Thursday, July 28, 2005

I still KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER

***Curtain raises for part three***

The moment of fear freezes and it stays on and on and on… Sarala could feel her soul tickling her tonsils to escape. She faints, into the scarred left hand of Kochapi.

With startled face and shock defined all over him, Kochapi tries hard to stay on his feet.
Why did Sarala faint when he mentioned his favorite books name?
Why did Sarala feel so cold in his left arm; the arm bruised in a freak accident at work 3 months before?
Does that scar he got 3 months back look so hideous?

Clogged with all thoughts he did not notice Sarala had opened her eyes and was now staring at him.
She had a drop of tear in her eyes and was trying to say something, something that broke into a thousand pieces before it came out of her shaped lips. Something that sounded, “I em dho…rry”.

Kochapi was more worried of dropping Sarala on the floor, than figure out what she was saying to him. He kneeled down and rest Sarala’s head on his lap. Still in a daze he asked her,
“What happened?”
“Why did you faint?”

There was only the deafening noise of silence and a blank stare between Sarala and Kochapi for a while, till the cracking noise of the door interfered. There stood Mr. Kuriakose. The sight of his daughter in the lap of an outsider and the passion, with which Kochapi was holding her, turned Mr.Kuriakose’s eyes into a fiery ball of anger. He clenches his fist to lay on Kochapi’s naive face. Before all hell broke loose, the piercing screams of adulterated language from Mr.Kuriakose, got every one else to the room.

Mathukutty chettan trying his best to hold back Mr.Kuriakose and Mrs. Kuriakose screaming, how her daughter was molested filled the last scene in this melodrama of love, innocence and “kallu”.

By now Sarala was clinging to Mrs. Kuriakose, her starched sari had rippled in a million places, her jasmine lie scattered on the floor, her oiled hair loose; and Mr.Kochapi; he stood still with bulging eyes and bemuse.

But no ending the story without “one tight slap” on Kochapi’s na├»ve face.

FATAAASCH………………….

Kochapi still stood with his mouth open and bulging eyes.
But Sarala was bleeding from her mouth. The slap fell hard on her left cheek.

[silence]

[a voice from the dark, spot light on that one person]

“Oorama undo ee mukham?” [Suresh Gopi style]

Mr. Dizoza stood at an arms distance, pointing his index finger at Sarala [now clenching her bleeding face]

“Oorma kaanilla” [Still Suresh Gopi style]

“I was in the dark that day”
“…………. but my SCAR was not”

He had pulled back his jubba sleeves enough to reveal that distinctive SCAR ON HIS LEFT ARM.

“And you thought I will never recognize you?”
“I have Sarala, I have”
“At last, after so many years of searching, I find you”
“To finish what was started 2 years back”

Sarala could not believe what she saw. That was the scar she dreaded, the scar that gave her night mares, the scar that stayed. And today the same scar was back to ruin her life; in the form of her future father in law.
Mr. Kochapi still stood with bulging eyes and open mouth,…
That’s when his father Mr.Dizoza screamed again.

“You never paid me Saralaaaaaaaaaaaaaa……………”

Taan taaan tadaaaaan…………………


***Curtain falls.***

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER

Evening of April 1945. The sun was setting in the horizon, darkness was just setting in, and the last rays bounced off paddy fields and tiled roof tops. With a blanket over their face and enough masquerades to conceal their identity, they move stealthily towards the thatched hut by the river side. They wait at a safe distance from the hut, safe enough to go unnoticed.
Their intension: Errant and uncanny, never to be revealed to world.
Anticipated result: Intoxication.
They were to taste "kallu", from the local toddy shop by the river.

Only the jingle of bangles or cling of anklets would reveal their feminine identity but all that was taken care of. Sarala and Marraikutty had a long lasting desire to taste the divine nectar every mallayalie devours; the local toddy from coconut, known as “kallu”. But orthodox Christian family and strict domicile rules did not let the two young women even choose their own under garments, forget tasting “kallu”.

“Desire over demure“, they plotted their own way to get to “kallu”.
Two extra eggs and an extra serving of rice to the bullock cart driver was enough to pamper and persuade him to arrange their invigorating stint with “kallu”.
They were to be by the river at 7 pm and there, “somebody” was to supply them with a pot of fresh “kallu”.
As decided they reached the river side on time and there was “somebody” waiting for them with one pot of fresh “kallu”.

Gulping down the nectar with no exchange of words, Sarala did not notice the breach in her camouflage. Her head gear has slipped down and was exposing her beautiful young face. Her bangles clinked like the church bells; she was EXPOSED, and she did not care. She could not help but notice the big scar on the felt hand of that “somebody” who smuggled the “kallu” for them. It was hideous but in some way the scar was endearing. Anyways, gulping down the “kallu” with vigor, Sarala and Marriakutty left for home, satisfied and slightly inebriated.

****End of part one****

Fast forward 2 years.

Sunken eyes and drooling face, the look of a plausible bride?
No, this is what Sarala looked like on the morning of 25th Aug 1947. 2 years after the covert operation turned triumphant.

This was the day when “Karaaikudi Dizoza” family was supposed to have a thorough inspection of her;
oh or rather the only son of Mr and Mrs. Dizoza, Mr. Karaaikudi Kochapi was supposed to see his probable bride.
Sarala was awake all night excited and fretful about the deciding morning; wondering if Mr. Kochapi would look as smart as he did in the black and white Polaroid.

