~Spero ergo sum~™

August 10, 2008

BAU : Boredom, as usual.

Filed under: Stories — Teal @ 7:42 pm
Tags: ,

11:00 pm . . . the countdown to my birthday.

My heart lept with an excitement that did not become my age. This was not the puerile euphoria that children feel at the thought of gifts and goodies , and/or wearing colour dress to school. This was that juncture of my life for which I had waited a whole year. One year of waiting for a miracle to happen. A sign of sorts, for what would come, and what would not.

Being one of the few singletons left in my gang at the workplace and also in every other group of friends did not mesh with the image of the mid 20 year old dream. The perfect job, the perfect ride. And of course , the perfect girl. After being chided day in and out for letting the girl of my dreams slip through my fingers, I finally felt the pinch. But it was a tad too late.

With less than an hour to go for that moment where the oh-so coyly hidden truffle cake behind the booze in my freezer will make it’s way all over my 6 foot frame ,most of it goin on my face and hair , I could least bother about everything else in the cosmos.

There lay my cell phone on my bed.

As dead as it had been for a long, long time.

Hmm.

It had been a while since Swetha and I had spoken. And her voice was the only thing I wanted to hear.

To bring me out of my trap of anxiety and uncertainty. To be certain, if what I had ascertained was right, in every sense of the word. And so I waited.

Did I hear something vibrate on a hard surface? Nope, not my cell phone at least!

The doorbell continued with the incessant ringing. My bachelor buds from all round started cornering into the 2 bedroom shamble that was my house. Like wolves rounding in around a potential prey.

All I did though was sit at the foot of my bed, checking my office mails furiously at my laptop, with Blue Oyster Cult playing at max volume in my ears.

Then I felt a distinct grrr-ing and my phone rang to life!

That precious caller tone that I had set!

As I reached for my cell phone, I heard indistinct voices call my name … everything else seemed so infinitesimal at that particular moment!

“Madhav … Madhav ….”

“Dude!”

“Madhav, wake up! The Lead and the others are waiting for you at the cafe … hurry you bday cake is waitingggg!”

Some rude nudges at my clumsy lanky frame.

And I wake up.

It is 1 am, I am at work.

Happy birthday to me :-/

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March 2, 2008

My perfect happy ending

Filed under: Fiction!,Stories — Teal @ 1:31 pm

Ok.So you are Tam Bhram , female and are 27 years old, and single. Given the ways and tendencies of your generation it seems pretty normal, but leave it to the parents to get hyper about it. Since my 25th birthday, my folks have been bugging me day and night to get married. My happily hitched friends and classmates , and Asha aunty’s daughter who gave birth to triplets although she was 2 years younger, were definitely not helping! Leave it to my mom, who thanks to the moms in reel life has enuf strategies of emotional backmail.

“You know, Kunju’s daughter Bama has become a grand mother, I dont know when I will be able to hold my first grandchild in my arms . . ”

“I am not getting any younger, when are you going to get married!”

“Get married when appa and me are in proper state of health!”

Aaargh , aargh! After hearing enough violins and flutes in the background [not to mention shehnaais] I agreed to get hitched. To face the guillitone.

Friend #1,2, .. . n: “Good! Glad you made the right choice, you really need someone in your life, after all career is not everything!” . .

Humph!

Well, the only thought that strikes me now, is whether i should tell my folks about Him. I can already imagine the reactions from my family members. . .

Dad: What nonsense is this! IS this what I sent you to the states for? Against Amma’s wishes! [Reaches out for the hunting rifle mounted on the wall]

Amma: [Violins and Shehnai music in the background] Shiva shiva … Why did I live to see this day?

Younger Bro: U actually found someone? YOU??? Enna koduma saravanan!

Ok, lets rule that option out for now. Shall we?

As I sat out on the thinnai outside my house, Appa called me in. He was seated on the giant teakwood swing in our living room. “Come here kutti, sit beside me.” I dutifully sat next to him. Appa looked at me with pride. “You have no idea how happy we are to see this phase of your life!” He affectionately patted my head. I smiled at him.

“I have shortlisted 3 candidates fit to be kings for my kutti! Now, cmon kutti. You have no idea how hyper amma is about this whole event.Her everyday conversation with your chitti revolves around nothing but this! The first guy is a … the second guy is a . . . You want to see the pictures?”

