Monday, April 23, 2007

Selfish Traveller

Last week I had been to kerala for my daughter's 'Iruvathettu kettu' and naming ceremony. After a lot of searching and discussion, myself and my wife finalized our daughter name as : Anagha (meaning :sinless). Thanks to all our colleagues and relatives who suggested and forwarded many names. The function went off well and was attended by relatives from both mine and my wife's behalf. Our child was introduced to the new relatives and on the other end the relatives got promoted to different designations like my grandmother became great grandmother, parents became grandfather and grandmother, likewise ammavan, kochamma, vallyachan, etc.

I went to kerala only for three days, only to attend the function. I had informed my wife before my onward journey to kerala, to block the return bus ticket because due to summer vaccation and festival season there were chances of not getting the ticket. My wife contacted the Bus travel agent at Kottarakara over phone got one ticket blocked to bangalore for 19th April. I reached kerala and on 18th April I once again contacted the Booking agency to reconfirm about the blocked ticket. The lady replied that one seat is blocked in the name of Sudhi. I inquired if it is okay if I paid and collected the ticket on the day of travel before boarding bus. The lady replied that it is okay.
19th April, afternoon 1300 hrs I reached the Bus Booking Agency. I paid the ticket amount and collected the boarding pass. The lady informed that my seat number is 20 and the bus is SPS Travels. The bus starts from Adoor which is around 15 kms from kottarakara. she informed that I will be provided dropped till Adoor by another bus. Everything was okay, I waited for the pickup bus. Some other passengers were also waiting for the pickup bus. The bus arrived at 1430 hrs, Myself and the other co-passengers got into bus. We reached Adoor where the SRS travel bus was waiting for us. So far so good.

I got into the bus and was trying to locate my seat. Seat No. 20. To my surprise... I saw somebody sitting on Seat No. 20....that too a girl. I asked her seat number, she replied - Seat No. 19. She shifted to her seat. I bet that the girl might have also been surprised to see that her next seat partner will be a Male. The girl might have been around 19 or 20 yrs old. I went to the person who seemed to be the incharge of ticket checking of the bus and asked him if any other vaccant seat is available in this bus. He replied that the Bus is full and it is not at all possible. I came back to my seat and made myself comfortable on my seat. Suddenly a middle aged man came beside me with a smile and told me that the girl is her daughter who is going to bangalore for nursing course. He then requested me if I can just get her the city Bus to Magadi Road after reaching Bangalore . I told him that I will be getting down before the last stop so it is not possible for me to show her the bus to Magadi Road. The smile on the face of that man disappeared and after talking to his daughter he got off the bus. I too was also in a totally confused and sort of angry mood. The girl had a big bag that she had kept it by the side of her leg and somehow whe had adjusted herself. She was continously looking out of the window. The bus was rushing ahead through the Ernakulam Highway. The movie 'Vellinakshatram' was being played in the Bus. I was totally lost in my own thoughts. I was thinking that how this girl who is travelling for the first time to Bangalore, is going to reach her destination. I remembered the face of the girl when her father said goodbye to her, I could see that she was trying very hard to prevent the tears to flow from her filled eyes. I soon fell asleep and when I woke up it was 8.30 pm and the bus had stopped for dinner at a hotel near Thrissur. I had brought my dinner from home, I had my dinner, had a walk outside. Everybody in bus got down but the girl was still on her seat, she was having her dinner. Maybe her parents might have asked her not to get down the bus inbetween. The bus started and I got in, A part of my mind was tempting me to start a conversation with the girl but another part was holding me back. The girl soon closed her eyes and seemed to be sleeping. Suddenly my thougts took a new shape. My new born child's face came to my mind and I felt that tomorrow maybe if my daughter is in such a situation, then???? Suddenly I made up my mind and thought that I too will get down at the last stop and help this girl board the bus to the destination and then only I will go to my house. With all these thoughts I slept off .
The fresh, cold air coming through the bus window made me awake from my sleep. The bus had reached Bangalore. The girl was still staring outside through the window. See turned to me and asked where to get down? I draw a route map over a piece of paper and told her how to get the city bus to Magadi Road. The bus stopped at Madiwala and I took my luggage to get down. The girl was silently looking outside. I asked whether she wants me to accompany me to the last stop and get help her in getting the bus to her destination. She declined and said that she will find the way. I could see a small smile for the first time across her lips, I dont know what that smile meant, was it a sarcastic smile at me for not helping her or was it a smile for thanking me....thanking me for the safety that she felt till now. I took my luggage and got down from the bus and walked towards the bus stop.
The next two days various questions kept haunting me... ...has she reached her destination?, did she make a call to her parents who are waiting at kerala to hear that she had reached safely, why have I became so selfish for not helping a girl in need?, why..........why.... why....? I am still trying to find the answers to these questions......