The day since Mathukutty Chettan, the obliging broker brought the alliance to “Kuriakose” family; every body was in a state of panic. If the auspicious event had to happen, it was to happen in a span of 2 months as Mr.Kochapi had to return to the Gulf. He was working at an oil rig in the Persia and his bio data contained all wanted details of his authenticity as a resident of the gulf.

“you knoooww……There were 5 BIG bags when he came this time”, ahhhh….

“you knoowww……. He got 25 perfume bottles and 6 watches this time; all GOLD”ahhh…

“you knowww…..He wears 42 inch bell bottoms..!!!!” ahhh….

“Aiyo, how can he afford all that cloth??!!!”

"you knoooww... He smokes only cigarettes and no bidies.." ahh.

“You see he’s a Gulf returnee…ahhhhhhh”


2 months is too short a notice for any typical mallu Christian family to put together a 'descent' marriage. From deciding on dowry to the number of chickens to be slaughtered it takes around 3 months, all this minus the delay with rumors and rain; of course the time wasted in lifting, folding and tying lungies.

Still Dizoza and Kuriakose decide on going ahead with the marriage anyway.

Honk of the 1912 Ford Impala gave shivers down Sarala’s spine. They were here.
Every thing was set for the inspection to start; from fresh coat of paint to cob free corners, from clean nails to colored lips, from new clothes to clean floors. The stage was set to venerate the team.

Sarala did her part very well. All the training provided by her mother was working just fine. She walks with grace and bowed head towards her future husband and his family. Never looking up and not wrinkling her fresh starched sari, balancing her piping hot tea tray, she flaunts her grace.
And then suddenly Mr. Kochapi blurts the unthinkable.

“Can I have a moment in private with Sarala?” [tadaaan….]

Among hush hush, turned heads and inquisitive looks the elders allow them 2 minutes in private. The probable bride and groom are shifted to another room with better ventilation.

Sarala was melting with shame, every hair on her skin was raised, that brush against her own skin and that hurt. Her knees were shaking and almost made the tap-tap noise.
Mr. Kochapi leans forward and whispered “I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER”.
That’s when Sarala noticed the divergent big SCAR on Mr.Kachapi’s left arm.

[tadaaaannn……]

To be cont………

****End of part two****

Will he still marry her?
Will he tell Mr. Kuriakose abt his daughter’s sordid deed?
Will Sarala survive the scare?


Wait a while for the nail biting, nerve wracking, balls scratching, dandruff free, mamamiya my neighboring cubical has a babe, ENDING of this nail biting, nerve wracking, balls scratching, dandruff free, mamamiya my neighboring cubical has a babe STORY.

I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. [tadaaan….]

Friday, July 15, 2005

A passing thought...

"Sometimes, it hurts most when someone you love, do not hurt you."

I am Sorry.

Monday, July 11, 2005

I do not have a brain.

Fill in using YES/NO.

"_______ , I don't have a brain.

Eunglish is a phunny language, you see.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

To VENICE via KAPPA, KALLU and KARI-MEEN.

A sudden decision and enough money; the right recipe for a getaway. What better place than Kerala for that.

Round of "puttu" + "kadala"..umm smack and a good hot tea with lots of do’s and don’ts from Amma; I was all set to explore the Greens of Vazhachal and Back waters of Alleppey with a group of 10 colleagues (non-mallus), for whom "water" meant a bucket or Hussain-Sagar lake and "nature" was a poster on the wall or a .JPEG in the numerous forwards.
They came only to corroborate the pictures in travel brochures about Kerala were not manipulated or fake. They went back satisfied; quoting “boy those pictures don’t do any justice”.

Vazhachal is one of the many exquisite falls in south India and Alleppey it is the “Venice Of East”.
Though it wouldn’t be my first visit to both these places; I was looking forward to it.

Rain patting on the glass, droplets seeping into the lap of Mother Nature, smell of fresh mud and green every where.
This was the menu for my friends to start with.
The habitually noisy crowd was evidently very hushed. It was not the dead beat journey or any kind of friction among them; instead it was all the copious beauty nature was giving them and they couldn’t find time to talk while they soaked in all that.





We started the journey with a visit to Vazhachal;

I'll let the pictures do the talking.




Latter that day, a boat ride to the sea mouth in Cochin harbor-"Queen of Arabian Sea" and brush with the Chinese nets; lots of fish and nostalgia. I had enough for the day to retire weary in my own bed, at home.

Next day was scheduled for Allepey; but truly I was a little weary about the specs of us hiring a house-boat. First they don’t come cheap, and second this being my third visit, will I get tired of the place!??

Thomichan at the wheel, Biju and Shaji in the kitchen we set sail to feel the cool breeze of Arabian Sea and calm of the back waters in our hired kettu vallam. The boat resembled a two bedroom apartment. Bath attached bedrooms, kitchen, dinning and a sit-out plus paradise around you.

Definition (Alleppey) : Paddy fields, Kettu vallams, ducks, poricha meenu, kappa, kallu, rossa kutty, her low cut blouse and loose lungi, and lots of coconut tree.

6 hours in the boat and suddenly…. "What it’s over?"

My finger is sore of all the clicking and I don’t want to go back :-(
but do i have a choice!..hmmmmmm, I always wanted to be a fisherman hmmmmm.


Our love boat and that's Thomichan at the helm

Thank a tone mates for that kari-meen pollichathu,
and that chicken curry and that aviyal and that....

and thank you GOD for all this..




only if i be a droplet and sink in the picturesque landscape, blend in the green;
only if i be a tree and stand still by the river
only if i be a ripple in that vast body of water
only if i be ........


Truly, I am proud to be minutely associated with all this;
I am a MALLU.
And I belong to this land of GODS