Perspective – short story

Preethi was anticipating a wild adventerous night ahead as she was picked up from her clinic by her friend Shilpa.

As soon as she got in her friend blared loudly, “you won’t believe what happened in the office today. I’ve told you what happens in the storerooms and restrooms. But today right there in the cubicle in the chair I saw two bodies so entangled that I couldn’t make head or tail of it. When finally disentangled I was shocked to see it was the prude Punitha. So how was your day talking to nutjobs.”

Preethi fastened her seatbelt and said “Usual, no surprises. Had a phone session with a patient. The brother is all concern and patient all praise for the other yet can’t stand a moment of each other.”

“Yeah, that is to be expected, guys with their inflated egos can’t stand each other. If it weren’t for us girs they would wipe themselves out.”

“I am supposed to be the psychologist since when did you become an expert.”

Shilpa shifted gears and accelerating said, “As for as guys are concerned having known them more intimately I am the expert.”

Preethi scoffed at this and said, “knowing more guys in the sack doesn’t make you an expert on them. Wouldn’t say to anyone else, the patient on phone poured filthy wounds trying to come first in a pity parade. Yuck, he is to drop in soon. Without our excursions I’ll go insane myself.”

Shilpa gripping the steering turned to Preethi and asked, “Which pub to hit tonight?”

” ‘Cheers’ is a definite no, after our stunts last week, doubt if they’d let us in. By the way we closely escaped situation like in ‘Hangover’ movie. Guys can afford it not us. Anyway I am not in mood for drinks as I am for charming handsome blokes so let us hit ‘Mayuri.’ ”

“Girl is it really you talking or you finally going to burst your cherry tonight,” said Shilpa and took a sharp turn to the left.

After sometime they were seated adjacent to each other in a table in a partially enclosed enclave. Diagonally across from them were a group of four, two guys and two girls.

Shilpa asked Preethi, “Are those guys of legal age? Must be for otherwise they won’t be allowed here. Why morose, cheer up. We are early, soon the place will swarm with good looking hunks.”

Right as Shilpa finished speaking Preethi nudged Shilpa’s elbow and pointing to the entrance asked, “What do you think of those two?”

“Wow, the tall one with heavily greyed hair is so handsome, so handsome beyond average that I’ll do all he asks. The short one not as charming but has a swagger and style   to impress. We are in luck. Pick one immediately.”

Preethi took the menu and looked at it as if pondering and said, “You pick, anyone of the two is okay with me.”

“Damn, that is a hard one but being easy prey of good looks I’ll take the tall, handsome one.”

The two guys settled in to the table across them and immediately ordered drinks without wasting time.

“Alright, I’ll settle for the stylish guy with swagger,” said Preethi.

Their drinks arrived at the same time as the drinks for the guys. The short guy downed his drink bottoms down and started mixing the next one. The four youngsters had started drinking and one girl gulped her drink and ordered the next and gulped again and reordered.

Preethi nudged Shilpa and said, “Did you look at that girl and the way she drowns drink after drink. I am struggling to overcome the taste and sip it grudgingly.”

The short guy downed his second drink, ordered more and sauntered to the table of youngsters.

“Hi, I am Velan, do you guys come here often?” he asked shaking hands and his gruff voice carried clearly to their table.

“We do occasionally,” said a guy and most others nodded.

But the girl downing drinks in rapid succession broke in and said, “No, we are drinking for the first time. We are college first year students.”

The short guy smiled at this and said, “Thought so. No harm as everyone has to begin somewhere. The thing is with experience we can drink rapidly roughly knowing how high we would be. But you guys better wait before next round as alcohol takes time to react. You girl have had enough in my opinion, just wait and you’ll definitely feel the buzz.”

The girl said, “Thought you might give a sermon or advice.”

“Those that sink not offending others deserve a drink, for hiding behind good habits can’t  evade death’s stink.”

“Is it Shakespeare?” asked a guy.

“No, must be Keats, Yeats or Shelley,” said the girl who’d been silent till now.

The short guy roared with laughter at this and said, “No, it was vintage Velan, me. I composed it just now while talking to you.”

He then patted the girl on the head and moved over to his table.

Shilpa said, “Hey, your guy is cool. What confidence to casually engage strangers in conversation disarmingly advice and move back. The way you’re gaping you must be taken in too. Wanna trade guys, kidding for I have a knack to know guys good in the sack.”

