Saturday, September 19, 2015

Recoup after a Dupe


To be nameless is not to be shameful. So what, a rose does not cease being a ‘rose’ if called by another name. So said the Bard “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" is a frequently referenced part of William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet seems to argue that it does not matter that Romeo is from her rival's house of Montague, that is, that he is named "Montague."

In most of my blogs, my characters are either nameless or have fictitious names. The flesh, bones and blood inset in them makes them remarkable. Who knows, one day I may talk about myself with a fictitious (fictional?) name, no, not a pen name. Huh! I know they will not spend a ‘penny’ to sue me. Hereafter, even when these characters (named) flow down my pen, I will not spare them my frank outbursts in a stingy way – a word, a line (140 characters), a paragraph or a page. So beware. At times, I can be panegyric.
The human race began with Manu, Adam or a ‘treatise from Darwin’. But we all last till the brain can  think and tick over. Stop gloating about what you can ‘think’ and you cannot. A neurology researcher, Kim Suozzi hardly 24, from Arizona in the US did not survive cancer and passed away in January 2013. But Kim’s boyfriend Josh tried ‘cryonics’. Her ‘brain’ would be ‘frozen’ so as to help future researchers to know how a 23-year old’s brain functions. Now that can contribute to a lot of useful information for the student community in neurological research. Does that give extra power for scholars & researchers to cash in on the subject? Stall the emotion but do not unduly hover around materialistic gains.
Gain means power, power means giving way to fanning out sops to the undeserving.

“Power corrupt” minds

Even if we have a series of discussing techniques in cleansing the mind, it has become imperatively impossible to disentangle clutter.
Clutter in any form creates an unrelenting virus. The more man tries to ‘disentangle’, the more he gets caught in the process of inviting hassles. The refined way of thinking simple no longer exists. Somehow the जुगाड़ ’ gets in the way. This gives rise to crimes in small lots. I must say the social media has a direct hand in creating thoughts that evolve a जुगाड़  method of handling problems. The substantive or traditional methods have lost meaning and purpose. All are looking for ‘short-cuts’ to success. If when we get hold of a virus that leads us to success, who will say ‘No’. I, too, have fallen prey to this virus.

If I visit the ‘multiplex’ theatre with the intent of seeing a film the window that beckons the maximum audience is the better film. Thank God, here a section of the audience has good taste. Then if you crave for a couple of tickets you may take a जुगाड़ plunge.
The ‘power’ I just spoke about is affording something to show off in the given situation and that is the money power.

Sleaze and money are ‘fevicol’ chums

Speaking of money, till date, nobody denies that sleaze does not draw money. One such example, a heinous murder blown out of proportion is to hammer in  that this network exists and laughs and guffaws its way to the bank. Note those entities who move slyly through sleazy alleys lead to bigger and better propositions and avenues of amassing wealth.
This ‘glut’ of wealth is generally unaccounted and hence not taxable. Get it right – sleaze, हवाला , and murder form the Bermuda triangle of spirally politics. Whether it is spiraling upwards or downwards is dependent on how objective and conscious you are. Some instances below from ‘observations’ in my lifetime:
*He (in Mumbai) runs a gambling ‘den’ the interiors lead you to a dancing ‘den’ and sleeping ‘den’ – then where?
*Mother-daughter duo (in Mumbai) running a classical dance ‘class’ for the ‘classy’ crowd – then where?
*He(in Chennai) is a wholesaler of asafoetida, a condiment, quite pungent but repulsive if stored in huge lots at the entrance of a dwelling. The sacks lead you to a sparkling drawing room that is carpeted red and lit with dim red lights. Oops quite scary! – you know where to go?
I quote these above instances from ‘observation’ while on a beat but was unable to put it in print.

Two sides of a coin

I need not expatiate on the brighter side which may have this shine from ‘sleazy’ stuff and the dimmer side is not penury but a kind of discreet and righteous way of earning a fortune. Mind you ‘bequeathed’ money generally allures you to go the wrong way. A deft handling needs financial consultants who also can be wayward. A ‘crook’ operates like many as a stock broker and fleeced Rs 25k initially in the ‘hope’ ('Ether' in reality means the dough will disappear in no time) to make a fortune with stocks. He duped my kin by drawing more cash for more stocks better still doing it through messages on your ‘smart’ phone, which is not actually smart, Huh! Finally after threatening the guy with a law suit he retreated but flashed a superb picture of swanky car,on WhatsApp and the creature was wearing a new suit modeling in front of his car. But we got rid of him. Beware of stock brokers.

