A Saturday evening, Snowy and women empowerment

In last few years we heard a lot of inspiring movements in the areas related to women equality and how should we ensure their freedom, protection and empowerment in the society. Especially in India it lit up a lot of hot discussions and debates each day. We’ve seen people fighting and yelling each other in T.V news discussions. And there came a ton of memes and trolls which directly and indirectly targeted our minds and way of thinking. Recently we heard a lot from Movie industry when they opened #Metoo hashtag, it really encouraged a lot of people to realise their rights to speak up.

Okie, you all are educated and already well aware of the factors I quoted above. I don’t want to bore you guys. As usual, my new post is nothing but a humorous incident happened in my home recently.

I always try to enjoy each moments of my vacation at home as I get it very rarely. It was a Saturday evening and I was competing with my sister to finish the snacks at tea time. Suddenly my mom marched to the sit out and ordered me to get away from there. I raised my head from the snacks plate projecting question marks in both eyes. She saw it and replied – Its Saturday evening.

Yeah, I know that already. But what are you gonna do with these bundled books and a few documents in your hand? My snacks are finished, why don’t you get me some more hot Vada’s and an extra cup of coffee, mom?

What a shame, she totally ignored my question and setup a able and few chairs around it. Within 10 minutes I saw few ladies rushing into my house and gathering around the table. Forget the snacks, at least my sister brought me the coffee and explained – “hey dumbo, they are having their weekly ‘Kudumbasree’ meeting. And hear me carefully as you seems illiterate about this, it is the women empowerment and poverty eradication program, framed and enforced by the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) of the Government of Kerala. The Mission aims to eradicate absolute poverty within a definite time frame of 10 years under the leadership of Local Self Governments formed and empowered by the 73rd and 74th Amendments of the Constitution of India”. She just paused and took a sip from my coffee. I nodded my head as If I know all these already and concentrated on my snacks. I just opened WhatsApp and started chatting. Also sometime my mom and team got my attention when I heard them mentioning lot of strange topics in the agenda.

Then I heard an another order from my mom to sissy – “Get his mobile, it got good clarity cam. And start recording our next discussions.”

My snacks and coffee are rejected, now they targeted my mobile on which I am very busy with chatting. But I didn’t had the guts to offend them as they were large in number, I was all alone. So I gave up!
Sissy started recording their discussions, she told me that these video tapes will be sent to the senior officers as a proof of meeting. I just moved my snacks aside and paid full attention to their discussion. My mom was speaking about all the factors that I mentioned in the very beginning of this post, women equality and freedom. Listen to me, it’s not sarcasm; my mom was speaking very logically and acted like Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg speech. I was wondered and realised that she could speak about something this important apart from the kitchen stocks limit or other home stuffs. Then she wanted everyone else in the meeting to open their mind about what’s their position in their own home. Some of them felt shy at my presence but I just encouraged them to go on. Then I happily witnessed their freedom and what they wanted to shout aloud. A few were happy and a few seems very upset of how they are being treated and what’s their opinions price at home. I become thoughtful and made me to take decisions on how a good husband or son should be. The meeting continued for another 30 minutes and I took each word they spit out, it was sharp and hot. My sissy was recording very seriously as if she was assisting Christopher Nolan in his next movie.

In between my dad came in and shared the sofa with me. I could see him smiling and listening to the meeting. Even Snowy, my 1 year old Labrador puppy was focusing on the meeting. I glanced at her and saw her innocent face with round eyes blinking and passing onto each person as If she is agreeing with them. Her never-raise-up looks like ears were concentrated fully. Meeting got over and other members left.

Mom, dad, sissy and myself left alone in the sit out. Of course Snowy too. Mom glared at me, she was expecting that I would tease her for her last 1 hour performance. But I didn’t, it was all new for me. To be frank this is the first time I see a bunch of homemakers being confident at this rate. Mom was blushing when I told her the same. Dad approved my words with a silent smile and cameraman was busy with editing her tapes. But snowy was still listening resting her head on dad’s lap. Seeing that mom showed her humour sense bit seriously – “See how Snowy is observing. I think after watching all these she might become one activist too”. Everyone laughed and at the same time it happened.

