Category Archives: General

Are your replies to work emails dependent on the designation of the Sender?


Sending emails. One of those things that any employee does more than, perhaps actually working. 🙂

But then, do you treat all emails equally? I am sure the answer is a resounding ‘No‘.

Spam is usually relegated to the Spam bots to be moved away to a separate folder. And even if some find their way to your inbox, they are often treated with utter disdain, or in other words, Shift + Delete.

Corporate communication, unless it has the magic words like ‘promotion’, ‘compensation’ or ‘reorganization’, are often given only a few microseconds of eye time, before being ignored for eternity.

But what about emails from your colleagues? What do you usually do with them. I hate to generalize, but let me be blunt and tell you what most of us would do.

1. If the email is from your supervisor, or from someone whose designation trumps yours, then I bet all attention is given to the email, and a response is sent in the shortest time possible to respond.

2. If the email is from someone in the same rank as you, then usually the response is on a need basis, sometimes even depending on how you are feeling that day. 🙂

3. If the email is from someone whose designation is lower than yours, then more often than not, that email is parked somewhere, to be responded sometime later, like when your workload is light, or when you need to take a break, or maybe until the next ‘Gentle Reminder’, or two.

4. If the email is from someone you don’t know, then it is a whole different story. Let’s be honest. How many of us have right clicked on the sender’s name, tried to find the designation of the sender, who they report to, and if ‘the coast is clear’ relegate it to the state of ignorance, for eternity.

4.a. Sometimes, that random sender does play the game a little smarter, and makes sure to copy your supervisor in the email being sent. This does help in some instances when at least the email is given a little bit of more respect (as in point 1), but often gets a response only if the supervisor follows up on the email.

So my question is, why are we so ‘racial’ to emails, and why do we treat them so differently? Isn’t it just another window into how we are, and our behavior in real life? A question is a question. To answer or not, should not depend on who is asking the question. I’ve always believed if there is a direct question to you, it is always good manners to at least acknowledge the sender. You may be between something, and may not be able to get to the email immediately. But just sending out, “I will get back to you on this shortly”, sometimes makes a world of difference.

Respond to all the emails, no matter who sends them. It’s not just a good idea. It’s the right thing to do. 

So, the next time when you get an email that needs your response, and you know that you out-rank the sender and chose to ignore it. Or if you are itching to right click on the name and see what the sender’s designation is and who they report to. Think about this, there may be a time when you may need to urgently reach out for responses from colleagues who out-rank you. However high you are up on the corporate ladder, there will always be someone above you, who you may need to email and expect a time-sensitive response. And by the sheer law of physics, what goes around, comes around.

And Karma, as they say… Well you know what I mean. 🙂

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The Facebook Patriot!


Listen to us, We’re The Facebook Patriots…
Here we are, revelling our Independence Day.
Before we hit ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ this on our wall.
Care to listen to what the Indian in us would say?

Tricolor on our chests, joy and fervor in our hearts.
It used to be a matter of real pride celebrating This day.
Videos of patriotic songs, photoshopped posters on Facebook.
15th August, today means ‘Chak De India’ on the bluray.

We curse the rising price to buy life today.
Post information comparing petrol prices around the earth.
And yet when it comes to us, are neither judicious nor wise.
Expensive cars, fast bikes, we spend our life in mirth.

And why shouldn’t we, for we earn in a year, and spend,
What our parents spent their enitre lifetime to save.
That thing called inflation, may have gone through the roof.
And yet we go on treats, and needless parties rave.

We curse the Government and pity the weakening Rupee.
And yet secretly smile at the exchange rate.
For we buy home plots, and build swanky flats,
With money in the U.S, we pray for the Dollar to inflate.

We only shake our heads at the soldier dying on the border.
Blame the ‘soft’ Government on not taking a stand.
But the usually mute, get vociferous on Facebook timeline,
When a 3 hour movie doesn’t release on the day it was planned.

We ask for a separate state as if it were a piece of cake.
And burn the country for it, like a bunch of fools.
And around the time they give in, we yell we don’t want any.
We show our dear politicians how to divide and rule.

We take a special interest to ridicule our Mute hapless PM.
Share posts about ‘The Madam’, ‘Son’ and ‘Son-in-law’ with glee.
We talk about this PM ‘Modi’fication as if some magic wand.
Truth is, not one man, but the whole nation awakening is the key

We see our sisters and daughters suffer in silence everyday.
Eve teasing and rapes, we condemn them, we rightfully curse.
On Facebook, we talk about Woman Independence and empowerment.
And yet never realize, just words and inaction is equally worse.

And no, oh Facebook Patriot, I don’t hold this against you.
For we all are travellers on the same sinking boat.
While we may cry, laugh or ridicule at our plight.
Frankly, We know not what to do to keep us afloat.

-x-

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Up & Above


KING This post is published as an entry for the KING AND QUEEN OF 55F CONTEST – The first ever unique, challenge for the coveted title in micro fiction category. To catch the crowning moments and also be part of future editions and other contests, visit and register at Cafe GingerChai

—x—

Up & Above

Yayyy… They shouted, trying to match the thundering roar above them…

Kids clapped their hands in glee as they saw the smoke making all strange shapes like a careless child’s crayon on a blue canvas. “Isn’t it beautiful?” a few eager mom’s asked their awestruck toddlers, who just could not stop watching them and nodding.

—x—

Kids screamed for their lives, while their mothers tried to find them a safe harbor. With hope in their heart and a prayer on their lips, they just hoped that this wouldn’t be that rain of fire that was to burn them alive.

Vrooom… They thundered past overhead like bullets piercing the blue sky…

—x—

Yayyy… They shouted, trying to match the thundering roar above them…

The military jets zipped past the home air-space much to the delight of people waving from below.

They entered enemy territory and had to bomb a target, near a civilian colony.

Vrooom… They thundered past like bullets piercing the blue sky…

It was War…

—x—

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Filed under 55 Fiction, Current Affairs, General, Uncategorized

2010 in review


The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 7,000 times in 2010. That’s about 17 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 44 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 139 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 27mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was March 22nd with 132 views. The most popular post that day was The UniverCell Chennai Indiblogger Meet.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, twitter.com, cafe.gingerchai.com, digg.com, and indiblogger.in.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for drunk, idli vada sambar, overtime, short story about friendship, and idli vada.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

The UniverCell Chennai Indiblogger Meet March 2010
35 comments

2

Never Too Far – Friendship Short Story August 2010
3 comments

3

Took My Breath Away… March 2010
6 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

4

Short Story: Humor: A Trunkload of Love April 2010
10 comments

5

Chronicles of a ‘Non-Drinker’ (Hic!) February 2010
9 comments

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A Dozen Red Bricks


A dozen red bricks, on top of his head.
Carried a soul, to earn his daily bread.

