Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year and A New Life

The preacher had a unusual job that of giving sermons to prisoners who were facing death sentences. Today he found himself at a altogether different place. A nursing home, place where new lives are brought to this world. And his eyes fell upon Preetham, who was sitting in the waiting lounge hoping for the doctor to bring some good news at the earliest. The impatient look on Preetham's face made it clear that his wife Seema was in the labor room being attended to by doctors and nurses.

The preacher got an unusual desire all of a sudden to give the young man a sermon on creation. All his life he had been talking only about the greatest leveler - Death. Now he wanted to talk about the basic truths of creation. But he knew that Preetham wouldn't welcome a stranger like him and that too at this juncture. So he decided to use a intermediary. The preacher knew a mystic way whereby he would transfer the knowledge to a intermediary who is close to Preetham and the intermediary would in turn preach Preetham. For this role, the preacher zeroed in on Manya and all the knowledge he wanted her to possess was transferred through a mental FTP (File Transfer Protocol). But the preacher never expected a small girl like Riya to be a distraction in his discharge of this duty.

The eerie silence in the waiting lounge was broken by Manya who spoke as if she was possessed by some spirit of an Acharya from the Gurukul, " Vats (Son)! Why are you so tensed up! Whatever it is and however it is, you need to accept it as God's Gift. It could be a boy or a girl, it could be dark complexioned or a fair one, you need to accept it! Therefore I feel you are simply troubling yourself...."
Preetham looked at his junior Manya and came to the conclusion that she was again going out of her mind.
But Manya needed to impart upon him the new found wisdom, "Out of a millions of sperms that get released, only one gets a chance to see the light of the day. Only one grows as a baby in a woman's womb....."
Preetham just tried to wake her up thinking she was again hallucinating, "This is not your biology classroom nor is this your laboratory! Wake up! You are in a nursing home...."

But the young Riya had her own questions, "But who nurtures this fetus in a mother's womb? Who places those beautiful eyes? Who puts that tiny nose on the center? Who lays down those sweet lips? Who shapes those little ears? Who completes this contract of creation in her womb and that too within a period of nine months?"
Manya gave away a type of divine smile and pointed the finger upwards, " Its him....! He breaks one cell into 46 chromosomes. These chromosomes are further broken down into thousands of genes. He allots each gene a unique function depending upon the prototype he has in mind..." and then turns towards Preetham and says, "When he has created, he also knows to protect. You are just simply worrying too much...."
Preetham just tried to ignore her. But she came up with a good example, "Remember after the Mahabharatha war, when Ashwathama used that weapon of mass destruction Brahma-Shir Ashtr against Uttara's (Arjuna's daughter in law) womb with the intention of destroying the only left heir that was growing in her womb, who protected it? Lord Krishna himself with his Sudarshan Chakra. He protected it till it came to this world."
Preetham was really amazed by her knowledge, "You seem to have taken a crash course in Mythology..."

Riya's mind was working and she distracted Manya's focus, "Creation and Protection parts are Okay! But why does elders desire for a baby. They spend the first twelve months teaching these babies to walk and talk and the next twelve months telling them to sit down and shut up. If such is the case, why do they desire for babies? What it brings to them?"
Manya answered it very poetically, "A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, cloths shabbier, the past forgotten and the future worth living for...***"
When Riya started pondering over this statement, Manya prepared to bring calm to her boss Preetham...

But Riya quickly bounced back with another question, " But this new born baby... is more attached to its mother in the initial years. Why is it so?"
Manya again picked up some more knowledge from her thoughts, "The attachment of child and the mother begins in the womb itself, young girl! A five months fetus is able to recognize his or her mother's voice. As soon as a child is born, he/ she can recognize the mother's smell.. You understood!"
Preetham's mother commented on this new found knowledge of Manya, "It seems everybody these days knows about babies except the people who have them...."

Before Manya could really get another chance to chat with her boss, the doctor came out of the chamber with a baby in his hand and announced, "Its a baby girl!"
Riya saw the cute looking baby and innocently declared, "I am seeing a zero year old baby for the first time in my life."
Manya looked at the baby girl and like a very aged woman started lecturing, "Daughters are precious gifts placed in our arms by the heavens above. They fill our homes with love, beauty and grace..." Preetham wanted to use a tranquilizer and silence her. But she just continued, "She will be your inspiration for the rest of your life. She will be your Prerana..."
Preetham smiled, "You may sound like a psycho... but the name you have given sounds very cute....Prerana"
Wishing all of my readers a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
This is the 25th episode in Preetham - Seema Series.

*** Anonymous Quote.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Mediator

Though Seema was away from her husband for last few days, she had never stopped giving orders to her ever-obedient husband Preetham. Her latest order for him was to mediate between her cousin brother Jeeva who has earned for himself a MS Seat in the Buffalo University and his father, a old man in his seventies.The reason for the deadlock between the father and son was the latter's marriage. Father wanted to see his son lose his bachelor's degree before he obtains his masters degree in the States. He wanted to see his son married off.

As usual, Manya gave her boss, Preetham the company. After all the hospitality at the old man's place, Preetham directly came to the issue, "Sir! If you get him married off now, would he be able to concentrate on his studies? Wouldn't his mind get diverted?"
The seasoned man knew the exact reply, "I am getting him married off exactly for the same reason. So that his mind doesn't get diverted by some western influences. The way he is into those social networking sites and those status messages he gives makes me more afraid...."
Manya was in agreement with the old man's words, "Yups. Those status messages on the networking sites has more power to terrorize the parents than the climate warnings and the terror alerts that come on the news channels"
But this young man was too afraid to raise his voice in front of his dad.

Preetham tried to reason out, "But marrying him off would mean an additional burden na. He has to study and also has to look after his wife na... Would he able to juggle between family life and college life. Do you really want to push him into the circus of Samsara so early?"
The old man had even thought of that, "Who said we are burdening him? He will marry and leave his wife with us. We will take care of our daughter-in-law until he completes his studies. When he knows that someone is waiting for him on this shore, his mind would be more focused...."
Manya couldn't believe what she was hearing, "Oh My God! You are uniting them and immediately separating them!!!!" and then said to herself, "Is he a father or some villain from bollywood romance drama!!"
Jeeva still didn't speak a word in support of Preetham or against his father.

Preetham tried one last time, "You don't have confidence in your boy!!! From his childhood till now, he has not even looked at any girl with romantic intentions... He would go a virgin boy and return a virgin boy... I can assure that!"
Manya wanted to laugh out loud on hearing the words virgin boy...
The old man said, "Its not that I don't have confidence in him. But the time in which we live has so much changed. My colleague's son returned married. My colleague is so unhappy not because his son got married... but because his son married a guy....Gosh! I can't take any chances"
Manya laughed and remembered the lines from Dostana and said,"Love has become so blind these days that it is failing to differentiate between man and woman...."

Just then a cute young girl of twenties entered the house. With that jasmine buds around her long hairs and that tilak(vermilion) on the forehead and that traditional saree, she looked the epitome of feminine perfection. She touched the feet of the old man and handed him a piece of paper, "Uncle!... Papa told to give you this". Saying so she left after giving a stealthy glance at Jeeva. Jeeva who had his heads down till now had his heads completely turned. And his joy knew no bounds when his father said, "That's the girl I had in mind for my son..."
Now the young man took a complete U-turn and advised Preetham, "I think Dad is not wrong... In our life we need motivation to move ahead... Sometimes a girl plays that motivating role..... Behind the success of a man is a woman...a beautiful woman. I think I need such a woman...."
Preetham looked at the young man with complete disbelief. He scolded him, "Unnecessarily you have made me a villain na!"
Manya was getting angry with the young man and at the same time wanted to laugh at her boss's situation, "These Boys are so confusing!! They call us girls chanchal(fickle minded) but they themselves are so chanchal... One sight of a pretty girl and they fall for her... "

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Pains of Separation

Some tortures are physical
And some are mental,
But the one that is both
Is dental.
~Ogden Nash

Manya was suffering from such pain and she was at the dentist along with colleague and her guru Preetham. Preetham recognised in the visitors lounge old man Mr seetharam and his grandson. Seetharam's son Ajay and Preetham were of the same batch. Mr Seetharam was back from a pilgrimage to Triveni sangama and other places and loved to speak about it, "I even dispersed my wife's ashes in the Triveni Sangama (place where three rivers meet). Now she is free from birth and death cycles"
Manya was confused, "I cant understand these traditional people when they marry they say I will be with you for saath saath janam and when the lady dies, the men quickly go and disperse her ashes such that she doesn't come back for their hand in the next life... "
The old man did hear this and was made to remain silent

Preetham quickly diverted the topic, "So your grandson has problems with the teeth?"
The young boy who had accompanied the old man said, "No... I know good dental care. I have come to extract grandpa's teeth. I am his guardian today.."
Preetham was surprised, "But why has your son not come with you? Where is Ajay?...."
The old man was silent for sometime and then said, "Ajay has gone to give his wife a DRY WASH"
Manya and preetham didn't get the point. they couldn't make sense of the old man's sentence. The young boy was quick to correct, "Sorry for my grandpa's English. He is not familiar with sum words. He meant divorce and not dry wash.. vivah vichedan"

The old man spoke with such anger that his voice was heard by all the visitors, "After living with him for nine years, my Daughter in law says she cant take it any more. Preeham, You know my son na!!!!... He is such a gentleman...."
Preetham answered in a rush of emotion, "Sure... he is a gem of a person... I don't know how anyone can have a complain living with him"
Manya didn't like her boss's answer and she tried to talk sense,"To Know the depth of the river you should put your feet deep into the waters and to know the worth of a person you should live with the human being. She has lived with him for nine years... she would definitely know more than you, Sir."

The old man adds further, "My daughter in law is also asking in the court for his whole money... she is such a ***** ", The old man started using profanities which irritated the young boy who again came to his grandpa's rescue
He spoke with calmness "Its alimony and not whole money, Grandpa. It means maintenance charges only...."
Again Preetham rushed to a conclusion, "Isn't she a working lady.... Why does she need alimony? If she doesn't want her husband... why does she want his money?"
Manya was rational in her thinking, "I believe she has to take care not only of herself but also her kid... She has to provide for future also.... Future is uncertain.... Sir!!! why are you speaking like this?"

