But, is it nothing to know when you are dying, when you are about to take leave of this world, of its joys and sorrows, when the past of your life is unfurled before you, when eternity opens wide its portals, is it nothing to know at that last awful,supreme moment of your lives, that you have not lived in vain, that you have lived for the benefit of others, that you have lived to help in the cause of your country's regeneration?

-Surendranath Banerjea

Friday, September 26, 2008


Neyveli Railway Station welcomes you..

The train reached Neyveli at around 2am and the 3 guys got out.. They looked around to see that the station was almost deserted but for some track guards..
"We'll stay back at the waiting room till it's dawn..",someone enlightened others..

Three of them,Nithin aka nimo,Hasif aka kudu and Nitheesh,were set to Neyveli to enquire about their external project at NLC and fortunately enough they arrived the station at the most unearthly hour when even the stray dogs were deeply into sleeping..and they were obviously forced to wait till 6am to ring their patron,the one they are obliged to for securing the internship at NLC..

"Lemme slip into my nightdress and manage some sleep..",kudu was almost drained enough to hardly keep his eyes open..yeah of course,only hardcore nocturnals manage it quite well to keep awake at as early as 2am after a cumbersome journey..
"Heyy kudu,let's see if we can manage some coffee and check out the surroundings..hand us over the tickets and our college id in case somebody comes around smelling fish..",others interjected..and soon left out leaving kudu and the luggage back at the rest room..

Nimo and Nitheesh returned after a while with their coffee and soap and paste and whatever stuffs it was when they heard a familiar scream from the station master's cabin..
"Help..Help...two men..drunk..dragging me..trampling me..help please.."
Well,thoroughly discomfited and aghast,both of them ran to the cabin to see kudu blanched and confused,amid a gang of people obviously the RPF..

"What is the problem sir?",Nimo asked..

"Problema..??You wanna know what the problema..??I suppose he's your friend..This nitwit slapped me right on my face.. and for your kind information,i'm from the RPF..and we are having a hunch that you guys are terrorists,especially taking into account the islam background of this fellow..and don't you dare think that you guys could walk out of Neyveli as easily as u thought you would.."Someone,certainly not in uniforms,blustered out in a heavy tanglish(tamil+english) accent..for the sake of addressing,lets call mr.policeman as Muniyandi..

"WHAT???What kudu?What the hell did you do??"

"Man,i was sitting in the waiting room when these two drunk bastards came in and asked what i was upto and where my tickets were and all.. Why the heck should i answer some drunk schmucks??I said something and they started plundering our bag and that was when i tried to recapture it by slapping him on his face..and they trailed me here to say they were police officers in mufti.. What to do now??",kudu somehow managed to explain the state of affairs partly with the mallu and partly with the ITC lessons he had been taught so far..encrypting the words into symbols,binary or ternary or whatever and send the cue..

Perceiving the heat of the situation,nimo asked Mr.Muniyandi,"What should we do sir?"

"I can help you both..but i won't let go this man who buffeted me insolently.."

"Sir please,we are no felons or criminals or terrorists.. We are just engineering students and unfortunately enough we happened to land on Neyveli at this untimely hour,not to plan an explosion but to enquire about our internship.."

"Students..Ahuh.. Don't you guys keep track on day-to-day events?? The most deletirious explosions in the country lately had been carried out by students and that too by proffessional ones like you..",Mr.Muniyandi barked..

"We are sorry for his disdain sir..But it was a mistake..not a deliberate one.. Now please help us get out of the snag",Nitheesh pleaded like duh..

"Alright,you guys gotto pay a fine of Rs.750 and i'll let go off you both.."

"No sir,we 3 gotto be safe.."

"Pay me Rs.750 now.."
Reluctantly enough,someone handed him the 750 bucks..
"Ok..Now gimme 250 more.."

"What for sir?We'd already paid you the fine,right??"

"This is the official one and you gotto pay me the compensation for disregarding my position..Do you understand..?"

"Ok sir..But,could you please hand us back those 750 we gave,..We don't have any more change..We'll hand over a 1000Rs note instead."