“Appa, anyone you chose for me will be perfect. I have never done anything against your will, and never will.”

Appa looked a little dissappointed.

I hated that look on his face. So I smiled, and mustered a non existant enthusiasm when I asked, “Who’s the 3rd bakra? 😉 ”

Appa laughed. “The 3rd bakra is Sambasivan, Kicha mama’s son. HE is also a big shot like you, Us Paddipu and working there also, nearby where you live!”, he thrust the photograph on my eyes, literally. And then, enters Amma, with a wicked grin on her face. Oh No. That grin usually means I am going to be forced to do something I detest, something i will refuse, something tat Appa and Amma will gang up and force me to do, with megaserial style emotional blackmail and something i will end up doing anyway! Sheesh . . .

“I just got off the phone with Mrs.Kicha, Sambu is in town!”

Oh good lord!

“We’ve decided that you both should meet tonight for dinner, to get to know each other 😉 ”

How thoughtful.

“Appaa! I just came from the US, have you guys NOT heard of Jetlag?”

Appa grimaced, “Kutti, you came a week ago!”

Aargh, wrong timing and most importantly, wrong line of defense 😐
Called up a friend to crib about the [yeeech] blind date, only to get teased all the more. Something that my female relatives have been doing on an installment basis. But it turned out to be more of a grandmaster style conversation, where she did a rapid fire of questions, for which I had no answers, not to mention interest for.

“Oh wowie! Photo paarthia? Handsome aa irukaana?”

“What are you planning to wear?? Whatever you are wearing, leave your hair open!”

“Are you excited? I am!!”

“We knew your time would come soon!”

“You are not one bit excited, are you? 😐 ”

I sniggered on the other side of the phone. Pays to be resistant to nonsensical teasing. Of course it seems nonsensical since i am on the recieving end and that i have taken the same line of action many many times before.I looked sadly at the clock. It was 5 pm.

After a 2 hour struggle for power, that would put WWE to shame, I emerged the victor in ousting my brother from the computer. Phew! Logged in, finally after a week, to check mails. After replying to my official mails, I logged into my personal mail id.

My eyes were decieving me, Right?

It was a mail. A mail from Him!

“Hey, Listen. This mail may seem rather short for my usual standards. 🙂 And I also know that we’ve not been chatting very often. I had taken a sabbatical to decide some things for my life, to set somethings straight. But that doesnt mean I have not been reading your mails. I have read all of them, every single one. Your back in Chennai right?
I reached this place a week before. Could not inform ya bcoz mom was sick and i had to rush back to know she was ok. I am still here, and will be for another month or so. This is not one of those apology mails, bcoz I believe I deserve a sound thrashing, and I know for a fact that you think I do too. So .. er .. you know what? Give this thrashing to me in person. I will be waiting at Snowdown for you, from 7:30 pm onwards, armed with a
giant bar of Toblerone as my only weapon of defense. 😀 Will divulge details in person. Please do show up. Need to talk loads.”

Oh great!

Him and a meeting with a potential husband, could life get any worse! My eyes quickly went to the bottom right of the screen, where the clock screamed out “7:10”!

Egad!

The phone rang, at that very minute. Amma rushed to pick it up.
“Hello … Aamaam … sollungo … Oh is it, parava illai, the dinner will be at 9:00? Anyways that will give her more time to get ready! Hahaha , yes will inform her! .. Kutti?? Your ‘date’ has been pushed to 2 hrs from now, the groom has gone to meet a long lost friend, will pick you up from the house at 9pm, is that ok?”

I did not wait to respond.

I fumbled for my wallet and scooty keys and rushed to the door, hearing my mom’s voice fade away in the background and the ignition of my vehicle. I was fighting the wave of squeamishness, but the thrill had come up to my throat. I was not even able to think out loud!

My Mind had numbed out. It was not deducing the usual main and worst case scenarios it always did.

Crap!

Stuck in traffic, with adrenaline pumping in my veins.

My horror knew no bounds when i looked at myself from a car’s window glass. Lookin as unkempt as anyone possibly could, my pony tail was barely holding my tresses, and i was still in the faded tracks and Tee that i wore in the morning. It’s too late to back and change. There is too much at stake to lose here.