His tottering steps, burnt dark in the sun.
The bricks were laid, his job was done.
A shadow waved on his face, a wave of respite.
He pulled his weary head up, with all his might.

In a distance, on a pole, newly painted white.
Fluttered the tricolour, oh what a pretty sight.
‘Twas a sight to behold, what the poor soul had seen.
A proud wave of the banner, in Saffron, White and Green.

A smile showed his lips, and then faded away.
He thought to himself, what was he today?
Only then he then realized, his country was free.
And had been so, for long, he realized – years Sixty Three.

This freedom was a gift from his father too.
A freedom fighter, his stories he always knew.
In a way, like his father, he was a fighter as well.
His father fought the British. He fought poverty’s spell.

He saw near the pole, in whites, people, very few.
Dragged out of their beds, their faces rue.
None seemed to realize, what the day actually meant.
They hoisted the flag, and back home they went.

An ignorant world, locked up in their homes,
Stuck to their TVs, and their cushioned thrones.
He wondered why, only he had to work today,
Where was his freedom, on Independence Day?

He realized soon, he was much better than them.
Among heaps of coal, a rare polished gem.
Although to poverty and despair, he had succumbed,
He harbored a heart, that understood freedom.

He had no money, he had no wealth,
But he was free to do, what he felt.
His country didn’t give him much, he did confess.
But freedom was his wealth, which he did possess.

And he carried on with his chore for the day.
He wanted to do something for his country, his way.
He knew no miracles, to make it quick.
So he built his country, brick by brick.

A dozen red bricks, on top of his head.
Carried a soul, to earn his daily bread.

__________________________________________________________________

Also published on N-Zine at http://www.n-zine.com/2010/08/dozen-red-bricks.html

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Filed under Complaint, Current Affairs, General, Poetry

Friday the 13th Special: Overtime


“Some time to be back from a vacation.” Viji thought to herself, in her deserted cubicle of her deserted floor, as she saw the clock creep past 11.00 PM on a lazy Friday night. “Friday is the most horrible day to come back after Vacation.” she mused. “Oh, Why wouldn’t Sathish Sir just give me this day off too.” But Viji herself knew the reason. It was the end of the year, and almost everyone she knew planned their vacations around this period. She was lucky that Mr.Sathish Raman, her boss at office, allowed her the indulgence of a week’s leave on the condition that she would be working overtime from Friday, to cover for the thin workforce at office. The joy of a possible vacation had blinded Viji’s little eyes so much, that she had immediately agreed to the condition. And hence, the sullen soliloquy was a direct consequence of that. She felt worse especially today, when not even a single soul was available in office.

She waited for her printer, to start printing out that 200 page report, as she loaded sufficient paper into the tray, and hit the ‘print’ button. Despite the real-estate boon, Raman Builders could only afford large, primitive, ink-jet printers. She had so wished, that a company like hers, which had grown from a single room establishment near Vadapalani to afford itself a couple of floors on a sufficiently posh commercial building on TNagar, could have thought about investing in a Laser printer. She imagined how simple her job would have been then. Simple, fast and noiseless. Perhaps, a Laser Printer could have saved her from what was about to happen to her that night. Perhaps…

As the inkjet printer commenced the monnotony of churning out hot printed sheets from the slit at its top, something pierced the eerie silence, like a hot knife through butter. A shrill, cry of a man in pain, echoed through the building, sending a cold chill through Viji’s veins. “Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh…” The shriek lasted a few seconds, followed by something hitting the ground, hard. With the air conditioning turned off, and not a soul in sight, one could hear the faintest heartbeat. The eeriness of the sound, made her heart go into overtime, and prompted cold blood to go rushing through her body. She gathered only her wits, leaving the bundle of paper that she had dropped spread across the floor, and rushed to the nearest exit. She ran as fast as her delicate legs could take her, with a fear of someone following her. Now Viji was in no way, a scary cat. No Sir, not by a long shot. She had once walked around mid-night, through her notorious street, dotted with several bars and wine shops, with drunk mortals, allowing a few drops of smelly liquid become more powerful than the muscle in their heads. A lame and foolish act of Viji’s, no doubt, done more in desperation than choice, with which she tried to advertise her bravery to all her friends who were amazed at her courage. But tonight, it was different. Tonight was going to be very different.

As she walked by her floor’s access door, the empty hall-way, which echoed with eager and chatty employees in the morning, reverberated now with the unsure footsteps of a young lady playing Agatha Christie. The printer was still printing that report of hers, and she was secretly glad, that there was something she could hear, to which she could attribute a source to. She moved slowly, measuring each of her steps, with a prayer on her lips. As she approached the switched off lifts, she heard someone running in the stair-well. Fast hurried steps, and heavy panting, which sounded like someone was being chased. Chased, by someone, or perhaps some ‘thing’. The footsteps passed through her floor, and Viji just stood there out of fear. Slowly the sound of the steps faded out. The lifts weren’t working, and her only way out were the stairs. Although, her mind felt otherwise, her footsteps crawled towards the stairs to figure a way out. As she inched near the huge white door with the round glass window, she prayed that she found only an empty stair-case on the other side of the door. As she pushed the heavy door open to a spooky, creaking sound of the hinges, her heart almost stopped beating. Just outside the door, a dark, brooding figure stood with a torch shining at her face. Thankfully for her, she recognized the silhouette before she could pass out of shock.

“Aaaaahhhh! Kannan Thatha? What the hell?” She cried, more out of relief than anything else…

“Aaah… What? Who? Who’s there?” Clearly she had scared the poor, old, Security Guard – Kannan, out of his wits.

“Viji? Viji madam? What are you doing here at this time child? You almost gave me a heart attack there.” said Kannan, as he recognised her lovely little face in the glare of the torch.

Kannan Doraisamy, was an old timer at the office. A security guard by profession, he pre-dated most of the employees at Raman Builders. He sat on his little desk at Ground Floor, and carefully kept a watch at any one or any thing coming into or going out of the building. He had this old world charm around him that made everyone passing him greet him with a warm smile. He called the employees, almost less than half his age, as Sirs and Madams, and they in return honoured him by calling him Thatha or Grandpa. People said he came from a Military background or something, which clearly reflected in his nasty temper. But age had caught up with him. He had withered over the years, shoulders had began to sag, and his imposing baritone was punctuated with bouts of dry cough. But Kannan Thatha, was clearly, the man who protected the employees of Raman Builders. Someone, who Viji was glad to have around her at this time.

