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My little contribution to Literature!

My Love! True Words! My Endless Search...
My Lighter Moments! The Sixth Sense.. My Friend!
My End... My Birth! The Last Leaf...
False Dream... My Race! My Love!
My Childhood! My Dawn! My Wisdom Falls(e)!
My Anjali... My Dream! My Open Dream!
Whither to... Yonder dreams... My Village!
My Home! My First Journey! My Struggle Begins...
My School! My College! My Soulmate!
My Cooking! My Vacation! My Terrific Vision!
My Interview! My Cross-Country! Passions...
My Answering M/c! Rookies vs Crookies! Whats My Caste, Kavi!
My Saranya! Desert Springs! Curtains...
The fall(ing) leaves... My Country!
Stolen Dreams... Kavithanjali... Vennila!
My little thoughts..

Some interesting links

My Love!

There is no more 'Seven Wonders'.
I ask the historians to review the
records - There is only one. Let them
have a glimpse of your charming face!

The Full Moon would ever long to near
your glittering laughter - Perhaps,
this despair makes it fade away into
oblivion and start all over as a
rejuvenated 'New Moon'.

The Rose falls sick
when Jasmine finds its way
to your 'falls' like hair.

Your grace has left people wonder,
"When did we transform
to the age of the Goddess!"

You are a living legend!

I'm so elated
- for being bestowed with
the greatest gift ever on earth -
every time you call me
"Dad!", my dear love.. --Kavitha 28/Dec/95

My Dream!

The gradual slow down of the bus woke me up, as I hurriedly ended the sweet dream I was having. The bus made a final halt after that night-long tiring run. I waited for others to board out.

The cool breeze of the dawn gently kissed me, when I stepped out. The town looked beautiful as ever. No.17 started its run just after I stepped in, as though it had waited all along to welcome me!

This trip home was after a long time.. The thought of the village, the old but massive house, mother, father, little sister and everyone in the village evoked that great feeling - which I get only when in the village. The city life was sucking..

In solitude, I used to debate out the progress made by man. My conscience was the clear winner. "The development - all the inventions, the revolutions, modernisation - was way too fast in the last few centuries!". The creator himself was going to be the victim of this rapid growth. Occasionaly, I discuss this with My Love, when we meet in the park - only place having any semblance of peace in the metro. Even that was being polluted these days. The park started accumulating wealth - strips of litter donated by 'generous' visitors! Back to my girl, she was more than fed up with the bustling city life and was waiting for that moment of joining me. More than me, it was probably the village life that she was yearning for.

Thoughts rolled by. Everything seemed to be going against nature's will. Man could lead a better valued life without any of these creatures that he has created and with a lesser population. He did so until a few centuries back.. I hadn't seen a TV till I went out for higher studies. But, the prime of my life was those first few years when I didn't have the so called basic amenities of today - Those days that I shared with brother, sister and other kids in the village, bare-footed! Those days were nothing to beat. I pity the kids of today - cities, towns, villages - for being forced through this artificial life.

No one could do anything about it! Competition - the damn virtue of man - spurred up things. Every story has an end.. Man was having his rather soon though. Not that I had left despair creep in. Only that I hoped better sense prevailed over man.

The conductor shouted, "Who asked for 'Poygai'!" even as I got up to step out. He didn't have to - My village was so much in me I wouldn't ever miss it, no matter where the thoughts were! The fields looked green as ever. Walking alone, thoughts continued.. I was jealous of Dad who had walked for miles to fetch a new bred cow. He knows every nuke and corner of the villages surrounding ours.

After a while, I opted for that step-path through the fields. This would take me through the "Maanthoappu" where I had spent those lovely evenings with my lovely brother. I wanted to lie down there, kiss every inch my brother had stepped... Mother would've done her bath by now and preparing Dad for his field work. I made the strides longer.

Village was calm. Usha noticed me promptly and came towards smiling. She had lost that lusty glow of her eyes, since that fateful day.. I held her to my chest and walked in...

An uneasy silence prevailed inside. Something was wrong.. It was unusual of father to be in bed after dawn. I stood beside him staring... Felt a gentle folded hand over my shoulder - Mother! After a pause, she said, "He is not physically ill.. Last week, officers from some board had come and issued an ultimatum - Everyone vacate the village in six months!"

The government was going to acquire all land for some petro-based industry complex. The neighbouring tiny villages were also going to face the same fate! The house, the land and the village was father's breathe all through.

It was a shock - though not severe as that terrific day when we lost Natty... I held sister even closer to me. Had to prepare myself to console father, when he would gain some strength seeing me..

The dream I had in the bus seemed to deride at me! Probably, I'll have to 'live' in dreams for ever. Dad, Mom, myself, dear sister, Kirthiga my love, and the ever enthu kids of the village were engaged in converting our little village 'Poygai' into a blooming garden...

A sweet dream, isn't it! --Kavitha 8/Feb/96

My Endless Search...

Travelled across the seas,
over the mountains, all in
search of truth, in search of peace...

Wandered through the plains
and the rivers all seasons,
all for that intangible...

Submitted my 'self' to many
an Ashram, many a Rishi,
all for that invisible...

Visited Madhushala all nights
to taste that moment's peace,
that elluded me all my life...

Then, on a rainy morning,
spring came to me as Saranya
to give 'life' to my barren life!

One evening, I held her up and
asked, "Hey you girl, tell me -
Where do I get peace!"
With that marvellous smile of
an angel, she placed her
tender fingers over her heart
And then over mine... --Kavitha 5/Mar/96

True Words!

I was determined - determined
as a defeating warrior on the
battlefield - to win your heart back..

Erased the 'Seven Wonders'
all in favour of you.
You were least amused.

Then did I degrade the heavenly
wonder - the Moon - for
your marvelling laughter.
I failed to draw that
everlasting smile from you.

The blooming flowers vied
vigorously to reach your hair.
You looked inadvertently at me.

I took the people to the mythical
age, with you as the myth!
You broke the inflicting
indifferent look - But only
to throw that stinker at me.

Nothing seemed to trifle the still!

Then, after a while, I
kissed you deep
from the bottom of my heart!

Now, I hear you whisper like a breeze,
"There you are!" even as I am drowning
in that sweet kiss you are showering on me.. --Kavitha 15/Jan/96

Whither to...

There were 7 kids - 7 truant ones, Ashworth, Brenda, Rykovich, Franco, (Y)itzhak, Chow and Indu. The latter 2 lived in one block while the others lived in an adjacent block, meant for the affluent ones.

You know how kids go after fancy things and follow suit of others. But these kids were little extraordinary in that they extended their pomp and fair to crackers. Kids, by nature, would love to display their enthusiasm with sparkles and other soft fireworks.

But, Ashworth, Rykovich, Franco and Brenda, being the affluent ones, were not satisfied with these harmless sparkles. One of them went for the ear-blasting ones. Others, not ready to have sleepless nights because this lone guy would show-off with the newly acquired animal, follow suit. They continue to compete madly, going for more noisy crackers. Chow and Indu, not to be left behind, get a few of these nuisances, and let the affluent ones know "Look, we are also capable of getting these".

Meanwhile, the affluents' parents, annoyed by what their kids are upto, scold and ask them to get these nuisances out of the hide and dispose off. As an eye wash, the kids get together and first start off this way: "I'll throw off the 2 blue ones, And you, in turn, should get rid of those red ones". Question arises: "Where?". "Oh, in the public pond or in the slum". But, all this is just a starter to convince their parents that they have indeed realised their mischievous behaviour and understood their fear. The talks now leave the issue of the pile of crackers already with them; they rather start talking about curbing the less affluent ones.

They ultimately decide to preach to Indu and other kids who plan to get one of these crackers, "For heavens sake, do not get these beasts. It is a danger to all. We would like to keep your area clean and safe - not to be disturbed by these ear-blasting crackers."

At the same time when Ashworth and Brenda start this propaganda to the other kids, while themselves cannot resist the temptation of trying out the latest ones in the market, Franco and Chow proudly blast their new ones in the common playground (as luck would be, not on you or me!). Ashworth and Brenda turn a blind eye to them. Ashworth also buys Yitzhak, a close pal of his, the latest cracker as a gift. Frustrated with all these clandestine affairs, slowly the ignorant kids also start going after the crackers.

The nightmare is: If one of these kids go insane for even a moment, they will bring down all the cultures, all the civilizations, all the comforts that mankind has taken thousands of years to build, in just a fraction of it.

Isn't man the unwise of all animals on earth? --Kavitha 18/Dec/96

My Lighter Moments!

It was a spring evening,
I was strolling back from college
when I happened to see
these two muscle-men
manhandling a poor chap
for whatever reason..
My instincts drew me into the scuffle
only to end up in the GH a little later
to get my bones repaired!
People called me Crazy....

Again an evening,
I saw this cute girl in her
T's that read "Kiss Me!".
I promptly kissed her -
on her forehead though!
She quickly realised
the kid in me and
wiped it off with a smile..
But, the thugs cornering me
didn't intend so!
Had to use my reflex
and sprinting skills to
avoid yet another GH visit!
My Love called me Stupid....

My colleague saw a scribble of mine
and made this comment,
"I swear.. No damn soul on earth
can decrypt your writing!" and added,
"You know, If you have a Bad Kai Yezhuththu, | Handwriting
it means you have a Great Thalai Yezhuththu!" | Fate
I laughed and said,
"What you are seeing is
infact my Thalai Yezhuththu!"
He called me a Crook....

Yet another evening,
I informed my supervisor,
"I'm taking tomorrow off -
to attend my second marriage!"
Perplexed... then she said,
"No, you are coming to work tomorrow!"..
I had to remind her -
"I 'said' I am taking tomorrow off!"
My assertion made her rethink
and suddenly became 'generous' -
But was too much in it
as she granted me rest
not just for the day, but for ever!
Office called me Useless....

Then I penned My Dream..
Now, U R calling me a Loony!
Never mind, I now have a Friend which,
in this modern selfish world,
has become rare as a blue moon... --Kavitha 19/Feb/96

The Sixth Sense..

My mother taught me, "It is the Sixth Sense
that distinguishes men from other species",
when I was still having my 'Nilachchoru'.

It took me these two and a half decades
to understand this simple fact.

Man learnt to talk, using this gift - the extra sense.
Yes! He can now talk - and talks too much.
Let him get to the stage and you see
words splatter like a false fountain..
Yet, he successfully allures, with his
speech, things of his own species.

He added the words "competition" and "jealousy"
to his dictionary. Having surplused his community
on earth, he extended his competition spree to stars.
Yes! I'm eagerly awaiting the next release
of StarWars - the real one this time.

He learnt to invent. His innovative power
going as far to F16s and TNTs.

I see, in this land, many SPCA activists; I
appreciate his care for even the less privileged ones.
Alas! In the same land, I also see him unable to
protect kids from going to firework rooms
instead of class rooms, and curb maiming of kids.

My counterpart on the other hemisphere, where
kids go to bedrooms instead of classrooms, derides
at this pathetic situation in his Times Editorial
"SPCA in the land that needs SPCK!" and retires
home to relish his dinner special "Tender Chicken"!

Yes Mom, you were right!
I know what you meant that night - I
now know what stands me out from others.. --Kavitha 1/Jan/96

My Interview!

Life is all irony, you know! Your interest is in Economics, but you do a course in Physics only to end up handling a keyboard! So was mine...

It was about five years back - I took my first interview.. I opened the door only to find a young chap, probably much like You are today! "Must be a wizz-kid!" I thought. Straight went I and much to his embarrassment, pulled out the chair in front of him and sat down! I could feel the smile of a truant on my face, trying to hide my childish look in that new suite my Mom bought me the previous evening.

Anyway, after that little browse through my 'history', he started off with, "What all languages are you familiar wi...." Before he could complete, I said loudly - more like a kid reciting a rhyme! "Tamil, a little bit of English and 2 years of forced Hindi!" "I mean..." he interrupted. I interrupted even vigorously to clarify his perplexed look, "Oh.. You mean that... That was way back in '82 when I had to take Hindi as the third language in my middle school! So, I know only to read and write.."

He looked even more perplexed.. "Alright, what all bases do you know?" I was slightly put off by this one.. 'What has a financial institution to do with bases!'... "Never mind" I thought and so replied, "There are so many controlled by the States all over the world and nearly all the 'highly developed' ones have one in some arbitrary island!"

"Ok.. What all systems do you know?" his perplexed look turned into a smile now. I was little annoyed with his inconsistency - jumping around all the subjects that he could touch! Nonetheless I responded, "The nervous, the artillery, the perspiratory, the reproductory..."

He looked amused and threw this ridiculous one, "What all platforms have you worked on?" I was really put off by this one as I raised my voice, "What!! You think I look like a porter or what!" and jumped over a couple of chairs to rush out of the room.

More than the deliberate anger that I had put on my face, I wanted to escape from his next questions that would make me a carpenter as in "What tools do you use?" or a sweeper as in "What assemblies have you broomed?"...

Nevertheless, that was my only interview! --Kavitha 20/Feb/96

My Friend!

Prelude: Please show your patience and fancy your passions to read this little scribble through its end:-)

I know Love often starts with a skirmish
- Probably for a stronger foundation..
But, heard of Friendship starting with one?
Ours did...

First, She provoked, calling me a Lunatic!
which, exploiting my weak English, she
later on turned into a 'humour'..
I responded with a "Yes, you Big Head!"
Lucky as I was, she found the kid in me
in the following conversations...

She listened, with all her patience,
to my forlorn feelings..
Gave me those words of soothing,
I was longing for..
Taught me to be a child to
forget all the pains..
Showed me the different colours of Life...

More than all, she fixed my heart back
That was stained with years of bleeding...

I've not seen My Friend,
I know not how tall She is,
How long Her hair is,
How pretty Her smile is..

But... U R my friend - The only one
I've earned since childhood.... --Kavitha 22/Feb/96

My End...

U stormed into my life just
when I was dripping and decaying away..
U, Your Love, pulled me out of
the cocoon I was dwindling in..
U meant so much to me, to my being,
in those few days you occupied me...

Now, deserting me with a vigour,
wiping every trace of bliss
that you brought..
I could still live it through
with thy sweet memories of three weeks
that seemed to sprout the buds in me -
Lest You have seized my flimsy heart
as the price for your breezy visit...

May be Bach's Seagull could fly
little farther above
than the horizon it is wont to..
Though he knew, the seagull knew,
it was only in their dream...