The old man spoke again "She is right.... not only are my son and daughter in law separating, but they are also separating me from my grandson.... It seems the mother wants the custody of the child...."
The child said with a tinge of sadness, "Lucky grandpa... He gets to stay with Dad while i have to leave to a different place with mother..."
Preetham said, "Now this is not fair... Don't the couple have some responsibility to the people who have brought them to this earth and to the people whom they have brought to this earth. Can't they just eat the poison of bitterness and live together for the sake of the family..."
Manya took a holistic view "It can be done... its called compromising.... But when the life together becomes nonadjustable... then it becomes hell. Then the best thing they can do, instead of torturing themselves and others living with them,is to separate"

Then Manya's name was called out by the attender and as they entered the dentist's cabin, Manya had one last thing to say to her boss preetham, "Sir... this teeth may look beautiful for my face.... and to the external world... but if i keep it, it will destroy all other teeth. So its better to extract it and separate it for the sake of others..."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

To Sir With Love!

Preetham's wife had gone to her mother's place for a week and he felt lonely. Sitting on the sea shore, he looked at the waves which tried to touch his feet now and then. Searching for her dear boss, came Manya. Her state was still worse. It looked from the dark circles around her eyes that she had lost lots of sleep. When she came to the beach, she saw a ship ... that too, a pirate ship hitting the shores and pirates running towards her boss with their long guns and swords. She cried out aloud to the surprise of all the present on the beach, "Boss! Run! Pirates are coming to get you!" But Preetham saw no pirates at all and not even a ship or a boat for that matter on the shores. Nor did any other present there saw any pirates. It looked like Manya was hallucinating and probably because of some sleep deprivation.
Manya stopped the pirates and its leader before they could reach her boss. These pirates looked directly out of the movies and its leader looked like Jack sparrow to her. He started speaking with a grin that couldn't be said villanious but a bit cunning, "Don't Stand in the way of Jatayu, Girl.... I am not a ordinary pirate. I am a collector..collector of souls.. nice souls that would help me in life.... And here we have a soul of a loving and caring husband.... one that is rare to find... a priceless diamond... All I need is to put this sword in and take that loving and caring heart out..."
All Preetham saw was a weird Manya holding her hands out as if she was asking the waves to stay away from him. He was not able to understand anything about the imaginary conversation Manya was having.

But Manya's hallucination continued as she decided it was a testing time for her and she needed to save her boss and for that purpose she was ready to lie, "My Boss has a loving and caring heart? Rubbish! If he had one, would he be here with me? On the beach on a sunday evening? He would be with his wife na?"
Preetham couldn't believe his ears, "What are you saying! I am not sitting alone. Seema, my wife is there with me even now. Like you are chatting aloud with the air, I am chatting within my mind with that clear horizon in which I see her."
Jatayu smiled and answered Manya, "Hmm... He has given the answers, he is like those ideal characters from those mythological serials for whom 'har ladki maa samaan hain' (all girls are like mothers).... Such species are rare to find and I need to have at least one of them in my kitty before they become extinct"

Manya went ahead with another allegation against her Boss only with the good intention of saving his soul, "But he has made me fall in love with him though he is a married man. Isn't it wrong on his part."
Preetham was really getting agitated, "Are you high on booze!I made you work for me because I am your senior. I made you say lies for me so that my wife may not scold me. I never made you love me"
Manya didn't hear her boss but heard the pirate Jatayu say with a big laughter, "I know what kind of relationship you share with your senior. Its those relationship which has to be highly respected.Even a bad man like me cant think bad of such relationships. Nice try!"

Manya wouldn't say quits as she had one last argument, "When you want to know if a person is a really worth, you shoud make a field enquiry or take feedback. You should ask the neighbours or the colleagues... Ask me about him and I will say that his soul is definitely not worth to be praised of."
Now Preetham who heard only Manya's words was furious with anger,"What next? Putting this news on the office noticeboard! Giving an ad in the newspaper! With friends like you, why do I need enemies?"
And Jatayu remembered his idol Jack sparrow's dialogue as he commented, ""You, You are dishonest. And a dishonest man or woman you can always trust to be dishonest. I like them Honestly! It's the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they're going to do something incredibly… stupid." Saying so, he pushed her and directly went for Preetham's heart

Manya cried out loud and closed her eyes unable to see her boss's heart being pulled out. But nothing of that sort happened. When she opened her eyes, she found Jatayu in front of him, "I booze... but I have another hobby too, reading books! And in one such book I remember reading the difference between Knowledge and devotion" and suddenly the pirate got highly philosophical, " Knowledge is like a lamp and devotion is like a gem. There is brightness present in both. Keep both anywhere and they eleminate darkness. Lamp cant glow on its own, it needs oil wick etc. But a gem glows on its own. In the storms of lust, anger, greed etc, a lamp's flame can flicker or even blow off. But not the brightness of gem. Likewise one who has true devotion in his heart, no greed, no lust can crush it. A knowledgeable persons enemy is pride and he can fall whereas devotee is humble and he can never fall...!"
Manya was suddenly bored to death by this preaching, "Why the hell are you preaching me all this?"
The pirate made himself clear, "Because I see that devotion in you.. the devotion to your Guru.... your boss. When I have this gem.. Why should I go for something less?" Manya was still confused, "What do you mean?" Jatayu gave one last smile before ordering his men, "Guys! Seize her and put her in my ship!"
As she was dragged, Manya gave cries for help to her Guru, her boss. But all Preetham saw was a mono acting by his junior Manya. He saw her moving towards the ocean with her hands facing skywards as if someone was pulling her towards the ocean.
He couldn't tolerate the drama anymore and just pulled her to the sea and made her take a dip in the salty water. When she was pulled out, she looked surprised and asked him, "Sir! When did you came? " Preetham was filled with joy thinking that his junior had finally returned to her normal self. But his joy was shortlived when she put her next question in a stern voice, "And what are you doing in my bathroom Sir?"
(*** The high preachings about knowledge and devotion taken from Ramayan)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Kiss Of Death

"You need to hone your story telling skills" came the advice from his dear wife Seema to Preetham. Preetham replied harshly and without giving it much thoughts, "Here... I am trying it hard to update my software skills. And you want me to update my storytelling skills. And what could be the silly excuse for doing so..." Seema got very sad by the casual remark from her husband. She had her future child in mind when she advised her husband. And his silly remark put her into silence the whole day. However hard he tried he couldn't bring the smile back on her face.

The morning changed to evening and then the dusk arrived. As the sun was about to set, Riya entered the home and announced, "I had enough of these reruns of cartoons and serials. I want something new. Preetham uncle, do tell me some nice and different story. Please...." Preetham felt as if God has given him a chance for a redemption and he sat for the story telling, "This story is about a Rakshashi(demoness)...." Ria interrupted immediately, "Na... Na... I had enough of these Asuras(demons) and Rakshashi stories ...." Preetham smiled a bit, "But this story of Rakshashi is set in the present age..." and so he started the story.

"There was this young teenage Rakshashi called Mandira. She once sat for deep penance calling her dear God Bholenath. The penance took years. Her make up withered and she became thinner and thinner. Then Bholenath got happy and appeared before her, 'Devi ! I am happy with you.. Ask me what you want to." Mandira was not happy when Lord addressed her as Devi. She would have loved 'Gorgeous' in its place. But she didn't speak her objection and proceeded with the boon, 'Oh God! All I ask you for is The Kiss of death. A simple kiss of death. Whenever I kiss someone with my lips, they should be reduced to ashes immediately"
Ria went Wow! while Preetham's mother wanted to shut her ears as she proclaimed 'Shantam paapam'. But Seema was expressionless.

Preetham continued, "Bholenath was unlike my boss who took two months to raise my salary after I asked it. He said 'Tathasthu' (Okay) immediately. Mandira was very pleased. But I don't know any girl who purchases goods or anything without testing it. Mandira also wanted to test this vara. So she went ahead to experiment on Bholenath himself. Bholenath cried 'O Paroooooo! Help me out!!!' and ran for his life. But no Gods were ready to help him out as it was month end and all were busy with deadlines. Then helpless he came to his favorite temple in this town today morning and guess whom he met????"
Ria got confused with this sudden twist in the tale and didn't knew what really to expect next. Now even Seema was full ears

Now that all were listening, Preethm got some more encouragement, "At the temple Lord Shiva found me. I was there to ask for forgiveness as I had hurt my dear wife Seema. I heard Lord Shiva's story. I knew that though the Asuras and Rakshashis thought that the God's boons were fool proof, there would be some bug in them. All it needed was a great debugger like me to find such bugs. But In return I asked something from Lord Shiva. I asked him to return the smile on my Wife's face. So the reciprocal agreement was signed between me and Lord Shiva. Then I asked Lord Shiva to hide in the sanctum sanctorum"
Now Ria was really anxious enough to hear the ending and so was Preetham's mother who had stopped her chanting.

Preetham neared the end, "The Rakshashi Mandira entered the temple. With that Sleeveless blouse and that burning eyes and desirous lips, and that enchanting slim figure, she looked more like a angel than a demoness to me" Preetham turned to Seema to see her emotions. Seema tried to hid her emotions but she failed. Her interest in the story was clearly written all over the face. Preetham continued, "As she slowly kept those steps towards me..... I directly went for her lips.... "
Seema and Ria together exclaimed with surprise "What!!!!"
Preetham corrected the sentence, "I mean... I started praising her lips,'Your lips look so sweet. It looks like it is the storehouse of all the nectar that emerged during the churning of the sea.' Mandira started blushing and I continued 'Such red lips would put the minds and hearts of even sages to fire. '"
Mandira may be blushing but Seema was fuming with anger as Preetham used more examples to describe the lips of the Rakshashi.
Preetham came to the climax of the story, "When I stopped the praise, she was standing straight in front of me. She was about to kiss me. My praise had did the trick. The praise had intoxicated her senses and she was completely blinded by my sweet words. So when I uttered these words, she blindly followed them, "If you were to look your lips now in the mirror, You are gonna kiss the reflection of your own lips in the mirror." And the silly teenager went to the mirror, saw her sweet sugar coated lips and blindly kissed them. But Shiva's boon never failed. As I watched, her whole body got engulfed in a raging fire. And within a minute, the rakshashi was reduced to ashes.... END OF THE STORY"

Ria was very clever as he questioned, "And did Shiva keep his promise?" Preetham expressed jubilantly, "Sure he did! Look at your aunt Seema" As both of them turned towards Seema, there was the smile hanging on her lips.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Get Connected!

