Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Story of a Mongrel

Ramu was perplexed!
 He has not seen such faces and such expressions in men. They were going around him, encircling him, and were all carrying, menacing swords, machetes, sticks and steel rods. He was having his siesta under the tamarind tree. Its canopy was very thick that, from mid day it effectively eclipsed the hot sun light from burning down under. The shade offered cool and gentle breeze.

His master had hurried out this morning after chaining him to the iron pole that was entrenched into the ground. Ramu didn’t mind being chained or being unleashed during day. He was only particular that by late night he was left unchained so that he can effectively police the boundary of his master’s land. He considered that his prerogative and a right by birth. By birth, because he was born to parents who lived their life in the same house and had the same master.

The mongrel Ramu was an intelligent and alert dog. He was clean and had a wonderfully bright brown coat. He reminded his master each morning if he missed the routine grooming. He never frightened squirrels, or birds that scurry down the tamarind tree. He felt peace in sharing the goodness of life with other creatures. By night he lies on the veranda his fore legs stretched out and his right paw over his left. He loved moon lit nights and spent his nocturnal duty gazing at the stars and glancing at the moon through the corner of the eyes. His bright eyes widen a little amused at the silver- gold ball up there in the skies. He shows alert surprise when the clouds eclipse the moon and the game of hide and seek is enacted up in the skies, go on for the most part of the night. He isn’t worried about the occasional hedgehogs and racoons that skitter at night. For he knows they are harmless as the moon above. Even snakes, he let them pass, and they seldom bothered him. There was a discerning oneness he felt with the surrounds. The blades of  grass, the trees that lend shade to them, the thicket further down the land where the old priest ventured on a special  day every month and performed rituals to the serpent gods, the spring -pond near the thicket with its white and blue water lilies and the fishes that dived and swam in it. The dragon flies that flew low each morning and at dusk, the birds that chirped and tugged at worms and crickets, the smart ravens! But something always told him that he should be wary of Man. Though his master was one! He knew that dogs did not have a choice as they are made so, to be always subservient, to look up to man. And being servile was his destiny, the destiny of a dog.

The group of menacing looking men now encircled him. He could not in the beginning understand what that they were animatedly discussing and arguing amongst themselves. They frequently seem to be invoking the heavens as they looked skyward and raised their hands and weapons in union. And they were menacingly glancing at him as he lay there, still quite confused, but with a sense of ill that something not good was to happen. He began to wish that he was not leashed. He could  have jumped at the intruders and turned them away from any threatening ideas ,or if it was wise enough, moved away passively, leaving human beings to their own wild moorings.

He recalled the haste and the consternation that showed in his mater’s face that morning. He seemed agitated, a bit listless and moving about with a sense of foreboding and urgency. His master packed off in his old automobile with his wife and kids. They even did not remember to latch and lock the gate to the entrance of the compound. Ramu lay beneath the Tamarind tree and let out a deep breath which he usually does when human conduct is incomprehensible.

A man who seemed to be among those who have now encircled him came running out from the house. Ramu heard him gesticulating and shout, “No, he is not in there. That kaffir and his family are not in there. They seemed to have decamped”.Some one in the group swore, “The rascal must have found that today he will meet his nemesis, his judgement”. The beefy man who seemed to be leading the mob raised his hands as if to silence the comments and looked Ramu in the eyes. He pointed his long knife at Ramu and shouted a command at his accomplices. ”If the pariah escaped our wrath, then let us do with this unearthly creature this haram. Mince the dog. Let us make sure of our place in paradise. Kaffir or his dogs, both are haram”.
Ramu did not get a moment to stand up on his limbs or defend, but he saw the shining knife, its blade lunge at him,it hit him like bolt of lightning. He winced and the wince was muffled when his head was severed completely. The mob did not stop there; they chanted praise to their God and  hacked Ramu, by now a cadaver, into bits. The fury of Man, Ramu always did not understand!

He was privy to many similar invocations and violent planning by his master and his coterie of men with flags in burnt orange shades. He had noticed his master gesticulating the way this huge man did, swearing, hands stretched  towards the skies that, “Thy will, will be done”. And that the land will be cleansed off alien faiths and men. Ramu could not understand what was alien in man, beast and flora when it is the same air they breathe, the same moon they see shine at them and the same stars that twinkle at them.
He always felt deep within to be wary of, Mankind!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Missives- of mutual encouragement

" Certain is that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic of a father to a daughter.In love to our wives there is desire;for sons, ambition;but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express".( Quote)

It is great feel to write to one's children , especially when you are separated by much physical distance. And exhilarating  it is ,to get back in reply a missive so comforting. I reproduce below  letters exchanged between a father and child, these came to me a day ago. First the letter that came in reply to mine.

