Wednesday, June 27, 2012



I pronounced myself dead for the world
So I could live in this room.

The room was lit with hope
And peace washed it with light.
I had only to light a candle 
Before the darkness of night.

I stuffed the keyhole with my confidence
I would never need it again.
I was here to stay forever
The world outside was insane.

Then suddenly a window closed
I woke up with a start.
My reverie had been jerked awake
Worry filled my heart.

Minute by minute the windows closed
And darkness drained my peace.
Even as I tried to open those windows,
They resisted me with ease.

I couldn't try to venture out
My confidence no longer there.
I had to spend the night in darkness
A deed I couldn't dare.

A small crack of light in the crevice
An other one beneath the door.
I tried to signal the world outside
To a world I had failed to adore.

Confined I was to a room of darkness
Closed were the windows of hope.
Was darkness hope or hope darkness
'Twas a fact I failed to grope.

The darkness in the room devoured my mind
And hope the rest of me.
The candle I never lit burnt me alive
It was an act of Destiny.

                                                                  -27th June 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

To a Cliche called Love...

To a Cliche called Love...

His seventh proposal had been rejected too. He was feeling low,obviously. Yet there was a light-heartedness with the low. He felt rather good. Did he want a yes in the first place,he wondered.Or was proposing and getting rejected his way of moving on..? He searched the contacts on his phone.Not one girl who had rejected him was on his list.

Even as he looked for the names of those girls he had proposed,he saw the names of those he had come close to doing so,those he wished he had,those he had dreamt he had..and the numerous others whose faint memories lingered on in his mind. He took out his note-pad and started listing. He wanted a count today,no matter what.And then he would write a book-he was now experienced enough to do that.

"When did love first strike me..?"he wondered.Class 9...or Class 10??. Unable to decide,he settled down on the holidays between Class 9 and 10.Yes that must've been the time.For it was then that they had gone on a school trip.She had smiled at him and he was nervous to react. He thought he was being mocked. Then she cornered him...and smiled again. He had to respond in kind! Then an other smile... and an other one. It had taken 432 smiles(on one side)  for him to understand that the smile had been only for him all the time. And by the time he realised that,Board Exams interrupted those smiles and he was heartbroken for the first time. More so when he saw her smiling at his friend after the results.

Not that he had been innocent in school.He wanted to speak to a short girl when he was in 9th..but came to know that she was already in 10th.The one girl he thought was good-looking suddenly started wearing huge glasses after winter holidays.The other who spoke great English was a little too arrogant for his liking.And by the time he realised that someone was smiling at him..that girl had moved on.

He sighed. There were already 6 names from school.He drew a line to demarcate and wrote a fresh heading. "College" he wrote. He had a mammoth task now.He had definitely been overambitious in college. But it had not been his fault entirely-he defended himself. You can't help if girls who looked dead boring wearing uniforms suddenly transform themselves once they step into college! His neck used to turn left,right and right about-360 degree if required. He would want to talk to this girl today...and that girl tomorrow. The classical singer impressed him today..and the compere at a fest next month.The nerd used to be his all time favorite-specially if she wore glasses( inexplicably,his preferences had changed). Then there were girls at tutorials who were from different colleges. He had had a tough time.

Admittedly,he had been impressed by many,but thankfully didn't come close to liking the lot. He wrote down 24 names. Then paused. The 25th had to be special. She had been.

She was always bubbly and cheerful.Never did she overdo her act though.They had been instant friends.He never noticed her probably because she never tried to get herself noticed.Even when their eyes kept meeting at all the right moments,he never gave it a second thought.And when he finally recognised what he felt for her,her father had got a transfer. "We'll always remain friends. Keep in touch" She had said. He had never heard from her again.He still remembered her face vividly-and all those times she had patted his head in innocent affection.

A cool breeze brought him back to the present. After her,pre-university had been a breeze. He didn't notice too many-unless you count that girl whose perfume made him follow her;that girl whose fingers looked weirdly beautiful;or the other one whose hair did all the talking. He finished pre-university with a count of 38.
He circled three names-those three girls would stand out,when he eventually wrote the book.

When he entered B.E.,he wanted to make sure he was more choosy.He wanted a higher probablilty of succeeding.He preferred the more outgoing type here-nerds were history.Yet he was careful about what outgoing meant. Being simple was the first criterion. Frank and broad-minded the second...he had spent days  
listing these criteria and then tried to match it with the girls he found would remotely suit them. Ofcourse there had been times when he just wanted throw that sheet containing the criteria and follow his instinct. There had been this girl who seemed to follow him wherever he went. Her friend had been more attractive. There was a  girl whose eyes were his only point of interest.There was an other whose eyes didn't even matter to him.