Riya, the twelve year old neighbor of Preetham landed at his place as soon as the school got over. It was a usual routine for her. But that day her behavior was a bit odd. As soon she entered, Riya got a big Hi from Seema, Preetham's wife. But the young girl didn' even look at Seema. She was angry with Seema for making her walk a mile (Read here). Riya directly approached the eldest member of the family, Preetham's mother and tried to engage her in a conversation. The young girl's intention was not good - she wanted to irritate Seema.

Riya was good in gup-shup and she can discuss about anything under the sun, "These mobile companies are fooling us.... They proclaim with elan, 'GET CONNECTED'. But even if I try hard, Its not possible....I am not able to get connected to Prema"
The old lady looked with utter disbelief, "This is not my cup of tea, dear. You better discuss this with some girl spoiled by technology like my Daughter In Law, Seema"
Seema was right there with them offering Bournvita to the young girl. She was not hurt by her mother-in-law's taunting words. But Seema got a bit hurt when Riya refused to take the bournvita and turned her angelic face the other way.

Riya made herself clear to the old lady,"When I said 'Get Connected', I didn't mean in it in technical terms. Its like this way, Granny. My friend Prema was absent from school today. After school, when I gave her a ring, she said she had high fever and head ache the previous night and so was taking some rest that day. My question is that though she is my best friend, why am I unable to feel her pain? Why I can't connect to her? Why?"
Now, Preetham's mother liked to give nice sermons and thus she started, "To get connected, there need to be a strong bond or the relationship should be intimate. If the girl was sick, then, definitely, more than her, it would be her mother who would have felt the pain. The mother would have been awake all night tendering her dear child with love and affection. She would have been awake all night trying to put her child to sleep. The child may go to sleep but not the mother. Now that's exactly what do you mean by Getting Connected."

Seema was back with a pack of biscuits to offer to the young girl. But Riya was adamant and refused them too and didn't even speak a word to Seema. This pricked Seema very much. Preetham's Mother thought that the young lady was being rude. But she decided to stick to the conversation
Riya was confused with the answer the old lady had given, "You mean there should be a blood relationship in order to get connected...."
The Old lady answered comfortably, "Not necessarily. Even in some sacred relationships like that of a newly wed couple, you may be able to witness it. In such a small time they get easily connected to one another and share all joys and bear all sorrows."

A bit disturbed Seema, now sat in front of the couch potato and was just surfing the channels without intention to watch any channel. Young Riya silently observed the phenomenon, but she had one last question to the Old Lady, "But my question is still unanswered. Why can't one individual feel the pain of another. Is it that impossible? "
The old lady answered in a polite manner, "Its not that people don't connect. They do connect. But not in a positive manner. When someone is in pain, another gets connected with him.... but he seeks pleasure from the pain. Thats the difference"
and then she raises her voice, "Like you are doing now, Riya! You are aware that your behavior is causing torture to Seema. But still you continue to do it and are also taking pleasure from the same, Right!!!"

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Skies Above have the answers.

Riya always wanted to watch a movie in theater and pestered her neighbor Mr Preetham to take her to one. But Preetham used to watch movies in the theater only with his dear wife Seema and she never acquiesced to this young girl's request. When 2012 released, she said okay hoping that the intense disaster sequences in her very first 70mm movie experience will dissuade the young girl from further pestering her uncle.

When they were returning from the movie, Preetham who was at the wheels, observed Riya in the back seat watching with intent at the clouds above. It looked to Preetham that the girl was expecting the skies above to wreak havoc on the planet Earth. He couldn't stop himself comforting the young girl, "Don't worry Riya! Nothing like that as happened in the movie would happen in real life. End of the world is never gonna happen so soon."

Riya's answer surprised him as well as Seema, "No! I am not that type who keeps waiting for the doomsday. Rather I am looking for some answers from the Akash (Sky)... It must have seen the entire creation since its inception.. I am curious to know the start of the creation rather than the end....."
Preetham felt this young girl was more sensible than the Ashes and Bebos of Bollywood who always put silly romantic questions to the sky and the rains, "And did you get the answers?"

Seema got angry with her husband for encouraging the young girl to have the imaginary conversation with the clouds and explained whatever she knew on creation, "It all happened because of an accident out there somewhere in the universe... And out of nothing came everything... That's it girl.. Don't think too much about it"
An inquisitive mind that she had, Riya was not the one to be silenced easily, "But the skies here are telling me about a different theory!"
Riya had already started her imaginary chat session with the skies, "Akash says whenever there is a beautiful creation, there needs to be a creator like a good movie would have a gifted director, a soothing song would have a melodious voice, a great painting would have a perfect artist and so on.... and so does this creation... There is no such thing called an accident."

Seema didn't like it. The young girl was following in her husband's footsteps. She had to avert it, "Anything needs to be proved to a scientific mind. Grow that scientific mind, Riya! Only through experimentation and hypothesis, something can be proved. Same holds good for this CREATION theory also. It can't be proved."
Riya looks at the skies above for an answer and then hits back at Seema, "The theories are not framed in laboratories. They are not arrived at after experimentation or hypothesis. Most of the time it is the intuitive mind that gives the theories. Newton didn't find out the Gravity theory in his laboratory nor in his study room. It was, while he was resting in the nature's lap that the theory of gravity flashed to him! And think in what state, Archimedes was when he cried Eureka!!! Its all intuition which is nothing but meditating on a particular thing...."

Seema's arguments were being quashed very easily and Preetham was silently enjoying it. Seema was not the one to accept defeat at the hands of a twelve year old girl and she questioned aggressively, "Riya! Do you think all the countries and its scientists are wasting their precious time and energy and money by setting up research teams and sending expeditions to the outer space..."
Unlike Seema, the young girl answered with utter calmness, "Akash is seeing nothing wrong in what the scientists are doing. Human is doing the right thing. But while looking for answers, he should not only explore the outside world, but also try to find ways to explore inwards into his mind." and again the young girl repeated her mantra, "And that can be done only through Dhyan"

On hearing the young girl mentioning again about Dhyan, Seema got very angry and demanded her husband to stop the car immediately. The Ideal Husband that he was, Preetham did it without any questions. Seema asked the young girl to get down, "Here is the MUTT, the place for meditation!!!. Find a nice place and sit down there and do your meditation or Dhyan and come back home only when you have found the complete answers for the creation of this universe!!!"

Preetham didn't utter a word and drove the vehicle away from the place on his wife's instructions. Riya was not even given a chance to open her mouth.
Left along, young Riya looked up at the skies above and questioned loudly, "Hey Akash! Why are you speechless now?!!!"

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Orkut Philosophy

When he reached home from work that day, Preetham saw his wife Seema immersed in watching a mindless movie of Emraan Hashmi. Preetham didn't like the idea of his wife wasting a Saturday evening in front of the telly. Much against her wishes, Preetham dragged his dear wife to a pravachan (discourse) at the local temple. Seema tried to change her husband's mind by trying to quote from Ramayana - the one that Sita used when Ravan forcibly kidnapped her from the hermitage, "You can forcibly take this Immortal Body with you. But my soul would be here in front of the television..."

After half an hour they were at the temple for the pravachan. Roaming eyes of Seema was searching for someone. She was hoping to find the teenager who had enlightened her on the soul-body concept (Read it here). And she found him with his mother sitting somewhere in the middle row. Preetham was reluctant to allow her to sit near that teenager. This time around Seema got clever and quoted her mother in law, "You know what your mother often says! A pregnant lady's wish should never go unfulfilled. Now I wish to sit near that teenager.Please!!!" That did the trick.

Before she could exchange greetings, the old man on the dais started his pravachan, "Today I am going to talk about Maya (Illusion). When I say Maya, I am not talking about the Maya of any magician, I am talking about Maya of the Mayapathi(Almighty). This Maya blinds our inner eyes and diverts us from our life's sole purpose - salvation. This Maya has several forms - the Maya of Youth, the Maya of Love, the Maya of Attachment..."
Seema was already getting bored and shared her thoughts with the teenager, "This is boring me to death! Even my economics lecturer was much better. He explained those crazy economic theories with a case study"
The teenager was full of energy as he replied, "Sis! I can explain to you this simple concept of Maya and that too with a case study and with the help of internet." So saying, he took out his laptop and directly logged into the networking site, Orkut and opened the profile of one Mr Vasudev, "If you study photo albums of any orkut profile over a period, you will be clear about the concept of Maya...." was the teenager's simple mantra.

The teenager started his tale, "The hero of my case study is one Vasudev, who opened his orkut profile when he was in his teens. See his photo albums at that time."
Seema thought that the images were speaking of the energy of the youth of Vasudev. Most of the photos were from trekking expeditions. The images had the hero of the tale with his friends on river banks and mountain tops. Their T-Shirts had their friendship spirit written on it with the simple two words, 'Friendship Forever'
Seema let out a 'wow' and exclaimed, "The Power of Yuva (Youth)! I feel this youth if channelized in the right direction is unstoppable and can bring unthinkable rewards... "

The teenager corrected her, "Yes!... Only if they had a longer life. But in many cases, the shelf life of the power of youth is very short. Those T-Shirts with friendship written all over it had longer life than the original friendship. Those fifteen strong men had to quickly make way for one woman- the woman in his life. And they say, Woman is weak! Her Maya is really the strongest of all."
To put across his message, he showed latter years photo albums. Those group photos made way for portrait photos of his lady love. There was elements of nature even in those portrait pieces but they served only as decorative pieces or background for adding beauty to the portrait.
Seema however liked the way the husband Vasudev had captured his wife in those camera lenses, "This Maya definitely has the power to make a professional photographer of an ordinary man. But don't you think this Maya has the power to make our hero a complete man."

