Saturday, February 27, 2010

One Small Desire

Preetham and his wife Seema were returning home after her first day out in many months. To make the drive home pleasant, Preetham turned on the radio. The presenter's voice filled the air, "In MUSIC, M stands for Melody. If you take M it will make U SIC(K)." Preetham liked to hear this weekly program on classical music. The presenter continued, "Speaking on Ragas, AdI Raaga was created by Lord Shiva himself when he got fascinated by the beauty of Devi Parvathi...."
Seema didn't like the idea of her husband listening to some silly program when she was present there and immediately muted the volume. Preetham objected, "Come on. Its an informative one..." and increased the volume. The presenter was explaining a hymn, "Adi Shankarachaya composed this hymn... Here he says of How Lord Vishnu who had this whole universe under the control of his eyes had lost himself to the stealthy glance of Devi Laxmi..."
Seema just switched off the radio, "How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being! Even the Gods praise their wives and write poems for them. You have not done anything like that for me..." Preetham smiled, "But You never liked poetry...!" Thats when Seema decided, "Okay! I don't ask you for a epic poem nor something like a bollywood song with anthras and mukdas. All I ask from you is some good romantic lines. If you compose them, I will put the music back."

It was a testing time for Preetham. He very well knew that 'to satisfy the hunger for love is much harder than to satisfy the hunger for bread. But Preetham was quick enough to belt out some romantic lines, "I have seen a thousand girls before I saw you...." Seema quickly stopped him in the middle, "What is this! You were ogling at girls!" Preetha smiled, "Listen completely... I have seen a thousand girls before I saw you. Once I saw you, then I have seen none."
Seema was wise enough not to accept this one, "This Reminds me of my young days when Shammi Kapoor came on television and sang something like this and I always thought he was singing for me, 'Yuh tho humne laakh haseena dekhi... tumsa nahin dekha'" And turned to her two months old daughter Prerana, "Your dad is trying to cheat!"

Preetham was ready with another, "Okay! There is another and this time I will say it in Hindi itself. Maa se maine Pyar ka matlab samjha...." Again Seema interrupted, "Why pull mother in law into this one? Can't you keep her out of it..." Preetham corrected her, "Let me finish it.... Maa se maine Pyar ka matlab samjha... Tumse maine Pyar ka Saakshathkar kiya.... Aur Prerana se maine Pyar ko roop diya...."
Seema liked it this time, "Beautiful! But with three generations in one song, this qualifies to be a family song." and turning to her daughter, "When you grow a little old and when we take you out to some mela etc and when you get lost, just remember this song and sing it aloud. We will easily find you out...."

Preetham racked his brain, but nothing came to his mind. And for a moment, he took his eyes off the road and looked at the skies above, "Oh God! You helped me fulfill all her big desires even before she could ask for it. Now, when she is asking for simple lines of romance, you betray me?..." Seema asked him to focus on the road, "God is everywhere. Concentrate on the road." Preetham brought the vehicle to a halt, "God says that you are special for me and words cannot describe how special you are to me and lines cannot say even the tenth of your importance in my life. In this world of lies, you seem to be the only truth that I know..."

Seema smiled, "That seems pretty good. I am satisfied. Let me pass you this time..." and turning to her daughter, "You father needs to be rewarded..." and with the soft hands of her daughter, Seema had the radio turned on only to hear the presenter say, "With that composition of Thyagaraja we come to the end of this week's program...." Seema just blurted out a 'Oops!' and quickly covered her daughter's eyes with her hands, "You better not watch your romantic father's angry face"

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Little Angel

Riya's mother was a little worried. Her 12 year old daughter has started spending more time in front of the computer. Preetham being a good neighbor decided to resolve the issue and visited Riya's place with his wife Seema and two month old baby Prerana. When they arrived, Riya was not at home. But she had kept the system on.