But then there was one who had to stand out. She still brought out a sense of genuine disappointment in him. Even after all these years. The way they got along with each other had been thoroughly natural-almost instinctive. No fuss,no noise,no mistake. It had been smooth-probably too smooth. They enjoyed each other's company for two years. When eventually he had brought out those obvious lines that evening,she had blushed and gone home.And he could never speak to her properly after that.He never saved her number..but memorised it. Sent an odd message even now..hoping against hope for a reply that never came.

"Well..."he thought aloud,thinking of some explanation for that episode,but none came out. It had been that episode that changed his perspective completely-his views had been more philosophical after that(atleast he thought so). Whenever a girl thoroughly impressed him and the urge to like her overpowered him,he would propose,knowing the obvious rejection.....and move on.

Today's had been the seventh one. She had struck him by being silent. None of the aura of being boisterous. No attempt to grab the attention.Nothing significant-and that had been most significant to him. He started getting to know her. Established a fairly decent rapport.He began hoping again. Somehow he had felt this time he wouldn't be rejected. At last he would settle down to explore the intricacies of a relationship.He made up his mind.Put all his previous disappointments away and told her those lines he had rehearsed infinite times last night. She smiled. His heart told he had won. She then said "I'm just so sorry.I'm already engaged."
He didn't know how he plucked the courage to congratulate her-but he did.

No 50-he wrote next to her name. She deserved that number,he chuckled to himself. 50 names were probably enough to pen a book. He wrote a grand title on top of that page "To a cliche called Love....." 
Supposing 50 was not enough?? 
Well,there was always that girl on the bus whose face he had never seen and longed to; and then that mutual friend of a mutual friend to whom he had sent a friend request on Facebook last night..just in case!!

                                                                               -19th June,2012
  P.S:Blogger causing problems at the centre. Don't mind it!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kotreshi Calling.....

Kotreshi Calling.....

He was popularly called Kotreshi, ever since a Kannada movie of  the same name had been released.
His original name Krishnamoorthy never left that stack of hay he used to rest on when he was a boy.
Even the police constable who came to verify the address as a part of his passport process had been very skeptical when the name read Krishnamoorthy, instead of the popular Kotreshi. Kotreshi's father was the village headman and his joy knew no bounds on the day the flight ticket for his son's journey to the US arrived by courier. Infact, he had almost sent the postman back-saying there was only Kotreshi and no Krishnamoorthy.

Soon, Kotreshi left for the US.He was an ambitious young lad,whose vision thankfully stretched beyond the realms of his village.He had studied hard,topped the Taluk, had gone on to study that coveted BE (though his father never wanted him to eclipse his record of passing second PU.He was very proud now-a different issue altogether).Now Kotreshi was doing what none from his village even dreamt of dreaming-set foot on foreign soil!

He settled down and after a few days of correspondence through phone,he wanted to video chat with his kin.He missed his family,his house and his to be wife-his aunt's daughter,Saavitri.He instructed his brother-a reasonably tech-savvy Vishnu who was not as talented but intelligent all the same-to set up a video call on such and such day at such and such time.He gave out a veiled instruction too "Ask everyone to be present..I mean everyone" He hoped Vishnu got the gist of it.

The day arrived.Vishnu had executed the instruction to the dot(the way he thought his brother had meant). The entire village was present to watch this technological marvel- a video call. Those who'd passed 10th recently knew a little about it. Vishnu had practised it 23 times with a friend living in Bangalore so that he was not embarrassed in front of the villagers.He prayed to God and set the call up upon receiving a missed call on his phone from Kotreshi.

The next moment,the whole village-crammed into the headman's home-let out a cheer.There he was,Kotreshi,their favorite son, live from America! He looked as though he had had a huge makeover. Gone  was the sacred ash from his forehead.He sported an empty forehead. His hair was no longer cropped and he was no longer clean-shaven.

The villagers were slowly noticing this and whispers broke out. The headman noticed this and even before greeting his son,started off "Kotreshi,where's your sacred ash..and what is this stubble you have now?And your hair looks like it's been bitten off by rats at night time..what's this son? Where's our culture? The whole village is watching you!"

Kotreshi was aghast.The whole village watching him??!! Then slowly realisation dawned and he understood how Vishnu would have interpreted his instruction. He couldn't ask that the villagers gathered be evacuated so he could talk privately to his family. He tried to be diplomatic "Appaji..there're not many temples here.The sacred ash you sent got over. Hair cut is very costly. I do it to my room-mate and he does it to me-so it's a little bad.And I haven't had the time to shave this week.Studies."