The teenager smiled, "You are right! But before many realize how to overcome this Maya and how a man and woman can complete each other, they would be under the pull of another Maya - a still stronger one and a longer one. That's what happened to our hero Vasudev"
There were no friends nor wife in the latter year photo albums. The center of attraction was now his son. The albums had strange names - his first step, my angel at sleep and so on. When she saw the album 'his first step', Seema felt as if she was watching a flip book, "Whatever happened to his wife? Did she grew to the size that the camera lens couldn't capture her?"
The teenager smiled at the remarks, "That's the power of this illusion. It makes one forget everything else and do anything for his dear one. Attachment is what the old man would term this illusion. First our hero is ready to take all kinds of head aches for his son. He doesn't know when the son grows up, he may give him all kinds of heart aches."

Suddenly the mother of the teenager woke up and shouted at her son, "Like the one you are giving me now! Its time to say goodbye to your new found sister. If I allow you to speak like this, you will ruin the reputation of my family..." and she started dragging her son out of the avenue with the same force with which Preetham had brought his wife to the avenue.
Seema looked confused and looked at the young teenager for an explanation for his mothers actions. The teenager boldly told the truth, "She can't face reality. Reality bites! The hero whom I have been speaking of, is none other than my elder brother whom I have seen with this bare eyes falling prey to all kinds of Maya..."

Preetham was more than happy to see the back of the young man, "Now lets listen to the original pravachan...."
Seema liked the teenager to the old man as she answered, "But the boy was speaking from experience and that's what always count... Your Old man is creating magic with words whereas my friend was using pictures. You know a picture speaks more than thousand words."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Gyan Darshan

Deepak was a young boy of thirteen years of age. He had come to the town to join a boarding school. His mother wanted the boy to get his uncle Preetham's blessing before joining the school. The mother wanted her cousin brother Preetham to guide her son in the proper path. But unfortunately, when the boy landed at Preetham's place, the house was locked. And a young girl in the neighborhood Riya informed him that his uncle wouldn't be back for the day. The boy was crestfallen. Seeing the disappointed face, Riya couldn't resist questioning him the purpose of his visit. Deepak told Riya of his mother's objective in sending him there. Riya remembered the Dharma that was preached by Preetham's mother in this respect, 'A visitor who has come to the home shouldn't be allowed to go disappointed'

So she asked Deepak to join him for a small stroll in the colony. Along the way, she decided to pass on whatever knowledge she had gained, "You are at the tender age of thirteen, the very beginning of teen-age. I believe that there is lot of confusion and excitement at this age...Elders say this is the start of young age and they have spread this young age over three stages. "
Riya definitely had good observation skills as she pointed to a balcony and a matriculation student with a book in his hand on the balcony, "Guess! Can you tell me what the boy is doing?" With a book in hand, the answer seemed plain simple to Deepak, "Studying! What else?"
Riya smiled, "Don't only look at that boy... Look around! His book is ordering him to look at it. But his eyes is feasting upon something else. He is definitely studying.... studying the girl"
And she pointed to another balcony across the road where a girl was drying her hair sitting on the balcony. Even she was giving some stealthy glances to the boy. Riya then explained her observation, "In this first stage the boys fall for the strawberry eyes and girls for the cadbury looks. Remember the first lesson, that this is nothing but attraction and never to fall for the attraction."
But Deepak was already getting attracted to young Riya.

Riya took her to a temple nearby. But instead of having a darshan of the diety present there, she asked Deepak to observe one of the lady devotees.
Unlike the earlier boy, the eyes of this devotee was not roaming. It was closed and seemed all attention was focused on the Almighty. Deepak got confused as to how to read this devotee. He didn't knew mind reading.
But Riya came up with her hypothesis, "That Kanya is around twenty or twenty one years. At this age, most of the girls have common prayers. They pray for boys who may not be so good looking. But should be good in all departments. The list is very exhaustive. They pray for understanding, caring, fun loving, adventurous and so on and on and on. To describe it mathematically, the set of such good qualities is an infinite set...."
Deepak nodded his head, "Yupps.... I get the idea... I have read such lines on matrimonial sites. Do those girls really get such guys?"
Riya dispensed his doubts, "This is what happens in the second stage.... Your brain stops functioning and your heart starts working overtime and you still crave for that all-perfect partner. But some do get lucky at this stage....."
Deepak thought this girl was very sweet and so like the lady devotee closed his eyes and prayed for something with the lord.

As they returned, they heard some swearing words coming from a house nearby. As they neared, Deepak saw a young couple. Negative emotions was written all over the girl's face. Riya started her sermon, "See that Girl! She had gone through the two stages. At fifteen, she wished for someone like Hrithik who could dance. At twenty she prayed for a maryada purushottam like Ram. Now at Twenty Six, she has ended up with that cartoon character who is slimmer than Popeye and she is definitely not his first love!"
And she concluded, "Thats life! We start wishing for the attractive, then praying for the best, but end up compromising."

But the twinkle in the boy Deepak's eyes gave the feeling that he liked something more than the wisdom that has been passed on, "Wow! Riya! You know too much! I would definitely come down next week for some more Gyan. Make me your disciple."
Riya was a smart girl who read the boys intentions, but with a blushing smile accepted him as her disciple.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Tree Project!

Preetham had returned home early that day. He had to, especially when his wife Seema informed him that she and her mother in law were working on a joint project which she called 'The Tree Project'. He didn't know what this tree project was about. Are they cutting down the long standing coconut tree? or are they planning to plant a new tree!. But he saw no tree felled down nor any plant being grown. There was a huge tree grown, but not on the garden but on the drawing board. The Mother in law and daughter in law duo had drawn a tree, a family tree .... Preetham's family tree. They even had a consultant... an expert... a very old man helping them out on the family tree and its branches. The Consultant's figure definitely told that he was a centenarian (one who has crossed 100 years old) and Preetham only prayed that this old man didn't kick the buckets at his place.

Preetham wanted to know the objective of the project. His mother was eager to speak about the project, but Seema had already started explaining, "Its like getting to now the roots of your special traits. Its believed that characteristics pass from genes. So we are building your lineage to see as to from whom you have inherited some of those special traits." Preetham liked the idea very much and looked once again at the family tree. It started with him at the top and the duo were successful in tracing back his lineage to at least five generations back. The old man who was a distant relative of Preetham (Preetham never knew the old man ever existed until now) provided those missing links and descriptions.

Once the tree was built, it was the time to find out the source of some of Preetham's special traits. So Seema put her first question to the tree consultant, " Can you tell me, from whom has my husband has picked up his so very romantic traits?" The old man looked at the tree with his bare eyes and pointing his finger said, "I believe its from his great-grand uncle who lived near the sowparnika river some 150 years ago. He was a school teacher and taught around fifty students at school. Even at home he taught some fifteen students" Seema was impressed,"That's great. He gave tutions at home even during that time. But how does it make him romantic!" The old man expressed his view, "Fifteen students at home were his own kids, my girl!" Seema still didn't had the answer for her question, "How in the hell does it make him romantic!" The old man spoke confidently, "Gifting his wife every year continuously for fifteen years with a beautiful baby.... wouldn't it qualify him to be voted as the most romantic!!!" Seema didn't know what to say and gulped that answer without further probing.

But she quickly shoot another question hoping that this time the answer would definitely lie somewhere in the family tree, "How come my husband is so much god-fearing. From where did he get this trait?" It was easier question for the old man as he answered without looking at the tree, "Its his great grandfather's brother. When this gentleman's wife was suffering from labor pain, he had disappeared. No one knew about his whereabouts and he returned only after his wife delivered a healthy baby. But he took all the credit. To put in his words, 'The birth of a health child is a gift of the heavens to the family of the newborn. And I was praying with God for the health of the mother and the child all these months'"
Seema didn't like what she heard, "This gentleman you described is a coward who feared everything and not only God. My husband is not a coward who would run away from responsibility. When faced with adversity, he will effortlessly play the flute of confidence and put the negative emotions of fear and cowardice to sleep. And when I have such pains, I want him besides me and not in front of some deity, so that I can hold his hands very tight.... and I am sure that half of my pains would be absorbed by that touch alone...."
Preetham was really elevated on hearing his own gun-gaan from his dear wife.

When Preetham thought that there would be no further questions from his wife, his mother spoke out, "Many sons forget their mothers after their life partner sets her foot in their life or their love towards their mother gets diminished in the few months itself. But my son has been an exception. Is this example set by any of his ancestors?" The old man looked at the tree up and down once and then again. He scratched his head but his memory failed him. Then Preetham spoke out, "Mother! You will not find the answer in the family tree!" Mother believed her son was right, "Some people are very unique. Its rare to find another such gem..." Preetham quickly corrected her, "I am not self boasting!... This whatever you are talking of.... the trait of impartiality, if i can say it that.... Is all because of your daughter in law Seema!" Preetham's mother was suprised beyond words and so was Seema as she eagerly waited for the explanation. Preetham continued, "Its all left to a girl to make her boy her slave or make him a great human being who values all human relationships. Your daughter in law had made me a topper in the second category"

Seema was delighted beyond imagination. It was one of those best moments of her life when smile and tears both came together and adorned her pretty face.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Saved from Enlightenment!

It was the product launch session. After a tough final week, the software product was being put into the market. But after searching everywhere, Manya couldn't find the leader and the man behind the success, Mr Preetham. Then she found him sitting alone far away from the maddening crowd and outside the company building in the park bench. She joined him there to find her boss stressed out from the weeks work.