It seemed like the olfactory glands of muniyandi was working too well to sense the presence of excess cash with his prey..and demanded another 250 for which the boys had no other go but to abide by..

And the boys somehow settled the issue,or so it seemed,when the singularly greedy schylock in muniyandi peeped out again waging for the mobile phone..
"But sir,..we'd already given you 1250..Why should we hand over a phone??"

"You rascals,..I can arrest you under POTA and keep you indefinitely for suspicion of terrorist links..You get me?Now you will handover the phone or not?"

Admitting the culpability of the situation,kudu handed over his phone..

"Alright guys,now you may go..Immediately leave the station,..Hire an auto and get back to the bus stand where you'll get the bus to your destination..Travel Safe.."

Being damn obedient,our heroes left the station parting with their 1250 pennies and a multimedia cellphone..and in 15min they were in the neyveli bus stand.. Figuring out a place to ensconce themselves and rest their ass,they went ahead..
In less than 10min of pandemonium,they noticed an auto scouting around and a familiar hideous mug getting out of it..
Mr.Muniyandi strikes again.!

"Heyy guys,..I'm sorry to say,but then things are no more under my control now..DGP wants to meet you guys and enquire personally.."

Smelling the avarice in his words,Nimo slapped back,"Sir,we have no more money in our possession..We've just enough money left to get back home.."

"Gimme a phone..lemme make a call to the DGP and ask if there's a way out.."
Gaining access to a phone,he dialed a no: and switched on the speaker mode just to vindicate his innocence in the matter..

"Hello sir..DGP sir,..the guys are innocent sir,they are just students..Can't we just let them go..?"
"No..i gotto enquire them..bring them here.."
"Sir please sir.."Muniyandi tried to sound genuine...
"Alright..Fire them enough so that they don't loiter around carelessly this way in their future.."
Strangely enough,the Mr.DGP at the other end of the call sounded not more than a 10th std literate who lacked the poise or dignity of a bureaucrat in his words..

"Do somebody wanna talk to him??"Mr.Muniyandi extended his substantiative bait..

"Lemme talk,.."Nimo took charge and started asking things dubiously in English,..partly because he was not well versed with the local dialect and apparently to test the genuineness of the prank..

To his surprise,..or rather more as expected,there was not even an angresi word that Mr.DGP could utter instead kept on humming and huh-ing..and soon the call ended..
"Anyhow,I'll let you guys go,but then i have another police-pal with me who gotto be treated as well.."
"Sir we told you,we have no money.."
"Make it to Rs.500"
"No sir"
"We can manage 250 sir..not more.."
"Alright..gimme that.."
Handing over another 250,cursing all sorts of swear words in mallu with a smiling facade,the boys gasped for a bit of oxygen..
"Happy journey dear boys..You can be on-board the bus in half an hour..Bye.."

And there ended the eventful Neyveli expedition of the bankrupt engineers...

**This is nimo' version of narration..Nitheesh and kudu might have something more to add as well.. Readers,please pardon me for the flaws if any...

Khuda Hafiz

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I looked at him for another glimpse..
Did i miss something..?
Did i see him breathe..?
Was he just sleeping or..?
I went back from the gate with a gust of emotions for another round of substantiation..to listen to his heartbeat.. just to see him respire..

"What brings you back from the gate daily?You forgot something?",mom asked..
"Nothing ma",i replied and embarked to my destination..
Yeah,he was subsisting.. Convinced,i went to school..
It was always discomfiting to check if my grandpa was really fine,the habit i honed since when i don't know.. It was not a mere pathological trepidation which ran through my mind.. But he was a heart patient who'd undergone two major cardiac arrests..

I'd always wondered if i really deserved someone like him.. He was Mr.Impeccable in my eyes. My teacher,my mentor,my friend,my guardian,and a hell lot more..someone who was revered in the community..
Since my granny's death at my age of 11,i had been my gramp's best pal..his companion for all the weirdest of ventures..be thats about spirituality or movies or cards or carroms,we savored each other's company..and we always had the best of all hang outs..(mostly to temples..lol)..but anything with him was fun..

