Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Trickling thoughts - Just like heaven

Wanted to type something scene..but the best line i could come up with was this..

Aiyaaahhh...naanum NYC paathuten :)

But this post is dedicated to a very special person and a very special family. Few posts back and in several other posts, i had always mentioned about my fetish for time travel to my happy place. While planning for the trip, it was a happy coincidence that, my friend was staying in a close by town and invited me to her place. To me, more than visiting NYC, the best part of the trip was to meet her family and the time i spent with them.

My friend (SSN) - she had always been one of a kind and surprisingly, she still retains the same persona, even after marriage!! But the astonishingly happier part is that, her husband matches her letter for letter. If at all there are marriages made in heaven, i am sure, their union was solemnised there. One word to describe that family - Heaven. A picture perfect family. En kannay patrum nenakren. Postuku drishti suthi poatukaren :)

Its a world known fact that guys can be in touch maintaining almost the same level of friendship, post marriage too. But thats hardly the case for gals and if the friend happens to be a guy, its almost next to nothing. But SSN was more than a friend. To me she was the sister who was not born into my family. We shared lot of common friends and the tag name for her in our friends circle used to be 'Mom' :) She was so caring and fussy that we used to nag her and trouble her like anything :) When she got married and settled in US many of us felt the void. Phone chats and conference calls could make up for only a few lost bricks on the otherwise huge gap caused by distance. Also, as i said before, post marriage, with gals atleast i feel, there would be an obvious chill in any of their relationships. I had all these running on my mind, when i visited her. She had two kids and i was so terrified of meeting. Yes. The word was terrified. I that badly wanted to create a "good uncle" impression on them :) I was pestering her with what kind of "bribe" i can bring to mesmerise them. But one look at them i was floored. Like their parents, the kids also carried the gene of unconditional love.

What was planned as a one day visit, turned out to be my base camp for NYC. Every night i would walk in, tired to every single bone on my body that was not numb already and the moment i see the kids, i would be magically healed. It was the 3 most refreshing and happiest days of my life. I cherished every single second i spent with them and talking and being with them felt like therapy. SSN had not changed one wee bit and we chatted our heads off till early hours into the morning after the kids went to sleep. It felt as if, the wheels of time had turned back. We reminisced the good old days and surprised ourselves for remembering those silly events even after 5 years :) She was checking out profiles for her sister and was asking me to filter them. I had only one thing to caution her - never ever try to find a match for her sister with her hubby as benchmark. I will tell you folks the reason why for i had purposedly delayed telling about him, savoring the best for the last.

Actually, the truth was, i simply couldnt describe her hubby, VRN, in words. Whenever SSN used to talk about her hubby, she always used to tell how witty and cheerful he is and unlike her tempermental nature, how he always used to be calm. Our friends and myself always thought of it as a happy exaggeration. The very first day at their place proved us wrong and how right she turned  out to be. My colleague who had accompanied me on this trip, had came with me to her place, as he had some errands to run in that town. He went to restroom to refresh himself and the most embarrassing of all situations happened. The toilet flush malfunctioned and in minutes the entire bathroom was flooded with waste water. Me and my colleague are not the fairest of skinned but we turned blood red in shame. If at all there was a top ten awkward moment list, this one topped it all. He was so embarrased, he couldnt bring himself to talk to anyone and i was scared to the core, wondering the scene it would create for my friend.

Enter VRN.

He went inside the restroom and started cleaning it. He politely yet sternly refused to allow us inside and we were equally scared to disagree with him. There was not a single expression of displeasure or anger or discomfort on his face. Even thickest of friends would've shown a bare minimal flush of anger..but this guy..he was quite something else!!! I felt, if a person, can play such a genuine host to the friends of his wife, without ever flinching, i think he is worthy enough to be prayed at. Even for kidding sake, i can never even try to emulate him for even a few minutes. I felt absolutely happy for my friend and her family for this gem of a person. That day just went from better to great, when they arranged for a surprise birthday party. Of all the birthdays i've had so far (not many by the way ;) ) it was the best. I cut the cake with those two lovely kids and when they tried to feed the cake pasting it all over my face in the process, i just didnt knew which was more sweeter - that moment or the cake. I go with the former. I may not have a reference point yet, but i am sure heaven should feel similar enough.