Looking at a small family enjoying the evening sun, Preetham noted to Manya, "Look at the family...." Manya loved the scene, "The perfect family! The hardworking husband seems to be worked out like us. The wife looks more like the ad lady who comes in that jewelery ad. And their daughter looks very mischievous da...." Preetham asked Manya to focus on the young girl. The young girl was being disturbed by the sound of the bangles caused while skipping. So she started removing all the bangles except leaving one on each hand. Even then the noise continued. So she broke one of the bangle and continued skipping with the single bangle on her hand.
Preetham then turned to Manya, "With more people, more disagreements and more confusion. Hence to avoid conflict, it is better to be alone like that bangle on the girls hand."
Manya got the idea Preetham was driving home, "So... You want to shoo me away and be left alone!... No way!.... I love to hear ur observations.... Yeh dil maange more!!!"

Preetham continued, "Look at the bumblebee over there sitting on that yellow flower....." Manya smiled, "I have seen such a scene a thousand times in all those old romantic Hindi movies when the boy and girl are about to kiss...Now with Hasmis and Kanganas, flowers are no more required."
But Preetham was busy explaining his viewpoint, "The bumblebee moves from flower to flower and extracts the honey from it without causing any damage to the flower. A man should be like that bumblebee. Wherever he goes,he should extract the best, without getting too much attached, be it the workplace...."
Manya was now able to measure the magnitude of the effect of over work that has had on her boss's mind. She needed to divert him and bring back to the normal world and make him think like a engineer, "Hmm! Boss! I am more worried about another aspect. That is... why hasn't science learn t to extract honey from the flower itself ?and why it has to extract it by destroying the beehive?... Why we haven't learn t the technique from the bee?."

Preetham was in his own world and was not capable of thinking scientifically,""I don't have the answer for that question...My mind doesn't want to observe from that viewpoint. " Manya was not the one to leave him at that. "But, How come the same scene of the nature has different impact on me and you?"
She knew that Preetham would answer such a question effortlessly and true to her expectation, the answer came, ""Just as rain falls equally on trees and shrubs, but one has red flowers and another yellow leaves. Thus too the same knowledge affects different being differently, depending on their innate culture, personality etc...."

Manya thought that if she left her boss like that, he would get enlightened and keeping in mind her boss's wife Seema, she thought it would be a pretty bad thing. Enlightenment doesn't take much time. But she didn't want it to happen. So she took her mobile and started dialing a number. Preetham inquired with a Buddha like calmness, "Whom are you dialing?" Manya said, "Time of difficulty! calling helpline." Preetham guessed, "Whom? Nine One One!" Manya smiled as she answered," No! Not Nine One One... But your dear one... Mrs Seema Preetham... Only she can save you from getting enlightened."

Hearing his wife's name, Preetham came back to his senses fully and jumped to grab the mobile and prevent the call. But the playful Manya had foreseen the move and was on her feet and running in the direction of the building with the mobile. Closely on her heels was her boss. Thus that day, Preetham was saved from getting enlightened.

(Inspired heavily from the thoughts of Avadhoota episode of Bhagavatham and thoughts from Valmiki Ramayan)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Confessions of the Conscious

Manya was of the view that the fresher Mr Madan should be shifted from her project team. Though the chap had good academic record, when it came to the deliverables, he had failed miserably. But Preetham wanted to give Madan, an opportunity of being heard before taking any decision.

So Madan was called on to the red carpet and asked to explain the poor performance. His retort didn't satisfy his seniors, "I am in a confused state!" Preetham enquired very gently, "Well! What exactly or who exactly is the cause of the confusion" Madan was not sure of how to answer the question, " I can't speak of the person whose presence is felt here..." Manya got a bit irritated as she felt her subordinate was probably pointing an accusing finger at her. Madan soothed her down, "I am not speaking of any individual. I am speaking of something else. I am speaking of......" He didn't complete the sentence and ended it with a big pause. Manya tried to take a wild guess, "Don't tell me that you are possessed! Possessed by a ghost! Ghost of whom? A software programmer who had returned to complete some unfinished coding.Ha Ha Ha"

Madan decided that he needed to be more frank and so came his reply, "Its my conscience. Its saying that whatever I am doing is not ethical!" Preetham was taken aback, "We are into Software business! We use legal versions of all softwares!" Madan spread out his hands over the table, "Its that I have fallen head over heels over this girl when I saw her the first time. My conscience says that I have fallen prey for lust. It says that as a fresher, my responsibility is to learn the ropes of the job rather than to follow some girl." Preetham admired the honesty with which the youngster spoke, "Nice friend you have there! Your conscience! Blood can flow in only one direction. When Lust is at work, Blood definitely will not flow in the upward direction that is into the head. Therefore brain malfunctions and performance gets degraded."
But Manya wished to differ, "But Boss! Love is not a bad thing. All Love begins in the same manner. It begins with lust...." and turning to the Madan, "But it should end with a sweet responsibility."

Madan was happy with his immediate senior Manya's answer and put forth another thought of his conscience, "But my mind says that It is definitely not right to fall in love with a fellow colleague!" Now Preetham didn't like the way it was going and he remembered what his mother used to say, "Kothi thanu ketithu allade vanavela kedisthu anthe(Kannada). The monkey not only got his tail burned, but also brought down the entire forest. Here this monkey is trying to bring my office down..."
Manya didn't like the way her boss was behaving, "Boss! Don't be an enemy of love. Have you put NO TRESPASSING signal for love here. Wouldn't it be great for the company if its workers found their life partner within the four boundaries of the company. I think such workers should be given a special marriage bonus.."

Madan was more than delighted and immediately put forth the last doubt of his conscience, "Isn't it bad for one to fall in love with someone who is a guide to him." Preetham knew where this was going and he immediately looked at Manya who was left speechless. It was Manya who was Madan's Guide. Then Madan came down on his knees in front of Manya,"I know you are greater than me in every aspect : age, height and knowledge. But I am sure that I have been given this life only to love you! This is love at first sight! Don't you believe in love at first sight" Manya was not the one to be carried away by such sweet nothings and she replied in a very subdued manner, "I do believe in Love at first sight. Because I loved my mother ever since I opened my eyes", after pausing a bit, she continued, "I am sorry. I can't say YES to you. I am already committed. All I can say is that you will find a better and probably a younger girl."
The poor fellow slowly retreated and made his exit with silence.

But Preetham had his doubts, "When did you get committed and to whom?" Manya smiled, "You don't know! I got committed as soon as I joined the job. I got committed to my work and would love to come up in the professional field before I can think of any relationships."

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Kitty Story

The cat had came to their doorsteps some three months ago and with its innocent looks and meow cries had taken the household over. Preetham's mother felt it was her dharm to feed the hungry animals and even she had named the cat. As the cat had come on mangalvaar(tuesday), she gave it the first name Mangal and her boy gave it the second name Pandey. So it became Mangal Pandey. Preetham's wife Seema corrected both of them, that its not Mr Mangal Pandey, but Miss Mangala Pandey.

Seema's MIL(Mother-in-Law) never ever allowed the cat to enter the house, her reasons were, "Animals like cat are uncouth and should never be allowed entry to the house. Secondly, that any attachment to pets like cats can affect one's consciousness at the time of death. But feeding them when they are hungry is dharma" Seema warned her MIL, "You can order a dog at stay at the gates. But not a Cat! There comes a time when the cat tries it level best to gain a entry into the house." The MIL failed to read the warnings.

One day MIL boasted to Seema, "See the cat now! Because of my Kripa-kataksha (compassion filled eyes) falling on her, she has become so Arogyavathi (Healthy)!". Seema laughed a bit and corrected her,"You are completely off the line, MIL. Its because of some tom-cat's kama-kataksha (passion filled eyes) falling on her, that Mangala has become garbhavati (pregnant) !" That left the MIL speechless. It was the time that Mangala would try its level best to get a safe place to deliver her young ones. The old lady knew she had to become alert and protect her home from losing its sanctity. Now her pet animal became a prospective invador for her.

Every living moment, she was thinking of the cat trying to force itself into the house. And sometimes,Seema took advantage of the situation. A silent evening, Seema was enjoying a romantic movie with her husband and MIL. A scene had the hero slowly kissing the heroine on her chubby cheeks without the others present there, knowing about it. Preetham whispered into Seema's ears his desire to do the same but was afraid of being caught by his Mother. Seema knew just the right thing to do to get the kiss. She took advantage of her MIL's latest acquired fear, and thought aloud, "Oh! I think I must have left the back door open".
It was enough to make the MIL worry about Mangala gaining an entry.The mother in law jumped on her feet, "You silly girl! Why do you do like this? That cat is waiting for such an opportunity!" And off she went. After she had left Seema said to Preetham amorously, "Now Mr Romeo! The area is All-Clear!" and she waited for that gentle peck. She closed her eyes and instead of hearing the gentle soud of kiss i.e Mwah, she heard a huge bang. The pair got freightened and ran towards the sound to really find the door wide open and the old lady chasing the cat out.

The fear in the old lady grew more and more as the day neared its end. When Seema and Preetham were preparing to retire for the day, they found the old lady under their bed stead. Only her legs were visible. Preetham gently enquired as to what she was doing. His wife gave a apt reply, "Your mother is crossing the limit! She is planting a time bomb under our bed! " After some struggle, she came out. She had the poor cat in one hand and in another she had the broom. Her hair was widely let out and her face was completely covered with dust. She let out a wicked grin, happy from having the cat caught. Seema looked at the horrible appearance of her MIL and said to Preetham, "She remembers me of my childhood!" Preetham was suprised as to how this scene could bring back the memories of her childhood. Seema explained it very simply, "I remember the stories of chandamama where those witches flied on their broomsticks and had a black cat by their side..."

Next morning, Preetham's father had a request to his son, "Your mother is quite upset these days. She has a special request to you. Say Ok to that one, my Son!" Seema got worried a bit, because her MIL reads Ramayana every morning and today she was at the Chapter where Dasharath sent his dear son Ram to exile on the instructions of his dear wife. Her fears came true when she heard her father in law utter the next sentence, "I need you to go to that small woods nearby....". She put her face down with disgust but the further words brought a big laughter, "....and leave that cat Mangala over there!. My Wife is losing all her sleep over that Cat!". The obedient son did as he was told and for the next few days the old lady had peace at home.

