1) A buy one get one free at SUBWAY. My friends buy one for each and I get the other one free.
2) An awesome movie (Angels and Daemons had just released) - preferably at a theater.
3) Crash in my friend's room with his air-conditioner blasting over my head and the fan freezing the moisture in the room.
4) Wake up late in the morning, eat and leave for my room to crash again.
What I as not thinking then was that, we were a gang of 4, my puny frame counted for a FULL-ONE, and I was the only one who had any interest in the A&D movie. The rest fell out the moment I let the cat out of the bag that there were not going to be any "scenes" in the movie. So it was decided. The new hit in the golden screen of Tamil Cinema had to be the movie of the day (or nigh, in this situation). I tried to talk them out of the ruddy idea. Any Tamil movie that has a single syllable for a title had to be 100% reasoned before even contemplating on the idea of watching it. I had to give in. One of my friends had a really cute cousin who vouched for the credibility of the movie. I now realize I missed the drool on the side of his mouth when he wanted to watch no other movie. I had managed to entice in their Tamil brains (its really hard to alter the minds of a tamilian) that SUBWAY was the way to eat on a Saturday night. I managed to get them to drive to the theater next to one of the city's SUBWAY outlets. The movie was at 10. We reached the theater at 9.25. We were ready with the tickets by 9.45. No time for a SUB. "THORANAI" starring Vishal and Shreya (Droooooooooooool). We walked in to a blind trap. The movie was the best thing that happened all night, for my sub had already been traded for a "thattu-kadai" dosai. The story line was simple. Hero-Villain1-Villain2-Heroine. Villain1 and Villain2 are arch enemies. Hero finds out from his permanently-crying, god-fearing mother that his Elder brother ran from home, never to return. And what do you know, Villain2 is the elder brother. Villain1 and hero fight. Villain1 and Villain2 fight. Hero wins. Mother happy. Hey...wait a minute...I haven't made any space for the heroine or the comedian. But to write about 15 songs (if you can call them that) in two minute intervals, that would not sound out of tune if played end-to-end and a few side-line same-old-sickening comedy, would take unwanted time. Well, at this point of time I had got my plans for the weekend all confused. I started off on a part of point 3 half way thro' the movie. Man it was easier to sleep than to follow the damn story. But in the end, I realized I had not missed a damn thing, after all. The best part of the whole expedition was that we stopped the car on the top of one of the bridges and caught up on old times, at 2 in the night. I woke up at 8.00 on Sunday. No where near my "wake up late" plans.
To start off with, this was Plan - B. I wish I had picked Plan - A and made it to Bangalore and actually freaked out. Darn my work!!!
It happened so quick that I wasn’t aware it had begun. I am ashamed I didn’t see it coming, for I have been with it all through its life. I should have seen it coming. I am so damn flustered at myself. Looking back, I see the how everything fell so well in place. How it had to happen this way and how completely inadequate and diffused the finale was. Its grandeur should have winded me. I was so involved. I remember how I would come back from college to find it waiting for me. I would spend precious moments cherishing all it had to throw at me. Sometimes I as so happy with it that I would talk about nothing else for a long time to come. It was on my lips till it got on my friend’s nerves. Now I am going to miss it!!!
I still can’t believe this was coming. I thought it was another silly complication aimed at drawing my attention to it. I was clearly not giving in and I would have missed it all if I had showed lesser interest. I am at least glad I was there when it happened. But I can’t see what I have to look forward to, anymore. But I still can’t believe this was the best exit. But I am so darn angry it’s the end. I haven’t had enough of Prison Break yet. I thought Killerman’s entry was an annoying complication aimed at extending the show. But then, in the word’s of late Michel, you can’t trust anyone. I still believe it was unnecessary to kill Michael. Man am I going to miss Prison break. I hope they bring in something better with the next wanna-be Prison Break.
Long Live Michael’s legend.
For the past month, till date, I have been working from roughly 7.30 in the morning till 10 in the night. My sole company, through the day, being my pangs of hunger, my occasional head spins and the inconsistent but persistent gnarl shoved at me from my superiors.
One sweep from head to toe and the doc is ready with his differential. He was careful in laying the facts in front of me. Something of my stature must have emanated the radiance of a man 10 seconds away from choosing his path between Heaven and Hell. I have no idea what gave him the idea that this 21 year old, hard working, biker could not handle a spot of shock. Something told me he wanted to make sure I was out of his office when I received the details of his analysis, should I fall stiff on my back from shock and hold him responsible for my condition. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and waited to be ushered out of his office by the secretary he summoned by the push of an old fashioned “twist” bell. I was waiting for the voice of the young and hopefully cute secretary to call me into the ante-office to collect the details of my condition. I was instead a little taken aback by the approaching figure. It was the lady I had taken pity on, outside the clinic. I had dropped a couple of coins next to her on my way in. I was praying to God she was a patient here. Well, no good deed goes unpunished. I left the clinic with a printed sheet with close to a dozen tests on them. I was directed to a Lab down the road by the “secretary”. There was no trace of emotion on her face. I was now assured she did not have a refreshing tea from the money I so graciously donated her.