Hey atcha ( Dad).....
Everything here is going good.... So there is no need for u to worry since you are far away!!!!
I'm going back to school today!!!!and will be back next studies are going well.
Its gtng better exams are beginning on the 16th of august....I will be. COming home next month 13th.....
I will keep mailing you!!!!whenever I get to use the Internet.... There is always a problem with that!!

You take care atcha.... ( Dad) ,don't keep worrying yourself about the things here!!!!
See you sometime....sooooon.

With love,


Dear Monkeys,

I only want to remind you ,that, you both must take care of yourselves
and one other. Don’t slip. Take care and well of your studies. If I was
there it would have been comforting for me,but now as it is I might
have to live away from you for long.
Do not make Amma unhappy.

Remember that most important, do not lose your self-respect. Make all
effort to build up a good future. Now remember, especially Aravi, not to
 feel disheartened. And do not be unduly worried about your
future. There is not something that should make you apprehensive. You are only twenty. And still some way to travel before you reach a place to settle down. You know what I mean? Take good care of your studies and be sincere to the field you have chosen.

When people realise that you are sincere, honest and dedicated
they will all lend you all help. Aravi, remember to meet Sangeeth uncle.
Send him your number and as he asked you meet him in Trivandrum, call him on the day he will be there and meet him.

Aravi now that you have realised the limitation  you have because of the
absence of any reading habits, what you and also Radhu must seriously
do is to develop a good reading habit. It is never late to possess good qualities.Aravi remember to read at least
three books a month. Begin reading good fictions and slowly
develop reading  serious stuff, writing will follow. Remember, even Sangeeth's father
reminded you of the need to cultivate reading.

Aravi you have capable people who really matter in their profession and that which now you have chosen, who are willing to assist you. Utililse that gratefully to your
A stint at the Film Institute  and under good  tutelage will do wonders. Just imagine the fortune of having men like Santhosh Sivan lecturing in the class!!!!

Radhu your college admission and your liking for Mumbai and Pune Universities  will depend solely upon the marks you
score in your ISC 12 th examinations this year.So take care. When you study , learn not just from the exam
point of view., but use that to develop an all round knowledge.

Always be careful about people. Observe them. Do not jump into
conclusion of a person being good or bad. All smiles are not smiles and sincere.Absence of smile also should not discourage you.
Especially Aravi, you have a habit I feel, of trusting and loving
people. Good, but take care and not to  be carried away. Most people are
opportunist and will vanish when you are in need or after they make use of your proximity and labour.
Again never lose "self respect". That is the worst form of suicide.

Keep a positive outlook to life. Sunshine  and rains will happen in life and that must be
taken with equal feel.

And both of you keep in mind to do today what you must do today. Don’t procrastinate,
postpone things that you can finish today.

Keep mailing me.
love Atchan ( Dad)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Country Cousin

Little more than a year ago, ‘face book’ helped a friend who was long lost in the wild to send me a sms on my mobile. It was a pleasant surprise! And I immediately responded with a call. We spoke for well quite a while and then she spoke as much to C too. And, as I felt all the while, whenever she fleeted through my memory, that she must be a divorced mother, she told me that was the case. I was waiting for her to tell me rather than I ask if she was still carrying the suffix , and she said, “Anil, I chucked the fellow out”. I told her I presumed so.

 She had impetuously acceded to the proposal of a effete fellow who was the branch manager of the office she worked. After knowing her, I and C , besides some other friends too, felt that , that was going to be an awfully wrong decision that she made. The fellow was not the right kind of a man for a girl like her. We did try to dissuade her, but she jumped the line unilaterally. She told us of her marriage only when that was done with.

And now, she was living in Bangalore with her two sons and parents. I promised to meet her while I travelled on work to Bangalore, but somehow I did not ring her up despite being there often.  Though phone calls were common after that, somehow and after my turbulent transplantation from the place I lived and worked for twenty plus years, I ceased to have the mood to call her and be in touch. I see her often on my Facebook wall, but seldom reciprocated, why, I do not know.