And then deepavali arrived and the little neighbour Riya came down with sweets and gifts specially to Preetham's mother, "When I returned home yesterday, I found three angels in my room. I wish to give one of them to you. " And she slowly took a kitten from her carrier and placed it on the table. No words came to the lips of Preetham's mother. She knew that cats find their way home back easily and so did Mangala. She was sure that this kitty was Mangala's only. Though Preetham's mother didn't say a word, the small kitten let out a small gentle meow so as to say, 'Please accept me!'

Wishing all my readers and their families and friends, a very happy deepavali

Friday, October 9, 2009

An Ideal Wife!

Preetham was too much influenced by Dr Brian Weiss's books on Past-Life Regression Analysis (Technique whereby an individual is hypnotized and made to go back to the past lives). He even had the audio file for the hypnosis downloaded. He wanted to experiment it on someone. Seema, his wife was forced to volunteer and he had a good excuse too, "You have used me a lot for your culinary experiments. Now its my turn."

Then the experiment began. With the background soothing music, he began to slowly hypnotize her, "Forget everything.... Your mind is blank.... You are now boarding a train which will take you to your past lives...." Slowly he forced the train to stop at one of her past life. Now Seema was in a more dream like state completely unaware of the real physical surrounding. She only recognized Preetham's guiding voice. Preetham asked Seema to identify the period. Seema tried to describe whatever she could see, "Seems many centuries ago... There seems to be only horse carriages everywhere and no modern building or electricity.... Probably some Rajput Kingdom.... I am wearing a bridal dress... I am a daughter of a Rajput King. It seems my happiest moment of that life. Yupee! I am getting married. But wait! But I am very young. Hardly even fourteen."

Preetham asked her to identify the people around her "There seems to be an old lady. Can't be my mother in law because this old lady has tears in her eyes and looks sad."
Preetham looked at the angry face of his mother as Seema continued, "Must be my mother. She is telling about sthree dharm (Ethics to be followed by a married lady) and her first principle goes like this, 'A wife should serve her husband and respect his decision and enable him to discharge his duties effectively. That's the reason why Sita went with Rama to the forests.'"
Mother in law was listening with all ears as Preetham asked, "So how did the bride receive that message". Seema still in a hypnotic state, "I correct her, "You are wrong, mother. She went with Ram because if she had been in the palace, she had to deal with not one, but three mother-in-laws!!!. The very thought had frightened her and she grabbed the opportunity of running to the woods with her husband."

Preetham interrupted before his mother could open her mouth, "Look around and try to recognize your man. Is it me?..." Seema a bit irritatingly, "But this mother is not allowing. She is filling my mind with her silly rules. Here comes the second one, 'Husband is a woman's God. Her Selfless Service alone to him is enough to protect her from all the worldly harms. She doesn't have to do any other penance or any other form of devotion'"
Preetham looked forward eagerly for the answer of the young bride, "This young bride is very smart and has a witty answer 'Had Draupadi listened to you, O My Mother!, She would definitely have been disrobed!. Remember it was not her five husbands who came to her rescue, but Dear Lord Krishna. Mother, these men are also human beings like us with emotions and feelings. No need to treat them special!'

Preetham liked the way it was moving, but he was still curious, "Now! Is the bridegroom standing nearby anywhere!", Seema was helpless, "I am unable to turn my head as whole of my mother's attention is on me and here she comes with the third rule 'Always look at the husband's mood before you talk with him. Because a right thing said at the wrong time may lead to disastrous results' The young bride's face became little dull, 'Mother, You have raised me in such a manner that when my mind thinks, my mouth moves. So I am helpless there! And speaking of moods, Even I may become out of control and impatient at times. Then what's his responsibility? If he cant handle me at my worst, Definitely, he doesn't deserve me at my best also**.'

Preetham somehow was more interested in knowing the bridegroom then all the Stree-Dharms. But the rules had to be completed as Seema continued, "Here she comes with the fourth rule, 'Win over the in-laws. Treat their home as your own.' The young girl said "I know this rule and I am fully prepared" and took her mother to the palanquin which has supposed to carry her to the in laws place." And then Seema suddenly announced "Now I see the bridegroom. Its my husband of the present life, Mr Preetham. But here, he has fallen on the ground with a thud after seeing the accessories in the palanquin."
Preetham was very curious and asked her to look into the palanquin and describe the contents. Seema was back with her answer, "Oh My God! She has got a bow and arrows, a long sword, a mace like the one used by warrior bheema, a spear and a dagger too... She definitely seems full prepared to take over her in-laws"

Preetham thought if he continued the session, it would definitely upset his mother. He immediately brought Seema out of the hypnotic trance. So Seema who was a little bit aware of what she had spoken asked innocently, "So tell me how different I was in my previous life?" Before Preetham could speak, the mother-in-law came out with her honest view, "However many lives you take, you are never gonna change at all!" and thus walked out. Seema looked with confusion at Preetham. He held her face in his hands gently, "And I don't want you to change also. I always love the way you are." Saying so, he landed a gentle kiss on her cheeks.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Discourse at the Pub

"I don't go to pubs. In the end they will throw me out", announced Preetham when Manya on behalf of her colleagues invited her senior for a small gathering at a local pub. Manya was shocked to hear this, "You mean!.... You get so drunk!" Preetham corrected her, "I am a complete teetotaler.... I need to tell you a small story to explain this one" Manya pulled out a chair and sat down. She always loved her senior's stories.
" It was a year ago that I accompanied my friends to a pub. I had ordered only apple juice. Seeing this, a drunkard approached me, "Hmm... You don't drink?.... Is that because you believe 'Drinking is injurious to health!' Rite.?" I answered him in negative and perhaps a little too strongly, "No! Its Because I believe that Drinking is injurious to the community!" Some more heads turned towards me with that statement, "Now! where did you pick that statement? Gandhiji!!!" I again shook my head, "Lord Krishna!"
Now I had become the center of attention. And in that pub, I started giving my discourse.

I declared "It was alcohol that had brought the fall of Yadavas!"
Like a young concentrating student who raises his hand during the classes to clear his doubts, a drunkard raised his bottle and put forward his silly question, "But where have they have fallen?. Laloos and Mulayalams are still so strong"
Controlling my laughter, I answered him, "I am talking of the Yadavas of the Dwapar Yug, a totally different time. The Yadava clan, Lord Krishna's lineage. In that lineage, there were two great warriors, Satyaki and Kritaverma. They were Lord Krishna's close buddies, but somehow Lord had got them to fight on the opposite sides during the Mahabharata War. Many years after the war, its demons popped up and that too during a wild beach party when bitter truths were spoken...."
One of the listeners who seemed to be not completely in control of his senses spoke, "That's the strength of the alcohol. People speak more truth when they are subjected to the alcohol rather than to interrogation."

I continued, "Kritavarma and Satyaki started abusing each other. Kritavarma accused Satyaki of not behaving like a true warrior and remembered as to how the later had slewn a warrior who had laid down his arms and sat for meditation. Satyaki accused Kritavarma of a more immoral act that of killing innocent boys who didn't even participate in the war, and that too when they were fast sleep"
One of the drunkards commented, "This finger-pointing session reminds me of Today in Parliament. Continue, Mr Speaker"
I avoided my inrtoduction, "Then others joined in the blame game. Slowly people who were fighting each other with words started picking up weapons and aimed at each other. Lord Krishna, the almighty who had instructed Arjun to take up arms against his own relatives found it hard to make his own clan drop their weapons. As Lord Krishna looked on, the Yadavas started killing each other. He had to see his own kith and kin being killed."
Youngest of the drunkards, who seemed to be a new one to the pub realized the moral of the story, "Wow! This alcohol is more powerful than the nuclear weapon. I agree with you, Sir! It destroys all the men who become its servants. I think I had enough! I mean enough of drink and not of the story! Continue please!"

I smiled seeing the change brought about in the young man, "It not only destroys men who touch it.... but also the community. After Yadava men had destroyed themselves, Lord Krishna took departure from this world instructing the warrior Arjun to take the women and the old and the children of his clan to safety. But Arjun was helpless as dacoits kidnapped all the women folk of the Yadava clan. In this way under the influence of the alcohol, the yadavas killed each other and also...."

Before I could complete the story, the manager of the pub came forward, "We really appreciate your social responsibility and as a token of respect.... "

Thus Preetham stopped the story allowing Manya to conclude the story. Manya was a clever girl and laughingly she completed Preetham's final sentence, "And as a token of respect, they had you thrown out of the pub.....Rite!"

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Mobile Philosophy

Religious Discourses were not her cup of tea. But Seema's husband Preetham was reluctant on taking her to a nearby temple where a discourse on soul-body concept was being delivered. She made the point that the eminent scholar would only be successful in putting her to a sleep rather than putting the message into her head. He smiled, "Hmm.... Even Subhadra went to sleep and so also did Kayadu.....!". A frown appeared on Seema's face on hearing the names of girls, "Subhadra!.....Kayadu! Who the hell are they! Your past girlfriends! And you took your girlfriends to a discourse on a date!"

Preetham laughed out loud, "No! You Silly Girl! Subhadra was the mother of Abhimanyu who learn t the greatest war lessons while he was in his mother's womb from Lord Krishna himself and Prahlad learnt the lessons of Devotion from Sage Narada while he was a foetus in his mother's womb....So I know that If You don't listen to the discourse, our future child will certainly listen."
Seema knew that it was waste of time arguing with her God-fearing husband and she accompanied him to the Sermon.

But surprise was waiting for them at the arena as they sat next to a mother and her teenage son. The teenager was very upset with his mother for snatching his mobile. He had become restless. Then the discourse began. The eminent scholar focused on the strange relationship between the Soul and Body, "You are not the body. You are the soul. You have a body.... This Soul will leave the body and find a new one.... It may find a healthy body or a weak body.... Its just a process.... a simple one... the soul is removed from a old body and put into a new one"
The teenager's mother got a nice explanation from her son, "This Soul thing, your scholar is talking about, seems very much like my sim card. I take the sim card from one mobile and put it into another, now and then. Now my BSNL simcard or BSNL Athma(Soul) has found a ERICSSON cell phone or ERICSSON jeeva (Body)...."
Though the mother was angry at her son's reaction, it brought a big smile on Seema's face and she also enjoyed the expression on her dear husband's face.