Seema garnered from the files and the programs recently opened that the girl was making some cartoon strips. She laughed when she saw the main character. It was very much like Preetham but with some hair loss and a bigger belly. He sure looked a bit aged. Preetham went a little mad at seeing his cartoon, "Hmm.. She likes to see a fifty year old Aaamir Khan play a college student, but wants to see her thirty plus uncle in his late forties... " Seema was not listening, but was focusing on another character which seemed to be her young baby Prerana in her early teens. Seema smiled, "Riya is imaging you as a parent of a teen girl and this is all her cartoons are about. Nice concept about a worried father of a girl in her teens. An outlook of the future?" Preetham was again furious when he looked at the attire of the teen girl, "Where is the long hair? Where is those traditional dresses? Where is that bindi on the forehead? What is this short hair? What is this tops and jeans? Gosh!"

After reading the introduciton, Seema proceeded to the cartoons. Young Riya had developed some concepts and saved them as separate projects. First project was saved as 'Why We Should read only during the exams' time
Preetham is advising his young daughter to read and not to rest too much. The charming prerana started giving her dad a sermon, "Dad! The pace of modern life you understand is very wrong. Why should we make every day an ordeal? We should ease into the day. Read novels, watch movies, Have cookies, take walks and put our thoughts together. Actually, students read best only under pressure. Yups, read time would be more miserable, but there would be less of it.. What do you say? Dad! I am rite na"
Preetham in the cartoon strip laughs, but not the live Preetham. He gets furious and decides to delete the file. But Seema stops her. She found the cartoons a complete time pass

Seema moved on to the second project which was titled, 'Father! Simply the best!'.
Someone asks Prerana "Who do you love most? Your mother or father"
Prerana was quick in replying, "Oh Course! Father! I love him... the most... when he makes those expressions of concern when I stay out late at night and say 9.00 PM is early evening, When I get up only at 8 AM and go through the morning rituals within fifteen minutes, When I answer him in monosyllables and talk with my friends for hours. When I am with him and a guy stares at me, I love to see his expression"

Preetham was really getting furious, "Let Riya come. I will show her how my face looks when I am furious"

Seema had already picked up the third one. It was titled, 'Dad - Three-in-One'
Preetham on his way to office is stopped by his little one. The little one has a question for him, "Dad! Do you want to be a vigilant papa ya supportive papa ya protective papa..." Preetham replied emotionally, "I always will protect you...and keep you as a pearl in an oyster... I will always there to support and guide you so that you may not trip and fall on the crooked paths of life..and I will never let any one cause you harm and will be an Armour and vigilantly watch over you"
These lines killed all the emotions of anger that had resided in Preetham's heart and tears dropped down his cheeks.
When Riya entered, he was all praise for her and supported her, "Continue your hobby! One day you will become a great cartoonist!" Riya thanked her uncle and also corrected her, "This is not just a hobby. These cartoons will be displayed on the school notice board on a monthly basis. " Preetham didn't like the idea of getting the cartoons based on his future, being displayed on the notice board. But on Seema's instance he remained silent. But Riya gave another shocker, "And this monday, my first one would be published. Along with that cartoon, I would publish this." Preetham read out the scrawl in Riya's hand, "Dedicated to my Neighbor. Preetham Uncle and His daughter.."

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Girls in my Boy's life

The wind easily carried her mother-in-law's high pitch voice to her bed room and kept Seema and her two month old daughter Prerana awake. The mother in law was reading the final chapter of Ramayana where Kaal-Purush (Eternal time keeper) visited Ram, "Behind closed doors, Kaal Purush reminds Lord Ram of his return journey to the heavenly abode Vaikunt. Suddenly Lakshman barges into the room. Kaal Purush gets angry and immediately vanishes into the thin air..."

And in the next moment, Kaal Purush was out of the book and in Seema's Room. Seema nearly let out a shriek on seeing this blackish apparition. She felt that this guy just came out of a coal mine. Kaal Purush explained his surprise entry, "I am Kaal Purush, the eternal time keeper. I really liked the devotion with which you were hearing my story..." Seema gave a really stupefied look, "Err... I was just waiting for the story to finish so that I can go to sleep..." The intellectual Kaal Purush was explaining as to what he had in store for Seema, "You know I am the one who controls the pace of life. So I would like to replay your years in front of your eyes....." Seema immediately interrupted, "Hello! I am somehow less interested in my past!!... Err!!..But... Can you show husband's past"