But now, this soul here is flying,
flying so high above - a fete
none have achieved thus far..
As I bid farewell to all this world
that harboured me, that read me
And that loved me... --Kavitha 18/Mar/96

My Birth!

Even that was a lovely experience
- flying high, so high above,
looking down at all the creatures!
But, in my float, I heard a warble
- a shade of a melodious whisper -
Your sweet voice!

I fought - fought valiantly..
And fought successfully.. with
my flimsy heart!

I'm back here - You will
now hear from me!

But, my love for you seems a mirage
In this emotional society,
Where love is a sin..
But, I love you!

I want to taste that experience
- To be flying,
And to be away from you all,
and watch you from that Farland..
Let me go this time, my dear!

And bear me in you,
In your womb..
I want to be with you - For ever!
No one can separate a kid
from her mother then,
Not even your anger!

I want a birth - My Rebirth.
And I want your Love!
Let me go this time, my dear love... --Kavitha 7/Apr/96

Yonder dreams...

[This theme is based on a story I had read in a Tamil magazine way back.]

A vaguely forged creature, with a huge head, multiple limbs, and horns, was cornering me. I couldn't move an inch and no soul came to help even with all my yelling for help.. A loud "ding.. ding.. ding.." And the dream was gone. It was the wallclock that declared midnight.. These kind of dreams have been torturing me for quite sometime now - ever since that middle-aged man had asked for our consent. Father was, surprisingly, inclined towards getting this marriage fixed. He can't be blamed too - he is giving in. Of course, he must be rather worried seeing his daughter still working for him at the age of 30. Once I heard him explaining to aunt, "She has crossed 30 no - I'll have to look for even elder man... That means, only a widower!" Wherever did they get this concept from! - Why can't I marry a man younger to me.. Another thing that confuses me - Why is it that I will have to go to another house after marriage. Why can't it be the other way??

I used to get better dreams not that long back. Not that I was looking for the best on earth! Just wanted a soul who can love me for myself.. Not this man, who has perhaps seen all the life and wants me to be a mother for his 2 kids. Coming from an orthodox family, and having to take care of the family at the age of 15, when our mother left us deserted, I had no scope of tasting even platonic love.. Only in the past year or so, after his retirement, dad has been trying to get me married off. Of course, no 'Rajakumaran' is going to come on a horse and flick me or something! If they are to take me, they wanted a bag full of money, as a goodwill for their kind gesture!

I switched on the lights.. Malliga was sleeping, with her beauty glittering. She is four years younger to me. In fact, a few of these gentlemen were ready to marry her and since then, she voluntarily kept away from home on such occassions! And Sangeetha, who still behaves a kid in her upper teens, had rolled over to the other end of the room in her sleep. After correcting her, took a glass of water, switched off the lights and sat down in the courtyard.

Wasn't going to get sleep that easily. Started counting the stars circling the moon. This is a good way to earn sleep, you know! There was a patch of dark clouds passing by, which distracted my counting. After this patch left, the sparkling stars seemed to have been drifted by them to a different location.. Had to start counting again.. Again another patch passed by. After a while, I realised I was not going to complete the counting and will never be successful in my endeavour!

So, walked in. Malli was up awake, rubbing her eyes.
"Hey! Why aren't you sleeping!?" I asked her. "No Kavi! Its been like this for quite sometime now. I wake up abruptly in the middle of my sleep, and thats it! Sleep is gone.."
I looked at her shockingly and said to myself, "Have to ask dad, in the morning, to say ok to that man with 2 kids!" --Kavitha 21/Apr/96

My Home!

After reading this, don't ever try to figure out the significance of the title! - I'm so accustomed to and caught up with such titles :-) Read on.. If you ever visit my little apartment, you should be lucky to spot me amongst the million objects that own it, including the likes of a table fan that growls like a bear when kicked (thats how I switch the little creature on:-) and the roaring refrigerator that makes people passing by wonder if there was a HT power generator inside the house. But, don't panic! Thats only the deceptive notion of a trespasser. Once inside, you'll be overwhelmed by a rare combination of music generated by many such utilities that collude, resonate, submerge and what not to produce an equilibrium effect - It is much like the musical extravaganza, bringing out all the 16-ragas, from Rahman's multitude of instrumentals!

You will soon lose the concepts of a bedroom, living room & kitchen very easily. All that you can figure out are 4 different entities - For you can find the vision system, music system and a few utensils all in what is supposedly the bedroom; a bed and other miscellaneous objects in the living room; and a couple of compact discs in the kitchen. For aesthetic reasons, the restroom wasn't mingled with and so can be easily identified! Once a colleague of mine, who had a horrible time spotting my apartment complex (which you can see only in a Hitchcock movie normally) and then my apartment in it, had to spend few more minutes to trace me in that chair that was duly hidden by the protracting book-shelf and the monstrous overcoat that was hanging in a no-man's land! Since then, no soul has dare visited me.

Lets move on to the kitchen. I believe in keeping things neat and simple! So much so that in the grocery cupboard, you will hardly find a couple of cans (Reused ones, that once contained yogurt - I somehow don't feel guilty or cheap about this:-), one containing dhal and the other some edible Indian powder. And of course, a salt tin! Other sundry items such as rice, oil, and utensils, you can find them where they are supposed to be - either in the bedroom or the living room.

Oh boy! You should taste my cooking! One evening, my friend was on the line. She asked me what I had for brunch.. I explained her how I prepare my vege+egg side-dish and how delicious it was to me. She laughed on and on and by the time she finished laughing, I had done my makeshift saambar and the vege+egg course for dinner! Taste? After all, after munching your food, it all rests and settles down in all sorts of intestines and bladders, right? Then, why bother about taste!

Shower! My best gift in this land. At times, I lose myself in my own singing! Atleast on a couple of occassions, the owner has stormed into my apartment with the duplicate key as an emergency to see if I was electrocuted in my shower, or had collapsed otherwise - having not heard from me for a few hours in that non-stop shower sound! I had to rush out with a hurriedly wrapped up towel around my hip and one over my tops with that sexy look (guessed my sex!), to scare them all away; otherwise, I would've ended up being caught red-handed for taking such a long shower! (You should've seen the elderly owner tapping on his forehead "Karmam, karmam..") And when the other tenants would try cribbing to me and to the owner about my juicing out the warm water on weekends, I would cleverly play the inter-rivalry card (amongst the tenants and the owner) to my advantage. Sometimes, they would bury their ideological differences to put up an united front to counter me. I'll then use my tool - Strategy! Putting up an innocent face, I'll first serve them coffee (one thing I've mastered in my cooking) and start talking about my little knowledge on cyberspace, star-*s and the like, and of course, scribbles such as this one. Then on, they thought it better and safe to get up little earlier on weekends too and finish off their showers before I would wake up!

Oh man! Our owner is so much concerned about our safety, you know! He has so designed the fence gate that no damn soul except him can open it. The other two tenants had a horrible time initially, having to bank on the owner's mercy to venture out.. But, to their fortune, they both have an enterprising kid each, who took hardly an year to master the art of opening the gate. But, I didn't succeed. If I wanted such a luxury, I had to wait for many more years until I get married and be bestowed with an enterprising and caring kid to give me that kind of a comfort. So, I thought I better find another way out, meanwhile. My athletic records came handy, without having to struggle with the gate, to clear it with that Scissors (when in casuals and for the inward bound jump onto the lawn, where there is a nice patch of grass giving you a sponge-like cover, I go for Western). Moreover, such off-the-beat activities help you remember the origin of our ancestors! I just wish the owner had the fence a foot or so taller, for I could've booked a berth to the Atlanta Olympics then. But again, I'm thankful I didn't make it, as I would be in a dilemma then, whether to owe the gold medal to my mother nation or to my foster country. Because, the body belongs to my mother nation whereas the fence belongs to the foster country. Actually, I take it back. In a way, I don't mind having made it. For, it would've become a hot topic of discussion on the net - Body or the Fence! --Kavitha 15/Apr/96

My Village!

Draw a rectangle. Place dozen houses apiece on the north & the south.. And another 8 or so on the west. East takes up the lily-filled pond and that cute temple in front of it. If you look out beyond these 4 streets, it's all the green fields and the colourful orchards! Almost all the houses have, in front of them, a huge open house to hold the cattle, the haystacks and an enclosed rose garden; A vegetable garden with a well, at the back of the living house. Run the full length of the house a couple of times and you've done your day's exercise! But, the clay+wood house is worth, say, your month's grocery bill!

Well! Lets move to our girl, Kavi! Her family, like any others in the village, just about managed 3 meals a day (in jeopardy if the crops fail!). But, she had all the love showered on her by the entire village. She indulged in all kinds of activities within the bounds of the village - Hiking (on the huge haystacks), carrying food for her dad to the far-off fields dancing thro' the slippery step-path! She played all sorts of indoor & outdoor games, pick of them being 'silly-coadu' (game where you draw a huge rectangle with 8 boxes, and hop over the boxes with a chipped stone over your foot, at times with closed eyes - yuppy, no!). She used to walk a mile and a half, rambling all the way with other kids, to that cute little school for her elementaries. The kids go for the "falls" showers on weekends - high-raised motor jet that pumps out water for their fields. At times, she and her elder brother get the privilege of taking over the night shift of operating the motor, when father was out to the town and mother couldn't make it either (The best part is the battle between the two as to who would switch the green button on at the start and who the red one in the morning - More struggle if power goes off in between!).

Then came this change. She, by some fluke, had an opportunity to go to one of the best (hill) schools in the country, for her middle school! She decided to escape from the village. I leave it to you to decide if it was worth an escape! She couldn't stop there. Went on to a premier institute for her masters. She was fully occupied with her career now - didn't find enough time to visit her dears. She still had all the love for them. But, this thought came over - "All the things I could do, If I had a little money..." She pursued that golden pot over there! Now, she has all that she wanted. She wants to shower all the love on her dears... But... There is no one left there to take her love!

Was it worth an escape? May be, you will get a different answer, if you bring in 'pursuance' & 'adventurism'.. But, let me remind you this. It was an adventurous life in the village, all year! People living in that village are still innocent.. It's the wheat and rice which those people toil to produce, that Kavi takes with her vege+egg side-dish! Those people contribute zero to the ozone hole! They don't know how to pollute the air that you and I breathe. They don't know nothing about these colourful chemicals. They base their lives purely on nature - whatever it gives to them! --Kavitha 2/May/96

The Last Leaf ...

Vembu - I'll render you thus.
People may call you Neem,
and the Lab, Margosa..
But to me, you are dear Vembu!

Mom planted you with
so much anxiety and love.
We both grew together..
Watched you spring your leaves,
bud, and then blossom every spray,
swinging your tender stem all the way,
and the leaves breezing..

I too crawled, toddled,
hopped, jumped, played,
And enjoyed every flash of it
- had a life then!
We both grew together..

It was fun counting your leaves,
and letting your petals
breeze over my body..

When you were young,
I saw this little girl,
as a truant, pluck your leaves.
She then hugged you.
You had another soul
who played with you now.
I too!

You spread your heart out with
fragrant white blossoms,
attracting all the passers
with your beauty..
Those endless evenings
under your shadow,
feeding our hearts -
with jokes, teasings, arts,
literature, people, career, and romance.
You witnessed all.
You too were given a few kisses!
I was floating.
It was worthy a life, I thought..

Then that gloomy evening,
I saw her feed you with contempt
- I knew it wasn't water..
I had seen treacherous acid
only in labs till then.
I thought I saw you cry - tears
dripping from your leaves.
You were perhaps Shaken..
You withered.
No more breezy nod,
no mark of fragrant blossoms,
and no more smile -
Our house lost its green..
It was easier to count
your charmless leaves now.

I can't come out any longer.
But, lying in my bed,
I still watch you, remembering
those lively, lovely days
- Now withering..

I see the lone leaf flicker.
I won't be there to see the fallen leaf... --Kavitha 19/May/96

My First Journey!

"You are going to Delhi tomorrow!" a top official in the company informed me. I was caught unawares. It was to look into an app. that had crashed - The client perhaps wasn't aware that such unseemly crashes are the norm of any s/w (that we deliver) & that nothing much a makeshift engr. like me could do about it! I was identified the scapegoat as I was the only one having any semblance of association with that project - having attended one of its design meetings!

Anyway.. Here I was - at the B'lore airport, panting like a marathon winner. Hurried to the gate, performing all the rituals on the way. Fortunately, the flight, not deviating from its credentials, was sufficiently late. And when they opened the gates for boarding, using my athletic skills, I breezed through the open to get on to the ladder as the first. I then used my skills with the reservationised BTS buses, to get that window seat in the front row - Only to be pulled out a little later by a flight attendant, prompted by an elderly man.

The attendant snatched my boarding pass and read out, "17E - Madam, your seat is right at the back and is in the *economy* class." I didn't know what she was talking, but feared I was going to lose the window seat. Got up reluctantly with a pathetic look, to give way to that man. "Let this kid take my seat. I'll go to 17E", he was probably moved by my act!

Naturally, this was going to be a great experience for a girl, whose only travel worthy of talking had been the night long bus journey from her remote village in coastal India where river Cauvery takes on the Bay of Bengal, to B'lore. None in my row seemed to show interest in the fancy sweets offered by the hostess. At this rate, she wasn't going to complete her task. I took a handful of them. She smiled at me and was about to leave, when I pulled her back and took another hand full! The attendant was on her next rounds. "Your belts on, please!", she ordered. "I don't have one!". I had become sort of her enemy by now. She lifted me from the seat, pulled out a rope like thing on which I was sitting, tied me up and said, "Be like that & I'll release you when it is *safe*, get that!". The take-off accompanied by the occassional bumps didn't give that great a feeling I was imagining; Rather, it resembled more like my bus journey which makes you freely exchange seats on its acute turns.

I threw few of my pathetic looks at the hostess whenever she passed me. Succumbing to my relentless pleadings, she finally untied me. Now, I had a better view of the ground, with that raised body. After a while, the stretch of bare lands started boring. So, had a majestic walk thro' the walk-path, trying to spot those odd passengers out. In fact, I let my imaginations loose, fancying things like there was a hijacker in the flight, and all the related fantasies you power! Nothing of that sort seemed to happen. I was little disappointed I couldn't exhibit my heroic deeds. Anyway.. A little later, the crowd became activated.

