Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Asian Paints- Adding Colors To Life...

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So finally I came up on terms with my queen and decided to renovate our old ancestral house, ‘Kizhakkinipura’, meaning the house that faces the east.  Being an amateur perfectionist, I called upon the best architects in Kochi, to get me a blueprint, which in no way should hinder the Vaastu maintained all over the house. We agreed upon the most innovative design, and started working towards the same. Renovation, in fact costs much more, as it involves knocking down of walls, creating new beams for support, multi-plastering, evacuating the mud tiled ceilings, flooring and last but not the least, painting. I was getting impatient day by day, as the wages of the workers went incompatible with the zigzag timings, they worked for me. I cursed my decision of not considering the building contract which Mr. Ramadasan, the Real-Estate Developer of our colony, had put forward.

The bedroom and living room were joined to form a spacious living room altogether. The door of the next bedroom was shifted to the left to maintain the ‘Vaayu Sanchaaram’(air- circulation), as per the Vaastu. A new ‘Puja Muri’ (prayer room) was also created and the dining room was thus shifted accordingly. All bedrooms in the first and second floors were made bathroom attached. The vitrified tiles gave a novel feel to the floor. The dining room became a bit gloomy, with only one window panel as the light and air passage. This really upset me as we had to switch on the light, even during the day time while dining.

But then, when you are not an expert, at supervising the process, it’s always better to hand over the same to the professionals. In deed I lost not only my precious time and hard earned money but in the hustle and bustle, the glory of my wooden furniture, some crystal showpieces and ever cherished antiques were also lost forever. Now when painting the house was something, yet to be done, the budget stood as a question mark before me. My queen turned pale, on my decision of compromising over the painting process.  But then, just like any other typical Indian, for me too, family mattered more than money and I left the decision on her, but with a patriarchal anxiety and grin.

For the next three days I found her hovering over her laptop, every now and then.  In between she used to come and ask for some color suggestions. I didn't pay much attention, as I had an ostensible notion, that finally when she gets fed up, she will compromise.  But to my astonishment, on the third day, I found her filling a form, which made me more fretful to peep into her screen.  She had finally landed over the website of Asian Paints. She called up their helpline and talked for a few minutes or so.

Exactly on the very fourth day, an executive from Asian Paints was at our door steps. I welcomed him with a double mind. After having tea, I found my queen having discussions with him over the colors to be used. She was smiling, which indicated that she was impressed, but the budget dangled over my head like a dagger. The gentleman assured me the best service, though I was still doubtful about the whole process. The very next day a bunch of painters came with technologically advanced machinery. We never thought that it would be that quick, so we hadn't moved our furniture and other valuables. To my surprise, they did it all and there was a motherly care in their handling of every bit and pieces. They covered the entire floor and the wooden furniture with plastic. Their electric rollers gave a classy finishing over the walls. As they had suggested, we used pure white color in the dining room, and unexpectedly it eradicated the gloominess of the room. The sunlight from that one window was enough, and the white color did the rest to light up the room.  The room of the children were made more colorful with caricatures. The prayer room was painted in wooden brown, which gave it a gorgeous look, especially in the dim light of the oil lamp. All new bathrooms were painted to match the respective bedroom's color. They used different paints for interior and exterior in accordance with the climate of Kerala. I was awestruck at the wood finishing and was getting impressed by their professionalism and the beauty of my house. The next surprise, which awaited me, was the bill. Yes, it was much cheaper than expected.

I was very proud of my queen for bringing Asian Paints, home. They not only add beauty to my walls but colors to my life also. My house has turned out to be the best house in the colony, which constitutes even the modern villas of the times.  We didn't even require an interior designer, as they brought home, the whole package of wonders. Now-a-days the passersby come and ask me for suggestions, and I simply direct them to the helpline of Asian paints. Some of my relatives envy and some accolade, but I enjoy both.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Gayly Laws...