There was an interesting twist to how we befriended and how we exchanged visits (I , C ∧ kids),she to our home and us to her lovely ancestral house in a remote country side in Palghat.
It must be about ten fifteen years ago. I got a telephone call to my office. The voice, a woman’s with good accented English at the other end. She introduced herself that she was calling from an International courier company and would request a meeting to see if it was possible to begin business with my firm. I do not remember if I agreed, but she promised to send a sales executive from her office for discussion. She called me a second time to thank for the meeting and the contract. She used to call often enquiring if there was any courier pick-up from my office. She sounded interesting and her language and sense was impressive. She in fact thought all the while that I was someone from north of India. She was, I felt, a bit excited when I told her that I was from Kerala and now settled in that part of Tamilnad. She exclaimed,”Oh gosh, so you are my country cousin that is wonderful”.

We used to in some manner call either almost every day. She invited me home to her parents place, and in fact I happened to meet her once in her office. I told C about this interesting person with good conversing ability and sweet husky voice. Whenever she called, I used to direct rather mischievously, the conversation into fields that was interesting. I felt that she was in a way excited about talking to me and I could feel her keenness to know if I was espoused. On few occasions she told me that she had called the office while I was out and the call was directed to a lady. I was impish in my reaction! One day she said, “I called your office and happened to speak to the lady there, by any chance is she your wife”? I was at the end of my tether withholding laughter (rather wickedly). I guess I managed to deviate the conversation, said neither yes nor no.

That evening, back home I told C about this interesting conversation and my ‘deft’ handling as I put it.
It was the day after or so, C got the call from the Courier’s and she let the “cat out” as I jocularly, but with a little disappointment, commented. The two of them spoke as usual as by then they were fairly at ease in conversing with one other. And C told her that she was not in the office when she called before, the other day and that I,( her husband )often tells her much about this girl from the Courier’s who speak beautifully.

Later, during some time when she called me, she said, "A, I spoke to your wife”. (!)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Mogul Who Loved His Son More Than Him

Often we blame the industrial age and the cyber age for the ills in the social fabric and the values that we now have. While at the same time acknowledging the wonders and astonishing changes these revolutions have brought forth. Though our social behaviour  have a general disposition warranted by evolution, I believe that, culture along with the shackles of religion have an important hand in determining and controlling human behaviour, determining values and systems. Our feelings too!

The subject of Love was touched upon quite manifestly in the blog ‘B-Log’. Reactions have poured in plenty. This post intends to nudge upon the matter and not just love as was discussed then, but on a more micro level.

I have had ( in retrospect) the amusing  experiences of attending a couple of discourses ostensibly called ”Yoga sessions” and “Inner engineering course”, organised by two gentlemen in ocher robes. I was intoxicated very much during those few days I was at those sessions ,that, when I left the venue I felt wonderfully inebriated and I was virtually walking levitated. A few days after, when reality of life knocked me with its characteristic knock out hook,my behaviour and attitude went back to my old self. I used to say and acknowledged by C that,the immediate aftermath were the days I seldom nagged C or picked up a fight with her. I was floating in blissful spiritual hallucination. Here there was nothing to do with religion or faith.In fact the change for the brief few days was noticeable in me and C. I must categorically discourage any notion that we went to those two ‘vacations’ for transforming ourselves or to seek divine interventions in our affairs. We were cajoled by a couple of acquaintances and thence we undertook the fact finding missions.

So that tells a lot about the impact that  spiritual, religious and occult discourses that are dispensed at the many “divine abodes” and prayer congregations that have mushroomed all over, especially in that stretch of the national Highway from Trichur to Aluva.

If these centres of divine ordinance and dispensations were of any impact, society would have usurped what we are told that heaven is like. Love, compassion, understanding, unselfishness and the few other virtues would have eclipsed the many other vices that are corroding the fabric. There would not have been necessity for “old age homes” – a refuge where we banish people when they turn feeble, sick and old. There may not have been the real life picture of an old infirm mother in her nineties confined into the corner of a cow shed by her own sons and daughters. There may not have been avarice, greed and insensitivity, even amongst siblings and children of the same womb.

A fascinating anachronism has to be mentioned here, however trifle it may be to some. A respected elderly gentleman passed away a few months back. He is survived by his three children. The last many years of his life was spent with his youngest child. His children are all well educated and in respectable positions in life. It was after a couple of months after his passing away, that his youngest child noticed his bank balance of a few lakhs of Rupees. Instead of cornering the small fortune to her, which would not have surfaced anyway as nobody else had an idea of that, she divided the money into six equals and deposited into six accounts in the credit of the late gentleman’s six grand children and sent the deposit receipts to them. “A watershed in stupidity in the present day”!