I finally reached the place at 7:50. It looked just the same as before, yet tonight it seemed to glow with a beautiful , pure and almost scary shimmer. I looked up at the all too familiar billboard and then my gaze led to the sky above. It was a full moon, and the stars lit up the black velvet sky. Not too bad for a city considered to be an astronomer’s nightmare. 5 minutes and plenty of deep breaths later, I walked in to Snowdown, the manager at the desk giving me a look of recognition and a welcoming smile.

“Uncle, the usual.”

“Looks like someone else has already ordered for you, ma’am.” He winked.

Aah.

I saw one solitary shadow of a person seated on the last row of the right extreme of the icecream parlor. It was dim lit and so I could not see his face, I saw 2 bowls of ice cream waiting at table too. My heart wanted to rush to the table yet my legs firmly refused to flich even an inch! A struggle of a walk ensued, which had me walking a few paces and then dutifully, I stopped and stared.

At the visible distance I saw him get up and walk towards me. Oh my god! I felt my eyes go wide open as the man with the Motley Crew T-shirt walked right up to me, holding the giant toblerone bar like a fighting staff. He towered over me, but looked down and grinned.

I could only stare.

“Had you come a little late, you’d have a bowl of milkshake waiting for you instead, you nutter! I honestly doubt if you will be able to eat this up after ice-cream. Oh that reminds me , where shall we head for dinner , Miss Mahadevan? Are you angry i pushed our dinner a bit?”

I found myself grinning ear to ear at Sambasivan Krishnamurthi.

“Not before I fry you first!”

Statutory Disclaimer: This story has nothing to do with me or anyone in my family,or for that matter, anyone I know. Any resemblance to any person is strictly co-incidental. This is just something that had popped up from some corner in my warped brain. And Amigos, no jibes about this one either! Majorly inspired by ‘You’ve got mail’ and of course, Harish’s stories!

October 7, 2007

The not so long goodbye

Filed under: Life,Stories — Teal @ 7:04 pm

This was it. It was probably the last time or chance for her to tell how she felt about their relationship. It was something that had dawned to a very formal acquaintance to a little close to a friendship and matured into a solid friendship.

But for reasons unknown, she couldn’t help but have this feeling that somehow it was all going to end and one fine day, they would end up passing by each other without even a single look of recognition, which eventually did happen. But not as soon as her worst case scenario estimation was, but what her womanly intuition told her. And rather kept ringing alarms in her mind for, anyways.

She had turned in her papers. She was to quit and leave the first ever place she called her company, her casa et. al. The week preceding this ominous day was not so bad, she was in fact counting down to the days when she would be able to walk out with all ties severed to this place, and the people, too.

Making the shift to another company with the hope of a better scope of work, and better opportunities was fairly common in her field. But the transition from your first ever job hurts, was what she was told. Few of the people she had met in the span of work in Technasys had already quit on account of bigger fish or marraige anyways. And people dont keep better chances on hold for other people , so why bother?

Getting through this particular day is going to be pretty darn difficult, she thought. This was the last and only chance for her to break this cold wall that had creeped in between them. The foundations of which had been laid by him, for no reason or excuse whatsoever. All her life she has been the winner of put-the-blame-on-me, that awful game which gave the winner a wonderful trip down the lane of doubt, diffidence and not to mention , self pity. “Maybe it’s my fault.”, she had thought. Despite numerous visits to his cubicle, which was always occupied with his superiors, and despite all attempts of tryin to chat with him thro the darned intra company chat console [which was a slow disease, killing the CPU nonetheless], tried calling him on hi VoIP extension, although they worked in the same facility, none of these bore any fruits.

This day, would be my last attempt to even try and talk to him, and if he just as indifferent, then i’ll assume it’s his loss, and not mine. I’ve had enough of this, she thought.

She walked to the nearest store and picked out an anniversary pack of his favourite chocolates, [my treat for you pig! she thought] and armed with that and a letter written in his favourite color [blue], she walked back into the facility. But before facing the brunt of his negligence [which was something she had foreseen] let me try and recollect those ‘fond’ but few memories we had as friends. She walked into the cafeteria, where the coffee machine guy smiled at her and made her drink without uttering a single word from her side.

“How are you ma’am?”