“Overtime, Thatha… I was about to leave in another half hour, when I heard someone shout. I got scared and ran out. I am so sorry for having startled…”

Even before Viji could complete her sentence, they heard footsteps again at the floor above them.

“You stay here child. I’ll check that out.” Kannan ordered, as he marched with an absolute resolve to put an end to this.

“No Thatha, I am coming with you.” yelled Viji, as she tried her best to keep up with the aging, yet fit frame of her hero of the moment. Kannan tried to shoo her off his trail, but Viji was way too scared to stay anywhere alone. She tagged along.

As Kannan led the way shining his torch through the dimly lit stair way, he mumbled reassurances to Viji. “Don’t you worry ma, I’ll take care of this. I’ll see who has the guts to enter my building under my watch.” Viji felt comfortable with those words of re-assurance. She was so calm and composed, that she almost did not shriek, when she saw a dark sinister figure standing at the exit of the top floor of the building, shining a torch at them. The figure had a strange build, almost human. Except for the head which looked un-proportionately bigger. The scary silhouette was clearly startled by their presence, and darted into the floor, bursting the door open and blinding Viji and Kannan temporarily by the light from the fully lit fifth floor. Kannan winced for a second, and then darted behind the figure in equal gallop. Viji, needed more time to get her eyes accustomed to the light, and gingerly followed in the direction where the two had disappeared.

As she entered the fifth floor lobby, her heart was pounding like a jackhammer. It was insanely silent there. Silent enough to drive her mad. She thought twice before taking a breath, lest she advertised her whereabouts to that mysterious thing in the fifth floor. She tried to shout out to Kannan, but not even a whimper escaped her terrified lips. as she reached the middle of the lobby, trying to peak in at the other side for any sign of Kannan Thatha, the uneasy silence was broken by the lifts coming to life. As her body trembled at this sudden development, she pacified herself that Kannan might have flicked the switch of the lift. While trying to drive fear out of her mind, she heard hints of a struggle from the direction of the electric mains. As she limped towards the direction of the commotion, she was stopped in her tracks, by a torch being flung in her direction. She immediately recognized the torch as Kannan’s, as she had seen him carry that a lot of times during his inspections.

By this time, Viji decided that she had enough. She wanted to be as far away from this insane commotion, as humanly possible. Gathering all the energy that she could muster, she turned around and hit the button of the lift. She did not want to take the stairs, as she knew that her heart could not handle another scare. The lift reached her floor soon, and she ran into it amidst fast paced footsteps in her direction. She pushed ‘0’ and kept on hitting the close button. “Close… Come on Close the door… God, save me. Please…” she prayed as she kept hitting the button. As the door was about to be closed, a hand jammed in to open the door. Viji’s legs couldn’t hold her now. She collapsed on the floor of the lift, and with her tear laden eyes, she saw a middle aged man enter the lift, forcing the door open, with an expression on his face that could have scared even the boldest on Earth. He wore a monkey cap, with a cheap shawl folded up as a turban on his head, and another shawl covering up his body. He seemed to be trembling too. Viji realized the silhouette. It was the ‘thing’ that stood at the door.

“Don’t hurt me. Please don’t hurt me… Please, God, Please…” She begged, crying her heart out.

He said nothing, looked at Viji with shock, and went to repeat the same exercise that Viji had indulged a few seconds ago. He punched the close button as hard as he could, and waited for the lift to reach Ground Floor.

Those were the longest 30 seconds of Viji’s life. As the lift hit Ground Floor, Viji dashed out of it like a raging bull. The other guy also followed suite, as Viji dashed towards the front exit, she found it locked from inside. Before she decided to give up on her life, she heard a deep, yet trembling sound behind her.

“That gate is closed madam. Please use this.” said the guy who shared the lift with her.

He had got rid of his ugly shawls and stood there wearing a blue full hand shirt, with a logo on his pocket that seemed vaguely familiar. ‘The Creature’ was human after all. Viji strained to look at him, and relaxed after she saw the logo. “Raman Builders Security” it read in bold, as Viji came out of the building, onto the busy TNagar road along with the guy.

“Building Security?” She asked him gingerly, still keeping some distance from him.

“Yes Madam. You must be an employee? I see your ID card.” he enquired.

“You bet I am. And what the hell just happened there? I saw Kannan Thatha running in…” she was cut short.

“Madam. You are right. I saw him too. It was horrible. He just went about running over there. I was so scared that I just screamed my guts out.” he explained.

Viji hinted a smile. Some security guard he was. Scared of just looking at the other Security Guard? Creating such a ruckus and giving a poor employee a heart attack. She shouted at the guy.

“Are you crazy. Don’t you know that it is just Security Thatha, our Kannan Thatha, your senior. Why the hell did you have to shout like that. Look, you must be new, and you are just too paranoid and unfit for this job. I’ll complain to Thatha once I see him. What is your name? Where are you..” She kept on saying, releasing her vented up fear as anger directed at this guy.

“No Madam. Wait. You don’t understand Madam.” the new guy tried to composed himself unsuccessfully, as he continued with a tremble…

“Kannan Mama died 3 nights ago while chasing someone in the fifth floor. He died of a heart attack, running those stairs. I am his Nephew – Karthi. I am supposed to be his replacement.” he whispered, looking at the building, bathing in the full moon’s light, as if sporting a sinister smile.

Viji stood there stunned, fighting the temptation to conveniently fall into the comforting arms of unconsciousness. She realized, that she wasn’t the only one. Someone else had also stayed Overtime at Raman Builders tonight.

*** THE END ***

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The Life of Some


Cosy bed to rest tired limbs for the night.
Three square meals a day, no poverty to fight.
No uncurable ailment to tie you to bed.
A peaceful abode with running water and light.
A loving family to call your own.
Friends to cheer you up when chips are down.
A little bit of money saved away for a rainy day.
A steady little job, to keep life going on.
A blessing of all good things under the sun.
No unnecessary worries, just happiness and fun.

Unfulfilled dreams of many…
…Unappreciated, insatiable, life of some.