Dinner time.. It was sure a great wonder to hold the huge dinner plate and the accompanying bunch of cups all in a small hand-table. Nothing seemed to match my taste - Ended up only messing my hands. Now, I needed a wash-basin to pretty them up; Resorted to the hostess for help, and she took me to a box like joint. "I need a wash-basin!" I prompted. "Yes! This is the restroom", she left with my hands stretched. Gave a gentle push to what was supposedly the restroom door and was appalled by the size of doll-like room and more so by the intimidating door. I wasn't sure if I'll be able to come out of it, if I ever got in! So, decided to forgo the wash-basin luxury, returned to my seat, & ordered for a few cups of water. The hand-table wasn't happy with my overloading it, as the cups had a clash with the protracting spoon or something, and gently obeyed the law of gravitation even at that height. More than the lady whose dress was blessed by this act, I was feared of the furious hostess. The flowing water underneath our seats reminded me of the tributaries of Cauvery in our area. It took a lot of my innocent looks to overcome the tension created by my operation-handwash! ...

It was only after reaching the visitors' area, did I realise how I was going to identify Mr.X arranged by the client. Perhaps it was a cabdriver who blocked me, "Kahan Jaana hai?". Applying my high IQ, quickly analysed his talk and concluded it was Hindi, all in a matter of few minutes! And so responded, "Hindi maloom nahin!". He threw a stinker at me as though I was a born sinner. To my relief, I noticed a placard reading, "Welcome Ms. Kavitha, to NewDelhi!". Delhi looked so beautiful.

The next morning.. Had it been B'lore, 7AM would've been the middle of my Friday night sleep. What to do:-( The IS manager with his team escorted me to their office - as though we were involved in the nation's prestigious defence program or something! They explained me the problem and gave the dataset that caused the crash. Their anxiety and their sincere watching of screen was embarassing. Had to type in a few mysterious and greek-looking commands to scare them all away.

I won't go deep into how, by fluke, I identified the memory corruption and the culprit code - Because I myself don't know how I did it:-) By evening, the app. was going smooth as the IS manager's head. These people were so thrilled by the fix that I would've been given a few rounds of hugs, had I not been a girl. Sunday morning, they dumped me at the airport, with a bunch of gifts.

I was floating in the fame that was to honour me at B'lore. So, without any fuss, accepted the economy class aisle seat offered to me. Dreams of B'lore reception continued. After the ascent, heard a gruff voice in Hindi. Didn't bother to buy his talk. Immediately after, he continued his gruff voice, "Dear Souls! The flight is under our control this minute on. We *request* your kind...!" His cold voice and the pistol he was holding made me dumb, pushing my heroic thoughts and even the B'lore fame dreams to the backseat! --Kavitha 4/Jun/96

False Dream ...

Dear Kavi, I had a dream last night!
Treading in the dense groves,
and the perfumed gardens, hands held..
Sharing our laughters, our thoughts..
Cuckoos singing all their hearts
to match your angelic voice..
Jasmines and Roses blooming, vying
to reach your streaming hair..
The birds, the flowers seemed to
echo your first words of love for me!
I thought my eternal thoughts
on you fortuned as the dream.
I thought the dream mirrored our love!

It continued - You were silent self-willed,
Reminded your week long anger..
A while later you started fading,
with all my pleadings in vain.
I thought it was only a dream..
Waited - waited endless to hear you.
May be you now had a better match, to erase me!
May be my infected heart has a hole as
large as the vacuum you've thrust me..
But, this heart bears Dear Kavi and is
filled with her thoughts alone..
Then, saw a serpent, where you stood,
spitting all its venom on me.
Had to wake up - Hoping it was
only a dream - Yes, it was!
But then, it was a dream at dawn... --Kavitha 6/Jun/96

The only cure for love is marriage.
But, thats like treating a drug addict into coma!

My Struggle Begins ...

"Hey, you are wanted downstairs.." Sangeetha the conveyer summoned. Looked like I was going to take on the might of the team headed by grandma - with dad undecided on which side to lean..

"What business do you have in Aarifa's house?"

It was blunt. Their problem is not with my playing with that kid - But, her brother Anwar! I go to their house, in the same block, to chat with him, but mostly to protect myself from my enemy called maths. This of course didn't amuse grandma, aunt and uncle. Father is so damn hard to conceive. Unfortunately, ours hadn't transcended the incidental father-daughter relationship.

I usually regard grandma from my heart, for the love she has on us. But, I wouldn't give myself up on such things. "Listen grandma! Anwar is my friend. He helps with maths...".

Aunt interrupted. The argument seemed to get heated up. Fortunately, there was a knock at the door. It was Claris, my only friend - May be Anwar to some extent. She's been very close to our family even after that tragedy. More than any of us, she was shaken terribly by that blow...

She had perhaps come on a casual visit. But, sensing the building up tension, promptly said, "Uncle! I'm taking Kavi out for shopping."

Since there was no question mark in it, they couldn't do much! ... We walked silent, on different frequencies.. "What a match dear Raja and this girl would've made, if only the disaster didn't strike us.." thoughts took me to their days of love.

"Come on, cheer up Kavi! They are in the other generation, no! It'll take them time to understand.."

She probably thought I was still 'in' the argument. "Oh! I was out of that the moment you entered! Grandma is understandable Claris.. It's sickening to see people of our age getting tangled in the monsters of religion, caste and what not...". She nodded..

After this chat, again to cheer up, she asked, "Hey! Why were you angry with Anwar last week!?"..

"What else do you expect! I was pulling along in my bike. And this guy is wizzing past me in his mobike with a girl, not even bothering to acknowledge me!"..

"Thats bad! I agree.. He should've gone in a bike!"..

"*You*..." I slapped her with love and continued, "Actually that girl is his cousin and was in a hurry to drop her at station, it seems..". Lately, I've started wondering if Anwar was more than a friend to me! May be...

Claris took me to the Murugan temple. She loves to see the way they dress him up on Saturdays. After the park, I dragged her home for dinner. The kids Malli and Sangeetha were helping grandma and others packing things. "Tomorrow, we are moving out to a house in Bharathi Colony!". I wasn't prepared for this assault. I bowed.

Dad probably double-crossed me. Yes, they were successful in separating us even before the love had blossomed. I was going to retaliate..

I did defeat dad in the struggle and in the bargain, defeated myself by getting locked in a cocoon. The struggle had just started.. --Kavitha 9/Jun/96

My School!

A vague dream I was relishing - broken by the blaring bugle..Thats the wake-up call. But, this girl Waheeda sleep-walks at times. It was possible she had blown it before dawn. Nope! The scrambling and rambling had started - with a mixture of sleepy voices, stamping walks and someone shouting for her lost toothpaste... I pulled myself out of the Razai. Had hardly 10 minutes left to reach the ground, if I wanted to avoid those extra rounds of jogging in that frosty weather. Except for that early morning frustration, I love Nilgiris and its lovely air. I still remember my first morning in the school - heard a loud "Peessaaa". Wondered what was wrong with her, wanting to eat pizza so damn early in the morning!? & chuckled. She heard it and I had it. Later, I learnt that was a codeword for bullying. I was supposed to have serviced her, she being a class senior to me. The last thing most of the kids in the school do is study. The allocated 90 minutes of games in the evening was definitely not sufficient to calm our beating veins. 6-8:15 is supposed to be "prep"aratory, with a 30-minute break for supper. With days of expertise, we knew each super- vising warden in & out - their walking,watching abilities & their shortcomings. Accordingly, we turn the classroom into a mini-playground. With the help of a couple of (juniors) watchwomen, the room will be restored into a classroom swiftly, leaving the warden no trace of any mischief. If the warden happens to be a dynamic, we resort to the game of missiles & submarines or book-cricket. Worse come worst (if the damn warden is an eagle-eyed not inching out of room), those Agatha Christies or Chase, inside a text book. During daytime, if our "play" genes seem to get out of control, then bunk those "weak" teachers; In a way, we do them a favour by our absence. Come night, the dorms will be swung into a flood-lit tournament... Except for the sporadic diffs. in the physical appearance, the girls were no less truant than the boys or the boys any less arrogant than us. Games were no exception. Not less than 2 window-panes a day and atleast a tube a week were the victims of our worthwhile cause of becoming national players someday. The school works on a seasonal system; Starting the year with a mild game as volleyball, and then feeding our hungry muscles with cricket, basketball, hockey & footer, with tennis, tt, shuttle as rain-fillers. And finally the megaevent - athletics. The inter-house matches provide you all the thrill one can expect in an int'l tournament, with some crucial fixtures giving you the much wanted violent games and sometimes violence. Each season culminates with the inter-school tournaments. If you happen to see our meeting with St.Joseph's, you will be ashamed to see the decency level of an India-Pak encounter;Especially the soccer match. Me having "those" genes little too much in excess, the week before my first exams in school brought me a big shock. Any book I opened seemed to have been written in Greek, and I literally started getting nightmares in my sleep and even otherwise. Had to do something.

The day before exams, broke my right arm, deliberately crashing into a heap of pointed stones (kept for road construction), suggested by a (mad) friend. [[The 1st week after joining school, I was terribly homesick. After analysing a bunch of sick ideas, seniors suggested the time tested option - pepper induced fever. I was applied pepper at wrong places, so I catch fever next morn'g, good enough to keep me away for a while,so I catch the next train home. Unfortunately,I was assigned to a doctor who was perhaps too damn familiar with such "mysterious" fevers. I caught fever and the doc caught me. She mercilessly ditched me to HM. Had it not been for my skills bolstered by my pathetic looks, I would've made a history of being the "youngest expelled" from school:-)]].. So this time, we had to be careful while selecting an "option". But, there was hardly a day left before exams & in our madness, we didn't think much on the aftereffects of the stone-fall.. Anyway, here I was at home, hand wringing in pain. Mom, in an attempt to cheer me up, asked about my extra-curricular activities. I started listing, "Arts, Band, Music, Dance, Piano, Sculpture, Weaving, Kung-fu, Taekwo',rendezvous..". Mom interrupted, "Wait.. wait.. Whats this rendaevu!?".. I had to stray, "Err.. rendaevu?.. Oh.. Thats a martial art like kung-fu..!" Once there was a ramble on bravery, with each kid larking like anything. I was unfortunately trapped (by my lies) and was asked to prove. So, I was to go to the mile-away cemetry after 10PM, all alone, place a letter of proof, & return. Started on my venture, shivering (it wasn't that cold in summer) when the last of the servents' quarters passed. It was all trees. I still don't know who made that shrill. Unwitting, ran like hell, back to dorms only to catch pneumonia the next morning. When I reached my 10th, the Army General, recognising my "talents", made me the guard commander for Guard#3, for Founders' day parade. We quickly formed the 8 guards, & started with our practice. "Ek vishram!", "Do vishram!", "'D'heen vishram!"... Even after my majestic command, no damn soul in my guard split their legs apart. Instead, I heard a few chuckles.. The General walked towards me,stripped off my guard badge, & I was made a worthless left marker. Anyway, I made up for this humiliation with a terrific display in gym, doing a wonderful somersault through the fire ring. My physics teacher, an insane (as are most of us), was cribbing away one night, when we had gathered outside the Assembly Hall for the Saturday night movie. I mimicked him. He was too smart (I learnt all insanes are) to rightly spot me out in that darkness; The next second, I felt a thunder in me, seeing more stars than I had seen the previous night during our space study. As the 12th Publics approached, I realised all this fun was in lieu of my IIT seat, only then observing those rare souls tied with Brilliants' and Agarwals'. Anyway... I didn't regret either, because I never had a chance to 'live' my life ever since.. --Kavitha 13/Jun/96
(Ek-1 Do-2 Teen-3 vishram-attention as in 'stand at ease')

My Race!

Even as I swallowed my first breathe,
Heard my nears and dears make this
customary exalt, "Wow! How cute our kid is!"
While their eyes were busy searching into
the sex organ of mine to figure out
if I belonged to the fortunate race!

With all their contempts, they could only grumble,
"Oh no! If only we could name this kid Kavithan!".
To my fortune, I hailed from a 'decent' town
that wouldn't put a premature end to me
for having to be named Kavitha.
I survived my birth!

My uncle made this great comment, as I attempted
to register for the State athletic meet:
"What help will these monkey-like jumpings do.
Instead let her learn some useful cooking!".

My aunt, another unfortunate by birth, raised
this wonderful question when I tried for my masters,
"So, shall we start looking for a
local groom or a foreign one!?"

When I served the purpose of our
great institution called marriage,
giving birth to a 'wonderful' kid,
my great hubby made this great suggestion,
"So, why don't you extend your leave for
another couple of years 'til we can
dump *our* kid into a nursery!?"

Today, I hear my doc friend make this gloss,
"It's time we make legal
- mercy killing of coma patients -
who live like vegetables!".

"Yes!" I said, "But, you should be ready to
lose half our population, who live like vegetables -
an entire race,
the fairer of the two human races!" --Kavitha 21/Jul/96

My College!

Thanks to my friend and her limits, I had to end my school deeds abruptly. Even my disastrous performance in Publics couldn't hinder my play genes. But had to restrict myself to indoor games as Trichy is terribly hot thro' the year. Anyway, there were umpteen extra-curricular activities - including the likes of fun-filled ragging and an adultized hide & seek - to fill the vacuum created by the absence of conventional games. The only difference in bullying was I could rag those weaker seniors when they were stranded alone. It was sure a "cultural" shock to see many bookaholics, looking down at us few, as though we were insanes behaving our normal self. Our maths prof. came handy for me to establish myself in the class. She created history giving a choice to a question in her weekly test. And I, only I, happened to attend the latter option for that question. The other 29 lazy bones went for the first, because that appeared first in the paper. I, an otherwise empty head, became a heroine over lunch(!) and more than anything, it helped me put down voices of dissent over my kiddish behaviour. People had started developing the virtue of selfishness and so I was deprived of the "copying" luxury I used to enjoy in school. My concept has always been "Share your thoughts to the betterment of the world!". They didn't realize that by helping me copy, they were indeed contributing to a future engineer. Anyway... If they thought they were smart, sorry! I always had the nights to revenge. The problem was entire class had to pay for a few cribs. There were 3 of us, turning the staircase into Jog Falls, giving them a free shower just before their delicious dinner. Our mastery over executing such jobs and our rabbit-like running would never get us caught. If we felt restless in our room, it was going to be a nightmare for others. ... I had to work as a part-timer in libs., for a hefty sum of 3 bucks an hour. The librarian wasn't perhaps aware how much my day's milk chocolates alone cost. And he wasn't aware of my tit-for-tat nature either. You pay me measly - I'll pay you what you deserve. I'll deliberately arrange Thermodynamics books under Psychology; Will Durant's under Electricity & Magnetism; and pin-away the centre page from SportStar. If I was in a good mood, I'll desist from such (mis)placements, being a nice girl quietly reading magazines in some corner. Thanks to the Entertainment Secretary, we always get sloppy saturday night movies. In an otherwise lousy movie, there was a "scene" - the censor board had either slept during that scene or were followers of my principle - "Live & let live". Someone shouted, "Hey! What the hell are you doing man!?" I now became famous all over the college with a hot comment that I made, "It's summer no! He must be feeling hot!"