Soon there were a steady stream of visitors and disco began on the floor below visible from here. Shilpa and Preethi had steadily downed several drinks.

“Now is the right time. I’ll go over to their table and start with the age old line ‘Do I know you from some place. You look so familiar.’ Then I’ll call you and we can both join them at their table.”

“Wait, I am not yet ready. Moreover aren’t guys supposed to hit first. Aren’t we supposed to throw looks and puppy faces to show our interest,” said Preethi defensively.

“What age are you living in girl and you call yourself a feminist. If we don’t move now someone else might. I am not taking risk,” said Shilpa Vehemently.

“I need a few more drinks before I can do something like this,” said Preethi tipsily.

“You’ll be getting forever ready. I am making a move now,” said Shilpa and stood up.

But right at the same time the tall guy stood and descended to the disco. Shilpa looked at anger at Preethi and stuffed a few pieces of chicken in to her mouth. By the time she turned to look at the dance floor, she saw the tall guy swirling a lady in his arms.

“Damn, that was way too fast. Yet knowing he is a player I can approach him when he breaks. Bye sweetie. You’re on your own. Either sulk alone or join the cool guy before I return,” said Shilpa and left.

Preethi studied the short guy downing drink after drink without a care in the world. The way the drinks kept coming she wondered what was this guy’s limit was or after advising the girl is he going to collapse. She didn’t think so. She stood and went to his table without a plan. When she stood right over him looking at him, he looked up at her as if to ask what was the matter.

She stood blankly for a few more seconds and blurted, “Aren’t you Velan?”

The guy showed a bit of surprise at this and part raising himself said, “Yes, I am Velan and you are? Why don’t you have a seat,” and pointed to the chair opposite him.

Preethi remained standing and said, “Sorry, thought you were someone else. Thought you were Velan. My mistake, let me leave.”

Velan laughed at this openly and said, “I am Velan and may I know who you are and how you know me.”

“Me, I don’t know you, overheard your name. They said this pickup line worked like a charm all the time but why it didn’t work for me I don’t know,” said Preethi drunk and swaying a lot.

Velan laughed openly at this and said, “Doesn’t matter. Why don’t you sit with me for a while.”

“Can’t, feel funny inside. Stomach doing summersaults and heavy urge to puke that I am resisting.”

“In that case it is better to puke. You can drink later if you want. Allow me to escort you to the ladies room.”

He escorted her to the rest room and she emerged later looking very pale but a lot sober. She kept looking at her feet unable to look him in the face. He escorted her back to his table. She looked at the dance floor to see Shilpa and the tall guy dancing fast together.

“Don’t you dance?” she asked furtively.

“Not really, but I can accompany you if you want to.”

“No, I dance only when drunk but I am so sober right now. What do you do?”

“Businesses here and there, not much really. What do you do?” he asked evasively.

“I am a clinical psychologist.”

“Oh, interesting. Don’t you detest not qualifying as psychiatrist?”

That question burst open a dam within her and she kept talking and talking. He seemed knowledgeable about her field as evident from his sharp questions. He listened mostly as she talked nudging her mildly. She told him her life story and all her personal experiences. She couldn’t believe that she was telling all this to a stranger, things that she hadn’t even shared with Shilpa. But she simply couldn’t control herself as she realised he was her Mr. Right.

Shilpa came back and was introduced to Velan. Preethi expected her to sit down but she just went back to their original table signalling Preethi with her eyes. Preethi excused herself and went over to Shilpa.

Preethi stood over Shilpa and asked, “Seem a bit early. What happened?”

“I put a move on him but he smiled and said that I was old enough to be his daughter. I am no timid girl to not understand such clear message. I politely left. He is a nice bloke yet I can’t be at that table.”

“I think he is the guy for me. Might go all the way with him if chance permits.”

“Don’t be silly. The first time should be special. Don’t decide on a day. Take your time. Anyway go now girl, I’ll wait.”

Preethi went over to Velan’s table again and saw all the youngsters chatting and laughing with him and saying goodbyes as they left.

She said to him, “It is strange that I who hear others’ life stories and troubles should pour my heart out to you confessing my troubles. I know what drudgery it is sometimes to hear all sorry stories of all the nutcase. Hope you don’t think me like that.”