This trip taught me loads of lessons and i could hear the screeching of the wheels of my life taking a sharp yet slow turn. For starters, the long walks across the city helped refreshing my mind and the lengthy chat sessions with my friend made me realise two very important things - it reminded me of the good old times we all shared and took me back to my place of happiness for which i am indebted to her and secondly and most importantly, it made me realise how comfortably and easily people have moved on with their lives. All along I have been searching for the same wave that i surfed years back. While equally if not more happy scenarios have passed right under me, without me ever realising. It felt like as if a load has been released. I realised how lucky i am to have these people in my life and even at my contented best, i would still be deemed greedy by a zillion others.

Mothathula Memorial day trip..semma memorable trip aadichi :)
Memories, as they grow older, gain weight i guess :) I understood that the ticket to time travel is a one time pass for happiness, which i had exhausted to my hearts content in that trip. Here the travel begins, again, towards newer moments and memories to cherish.

Ahoy there, my present day!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Trickling Thoughts - Open Sesame

I think whoever settled in this country first were not exactly big fan of the English way of doing things. Obviously, if you are exiled or shipped as prisoner from some country, it may not rank high on your list of favourite places. But athukaga ivlo extreme!! Avanga oorla left turn na inga right. Anga switch keezha push panna ON aagumna inga ulta. Ivlo enga...saavi poatu kathava thorakka kooda lever ultava iruku!!! Actually you see..normala..nalla naalulaye namakku velangidum ithula ivlo kanpoosans vera iruntha kozhantha enna thaan pannum (kozhanthainnu enna sonnengarathu pretty obviousngarathalaa remind pannala).

Intha veena pona oorla innoru kodumai ennana..ella apartmentskum oray colour, oray height, oray shape and oray set of  floors. Thoorakenthu paaka ennamo greeting card set mathiri irukaynu aasapattu veedu pudicha..hmmmm....

Almost all of my colleagues and their friends stay in this apartment community. So, ingaye veedu paatha vasathi sollitu, till the time i took a house, was staying with my friend. Everyday, he used to come with me till the path that goes to office and show the way out :) In that damn place, kanna thiranthu kaatula vitta mathiri, every lane and every building looked copy paste of each  other.

One chilly evening, was walking outside the apartment, talking to mom. Phone pesikittay was ulaathifying on the side walk and soon i was quite far away from my apartment. After a while, i realised, i had come way too far away and decided to walk back home. (Ithuku melayum solli asingapdanuma!!) Veetu number maranthu poachu. I had forgotten to take the key or my friends phone number. Ennada panrathu paathutrukarapo i saw him coming in the distance. I thanked my stars and veetuku poitu pana first vela..apartment numbera manapaadam pannathu thaan!!

Seri..pulla ivlo thelivaiduchay nenachu santhoshapadatheengappu. Anga thaan speciala kindina aapu was awaiting.

Few days later. Same scene. Ushaara i had taken the key and also my friends number too. I the brilliant you see. Was calling home and this time was so sure of my place that, i was carefree chatting over phone. Suddenly it started raining. I rushed back to my apartment and tried to open the door. It was locked from inside. The rain was so chilly that it was as if some one was pouring ice cold water in sprinkler. I kept banging the door and called my friend on phone. After a while he picked the call. I was waiting for him to open the door in pouring rain and that bugger took for ever. Feeling irritated i kept banging the door. When i tried to open the door for the 4th time, suddenly it struck me if i am at the right apartment. I checked the door number and it was same. Feeling confident i called my friend again to shout, only to be shouted at in reply. He said, he was waiting outside the apartment and asked me where i am!!! Appo thaaan theria vanthathu....Apartment number mug pannathu ennamo vaasthavam thaan....intha veena pona was not just the color and size, even door numbers are same!!! Hotels mathiri each building has a number and athula floorku etha mathiri numbers irukumaam!!! Unknowingly, i had been trying to open the door of the next aparment building. I was stunned for a minute..wondering whether to run away from that place or just stand. Odina..kathava thattitu odarennu adi vizhum..angeye ninna...veedu theryama kathava therakka try pannenu adi vizhum..epdiyum tharamadi nichayam. En nalla one opened the door. Ennoda rommbba rommbaa nalla one was at that house that time. Illaati nadu rathiri oru maniku kathava poattu udaichathuku...tharmathuku vaangirukanum.

