the latest DBMS language at that time. If this does not astonish one, take a note that he had the GIST card installed which allowed him to type in Tamil language in his accounting software. I remember the small paper he had with the key translation for typing the complex Tamil language in the QWERTY keyboard. Within few months that paper note was not needed and he would type as a pro. He also taught me to type in Tamil and it took me years to learn it completely. As there are so many more to share about his and our adventures together with computers, I will save them for a separate post.
  7. Being a keen listener, especially on things related to computers, I would always look at the computer screen when he is busy loading the financial accounts in the system. On one such instance, he was typing a long company name in a short field and the name would not fit. He was unable to identify a suitable replacement for the long name. Watching him with wonder, I suggested changing the last word “Company” to “Co.” which made the name fit perfectly. Though a simple idea which I had seen him do so many times before, my sudden response surprised him and he was in all praise of me and was saying it to so many others. Very much proud inside my heart, I just brushed off with fake modesty that it is nothing complicated.
  8. It was my first Karate demonstration in our School and I was wearing the white Karate dress with the Orange belt that I had achieved earlier that year. The bell rang and about 10 of us assembled in the middle of the school playground ready to perform the Katas and Sparing moves in front of the school correspondent, Principal, teachers, parents and all hundreds of students. Then all of a sudden, the photographer pulled me outside the group and made me stand aside from others and asked me to pose for a photograph. Now, it is not just the photographer’s camera staring at me. There was the entire group from the stage, my teammates as well as every person in the school campus who have their eyes fixed on me. And of course, there was Perippa standing little behind the photographer smiling at me. He was the one who had asked the photographer to shoot me. Out of shock, I was not even embarrassed and silently posed back with my ready stance and ran back to join the group who were still looking at me.
  9. Though it is not that he has never scolded me, it was all but a momentary reflex of the stupid things I used to do. But there was one day during my 9th standard annual holidays. As there were special classes for the upcoming 10th standard, I was staying in Dindigul while my mom had gone to grandma’s place. It was a Friday evening and as the classes for Saturday were cancelled, I told him in our shop that I want to go to native place for the next 2 days. As he always advises to come and look after the shop during the holidays, he would not let me go. I, unknown of the trouble I was creating on myself, I kept asking him again and again adding much to his irritation. Then all of a sudden, for the first time to my knowledge he scolded hard that I am being very irresponsible for wanting to waste the holidays instead of learning something useful in shop. Never felt his anger before, I was controlling my tears and left to our other shop next door completely red-faced. Seeing my troubled face, my cousin realized that something is wrong and questioned me. My tears ran over my control and I started crying silently. He took me back to Perippa and supported me to go to my native place. But he was still not convinced and scolded me back. I just stood there weeping and went back to the other shop again. We never talked that remaining night, but when we had closed the shop after business hours, he simply asked me to get on his bike and dropped me in the bus stand to go to my grandma’s place. I had no words to say and the trip was silent and haunted me all the way. I wanted to say sorry to him for being irresponsible and for not obeying him that way. But being a scared kid, I did not speak to him. By the time, I reached my grandma’s house; he called the phone checking if I had reached safely. I think he wanted to speak with me in the phone as I heard my mom replying back that I am not near the phone and was playing in the other room. I never got to tell him this and I can never anymore.
  10. Being very close to all members of the big family, I would go to anyone’s house anytime and stay overnight whenever I would like to. The Saturdays had a routine during my school days. As the School would be a holiday, Perippa would call home in the morning asking me to come to the shop. I will drive by my bicycle and will sit next to him in the computer room and walk around the shop doing odd things. When the shop is closed for lunch, we would go to a Video rental store in his bike and I will choose an English movie that I like. We will go to his home; have lunch together and will start watching the movie. As he has the habit to sleep for few hours in the afternoon, he would sleep in the middle of the movie. I will watch the movie alone and once it ends, we will get ready for shop once again. The fun part of it is when he would ask me to narrate the story which generally involves me saying “ivan kettavan… ivan nalavan... “(he is the bad guy… he is the good guy) pointing on the screen. He would laugh at my narration and generally asks the question for most movies just for fun. The 1966 film, Born Free and 1972 film, Crazy boys of the game are his favorites and I very well remember watching and enjoying the movies with him.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's the day.... again!