Friday, April 13, 2007


The two reasons of my watching 'Veyil' was firstly it was from the production house of Director Shankar and secondly it is going to be shown at the Cannes film festival this year. The story is told throught the protagonist Murugesan (Pasupathy) who recalls his childhood in a village near Virudhanagar. His father is a butcher who works hard to bring up his four children two boys and two girls and has a happy family. Murugesan is the eldest one and khatir (Bharath) is his brother. The first image that we see is that of the two boys together selling blood from the goats their father – a butcher – has sliced up. And this scene makes us aware that what these kids have been exposed to at that early age. Murugesan has a weakness for movies (especially MGR films) that are screened in a local theatre. One day his father catches his red-handed from the theatre and severly punishes him -- beaten, stripped naked, tied up and left in the sun without food for hours. Unable to bear the humiliation thereafter, he runs away from home after stealing some of his mother's jewellery and cash.
Murugesan reaches a small town and there he spends all his money watching movies. After he loses all money watching movie he is taken care by the projectionist of that local cinema theatre (I bet that that the director was inspired by the italian movie Cinema paradiso). The theatre projectionist teaches Murugesan about how to operate the projection system and in this way Murugesan grows and becomes the operator in the local theatre. He falls in love with Thangam, the daughter of the tea shop owner opposite to the theatre. They plan to get married but Thangam's father does not like this relation and one day he along with other villagers bash Murukesan. The love ends in a tragedy with Thangam forced to kill herself and Murukesan left stranded alone. Murukesan startly drinking heavily and later the theatre also gets closed down. Murugesan is out of job and at this point his mentor, the thatre projectionist asks him to go to his native village. So after 20 years Murugesan goes back to his village to meet his parents and brother and sister . He goes to his house but his father does not allow him to enter the house as he still hates him. But his brother Kathir is overjoyed in getting his brother back and he take him to the house. From here on the movie follows the mental turmoil of Murugesan as he feels that he could not become a responsible son and a elder brother. Murugesan finds himself totally a misfit in the world. He is a loser everywhere. His father and sisters does not like him. He has nothing to do at home and at is not allowed to work at his brother’s place as he does not kknow any other job. He fights with his emotions and thinks that he has wasted his life and has nothing to do.

There are other sub plots in this movie like - kathir's love story, kathir's enemity with the ex-employer, Murukesan's child hood sweetheart relationship with Murukesan etc. But it is actually Murukesan's story that stays with us long after we had finished watching the movie. The stalwart Pasupathy is undoubtedly the star of the film with his poignant portrayal of the ill-destined Murugesan. His composure, dead pan expressions, happiness and tears are real and touching. Watch the movie just for watching a superb acting by Pasupathy.

Vishu Kani

സ്നേഹം നിറഞ്ഞ വിഷു ആശംസകള്‍

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Life’s Little Instruction Book

I just got this from a website. Found it quite interesting.
  • Have a firm handshake.
  • Look people in the eye.
  • Sing in the shower.
  • Own a great stereo system.
  • If in a fight, hit first and hit hard.
  • Keep secrets.
  • Never give up on anybody.
  • Miracles happen everyday.
  • Always accept an outstretched hand.
  • Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
  • Whistle.
  • Avoid sarcastic remarks.
  • Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 per cent of all your happiness or misery.
  • Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out.
  • Lend only those books you never care to see again.
  • Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all that they have.
  • When playing games with children, let them win.
  • Give people a second chance, but not a third.
  • Be romantic.
  • Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
  • Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.
  • Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for your convenience, not the caller’s.
  • Be a good loser.
  • Be a good winner.
  • Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.
  • When someone hugs you, let them be the first to let go.
  • Be modest. A lot was accomplished before you were born.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.
  • Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
  • Live your life so that your epitaph could read, No Regrets!
  • Be bold and courageous.
  • When you look back on life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the one’s you did.
  • Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
  • Remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who helped you.
  • Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.
  • Visit friends and relatives when they are in hospital; you need only stay a few minutes.
  • Begin each day with God and some of your favourite music.
  • Once in a while, take the scenic route.
  • Send a lot of Valentine cards. Sign them, ‘Someone who thinks you’re terrific.’
  • Answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy in your voice.
  • Keep a note pad and pencil on your bed-side table. Million-dollar ideas sometimes strike at 3 a.m.
  • Show respect for everyone who works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job.
  • Send your loved ones flowers. Think of a reason later.
  • Make someone’s day by paying the toll for the person in the car behind you.
  • Become someone’s hero.
  • Marry only for love.
  • Count your blessings.
  • Compliment the meal when you’re a guest in someone’s home.
  • Wave at the children on a school bus.
  • Remember that 80 per cent of the success in any job is based on your ability to deal with people.
  • Don’t expect life to be fair.

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