Velan just kept smiling at this statement and said, “Is it that bad?”

“You won’t believe, I just talked to a patient before coming here and he who was way older than me was pathetic near tears and asking my advice. I am sincere though and always do my best without bias but sometimes I’ve to escape all of it. What contrast you are so sure of yourself beaming with confidence. Do you like me, do you find me attractive?”

“Whoa, whoa, slow down, I don’t even know your name.”

“My name is Preethi and I run the Avanti clinic. Is this bio sufficient. Now tell me am I attractive? Am I your type? am I…”

“Wait, wait, the way you are coming on to me now or flirting with me is so unethical on so many levels do you realise that?”

“I wasn’t flirting but even if I was how does it become unethical? Is it because I am a woman? So tiny minded are you?”

Velan stood up smiling as the tall guy was climbing the stairs and said, “It is unethical because of the code of conduct between shrinks and patients forbidding any relation between them. I am the patient you talked to on the phone earlier today. My brother has arrived and I must leave. See you later at the clinic.”

Preethi hiding her face with her hands whispered, “How can I take you on after this. You won’t respect me. It won’t work, the deference needed has been shattered.”

“Maybe for others but I defer to others when needed and you’ll be professional I know. This is a story for both our grand kids. So don’t be embarrassed or regret this encounter. Turbulent rivers cause smoothest pebbles and roughest pebbles are found in clear calm waters. This is for our situation mull it over. Bye.”

 

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Witness of change – 1

Born in 1982 I belong to the 80’s generation. We have seen breathtaking transformations in our life and lifestyle. We all have forgotten how the good old days used to be. We have become accustomed to the new innovations made possible by new technologies. Being from Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, India I recount the transformation from my eyes and how it hit me.

Our generation crowded on the playgrounds or streets with cricket bats instead of sitting before the television. For there wasn’t much on television. There was only the one channel Doordarshan and they telecasted boring national programs. We used to gather to witness the start of broadcasting after being shut down for the day. We all loved the logo with the caption Sathyam. Shivam, Sundaram. Every Friday there would be the telecast of new Tamil film songs titled ‘Oliyum Oliyum.’ Almost everyone watched this with avid interest. There would be Sunday morning ‘Heman’ cartoons, Ramayana, Maha Bharatha. There would be Tamil movies on Sunday evenings and the streets would be devoid of traffic as people would be watching the movies. Chitrahar, Rangoli, Ek se badkar ek, Surabhi, Tehkikat are some of the popular programs. On sunday afternoons they telecasted regional feature films. I still remember seeing Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Ankur as a kid. There was also a telecast of a japanese series Oshin I think.

We went to schools in cycle rickshaws pedalled by the hard working rickshaw uncles. I even remember a horse cart bringing children to schools. Now it is auto rickshaws all around. There used to be several bullock carts traversing the narrow lanes of our hometown. Now we can glimpse them rarely for they have been replaced by tempos and trucks.

Cable came to our town may be when I was in 7th grade but it came to my house probably when I was in 8th grade. An uncle of mine got in to the cable business and only then did my Dad allow cable TV in the house. It was only one channel at the time, the Sun TV, those were the days Pepsi Uma was a craze. Now there are innumerable channels streamed from Dishes fitted in our houses.

My first monochrome PC came to my house when I was in fifth grade. I went to a special course to learn DOS, WordStar, dBase and FoxPro.

Internet came at the fag end of my school days or beginning of my college days in my hometown. There were net parlours mushrooming everywhere. The speeds were abhorrent. At first it was only Yahoo and the mail. Then came google and true to the hype  the internet has shook the world and changed the way we live in unimaginable ways. The days of sneakily watching porn with friends in net cafes are not memories I am proud of.

When I was in the final year of my college around 2003 there were only two guys in our college who had very clunky, heavy mobiles. Then as we exited college and were on our job search in the metro, Chennai, almost all of us job seekers had a mobile. I remember my first cheap Trium mobile. It helped in the job search and to be in touch with home from the metro. Now we can’t imagine a world without mobile. How to meet, how to coordinate, oh, we would be lost without our mobiles. Those days incoming will also cost you and the woes of roaming costs. Far later Reliance came with a big push giving away handsets for one rupee. Oh, the scams, the use and throw mobiles and what not. Now mobiles have transformed our lives.