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The Garage Door


Team This post has been published by me as a team member of Tiger Trails Team for the SUPER 4 round of Bloggers Premier League (BPL) – The first ever unique, elite team blogging event in the history of blogging world. To catch the BPL action and also be part of future editions and other contests, visit and register at Cafe GingerChai

“This guy must be richer than I thought. Insanely rich.” Narendran Iyer mused to himself, as he nervously rested his old legs on the comfortable couch in the middle of a huge hall, of the palatial bungalow, sipping quietly on to a hot cup of tea, all of which, belonged to the affluent and insanely powerful Rajan family of South Chennai. The Rajans were a well to do, and an equally notorious family in Chennai. They practically ruled the Real Estate scene of the city and every new deal, every new business proposal executed around the city, had to have their stamp of approval. Police, Politicians, Businessmen, were their puppets and the current Chief Minister of the state was a not so distant relative of the Rajans’. Power was their middle name. And Narendran sat there hoping for an audience with the young one of the family, Sarvesh Rajan, at his swank beach house property on the ECR. Sarvesh had a property for sale, and Narendran was interested in buying.

Narendran Iyer was getting his daughter married next month, and he felt buying a beach front bungalow would be the perfect gift to the new couple. He had made some calls, and someone had promptly put him onto Sarvesh. He had fixed an appointment for Sunday at the Rajan Home. And Narendran Iyer was promptly there, on time.

As Narendran sat there, extracting the last drop of the delicious, expensive hill-side tea, from the soaked tea leaves at the bottom of the cup, he was making mental calculation of the price that Sarvesh would quote.  “I hope he realizes that I’m not as rich as him and sells it fairly cheap. What on Earth is he going to do with more money?” he mumbled to himself with a smile. He admired the hall he was sitting in. Marble floors and Italian furniture seemed to be in perfect harmony. A grand stairway, the likes of which he had seen only in the movies, lead to a huge portrait of Mr. Vishwendar Rajan, Sarvesh’s Father, in the centre of the hall. The setting was fit for Royalty. However, the only sore point that Narendran felt, was an old, rusty, open door in a distance which seemed to be leading to the garage. “Hmmm. That doesn’t look right” he strained his neck to get a better look.

“Ahem..” a young voice coughed. “Mama will be down here soon. He is taking his medicines.” announced a young man to Narendran. “I hope you are comfortable Mr. Iyer? Would you care for another cup of tea?” he enquired, looking at the empty cup in Narendran’s hand. “Ah, No… Thank you. I’m fine. Please ask Mr. Sarvesh to take his time.” he said in the politest tone possible, putting the tea cup down on the table. “And you are…?” he hesitantly enquired to the identity of his young host.

“You are new here, aren’t you?” spoke the young boy, not more than 18 year old. His new, juvenile, sprouting moustache was the only counter argument to his eyes, which shone with an intensity much ahead of his age. His casual T-Shirt over his faded jeans could have advertised him as yet any other school/college going youngster, if he hadn’t properly introduced himself “My name is Karthik, Mr. Iyer. Karthik Rajan. I am Sarvesh Rajan’s nephew.” He introduced himself, hinting a dash of pride when he said the last line.

“Of course, of course…” continued Narendran extending his hand for a shake. “The reputation of your family shines in your eyes young man. Glad to meet you. I’m sure you’ll carry on the tradition of…”

“Like I said sir, Mama will be downstairs shortly.” Karthi cut short Narendran’s sweet talk. Narendran nodded and sat back down. His eyes went back to the garage door again. Karthi saw that and he had to chip in. “Mr. Iyer, I think this will be the first time you’d be talking to Sarvesh Mama, isn’t it?”

Narendran nodded in agreement.

“Well in that case Sir, it is my duty to educate you about certain facts and truths that you should keep in mind, before meeting Mama, lest you do not irritate him asking something that you shouldn’t. You do know how much of a hot-headed character he is, don’t you?” continued a solemn faced Karthik.

Narendran nodded and sat in rapt attention.

“Mr. Iyer. I shouldn’t be telling you this. Its a family secret, and not many people know it. But I respect your age sir. And knowing well that you are entering into a business deal with the family, it kind of makes you family as well. Also I see that you just cannot take your eyes off the garage door. There is a rather sinister story attached to it. And that’s the reason why that door has been kept that way. A story which explains Mama’s current condition.” Karthik continued, with Narendran listening to him like an attentive child.

“Sarvesh Mama, had a beautiful wife and a lovely young son. They were his greatest possessions that he guarded fiercely with his life. His life revolved around these two. In short he was the happiest person in the whole wide world. Until that cold, December Morning. That cold fateful December Morning.”

“What happened then young man?” asked a curious Narendran, judging the lump in the throat of the narrator.

“Mama wasn’t at home, as he had to go out on a business meeting. Maami and young Jeeva were at home. Those days, there wasn’t much security at home. We Rajans are peace loving people. We’ve never harmed anyone, and there was no reason for others to hurt us either. But clearly, the family’s success and incredible growth, did not go too well with certain people in the city. A few business rivals got together, and planned to get rid of Mama. Three men their faces covered, armed with sickles and knives, sneaked into the bungalow to bump off the indestructible Sarvesh Rajan. He wasn’t home, but his family was. These innocent looking walls have been witness to a sinister and barbaric act that cannot be put down in words. They killed Maami and the innocent little Jeeva in that very garage. The police later reconstructed the events of that night. They dragged Maami by her hair through these stairs and murdered her in the garage.” he choked. “I can not even imagine the coldness in the heart of a man to look at those innocent eyes of a 5 year old, and then see the light of life fading away from them. They were Barbarians Mr. Iyer. Demons. That innocent looking garage, Sir, has been witness to a gory past.” said a choking Karthik, pointing out to the open door.

“Who would do such a thing to a family?” Narendran shook his head.

“They never found out. There was absolutely no evidence left. The top sleuths of Police landed here, and carried on their investigation for months. They found absolutely nothing. The Rajan family hasn’t taken it lightly either. We still have people trying to sniff out the orchestrators of such a gruesome act. And believe me they will be found. And that day, I hope, Mama will go back to being normal from his present condition. That incident affected Mama’s mental health in a way none of us could imagine. Most people don’t know this sir, but the man you are going to meet today is not in perfect mental health.”

Narendran jumped from his seat.

“Relax Sir. He is not like what you think. He is perfectly normal in every sense. Except that he has not come to terms with the loss of the love of his life, yet. Schizophrenia you see. He keeps looking at that rusty garage door every day and every night, expecting his lovely wife to walk back through the door, with his baby in her hand, smiling at him. We have tried explaining to him, but he gets insanely angry when we try to. His medication has been increased of-late, and that is why he doesn’t make as many public appearances as he used to. My Uncle is ill Sir. I hope you treat him with a respect that an ailing man commands. Please do not ask him anything that might hurt him. Please.” Karthik said with tears in his eyes.