“I am fine. Today is my last day, so kinda having mixed emotions. 🙂 ”

“Oh, all the best ma’am, here’s your coffee, extra strong, as you like it.”

She mustered a weak smile and walked to that corner of the cafe where endless chats over coffee and the long luncheons had endured. She even wondered, if they would name that corner as the “Her & Him” block. That made her laugh. After tens of minutes, she finally mustered the courage to walk to his floor.

She walked through the glass door and down that familiar corridor which lead to his cubicle. His place, was empty. Thank god, she thought. She kept the things on his place , drew a smiley with a marker on his board and walked out slowly, absorbing every minute and second of that floor down the walk to the entrance. She wanted to surrender all the documents and leave the building ASAP, but some part of her, for some strange reason, held back. And wanted to look at him one last time, lest they never meet face to face again.

Her pocket was vibrating. She pulled out her cellphone, to find the cute guy from her floor calling her. This guy had been pestering her to have ‘the last lunch @ technasys’ with him. Which was an honour to him, as he repeatedly gushed over that call. As she confirmed the luncheon and hung up, she looked up across the glass walls.

He was walking towards his place with his team mates around him, like a tribe in battle walking on with some strategic formation. Armed with notebooks and pens, bah! one of those pointless meetings, she understood.

As he sat down , his eyes were drawn to the bright red smiley on his board and the huge chunk of candy. Below that was a sheet of paper, with words written beautifully in cursive.

This is Her, He thought.

He stood up and hastily read through the contents of the sheet and looked across the floor.

She was looking right at him. She could also sense his eyes going moist, which surprised her since he had been all wooden for these past few months that they’d known each other. After giving her a long look with unseen emotions and unsaid words running through his mind, he folded the paper back, kept it in it’s place nonchalantly and started working again.

She gave him a wry smile and walked right out of the buildings. Somethings are better left unsaid, and some people better forgotten.

PS: I know I’ve been having this overdrive with stories, but i just cant seem to help it 😀

September 30, 2007

(2) A hungry wail in the hail

Filed under: Sobriety,Stories,Whatever — Teal @ 11:30 am

“Big Deal.

Mascarenhas got demolished … Leave it to those prima donnas and pricks to make a deal out of it … and go to the nearest place to gorge or drink. I never needed them anyways. With my bird safely and snuggly tucked away in my garage, I watch now, and watch with wonder as the hailstorm showers small rocks of ice … demolishing and putting dents on every car in sight.

Hmmmm. Sometimes these things that we buy with the money we earn doing the things we hate the most are the only ones that seem to stick around. People seem to just come and go , like seasonal fruits. Momentary to the core.

Is everything in life a bargain?

I’ll like you if you like me. I’ll hang out with you, if you do the things I like. I’ll hangout with you all the more if we actually end up doing something worthwhile with the common hobbies that we have. When we are not doing anything worthwhile, we could always walk up to the nearest pub and get totally wasted. That again only counts if u stay sober enough after 7 straight shots. I know I can. Jeez, most ppl cant.
If despite the sick sychophantic act that you put up, I actually end up liking you, we might actually end up bonding … sheesh .. I honestly wonder who coined such a term or a concept!
If being with you exasperates me, or think I am pretty bored with who you are , or who I think you actually are, I will dwindle out on communication. You aint worth my time or my effort , once you like me…

Dont you even try to judge me. I represent the core of humanity. The sole purpose of our creation. Selfishness. I know there will be many people out there, wondering how the fuck can someone be so, well yeah, this is ME.

I am barenaked and open to everyone I see.

All the people I meet, dont mean a thing to me. I was under the impression that maybe at one point , at some point I might actually end up meeting someone who might make me think otherwise. But the bottom line is this.

Most of us, infact I would say all of us are spoilt brats, just dying to be pampered , dying to be doted upon others. shit … that is so pathetic if true. It makes me puke to think I was of that kind. Som made me feel this way, and opened my eyes to the other side. Thank you, you fucked up creep.

If you look good, have enough money and are “accomplished” enough, you’ll get enough company to keep you from boredom. The money can buy you your home theatre, your woofer car stereo and your shiny bike. The money can pave way to any vice you choose.

Lol … look me … getting all philo and shit. This world is full of fucked up losers and users.”

Ashok Sarangapani closed his journal, after a long perusal of his perfect cursive handwriting. He walked out into the snow on that blue monday morning.