I'd seen him whimper in pain asking me to pick his tablets for angina.. I'd seen him groan at midnight unable to sleep coz of the excruciating agony within.. I'd seen him fighting the cardiodynia with fortitude..and yet i never perceived them fully.. All i knew was the python was tightening its grip and asphyxiating him..

For all those who are not aware,Onam is the grandest festival of Kerala.. The time of joy and gaiety..
We being Tamil Brahmins,never celebrated it,for it was not our custom..
Grandpa was sick with fever and cough.. But then i was not perplexed for i was home 24hrs.. It was like everything in the universe waited for my nod for the tramples..

Life is like sinusoidal oscillations..it plummets into dolefulness the moment you think you are the happiest..at least that was what my mom always told me.. to be stand-offish to any kind of emotions,to both felicity or desolation.. But best of all lessons are easily preached than practiced..

Holidays are always fun you see,..We were all enjoying the festival with movies and family reunions.. And everytime i thought i was excessively happy,i looked around for him..as though he was my speed breaker..

The most important day of the festival..
I got up pretty early and was amused to see grandpa wide awake..he never got up before it was dawn.. In spite of his fever and persisting sickness,he seemed happy.. It was after about 2-3days that he got up and walked around.. Talked pretty lot..

After a while,his face stretched..blood flushing out of the visage..
Tired,i thought..
He went and sat back on his bed..and asked for everyone to come around..
In a few seconds,he was sinking..i clouted on his chest hoping to reinvigorate the heart.. I clouted hard.. But there was no motion.. With a slim ray of hope,i went close..just to feel him breathe..he just fell sleepy,i told myself..i went close..
Did i miss something..?
Did i see him breathe..?
Was he just sleeping or..?
No.. This time,he was not subsisting.. This time luck was not my forte.. It was time for him to bid farewell.. I realized.. He was gone.. Gone forever.. No more jokes.. No more cards.. No more carroms.. No more fun... No more grandpa.. I couldn't cry for the pain was not subsidable by a shed of tears.. But yet,i felt more or less paralyzed.. A part of me was gone forever.. waging good bye for eternal sleep..

I never made the most ideal grandchild..i never even tried being one.. I made my own share of mistakes.. And i always enjoyed being rebellious.. I never looked around to see how painful my actions were to others..

Tomorrow is my grandpa's 6th death anniversary..
It's been long 2191days since i was left alone..
I always feel his protective shroud around me..his soul happily watching me over my success and anxiously grimacing over my failures..

Grandpa,for all my sins,i sincerely plead your pardon.. and i just wanted to tell you that i love you immensely and the gravity by which i miss you is something i fail to articulate...

Khuda Hafiz

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


"Is this the time to get up,you lazy bum???Sleeping till the sun gets on to the head and then loafing around..!God knows what you are gonna do once you get married..!",that's nothing but my wake up call..

Well,if you were thinking what this fuss was all about,I slept till 8.43am(a better way to say slept till 9) and mumbled back to mom as though she woke me up early in the dawn at some 4'o clock..

"Can't you please let me sleep for some more time mom,i went to bed very late yesterday, you see.."
"What????I let you sleep like hell and no more grumbles will be tolerated! Just because you are having a holiday doesn't give you a license to sleep your ass off..Get up.."

Getting up early (at 6am..nerds and other non-nocturnal homeotherms,please bear the atrocity!) and spiffying up has become a need of the hour to keep myself going, with the never ending journey of acquiring knowledge and wisdom[:D] since when i don't know.. So it's quite obvious i sleep till early noon than early morning in holidays.. At least holidays are meant for mental and physical dormancy..and it would have been a penalizable offense on the doomsday if one was caught red-handed of dereliction of duty to repose on a holiday.. And i certainly didn't want to be quarried for that and so took immense care about it..

"Can't you get up early and help your mom in household?Do you think you are still in kindergarten to be on the prowl always??",added agony you see,dad was waiting downstairs to holler at me as well.. It's always a matter of inexplicable pleasure to join someone in bellows.. I looked around furtively to find my brother(although he's younger to me by 1830days,that's 5 years and 4 days precisely) floating on slumber..(discrimination against girl-child is a punishable offense!)