Best part of the incident was, the next day, saw an ad for moving sale and went to the same apartment to pick up chairs and other stuff :) Since those people were moving back to India, the previous week they had been busy visiting friends and relatives it seems. Athunaala oru vaarama avanga yaaru veetla illayaam.

Avanga avanga edukara decisionum namakku saathagamaathaaan iruku!!!

(Kodumais Kontinued)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Shwaas - Marathi movie

Heart melting. You would've heard this phrase repeated for all and sundry to the extent of being abused off its meaning. Watch this movie. You can feel the phrase. I couldnt control my emotions sitting throughout the movie. Every single living being in the movie..oozes with warmth and genuine affection that it makes one feel proud to be human and realise how GOOD it feels to love someone without any expectation and inhibition. There is no villain in the movie and it could almost become an awareness creation ad campaign but for the meager production values. The movie is so simple and pure, with a single line story and shoestring budget. But it is riveting right from the first scene. The characters are all so natural, the situation so obvious and precise, the acting..was it acting?? I thought it was a candid camera on a real life granpa and his grandson. Amazing performances. And lilting background music. With tamil subtitles it feels as if they are mouthing their dialogues in tamil itself. I loved the scene where the mother talks to the granpa over phone enquiring about the kid. The kid butts in asking about the cow and the calf and ...i dont want to spoil the fun. Just watch that scene. Its nothing short of magic. So touching and realistic. And the final scene says it all. I am sure, it wouldnt just be the kid who applauds in the end.

Kicking myself as to how i missed this one for so long. But glad i finally saw it. Konjam..ila..romba overavay pheel panni kooviten nenakren. But again, i've poured in how i felt after watching the movie. May not be everyone's cup of tea.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Trickling Thoughts - Pudhu mannu, Pudhu vaathu

Veli oor vantha enna pannanum? see..actually..basically..physically..chemically..logically... ipdi egappata ly poatu pesanum. And sambradhyaapadi intha oor makkal pathi sollanum. Ibn Batuta kaalathulenthu itha thaan ellarum panitrukaanga. And me no FateMove (Vidhi vilakku you see) to that.

*** First thing that stuck me after coming here was the slogan of Godzilla movie - Size does matter. Rather..inga size doesnt matter.. at all. Namma oor makkal can learn this as much as their thick skin can. Despite pionnering(??!!) the fashion world with the concept of size zero, the majority of these makkal hardly bother how they look. Obesity may be the highest in this country, but  doubt if fast foods alone are reason for that. People dont get stressed with the way they look. But again, there are 2 extremes here. Those who are freaking fit conscious, i see one thonnooru vayasu thaatha lifting weights in gym, and those who dont give a damn to how they look. Its the second kind that fascinates me. It puts so many things into perspective. There are loads of people here who would make Jaaba the Hutt from STAR WARS look like Mr.Hercules title holder. Still it hardly bothers them. Infact they are treated with equal if not more respect and are not looked down upon by others. I feel so puny and tiny around here, literally and mentally. Its a major major lesson for the perennially prejudiced me. Atleast i wouldnt feel bad looking at my own bulk now :)

*** Another interesting, tad irritating at times, point, for me atleast, noted is the way they begin to talk. Every single person i've met, always ALWAYS begin their conversation with a "hello, how are you". SELDOM i've seen someone talking without this greeting to each other. Wherever you go, whether you respond back or not, by default, by practice, the greeting is the way any chit chat or official talk begins. At times, it feels too phony and false to be true. But it makes an excellent courteous gesture. Whether you are a stranger or a known face, there is always a smile on offer when people pass by. At times, i frown or stare back, wondering whether i knew that person, blame it on my memory, only to get the same smile again the next time too!!! Namakku ..uhumm..suttu poattalum varaathu. Schoollaye good morning good afternoon sonnathilla. Engayaachum naama first aala good morning solli..anni pozhuthu avanuku oothikichinna naal poora thituvaananynu oru nolla ennam thaan.  After coming here..maathika vendi irukkum nenakren.