Then a wonderful morning, I was sipping tea after my hurdles practice, when I received the blow as a telegram, "Alright Kavi! Enough of fun, isn't it! How about taking the uglier side of life!" --Kavitha 23/Jul/96

My Soulmate!


Where are you!? Heard of 'soulmate'!? I'm searching for mine with the vigour of a da Gama. Is WallStreet+Java+Love for parents & kids really worthy a life!? Or on a different course, a better one - Marshy fields in the Cauvery delta with pazhaya soaru (rice soaked overnight + green chillies)!? Nope! This doesn't sound any better, for a life long 'life'!
May be the interests, the profession changes over time; But with no zest for life, is it possibly a life!? Another alternative may be public life or perhaps social work. But, how long will this steam hold? Imagine any of these courses coupled with a soul close to your heart!

Yes, you need a soulmate!
You perhaps need a 'dream mate', writing every hour, calling every night - sometimes thro' the dream hours, to mature into your soulmate!

Is it at all a birth to enjoy childhood, be an university rank holder, work to eat, yoke to raise a lovely kid (and perhaps - if lucky - go through a love failure before tying the knot), and then battle all your life with both the egos contending or the dominant quashing the other!?

Don't you feel you need a soul to share your 24 hours in thoughts, rambling in the terrace and in romance - for the rest of your life!? Just the thought of such a twin makes me feel as though I've overcome all the ills of this wretched life. I did have a friend - my only friend, who taught me what it was to live! Who taught me what it was to love! I thought I had succeeded in my pursuit. But, was forced to learn that soulmate is not singular!

Soulmate is not utopian; Neither is it poetical. One can make such a partner out of a wight that merely plays tennis on weekends, listens to Abba, jumps over any fence she sees, wakes up in the middle of the night to scribble her dreams! Perhaps, you need to mold the two souls!

I'm waiting for you. Because I know you are alone too. I know you are wandering in your thoughts to meet your person and that soul is scribbling 'crap'!

What?? Did you say mirage is the synonym for soulmate. So, let it be! Do you think I'll give up my search for that soul!? Dream on...
"Yendrum Anbudan" ("Ever Loving") --Kavitha 24/Jul/96
Caution: This is not a m' ad:-)

My Love!

Prelude: Smile me should you reach the last couplet:-)

Treading were we in twilight,
through the tender greens -
Tender paddy greens
sown weeks two back,
sprouting out ample to
pitch in dainty ranks..
With rising moon
mating standing water,
to uproot them
down into earth, transparent!
The best of Nazi guards
would jealous did they see you!

The naughty calf truanting its way home
for her mother to fond!
Mom, I won't pest you any long
on what I wont to as a kid!
The little flies filling
the air with joyful music
- May be you inspired musico of yesteryears!
Creeping jasmines ever blooming,
spreading a bed to our feet..
scenting the easy breeze!

The moon now eating night's dark.
Tired were our legs -
drawing into the sand heap..
Head resting on your laps, making a T,
Fingers rippling my streaming hair!
Dear, you read your little poem -
Erasing all the wonders
for my charming face,
Humbling the heavenly wonder
for my luring laughter,
Vying the flowers
to reach my flowing hair!
I woke up sudden to scribble this dream
- the best of mine in recent! --Kavitha 31/Jul/96

My Childhood!

I bow to you Mom,
to let me live my years!
To let the village own me!
May be you had a hidden sorrow
to glimpse me rare as your hum..
Teaching you strategy a day
to hold me for the food -
none to catch me in the run!
In the yard, pushing up the swing,
skirt flirting in gushing air
enough to scare you!
In your siesta, creeping my way,
heaping chair over another,
unlatching street door unto the groves,
vaulting the thorny fence,
hastily plucked mangoes choking my tops,
and then sprinting our way from chasing guard,
vanishing into the temple tank!
Then sliding to wed 'saery' friends,
sneaking into 'panna veedu',
staring fantasies in the colory TV 'petti'!
Close to dusk, rambling our way to the greens
to sickle grass for love cow and her kids!
Didn't you love me too much, Mom!
- cuddling me thro' the night,
the night I downed my foot with a gash!
I bow to you Ambika,
for cherishing me in your thatched home!
Can I call you too my Mom!
I bow to you Poygai,
to let me live those years!
I owe myself to your soil!
I bow to you L'dale,
to let me live those years!
I vow my only wealth to you - my name!
I bow to you Kavi,
to bear my soul in this birth!
To let me enjoy earth's sole gift - those 20 years!
I bow to you my "sweetheart",
to let me end my childhood... --Kavitha 4/Aug/96

My Anjali ...

Nature dawned yet another day for me.. Had to clear the front of the litter donated by last night's community feast. Next four hours, I'll have to turn a machine - preparing dad for field, Sangeetha for school & visit the cattle in between - A long day. It was still dark.. Probably fairer than me! - The reason I'm still generously left with dad even after 3 decades. I never thought as simple a thing as colour could complicate and decide the fate of my life.. Had to end my studies when I was still a kid, having to shoulder the family - dad and the 2 kids. Hearing comments like, "If only she was not so dark.." from my own aunt, I had resigned from the thoughts of a soulmate - long back.. Learning to eat all my passions, these days. May be I'm born to be alone. Who knows!

I had a couple of other dreams though - I still have. Have long been wanting to wear a chudidhar.. Somehow never felt like asking dad or even Malliga. In fact, a few months back, shrugging all my shyness, asked my town-based cousin if he could get me one. He posed a surprising look as though he heard a big joke and said, "What happened to you!?".. He probably thought I was lucky enough to wear these decent sarees once worn by his sisters - my aunt's daughters.. Have never tried my luck with the other dream - It was probably too distant a dream. Every evening watching the kids racing in their bikes, with the leading looking back and waving at the other kids with a glee, I feel like one among them; The still living cells in me trying to pull my body onto the street.. Why mom did you leave me alone at so young an age!?...

Not that the village was boring; rather I love it so much. But just that I also wanted to see the world - say, live for a week with everyone serving me, fulfilling my little dreams.. Malli is brilliant and had the break to go out for studies. Atleast she has found her soulmate. But, she has made the visits rare these years. Last time she visited, I expressed my desire to go with her for some vocational course in the city and try for a job. A long dream indeed.. She probably knew better of the problems as she hesitated and I hurriedly withdrew my brimming eyes on the brink, to rush away in the pretext of attending the postman. I know we both love each other...

In the evening, when I get a break to breathe, I usually opt for the garden, sitting over the well-hedge with the day's paper, looking at the chirping birds, the colourful crotens and the flower bed. Dropped a pebble inside to disturb the still. The sleepy frogs scrambled around. I felt sad for them. "Why do people use you for their saying - frog in the well!" Why don't they think of you as someone unfortunate - born in the deep, ever to live in those few cubes space, unto your death..

I was attracted by a half page obituary ad in the paper. More than the size, my name in the caption pulled me. The caption read, "Kanneer Anjali!" (tearful tributes). I thought, "Perhaps there are some people, like you little frog, who deserve tearful tributes every single day.." --Kavitha 5/Aug/96

My Cooking!

I'm one who hates eating outside and this factor contributed solidly to making me one of the best cooks you would've ever t(e)asted. Some of my specials include coffee (fortunately we have these instant powders), boiled eggs (both full- boiled & half-boiled), and of course that groovy cup of hotmilk (before hitting bed). And among side-dishes, my favourite vege+egg course, currently prepared probably only by me on earth - Infact I'm thinking of patenting it. Only this one took me over an year to master it. Otherwise, I'm a pretty fast learner - the other specials took me hardly a month or two to master them.. Often I think I fit perfectly into the Tamil saying - "If she cooks, it can be felt over 7 villages!".. Who cares if it's because of the odour or the falling utensils & the smoke.

I'm a generosity-filled person. So much so that I look at these tiny table spoons as a symbol of stinginess; And so usually donate a few hands full of salt to sambar. At the end, even after scooping out the still undissolved salt, I find the colored liquid little too salty. Luckily, my friend visited me to teach how to overcome this problem. Very simple! Squeeze in a few lemons and you are fine. Keep this a secret, though!

Also I'm a person who believes in equality. Again, so much so that I feel 'that' red powder should get an equal share in sambar. What?? Scared it will be hot or what!? Can't you bear this little inconvenience for the cause of equality - as a symbolic gesture.

My friend, during her stay, also suggested that my sambar could be made even more tasty by adding a few other ingredients (those I was missing till then). These sundries include the likes of tamarind, tomatoes, vegetables, mustard and other such things that you fry in oil, and may be a cup of dhal. Gawd! I did try these and it tasted quite good, you know!

On my first visit home, I took over cooking a lunch for my entire family. They were all so overwhelmed by my cooking ability that their eyes were filled with joyful tears - after taking a few pinches of my sambar rice. I unfortunately took ill with stomach pain that day. (I later learnt they all had too, but didn't let me know for obvious reasons). So, whenever I tried to cook then on, they all will come running to me, "Please.. Please Kavi, don't strain yourself. Remember how you fell ill that day, overworking yourself. And seeing you down, we too fell ill with the same stomach pain!".. I was so moved by their love for me that I thought I'll spare them. Anyway.. I don't miss the chance to thrust my cooking talents on my friend, though.

I'm afraid to get married, you know! Because then, my cooking being above excellence, I doubt if I'll get a soul who will match my cooking. I then will have to do for two souls, right! --Kavitha 8/Aug/96

sambar - An Indian dish, which again I'm planning to patent if no one has
         done so far. 

My Vacation!

"Aey, Manusha Korangu!" (Courtesy: A recent Tamil film), heard an enthu kid jumping, even as I stepped out of the entrance at Madras airport. Had not the hurting bags tied my hands, I would've picked up a child's fight with that kid. His mom was quick to pull him, "Shh.. It's Manisha Koirala, you dummy!", their eyes behind me. I turned back only to see a pretty looking girl close to being hovered by thronging fans, who were perhaps going to leave their dears stranded & irritated as me (mine was one of jealousy though).

I had another 7 hours of train life to fall into my dears' hands. This time I had to do something to avoid being displayed as one of those zoo creatures. I made a grave mistake in my first visit - adding a lot of pepper & salt (as I'm wont to) about my new life. By the time I could retreat, it was too late. I was already their undisputed heroine, after my eventful first journey which, by God's grace, I returned in one piece.

Grandma and my niece & nephew would lead the pack, deifying me in the minds of innocent villagers, with me a mute spectator. She would start-off, "You know Akila.. Nothing runs in her office, without our Kavi!", as if I'm one oil well pumping out petrol for the wheeled office or something. She then continues, "And our Kavi drives the car all by herself!" (She probably didn't know that cars normally have only one steering wheel, one gas pedal, one brake and typically you find them all on one side), "And goes at the speed of 120km!" (Paatti, if I didn't in those free-for all-ways, you wouldn't be seeing me here). "And no need of cash at all, it seems. Everything she can buy using.. - Kavi, show those.. - these little cards!" (I was getting things for free). "And then everything gets cooked by itself (microwave), washed by itself (dish washer)!", as though I had some jee-boom-ba (angel) doing these for me.

I don't know what my niece had told the other kids. But, they all will look at me as a creature just out of a third planet - sort of an untouchable. But, that distanced treatment is only for a day. If you know how to smile, you will be accepted by the kids in no time - Joining them for a swim in the lily-pond and even pelting mangoes in the groves. I had the luxury to spend all my time with these kids, as I was prohibited from entering kitchen, washroom and the like - My washing, cleaning, cooking being little too professional, parents didn't want me to influence the other kids in the family with my sophisticated working style. With my violent pestering, atlast they gave in to me feeding & milching the cows - only after the neighbours assured them of the day's milk, in case things went wrong. To their disbelief, I did a pretty decent job, with just a couple of bandaids & a bandage. ...

But, when it came to the day of my return, every soul at home that boasted me all their heart out, had only this to say, "Kavi, do you really have to go back this time!? Please...". I don't know what to call this bond... --Kavitha 12/Aug/96

My Terrific Vision!

Caution: All feeble-hearted and humour-deficient souls advised to keep away from My Vision:-) Read on...

Before venturing into my vision, let me give you a brief overview of my cute little apartment.
If you ever happen to meet my friend, try asking her about my apartment. If she is in good mood, you'll escape with a stinker. Else you are bound to get a slap or two, as a venting for the anger over me & my horrifying little apt. She hardly had a night of good sleep in her stay - bunch of creatures and the Vitalacharya film type tops giving her big company thro' her dream hours... I usually kick start my music player to his full throat, regardless of what I'm intending to do. For one thing, only then I'll be able to hear him, suppressing all the competing creatures - roaring refrigerator, growling fan and such talented utilities. It also gives me the mental strength that I'm not all alone in this otherwise threatening atmosphere. Anyway... I've ordained this poor little chamber for close to 2 years now. And the fact that I'm still alive and torturing you all has opposed the few sane cells in me that occasionally think of moving out. Infact, I have sort of a delicate, inexplicable binding with it now..

Oops! Where are we!? Umm.. ah! Last night, after this Seinfeld started getting on to my nerves, I pulled the TV curtain down and took a last round of chips to hit the bed. Was about to hug my love dream, when I thought I heard a stroke of soft, but chilling steps. Wrapped my entire body with blanket, in the hope that I'll feel safe. A minute passed.. Again, the same sound.. My nerves didn't seem to listen to my plea to keep it cool - Instead they were getting cold. When the steps would stop, it was even more scary - Never know when this X would pounce on me. I thought I'll get up and run away into the owner's apt. But, what if this man has already 'done' the owner? I'm one who closes her eyes seeing a stabbing scene in films. Law of excess pressure pulled me out of the bed. None of my bravery (talk) skills seemed to help. Atlast, spotted that (vegetable) knife near my CD player. What if it ditches me and decides to join Mr.X in the struggle? My first job was to hide all these lethal weapons. So, this knife, a blade that I use to sharpen pencil, a wooden rod to practice drumming and a couple of sharp nails lying behind the door - all were neatly packed & pushed under the carpet. Next! Remove all the valuables from easy access. Watch.. No! Ring.. No! Wallet.. No!... Urundai&murukku (cookies) packet, *Yes*. Mom had poured all her love into making these yummy ones. I just love these. No place seemed full-proof safe for them. I for a second thought of finishing them off. But, it was past midnight and the poor intestines were already begging me after a heavy round of them, that earlier had substituted my dinner. So, pushed them under the bedsheet. Next target was the refrigerator. I'll give you anything for that colourful Breyer's icecream. This again went under the sheet..