No divine ordaining was required for the act I mentioned. It was ingrained in the gene. While learning history in the middle school, most of us may have been told about the unrequited love of the Mogul invader Babur for his son who was ailing and sinking .It is said that he spent an whole night by the sick son’s bed and prayed to his God .He pleaded and beseeched his god to relieve his child from the suffering and appropriate his life instead. The wish was granted, so the legend notes! This act of the Prussian monarch was espoused as selfless, laudable and heavenly. In simple terms a father bartering his life if that would save his child.

If a parent is told about his or her child’s illness, accident or misfortune there may not be parents who would not overcome everything in their way to be near the child. They may invoke all gods and offer themselves in every which way, if that can provide reprieve to the child. We call it selflessness; we call it love in pristine form. We may enact a “Babur”. By the same token how would Man react if it is the parents’ life that is on the block? Will Man, without batting an eyelid exercise the same love for his/her father or mother?
It may not be untruth to say that Man may not and that may be because Man see little of him in the parent, but see himself in his biological creation.

And we call it love- selfless!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An Evening

Self importance- the feeling of inflated pride and consequently the tormenting feel of hurt to his ego, it has happened to all of us at some point in life, but it happens to him often. Instances which dented his feeling of self importance! The reluctance to let go the consequent urge to fight back, to retaliate any which way he can. The social and other etiquette are flung away as his pride is hurt. He knows that the subject that is instrumental for the feeling is insignificant and of little importance, but his mind does not accept the little pin -prick to the ego. He hits back and makes a mountain of a trivial little mole hill. Matters then reach a stage of serious consequence. The situation threatens to explode out of his hand.

On another plain he knows that the other person was brash and offensive. And that he was directed by his 
vanity and imperious nature. He also knows that the other is strong, physically. And a brawl may be unsafe for him. But still he refuses to see the writing on the wall and retaliates. His pride is inflated and does not subside. The consequence bruised ego and bruises all over. What if he had let the other enjoy the momentary imperial satisfaction, what if we had ignored his impetuosity and turned away? The blind rage of the bull is always to the advantage of the toreador!

The fields were green with grass, there were crickets hopping around. In the setting sun the shallow brook nearby was sparkling gold. The horizon touching the hills was crimson as the sun slipped slowly beyond and below. On the field I stood, there were a few crows pecking at the buffalo droppings. The Mainas were pulling at an earth worm they managed to pick. The dragon flies were flying low and dancing a ballet. Further down the field a group of little boys were chattering away while playing football. The few water buffaloes in the stream came up and eyed the surroundings. I noticed one of them a brute of a fellow poke his horns on another, inviting a confrontation. The offended one turned around eyed the brute as if telling what and how he felt about him. He did not charge back, he moved away from the brute. Apparently he must have seen that there is space around to be at peace and not engage in the war of pride. A physical confrontation was unlikely to be in his favour. The brute looked helplessly miffed for a moment and moved to another to vent his brawn. 

He has not known , he did not foresee that his match would arrive one day!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

How Candid , Candid can be?

“But of all plagues, good Heaven,thy wrath can send, save me,  oh, save me, from the candid friend”! (Quote)

While I was in college, I wrote a piece – an essay and submitted for publication in the college magazine, on a subject which the moderator who was one of the professors declined. He presumed that the topic was controversial and candid for comfort. Those were the days when the British Council Library was my favourite jaunt and there, there was no dearth of books to provoke the thought process and turn an adolescent or a teenager into persistent rebel. I do not have the copy of the essay now with me.

Over the past years I do not remember having many associates who would be comfortable if an open discussion or observation were called for and opinions are possibly straying into unconventional. There was one person who used to be open and uninhibited in discussions and that was an unlikely person, the late mother of a class mate and friend of mine. It was she who assisted, when her daughter and some of us got together and began conducting program  and discussions in the “Youth forum” of the All India Radio. Yes, indeed there was a code that could not be crossed and that was the code of being “goody, goody” as society deem. Sometimes she used to open her eyes wide and look at me which conveyed the message that my expression was stark, though she did not encourage me to refrain from expressing so.

However I do not see that in the society we live, for there is no room, space and allowance to be candid as candid can be. And that can be because of the barriers that exist and the element of hypocrisy that has eaten into the social fabric and has come to dwell in each one of us. Can anyone claim to be untouched by the trait?