Narendran wiped away his tears and said, “Do not worry young man, God is watching. He’ll bring the evil people who’ve done this to your family, to justice. I know that for sure. And I’m intensely grateful to you, to have shared this grief with me. Do not worry Karthi. The Rajans will see this through.”

Just around that time, a man in his thirties, with unkempt hair and an overgrown stubble, wearing a spotless white dhoti and shirt, descended down the stairs. Karthik wiped his eyes, and addressed him, “Mama. This gentleman is here to see you.”

Narendran clasped his hands, stood up and welcomed Sarvesh Rajan, multi-millionaire, business magnet, Real Estate king and lately the face of the Rajan family. He usually kept a low media profile, but was the most approachable, and the most soft spoken member of the Rajan clan. He had heard stories of his kindness and yet ruthless business acumen of the man. And yet the dark glimpse of the man’s history, made him look at him slightly differently. It was a stark reminder that he was human after all. Beyond the aura of royalty, there existed a man who had lost what he had most cherished. A man who wasn’t well. Then in a minute his eyes turned pensive.

“Hello Mr.Iyer. Sorry to keep you waiting. They say I’m not too well, you see.” Sarvesh extended his hand to Narendran.

“Not at all sir. My pleasure.” Narendran shook his hand.

“Would you like to see the bungalow now? It’s quite close. My secretary will accompany you. We can talk business after you see the property.” Sarvesh offered.

“That would be really great. Sure.”

“But I hope you don’t mind waiting a couple of minutes. I usually ask my wife to fetch the keys. Silly tradition you see. She’s my lucky charm.” Sarvesh chuckled with a dry laugh.

Narendran was shocked. He saw Karthik on the other side, clutching his head in despair. Narendran did not know, if he were to pity at the poor state of the man, or humor him by accepting to stay for a while expecting someone who would never return.

“Err…” He muttered.

“It won’t be long Mr. Iyer.” Sarvesh explained pointing to the garage. “She’s in there. You see. Little Jeeva is in there as well I think. Should be out any moment.” he continued, looking gingerly at the door.

Narendran was devastated to see the plight of this man. Why did God choose good men for such a plight, he wondered. He said a silent prayer for the man. He hoped he would realize his loss soon.

“There they are…” cried Sarvesh.

Narendran felt, it wasn’t right for him to stay there anymore, so he started to rise from his seat, when a faint sound of muffled footsteps came from the open door. He sat up with a fright. He turned towards the garage as fast as his body would let him to. What he saw, shook him out of his wits. To his horror, he saw a lady in a red saree, with a baby in her arms, walking out of the door.

“There, see. There they are.” Sarvesh repeated pointing out and breaking into fits of cough.

Narendran looked at Karthik who reached his Uncle’s shoulders and held him softly with grief in his eyes swelling up with tears. Couldn’t the boy see the figures there. Was he sharing the visions of that sick man sitting across him. Was he making him sick as well. Narendran’s heart started beating faster. He rose from his seat and darted out in a flash, fear writ large on his face, with a surprised Vaidi looking at him. Narendran ran as fast his legs could take him, with Sarvesh yelling “Mr. Iyer…? Sir? Hello…”

“There. That patch of dust on your shirt looked hideous.” said Karthik, who dusted off the shoulders of his Uncle’s shirt.

“What’s wrong with him Karthi?” asked Sarvesh.

“Nothing Maama. Nothing at all.” Karthik continued, as he traced the stumbling figure disappear from the room, from the bungalow, and with the sound of a car engine revving up, he figured, from the locality. The man had gone cuckoo, and Karthik cracked a sly smile. He walked towards the portico, a thousand thoughts riding his head on what Mr. Narendran Iyer would be feeling at this point, when suddenly he was startled by a lady in red saree, with a kid in her hand, reaching out to his shoulder.

“Maami… You scared the living daylights out of me.” shrieked Karthi to a beautiful, smiling lady in her late twenties, with a smiling baby in her arms. His aunt walked in with a bowl of unfinished food, and young Jeeva licking the food off his lips.

“There you are. Where were you guys by the way? And what were you doing in that garage?” Sarvesh had all the enquiries directed at his coy wife.

“You know how Jeeva is, don’t you? He and his fussy eating habits are driving me crazy. Your son will only have his meals in your Toyota Corolla, see. And that is why, our garage has sort of become his dining room. How is your cold? Did you take the pills? And Karthi, who is that poor old man who ran away from the house like he had seen a ghost?” asked Sarvesh’s wife.

“Oh, that’s nothing Maami. Just some poor old guy, who I guess was suffering from some mental ailment. Guess the he had one of its mental breakdowns here. Poor thing.” explained Karthik with a glint in his eyes.

“Oh that’s so sad. God bless him.” said his Aunt, as she continued, “Karthi close that wretched garage door now, we should get that lock fixed soon. And someone get that rusty door changed please. It looks quite frightening”

Karthik was more than happy to oblige.

18 year old Karthik Rajan was a student of English Literature. Apparently, Crime Fiction, just happened to be his forte…

——————————————————

Adapted from a short story told to Yours Truly in his childhood by his dear Father. Thanks Dad. 🙂

—x—

This was an excerpt from the Tiger Trails Magazine – The Sunday Roar. Click on the Cover below to enlarge. Click to read the Magazine.

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The Domestic Olympics


Team This post has been published by me as a team member of Tiger Trails Team for the SUPER 4 round of Bloggers Premier League (BPL) – The first ever unique, elite team blogging event in the history of blogging world. To catch the BPL action and also be part of future editions and other contests, visit and register at Cafe GingerChai

It’s a wonderful morning in Suburbia. The Summer Sun is only just up and the stage is perfectly set up for the Weekend Edition of The Domestic Olympics. A very warm welcome to all our dear readers who have joined us from all corners of the world. We are coming to you live from a random household in Suburbia, the venue for today’s games. I am your friendly neighborhood Commentator, and this is The Domestic Olympics.

We’d love to have included a logo for the games, but our players keep adding a new ‘ring’ to the games each day. Jokes aside, this one should be one hell of a Tournament. The Domestic Olympics is one of the oldest sporting events on the face of this planet. There are many versions of these games, played everyday across the world. Our players today, in a way, symbolize all the married brave Men and Women of the planet, who fight it out each day to co-exist. Here’s our tribute to all of them.