Kaal Purush didn't wait for another second and put his hands into the tiny pocket and took the projector and the screen. The Screen was spread out on the wall and the projector was placed on the table. Seema laid back along with her kid and started enjoying the presentation. Kaal Purush started the show with a warning, "If anyone interrupts the show, I would vanish immediately and you need to punish that interrupter"

Then the screen on the wall showed a young boy Preetham of fifteen going to the school in a willy-nilly fashion along with his best friend. The voice over from Kaal Purush explained, "Your boy and his good friend were more active in extra curricular activities. Preetham was in Literary groups and was learning telugu language". Seema took some pride out of it, "My husband was interested in literature and learning other languages at such young age!!" Kaal Purush corrected her, "All this was only to impress a girl.." and the screen showed a cute young girl in the standard uniform of a White Shirt and a Black Skirt. Seema let out a wow, "Really angelic face!" Kaal Purush started crooning a Elvis Presley song with altered lyrics, "She looks nice... She talks nice. She walks nice... But your husband didn't get wise... and failed to recognize the devil in disguise" and then explained, "The girl found a better match in your husband's best friend....So your husband lost a good friend also..."
Seema smiled, "Those are the wonder years..."

Kaal Purush proceeded with the next stage in Preetham's life, "Your husband quite well knew the rule, 'One shouldn't weep for a girl or a bus. If you miss one, another would be definitely on its way'." The screen showed a engineering college and a studious Preetham buried in his books. "Preetham wanted to complete his engineering without the loss of life and sanity. However in college life, there would be at least one girl who would please the eyes and trouble the mind*" and the screen gave a close up of a cheerful girl who was just around five feet and Preetham was good five feet nine. Seema couldn't control her laughter and expressed herself to her daughter, "Prerana, You Know how your father greeted that girl when they met....... How is the weather down there?" Kaal Purush continued,"She came to him with all her doubts on the various computer languages. But Preetham was very confused by the languages of her eyes. One day before the college life came to an end, he took courage and asked her, "What do you think about me?" and she answered in simple five word sentence, "I don't think about you**"
Seema felt a bit sad for her husband, "And there ends the story before it could start"

Kaal Purush again blurted one of his rules, "Whenever something goes wrong for the first time, it may not happen again. But if happens twice, then it will definitely happen for the third time." The screen showed a small company where Preetham took his first job. "Sometimes all a man needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand***" and the screen beamed a image of a confident girl in her early twenties. Seema strided forward, "Prerana! We have to listen carefully. Boys usually become devdas at this age." Kaal Purush was continuing with his story, "In that fast corporate world, she helped him adjust to the pace and come up in career. Preetham was more sure of his emotion. He didn't want to repeat the earlier mistakes. Instead of letting his best friend know or expressing himself to the girl, he went and informed his mother." Seema laughed at her husband's silly thinking, "Mother's boy! I guess I have changed him a bit now." Kaal purush was coming to the conclusion. " It was a pretty bad idea. Horoscopes played spoilsport and Preetham lost that girl too. "

Kaal Purush closed his story with some lines from a Dev-anand oldie, "Jo Mil Gaya Usi ko Muqaddar Samjh liya. Jo Kho Gaya Usko Bhulata Chala Gaya... When finally he stopped looking for love.. He found you, Seema! and that was the beginning of a new dawn"
Just at that time, the door opened and entered Preetham. Kaal Purush got very angry and vanished from there shouting, "Sacrilege! He needs to be punished..." Seema walks up to her husband, "My Sweet, Adorable husband. What have you done? Now I need to punish you."
Preetham was unaware of the events and just smiled, "And what could be the punishment?" Seema just looked into his eyes, "Hold my hands and lip lock me.. " Preetham couldn't believe his ears, "But this is not the right time" Seema smiled, "Time itself is insisting that I punish you. This is the best punishment I can think of" Preetham doesn't know to say NO to his wife. So Seema instructed her baby, "Prerana... Close your eyes"

(To my readers... Stop imagining further... Happy valentines day!!!)