The dot com bubble burst much later yet the net giants Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal etc prodded on delivering almost all our goods to our doorsteps. It was years later when I was in my second job did I go on a shopping spree on the net. The era of social media burst open with Facebook, Twitter and later WhatsApp. Yet I didn’t get in to the bandwagon. Even today I don’t use them much though I have both Facebook and WhatsApp accounts.

It was around that time on the gentle suggestion of my brother I explored the blogging world. After some time I left it idle and went to watching movies streaming on Netflix and Prime Videos. I started reading ebook novels collected from the net. I didn’t touch the blog for well over a year. Now I am not blogging with a vengeance but with a sense of the limited time had here on this planet. I want to do something fruitful, productive and right before the flame is extinguished.

 

Addictive blogging

Writing can become addictive or is it just blogging that is being addictive. Recently for me both are the same as I have not written anything outside of this blog. I have a love hate relationship with this blog. I had not touched the blog for a whole year. I wasn’t angry or anything. I just quit and forgot about the whole thing. Now when I resume I do so with a vengeance. That too just happened. I was bored by the movies and books and blogging naturally made a nice occupation to while away my time.

Is blogging like any other video game where the scoreboard of likes and follows egg you on or is it more. It definitely preserves all your writings and works. But I wonder at times do people really read the stuff I post or do they just skim, like and move on. Because that was what I used to do before. Do people have time and why should they spend it reading my stuff while there are lots better floating around.

I didn’t realise that blogging was a close knit community of people wanting to share their thoughts and works. Yet what can be the end of blogging, it certainly won’t lead to your novel or poems book. Is the follows and likes the objective and end of blogging. Blogging is an end in itself. It makes me write. A fellow blogger told me write, keep writing and write more that is all that matters. The blog has helped me be motivated to write heavily.

While I am on the subject of blogging I’ll try to share a few not so savvy tips to promote your blog. After having chided the likes and follows I shouldn’t be telling you this.

  1. Be liberal with your likes and follows nobody will think less of you for this.
  2. Comment on other blog posts frequently.
  3. Blog regularly and wait, for it takes time for the blog to grow.
  4. When you do blog don’t do it all at once for you must give the blogging community time and space to like your works. This is one advice I’ll never follow.
  5. Though it be a personal blog frequent one skill as your trademark feature. For instance if people like your poems write more poems. If people love your write ups or stories then do that mostly. You can always blend in other things. This is also something I don’t do.
  6. Don’t commit the mistake of staying within the boundaries of your own blog. Use the reader to explore other blogs and like them that they will visit you.
  7. If you are so hell bent on having a post seen there is something you can do, take out your begging bowl. I’ve did this with great result. Post a link to the post in the comment section and ask them to check it out. How to do this you google and find.
  8. Take some time to make your blog both beautiful and functional using the themes. This is also something I can’t get right.

I am apologetic in my tone and sometimes in poetry too while almost all other bloggers sound like experts and far ahead of me. I don’t suffer from inferiority complex. Far from it. I know I am as good as the next person on my day.

But why do we really blog. If it were to interact with other people won’t Facebook be a better bet. I almost don’t use Facebook at all. In a blog we come as strangers and leave the same way. All interactions on the context of the works alone. If it were only that I can make friends through blogging I’ll need nothing else.  But that is not the case. At the end of the day I can’t say ‘I blog’ when someone asks me what I do. One quirk, I give special attention and care to female bloggers over their male counterparts whatever their age.

I have been blogging as a sole job for a few days. When my restaurant opens I’ll be in the cash counter giving me ample time to blog. I must alternate blogging with books and movies. But hopefully blogging won’t be stopped this time around.

Happy blogging everyone.

 

 

Faith

Life is a swim through the rivers of time,
against the currents and storms of trouble,
or with the currents and breeze of pleasure,
faith is a pole extended from nowhere;

unfortunately it comes with thorns attached,
thorns inflicting pain make swim miserable,
one can swim without it and with joy,
but then comes the fear of drowning;

the pole without thorns is what we want,
some aware of this yet can’t hold pole,
to them are no poles, they’re invisible,
they are the ones blinded by science.

When you got no control…

e1

This is a stream of consciousness directed by rational thoughts and irrational personal perceptions that can be inferred from the context.