Kodumai for the day :

Offshorela irukarapovay..vidhyaasamaaa ethachum item order panirunthaanganna will ask a hundred million times whether its veg or not before rejecting to eat it. Inga kekanuma? Etha paathalum oorvana, parappana mithappana species mathirye was questioning the recipe of everything from cold water to desserts. It so happened there was a team lunch and being the sole rep for the veggie clan, i was given some elai thazhai to fullfill my role as oppuku chappani in that otherwise carnivorous melee of dead on arrival dishes. There was an interesing dish which my colleague had on his plate and since it was white in color, was half sure that it had to be a veg dish.

"Machi..intha dish veggie thaana?"
"Hmmm..enaku terinju tissue paperlam veggie categoryla thaan varum nenakren"

Asingapattaan autokaaran :(

(Kodumais Kontinued)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Payanangal Thodargirathu - Kitchen KILLaadi

Ambulimama, Balamitra kathailalaam vara mathiri literalla pala kadal malai kadanthu oru vazhia America vanthadaintha Gilsanandaaku,  Aappu, startersla thara soup maathiri, suda suda was waiting.

First day..First show..che..pazhakka dosham..First day @ aapeece.
Colleague signs up for me to take me in and security gave temporary access card.

"Machi...first time entering..valathu kaal vachu vara vaa?"
"Dei..ithenna first night rooma..etho oru kaal vachu vaada..vanthathay 2 hour late..ithula sagunam veraya"


Suddenly siren sounds filled the air and enakku pinnala queuela ninna makkals took two steps back. All security guys were looking at me with suspicion. My colleague, who by the way was well aware of the potential of my luck, was slapping his head.
"Inga vanthumaaa!! Velanignaa pola thaan"

Nalla sunda kaachina thaar mathiri, pala pala nu oru aasami, atleast 7 ft in height and Godrej buearu maathiri built came and stood before me. Kitta thatta MGR padathula vara motta boss villain mathirye irunthaaru.
Manasukullara abaaya sangu aara vaaramaa ootha aarambichuthu
"Is today your first day here sir"
"Sorry sir..your visitor card has not been acitivated yet. Apolgise for the inconvenience caused" apdinu romba bavyama he told. Aalukkum scenekkum sambanthamay illainaalum happya "unna mannichitten" nu sollitu entered.

Ever since the trip got finalised, there was one topic that was chasing me wherever i went - COOKING. Enga ponaalum first question would be "when i am leaving?" immediately followed by "how are you going to manage without knowing cooking?".

Aaya kalaigal 64la if i make a list of all those arts i am least inclined to learn, cooking would very easily take the top ten spot. Never was a big fan of chemistry and cooking, to me, was nothing less than salt and volumetric analysis combined.

Apdi irunthum, neraya neyar viruppa pattu ketathukkaga, decided to give it a try. I had promised a friend of mine that, if i ever keep hot water extraordinaire ( italicsla poatta venneer kooda french dish mathiri varuthu!! hehehe), on my own, he will be the first person to be honored with that dish. Athu kaettathukkay he applied for another insurance policy. Intha avamaanatha poakarathukaagavachum ethachum pannanumnu en room mateay adichi pudichi asked the recipe for keeping saadham.