* Robert Jordan
** Ayn Rand
*** Andy Rooney

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Test of Love

Riya, twelve year old neighbor of Preetham, was fully excited. She had written a story for some competition and wanted a review from her favorite uncle Preetham. Preetham was reading the occasion for which it was being written "Oh My God! You are writing this story for the valentine's day occasion?" Riya smiled and said, "I have grown up. I fully understand these emotions. Let me begin.. Its a long story"
And so she took the center stage and started narrating the story to Preetham and Seema,

"This story is set in some rural place of Karnataka. This story is about the cowherd boy Preethu who believed that God is nothing but truth and love. And his love was a simple village belle Radha who lived on the river side and this love had opposition in the form of his wicked uncle Kalinga They usually had the rendezvous at the river bed when the sun was about to set and when all the cows had reached home. That day it was very late, the moon was already out, when he had left to meet her. He decided to take the shortcut through the dense woods and that was a wrong decision.
Thinking about his beloved and the sweet nothings he had to exchange with her,he failed to see the tiger approaching him. The tiger stood in front of him and was about to devour him, "Your birth certificate is about to expire, Boy!". (Ria interrupted the story, "Yeah! a talking tiger. It existed when the story was set. It has become extinct now. So you probably would not have heard about it")

Preethu made a humble request, "Please don't eat me! My girl is waiting for me. If you eat me now, she will die from anxiety waiting for me. Allow me to go. I will meet her and make her understand and then come back to you."
Tiger retorted harshly on hearing that statement, "Don't piss me off with that bullshit. This is my forest and I do all the talking"
Preethu tried to make the tiger trust him, "I am the one who firmly believes that God is nothing but love and truth. I promise you that I will come back. I keep my word to whomever I have given it. Whether it be my beloved Radha or my wicked uncle Kalinga. Trust me!"
When he uttered the words 'Trust me', there was some transformation and the tiger saw that Preethu had moved out and had let the Almighty take over. There was no way Tiger could say NO to that request. It took its stopwatch and pushing the button said like a quiz master, "You have got two hours and your time has already started."

So Preethu came running to his beloved Radha. She came running to him and hugged him tightly. But she felt something missing in that embrace and that everything was not right.
Preethu didn't try to hide anything from her, "Tell me all that you have in your heart today itself! Because tomorrow even if you want to tell me, I will not be there for you." Preethu told her the entire story.
Radha liked that her lover stood like a rock when it came to principles. She said, "In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything and two minus one equals to nothing.* Let me be with you in the path of righteousness. Allow me to die with you. What would I do with this life without you"
Riya added a punchline which she had read somewhere, "In love there is not much difference between life and death. You live by the sight of the person who is worth dying for."

But when they reached the tigers den,The tiger was relaxing and seemed to have changed its mind. It looked at Radha and asked Preethu with a smile on its lips, "Whats this? Buy one, Get one free scheme! I am not interested in eating both of You." Preethu and Radhu looked quite surprised. The tiger clarified the things, "Don't think I have got a change of heart during the interval or I am bogging down before your truthfulness. You know! Some bad news travel faster than light. So did the news of your rendezvous with Radha. It reached your uncle Kalinga and he was coming this way looking for you..."
Before he could complete the sentence, Preethu exclaimed with surprise, "You ate my uncle?"
The tiger had no guilty conscious whatsoever, "Don't give so much importance to him. He is a garbage truck. He would be enormously improved by death.** "
But Preethu was happy. Now that his uncle was gone, he can live happily with Radha forever. The tiger came up with a profound statement, "There will be a time when we think everything is finished. That will be the new beginning.***"
Preethu and Radha bowed down before the tiger asking for its blessing. Tiger blessed them, "May your feet be always swift." Preethu and Radha gave a puzzled look. The tiger explained his blessing, "So that, you don't fall again into my hands."

There was a loud applause for Riya from all present. But Preetham had more to add, "The story is good. But I definitely need to warn your parents. This girl is growing up very fast."

(Story adapted from a kannada song Punyakoti)
* Quote by Mignon McLaughlin ** Quote by Saki *** Quote byPeter Nivio Zarlenga
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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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