A blacky suspicious looking cat just crossed our yard to the road. Snowy spotted her and wanted to catch it. Dad shouted at her to come back – “it’s very dark, don’t go out this time. Come back here or you are gonna get nice slaps”. Snowy heard the male chauvinist and surprisingly ignored him totally and ran after the cat.
Mom and sissy laughed uncontrollably and shouted – “look at her, she has really become a women activist 😉”.


Memories of a 90’s kid: This is how we used to celebrate marriages!

It was not a long time ago!! It’s just a matter of time, few years back. The best era in a man’s life, his or her childhood, the turns to teenage, getting to know the people…then all of a sudden it happens. Getting matured! Responsibilities are pouring on the head like a shower bath. We starts to earn and earn and earn. Nothing else, I am damn sure that every 90’s kid like me would be telling these lines to themselves at least once in a while. Okay, craps!! Let me come to the topic..

Today afternoon I got a whatsapp message from one of my bestie, actually he is getting married in less than 2 weeks. What he sent was a youtube URL. Its a marriage invitation video he made up. I was wondering how things changes in time. We are really going through a very technically progressing generation. Take this example, we can invite our dear ones via medias, social networking sites, marriages in the central of sea or sky..photo shoots for every occasion(even for getting pregnant 😄) and we hire best people to make them like a movie!!

WHAT, calling me conservative? Nono I am not that category. I am not against these changes, I really understand and accept the changes in life even though sometimes I stand against things whichy seems undigested to me. Leave all those craps, I am just trying to recollect how important these occasions were to us – kids.

Like everyone else we had a gang too. A gang of mixed ages but thinking alike. Marriages were the best place where we get a chance to shine. So once a marriage date gets announced in the neighbourhood, then our gang starts to set up the plans. Sometimes, I remember we were too keen and energetic to prepare ourselves in such times compared our elder family members. The very first step was to check the calendar for the marriage date.

If its in weekend? Holly shit, we lost a chance to bunk school.
Weekdays? Yep, this is what we were waiting for!!

Next important thing is to purchase dress. Of course it must be new fashioned! Let it be bit tight, let people see our little muscles(not everyone just girls 😂). Reminding the tailor to be clear about stitching the pants because it shouldn’t be very loose. Belt must be black in colour by default with a moving circle in buckle and shoes are welcome if budget allows and only if dad didn’t kill us yet for the mentioned purchases.

The night before marriage at groom’s or bride’s home will be a celebration. We kids, used to play around and disturbing others. We believed that our destiny in life was to make sounds and just enjoy the life. Our sounds even defeated the loudspeakers which used to keep singing that whole night. We heard Yesudas & Chithra singing the night without breaks. It was all awesome. Boozed uncles and neighbours will be trying to stand straight and telling stories, they tries to sing and beat the tape-recorders. And the laughs of girls who would be busy with exploring new mehndi designs inside home.

Rarely elders seek our help, especially to cut the vegetables. And we were happy to do it. Our gang always urged each other to pick some easy vegetables to cut, like potatoes. The guy who got onion will die for sure. He will cry whole night and make the home look like someone just died there. I always used to get garlics. As I was one of the youngest in group, our leader always allocated it to me. Cant protest against leaders! That’s the rule, slaves were always slaves. Cleaning garlic was hell even compared to onions. You sill feel your fingers burning even the whole next day..

On the marriage day we wake up earlier and starts to get ready. New dress, Cuticura/Ponds powder, and few drops of perfume if any gang member got an uncle in Dubai. If we were groom’s side, then well and good! Because you will get a minimum of 1 hour journey to bride’s house in jeep. At least 8 jeep will be there. We wont sit inside even if seats are free. We found ourselves adventurous & actionable by hanging in the backside of jeep holding it’s carriers. When the vehicle moves, we will wave hands at people beside the roads. We get a warm welcome once reached the brides house. I remember the moments waiting for the guy who comes with soft drinks in a tray. Kids will get more than a glass and a stare from that guy. We never cared, our face always said – “hey, we are the groom’s side. Pay respects”.