The Scholar was continuing unaware of the nice explanations given by the youngster, "When the soul finds a new body, it forgets everything about the old. But the memory sometimes remains.... Do you know why?..."
While the scholar was giving the answer, the teenager had his own answer for the same and his mother had to listen, "Mom.... I know why? Its so simple. Its because... instead of saving onto the sim memory or as the scholar says AATMA, one saves everything on to the JEEVA that is the cell phone memory. So when you move to a new Jeeva or a cell phone, you lose your memory unless you have saved it on to the sim card...Do you really need a preacher to explain all these..."
Seema was completely agreeing on whatever the youngster was explaining. Preetham was looking around to see if they were any other empty seats. But he was not lucky that day.

The Scholar was coming to a conclusion with a explanation on the moksha or the ultimate liberation from the life cycles. But the youngster understood it in his own different manner as he shouted, "Kar lo duniya muthi main (Have the world in your hands), Reliance!." His mother ignored him. But Seema was curious and asked very eagerly, "Can you explain why?" The teenage was happy on knowing that he had a follower for his mobile philosophy, "The Earlier Reliance Set with the CDMA Technology. You can use the reliance sim card with only reliance cell phone set. So no question of shifting the sim card onto Nokia or Ericcson. It gets its liberation along with the Cell Phone....rite!"
Seema was also enlightened and also gave a emphatic reply, "Rite! You are indeed an enlightened soul!" Preetham didn't wait any longer before taking the decision to exit the arena along with his dear wife before it was too late. He didn't want his unborn to learn bad things from the womb itself.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Best Teacher!

It seems there is a crowd at Seema's place with three generation ladies gathered there - Riya the twelve year old girl, Seema, the pregnant wife of Preetham and Preetham's mother. Riya was preparing a card for her best teacher on the teachers day occasion when she popped up a question at Seema, "Did you had any favorite teacher?" Seema gave a naughty answer, "When I was in College, I liked the Hindi Teacher for his sweet nightingale like voice, the English Sir for the stares he gave me during the classes and the Commerce lecture for his height... " Preetham just cleared his throat hinting to stop her excitement while his mother was present.

The young girl turned from the daughter in law towards the mother in law, "Granny, Did you had any favorite teacher?" It was a complete wrong question as Preetham's mother didn't had that much education. Yet it didn't prevent her from answering, "Yes! Nature! She is the best teacher."
Seema said to herself, "This old lady will never fail to answer. And now, she will start a lecture"
Riya was confused, "Can you expalin to me how is nature a teacher! Does she have a cane like our teacher?"

The old lady laughed, "No! Gentle are her ways... Let me tell you a small story. In scotland some centuries ago, a brave king was defeated by his enemies many times and finally he retreated to a cave. The soldiers came looking for him. He prayed to God to help him out. That time he saw a spider which was trying to weave its web across the cave. He felt how this small spider could help him out with its web. As he saw, the wind howled and blew the web apart. It tried again and again relentlessly. When the enemies neared the cave, the spider web was successfully strung across the entrance of the cave."
The young girl reasoned out, "The soldiers must have thought, 'If anyone is inside, he should have broken the spider's web to enter the cave'. And so they didn't search the cave and the king was saved. Right!"
The old lady smiled, "Right, Cutie! and tell me what could be the moral of the story?"
While the young girl was taking some time to guess, the daughter in law volunteered to answer, "Try Try till you die... I mean.... till you succeed!"
The mother in law was not ready to accept the daughter in law's answer, "Hmmm... Look it from a philosophical angle. Where God is, a spider's web is as a stone wall. Where God is not, a stone wall is as a spider's web**"

The son Preetham joined his mother to give another example, "Not only western.... but in our history also there is instances of nature teaching great statesmen including the likes of Chanyaka. Do u know the story of the ant helping Chanakya to escape from being caught by the enemies?" Without waiting for a answer, he started narrating the story, "Legend has it that once Mauryan forces had to hide in a cave. They were starving there without food. But coming out meant being captured by the enemy. At that time Chanakya observed a ant taking a grain of nice. But there was no sign of grain or foodstock anywhere. He also observed that the rice grain was cooked. He ordered the mauryan soldiers to search. As they did, they found that the enemies had been dining under that cave. Immediately they escaped from there and saved themself"
When mother saw her child Preetham joining with his story, she got excited, "See my child Riya! This nature has always taught good men....."

Seema got somewhat uneasy with the way things went and had something to add and something definitely opposite, "Not only good men.... but also bad men take lessons from the nature and do evil things...:" The mother in law was irritated and demanded, "Do you have an example, Seema!"
Seema spoke in a mocking manner, "You must have read the Mahabharatha and other holy fictions an umpteen number of times and still you ask me?"
Mother-in-law's memory was deinitely fading as Seema continued, "I am honoured to explain to you, my dear Mother In Law. Remember the end of the Mahabharatha war.Remember Ashwathama! No one could be as cruel as him. In the enemy camp only three warriors were left including Ashwathama and that too without their king and they were pondering of their next strategy.Thats when, Ashwathama observed how an owl was attacked by crows in the day and how the owls attacked back in the night. Thus he attacked the Pandavas army camp after dark and killed the five sons of the Pandavas and all their allies. A bloody end to the war brought out by Ashwathama from the lesson he learnt from the owls." The last lines were uttered by Seema with a wicked but a victorious smile.

With that smile, the atmosphere suddenly turned into a very silent and eerie, somewhat like the Kurukshethra after the war end, with Mother in law and daughter in law looking at each other with intense eyes. No one was trying to break the ice. Young Riya turned to Preetham and slowly hissed into his ears, "Hasn't Mother Nature taught you of what to do in such a difficult and tense situation like this one"

** The quote taken from the web

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Call It Whatever you wish!

I don't know whether this qualifies as a poem or not. But I wanted to write it. The simple thoughts I had when I was traveling to my office today.

Had fallen for a girl's sweet words.......

Had been mesmerized by the two and half hour movies.....

Had been taken to dreamy worlds by romantic songs.....

Had been taken over by self pride in thinking as a good writer.......

Now realized my folly.... and have surrendered myself to you, O Almighty......

Here I am .... Falling at your feet ..... Falling now!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Whats in a name?

Seema always liked to read the newspaper on the breakfast table. She was not bothered about the headlines. She for the most time read Page 3, The day's predictions and also TV highlights. But that day waiting for her at the breakfast table was her sweet adorable young twelve year old neighbor Riya.
Riya had a story to tell. She wanted to match Seema in the latter's story telling skills. Seema was enjoying her cup of coffee and waiting for the breakfast to be served by her dear husband Preetham. So till then, she had ample amount of time for a small story

Riya started her story with a quote from Shakespeare, " 'Whats in a name' said Shakespeare. The heroine of the story thought the same. But some events in her life made her think otherwise. In this world, there are couples who seem to be same or alike in some way or the other. Either in their thinking or Either in their tastes or in some other manner. But very rarely you would find them same or alike in their names. Yes! The protagonist of my tale shared her name with the man in her life. Both went with the name Kiran!"
Seema kept her papers down and was now full ears, "Nice begining! Captured my attention!"

The young girl became more enthusiastic, "Kiran didn't realize that it was a problem, until she had sent some personal e-mail invitations to her dear friends, 'I cordially invite you on the occassion of my marriage with Kiran on the fourth of September at.......' One of her friends replied back, 'In this modern world, I had seen a guy marry another guy, a girl becoming interested in another girl. But you have crossed the limit. I understand you love yourself very much. But to the extent of marrying yourself...."
Seema couldn't control laughing at the young girl's imagination.
Riya continued, "She then changed the inivtation to the tradional style and rewrote the bridegroom's name as Chiranjivi Mr Kiran, BE, MS, Son Of and so on and so on"

Riya raised her voice so that Preetham could hear her story from the Kitchen, "They got married and went to the registrar to get the marriage certificate. The officer there congratulated them and was about to hand over the certificate. Then something caught his attention and he suddenly started apologizing to the couple, 'Extremely Sorry! The typist has grown old. We can't remove him. Try to understand. This is not like a private organisation.' The couple hardly understood what the officer was saying. When the typist came inside the chamber, the officer scolded him, 'What a costly mistake you had made, Old Man! You have typed the same name for the young bride as well as her bridegroom! I can remove you for this one!'.
Kiran... err the female Kiran came to the rescue of the old man and explained the situation to the officer The officer conrtolled his laughter and handed over the certificate to the lady and commented, 'Kiran... From now on you are Kiran Kiran'...."
Seema had to comment, "The single Kiran now becomes Kiran Sqaure"

Riya took the story still further, "The couple got married and had a baby boy some years later. The boy grew up and it was his first day at school. The mother was very excited. But her excitement was shattered as the boy came home with tears in his eyes. Mother was upset on hearing the embarassement that the young boy had to bear. The child gave a recap of the day's events at school,
--- 'In the school, teacher asked me 'What's your fathers name' and I said, 'Kiran' and then she asked me 'What's your mothers name' and I said, 'Kiran' The whole class laughed and teacher went on to explain me the difference between father and mother'
Riya came to the conclusion of the tale, "That's when Kiran decided she had to change the name. She couldn't subject her son to more embarrassments."

Preetham who was ready with the breakfast, came out of the kitchen, "At last she took the right decission. It was high time she changed her name. So what did she change her name to?"
But Riya's story had a twist as she explained it, "No!... No!....No! She didn't change her name.... She made her husband change his...."
Seema had a hearty laughter and loved the ending very much and also the expression on her husband's face on hearing the conclusion, "My Dear Hubby! Even your coffee lacks this kick da....."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Gita in the Exam Hall!

Preetham was at his wife's place for the weekend. He thought his pregnant wife would have been feeling quite lonely without him. But his wife had found a new friend... her new neighbor, a twelve old girl Riya. And his wife was narrating one of her tall tales to the short girl. Preetham sat along with the young girl Riya to listen to his wife's tales.