Have you had such ‘dupe’soups? Keep it on the oven and serve it cool.May you never be duped Take Care.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Trends tend to be a millstone



Avarice, indulgence or habitual fascination can run alongside a track that initially appears to be a trend. This trend grows to a phenomenal proportion that anybody withdrawing from it is MAD. This is apparent in a luminary, could be a tycoon, a porn artist, a singer, a musician or anybody who has appealed to your eyes or ears.
At times this fascination can be attractive to the sense of palate or touch. We, as humans, do not revel in tickling our senses. Basically it is a swing / hop / leap from one fascination to the other.

Knock Knock “your social duty”

My ‘virtual’ interest in drawing a virtual audience is not for soul-searching but just slapping the reader to tell him who he is or where he is. Basic preoccupation aside, the youth today prefer to chat about ‘trending’ matters to measure how many ears he can prick (pick). The chat prolongs to cover most consumer products from shoe laces to hats.

Misleading Ads

Sometimes the chat meanders to pick human preferences – a star, a starlet, a neighbor or a colleague. It is immaterial whether the person concerned is a male or a female. If it is a female, men pamper their ears and eyes with a ‘twisted’ chat about curls, waves of hair to nail and nail polish. Recently a top cosmetic brand (National) indulged in how a lipstick can enhance a pout. For two and a half days, men drooled over pouting lips and women too, dug further into their pockets for indulging in lipsticks. This trend faintly passed on to a condom ad model promoting comments from all and sundry quoting a politician.  Now that is going too far and sexist in content.

Indulgent Magic
                                                       
Recently I happened to watch a TV serial ‘Carbon Arrow’ (spelt wrong) effect with a family friend who is simplistically oblivious about shoe laces and perfumes. Oh, no! Was I in the wrong company? She just chose to visit shops, do window shopping in the hope that the magician ‘playing’ salesman would entice her with goodies.


Sedentary hobbies

What’s that? Does one have that kind of hobby unless it is writing poetry, documenting mundane matters, correcting answer booklets of students? The last one is interesting because you are mentally lifted to surf the varying wavelengths of students and it can be fun if you are a language teacher.

Dance, baby, dance!

The other diagonally opposite activity would be to judge a dance reality show on television even if the sponsors can afford three judges, you may be the fourth on a couch. And this fourth judge wears feathers that others of the same kind have, I mean, companions. Then when this fourth category of judges encounters contradictions it results in a tremor and cacophony (broken cups, dismantled furniture or torn curtains). An utter disgrace to social behaviour.

I am breathless. So if you do not know the difference between slog and sloth. One is a noun and the other is a verb. Please choose the verb.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Friends or fiends .....blame the roots

Om Sri Ganeshaya Namaha. 


A great start to my new blog .A baby step to define Avadhani. An Avadhani is a scholar in subjects like grammar , prosody , multi-tasking skills......who faces an oral test (special to Telugu Litt). This test analyses his memory power, his prosaic rendition, his ability in multitasking based on his knowledge of  the religious scripts.Of course the story mentioned below has no link to the real Avadhani except nomenclature.
Avadhani, in the story by Tilak is skilled at speech...whatever it was; he was expressing softly, smoothly, solemnly, blending it all with special pity and tenderness.

Avadhani ....a manipulative man
( Before speaking about the man let me tell you how this character has grown in my mind though it was created by another Indian writer)
He said," With fruit, flower,leaf or even water"--ancestors said - God is easy to please.Then why ask for cash donation".
To build faith one needs a temple, to secure the temple one needs a wall.To build a wall one needs money.

The etched character...

Avadhani a member of the temple committee was solely responsible for donations from villagers.He did attempt to bait Gavarayya the hero.

He tried his best to squeeze out cash from the 'Scrooge' like Gavarayya, who had an ugly exterior but a divine interior. It happens when a man who lived a wretched life, earned money in a wretched manner he could not be indifferent to human values.