"Do you think you can do the same once you are with your mother-in-law?She'll kick your butt out if you slept till 10 and got up to ask bed-coffee..",mom didn't seem relented..

Nevertheless,the monologue ended as i went to attend the most important calls..of course you know whose..

But how is it that girls and boys have frigging different etiquette?Howsoever people tend to nudge away conservatism,some things never change you see.. Now you may think i shirk from my responsibilities for an easy life and whine like a loafer.. Not really,for i do satisfy all the yardsticks of a good Indian spinster or a wife in the future or whatever..Thanks to my mom again..

Nakheenam cha nadeenam cha shringeenam shastrapaaninam
Vishwaso naiva karthavya sthreeshu rajakuleshu cha..

Don't ever trust the beasts with claws or sharp horns,rivers,the armed persons,women and the members of royal families.

Courtesy to Mr.Chanakya,for he provided me the above verses from his legendary work,Chanakya Neeti,the set of protocols,to be followed lest you savor the thought of being a successful and revered personality.. (Explicitly telling us that he didn't even trust his mom,let alone his wife, if ever he had any)..I didn't intend to bitch about him,but then i just wanted to state the irrevocable attitude of men and the society towards women since ages..

I do acquiesce that women are different from men and have a hell lot of limitations..but then these restrictions doesn't imply a subordinate status in the society..when something or someone is precious enough,it is quite obvious to demand a careful manoeuvre..we don't handgrip 1000rs notes as often as 10rs ones right?And apart from this bradykinesis what other stark pros do these Herr's have on the Donna's??

Although we do see a lot of apparent changes in the cities in the attitude towards females,the society is still driven by male chauvinistic pigs..

When girls sleep till 10 it means they are crossing the limits,and when boys do,they are just relaxing after a week's strenuous labor..
When girls hang out on all holidays they are being less homely,and when boys do,they are trying to be sociable..
When girls don't manage to be at home by 6-7pm,they are disregarding the society,and when boys do,they are just being bold..
And a helluva more..(all the MCPs, get lost)

The most frequent counter-question encountered is what exactly would be the condition of you girls if there was no one to check your activities..i should say,wtf.! If it was just the restrictions imposed by nature on the women that really mattered,then there has to be no female on the roads of any other city of the country after dusk..which for certain is not the case..

One can barely see any more than 10 ladies on the buses after 7pm,which otherwise is crowded with them, in kerala.. The working women of every other neighboring state move around freely even at 10pm without the fear of a molestation or whatever..but it sounds like the women here have got something extra to lose.. It has always been human psychology to encroach when something is veiled..and thats what exactly happens in the case of restricted women...once they have balls to face any situation not any soul is gonna quarry them..any theory has got its own exceptions,so does mine..

We are not living in 18th century,when women were to be pertained as just the chefs and the means of pleasure to the patriarchs.. We have embarked into the path of social upliftment when women are even considered in a space tour.. Girls have proved themselves at par with boys in almost all the arenas,girls do contribute profoundly to the family income,and girls do leave their foot-prints taut in the society..and they deserve a better treatment than as mellow cindrellas whose merits were not being recognized.. What we need is not a 33% reservation in the parliament or a fee concession in the schools but a better outlook towards the growth of the feminine lot..

"Is there any sex-distinction in the Atman (Self)? Out with the differentiation between man and woman—all is Atman! Give up the identification with the body, and stand up!",Swami Vivekananda

Khuda Hafiz

Monday, September 8, 2008


"How long do you think we are going to enjoy life..??",Shini asked me during one of our bunk hours..

Bunking and loitering around has become our only means of ENJOYMENT in this ever sucking college of mine.. It's not that there was not any paper which was a hard to miss one..but that it was those bone-cracking boring lectures which were hard to attend... It's been a honed hobby of mine to sit and brood how people manage to blabber in front of a crowd even after knowing that not any live soul was listening..

... '..Ma'am,how could you omit that term to reach that step..?',an enthused student upon whom slumber has not bestowed its caress yet.. '..Listen,we are performing a proof,and our only aim is to reach the final step somehow and prove the result..',.. has been an irrevocable scrap in the drama..may be some lecturers ad lib a bit and veil their ignorance diplomatically by saying .. '..See,that term is negligibly small and it doesn't matter any more in the derivation..' ..nevertheless,the effect remains the same.. FYI sit in such a stupid class and curse yourself to be destined to hear all these craps and sit numb castrating all your logic..