Only yesterday, my skills had struck a winning combination to produce a sambar that was close to being edible. I didn't want to let go it. But those few sane cells in me damn warned that it wasn't a good move as my bedsheet will no way be able to handle such a heavy load. And so I unwillingly let it go... Now, I thought talking to my friend may make me little comfortable. It was midnight for her. I could disturb her, I thought. Earlier once, I called her up around 7 in the morn, mindless of the time diff. She had another 10 minutes for the alarm to go. She hates to lose those precious closing minutes. Blasted me like hell for breaking her dream. Later in the day, cursed me to a bat in my next birth. Luckily, it was not her alarm time now - Otherwise, I don't know what other creatures she had in mind for me. I made a stupid mistake then. Not wanting to expose my bravery, I didn't mention to her (rubbing her eyes, out from a lovely sleep) about this Mr.X doing intermittent jogging in my house, and tried to be cool asking her what she was doing. I thought I heard a slap. Anyway, the line was cut. I think it was not that good a question to have asked...

I still didn't have the guts to switch on the lights. I was so sure this guy was somewhere around me and had that slight hope he was afraid to take on me in the dark. Felt like drinking some water to give life to my fast-depleting throat and to myself and so moved towards the kitchen. My luck, I tripped over some damn thing and hurt both my ankle and my head simultaneously, the head hitting against the door knob. Started losing my (few that I have) senses, but managed to drag my body onto the bed, before losing them for good.

The non-stop ring brought my senses back. It was past 7 this morning. My friend! I didn't know what she was going to turn me into, in my birth after next (The next already been reserved for a bat). To my surprise, she was so soft - soothing all my pains as she said, "I knew from your voice - 'that' apartment of yours must have played truant. You'll never listen to me, to dump him and move out of that cemetry. Anyway.. How are you doing now!?"... I was all wet, Breyer's had joined hands with cookies to revenge me for having divorced her from the freezer. Took a laaaaaaang shower to kill my night's frustration, while thinking if I should turn it into a scribble to share with you. Probably Mr.X had fled in the dark itself - Either giving it a second thought seeing a black belt hanging alongside a pair of blue dress that usually these people practicing martial arts wear; Or he was scared later on (when I was floating in Breyer's), having a glance of the frightening look of me & myapartment...

Just before leaving for work, pulled the TV screen to see the result of the 'World' Champions Finals between Miami & Memphis. The TV was still alive with a vague sound, resembling soft but chilling steps! --Kavitha 14/Aug/96

My Dawn!

Kokkarakko! The Waheeda for this world!
Ye privileged, greeting the wonder!
The heavenly wonder tired of her
endless wait to treat the
unlucky plebs with her beauty,
now fading, giving way to thyself..

Chalak, Chalak.. Mom's hands vying
with my Kolusu's Chal, Jal.. | sort of an anklet
Yonder chirps flavouring the rhythm!
Her art crowning in wonderful
flowers printed over the
scent sprinkled earth,
Then decked with real blossoms!

The white rays slowly
unfolding on the east,
She deciding to reveal her face
out from sea the curtain -
bright as a child's face!
The rays mating the white,
the red, the yellow buds,
unveiling their luring lips
- nearing Kirthi's blush!

Dew due to part the greens,
as falling diamonds!
Butterflies flapping their colours,
visiting blossom each to hear
their night's love dreams -
Some, their first!

The calf, the lamb teaching the world
love, happy and a little life!
Cool breeze carrying the odour,
marching through the garden,
waking us kids
to join you in the morn's game!
Every new day you come new to me!
You are an wonder! And -
You are a distant dream to many... --Kavithai 18/Aug/96

My Wisdom Falls(e)!

"Want a ride with me!" Bach's seagull it was,
floating over the horaizon, contented.

I wish I could.
"Another day, you lovely bird!
Tell me one thing -
Where do I get wisdom!" ...
"Not where.. How!" he smiled,
"Read JK, Tagore, Gibran.."

"Age bar!" I stopped him,
"Tell me something feasible, you sadist!" ...
He flapped his wings displaying
his beauty, "Alright, lose all your
senses and go into meditation!"

"Tried that once. Didn't find it
any different - I mean my senses,
before and after losing them!" ...
He took an U-turn so I could
hear him, "Hmm... Kill those
ramblings and your ego!"

"Then I have nothing left in me!
Please save me, you damn creature!" ...
He thought for a while, and
looked confident this time,
"Go into insanity!"

"Twice I tried - The first time,
didn't go beyond twilight,
afraid I'll be merged!
This time, went deep into it.
Gawd! Can't come out any longer!" ...
He sighed,
"You poor little girl,
I'm afraid I can't help you!
But, let me give you this boon::
You are born a seagull your next birth
- a Bach's seagull!

"Want a ride with me!", this time a real Bach's seagull,
trouncing her mate - not content with horizon barrier!
Felt a little comfortable with her
and up were we over the clouds, over everything..
"So, tell me your problem!", she steadied,
smoothening the takeoff jitters.

Adjusted myself, "Want to relinquish my insanity!"...
"So, how is your insanity!?", she teased.

"Doing pretty good!" I responded with one,
"So, you have a solution for me!?"...
Wanted to touch the moving clouds.
She slowed the pace, "But, why do you
want to end it!? Insanes are harmless, you know!"

"Thats the problem.. People attack me then!"
I murmured, combing the cloud rings...
Into her thoughts, scaring me with her mindless tilt,
"Alright. I have three options for you.
But, on a condition though -
You should stop your sickening rambles!"

Her last words dampened the short-lived hope,
and had to hurry,
"No, Not possible! That was a curse
I bequeathed in my last birth!"...
She shrugged,
"Well, only option then: I part you
- I'll part you right here over these clouds,
So you join us per my dear's boon!"

"What if I become a bat!" I was
worried with my friend's curse...
"Either case, your problem is solved!"
the seagull was too high, up away
to hear my reply... --Kavitha 26/Aug/96

My Cross-Country!

By the second year into my new school, I had learnt every damn strategy and earned every damn virtue that any sane and well-raised kid wouldn't... So came this event - sort of a marathon thro' the woods - open to all classes, but with a cap on housewise counts. Had to first make sure my house prefect (leader) included my name in the list; That was a pretty easy job - why would anyone want to risk hurting her sleep by forbidding, provoking me. The next job was to deal with the 4 odd girls who were tipped ahead of me to win the race. In my over-enthu and in my madness (for the gold medal), I did a stupid thing; Voluntarily offered them two choices - Sponsoring them all for the Friday night's bunk to Ooty *Or* 1/2 kg cashewnut box to each (Anyway dad's money only). They took advantage of my desperateness, and started demanding both. What would've otherwise been settled with an icecream each, I overdid it and gave them room for exploitation. With two rounds of negotiations & counter- negotiations, atlast struck a deal that read, 1/2 kg to be shared by 2 and they should bear any unforseen costs such as suppressing the watchman in case we get caught Friday night (Never know how much that guy will eat from you; Depending on his need and greed, you may even end up passing your year's pocket money)..

I had carefully chalked out the run-plan, taking care of even minute things as what kind of food I was going to take that afternoon. Infact, the previous two days, I had stuffed myself with close to dozen eggs just to make sure I don't lose out being a strict vege - I had read that, in order to be a world champ, you should eat all these things. (I hold a different view these days - Food habits or the Will or whatever it is, none of them really matter; Just take a cue from Kavi's strategies and you can go places).

So, the race was to start from flag-staff, next to which you see the icecream parlour. Just before Mr.Selvapakkiyam flagged off the race, I was tempted to run into the parlour to have my day's icecream (Heavily engaged in charting out my strategy, I had completely forgotten about this routine). But then, was feeling a little embarassed to go all alone and pick a cone in front of so many people, all set for the takeoff. Anyway, I had compensated sufficiently (for such rare misses) on many a afternoon when I go for 2 or even more flavours in a single day, when there are just too many to choose from... We would've hardly done a lap, when I found myself by the side of our dormitory complex which also houses the tuck-house (where kids' eatables are stored). Thanks to some crazy rule, the kids are prohibited from keeping any of their grub (brought by them/ sent to them from home) in dorms; As if they were some Kohinoor diamonds or something, to be preserved in the locker (tuck-house). And the locker will be opened to their customers only on Tuesday (the race day) and Saturday, either for them to take a general look if everything is fine or bring out some for consumption. If I miss today, I'll have to wait for another 4 days - looked too far away. No way! My legs took a diverted route, driven by the fifth sense. Somehow fudged right at the front in the Q and grabbed whatever interested me (not necessarily belonging to me). Came out, handed them all to a junior to leave in my cupboard. Back to my sixth sense, now continued with running... This canvas, Mom bought me just a couple of weeks back and hadn't lost its shine yet. So, took a cleaner route, albeit longer, so I don't muddy up my. The rule is, you should drop your tag at 3 checkpoints - It doesn't matter what route you take (Some actually end up getting lost in the wood, trying to be smart, going for the "shortest" route)... After a while, started feeling the pain in my legs and every damn part of the body, as they were being thrust to deal with the eternal upstream after a pretty long break. And wished didn't get into this strenuous effort, where otherwise would've had a lovely game in dorms.

Anyway... I had already invested quite a bit in those deals and that seemed to ward off the threat posed by my aching legs and body. After this thought, added to my terrific will power (that pops up occasionally), I sprinted wild from there to complete all the checkpoints and there I was near the touchpoint. Looked back. There was no damn soul, as far as I could see. Never expected my will power would've driven me to run so mad as to wallop everyone with such a whopping lead. Then, looked ahead - Damn! This girl Waheeda was a few yards ahead of me. She was one of the four in the deal with me. This is not the first time she has double-crossed. Infact, knowing her nature, I had offered her alone, a special package. "Waheeda, wait! I'll show you who I am, tonight!" I vowed to myself. But right now, couldn't do much as she had already touched the final point, by the time I finished vowing. To my consolation, when I ended my run, there was a heavy cheer for me (later on learnt the actual reason). I was like flying, because even Waheeda didn't get such a cheer(for having come first). Having done a fascinating finish, grabbed a towel from someone and laid myself flat on the grass patch. After a while, heard the HM praising all the runners and was soon going to give away the medals. Readied myself to receive mine. They announced the 3 names. Didn't hear either Waheeda's or my name. Only then, realised the walloping lead I was hallucinating was indeed a walloping lead, but given to me and Waheeda. Anyway.. I thought I should take the defeat in right spirit, and as a true sportsman, and analyse what went wrong in my strategy. More than the strategy analysis benefitting me in anyway, I think it was a breathe of life to those lucky winners who would've otherwise become my target for that night. --Kavitha 4/Sep/96

My Open Dream!

Ending my frisky studylife, thought it was time I concentrated on one game for my sports career. Somehow I gifted it to tennis. Being a soul that bases her food solely on elai&thazai (greens), people suggested a lighter game as tt, would suit me better. But, I was sure of reaching the top rung very soon and a measly game as tt wouldn't earn you in your lifetime what an Arantxa does in a match. I was steadfast, & started my practice on clay court (unadulterated clay - plots surrounding brother's beleaguered house, a couple of years back used for growing paddy). Then slowly moved my way thro' turf (after a good summer shower) & other sophisticated courts (depending on the season & kind of shrubs that grow) onto the fenced one with a net. It was then I earned a coach. This man who had visited US Open courts (atleast thats what he claimed) spotted the talent in me - I had a great style (read only style) of serving and returns. He took it a challenge to fullfil his dream of winning the Open thro' me. I killed his dream very shortly,ditching him to move out of that Safe city for my work. But, he had sown the challenge nevertheless.

Hunted for a court in my New City & atlast discovered one. But, security there wouldn't let me in, saying the ground was meant for tournaments - US Open. "Oh! Here you are - Watch you sentry.. You are going to salute me one day when I stand in that podium!" vowed & resorted to one in a park near my house. There were a couple of Orientals as me, combing for a partner.

I go for an ace in the first serve (Get it right as frequent as I get my sambar right). But, make sure I earn something out of that wild service - Because most of the time, I target the ball at the player; She would dive out of the way, dropping her racquet (a little humiliation is better than getting hurt - Courtesy:McEnroe). This would've given her enough scare I think, as she always misses my second serve, usually a lollypop. Sweeping my serve a love game is as simple as that. In my initial days, I found it difficult to control my shots, few of them effortlessly clearing the 40 foot tall fence. If I smell I'm going to lose, I switch to a net-game. Regardless of where the ball is directed, I swing my racquet wild in the direction of the player (actually little to her sides, so I don't end up spending my life in prison). I make it deliberate and obvious to let her know my intention. If she believes life is something precious, she will bow to me. But, there are a few damn girls who do the same thing to me. Of course, I have only one life and a petty game as this wasn't worth for it; I would rather roll in the ground with sudden cramps to give her a w'over than getting humiliated in straight sets...

My luck, the organisers decided to give an wild card entry to a lucky resident of Flushing for the Open. Had to threaten the lotman with my weird, convoluted, audacity inducing scribbles to pick me. Unlike you, he had an option and was sensible enough to announce my name. ... So, act fast to book your tickets for the Flushing Meadows finals, if you want to glimpse me:-) --Kavitha 18/Aug/96


Clouds started gathering in random and at a mad pace, reflecting the passions, the anger of far away tides. Dad just about finished his lunch and was wondering how the bright sky could turn into dark of dusk in just a few minutes. Thats probably nature.. It was going to pour - rather an odd season. There were hardly any signs in the sky, an hour back. Atleast it had sent a warning thro' the sudden shoot up in humidity. But, my life! Nothing.. No signs of it until I saw his face that evening in hospital, without any passions - His head and stomach still wet with red. Dear Raja!....