Here’s a quick pre-game analysis of our players.

Previous games have seen Her routing the competition by relentlessly overpowering Him in the games and winning quite comfortably. Will today’s result be different? I have a gut feeling it would. So without further delay let’s start off with the Tournament. Here we go…

Waking

And we’re off. The alarm goes off sharp at 6.30 in the morning to kick off the contest. He and She are fast asleep and the annoying alarm attempts to bring them out of their dream world. This is tense… Both of them reach out to find the alarm, but fail. They prod each other to find and shut it off. But both are unmoved. The alarm continues on with its annoying cacophony. This is the real test, to see who can withstand it. Nothing happens for a while, and then… she relents and wakes up. Is this His break? She seeks out the noise maker, hits the stop switch, sees the time, and with a realization that she can have no more of her sleep anymore, wakes up. She tries to wake Him up, but he doesn’t move. She switches off the AC, draws the curtains, and turns on the light… But He sleeps… He wins the first event 1-0. 😀 He is off to a flyer.

Fetching

This event involves our players to fetch the sachets of milk from the gate along with the day’s paper. A relatively easy sport compared to the rest of the games, this is usually made difficult by the sleepy, half-paralyzed state our players usually are in after the first game.

He totters out of the bed making immense effort to reach the couch in the living room. He switches on the TV, when She yells at Him from the kitchen to ‘fetch’ it. He tries to drown it out by increasing the TV volume. She makes an appearance, and pulls out her best move. Hands on hips and a mean stare directed at Him. He switches off the TV instantly. But in a swift move, He clutches his stomach, distorts his face, looks at the toilet, looks at Her, and pleads with an almost choking tone, “2 minutes?”. Nice… He deftly avoids the task, dashing into the toilet, staying there for the next half hour or so. She shakes her head, and goes on to complete the game. He wins this handsomely. 2-0 to Him. 🙂 He is on a roll.

Cooking

He used to excel at this sport in his college days, and when he was a bachelor. But ever since He graduated to being a husband, his skills at this event have waned down considerably, to a point where he now lacks them in good measure. She, having lost out at the first two events, wants to win this one real bad.

She orders him into the kitchen, and asks him to help her out. Helping out, usually means, running the food processor, cutting vegetables, lighting the stove, making rotis and so on. Clearly cooking is not His forte. The jar of the food processor is loose, and the tomato pulp spills out to the kitchen wall. Oops, that’s going to come back to bite him sometime in the future. 🙂 The cut vegetables, hardly look cut at all. She shows him how one slice of his can be further cut down to four more slices. He doesn’t care, he tells her that he’d rather be watching TV than being an ‘overhead’ to her. He burns the roti to prove his point and almost scores 3-0. But She is onto him in a flash. She tells him, that it doesn’t matter if he burns the food, because he’ll have to eat it anyway. A smart move. I think that has scared him. She opens her account impressively. But He still leads 2-1. Closely fought out this one.

Cleaning

Trying to make amends for his loss in the last round, He starts off cleaning in style. He dusts off a little spec of dust on his 32 inch LCD TV, cleans off the remote and settles down on the couch, proclaiming a successful completion of the event. But She has other big plans. She hands him a feather duster, a Vacuum cleaner, a mop and points to all corners of the house. He is devastated. He argues that weekends are for resting. She just does not listen. After all She has a perfect record in these games. So He goes about, with a long face, dusting, vacuuming and mopping the house, under the strict supervision of a smiling Her. And there’s the equalizer. 2 all folks. This one’s going to be tight.

Eating

After the first few ferociously fought out contests, we reach a more relaxing Eating round. The burnt rotis that He had made along with some delicious gravies made by Her have been served. Having been warned that He might have to eat the rotis he would make, He managed to do a decent job in the Cooking round. Except for a few black, burnt rotis, the rest of them seem fairly edible. But what’s this? In a wonderful exhibition of sportsmanship, She takes pity on Him and declares that He wouldn’t need to eat the burnt ones after all. He is happy. So happy that he gobbles up half the food on his plate, before She has even finished serving. And soon enough, Her hands are on her hips again, and the stare is back. He is told to eat slowly. He frowns. It is against his nature, but right now that doesn’t matter. He has only 2 choices now – food or no food. And he cannot afford the latter. She takes an amazing lead 3-2.

TV-ing

This is His favorite sport. He was born for this.

He turns on his full HD, LCD TV, connected to his 5.1 Home Theater, and finds that the match is on. He grabs a can of his favorite drink and a big bag of chips and sits himself in front of the big screen. This is the perfect way to unwind, after going down consecutively in 3 previous games. He puts his leg up, sips his drink, and is about to say “What a life…”, when She comes in. She smiles at him (oh no, that’s a sign of impending doom) and asks him if she can watch the rerun of Indian Idol? He tries to explain that it’s a very crucial match, but She says, its her favorite singer’s turn. He tries to protest, but that sad, dejected, frowning face of her’s, makes him give up.

This is his favorite sport alright. But that doesn’t mean he can win it always. 4-2 in Her favor.

Laptop-ing

With the TV round gone down, He has nothing more to do than to go to his dear old laptop. With the live match now being a distant possibility, the live scorecard is what He will have to do good with. He checks his Facebook page where a friend has posted an interesting video. He plays it, only to be interrupted by Her. He thinks She wants to check out her farm on Facebook, and proclaims that Facebook is down. But oh no.. That was a googly there, She says the sound from the video is interfering her show on TV, and asks him to get his headphones. He quietly acknowledges. And then when she sees how beautiful the guy on Indian Idol is singing, she gets excited and yells out to him. But He is on headphones and can’t hear her.

So a frown, a stare and an angry yell later, the laptop is turned off and He has no other choice than to watch Indian Idol, with the permission to check the score for a few seconds during the Commercial breaks. 5-2, she’s winning today as well. Can He stage a comeback?

Shopping

They are at a Super Market shopping for groceries. He goes straight to the snacks section and picks up a trolley full of snacks. She shakes her head, picks a couple of packs from it, nd sends him to keep the rest of them back. Ouch. That would’ve hurt. And she picks up packets of groceries from the shelf like a scientist picking up chemicals for a life saving experiment. She picks three different brands, compares prices, looks at offers, and then keeps all of them back saying they don’t really need that. Boy this is real slow. He is losing his patience and it shows up on his face. Will he lose it? Tense moment guys, anything can happen here. Wow. This is a masterstroke. She cools him off by buying him a pack of his favorite drink. He is happy and She continues with her shopping. This is going to take a while. Let’s break for commercials.