Then the next best medium to vent one’s thoughts came along through the virtual medium, in the form of “Blogs”. To me it was a Utopian idea that became a fact- fortunately so! I suddenly found that I could vent myself and be not worried of what the other would say. To quote a fellow blogger, “nakedness”! The best, the wonderful, the most elegant and the most comfortable suit and it doesn't cost a nickel-it is “the birthday suit”. So, blogging for me is reflection of nakedness in spirit. I stumbled on the Blog title “Musings” and opted for that, as I felt whatever rubbish I write and post are thoughts that happen to myself and are not much encumbered by premeditation. The virtual world listens to you and that is a privilege you may be refused even by your spouse! Blogs are often stereotyped by its owner- the content, the subject etc. Many chose to wade away from controversial or uncomfortable subjects; they may not even touch some post even with a barrage pole. Well one has the right to choose any which one wants.

I do not claim or intent when I write a Post that the topic is meant to change a generally held opinion. That is not in my realm. If a reader agrees with it well -'salam'- and if someone doesn't, 'salamu allekum'. If someone decides that I have no right to disagree with his/her views, well that may not convince me, as agreement or disagreement cannot be blind like faith to many. I express these, because generally I Blog on subjects those are not tasty to the conformist.

In due course of time, I wondered should I be unhappy and disappointed when someone rebuke and tear down my postings, or silently edit or eliminate my comment, the content the idea of the subject or an observation. Heck why must I? Criticism is a healthy fodder, its fun, can provoke healthy discussion should the criticiser will and most of all it helps one to analyse an observation that one made to invite the rebuke or a disagreement. It was Voltaire who opined wisely, “I detest what you say, but I’m prepared to die for your right to say that”. I feel one must keep to oneself if one disagrees to someone disagreeing. Better go incommunicado for life if one fears strands of disagreement or a divergent view.

What if my postings are termed jeering in content, expressions and choice of words too potent for satisfying prescripts? I reminded myself that the Blog is named “Musings” and that very much denotes and empathically states that there must be no forbiddances. I noticed there will be, occasions when the state of mind, a subject, or a matter that created feeling in me getting delivered as a Blog- post. The content, words, the sentences, all may reflect the state of mind. I let it be, because it is outrageous and utterly false to claim, and make believe by writing or saying something that is pleasing when your mind says the contrary and vice versa. One cannot, unless one is a maverick who has parented the art of dominating thought, write or say something that one does not subscribe to. What I blog are mirror to my thoughts and feelings and I shall not deny that. However  when I post, even Blog posts alluding to a real life persona does not have any mention of the protagonist or antagonist by name. Perhaps people who are familiar with the story may notice through. And I see Blogging, a means to palliate stress.

Now I come to the other companions in the Blog world. Some are irregular and some are less inspiring in comments. To receive comments such as, awesome; how true; beautifully said, and many other such one word and one liner seem to be the ones less inspiring. It is waste of cloud computing space when superficial, trivial and insignificant reactions are noted in the Blog. Then there are Bloggers who keep an imperial air and seldom reciprocate a comment or a Post, though I admit that sometimes their blogs are the ones with substance and I read their postings unfailingly and also leave sincere and honest comments. Certainly it is their prerogative to reciprocate!

There are Bloggers who dislike a comment only because they perceive offense in every word. I do not find something to agree with comment moderation. That in my opinion is stifling speech and expression. When I write and post in my blog, it is in principle like leaving the doors of my house open for visitors. I, while I leave my doors open cannot pre-empt a visitor from stepping in. That is, in my opinion inappropriate. And deciding on the comment you want on your post is indeed pre-empting. If one is not receptive to a different idea then one must not be expressing it in public. Blogs are after all a public space, domain. This opinion is in spirit of the matter and not to be literally taken if someone disagrees and decides to tear it down. Postings with explicit nature are a different proposition.