Most awaited step is next one – to find girls of same age and starts sighting. It was the best part! Picking someone after an eye scan and following them everywhere during all ceremonies. Huh! Then our people are getting back to vehicle taking the bride home. That’s very awful moment, leaving our 2 hour girlfriend! Our faces becomes red more than the bride who used to cry at that moment while leaving her home. But still there will be a hope, because bride’s people will come to our house for party in the evening. So that we can meet our “new” soulmate again!!

It was the best time of our lives! Times which we can never get back!!

A page from purana: the untold stories of villagehood

Last night me and Sulu were laying sleepless. And he started this topic – about the 90s when we had darkness more than lights in India. Every kid of 90s would be aware of those years. I would get a thousand stories if I dig into that subject. At this moment I just want to talk about just one of the memory that came through our conversation last night.

February month will always begin with temple festivals. Every fest will last to 10 days. About this I am planning to post an another one which will exactly explain how we the kids used to celebrate those 10 days, to be specific 10 nights. So let me begin to unwrap this particular occasion which comes in the top of my memory.

Thrissur and Palakkad are the districts which witnessed my childhood. And those are cities where people keeps temple festivals close to their heart. In Palakkad there is a temple called ‘Chinakkathoor Kavu’. This temple’s fest is counted as one of the most celebrated fest in Kerala. This post is about the rituals we follow on the fest of this temple. To be more clear about what I am gonna say, you need to listen to a story. Lemme begin…

My grandpa narrated this story to me when I was a kid. But I still can remember each word and twists of it. Its about the goddess worshipped in the temple which I mentioned earlier ‘Chinakkathoor Kavu’. The myth about the origin of the Chinakkathoor temple will take us to the Ramayana period. Rama and Lakshmana were in search of Seetha who was kidnapped by Ravana and they reached Vilwadri (the Vilwa Mountain, now known as Thiruvilwamala). Lord Ayyappa and Goddess were accompanying them. After reaching Vilwadri Rama asked them to find a place to take rest. But they did not return even after a long time. Hence Rama and Lakshmana went looking for them and found them taking rest at the top of the hill. The myth has it that an angry Rama pushed lord Ayyappa down to the south and gave a good beating to Goddess. (As per this purana lord Ayyapa is situated in a very lower place from Lord Rama temple at Thiruvilwamala. And the deity is called Ayyappa in the pit!).

The goddess was beaten up by Rama and ran for her life crying “ayyayyo” and stopped running when she reached a place called Chinakkathoor,and took position there, facing the north.

Based on this story we used to do follow some rituals just the night before the special day of fest. Our family also used to follow this. We all will wake up early in the morning, say like around 2 AM. The whole family will join in this. Will get up, fresh up and start walking targeting the river. There are 3 rivers in my village and one of them is Nila/Bharathapuzha which is the second longest river in Kerala. We will use natural torch with dried leaves of coconut tree. We will fire it and walk cutting the deep darkness in front us. The advantage is that it will give you light plus a warm environment around which will help you to survive that blood-clotting cold.

We will carry many items on this early morning journey. All the items required for the ‘pooja/aarathi’ will be taken. Even we carry bedsheets so that the kids can get some sleep if required after reaching the destination. Both sides of the road towards the river is rich with tallest trees. Those trees will bow their heads into middle of the road due the weight and it will make a ‘റ’ shape till the end of the road. So when you walk waving our ‘leaf torch’ you will feel like exploring an ancient cave. A 20 minutes walk will take you to the laps of river. On the way we must scream like how goddess did in the above said story, its a part of rituals. You can hear people screaming and making louder noises from all nearby roads.

Once reached we will find a comfortable place on the sand shore to get settled. There won’t be much water in the river as this fest is in summer. Hence you can find lot of place anywhere on the shore. You can also see lot of neighbourhoods ruling their tents here and there. My both sisters were kids at that time and they will sleep once they reach the river. Sometimes on the way itself they start sleeping on my parents shoulders. I never used to get sleep in such situations. Now we have to find a perfect stone from river which will be used as idol of goddess for pooja/aarathi. Now we need to take bath in the river to make mind and body pure. That’s the part I always hated. The water will be frozen like ice, you will dare to dip a single finger in it. After a lot of thinking and calculations I will jump into the river and somehow take a bath just for the sake.