"If only he was moved in, a few minutes earlier..." even in that dizziness, heard these voices, supposedly consoling me. "Yes! If... If..... If...." so many things could've been avoided. Even if one of these souls had shrugged the fear of police case, if his face had struck their head as a soul one full of dreams, as *their* kid raring to go places, if atleast as a human who was losing not only his life but a bunch of his loves', perhaps they wouldn't have to say so many If's.. Just a couple of hours back, before going out, he whispered me after that last kiss, "This evening, I'm going to give you a surprise!" I was hallucinating on the surprise, like a kid, while preparing to celebrate our special anniversary...

I was all alone in that city - The city I had moved with him just a week back, miles away from both our families. We were going to complete our 100th day of a dream married life! It was indeed a dream, I having to struggle with dad, mom and myriad other relatives to capture him, after being in love with him all my 23 years. Being his niece, it was so convenient to share our love in the pretext of visiting grandpa, or he visiting his sister. Bag full of letters.. The only boon on humans - taking you back, beyond all the pains.. Turning even the worst of pains into an inexplicable passion - reminiscing the happier moments, when we were all kids, when we all lived together, knowing nothing but joy..

I thought even the anger of mom, dad and others had somewhat subsided, with the fortune life we were making and giving to the two families.. Perhaps, excess joy is a prelude to disaster! What I couldn't bear was all these people standing on their feet, pointing at his family, "Your son spoilt our girl's life..". Mom and dad too - for some reason, they had reserved hatred for him. They wouldn't know the torture my Love would've gone thro', thinking of me, in those few terrific minutes of struggle with his life, when he knew he was going to die, after that mishap. Anyway... I had no clue whether I had a life to live, for almost an year since he deserted me.

My heart, my thoughts, every inch of my body filled with so much passions, burning, passing in random, like these clouds. At times, I used to doubt myself if I will soon become an insane.. Never love your Love so much, as I did...

Born in an 'educated' family, atleast people didn't force me thro' those white saree and other customs. Not that I was going to lose my beauty with all these. By that, they tag you to be an "untouchable", to stand you out in the sect, as if you had committed a sin. Nevertheless, the looks, the gossips of the nears & dears including the 'educated' would anyway put me at a distance.

His younger brother, younger to me by an year, probably wanted to fill the vacuum. I think it was more out of compassion than anything. I should've given him a chance, perhaps. But, things went haywire by then. He had another blow, losing another dear of his, that made him an insane; And I could see his family crumbling down. Fate! What a fearful word, the word I used to ridicule when I was a kid, floating in a world full of honey... I soon moved out to the city to take up the job offered by Raja's manager, not able to bear the pains of these two souls, losing their dear son, love daughter and now seeing the left out son go insane, all in their prime.

Pains trigger passions. In the nights, burning the pillow with hot tears and hot passions - Having to eat all my passions, while struggling for a meaningful future and coping with ridiculous comments, sympathies of every damn people - This incidence of life seemed to be such a bad experience.

I had no other go anyway.. but to despair in the garden, watching the greens and anything but people. This maina - I could easily spot her out with her distinct sprinkled colour and a peculiar chirp of hers. She had a perfect match, until 3 days back. Perhaps, she lost him too - she had lost all her glamour, sitting so quiet with a staring look.. But, only 3 days - Today she is with a new mate, back to her peculiar chirp.. What virtue of mine prevented me from turning her!? ... "Whatever it was" I thought, "It was a curse on me - a curse on the six-sensed species.." --Kavitha 22/Sep/96

My Answering M/c!

* "Hello! You've reached Kavi. My machine is handicapped - can't give a beep!
So, leave your 'history' immediately after this sentence!" A pause....
"Hey, I told you my machine won't give you a beep, no! What the hell are
you waiting for, then!?"

* "Hi.. *Thanks* for waking me. Press 1 if you don't know Tamil; 2 if you don't
know Kannada; 3 if no Hindi; And 4 if no French - Let you not understand the
4-letter words I'm going to shower on you for disturbing me at this odd

* "Hi! To be frank, I care a damn for your call. Don't waste your energy
leaving your name, number & crap. Anyway, I won't return your call."

* "Hey! I'll give you a quote of the day, ok - Depending on your gender.
If you're a female, press 1; If male, press 2; All others press 9 ....
You are actually a fool, to listen thro' my message, because my machine
is not that intelligent!"

* "Hi! You've reached Kavi's answering m/c thats been dead since August.
Kavi is busy right now. Please leave whatever damn you want...
Note: Actually, you are right now listening to Kavi's voice, live.
Finance strapped, I haven't gone for a new m/c; Hence the simulation!"

* "Hi! This is Kavi's answering m/c. That dummy has been trying all her
brains out to read me, ever since she bought me - without luck.. So, feel
free to tell me all your frank opinions about her or any gossips about her."

* "You've reached 'me'! Lest you forget your name and your number, you may use
my machine to practise and memorise them.. I'll definitely not get back to

* "How dare you call me a lunatic! You only are a dumb-head, and a lunatic..
Your head is all clay.. You are a crib.. You are one of those 4-legged
creatures that jump from tree to tree.. You are a *semi* (insane)!" ...
"Sorry if you are not my friend Maheshwari. This message is meant for her!"

* "Hello! You've reached the wrong person! If you are still interested, leave
your name & number; So, I'll know if I should pick up the phone the next
time it rings."

* "Hi! I bought this m/c recently. It's so cute and I can use it anywhere on
this planet. That means, it can understand all the voltage/frequency
combinations. It was a little costly though. But, it was worth it for the
hunting I did. It's a peculiar piece in that the top is magenta while the
base is light green. And I bought it during the "Cousin's Step-Father's Day"
Sale.. I think I'm running out of time. If you want more info, call me after
a week for Part2. --Kavitha 18/Sep/96

Rookies vs Crookies!

In a surprise move, the Crookies included the little heard of Barani in their team. Having lost the toss, they decided to accept the offer made by the Rookies to bat first! Till the 30th over, the scorer had a great time, having not to bother about updating the score except for those occassional wickets. None would've been more evident than the glitter in the ball at that stage! With the fifth batsman throwing away his wicket after getting bored himself, this little creature 'B' walked in... The first ball he faced - It was a wiiiild swing... Fielder at square leg fence made an valiant attempt at it, not realising it was the bat that was charging at him and later ended up in hos after that clash with the bat. The next ball, wide off the leg stick, which B supposedly hooked; and it took the third man by surprise, falling short of him and giving him a brush before crossing the fence. The next one was well pitched and swinging away on the off. But, B's bat, in that wild swing, managed to meet the ball as it soared over the mid-wicket fence... A couple more of such 'orthodox' shots sent shivers among the fielders, as the captain had no clue where to place the fielders. And they were kept in suspense all the while, whether they will receive the ball or the bat in their turn of fielding! Even the wicky was so much moved (literally) by this wild swinging that he inadvertently let the few balls that escaped the whirling bat, run through him.

When the captain tried his key leg spinner, our B would intimidate him with that raised bat. Not wanting to take the wrath of the flying bat, he would drop it a little short of a wide on the leg, which would be reverse-sweeped - of course in an unexpected direction! Few more shots like these, no sane person would want to continue the play... But, this was a sportsmans' game:-( But, as Rookies' luck would be, B had an array of blows coming his way, taking the ball onto his body, precious organs at it, from a furious pacer. At this point, B's partner intending to cheer the agony-filled B, perhaps asked him to keep his head down. The next ball was on a good length and B, heeding to his partner's advice, bent down to 'keep his head down'. And took the ball right on to his awkward skull and relieved the fielders of the fear of being struck by the flying bat that reminds one of 'vishnu chakra', as he was forced to end his innings.

But, the damage was all done by then, as the fielders let the other batsmen score at their will, finding it difficult to place themselves in some sensible fielding position. And some, perhaps, wondered whether they were playing a cricket match.. 14/Mar/96

After 6 months...

So far: Crookies, put into bat by Rookies, started rather in a sedative note,
but managed to pile up a challenging total, thanks to some lusty
hitting by the late order triggered by our Barani. Rookies' batting
was adjourned for about 6 months, for reasons I can't explain here.
Both the teams were reduced to 10, with B undergoing treatment for his
skull rupture and the other soul somewhat stabilizing after being
monitored in ICU for 2 days...

The Rookies had a swash-buckling start and were cruising their way, reducing the mammoth-looking total into a meagre one - with the help of 2 Jayasuriya- modelled openers. As should happen in any match, it was time they had their reverse; And the cause came in the form of B, whose skull by then clearing him of the swell, as he sneaked into the field & positioned himself at long-off. The next ball was lofted in the direction of vacant long-on. Meantime, B's legs, feeling restless, had dragged him to his right, and provoked by the crowd's overenthu cheer (for the supposedly lovely shot), started running madly towards them. And on the way, collected the dropping ball and with a surprise, started kissing it as though they were a love pair uniting after a long separation.

So, Jayasuriya#1 was gone! But, that was only a brief respite. Slowly, Jayasuriya#2 and the one-down started rebuilding the tempo, and were getting closer to victory now. ... Out of despair, the captain opted to bowl B, hearing from someone that B knew (the action of) bowling too. The first ball - overpitched (actually, a fulltoss) and J#2 pulled back & treated himself with a towering six.. A pretty long strategic conversation with the captain, B this time took a longer runup (To be precise, from the boundary line).. How do I explain his runup! Hmmm.... Have you seen Merv Hughes'!? You got him! (The Australian, easily humbled).

Anyway... By the time he reached the crease, he was a little too tired, and ended up with a fulltoss again, but with variation in pace - slower this time! J#2, who was perhaps expecting to be beaten by sheer pace, was really duped by the pace, as he hoisted him vertically, with a mighty heave... The ball, for a while, seemed to defy the well established law of gravitation; So much so that the wicky had ample time to order for a coke to cool himself and send the soda can along with J#2 back to the pavilion..

And losing a couple more wickets to B unceremoniously, the Rookies were getting panic. Then on, if any batsman tried to act smart (either settling down or powering those occasional boundaries), the captain would bring B back into the attack, for them to taste his beamers. Not that these deliveries were difficult to handle or something; Probably they were in the hangover of not so tasty a fielding experience. And played it safe, gifting away their wickets, lest they face the fate of their colleague struggling for his life in hos. (Some test players have infact opted for this technique, while facing Imran & Ambrose).

One such wicket is worth mentioning. There was this undaunted 3-down who seemed to dodge the captain's tactics (of intimidating the batsmen), by hanging around for quite a while.. B tried a couple of *his* yorkers, aimed at our Never-Give-In's chest. This batsman, quick on his backfoot (and risking his health by unwantedly provoking B), stepped back and whacked him over the stranded gully - an elegant looking square-cut indeed - enough to anger B. This time again, B had a pretty long strategic talk with the captain and the forward shortleg - a hint to the batsman that something imminent was there in air for him..

The next ball, a similar one, caused a long holdup in the game. (Crookies' physician running in to apply pain-relievers over this agony-filled batsman's chest, felled down by the nasty delivery. The forward shortleg immediately rushed towards the batsman to give him a hand and console him - as per B's talk with him). Though this ball was a similar one, it had a much shorter distance to travel, as B had overstepped a little too much and released it from somewhere midway down the pitch. Unfortunately for the batsman, regardless of how much the bowler overstepped, a no-ball fetches him only one run - But, that delivery almost claimed his life. B's intention so obvious, our undaunted 3-down atlast gave in, emulating his colleagues, as he granted his wicket without further resistance, pulling away his bat to allow the ball mate the sticks, to the very next delivery he faced.

Rookies suddenly brought up the issue of compensating the (other) injured player, which the Crookies turned down. Rookies even went to the extent of threatening to initiate legal proceedings against B on charges of attempted murder (Let me recall that, in the first innings, this player was taken to hos after a clash with the bat that parted B's hands during an wild attempt for a six). Even this threat didn't seem to work... The latest I know - With the argument still on, the match was adjourned sine-die. --Kavitha 22/Sep/96

The fall(ing) leaves...

To this world, it's beauty and fun -
Watching you turn yellow, red,
pink, everything but green
and then wither..

Dear maple, oak, poplar,
birch, ash, negundo,
catalpa, nyssa, and 'ugly' peach -
I hear your sombrely suffering
for every leaf fall,
Seeing famished earth consume
your springs, 'fore gorging you...
May be mom could better
relate to your pain!

"Everything that blooms must fall!",
someone said philosophy.

Perhaps you would prefer
your love kids be green-ever,
Than sparkle bright to the world
only to wither, to desert you.

Yo yonder trees! Do you know
you are atleast fortunate!
- Have to wait only 'til spring
to fonder your charming springs fresh,
to erase fall's wreck!
You are indeed fortunate.. --Kavitha 9/Oct/96

My Saranya!

"Aey Malathi, aey Kavi, Anbu Mami, Manickam Thaththa!", we are usually addressed thus - that is when she is in a good mood; Other gentle words as "poadi, pisasu, korangu, koattan..." and such, reserved for the 'angry' Saranya. Even before celebrating her first b'day, she made it pretty clear that she wasn't going to be one of those sombre kids, without much action and with no innovativeness. Infact, she directly contributed to the government's drive to eradicate unemployment - reducing the count significantly (sister, mom, sis-in-law thrust with full-time, with brother & brother-in-law as part-timers). With my sister's house just opposite to dad's, it was even more convenient for her - After accomplishing some of her constructive, ingenious works in one house, will immediately clear the scene, taking refuge in the other house.

Her rabbit-like running with that giggle - Best cure for a bleeding heart.. But, she probably has the genes of the monarchy that confronted Galileo's theory - Firmly believing that the earth is flat and extending her concept to the house, as she continues her sprint across the bumpy mud street, unchecked, into the front entrance; First hurting the tender toes, the spongy foot and upto the kolusu-decked ankle, and then with that trip over the wooden base, the inertia carrying her over thro' the drawing hall - to be stopped by some solid object there (Heap of pillows or some such things ever placed there as a precautionary measure).
Driven by intuition, mom from garden, in-law from her writing, dad & brother from reading and myself from (siesta) dream, will scuttle to cuddle her to our chest.. With a truant's smile, eating all the pain, she will pat herself up, like your favourite hero comes out of a deadly fight with 20 odd stuntmen. (Later in the evening, she will actually be limping). But by any chance the above mentioned troupe didn't make it to the accident spot (she will actually give a grace time of 10 seconds or so), will burst out into an uncontrollable, loud crying.. Every other soul's heartbeat count will easily double by the scene she creates.. Seeing her cry, I'll start crying too. (A tip: At such times, offering sweets or promising things/places that your kid loves - none of these will work. You need to touch her heart somehow). Slowly the crying will turn into sobbing and then into a lovely smile (Obviously seeing a grown-up cry, is so funny) and a little later into poadi, korangu and her other favourite words that she likes to address us with.