Alright we are back. This is a totally one sided match today. 6-2. And She has won it.

Movie-ing

We are reaching the business end of the games, and we have the Movies event to go. Our players have settled into the couch and have decided to watch a movie at home. This should be exciting. He pops in a no-brainer action flick and sits back. She protests almost immediately and the DVD is got rid off. Next is a Bollywood Rom-Com suggested by Her. He agrees at the prospect of watching the ‘hawt’ actress on screen, and possibly ogle at an Item Number. The movie continues, but He is slowly getting bored of it. The actress does not have too much of a role and is mostly fully clad. Oh no. Poor Him. He protests now, and another change of DVD is on the cards. After intense debate, a horror movie is agreed upon, and is soon popped out after She gets scared in the opening scene. And finally a classic movie is played, and He has no other option but to agree. After all, She, although being his competition, is also the love of his life. 7-2 it is then.

Power-Down

And as the movie chugs on towards the climax, reaches the final part, there is a power cut. Now this is a new twist to the tale. What is He going to do? Will She go wild now? But wait. What’s happening there? They drag their chairs to the balcony under a splendidly silver moon. The gentle cool breeze seems to be carrying romance in the air. And He and She are sitting there embraced and enjoying every bit of the moonlit, night. All the competition of the games seems to have gone away. The cut throat screams of one-upmanship seem to have been replaced with gentle whispers of “I Love You.” She tells Him that she was sorry to make him work today, and promises to do all the work herself tomorrow. He says that He doesn’t want anything at all, than to be with her tomorrow. Wow. That’s cute. This calls for a point for each of them. The scores are now 8-3.

I’m just getting news that this renewed love between our competitors has lead to the announcement that there will be no more competition going forward. He and She, in a carefully worded announcement have declared ceasefire. They will not be competing anymore.

So would this mean that there would be no more games from tomorrow? Are we witnessing the last edition of The Domestic Olympics? Will all this excitement cease to exist henceforth? Well it looks like that. Here’s wishing our dear He and She a wonderful future ahead.

Before we go, let’s talk to our players. He, what do you have to say about your performance today?

He: “Well I started off real well. 2-0 up against her is a rollicking start. But I failed to capitalize on that momentum. But all’s well that ends well. It was a delight to lose to my sweet-heart. Full marks to Her. Love you.”

Commentator: “That was sweet. She… happy?”

She: “Oh Yes, its always been. It was, is and will always be a delight to win. I mean He is a sweetheart…”

He: “Will always be…? Darling I thought we will not be competing anymore?”

She: “Oh yeah yeah. My bad, darling… Love you. So like I was saying He is an absolute sweetheart. He almost shook me up when he took a 2-0 lead. But then winning has sort of become a habit now. 🙂 But darling, I must say the burnt rotis were truly hilarious.”

He: “Hilarious, darling?”

She: “Oh yeah. In a cute sort of a way. I was hoping, you would learn it after all these days, but…”

He: “Oh ho ho.. hold on, I did it on purpose, dear ma’m.”

She: “Agreed.. But even if you had tried, it would still have been burnt, my dear.”

He: “Oh yeah? Atleast I don’t put my hands on my hips and stare to get things done.”

She: “Of course… You’d rather hide in the toilet, isn’t it?”

He: “That’s it. Me letting you win, is going to your head?”

She: “Excuse me… Letting me win? You are crazy.”

Commentator: “Err guys…”

He: “I am? Let’s see. Tomorrow, the games continue.”

She: “Sure about it? Can you survive another humiliating defeat?”

He: “We’ll see who loses. Bring it on…”

Commentator: “Aww Come on guys… That was unsportsmanlike…. Ouch! That hurt…. Why are you guys hitting me?… Oh no not there… Time out guys…”

That’s one painful way of bringing the games to an end. The Olympic Night ‘fights’ will continue into the night, and I’ve decided not to play peacemaker. But the good news coming out of this commotion is that the games will continue tomorrow. Tomorrow is a new day, and the next games should be super fun.

We wouldn’t be meeting next time, because frankly I’ve had enough. I do hope someone with a strong voice and stronger bones, meets you in the next edition. This is your dear commentator signing off. We would like to thank our sponsors for helping us bring this to you. Hope you had as much fun reading this, as much we had presenting this to you. Good bye. God bless.

— x —

This was an excerpt from the Tiger Trails Magazine – The Sunday Roar. Click on the Cover below to enlarge. Click to read the Magazine.

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Driving Dearest Dad


Stoppppp… Shift up, shift up, shift up. Slowly… Watch it… No slow down. Hit the brakes… No wait… that’s the accelerator….

A couple of years, or so ago, I would have been at the receiving end of these instructions, being barked into my ear by a driving instructor, hanging on to dear life; he pretending to teach me driving, me pretending to learn, on a bulky, bare boned, Maruthi Omni, on the pot hole filled roads of Ambattur. Who would have known, a couple of years later, A ‘road worthy‘ and ‘licensed to drive‘ Sudhakar, in his shiny red Maruti Swift, would be barking the same old instructions, to a visually excited soul, loving every minute of his time at the wheel, learning to drive with a unshakeable confidence in his instructor, something which even I never have in myself and my driving abilities. Dad, was loving it.

It was a reversal of roles in a way. A few good years down the memory lane, he was my teacher when I drove my first set of wheels. I’ve never had any vehicle to call my own. Except perhaps, the second hand BSA Champ cycle, that a family friend had ‘gifted’ me, because he was leaving to Calcutta with his family. The small, red, rusting BSA Champ. I still remember the time, when Dad held me as I steadied myself perched on the cushion of that bicycle. Which young boy can forget his first time on his bicycle, back in the time when training wheels did not exist, with his dad behind him, running to keep up with his son, providing support, as he pedalled his first few steps on his wheels, only to be zooming around in Pulsars and Karizmas of the world a few years later. You would have cried, thrown a fit, faked an injury, but Dad would have always been next to you. Supporting you and your bike, every time you lost balance. He taught me to ride a bike, I was teaching him to drive a car. Life had come full circle.