Meanwhile mom would’ve started preparing payasam which is required for pooja. Before it gets done we will clean the idol and other things ready for the pooja.
Once everything is ready the pooja begins. As per Hindu traditions this will be carried out. Next everyone will have the payasam on the shore itself. By the time we can see the sun rising up from the depths of somewhere. The yellowish-orange rounded sun will reflect his face on the river as if looking at a mirror. Around 5.30 – 6’o clock we will be back to home. The freshness and energy you get on that whole day is beyond my explanations.

From last few years I don’t see much people following this ritual. May be everything is changing along with the generations. In less than 10 years all these will fall in the list of extinct rituals…

Drama; a lot and lots of memories

The days of youth festival in school life was always joyful. It was a celebration which lasts for a minimum of 4 days, and the preparations will start at least before 1 month prior to that. I used to participate only in items like poem/story writing and majorly dramas. Drama was our soul and life of youth festival. I don’t exactly remember when we got the spark of acting. But I have few memories which are strongly tied up around this.

Lets dive into few years back…

Year 2000: 4th Standard

That was my last year in A.L.P.S school. I was the senior, the guy in 4th standard. One of the items in which I participated was drama. My classmate’s dad only trained us the basic lessons of acting. The theme was something more of a social satire. And I played the role of a typical politician who would do anything for money. Our drama started past midnight but I was awaken like never before. The crowd, sound of loudspeakers, the eye-shutting lights on the stage and the make-up stuffs on my tiny face kept me away from sleep. It was a very fresh experience to me. I still remember the costume and dialogues of my character here and there. That December night is still young in my memories.
On the same night I had to act in an urgent role also. After our drama there was another one represented by old student in which my elder uncle played a leading role. I was laying on my mom’s lap and watching their play after mine got over. I was half sleepy and louder voice on mike was bringing me back time to time. Suddenly uncle came to us and asked me to go with him to the stage. Reason is, they need a small boy to act as my uncle’s characters son. No dialogues, I just have to go with him and stand beside on the stage. So this was my first stage experience for drama.

#5th standard ~ when I met my team

1 year after the above mentioned night I was moved to high school and joined in 5th standard. There I got my team. I don’t remember whose idea was that to perform a play for youth fest. We joined a team. We were 7 in number – myself, Vipin, Jishnu, Ranju, Prasad..etc. We wrote a screenplay with our own script. And I am still proud that till 10th we only got 1st price in drama every year.

Mostly the practice was in those guys home which is walkable from school. Most chosen person was Ranju, because he had a big gooseberry tree in his front yard. We used to empty the tree during practice. One of the most lovable taste on my tongue of that era is when I drink water after eating a few gooseberries. So one day we were practicing in his ‘built in-progress’ home. We were on the terrace, because from there you can get a perfect shot on gooseberry’s. After drama practice got over we started our hunt. Everyone’s started showing how perfect is their aim. Then my turn came. I took a big round shaped stone and threw at a big bunch of gooseberry. The stone didn’t make its target but started to fall down from a height. Unfortunately a group of people came walking down on the road. And there was a bald headed guy in that, my stone reached his head perfectly. Blood was flowing from his head. We all got scared on seeing this, the way of thinking of that age suggested us to hide on the terrace and we did that. Those people looked confused and they were scared to death. That incident was quiet an accident but hiding my mistake was not a good practice. I won the situation by doing that but that made me guilty for a long time since then.

#7th standard ~ Siva temple and cigar

During drama practice only I witnessed someone of my age is smoking. I think I was in 7th standard. This guy (I cant reveal his name, if he sees then I am gonna die 😊) was there in my drama team that year. We gave him a minor role with only 2 dialogues. And that dialogue itself he forget on the stage, he took co-actor’s next dialogue and spoiled the scene. So there was an old temple behind the school. You have to walk with a small river which leads you to this lord Siva temple. It looked very old and terrific, surrounded by sky-kissing trees. We always loved to practice there in weekends. The silence and darkness of that place always hugged us warmly. One day this friend of mine came with a cigar and lit it up. Rest of us were scared about this. He offered me a puff but I was not brave enough to accept it. At last I tried it but like every beginner I coughed to death on that day.