I took the list and rode down to the Lab. I am still worried I was sent to this Lab on purpose. I would have taken a week with a detective’s magnifying glass to find this place. It was neatly sheltered under the sanctuary of a dilapidated 2 storey mansion’s rickety stairwell. I was supposed to get my blood tested in here. I was rightfully scared beyond reason when I was approached by a young chap wearing a faded, checked, "lungi" that was neatly raised to seemingly reveal the “patta-patti” underwear, underneath and to my concern, he was holding a syringe in his hands. I had made my mind up, for I believed this was an act of God, in retaliation to the tea-tip. I entrusted the safety of my throbbing vein to the man in the veil. The vein was throbbing on its own accord, from fear for safety, no doubt. He was happy to poke the metal into my very obvious vein and draw a sample of my blood for the tests. I was convinced he was no good at small talk when he ventured to ease my nerves by saying it had taken him 7 jabs and 25 minutes to locate the previous “patient’s” vein. I gave up in horror. I was ready to leave when I saw him approach, this time, holding a white plastic cup. I was going to curse God again, linking to the tea-tip, when I realized the cup was empty. I was mildly relieved and was eager to leave. He stopped me with a sharp whistle and a careless wave of the cup. I was amused. But that was just for a fleeting moment, for the next second, he handed me the cup and pointed to a dark corner of the hole they called the Lab. I understood. I had to get out of this place at the earliest. I filled the cup up and left for the nearest hotel to wash myself up. Not wanting to go there a second time, I directed the men to have all the reports mailed to the doctor and the bills also with it. I would settle it there. He was not happy, but agreed. I ran home and drank water till I was leaking from my nose. I wanted no nightmares when I slept that night.
“Did you receive my reports Doctor? They have charged me quite a bit for these tests. I hope they were helpful.”
“Well, they are helpful, but if you say your giddiness is too much to bear, we will have to scan your head.”
“No, thanks Doc. I feel quite safe and I am sure I do not require a head scan.” I was not going to put myself through another series of torture.
“Your blood and urine look normal. If you want a source for all your problems, I am sure you’ll find it in you. You are too weak. That is why you feel tired. Can you describe your daily intake?”
The rest of the conversation was completely useless as I was down right blown away. I got off work early to come see a doctor and I go through a load of completely de-moralizing incidents, I pay a good-for-nothing lab a small fortune to receive a completely useless report and all I get from this is a lousy “You feel tired because you are weak.” I clearly remember that this was exactly what I told the doctor. Man if I had not tipped the secretary, I might have at least landed up in Lab, instead of a rat hole and I would not have felt bad burning a hole in my pocket.
First, I asked my mom. Well, I don’t know why I keep doing this, coz I am completely aware that to every one of my issues, my mother’s sole responsibility to help will be in her listing out all possible outcomes of every decision possible. In the end, you are left with not just 10 more options since you started off with, but you are now morally responsible for any decision you make. Darn mothers! I was looking for a way out and ended up with a road block and a dozen SWAT teams pointing their laser beam at me! She now has my list of 13, double itself. I am amazed at the options I had not even bothered to consider. She goes on to suggest I take the help of her friends in Coimbatore. No, thanks, they are ALL mothers too. I can’t risk loosing my list of options among the files of options they might come up with.
I turn to Dad. Dad is the more subtle version of me. I usually take the most insane route out of a problem and then laugh at it. My dad is the kind of guy who takes the most insane route out of a problem and stops at every step to swear at me for following him on this fool’s errand! He narrowed down my options. He gave all his reasons for ruling out half of my options and said he did not know what made me choose the other half for options! I scored out all the options he picked. I was getting somewhere. You cannot take my dads decisions at face value. You have to process them. Dad is careful with decisions. He analyzes decisions so deep that by the time he decides, his turn is over.
Armed with the renewed and shortened list, I picked the phone to call my Gramps. Gramps loves it when someone needs a spot of help. Always glad to help and no strings attached. Sometimes it’s so darn supportive that he is spontaneous with suggestions and sometimes it’s just out of the blue. I knew I had to approach him with caution coz I know how his decisions are driven. It’s never just about him. He is cautious of the repercussions of his decisions. So, when you go to him, you never ask for his decisions. You give him your decision and get his ideas on possible repercussions. I did not need this right now. It can wait. I still have not made my mind up.
Well, I don’t usually go to my friends straight. I know for a fact that they think exactly as I do and they will not be much of a help when you are confused, they are bound to be confused to be confused too. I was right. My friend here, was not much of a help in saying, “what do you want to do?”. Dude, I asked you just about the same thing. We ought to have been twins. I called up my uncle (first time in my life I’m calling him my uncle) to find out what he would do. He’s in Bangalore. We talked for 25 minutes over the internet, gave up thanks to the lousy connection and took to the good ‘ol expensive mobile conference. Chatted for another 10 minutes. I still have no idea why our conversation included nothing but the bullets we owned and the trips we were planning. My colleagues were no help whatsoever. They were all seeping on the paid holiday.
I gave up trying to score off the options from my list of possible homes and hotels to lunch on the holiday and ended up cooking at home!