"With fruit, flower, leaf or even water"--ancestors said--God is easy to please.Then why ask for cash donations. To build faith one needs a temple, to secure the temple one needs a wall.To build the wall one needs money.
Avadhani a member of the temple committee was solely responsible for donations from villagers.He did attempt to bait Gavarayya (The hero of the story 'The Man who saw God' by Telugu writer-D.B.G.Tilak) .

Sorry this is no critical appreciation of a simple story but one tends to look for identification in real life like Avadhani & Gavaryya


Bonded to unbond

So close was the relationship between the Keshavans and and Panikkers, little did they realise that one day they would turn foes.Too early to predict.

Keshavan was a daily wage earner in a big  godown that stocked refined coir.
"The quality of coir is losing its original coarseness, " said Karupilla ,
 the village headman.Little had he fathomed the consequences of global warming. The Western side of the globe has been corroding off its shores due to excessive heat that constantly
 denied moisture to these palms.Most palm groves are turning yellow from green.This directly affects the coconuts and the COIR naturally.
More than a century ago jute was replaced by indigo so also coir may seek a synthetic substitute. Any substitute is sub-standard but the earth keeps revolving and its inhabitants keep pace with it wearily.

The Panikkers generally stuck to second 'hand' labour. Labour here refers to manual labour.In Kerala where trade unionism occupies a kingly status the manual labourers are kingly subjects. Their services are in great demand.The Panikkers are like those middlemen who are polished and smooth in talk but when they encounter trouble from muscular  men they slink into the shadows.


An innocuous utterance



 Keshavan could be referred to an 'Avadhani' as he was always a know-all person who introduced Panikker to business. A scholar in one's field--- Avadhani. When the first profit fell on Panikker's lap, the two friends longed for a binge which turned from the casual to the wild.
It was then that Keshavan prophesied to Panikker that their friendship would see bad days since money is the route to all evil (Money the root of all evil) .

 Destiny sometimes overhears unwelcome words.How the Ks and Ps got friendly were driven through a whirlwind of circumstances.
 Then came that Providential event that spelled disaster for 'friendship'. Had he dissuaded his daughter to marry a cousin of Panikker may be the camarederie would have lasted. The tryst of faith did not deter the lovers to elope.
Sneha and Paddu became friends at the institute of Oceanography where marine technology was not as tough as rocket science.

The  two scored grades and flew to Malaysia to slog and build a nest. How are we different from animals and birds. The only difference is that we should show due diligence and allegiance to our flock.The pair  was ill-starred and within a few months they parted ( Dark clouds are evil omen). Here the dark clouds refer to separation. At times women take separation more soberly and men do not. Paddu was hurt , left for a deep sea assignment and did not return . The shores of  Ks and Ps got eroded which fell like a curse for the two families.Sneha was refused return to the family home in Kerala, nor could she visit her parents-in- law.

How could the K's and P's get friendly again? The first generations were friendly neighbours barring the Sneha & Paddu episode. The second generation was smarter but later, quite naturally  the socio-economic disparities dug a fissure (after the tragic death of Paddu) that split open the link and the third generation gradually flew out to search a new identity.

The link rusted...

Mukesh Keshavan  runs a decent showroom in Kochi  but Suresh Panikker preferred the suburbs where land is exchanged for gold .Now when land is in question can we ignore brick and mortar.Yes they are the conniving companions of 'land' these days.
Reverting to the absence of Avadhani (in the story mentioned earlier) , we only imagine a silent war of deals and payments that form the crust of advancement and affluence.Morality and scruples become underdogs, sometimes spineless , compelled to comply with underhand dealings.

The so called protagonists, M.Keshavan and S. Panikker are now sailing on the seas of wealth which will never bring them ashore. Surfing on these waves of Fortune, the surfer feels his sins will wash away the sins by undercurrents and then settle like silt on the seabed.Good days wind up faster with the passage of time. Nobody is eternally content.
The swords were crossed and two fortunate business men parted ways. Then one fine day day S.Panikker despatched Income Tax sleuths to embarrass M.Keshavan. The latter leaked information about his compatriot's booty buried in the forests of Nilgiris. The end of this apparent friendship witnessed a dog fight that offers bites, scratches and blood stains bartered for a feigned friendship.

Today they(both) offer fruit, flower and tulsi leaves to appease the Gods. Really God can be pleased in simple ways.Do we need an Avadhani if God decides destiny ?
The Gap that engulfs the vulnerable with Path Makers on one side and Path Breakers on the other.