However the fascination with blogging is enhanced with the “nakedness” of thoughts that are translated into Posts! And the young man Oshu is a good example. No holds barred expressions without sautéing and garnishing. B’s blog, B-log is immensely refreshing. She has the acumen to touch upon subjects that are flung apart; her comments too are a genre apart. “My Travels, My Life” is a glass prism that reflects the factual image if one looks into it carefully. Balan’s poetry – subtle and crystal like, they shatter when dropped, but the vibration of the shatter stays for long like pleasance one would refuse to let go. Kavita’s -Room is like spring with burst of flowers all the while. She seems to be well researching her subjects. I cannot understand how Shilpa Garg’s roving camera can pick up the nuances around so wonderfully. Her short fictions are quite good. Doc Antony is always ensuring the heart beats in rhythm. Arun Meethale Chirakkal has very good poetries up his sleeves, but sadly he is irregular. Pavizhamalli is as refreshing as her poetries. Thommys cartoons are thoughtful. Happy Kitten doesn't post much. And Melange seems to be always discovering and creating recipes. Sumi Mathai’s poems are as beautiful as she is, but a blue-moon visitor to blogging. KPJ would like to believe she is in her own niche world, and hardly ventures into my blog or many other blogs- perhaps she finds me often in disagreement with her and hence distasteful, but comes out with good posts herself. Jyothi Nair as Juxtaposition is in a state of reincarnation!

On the whole it has been a great experience. But honestly the extent of being candid is very much inhibited by social moorings. I wonder what reactions it would have provoked if one gets candid more than one should be, and more than one could be! So it is always the story half said. The other half may perish with me.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Read my Lips

“Drawing on my command of language, I said nothing”. Anonymous

Quite a few postings have had emerged on the Blog scene in recent past about  the privileged   ways of the usage of  the privileged language  that only a privileged few could call their own until not so long ago- “the Anglo- Saxon  English”! There was derision, fun and fascination laced in those postings and comments that followed. Though a section of the gentry in the former colonies of the Empire and that can include India may feel outraged at the way many of us speak, write English language, there is certainly often immense jocularity and tongue in cheek comments that can enliven a situation when a faux pas is committed in the terminology and usage of that language. In fact that may be the case with all languages. Sometimes some may consider the gaffe an offense .Using language as if in an inebriated state may be sometimes inappropriate and the late Professor Sri Krishnan Nair had very often mauled such use. His comments on such matters have also put the lid to the many self styled linguistic e experts. The funny moments happen when people with less expertise or knowledge of a language use it and without the slightest iota of doubt of the correctness, or fearing no embarrassment.

However being a person with ordinary skills in language, be it English, my mother tongue ,or any other language, I find certain bumbling  very interesting to laugh over and ease stress that often shadows life.

Some funny moments and acrobatics with the use of language happened quite some time ago. The central figure in question may be referred to in pseudonym, RP. He hailed from Tamilnad and was not a safe person with neither Malayalam nor English. And he was known to me from the days I  worked in Cochin. During one of my journeys on short vacation to Thiruvananthapauram, I and C alighted at RP’s house. It was some time since I met him and his wife who was a wonderful expert of south Indian Bhramin cuisine.

The culinary fantasies she created in traditional south Indian food were a gourmet’s delight and RP used to invite me and the Directors whenever they descended from New Delhi. Often in all those dinners meetings her food was raved and lavished with praise. It was truly so! And in one of those dinner occasions RP got much carried over by the extolments showered on his wife that he made a statement that he thought was ipso facto and unquestionable. He asserted in his loud oratory voice, “My friends as you all know my wife is a good cooker”. Was there a moment of shocked agape? I do not remember.

Now going back to the brief visit, I and C was into. We were all seated in the living room and exchanging pleasantries and catching up with stories that happened since we met last. Just then a tall – well over six feet, fair and charming young man walked in. He acknowledged us with a demure nod and went in. I asked, “RP, who is that handsome fellow who went in”? He said, “Ha-ha athu nammade K ,alle.Ninaku masilayille”? (Ha-ha, did you not see, it is our K, don’t you remember).  I was indeed pleasantly shocked to know that the tall, young and hand- some fellow was the little K, whom I last saw when he was five. The 'enfant terrible' that he was! I was amazed and said loudly, “RP that is wonderful, but my goodness, I cannot help being awed-  how tall he has grown”!

RP’s retort made me freeze, and wish the ground beneath broke apart and sucked me down under and I eyed C, a bit shyly and nervously. RP’s good wife was acknowledging his statement. He said, “athu pinne ninte height alle”! (Well he has certainly taken after your height, don’t you know).

This episode when often quoted by C and I wish that she does in jest!

RP was a fast driver both of the two- wheeler and car. He has had quite a few brushes and had crashed, fortunately with little or not very serious damage, bodily. One day he was explaining to a few people his latest adventures. He had crashed his car just a few days back and he explained in a riveting statement what happened. He said, “you see, my car went and ‘hitted a tree’, I can do nothing”. (!)