Her day (and others' headache) starts at 8am. Thats when she decides to part her cradle. In a way, she is little peculiar a kid - Even though she wakes up at 7 or so, will sit 'still' in the cradle, on her mom's request (so she can finish off as much work as possible) - As though the cradle is a sacred object or something, not to be stained with her deeds - Anyone seeing her from 7-8 will swear on God that having a trouble-free kid like Saranya is a gift to Malathi.
Anyway.. The moment her foot touches the ground, she'll show who she is. First target is Sukanya - her elder sister. Poor girl will be sitting in some corner preparing for her chemistry test. "DUMM" - a hard bang on her back, to warm up her muscles thats not been fed for over 10 hours now. Sukanya, a docile kid by nature, not able to bear these painful kicks and smashes, spends most of her time spotting a room+house combination least visited by Saranya.

I, like a jango, one day showed off my morning workouts to sister & others, during one of my trips home. Thats it - I had it. Whenever she feels bored, will nimble my shoulders, "Chiththi, Chiththi.. Lets go to 'motta madi' for exercise, Chiththi!" ... When sister would shout, "Aey Saranya, it's getting late for school. Come down!", she'll shout back popping her head out, "Irumma.. We are doing E-X-E-R-C-I-S-E here!" (We'll actually be chasing one another, or fighting if by mistake I made her chase too long).

Needless to say, she's so damn creative. And her career interests range from Art to Medicine to Laundromat ownership. One rainy evening, she was trying to bring out her artistic skills, painting few of her modern arts - with the wall and a pencil serving as the drawing tools. Mom, after an vain attempt to persuade her to shelve the art work (the walls were painted snow-white just weeks back), tried to dodge her saying, "Saranya, please-da.. The wall's not well - Got a cold, just as you had yesterday. It'll hurt, no!? Spare him Kanna!" ...
Surprisingly, she heeded gently to mom's pray, without a protest, and moved away. (After a while, I caught her smearing big dollops of vicks all over the wall pretending as if the wall had a cold, saying, "Sleep-da.. You'll get well soon!")

I then spotted her interests in laundromat ownership, when I caught her red-handed, slipping away with the neatly folded fresh hankies, serveats, socks and such soft clothes (that were convenient for her spongy hands) to the wash-stone.. Nearly emptying the recently opened surf packet, she was lost in a volcano of foam.

One late morning, brother left for his (shift) work, after gulping a hurriedly prepared coffee and leaving another cup near sis-in-law (who was lying on the floor with a headache). Incidentally, she didn't greet him on his return from work that evening. Scrutinizing this, Saranya rushed brother to his room, and with a hushful voice, "Mama! Mami is perhaps angry because you made her coffee 'stead of tea in the morning!" (She had keenly observed that also and knows that both of them prefer tea to coffee). "What an analyst!", I thought, hearing this story.

Sister wasn't well one evening. Saranya goes to her and sitting by her side, and gently rubbing her head, "Amma.. You take rest-mma.. I'll do all the work!" and rambles with her for some more time. Comes out to the hall, where these 2 poor souls - her dad and Sukanya - were happily staring some interesting serial, "Dad! What TV now? Go prepare dinner.. And aey Sukanya - Yezhundhuridi! Go wash our clothes... Amma has a headache..". And slyly tried to step out of the house. Sukanya caught her and asked, "Now, where are you going, young lady?".. She thought for a while and then shrugged her off, "Irudi! I'm going to Paatti's house. Got some *important* work there!"
A little later, sister will come to our house and amidst laughter (her headache by now obviously eaten by her daughter's skillful deeds) will explain this girl's passionate chat with her and her orders to dad & sister and slyly pushing off thereafter.
Brother (whom Saranya will be playing with in the room - the important work) will teasingly ask her what her mother was saying. She'll repeat the whole story to him with that marvelous smile and a giggle!

I don't want anything else in this world.. Saranya, why don't you remain a 5-year old angel - for ever... --Kavitha 28/Oct/96

Whats My Caste, Kavi!

Last evening, I was dallying in the garden for my dear Saranya to return from school. She had just joined the school for her elementaries.. Her mother had pestered her hubby like a bee to put her in an 'elite' school, in spite of their low income! He slyly pushed the job to me, as he is wont to. And I got her into the best school in the city..

There she was, wagging her bag nonchalantly, as I grabbed her straight up the terrace, rather in a selfish manner, wanting to get most of her time. For some reason, my kid was little dull.. She wasn't going to be amused by whatever face I made..

A little later she asked me, "Aey Kavi, Whats my caste?"
I went into my guards.. 'Have to handle this delicate issue carefully'.. Some kids in the school, probably triggered by their parents or something, would've insinuated her.. I softly uttered, "Hey you girl, that word was an accident and got into our dictionary for some reason.. Its been erased now.. We *all* belong to *one* species called *human*. You should tell this to your friend, the same way your Kavi said, Ok :-)"

Then she asked, "Whats our God?"
"Hmmmm.. Lemme see... *You* are the God to all of us.. Likewise, your friend is the God for her parents.. God is someone who gives us happiness. You are my life and my happiness. So, you are my God, right!"

She was little eased by now.. "You know what happened.. Last week, we had a new boy joining our school. He speaks a different language. So, nobody speaks to him.. I feel sorry for him. But, I also can't talk to him, no.."
I lifted her, "Ok-da.. This weekend, we'll go to his house.. We'll talk to his parents.. We two will learn his language after that. Then, you can start talking to him. He too will learn ours.. Sounds good?"

"Not only that, Chiththi... Some don't take me and few others into their group!"
"These kids must be coming from the elite group", I thought.. The elites' nears and dears would probably have sown this hatred in the kids.. "Listen Saranya.. They are also kids, right... Have you ever tried forcing yourself into that group, No, no... Tomorrow, you call them into your games. Try this for a week.. Then, we'll go to their house and bring them over here on a weekend.. They are kids as well - They will have to love you!"

Then, I kissed her on her cheeks and slowly drew that wonderful smile on her face that makes my day! I became so weak after talking to my kid.. It was heavy a dose for her.. But, I don't mind hurting few of my evenings like this. Because, I'm confident Saranyas, grown to our age, would've eradicated these monsters and made this wonderful land a habitat of "humans"! --Kavitha 21/Mar/96

Desert Springs!

Quite a few words convey their meaning, by their phonetics. Love! - Such a beautiful word. Even as I write it, I feel its power. I can reveal you my encounter with love. You may not have seen such a love. You may not even have read..
Such a fabulous one! Yes, My Love is a fantasy! so far..
There is one great advantage with an amour like this. You have no bounds, you can fancy your passions, your fantasies, as wide and as open as your mind!

But someday, you will be tempted to turn your fantasy into reality. Thats when you taste your platonic love. It's not necessarily one arising out of lust, in your adolescence. It could happen even at 29, when you suffer your springtime. It's those novel passions that you go through; That bugs your thoughts every single minute you are awake; That earns you till then unseen dreams - not necessarily during your sleep. If you are uncomfortable, lets give it a new name - Kavitonic Love! Nevertheless it's your first love.

It doesn't demand 6 months of acquaintance to blossom. It asks no caste, no religion, nothing.. Doesn't even need the two to have seen each other. Just a few words - very natural, but deep words, pretenseless - from your heart. You have lived on this callable earth for 30 years now and will definitely be able to sense if those words are *real* or not.. Perhaps, it was worthy a wait, after all!

To a soul not having tasted love all her life, these stunning words are enough to trigger those passions. Definitely so, for a soul who's been robbed of her dears, the only source of love on earth thus far. The pains + the love deprived, make you long for a hold. But, suspicious of this exploiting world and its ever-selfish people, it lingers a fantasy, a mirage, until a faceless soul breaks thro' your fenced heart; with a couple of single-finger typed, mis-typed mails! You are ready to do anything and everything to capture this soul...
Have you ever travelled in a forlorn desert? Relate to me how your eyes will brighten with an inexplicable zeal, suppose you see a mirage turn into a lovely spring!

This false body contributes zero to your love, now. As long as your thoughts are white - close to a 5-year old Saranya's - your faceless love is easily the most beautiful girl on earth. Thats the power of love!

Marriage is certainly the greatest occasion in one's life. It's the binding that gives you an wonderful opportunity to show this world the purpose of life. Hold this word - My Soulmate - deep down your heart; I swear you've deleted its foe - divorce - from Webster's! Kill this word - prejudice - too, from dictionary! Our life is so damn short and swift; but, it's so beautiful. Lets not stain it, hurt it with a separation.

A kiss on your Love's forehead, a deep hug - not necessarily in the night - say when she is down with a headache (and ofcourse a hot cup of your special - coffee!) means so much. Never feel shy to display your love. Float your "kutty girl"s streaming hair after sunday's oil shower. Spend a few minutes to dress him on his day of interview.

Make him laugh while swallowing his attempted 'kesari', even if he serves it like coffee, in a cup! Wash and fold her clothes. As he folds, cusp your arms over his shoulders to give him a child's shock by closing his eyes. Sing him, so your dear holds you onto his chest. Lend your lap for her to rest, as you read your little poem praising her.

Remember the terrace, the parks exist solely for you two to ramble romance at dusk. Learn to say "Good morning Rajaththi!", with a yielding kiss, as the wake-up call. Correct his blanket before floating that "Good night Kanna!" kiss. Design the speech for your darling's crucial address to external audience morrow morning. Teach him what love is.

Make him read. Teach her to write. And you two will appreciate - How wonderful this life is.. What I'm rambling!
And one day, may even thank me for this scribble! --Kavitha 10/Nov/96


A deserted cliff - No one had reached the top, it seemed! I was on a lonely mission.. Few more hard climbs - getting tougher - and I may conquer him! Put my right palm over that protracting object.. Appeared little weak. My insane mind ordered, "Risk it!". And so, let go my current support to put the other palm also over it.. No.... no...... no..... The object loosened and I looked down....... down...... deep down..... Ammmmaaaaaaaa!
Was sweating like hell, as I groped for a while with a shiver.. The fan had died.. Oooff! I was safe in the bed. ... Gawd! Why do I get such dreams!? The loneliness? Perhaps.. But, I had to be alone - Was probably destined thus.

Never let your kid grow lonesome. Don't let tragedies go her into a cocoon. Teach her to earn friends. a lot of them! Teach her toughness.

Losing a couple of your dears in their prime, in your prime - seeing one burn ceremoniously and the other alive - definitely puts an end to your childhood - however childish you are. Not only childhood. Ends your sports, ends your laughter, ends your humming... everything but staring. Making you run in the busy B'lore streets and gazing at everyone with suspicion. In dictionary, you'll find a short, sweet-sounding word for this state - insane!

Two years of insanity.. Pretty interesting, isn't it! Once you are forced to end your childhood, you start wondering, "Why do I get these unusual faints! Why did parents reserve special love for me!"... One day caught the doctor and with deceiving skills made him vomit it, "Sorry wookie! Your heart is a little messed up!"

Death isn't anything to fear - as long as you aren't told the last day - the day you will be plucked from your mom, from the kids you love, who love you, and whatever little binding you have with this world..

I want love - not the mild love that you read, not the bland love that people write.. Want it lot! Want it wild! - to compensate the past, to compensate the tragedies, to compensate the lost future. All to be thrust in these few months or may be a couple of years if the messy heart spares until then. ...

Into a different land, slowly losing insanity.. Hoping to earn some love.. Not a simple task! May be if you were a 5-sensed - the world that gives it to you unconditionally - even if you are dark, or without limbs, or with a complicated heart.. The birds, the animals, the trees - they aren't selfish, they aren't jealous, they don't exploit, no caste, no religion, no money... nothing! Because, they haven't acquired that extra sense. Only one language for them - Love!

Wishing for a hold - not like the shaky object onto that cliff. A soul that will play tennis with me, that will come out for hiking filled with fun, that will ramble with me in the yard, in the terrace. That I can hold on to my chest. That will accept my deep hug on every little separation. That gifts me a truant kid. That will sing me, teach me music, teach me cooking, teach me love.... teaches this entire world... Long.... Dreamy wish!

It's time for the curtains to fall, the last scene approaching. ... Mom brought me to this world.. She fostered me through my childhood, through my adolescence, through celebrities, tragedies and unto this scene. Miserable.. Worst of all tortures for a human.. Seeing your kids being eaten away - one by one - even as you are alive.. Every mother will have this fear down her nerves, 'Please.. please... don't take away my kid...'

To the audience, it's yet another drama. Unfolding.. Another few moments. And the play will be over. "A lovely end!", few may utter as they rise, with a burdened heart, and slowly move out.. Few may comment, "Wonderful play! Isn't it. bringing out all the passions - humour-scented, some solemn, poetic at times, acceptably tragic..."
All the way thinking, "Hope the surgery ends a success!". A light-hearted soul may wonder, "Hope the doc doesn't get frustrated with the complicated tangles in the heart and chop it off for good!"

A few moments later, back with their surroundings, their kids, their dreams, their tomorrow, the play slowly eroding... This comfortable yet empty life wouldn't let you any further think of that faceless soul in the play that will one day give in to her infected heart, to fly away. After all, everyone of us have our own interests, responsibilities... fascinations, allurings, ego, glory-seeking, i_the_great strategies..
And, thats what probably life is all about! --Kavitha 3/Nov/96

My Country!

Who says there is no harmony in our country?
We have the Separatists in the North,
Terrorists in the West,
Liberationists in the East,
And Naxalites in the South..
But, all carry the selfsame AK-47!

Who says there is no tech growth in our country?
Our 'Father' witnessed an ordinary gun,
Our 'Mother' bowed to a machine gun,
And our 'Young Leader' took an R.D.X!

Who says there is no equality in our country?
Much confines of our country is owned by
Residents of hay huts,
Wearers of torn shirts,
And Takers of stale food!

Who says our country is not developing?
Pop is the talk of the city,
Kids are busy dating,
Name your drink, And I'll show you a pub!

And who says people of my country are not active?
Here I am - writing so actively about my country!
Get a life, you dude! --Kavitha 4/Apr/96

Stolen Dreams...

Sitting in the car, hands refusing to turn the keys on.. Staring.. The forcefully closed eyes of brother in ICU, with those wet bandages over his head and stomach - wet by his blood. That was 7 years back.. But, crippling every damn cell in the body, this morning, challenging me to go to work. Causing frustration over every one's moves, over these predefined moves, over this damn body and life..