I went to the house of a spiritualist with an atheist. Both are old and wise, only the young mistake impudence for intelligence. They enquired about my health and life and listened to my chatter and there was nothing said of god or science. The atheist left and the spiritualist took me to a share auto stand. I said I’ll go by individual auto and not share auto as I didn’t mind. I came by share auto and listened to some mediocre song that reminded me of Ilayaraja on the way.

My ‘belief system’ as Sruthi Hassan addressed to actor Kamal Hassan instead of using just the word belief is as follows. It is just ashes to ashes after death which is final, there is no rebirth, hell or heaven, or even a god after death. Yes, certainly ‘no god, after death’. Ayn Rand, Kamal Hassan and all dravidian atheists who are motivated more by social Justice rather than Science alone, and a few others might subscribe to this. Einstein and his God have no part in this.

Science has descended to the level of speculation or more correctly popular perception of science has become so decadent and untenable. There can be no question about Nobel Laurette Feynman’s Science but with his popular personal interviews that have no credibility with science, he has made science the loser. At least Einstein clearly demarcated his science and his beliefs. Let us take one brief example. This might sound rational but needs further querying and I will be coming to this later. For now let us assume a mere speculation on incomplete logic and not science. Relativity is very real. Relativity of Time and space are also real under strict definitions of both. Black holes are a real scientific hypothesis based on acknowledged axioms or assumptions. Time travel and time space warps aren’t even science fiction but pure imagination.

Simply put relativity of time says that at the speed of light, two observers, say one inside and one outside, perceive the same event at different points of time. This might mean that by some weird causality the very same holographic patterns of the past might be rendered intact or be rendered like a 3d movie several light years away, now this is science fiction. This doesn’t alter the fact that the said event can happen only once. Going back to the Big Bang, or the assertion of the black hole cannot alter this fact. Time travel is like calling the photo, the man. No causality can cause the physical matter in the said state to exist somewhere else, even that un eventuality can be called a clone, but it is an un eventuality.

Saying god made the apple to fall on Newton’s head isn’t nice. But saying God made Newton claim discovering Gravity, Gravity and all other things are by God is different. It is a question of belief. The Church was wrong to hold the earth as the centre or to have called Darwin a liar. But if it is held God made Sun the Centre and led the church to believe and claim wrongly all along is a different story.

Ayn Rand despises mediocrity, and the loyal, true Eddie Willers was left to rot and perish in the real world in Atlas Shrugged by reason of mediocrity alone, is very true. Fountain Head is a different story, where Mike a lowly plumber who knows his job and respects Roark for knowing his job, is allowed to exist. It isn’t a class system either. Ayn Rand despises eastern mystics more than communists. Yet If I say, that Roark, is a subset of the Bhagwad Gita, it isn’t a contentious claim. That shall be a separate blog post. Ayn Rand purists might bellow at me, but if Rand were alive she would grudgingly concur though deploring the garb of spiritualism under which it is clothed. I am not deploring Rand here. The Mystic texts are full of seeming contradictions. The subset has only semblance and seeds of Roark and isn’t considered the perfect ideal.

Ayn Rand purists can rest assured, she is a class apart. In her axiomatic world there are not even seeming contradiction. She contends Man is Ideal and portrays the ideal man. if you follow her, you are untrue, follow yourself is what she wants. Some one said even if there is no god, invent god, then you’ll have values and won’t err. I don’t believe God is an invention, not a God but Gods exist in this world when we live; or more aptly there is a power above guiding us in our life, call it God, justice, Dharma or Karma. It isn’t a naive belief but something I have felt. It can’t be conveyed. Well if you need try Kahlil Gibran’s ‘Prophet’ or any of your favorite scriptures.

I don’t believe in ‘God after Death’ but believe in ‘Powers or Gods’ in life guiding us. It isn’t a contradiction. For this read ‘Gibran’ and then you have to give it your own spin.

The mediocre song on which I had no control had purpose. Might be my ramblings might be chanced by another wayfarer eons away and ease him. May be it might even put smiles on the faces of readers who laugh at the naivety of wayfarers and their curious ways.

P.S. I am a fun person in life, then why this. Truth is when I am on a roll, and having so much fun, I don’t connect pen with paper, nor read a written word. I am happy a lot many times, a lot many many times, but no one can be happy all the time. Thinking too much will make one crazy. Work, love near and dear and be happy.

P.S.S. So baby, just relax and have lots of fun.