The year of 2009, ignited some hopes in the mind of Aman, of marrying his love.  Being born and brought up in a well to do aura, he was then a successful entrepreneur, when he first met Jyothi, who use to own a flower shop near the North over bridge in Kochi. Aman was an introvert, who always had problems with his batch mates, found solace in the arms of Jyothi, who shared the same wavelength of thoughts with Aman.  Their favourite meeting place was Marine Drive, where once they had went for a romantic boating. Now it has been over 5 years that they met, but never thought of tying a knot and getting married. They knew that the Indian society has not been liberalized yet from the chains of caste and culture, and also had a clear idea of the aftermaths of their marriage.  Aman’s parents have been insisting him to get married from over a long time, and now when he has stepped into his thirties, the idea was intoxicating his veins. Jyothi on the other hand being an orphan, the city never cared.  

Aman’s parents were too busy in building up their empire, when they dumped their only son in one of Kochi’s most prestigious boarding schools. He had the least intimacy with them, more of which he had with the warden. He was academically brilliant but was very shy during the school days that he even refrained from going to the boy’s toilet. He used to feel insecure and embarrassed when the guys of his class used to crack adult jokes on girls. He was always comfortable with girls and never gave ears to the taunting, by his fellow mates and also by some of his teachers. He always seized the female roles to be enacted on stage, just to get a chance to be in girl’s costumes. It was when, one day some rogues of his class sexually harassed him that Aman realized that he was just a poor girl confined in a boy’s body. That incident left an ineradicable mark on his mind forever.

As he grew, he felt more and more alienated by the society. He started considering himself a taboo and cursed the heavens for creating him odd. He used to cry alone at nights and also tried committing suicide, but was always rescued by one or the other. Last time his parents took him to a psychiatrist’s clinic, but it didn’t work out much for Aman with a closed mouth. His parents knew that he had some problems but never tried to go deep into the roots. He tried reading many philosophical books, and it worked. Soon he was able to drift his mind from pessimism and took over his family business. But sometimes when the thoughts over brimmed, he used to go for a ride on his lady-bird bicycle towards Marine Drive. It was on such a melodramatic evening that he met Jyothidas, a guy from the lowest strata of the society and hence a sex worker by choice.  It was on the bench facing the sea, that they got to know each other and became close thereafter. It was with the help of Aman, that Jyothi renovated his flower shop and started doing some serious business. They also started working with NGOs which helped and supported the LGBT communities to come forward and create an identity of their own.

Watching the sunset, Jyothi remembered how Aman had brought crackers when Delhi High Court quashed section 377 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 and decriminalized homosexuality. Same sex marriage has not been legalized yet in India, but the story of Veena & Savitha of Uttar Pradesh, has cemented their ideology to an extent. Aman and Jyothi moved to a rented apartment, after his parent’s immediate death in a plane crash in Lagos. At first it was difficult for both of them to get over such a mishap, but it was indeed a soothing feeling for them to know that though homosexuality is not widely accepted, the Indians, including Alex Mathai, their apartment owner, have started being tolerant towards the LGBT people.

Amidst the pile of divorce cases in the country and giants like US discoursing about legalizing homosexuality, their living together relationship has been successful so far. It seems the framed painting of Khajuraho which dangles down from a nail of their bedroom wall, is waiting for the Apex court to approve, so that they can give a name to their affiliation...

NB: This short-story is in response to October 16, 2013- BlogAction Day topic “Human Rights”

Monday, 14 October 2013

Haiku: To Attain Moksha...

life’s last pilgrimage
old couples with their young, move
through greens, for moksha.

This is in response to the Write Tribe Contest 2-Haiku

Friday, 13 September 2013

That Unexpected Phone Call...

I got a call from him yesterday at around 9.00 pm.  Seeing the anonymous number I never expected it to be him. Usually I am a guy, who only gets a call when one of my friends will be in need of something.  It might be because I have always been the same way and never thought of changing myself. He talked to me a lot, about his new organization, his new bike and about going to his native land during the Onam vacation. Though I was happy and surprised, my eyebrows were still raised, expecting a question of help. But he went on and on and ended altruistically. I felt sorry for not saving his number in my phone-book before. I never believed in maintaining relationships with friends. But that call made me realize something inexplicably new.

Sometimes it just takes the most trivial thing in this world, like a phone call to move somebody.  It’s always good to know that there are still some selfless people around and somebody in some unknown corner of this world still likes you...