Looks as though I've lived alone all these 30 years. Could so tangibly feel the death of these cells - the cells that cause you bring out passions, love, sex and every thing that qualifies a living from a dead.
A deep hollowness in me, that renders this pain and loneliness..

Not that I was a closed self. Did go thro' those wonderful feelings, fires - that you would've, after clearing your teens! But, was it my fault to long for softer aspects of love? The one-year-stretched experience successfully managed to kill my thoughts and cripple me with a strong fear - a life long fear..
Left to share the lighter moments, with people of all ages, probably with a curtained heart. But, passions! Whom to share them with!? My heart and body couldn't perhaps swallow them any further. Those errant cells had no option but to die.

Watching this world, I often wonder in despair, "Has this world been deprived of souls, who can think for a moment their purpose of life; those subtler aspects of life, love!?" Why don't we anymore relive our childhood flashes? Is it very hard to make wild-grass-woven mat, the bed? And tripping sister, brother, and dad at times, as they walk past you, getting ready to start their day; And make them ramble too! That doesn't consume much of your energy. It would infact inject enthu into your otherwise long day.

Don't ever thrust competition into money, career, fame.. It's too dangerous - It's like a circle of fire, that wouldn't let you escape, that will slowly consume you, even as you are awake, but stranded..
Try playing 'silly-coadu' in open yard. Never let age curb those rebellious cells still undead in you. 30 years is just a measure of, at best, how many winters you've withstood. Break the TV box, if possible. Ramble, lying on mom's laps, she combing your flowing hair.

If you happen to see a pond or a river, don't even think twice. The streaming water is yearning for your dog-swimming! No alternate dress? I don't care! Your wet jeans & T's will at worst earn you a day's fever. It's definitely worth it; Gives a chance to your sweetheart to bring out his love for you; Sitting by you thro' night, showering his heart out to bring down your temperature. I swear you will melt with the kind of wild love he has for you - because you two are one of the rare souls who respect love!
You can't bring back past; But, you can relive it.. Anytime you want, as long as you are alive..

Go out in the drizzle, tilt your face up, for him to kiss you; Convert your walk into a dance as he changes to rain. Throw your body up! Jump over puddles of water, stretches of steeled gutter-tops! Deliberately skid in the icy snow. People laugh at you? Thats the purpose!

If you get a chance, go to a village, live there for one full week; And you will teach me what life means. Work with the farmers, plucking ripe grams and even better, pitching the green paddy springs in dainty ranks. Your dad may even thrust you with the privilege of leading the team! - A team with unstained hearts.
Visit a 'karumbu aalai'. See the fun there; Engine crushing the canes for the sweet juice (Don't drink it too much though - you have lot more to taste!) See it get boiled in a mega-pan (taste chow-chow.. that sticky stuff you extract when the boiling nears its peak, added with butter - yummy grub!); Then poured into those wooden planks with holes. Don't forget to slyly needle out a couple of these whitish-red pieces from the planks, before the hard-muscled but soft-hearted workers turn and hammer them out.

Yonder dreams.. No one to reveal me a village. Nobody loves me the way I wanted love..
Slowly learnt that the kind of love I was hallucinating would ever remain a mirage. Its become so distant that people find it difficult to find it even in words, in plays.

Hssshhh... Even before the fiery milk warned of its bursting with this sound, sensed its burning passions and scrambled to calm her - so she doesn't ruin herself. I also don't want to be ruined. But, who is there to calm me! This planet is so void of humane feelings, softness, trueness - that has sown this strong fear, deep in me; that despairs, will there ever be a soul who will understand my passions, what I'm like..

If at all I bear a kid, I'll teach her humanness, right from day one!, the day she takes my womb; "Anjali! Don't reserve your delicate passions. Don't fashion for the glamours of this world! There is a better reason for you to occupy my womb, to enter this world. Please teach this world the reason for being born.." --Kavitha 19/Nov/96


Wish I was born your brother - for, my love for you would've ever remained one of affection; would've remained unadulterated. Remember the days we played stone-sand, marbles, flying kites, catching butterflies and those aeroplane-like flies that flutter their wings like hell to warn us not to near them!? ...

Come rains, previous year's notebooks would turn aircrafts and ships, floating over the surging stream. Then carrying food for our dads, dancing thro' the slippery step-path, singing all the way.. Banyan tree branches serving as the spring-board for our dive into the freshly filled lily-pond; In 'Aadi', waiting for hours to greet the canals branching from the Cauvery tributaries, carrying water for us... I now admire you Kavi - even in those naughty days, in our truant age, you would never let the fishes that the kids catch with towel, stay separated from water beyond that moment's joy of us catching them - probably you knew then, what it means to die. ...

Then we would crown you the queen of the village, make you sit in the centre of the swing under the shamina and then sway you gently and slowly step up the rhythm - with you chuckling and your skirt floating. .. We hardly let a moment go by unutilised, when we were awake; Be it sickle-cutting grass in the greens... running away with plundered mangoes, from the chasing sentry... at dusk, rambling lying on the sloping grass patch surrounded by the paddy range. ...

And occasionally studying, doing homework; All the while, waiting for the green signal from your mom, to join the kids for the day's play. I used to wonder how your face was always bright - bright as the sun - Even now... Your pearl-rubbing laughter, and that everlasting smile, and the truant winking, making faces at people scolding us - A source of joy to all. You taught the world happiness.

Why did you have to be so brilliant, Kavi!? - for the hill-school to take you away from us. We would all count the days for your dad to go and fetch you for vacation. You changed not. I ever yearned for those evenings - when you would conduct me to the fields; that was indeed my life! You never failed me - still exhibiting the kid in you, dancing thro' the fields, mindless of the thorns hurting your tender foot, giggling all the way; Brushing the paddy tops, throwing your body up. Then strolling in the groves; I watching you with a beating heart as you climb up the trees acting like a pro-climb; clad in your favourite half-saree. The colourful half-sarees, 'pattu paavaadai' (full-length silk skirt), anything that you wear - you were an angel; Even now you look an angel. The world praised and some were jealous of your parents, for them being bestowed with a wonder!

Then, I started earning dreams, whether I was sleeping or not. You singing me melodiously over the imaginative phone, and me responding with the next stanza. Fancying my dreams, of the nature of desert springs; and even about Anjali, our kid. Those feelings were chaste.. And will remain with me unto my end.

Why Kavi were you born elder to me; You would've atleast sensed my profound love for you, otherwise. Even as I was obsessed with my anxiety of you being elder to me and how I was to convince this society, you broke my dream and made me bury my love - the day you disclosed the lovely photo of your Love; And asked me what it was to love. I wanted to tell you, "What I was going through.." But, had to move away from you, for the fear of weeping in front of you. You were clever, Kavi. You probably read my mind then, but told me not a blink.. But, made sure I didn't enter into a cocoon, as you continued forcing your visits, with the fun in fields undiminished. And those lovely cards. Treating me like a kid, with more care than a mother would do.. You knew the art of consoling broken hearts.

Now whom should I console, Kavi? Your mom, banging her head onto dad's chest, making him cry too. Or sister holding you tightly, and rambling with a kid's sobbing, "Look at your Kavi. Ask her to talk to us-da." Or her kids chanting, weeping non-stop, "Chiththi, Chiththi... Open your eyes Chiththi.. Call me Saranya Kutty once, Chiththi.. Amma, ask Chiththi to get up Amma.." Or the exploding heart of mine. Tell me Kavi!

We all love you; We can't live without you, Kavi. Kannamma, they are trying to take you to the bamboo car. I won't let them burn my Kavi. No! Please leave her here, you morons. She'll pardon us and talk to us someday. Don't take her away... Pleaaaase... --Kavitha 16/Dec/96


Dear! When you are grown to your mom's height, when you start adding these delicate words - passions.. love.. dreams.. - to your lexicon, I'll reveal you my fantasies and my dreams centered around you and around your mom prior to that.

I'll share with you my little thoughts and whatever little I've learnt from this world - One day, You'll give me a chance to introduce myself to this world, "Hi everybody! I'm your great Vennila's dad!"

Now, I'll fond you with Nilachoru.. in the terrace. Not many men get this privilege. If they can take an evening off their browsing BusinessWeek or listening to the 10/10 talk on internet to impress and take control of business lunch talks, they'll know what an wonderful gift you are; how they've served their birth with these gifted evenings. It's these rare evenings that, at the end, make a huge difference to one's otherwise stodgy life.

You'll have a teacher in me - for hockey, tennis and your sprints, triple jump and hurdles. Even as you make your way into swim competitions, I'll convert my dog-swimming into those myriad stroked styles and perhaps cross the Palk Strait with you one day! Games and the fun steered, will be as important in your life as your study and career..

We'll explore and subdue the Himalayas. And tread into these picturesque ranges that yearn to glimpse you... Scuba diving... and venture into the seas. And perhaps will fly Bach's biplane, someday!

After your shower, you kutty girl, ask me to dress your streaming hair! And then shower you with threaded jasmine buds with cupped hands. This and if you are clad in half-saree, do you know how people will address you!? Angel!

I'll learn from you BharathaNaatiyam - the elegant art that deserves a better interest from this insipid world. And listen to your lovely voice - at times Celine Dion's songs!

Will teach you to earn friends - true friends. You'll soon train me how to spot and duck those souls who attach exploitation and treachery to friendship.

People say only a mother can read her kid's mind and tread her with love, care and warmth - when her kid attends that age, when she starts earning inexplicable passions, physical pains.. Dear! I'll tend myself to read your passions. You'll have a mother, a friend in me, who'll teach you what those tender feelings mean; And how to swing the fear-inducing changes that you encounter with your body, that you are thrust with..

Tenderness, pure thoughts, truancy - these are not virtues that only a kid can bear. I'll make you carry these, thro' all your life. But dear, you'll have another Vennila in you - She will be tough, she will know how to play strategies; because she can't survive in this planet otherwise.

" Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit,
not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you
with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that
is stable. "

O Mighty Gibran! Why do I invariably tend to counter you!

She is *My Child*, though she may be attributed to Life's longing..
Agreed she doesn't come from me but she is always in me.
I give her my love, my thoughts and my 'self'.
I know only the good virtues of mine she will imbibe..

I will have to own her and pass on my thoughts.
She is new to this world and that I've seen the rough,
I'm bound to bequeath my learnings;
So she can stand this world alone - as do we, now..

Meditate, I'm not forcing my thoughts; It is *she*
who molds herself, picking whatever suits her cast..
And she will enrich her dad with her thoughts
as she grows.

But till then, I will continue to own her,
give her my thoughts, mentor her
Just as I shower my love on her....
She is *my* kid!

But dear girl, be assured - You'll be the one to decide your goals, your career, your interests and your soulmate. I'm your friend..

Dear Vennila! When you are grown to your mom's height, when you start adding these delicate words - passions.. love.. dreams.. - to your lexicon, I'll reveal you my fantasies and my dreams centered around you and around your mom prior to that.

Until then, I'll bear you a fantasy just as I hold my soulmate! --Kavitha 22/Dec/96

My little thoughts..

You feel happy? But, tell the world you are sad..
For both are happy then!

Do you find it hard to smile at a kid?
You need to consult a psychiatric!

Be careful of platonic love. It is bound to hurt.
It can take a tall claim - Yourself!

Love a girl elder to you. You then have the safety
of owing all your misdoings to your 'kiddish' essence!

Do you often think you've dedicated your life to
some cause or someone? You are probably self-centric!

Do you tend to advise people?
You are probably a failure in life!

Want to be a success in all your strides?
Here is my secret manthra for you - Strategy!
Spin it in all your actions and you *are* a success!

Do you search for words while writing to your dears?
You are probably a hypocrite!

Do you call yourself open-minded?
You are not truly!

I have the ability to decide the course of my dreams.
And I know our life itself is a dream.

Smile is the greatest gift to the six-sensed man.

Drug is better than Love. A drug addict has the hope of rehabilitation.

Beliefs, Experiences, Prejudices and Thinking power decisions.
If only Thinking plays a dominant role, the world would be so different.

Selfishness is the root cause of all evils.

My sincere request to the environmentalists: Act fast to save
this species from depletion - sane humans.

Love after 25 is too risky an experiment.
If you don't succeed, the world becomes poorer by a sane.
But, never mind; It becomes richer by a philosopher:-)

Never ever love before marriage.
You don't want to go thro' the mother of all
tortures on your destined failure, do you!?
But, if you are still alive,
you have the strongest heart on earth!

During your morning workout,
never forget to chant this a dozen times:
"No one is above me!" And you can do wonders!
And before you go to sleep,
say this atleast once:
"No one is above Anyone..
And that No one includes me too!"

Poetry, Philosophy, Insanity - Are some of the by-products of love
- The latter coming in abundant.

Love marriage is an oxymoron. Love-after-marriage is sensible.

Do you feel complacent, leading a trouble-free life!?
- It's time you love someone.

Preserve the first 'face' of your Love safely in your heart.
You may atleast get it back in your dream, someday..

Love makes you lose sanity.
But, still love - You learn a lot from psychopathy.

Love is the costliest thing I bought, all my life - Paid myself.
When I found it was defective, heard someone say, "Non-returnable!"

The only thing I've regretted in life
- The week I turned my fantasy into reality.

Any creature of our species normally has only one face
- Until it starts loving.

Love! - stop, read and say it once. Even the word will intoxicate you.

"Love has no age!" - That probably explains why this world is full of insanes.

"Love is blind!" - I don't know! But, people call me blind these days.

"Love is divine!" - Call it what, it's bound to finish you.

Antonym of Sanity is Religion.

I don't have to be a Christian, nor a Muslim,
nor a Hindu to be a "human". I decide how
I use my sixth sense; Not some preaching.

Fanatic in 'Religious Fanatic' is redundant.

If the only good a religion teaches me is to lead
a life full of truth and virtues, I'm better off
without one. I can learn them from a kid.
Religion does more harm than that lone hidden good.

Mankind will be destroyed not by chemical or nuclear weapons.
Religion will take the honour, if it is allowed to thrive.

Quite a few words need to be erased from the Webster's
- Religion is the first one. --Kavitha

Thought for the day!

One should...
Listen to a little song,
Read a good poem, or
Look at a fine painting
Every single day....
And if possible say something sensible about it:-) - Von Goethe

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Last updated on July 26, 1998

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