I saw it!!! They were walking down the street, holding hands. Then they stopped at the corner before his college and kissed!!! I swear!!! I saw it!!!
It’s difficult to have a love life with a little sis in the house. But the scenario was a lot different and the heat was quickly spreading. Now the whole family was around the siblings. Mom, Dad, Gramps and the worst part was, Mom had called in her sis to help her “morally”. Aunt was definitely not the sign of peace or truce. She was Mom’s conscience. She filled in whenever Mom lacked the courage to whack the siblings, and this was not rare.
Dad : Is what she saying, true? Do you realize this is not the simplest of issues?
Mom : We never should have shifted to America. We’ve spoilt our children raw!!! (Sob!!! Sob!!!)
Sis : I don’t kiss any one!!! I don’t even kiss Dad!!! Am I a good child?
Bro : Yeah, a good brat!!!
Dad : It’d not funny! You shame me! And Mom, who asked you to call the entire family in here? I am sure this is not something I want the entire world knowing. (turning to Aunt), get Kanchana out of here. I don't want her tainted by whats going on in here!
Aunt : I am only here to support her through all this! This is most shocking, even for me! So if you don’t like me here, put up with it! (She’s now holding Mom through her wheezing sobs).
Dad : Son, I asked you a question. Are you denying it? You can! It’ll save me a lot of face.
Mom : Please tell me it never happened and I’ll only be glad.
Sis : I promise! I saw them at it! Beli…
She was cut in by the harsh sobs of Mom and the ferocious glare in Dad’s eye. She is saved by Aunt, who ushers her into the bedroom and secures the door behind her.
Dad : So. I assume you don’t deny it!
Bro : Well, I guess there is nothing for me to say in this! What do you want me to say?
Shock!!! Mom stops sobbing, as if hell froze over! Dad was simply stumped. Aunt was smiling at the failure Bro had turned out to be. Her son will now be the pride of Gramps eye. But it was most unfortunate that gramps was almost completely deaf to hear what was going on. Gramps was also disoriented and completely disconnected from what was happening.
Dad : You worthless brat!!! How did you even get the guts to do such a thing?
Bro : Kissing someone is not like killing someone. I am not ashamed! I am actually in love! We are even planning to marry! We won’t let anyone het between the two of us!
Mom is now positively shrieking and Aunt is glaring at Bro. Dad swings at Bro and catches him right in the face. Gramps, who was, until now, unaware of the plot around which people were reacting, looks up at the enraged father-son duo and mildly approaches,
Gramps : No matter what he’s done, its never a reason to hit him. Love heals everything. Talk through all this and I am sure you will all come to a smooth conclusion.
Bro : Exactly my thoughts!!!
Dad shoots a hot glare at gramps and then returns his bloodshot eyes to his son.
Bro : Like I said, we are in love and we want to get married.
Mom : How can this be? It is not in our culture to do this? Are they at least Hindus?
Dad : Are you insane? You talk like you don’t mind him getting married!
Bro, decisively ignoring Dad’s comments : Ma, they are not only Hindus, they are also Iyengars. Just like us, Vadakalai.
Dad : Oh, shut up you brat! No one is asking for you to open your mouth.
Gramps : Its too late now, Kesava. It will be easier for us to marry the two of them off. And they are Iyengars too. It won’t cause a lot of issues in the family and we can adjust. Please call the parents and talk to them.
Dad : Appa, please!!!! You don’t understand the situation. I am not going to tolerate this. Please!!!
Mom : If this is the only way my son is going to be happy, I don’t mind it.
Dad : Oh, shut up!!!
Gramps : Kesava, call up the parents and talk to them and then we will all decide together.
Dad : Appa, understand Pa. How can I talk to them? What will I tell them? “I am the father of Sudharshan. I have come to ask the hand of your son, Raman, in marriage to my son”. Imagine the shame!!!
Gramps (a little confused) : What did you say????
Aunt (he lips curling in a vicious smile) : Sudharshan wants to marry a boy!
Dad turns away and mom starts a fresh bout of crying. Gramps was clearly shocked and there was a distant look that had creped into his eye. Dad was now positively shocked. He did not know which was worse! His son wanting to marry another boy, or his father slowly transcending into a state of shock.
Dad : Get out of my sight you lousy brat. Look at what you’ve done! At least call 911.
Gramps (managing to breathe a few words out) : Please don’t shout at him. At least it’s an Iyengar boy. Talk to the boy’s family and try convincing them that Sudharshan will be the one tying the Maangalyam.
Sis (peering from an open window) : Does this mean I am getting a Priamma?
Aunt : No. You are getting a Periappa.
Dad : Oh shut up, all of you! What is happening here, I cannot allow a boy to enter my home as my daughter-in-law.
Aunt : Well, he can even be your Son-in-law. Its really up to you to decide. (She was clearly enjoying this).
Gramps : Kesava, don't let them talk you into being the bride's father. Show them what you are made of, or else we will have to pay for the wedding! But remember, if necessary, Sudharshan can have all of Padhmini's jewelery. She wanted her Grandson's wife to have them, but under these circumstances, she would have been more than happy to see her Grandson, himself, wear them.
Dad : Oh please, everyone quiet down. I give up!