Friday, 16 August 2013

The Mia Women Of My Life

It had always been there underneath my mind, to pen down about the most influential women of my life. At the outset I would like to thank Tanishq, for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts on my Mia women.  Yes, its women, since I would like to confer about two women, who made my life utmost beautiful, with their presence, and can’t count out one, as they are the oxygen and water of my life.

I start off with Mrs. Sheela Soman, the first woman whom I saw as soon as I opened my eyes to this new world.  Being a home maker can be the most tedious and multifunctional job, a woman can ever step into, and I had never seen a woman, other than her, who had worked it well with an unusual charisma. I always wondered how she managed to bring us up and supported her husband amidst all other responsibilities. Soon after her marriage, when dad brought her to an unknown land, she never complained, but got accustomed with the new people, culture, language and the aura, with a smile. She always made the food as per our likings, and always up kept the novelty in what she did. She always had a quest for learning. I never felt her so courageous, until when my grandpa expired, and she travelled back to our native land on a single train berth, with two tiny lives clutching her arms. Being one of the most mischievous kids on earth, I always felt sorry for making her cry. All these years, as her hair turned grey, I had seen her performing different roles, of a wife, mother, daughter, sister, mother-in-law, and every role with utmost perfection. I always felt, my dad is the luckiest man on earth to have a wife like her. In my whole life, I had never seen him scolding her for any reason. She was a good reader of the mind, and it was her early intuition which had always reserved my house as a home. I still remember, the evening, when as an enraged child, I plucked out her golden earring and threw it into the sand. She held me tight to her lap, and started searching for it, with her tears drenching me. She never let me down...

Even today I can dare to expect, my favourite snacks aromatizing at the dining table, with a glass of water beside, as soon as I reach home from my office. I don’t know if it’s another usual story, but I thank God, for gifting me with such a lovely mom.

The other woman who had influenced me equally, is none other than Mrs. Parvathy Sreedev. I met her first in my post graduation classroom. A traditionally dressed bookworm, with an innocent smile, and a tender heart to help anyone, was the first impression, I had about her. I got more impressed when at first she denied my proposal to marry her. I had always admired her dedication and will power. I owe my M.Phil degree to her, as without her it would have never been possible. She took all the pain amidst her academics, to make me attain my dreams. At an early age, she lost her father, and it was her courage, which led her to prosper academically, and become an Assistant Professor at present. She always lived my dreams and never failed to encourage, every bit in me.  It might be her concentration over academics which restrained her from being a versatile cook, but I being a foodie, she always loved to search in Google, for new delicacies and made it for me. It always tasted of love. Even in this busy schedule, she spends most of her time in reading and preparing notes for her students. I learned to worship my work from her. She never compromised on that and the feeling of incompleteness, had always led her towards perfection. Every weekend she travelled almost 200kms to meet her in-laws. I had never seen, a father-in-law loving his daughter-in-law with much intensity and longing to see her. The whole family awaits her arrival, as she had become the darling of our house. I always thought her to be impassive, until last week, when she bought me a red rose. Unlike me, it was gifted to me for no particular reason. For the first time I thought woman to be a wonder…

I don’t know if, yet it is another usual story, but here too I can dare to expect, a reserved space in a heart which holds me before I fall and encourages me to aspire high...

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Tiny Tamarind’s Tale...

They tied the Tiger to the Tamarind Tree. The Tamarind Tree told this to the Tamarind Tycoon. The Tamarind Tycoon torpedoed the Tiny Tamarind towards the Tired Tiger. The Tiny Tamarind trusted the Tired Tiger. The Tired Tiger then toed the Tiny Tamarind to taste. They tied the Tiny Tamarind to the Tamarind Tree then.

(Linking this to the 55 Fiction Prompt, based on the theme Mystery. Every word starts with the same letter "T")   

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

God Was Toothless That Day...

They always said God lies in every innocent smile.  I promised that old woman before St. Antony’s Shrine, Kaloor to buy candles. After the novena, I found her nowhere. After a long search I found her struggling to sell the packets. I bought a packet and got a beautiful and innocent toothless smile in return.

(Linking this to Ultimate Blog Challenge  & To the 55 Fiction Prompt, based on the theme love)