#Vipi’s home and bath in river

5th to 10th Vipi’s dad only trained us. He is a fabulous actor. We used to go to his home on weekends. It takes a 30 minutes in bus to reach his village. A very old but beautiful place. Me and Prasad were the only one’s who never failed to present there on time. His mom is a fantastic cook and it was one reason why we never missed to go for practice. There was a river which flows through the heart of his back yard. A two minutes run will take you to the river. There were so many trees which takes head bath in the river. We used to walk on the sloped trees and dive into the water. Once you are back from the river, there will be hot tea and snacks waiting for you on his veranda.

#plus two~ when craziness reaches the top

Plus two was in a different school but Vipi was still there with me. So we planned for a drama that year. In addition to me and Vipi we added few new friends – Sulu, Dhanu, Midhun, Ajith, Ajeesh. One day we came for drama practice on a Saturday. After few hours we got bored and decided to explore the school surroundings. And we saw this well riped jackfruit. It was in someone else’s compound and so we stole it. We kept it hidden in a very secret place till next Saturday hence we wanted the fruit fully ripe.

Now I realise that those were the best moments of my life..!!!

7 days in a hospital

This is an old story which happened years back. In everyone’s life there will be such old memories which are related to an object or a place or whatever it is. Whenever we see this instance, rusted memories will wake up. This one which I am gonna tell is a hospital oriented story. Whenever I see a hospital, I remember the face of a girl.

This took place exactly before 12 years when I was doing schooling. There were 3 main hospitals nearby my town and I had to spend a minimum of 10 days in any of this hospital every month. Reason is, my grandma was an asthma patient. Hence she gets hospitalised each time when the climate changes. So I was the one who used to guard her in the hospitalised days. Spending time in hospital is very difficult, especially in those years. No smart phones, no social medias..etc. The only way to kill time was books or else speaking to the patients in same ward. And you will see a lot of faces there, faces with different stories. I used to love walking in the long and quiet hospital corridors.

If I am right it was just after the 10th and I was waiting for plus one admission. Lot of time and there is nothing specific to do. Every second in a day will come knock your door and pass. One day as usual grandma got admitted and my duty started. This time it was in the government hospital. Doctor advised a week rest there itself. This hospital was renewed very recently. They had built few more general wards centralising a small but beautiful garden.

Till 3rd Day!
There was only a few other patients in our ward. When grandma sleeps I normally go to this garden and spent time there. The neighbour bed guy was around 45 years old, who mostly seen accompanied by his wife. They were from nearest town and always talked like non-stop radios. 3 days I tolerated them. These people always talked very awful stories, to be specific; pitiful stories. Listening to them all day was a pain. But one morning he announced a real good news. He told – “actually I have a daughter in your age, she also waiting for admission. Most probably she will be here this evening”. My heart started pounding in an abnormal speed. And he added to my happiness – “for the rest of the days she will be staying here”. Wow, the best thing I heard from him since I reached there. I waited for the evening, every second ticked in my ears. But she didn’t come that day.

4th Day!
Next morning I woke up listening to a girl’s voice in nearby bed. She came!!
I somehow adjusted my sleepy face and sat on the bed. It seems that grandma had already started chatting with her. She was beautiful and very homely. She found that I was gazing at her. Its time, I said ‘hi’. She smiled and greeted back. Next 3 days I tried my best to catch her attention. Trying to help her dad to sit in the bed, buying tea, calling nurses for urgent and bringing medicine for them also..etc. Let’s make it simple – I became a mother Teresa!! But I still didn’t talk to her much. Just one word questions and answers.

5th & 6th Days!
That evening I was sitting in the central garden. There were very less people around. Garden was like a new born baby who still grows. All plants stood with a height below to my chest. It was the time for night flowers like jasmine to start evolve. I looked at them and sat for a long time. I had a nokia 1100 that time. Simply called few friends and spoke. Time was dragging. Suddenly that girl came and sat on the other edge of my bench. I got frozen. Couldn’t say a single word. But she started talking. Just like speaking with someone whom we know each other. Time flew away and I still note it as one of my finest evening.