Dad was as excited as me, perhaps even more, when the Swift rode into our driveway. His son had got a car. And with his own money. He beamed with pride when he first sat with me as I took him for a spin. Beamed, yes. Perhaps trying his best to hide his nervousness with a smile, during my initial driving days. I still remember that he tried to be my navigator, GPS, proximity sensor and traffic police, all rolled into one. I remember it clearly, when I almost hit an auto which came speeding out of a curve. That was it. Two good looking ladies on an activa, standing next to my rolled down windows couldn’t help giggle, as dad shouted at me in full view of public. The auto driver didn’t need to say a word. I still think he got terrified of dad, that day. 🙂 Dad taught me his mantra that day. “In Chennai, you ain’t the King of the Road. That title is reserved to Water Tankers, MTC Buses and Autos. You are a mere subject, using the road. All you are expected to do is, drive slow and steady, and pray that nobody takes his frustration on you.” For a guy, who has been driving a two wheeler in Chennai for over a decade now, you usually take his advice with eyes closed. I did, and ever since then, I have had cycles overtake my Swift day after day. 😀

Dad has had his share of vehicles that he has proudly rode. Dad has told me that he had a cycle in his secondary school days, which he treasured till his college days. He still smiles, when he tells me the story of his first time on his cycle, and how he almost broke the behind of an innocent villager in Salem, when he ‘parked’ the vehicle between the legs of a guy having tea. He cracks me up everytime he says the story. In the 80s dad got his first set of motorised wheels, the swanky, new, blue Bajaj Chetak, which was almost like the Pulsar of the 80s. I still remember the time when I would proudly stand in front of ‘Hamara Bajaj’, pretending to ride it with a “vroooooom”, only to be jolted, everytime dad changed those stiff hand gears with a thud. 🙂 Dad prized his Chetak. I would drool at the Vespas and Kinetic Hondas of the Nineties, but I could identify from a distance when dad came home, with his trusty blue Chetak neighing away under his legs. When we moved to Chennai however, we had to leave the Chetak behind. Dad moved on to the trendy TVS Spectra, which still lies with a perfect engine but a broken body, in the corner downstairs. And off late, Dad is the proud owner of a nippy little Honda Activa, which I helped Dad get after I saw him pushing the Spectra home one night.

But all this time, Dad had never had the chance of driving a car. A dream, that his son had fulfilled only recently. You could fathom the deep desire the man had to drive a car, that perhaps only motoheads like Dad and me could understand. I had caught him a couple of times, wiping the car, after I had just washed it, making sure it was spic and span. I have seen him running to the balcony, when a neighbours car starts shrieking its Security Alarm, to check if it isn’t our Swift. I have asked him a lot of times if he wanted to drive the car, but he would always turn me down saying I needed to drive well first. I know for sure, that he was scared if he would do some damage to the car. Then one day, very recently, he signed up for driving classes with the same instructor who taught me. after a few classes of learning the fundamentals, Dad asked me this Saturday. “Dai… Will you teach me driving?” I just smiled, and grabbed my keys immediately.

Dad was nervous as we sat in the car. “Do you want to drive now dad?” I asked him, as I removed the car cover. “No da. Lets go to that T.I Cycle ground. That oughta give us some space.” said Dad, as he wiped that little puff of dust on the windshield. The T.I Cycle Ground was one huge ground, which could accomodate 8 evening cricket teams, playing in parallel. We drove there absolutely sure, that the ground would be empty. Afterall no one plays cricket in the midday Sun in Chennai, do they. Well, not everyone atleast. And as predicted, we had the whole ground to ourselves. Dad nestled into the driver seat as I introduced him to the control panel of the Swift. He knew the A, B, C’s alright, but he was nervous when he got behind the Swift. I told him it was alright, and assured him I was right next to him. Now, lot of people, I know, would have laughed their head off when I assured them that I was right next to them, but it did calm Dad’s nerves. And a few minutes later, Dad was away in the Swift, with his proud son sitting next to him. The clutch-accelerator combo was difficult for him to begin with. But after a while, he got the hang of it. A couple of false gear shifts happened, sometimes, he accelerated too fast, sometimes, the car just stopped abruptly, but slowly and surely, Dad was getting to know the beast. It was fun sitting next to him, laughing, smiling and turning the steering with him, as we negotiated the bumps, the odd rock which would have been stumps in the last match that was held here, and tiny pools of water filled with yesterday night’s rain. I got out, and tried to make a hazard course of sorts, for Dad to drive through, and he did just about fine. There were a couple of times when Dad looked at me apologetically, when we thundered over the bumps when he forgot to slow down. I did not mind it at all, and just smiled back at dad. It was like seeing an eight year old in a candy store. All excited about eating all the sweets, and yet nervous as to what Mommy would say. That day, I was trying to be the man, who held his son’s bike, as he learnt to bike. Nothing he did, would make me angry. We spent a good couple of hours there, me trying to teach everything I knew, and he, an Ex-Principal of a School, listening to me with rapt attention. After that, Dad let me take over the wheel, and drive us home. I asked if he would want to drive to home now, and he said No with an exhausted shake of his head. “Maybe next week son, maybe next week.” Its strange, the places where a Father and Son can bond. During a Cricket match, watching movie, or just debating if iPhone rocks or Blackberry, over the morning paper. Today it just happened to be my Mauti Suzuki Swift.

I love my car. I spend a good part of my salary every month paying EMI for it. I wash it, clean it every week, and spend a good deal of my time on weekends behind its wheels. I blow my lid, when someone even leans on it, and I’m sure I’ll suffocate anyone who even attempts to scratch it. But if Dad wanted, he could take it apart and scratch it till the paint falls off, and I wouldn’t say a word. Because to me, the man who taught me to ride a cycle, and his dreams of driving a car, are way too important than this contraption of polished metal, synced gears, cams, shafts and wheels, that we call a car. When your dad’s old mobile, which you had passed onto him when you ‘upgraded’ to an N-Series, has a photo of his son grinning like crazy at his car, as the only photo in it, you know he is proud of you. Dad was all smiles as we rode back home after having driven the Swift through the perfect learning ground and he had learnt to negotiate sharp curves, and simulated traffic. Dad had done perfectly fine and he knew it. He looked at my driving license, feeling the lamination, smiled at me and said – “I totally enjoyed it da. I am driving kind of fine, no?” I nodded my head, “A few more sessions, and I’ll be fighting with you for the car, Dad” I joked. He smiled, thought for a while, and then turned to me and said with a twinkle in his eyes – “You are a good teacher da. Far better than those Driving school guys. Always be patient, thats the best way to teach. Someday you’ll be a good teacher to your kids as well.” 🙂

Then… At that very instance… A mere Love you, Dad seemed grossly inadequate…

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