He then found himself running 5 miles on a daily jog … watching everything with a smirk on his face.

Life has made a cynic out of me, he thought.

He took the 10 flights of stairs to the terrace. Everything else around him seemed so diminutive.

“The world is my terrace. The things , the people mean as much to me as these tiny things I see.”

He stretched out his hands and uttured a loud wail. The tears of anger streaming down his cheeks froze on his high cheek bones. He turned around to the asbestos sheet, now punctured with the near perfect dents of the hailstones.

Here’s to you Som, my dearest.Here’s to one fucked up life.

Ashok Sarangapani took the elevator back down and headed straight to work.

August 25, 2007

(1) Memoirs of Mascarenha’s

Filed under: Life,Sobriety,Stories,Whatever — Teal @ 12:44 pm

IT was 7:00 am in the morning. I was having my beauty sleep after heading home just around 5 hours before …. This was one of those days I woke up cursing Alexander Graham Bell and that creep/creeps who ever came up with the concept of cell phones.

As my phone blared out my favourite retro rock number, I could feel myself think “Oh no .. please let it not be my boss and not another teleconference ..”. Oh, but it was something worse. Far far worse.

Giri sounded totally psyched over the phone … “Som, they are tearing down Mascarenha’s! We’re all here. Come over soon. Heard it was some family feud over share of property… blah blah ..”

Had it been one of those saturday morning calls that Giri made, I would’ve kept the phone a foot away from me and headed back to the land of dreams. But he had me wide awake with the first sentence. And a little sad too.

All through those days of troubled adolescence, and those days of extreme joy or sorrow , Mascarenha’s had been our one stop shop. Our Cave from the rest of the world. To put in hip-hop lingo, our crib/joint. And it was being torn.

Torn Down.

A decade of memories heading towards total deluge.

I found myself getting back to the real world real quick … so much for not being a morning person. “So who all are there? I’ll be right over in 5 mins”.

Giri said 3 names in all .. 3 in the place of 4.Anirudh, Sowjanya and Derek. “We’re all here Som. Come over quick.”

That is not ALL of us. Even at this point , whilst others had forgotten him, I could vividly recall Ashok’s face. And I could also imagine that look of ice cold fury on his face.

After hurriedly brushing my teeth, I found myself running in my teddy bear jammies and faded tee towards Mascarenha’s.

Oh Ashok, where the hell are you man?

Why the Fk didn’t we all sort things out with you? Why didn’t you admit that it was your fault? It was your bloody fault man, now look at you. No one even knows where your are.

No one even cares.

Around that familiar bend, I could see 3 figures gazing intently at the small shop on the corner. Sowjan was muffling away, tears more like waterfalls flowing over her cheeks.

Derek looked like he would break down any moment. I walked straight up to Giri. He put his arm around my shoulder, looked right into my eyes and asked “Missing Ashok right?”

Dammit.

Giri apart from being one of the best shrinks in Chennai, had this uncanny ability to read minds. Especially mine. I found myself mustering a weak ‘No’, which would not even convince me. The four of us looked on as Mascrenha’s slowly ceased to exist, until nothing remain except a big pile of rubble. I could feel this inherent sense of loss, like that of losing an old friend. For in this very place, I had met and made good friends , and lost one too.

Sooji came to terms with the destruction and said in her signature style “Lets go out for an aish-keem … Me totally depressed and bummed out.” Had that remark been any day other than today , we’d have headed straight to Mascarenha’s , where the jolly pot bellied owner would’ve handed us 5 triple scooped softies of Vanilla, Butterscotch and Coffee. But this time around, we felt defenseless. Orphaned. Like a stray child without a place to call his own.

As Derek the foodie went on and on about the hangouts across our neighbourhood, I felt a strong feeling that we were being watched. I turned around to see a familiar figure seated rather arrogantly on a Birdie. Without letting him realise I had seen him, I looked back at the gang as they finalised the place to mourn the massacre at Masacrenha’s.

I found Giri pulling me away from ground zero, but I couldnt help but stare into the rear view mirror of a car parked on our side of the road.

Ashok Sarangapani was looking right at us.

I could hear that familiar roar of the bird fade away into the blue morning. Wonder if we would ever see him again?

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