66 was not any number which was writ large for a big mob,..neither was it so diminutive to neglect.. If you are scratching your head thinking what my point was about this number,66 is my class strength..but frankly enough i still have a doubt if there were exactly 66 people in my class..not that my peers were extra silent and extra ordinarily decent not to mark their presence..but that with all these fucking 80% attendance and other disciplinary measures,the number has been plummeting sedately,with all those year-outs and suspensions and dismissals..

How could someone not manage at least 80% attendance in a sem..?',as any other innocent fresher,even i had such doubtful mushrooms in my mind when in first year..innocence and age has always been inversely proportional you see..and as time sped by,like for every other rotting engineering aspirant condonations and year-outs have become entangled with the technical jargons..and sleeping in the class has just been the mere efforts to manage an 80+% attendance..

"WHAT?? Do you mean to say we are enjoying now..??You call this life rocking??",I almost barked at her.. I apologize if i failed to imbue the closeness in my words,but shini is my best friend..

"See,i didn't mean to blow a rock-on in this asylum..but we are at least having some fun,right?",well,she seemed to be satiated with her present situation..

"What do you mean girl.?Is just bunking and loitering,the yardsticks of fun? Or is just watching some movies,enjoyment?"

"Then what do you want us to do?Go to some disco clubs and dance? Or just hang around like stray animals?"

"I didn't mean to say that,you see.."

"Yeah,i know what you meant.I certainly didn't mean to say we were enjoying here..with all these sucking classes and the assignments and the sessionals and the ever dragging university exams,life is definitely mundane here..But see,there's something apart from the material happiness.."

Man,it's too easy to bullshit philosophies and advices,.even i do it myself since that's the only marketable product without a capital investment..but trust me,being at the receiving end is like being stranded in a hell..you can neither lurch apart nor can you speak back and slacken the other person's alacrity..i had no other go but to listen..

"..see,let alone the happiness you get from movies and discos and hang-outs and bunks.There's something else that you cherish through out your life.. and that's the friendship you secure.."
Alright,so she was not totally blunt..after all she had a point..

"So what was your point?How long do we enjoy means what?",i spoke after a long gap,.long enough,for mostly it might be me blabbering more in a conversation..

"I was asking how long will we be together..we just have a year left in the college and very less class hours with all those external projects coming amid the acads.. Mine was a rhetorical question,you dumb-ass.I didn't mean to gambit a discourse.. I was just sad how we'll meet up after the course..",She snapped back and then we had nothing more to talk about..sometimes silence conveys more than hollers..we just sat there morosely for a while,.and by that time bell rang and we left for the class..

Each friend represents a world in us,.a world possibly not born until they arrive..and it's only by this meeting that a new world is born.. They are the only ones who accept you the way you are,without expecting anything in return.. They are the only souls who pull your torso out when you are suffocating in a confined aisle..


Life is all about friendship.. When you are young,parents and siblings are your friends.. Your peers take up that place in due course.. Then your spouse becomes your best friend.. In your old-age,your off-springs are your best pals.. Best of all relationships sprouts when you expect less.. As in the case of innocence and age, relationships and expectations do not always go hand-in-hand.. Love more,hope less..

Love you all,my dear sweet friends..amour tu cher ami..

Khuda Hafiz

Saturday, September 6, 2008


"Heart is enclosed in a double walled sac,the pericardium and in between its two layers,there's a pericardial fluid..and it prevents the friction between the heart walls and the tissue.."Annamma ma'am barked with her ever soothing sweet voice to make us understand.. It was always a paradox about her voice and its effect..

It was the 4th and the last hour of the forenoon session..like a marathon race,she had been teaching or lecturing or singing biology into our ears for the 3rd consecutive period..of course her perseverance needs special appraisal, for she continued blabbering even though she knew,not a centipede or millipede in the class was listening.. even chitra's songs wouldn't have succeeded so well when compared to annamma ma'am's lectures for we could never never help ourselves from dozing off if it was just her zoology that we were rapturously listening to.. this was not just a day's suffering..but we'd been going through this hell since the very first day of 11th std..