The story teller Seema began thus "It was the D-Day! I was sitting in the Examination Hall and the question paper for the MBA Entrance was distributed. I read all the questions once and then re read them again just to find out if there was at least one question for which I had the correct answer. But I was disappointed. For the next thirty minutes, I just sat there completely blank looking here and there. The girl in front of me seemed to have all the answers and was not giving any rest to her poor pen. I looked at my new Parker Pen with disappointment. With the disgusted feel, like that great warrior Arjun who laid down his bow Gandeevi in the Kurukshethra war field, I too put down my weapon my Parker Pen on the table...."
Preetham wanted to applaude his wife's ability to conjure such wondeful tales and lies. But he didn't want to attract her wrath upon him.

Seema continued, "Thats when I heard the divine voice, 'Karmanye Vadikarasthe Ma Phaleshu Kadachana'. I lifted my head away from the bloody question paper and saw Lord Krishna standing there in front of me. He was there - in the present day Kurukshethra - the exam hall. Like it happened in the original Mahabharatha, here too he had pressed the freeze button. The time had come to a full stop and all others in the exam hall had become inanimate and it was only me and Lord Krishna. Lord uttered again the golden words.' Do the Actions. Don't expect the results..... Write the answers. Don't expect the marks.....' I was totally confused by his suggestions. So I made myself clear to the Almighty, 'It doesn't matter if I get zero for the wrong answers. But the questions carry negative marks! I don't want to end up with negative marks, Lord Krishna!'
Preetham just hinted his wife to look towards the Pooja room as if to tell that Lord Krishna is also in the audience.

But Seema was not bothered, "Lord Krishna smiled as he continued his advices, 'You have to toil for what you achieve in life. It takes ages to master a disciple. Everything can't be learnt in one night... that too.... one night before the exams!' I thought the Lord was not understanding the intricacies of the modern day student's life and I briefed him up,'Oh God! Life as a student has changed... Earlier Gurukul was a one stop solution for the students and the curriculum was also simple, I believe. But now, its not the case. Now in the first week we have exams for the prestigious Chartered Accountancy course and in the third week, there is the entrance exams for the big business schools. I am trying to exit one course successfully and at the same trying to enter another course. Tell me God! How can I plan when I sit for so many exams'. "
Preetham feared that the way story was going, it was sure to corrupt the young girl who was listening with full ears.

Seema was making it more and more interesting, "Lord Krishna laughed at my remarks, 'First week CA exams and Third week CAT. But wasn't it you and your friends that I saw at the first day first show of your favorite star SRK's movie where he danced with dozen heroines.... And I presume that was in the second week of the month...' I was embarrased and Lord continued his preaching, 'In every sphere of life, planning is important. Like you planned for that movie very much in advance, whats the harm in planning for your studies well before time.'
I took the courage to answer him back, 'Planning! I don't believe in it. My other Lord Shah Rukh Khan had told me, 'Har pal yahaa jee bhar jiyo.... jo hei sama KAL HO NA HO.... So I just make the most of the moment available to me. ' It seems that the Lord had enough of me and he took my leave 'Hmm... Kal Yug.... I don't want to bore you further with my lectures. Otherwise you will give me a nickname like you gave to that lecturer from the coaching institution. When time comes, you will understand the worth of my words....."
Preetham proceeded to the kitchen to make some lemon juice for his sweet wife who was getting a bit tired from the storytelling..

Seema concluded,"'Saying so.... the lord vanished and the classroom was back into action.. The exams were over and I never did make it to the top business schools...."
Handing over the glass of lemon juice to his wife, Preetham gave the finishing touch to the story, " I think you acted a bit stupid. A wise man speaks less and acts more. When the time stood still and when the classroom was freezed, you should have snatched the answer paper of that brilliant girl in front of you and copied the answers. You failed to recognize the opportunity when it knocked on the door.... err.... I mean the table...."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Love at the times of Swine Flu!

Seema was enjoying the drive, not because she was in control of the wheels. The reason was the ecstasy and the excitement on the face of the fellow passenger - her cousin Deepa. Deepa had got married last year to Ajay and immediately after the marriage had to bid her husband goodbye. He had a pending on-shore project to complete before his visa expired and thus was sent back to US of A. Now he is returning back to India and they were on their way to pick him up from the airport

At the airport lounge, she looked at each passenger's face as they came out with their baggages. All passengers had checked out but her husband was missing. On enquiring, a responsible officer told them, "He has been detained for a H1N1 check..."
Deepa was ignorant of the news that was making the headlines. She was not bothered about what was going on in the world and innocently asked, "H1N1? I have heard of H1B Visa.... What is this new visa H1N1...."
Seema dragged Deepa to the side and updated her of the new viral fever that had stuck terror in India. Suddenly fear gripped Deepa and she sat in one corner eagerly waiting for the results.

The officer returned sometime later with the news that Ajay need to be sent to a medical facility for more tests. Before Seema and Deepa could meet him, Ajay was already being moved to a medical facility nearby by the airport authority without informing his wife and Seema. The officer asked for forgiveness and accompanied them to the medical facility. On the way,the officer couldn't just sit tight lipped and had to make some comments, "I remember Nobel Laureate Josh Lederberg's quote, 'The microbe that felled one child in a distant continent yesterday can reach yours today and seed a global pandemic tomorrow.' But no one at the central hardly heed to any warning. They are not bothered whether we are attacked by deadly terrorists or deadly viruses"
Seema felt that the comment was a strong one but coming at a inopportune time. She was observing the nervous face of Deepa who hardly spoke a word since their departure from the airport. She answered the officer, "It would be better if you could save such comments for the press!"

They reached the medical facility and rushed towards the room where Ajay was being subjected to more tests. But the officer once again stopped them and told them it would be better if they wore some face masks.
Deepa looked at the face mask and angrily answered the officer, "You are making me feel as If I am visiting a mortuary!"
Seema was confused at the behavior of the officer. She felt that he was gripped with fear and nothing more. She didn't say anything but just put her arm across Deepa and slowly they moved ahead.

A doctor who was diagnosing Ajay had happy news for them, "Don't worry! Your husband's case was only a suspected case. Now the doubts are cleared. He is absolutely fine. You can take him with you!"
Deepa just rushed inside and embraced her husband in front of everyone, "I had been waiting for your return for a year. But the last two hours was like two decades for me."
When Ajay was silently erasing the tears from her eyes with his both hands, the officer expressed his fears, "Don't take me wrongly! These doctors have made some mistakes in their diagnosis earlier. Its better to take a second opinion!"
Seema gave him the face mask, "Its time you put on the mask and be silent!". Though she had silenced the officer, Seema too had her fears and she prayed to the God to make the officer's words not true.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Story Of A Crush

Preetham was discussing of ambitions during the lunch break, "As a kid, I had the ambition to climb the steepest of the mountains. Now... I am trying to climb up the hierarchy in this corporate world... Hmm... How about you, Manya? What was your ambition as a kid?"

Manya went to a dream like state, "Hmm... Had many.. I wanted to be a Miss India... But after seeing Mr India, dropped the idea... If I become invisible who will come to know about my beauty.... Then I went on to dream of becoming a Air hostess and giving those cutest smiles.. Even practiced those smiles in front of the mirror... After 9/11 I could not get those smiles back and so dropped the idea.... Then I also wanted to be a doctor too....I still remember of how I was captivated by this ambition at the tender age of fifteen"
Preetham was admiring her, " You must have witnessed the suffering people, young and old... Like the great king Ashoka, you too got influenced... But in your case it was short lived... Am I rite?"

Manya smiled at her senior's guess, "No-where near!... It all happened in a train... It was around 10.30 PM in the night and my parents had gone to sleep. But something kept me awake. May be the cool romantic winds blowing onto my face. Then I heard a bike's sound breaking the wind. When I peeped out, I saw a bike approaching the moving train. The train was a bit slow as it had just left a station and hence the young man in the back of the bike got down and as I kept looking, he just came running and jumped onto the train."
Preetham was impressed with the introduction, "Must be a dacoit! Looks like a scene from the movie Sholay! Except there it was a horse and not a bike....Continue Basanthi!"

Manya, "Hmm... Yeah! In a a way he is a dacoit.... A Stealer of Hearts! By the way he was studying medicine and was on his way to his college after the vacations. He was around 21 and I was fifteen. I looked at him earnestly and he looked me back curiously and said that something was very wrong with me and volunteered to check. I said very honestly, 'I am not well.... But I don't want to wake up my parents'. I prayed they didn't woke up at this opportune moment"
Preetham couldn't believe his ears, "Gosh! Your a big liar! I need to once again go through your profile and the references!"

Manya smiled back, ".... And then as he took my hand to check the pulse, My heart started beating in a more rapid fashion. The doctor replied coolly 'Seems you have a light fever'. I wanted to shout at him, 'If you hold that hand for some more time, the temperature would definitely rise and I would swoon and fall on the ground'. At the moment, as if to spoil the fun, the coffeewallah entered and doctor said, 'A cup of coffee would do better for your health' and I accepted it with happiness and quoted what my mother used to say, 'always listen to doctors' though her actual warning that I remembered was something different, 'Stay away from strangers' '"
Preetham just shook his head "I always thought you as a quite simple girl. Hmm...You turned out to be something else."

Manya was reliving that day, "And from one cup... I went to have five cups... I came to know more about him. When he told me about the surgical procedures, I felt as if He was reciting a nice romantic poem to me. The cups of coffee increased to fifteen as the dawn approached. I felt that the Sun was very jealous of me and so it had come too early. But the time for departure had come as the doctor's station was next. When departing he gave me a nice friendly hug and said, 'Lets hope we will meet again'...."
Preetham concluded the sad part, "And you never meet him again? rite!...."
Manya finished her story, "Never! But that's how I got the ambition of becoming a doctor. So that I would meet him again somewhere someplace... But I don't know when, why and how, that ambition slowly vanished into thin air... These teenage crushes!!! "
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Edhey Thumbi Haaduvenu by CA Suresh Kumar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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