  • It’s the day that you look forward for the next 364 days
  • It’s the day that truly is yours and yours only (until you get married... (and have a kid)).
  • It’s the day that takes loooong time to start and you pray that it takes a loooooonger time to end.
  • It’s the day that you just hope nothing goes wrong so that you won’t be jinxed for the rest of the year.
  • It’s the day you act like a king even though you are not and you will not accept it.
  • It’s the day that you want to be awake when it starts.
  • It’s the day that empties your wallet and damages your credit cards.
  • It’s the day you smirk like a celebrity tired of taking phone calls all day.
  • It’s the day when Beeps, Likes, Comments, Rings and Knocks are simply not enough.
  • It’s the day your friend turns into enemy temporarily for forgetting "it’s the day".
  • It’s the day your school teacher excuses you from doing homework, scoring low marks or being "you".
  • It’s the day you wait for the special someone to notice you.
  • It’s the day that you don’t want anyone to claim that it is theirs day too.
  • It’s the day to be embarrassed being sung the song in front of everyone, but still being bold enough to face it.
  • It’s the day that you have no reason to be proud of, but still get congratulated... (unless you are old).
  • It’s the day of surprises and acting to fake surprises.
  • It’s the day when sweets are on the top of the list and sometimes top of your head.
  • It’s the day that gives you cards, gifts, sweets and more.
  • It’s the day that becomes the worst when left alone away from the loved ones.
  • It’s the day that you makes you happy but scared when counting the age.
  • It’s the day when Joey cried "Why God? Why? We had a deal!"
  • It’s the day that you make wish blowing the candle(s).
  • It’s the day that you want to be declared holiday just for you.
  • It’s the day that you want to have the greatest fun in your life.
  • It’s the day that your parents want you to be the most disciplined as every other day of your life.
  • It’s the day that you go first on e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
  • It’s the day to get beaten where the door might have hit you or the dog bit you.
  • It’s the day when only one thing goes on your friends mind.
  • It’s the day that called your birthday.
  • It’s the day you write this and someone will reply to the post saying,
Happy Birthday!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

What-if theory - Revisited

It is time to revisit one of my old posts from this blog titled "What-if theory". The post was about the theory made by one other than Satman during one of our crazy but good old crazy  (I said crazy before, didn't I?) discussions in Charlotte.

Basically, this is what the theory states.
“In a not-so-realisitic world, there exists beings of two kinds, one getting paid for not doing any work and the other paid the same money for doing work, provided one is given a choice to choose between the two eccentric kinds.”

And my choice at that time was as simple as "I want work". The question seemed so simple to me though the choice raised eye-brows of quite a few around me at that time. People kept questioning me "Why? Why when you are being paid for not doing any work??". I just shrugged.
But now, I think if I am asked the same question, I wonder if my answer would be different. Atleast the question is no longer simple to me anymore. And this is scaring me a lot. How can I imagine myself feeling fine getting paid without work. That is not the same person I was few years before when I wrote that post. What changed in me that made me doubt my answer now. I try to press myself think hard about it. Various reasons arise. Am I being money-minded (more than I should be)? Am I being unjust and unfair to the world? Has the evil part of my taken over my actions and thought? Have I just turned lazy? Or am I enlightened to know the non-necessity of work? Have I finally realized what all others around me had realized long back? Am I coming back to reality? Do I think the world has mis-used me because I took the road less travelled? Is it because I am married and have a kid? Or does it have to do anything with what I am doing right now for work?
I believe the last sentence makes more sense any other questionable reasons I can think of. The answer was simple to me because I loved the work I did before. I loved things around me when I am work. I just simply believed that I was doing what I wanted to do and what I thought I can do forever. And Because I loved what I did as work, I simply said "I want work". What is clearer more to me is my earlier answer was indeed incorrect. I should have said "I want work that I love". That makes more sense. People can be fine (strong possibility) if they are allowed to work on what they love and the factor of money may not matter much.
So my friends who answered against me may not have been wrong either. They felt they are fine with being paid without work because the work they did was not what they wanted but had to. We just need to find the one we love and make it as our "work". Then everyone's answers will align to mine. May be people will realize when they seek money they are just chasing happiness but with wrong directions.

This makes me rewrite Satman's what-if theory. Let us call it Satman-Injey What-if theory.

“In a not-so-realisitic world, there exists beings of two kinds, one getting paid for not doing any work and the other paid the same money for doing work they love, provided one is given a choice to choose between the two eccentric kinds.”

After all, if your heart is not in it, you are nothing but a Zombie calling "Brainzzzzzzzz".

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Who are we?

We sat there starting at each other. Our eyes were fixated as if they were trying to pierce each others. The eyes were full of questions. Questions which needs to be answered. The questions that could not be asked. Questions that can not be questions as they do not make sense.  Questions we already know the answer, but could not be spoken aloud. Questions that were killing us to question "who are we?".

The smoke flew high slow and soft. The room was so silent that we could prove that smoke has a voice. May be a whisper to break the silence. "What do you think we are going to do now?", a question so irrelevant to the situation, nevertheless was finally stated. "Someone will have to pay the price. Someone needs to tell us what happened or we all are going to regret it". The burning end of the cigarette ended its life on the table. And so began the story.