We'd discovered or invented every possible way to sneak out of her class..and each day started with the thoughts of escapism.. We became the most privileged visitors of the library for it was our nearest refugee camp.. We even became the most glorified nature lovers of the school until when the gardener started asking us,do you girls not have classes this period.. Physics and Chemistry labs were our next resort for that was far less asphyxiating when compared to the bio classes..

"God.! How long do i have to listen to this atrocity..will the bell not ring soon..?",i heard me mumbling to myself..


I suddenly jolted out of the reverie as i heard her holler someone's name..i looked around and felt even others were shuddered out of a dream..or may be my squint made it seem so..

"What happened?",i asked Nandita,she happened to be the one bearing my snores that day..
"I don't know,seems like Anand did some mischief..",she looked discomfited either..
"Which Anand..?",I asked..
If it's not obvious from the question,we had 2 ANANDs in our class.. Anand Sriram and Anand.C..
I didn't have to wait for her answer for i saw ma'am picking someone by his shirt.. Ohh yeah,it was Anand.C.. but what happened..? If it was the nap that mattered,even others were doing the same..!

"What was going on..? Gimme that book..!"
"Ma'am..please ma'am,i'm sorry.."
"I say gimme that book.!"
At last he surrendered and handed her the book.. Gosh.! It was his entrance material..must be,he was doing his homework for the day..

"I'll see to it that you don't get these books in your lifetime.."she ranted and went on with her class..

Bell rang.. She left the class after 5min of the bell.. that was her shortest possible relaxation time, and granted only because that happened to be the break time..

Why did i narrate all this..?
Yeah to elucidate how pathetic my attention was in that class..biology sucks..to the core..i cursed myself every single day on my decision to take bio-maths..i never understood how a mozzie respired or how a cockroach excreted..neither did i understand if an Australopithecus really had a brain..

Life went on with similar snippets of events occurring every single day..
I should say,it was not until my second pre-board that i really read at least a sentence of the bio text.. i was completely molested in the first pre-board.. that everyone was,of course.. But by the time second one arrived,my parents started whinging about my studies.. Even I thought it was time i sputter and start reading the Amarchitrakatha, for the boards were less than 3 months away..
The more i read the more dreadful it was..but nevertheless i could salvage myself from the fiasco this time.. In less than a month,the third exam came as well..and it went on fine too..(FINE only meant the overall gain was good, for, the input was very meager!)

And then came the monster..the giant dragon..the board exams..
Study hols started.. I started praying.. that's the only way out for bums like me and God is the only one apart from mom who tolerates my rants and raves in silence..
I studied studied studied..studied my ass of..i never understood anything in the Tinkle..neither could i mug up and regurgitate in the exams..but still i couldn't give up..it was no time to give up.. exams were in the offing spitting fire everywhere and if i shirked at that point,it was my end..

Monster dragon reached..3 hours of struggling in the hell-hole exam hall.. utter gibberish in my answer paper..

All the theory exams ended,giving way to the other petrifying ones..

2 months of lull between exams and results passed..
May 25th(not sure if it was 24th or 25th or 26th,at this point..but surely one of the three..!), the d-day..
I got up pretty early..started praying The Omnipotent,The Omnipresent,The Providence with all my cheesy prayers..
I switched on the pc and logged on to net well in advance..may be my parents thought,Wah.!how eager she is to get her results..only i could feel the dragon pirouetting inside my stomach..


I reloaded the page some 10-15times until i saw my name..
I prayed with my full heart..and glanced through the result once,..all A grades..God.! I reloaded again,.is that really my result or some other gayathri of some other school.. No it was mine..
I couldn't believe my eyes for it was that pathetic my performance in the exams..
But yeah,my climax was no melo.. It was yet another happy ending.. Yet another plays directed by the master evaluator.. yet another comedies written by Him..

It was only then that i got the drift that 'agar ending khush na ho tho picture abhi bhi baaki he mere dosth..!'

Khuda Hafiz