7th Day!
It was the discharge day for grandma. The girl’s dad was supposed to wait a day more. I didn’t wanted to go. so l asked the nurse whether she feels real healthy or not, grandma gave me a killing look as if she read my mind. We packed our belongings and came out. I could say only a bye to her as my uncle was around. We came out from the hospital. Suddenly an idea hit me. I told my uncle that I forgot to take something and rushed towards the ward. As I expected she was standing beside a pillar in front of the garden. She gave a surprising smile. I didn’t had much time, so hurriedly asked her contact number and she gave it.

##memories rest in peace 😉

Letters, a symbol and emotion of time


Letters are the symbol of fallen years, which reminds me of a time when all kinda new gen communication medias were absolutely strange to us. I guess only the kids of earlier 90’s like me will have such memories. Today I was watching a movie and there I noticed mentioning the letters. I remember the days when I used to sit with my mom on the verandah awaiting the postman for the letters from my dad. He used to write twice a month from his workplace. When the section of kids comes then my mom will make me sit near and read it aloud for me. That was really a great time. Every letter used to bring some happiness around!

Then I grew up from trousers to pants and started writing my own letters, love letters of course! I wrote for myself and even for my friends. From them I used to take a small fee for that in the form of chocos most the time. I remember 1 incident in higher secondary. Once a friend of mine requested to write a love letter for him. It was a sudden request and so I was not ready with the lines. Then few quotes from last nights TV show came in my mind and I wrote the same as tag line of the letter -“I have dreams, you have dreams; let’s share our dreams”. I blindly believed that no one is gonna find that it is stolen. But the girl was a fan of that show and my friend got nicely ashamed in front of her. Hope you can guess the climax.

Also I remember an another story which happened during high school. It was a vacation time of around 2 months. So one of my friend couldn’t wait that long to have a chat with his bestie. He bought an open card(it costs 1 rupee I believe) and sent it to his friend. He had written so many bad words and his friend’s nick names also in that. He didn’t remember that it was an open card and therefore any one can read it, even the postman. The card was successfully delivered to his parents hands! This climax also I am leaving to your imagination.;)

Last month when I went to hometown me and my mom had to check some old documents from shelf for some bank related purpose. Suddenly few old letters fell down under my feet. I took them and checked, mom said those are the letters which my dad and grandpa sent to her years back. She said she was just keeping them for memories. I smiled and then smelled those letters. They were carrying all the scent of a gone time, it was awesome. I read few of them and kept back to its place.

These days no one is using letters. We have whatsapp, fb, e-mails, lane, we-chat..so and so. Obviously many advantages; I must agree. But still letters are the symbol or an emotion of an old time. Letters taught us the eagerness and happiness of waiting…

A passing cloud of my sky


Just now came back after a second show and lit up a cigar. It seems like a sleepless night, so thought to scribble something. This was there in my mind since few months. The word that she used to mention about her role in my life disturbed me all the time. While hanging on the doorstep of office bus, when I see the figureless fumes of my cigar and when I stare at my computer monitor at office..all the time.

“Passing cloud” – that’s what she mentioned. To my knowledge I am damn sure that she don’t read any books and obviously not fond of literature. So I wondered how she got that prefect word which is so small but meant a lot. It was the childhoodof our friendship, days when we started to speak. One day somehow she figured out what feel I have on her. And she told this, I remember each and every word of it – ‘I can’t be anything in your life, I won’t be a major part of it. What all I am is a passing cloud. A small cloud which comes in a wind and stays in your sky for a bit. And when the wind blew again, I am gone’.

This is what she said. Honestly I would agree that it’s true. Some people are like that, they are not meant to be in our life. Let me bore you a little. Shakespeare said that life is a drama and we all are the actors. And here is my note to it –‘only we got the permanent role, and few got guest roles in it’. The only thing you can do is make people happy. Because our happiness lay on it. Being happy with the life we have is pretty sometimes. Also at times we have to understand that people can’t always show their actual feelings on us. They might have agreeable reasons on that. Then we have to get a little matured, like being with them in the whole life in the role they wish us to be. We have to get to know what their heart speaks. Trust me it helps.

If you are not matured upto it then there is the second resolution. There is an old Facebook message –‘sometimes you have to let people go. If they are meant to be in your life, then they will come back. And if they don’t then pack your bag for a solo journey. You are not too tired to set it up, are you?

#hope i bored 😉