It was less than 2 nights ago. The day was fresh, the wind was cold and inside the secret meeting room we all had sat down. If we are to win this, we need to work together. We cannot have any mistakes. Not anymore. We were losing more and more every day. They have been taking over our territory slowly. What was ours a month ago is now theirs. We know we can not allow that. We need a plan. A plan that will show that we shall not be challenged. The main part of the plan was to attack them at night with complete coordination. We have to give them the biggest surprise and finish them all. But before the plan, we need resources. We decided that we will call our headquarters for hi-tech supplies. Guns and glory. We need to have them all. While we wait for the ammunition to arrive, we will engage ourselves in surveillance. The surveillance will tell us all the day to day activities of them enabling us to find the best vantage point for the attack. Once we have received the information, we need to form the attack plan. We should attack not just fast, we need to attack them hard. We should not only be the best soldiers but also armed with the best machinery we have. It is our duty to make sure that we have everything ready for us to fight. We shall communicate only in codes. Of course, we had different code languages for difference situation. But this calls for the best code that we had developed long back. We know what we are talking about. While working together as a team is very important, we must also remember following orders is what keeps us focussed. Therefore when we give the orders, we must follow them. We cannot have questions on the orders for we are much experienced and we are what makes us stronger. When we are inside their base, never lose your sights. They may not be prepared for that night, but their fear of us have made them more vigilant than before. And after the last fight, they would not sleeping well. We may not know this but we showed them the face of terror in the last fight. Their survival was nothing but luck. We will take away that luck today. We will show them the terror in full. We will win this war. We will end this war. We will be victorious. 
And remember, we must wait at the bar outside their base partying all night long mingling with the nightly crowd without raising any suspicion until we have returned from the mission with glory.

The fire lit up the new cigarette into bright red. The smoke filled the emptiness of the room again. "So why are we here?". Another question as dumb as the previous one before. We were seated in silence in the dark far corner of the bar. No one is going to come back from the mission. We were all in the bar and it is all who were all in the secret meeting room.

When we say 'we', who are 'we'?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

No more excuses

OK. I definitely have to write something today. All my excuses that I can use to not write blogs are not available now. As you may remember, it is one of my new year resolution too. With Chini and Junior so far by 8432 miles from me, and sitting alone in home on a long weekend with no interest to do any work and no good movies to watch in theatre, I realize that I have to do this. Redbox movies, Netflix and good lazy sleep can keep me occupied only for so much time. And my recent curiosity to learn the art of cooking has suprisingly turned simple and easy to accomplish that I actually made Channa masala while talking on phone with my mom in a record 15 minutes and Brinjal curry in unbelievable 10 minutes. Just read about my mushroom biryani adventure if you dont understand my excitement. And the food turned out to be edible and I am eating it. So with nothing else to do, I pushed myself to write something here.

Though, logically speaking (or writing), I can finish this post as I have already written something, I am pushing myself to write few meaningful words.

1. It is boring to be all alone in a 2 bed room apartment.
2. Chini and Junior had kept me occupied all the time. Now it seems so different not to have  both of them even to greet me when I return home from work.
3. We have put up furnitures and Junior's stuff for sale. It pains a little to sell something that Junior used a lot.
4. Zero Dark Thirty is way thrilling than Argo. It really deserved the best picture Oscar. Wondering why it was given to Argo.
5. In the age of Video games having great storyline, Resident Evil movie series keeps creeping out in storyline. Someone finish the movie series and better start with a reboot.
6. Where there is will, there is way. When there is no other way, you learn to cook.
7. Psych drama wanted to be Sherlock. But it turned out to be Tinkle's Shikkari Shambu and Siruvar malar's Inspector Vijay comic strips. Silly but addicted.
8.  I have lot of things in my mind to expand my photography craziness. That includes Nikon 24-70 f2.8 lens, Nikon SB910 flash and an indoor photo studio setup to shoot portraits. (I wonder whose)
9. It feels good to write this post. But I am thinking hard to complete with 10 points.
10. And there we go. 10 points.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The usual suspects for 2013

So it's New Year... once again. I think Time is only thing that seems to proceed as per the plan. Of course, I am ignoring Einstein's theory of relativity as we are talking about reality and not relativity. 366 days since the beginning of last year and many things have changed. Some positive on the personal side and many negative on the outside. But lets leave the ranting about the past for some other post. Coming to the point, New Year is always an auspicious day for making resolutions. Resolutions that are many times forgotten and sometimes made as a reference for the next New Year's list. That does not stop one from making it every year unless you are Calvin who has a strong feeling against resolutions.

Here are the usual suspects that i have decided to take up for this year 2013.
1. Reduce weight - I think this tops  the list of 90% of all people around the world and it deserves to be in the top of my list too.
2. Keep Blogging - I wish I could have shared more of my thoughts through my blog in 2012. A lot of interesting and memorable events to be captured. A lot of happenings to be analyzed and argued. But I did not do it with the usual words "I was busy with.. etc.. etc..". Lets try to rectify that this year. Shall we?
3. Dont Procrastinate - As someone said, "Procrastination is the bad habit of putting of until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday". If I keep up with this resolution, I probably can maintain all of my other resolutions. 
4. Stay Connected - This resolution is made not just to keep myself connected in Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Foursquare...... Its for staying connected in the real world too.
5. Write a Story - Ah! The special resolution that I forced myself into. This would be the achievement of the year... if I complete it.

The list might seem short. But I have a long way to go to achieve each and everyone of it. So cheers! Here is to a focussed and productive New Year!