At this point a babble broke out again. "So our headman's son has gone from here to America to learn to be a barber. Our kids are better.They atleast become something better than barbers." said an old man.
"You speak as though being a barber is a bad profession.Imagine how bad you'd look without my father's saloon here.Look at what Kotreshi has become without my father tending to his hair"argued Ramu,the barber's son.The headman cleared his throat loudly and the babble died down.
"Leave it at that. Kotreshi, next time I want to see you like what you were here.I don't want people commenting unnecessarily."

Kotreshi's mother intervened. "Leave that kid alone. Kotreshi how's everything? How's food? Have you been using the lime-pickle I sent you? You've become thin..your face is no longer round.You're missing my food and father's've become a little black too. Why?"she blurted in a single breath,wiping a small tear from the corner of her eyes.Most women in the crowd were moved at this motherly outburst.
"Food is ok Amma. I miss your Raagi mudde.The lime pickle got spoilt.Sorry. I have to prepare my own food. Too much of work.So I've lost a bit of weight.

"Preparing Raagi mudde is easy Kotreshi.Take some ground Raagi and mix it with salt....."his mother began,trying to give out the recipe for the dish but was intervened by the arrack shop owner. "Kotreshi,have some beer.You'll put on weight.I've heard American beer is cheap and tasty.I heard you won't even it true?"Kotreshi might've volunteered some opinion.However,the headman shouted
"Kotreshi..if I get to know that you've touched a drop of beer,I'll commit suicide here." 

Kotreshi then called out to his brother Vishnu  "Vishnu,I asked you to call everybody. Where's everybody?" he asked. Vishnu didn't get it. 
He merely said "Everybody is here.Only the corner house people and the temple priest's family are not there."
Kotreshi then asked in a different tone-a little more desperate "That's ok. But where is everybody?" He particularly stressed that last word. Vishnu was clueless. 
Kotreshi knew the time had come to be more direct. "Where is your aunt?" he asked and then everybody knew who "everybody" was. The villagers unabashedly waited for the online romance,as though they were watching a movie at the local tent. Even the older men exchanged toothy smiles and winks,while the teens squealed silently,anticipating the next moment in curious anxiety.

Saavitri knew the call was for her.She walked to the system,with her head bent-as though it was the first time she was seeing Kotreshi. She had styled herself for 2 hours for this moment.She had put on a salwar suit for the first time-trying to please Kotreshi,the American now.As hundreds of eyes followed her,she stood in front of the web-cam.

"Saavi is that you?" asked Kotreshi in surprise.
She simply nodded.
 "You look very nice in this dress.Wish I was there.I would have...."Kotreshi checked himself just in time. But the message had reached the crowd.
"Your new hairstyle is nice"said Saavitri,not once looking at Kotreshi.
"'d you haven't even looked at me. My eyes are starved without looking at your face" This was a little too much for the crowd.Some of the women walked out embarrassed at this sweet-talk.
"Look at what I've got for you." Kotreshi now said,showing a beaded neck chain."I worked hard to earn the money for this. Do you like it?"
"Anything you buy for me is a gift Kotreshi..." Saavitri said,still looking at her toes.

"What did you buy for me?" his mother butted in. 
"Amma I shall buy you a better one soon..."Kotreshi was looking to cover up now.
"So this girl means a lot more to you now. No wonder you've become thin.You must be slogging day and night to get this girl that chain. I don't know how well she'd take care of you tomorrow! " She made sure the sarcasm was absolute in the last sentence.

Saavitri burst into tears. She ran outside the house even as Kotreshi shouted her name,asking her to come back. The crowd was thrilled at this climax. The speculation about what would happen next would be the talking point for atleast an other fortnight. The gossip was offered to them on a platter and they accepted it gleefully.

But the drama wasn't over.Even as the crowd looked on,the headman asked his wife and his sister to perform an Aarathi to his son. Kotreshi protested but was left with no choice. The two women performed the Aarathi as some women in the crowd sang. In the end, the women even applied vermilion to Kotreshi's forehead visible on the monitor.At this point Vishnu wanted to protest..but could not obviously.
This was followed by each of the villagers walking upto the monitor to say hello to Kotreshi.

Kotreshi waited till the last villager said hello to him,hoping that someone would come back. He soon realised his wait would be futile,cut the call hoping his next video call would be a lot more memorable.
                                                                                       - 6th June,2012.