"Machi..inniki naan rice vaikarenda"
"Paravallaye..unakku rice aachum vaikka teriyuma.."
"Echuseme..saaptu micham rice vaikka teriyum..samaikaalaam teriaathu..ozhungu mariyaathaiya solli kudu"
"Ada paavi...Pothigai tv la vara Kaanbom Karpom compere maathiri aakityedaa..hmm..seri..simple thaan. Arisi potukka..thanni vidu..cookerla vai..rice over"
"Ohh..avlo thaana..semma simplea irukkay. Intha gas patha vaikarathulaam ??"
"Grrrr...athu kooda sollanuma.."
"dei..solrathu ozhunga sollu..naangalaam Chitti Robo mathiri..podu na potruvom"
"Naanganaa?? unna mathiri innum ethana per??!! "
"ada..athu oru suya mariyaathai..naanga na ..naan thaan"
"ithukku onnum kurachal ila..seri..first arisia clean pannu"
"ok..hmmm..evlo arisi sollalaye"
"oru 2 tumbler alavu eduthukko.."
"wash it"
Gilsananda starts washing. Roomie goes to switch on songs from laptop.
"Dei..innumaa wash pannitruka..arisi enna azhukku thunia..ithana neram clean panna..porumda"
"Atha munnadiye sollirukanum...seri..nextu?"
"Put water"
Gils opens the kitchen tap and starts filling rice vessel.
"Adai..adai..ethuku ivlo thanni...2 tumbler ricena 4 tumbler thaan water vidanum"
"Itha munnadiye solla vendi thaana...intha excess watera enna panrahtu ipo?"
"hmmm..veeranam kuzhai moolama chennaiku anupidalam...enda uyira vaangara..kotti thola"
"why tension machi..less tension more work..more work less what"
"Cookerla vachu gas on pannu..avlo thaan"
"Ozhunga check panniko machi..vaazhvo saavo..intha rice thaan inniki lunchku...neeyum itha thaan saapdanum. Ella stepsum seria panniyaacha?"
"Aaama..ivar peria PSLV rocket vida poraru..steps check panni countdown vida..dei..oru arisi kalainji saatham vaikka ivlo alapparaiya...cookera moodu"
"yes ur aanar"
"Heat evlo vacha"
"Atha nee sollavay illaye"
"adaiiii...seri..thola..oru 7 la vai."
"avlo thaana.."
"Aama..oru naalu whistle adikkum...appo vanthu off panidalam"
"Whistle adikka ethana neram aagum"
"unakku badil solratha vida kammia thaan aagum..pesaama po"

After ten minutes.."hmm...ennada sathamay kaanum"
"Enakku mattum enna josiyama theriyum..iru oru 5 mins paakalam"

Etho coma patienta closea monitor panra doctors mathiri..the cooker was under strict observation.
Despite our repeated staring athu engala mathichaa maathirye therila. Diwaliku atom bomb vachitu vedikutha vedikalaiyaanu bayanthukittay kitta poi paakra mathirye we went near it. My roomie being the experienced guy, went ahead and started meddling with the cooker weight.

"Dei..athelaam open panna vedika pannitu vanthiru"
"Endaa..ethanaa varushama cook panren..enaku teriaatha"
Well...the kitchen looked like it was hit by a snow storm. Enga paathalum rice flakes.
"Dont..dont even say a word"


Suddenly the same sound from office enveloped the apartment. Naama inga id cardlam swipe pannalyenu was wondering when my roomie rushed to throw a wet cloth to the ceiling. Ithennada diparantaana customaa irukaay paatha..our little (mis)adventure had triggered the smoke alarm.

Finala, we settled for the trusted Domino's pizza for dinner.
Roomie was pissed off majorly with himself and DO NOT DISTURB sign was swinging right over his head all the while. After he took an extra peiece of pizza, i drew up courage and asked him.

"Machi..seri..vidu..naaliku enna dish pannalam"
"Grrrr....maganay...inimay kitchen pakkam vantha mudhal dead body nee thaan....unakku  naanay daily cook panni thanthidren..."
"Illa..haiioo solla vanthen..spelling mistake aaidichi"
"Kitchen pakkam varuva ini?"
" enga irukku kaetta erode pakkam thoothukudi pakkam irukku soliduven...avvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv"

"Intha situationukku oru song sollatta...Uruguthay..Karuguthay..Over heatinaalay..."
"Illa machi..intha song thaan saria varumm...adidaaa avana..udhaidaa avana.."
With that the roomie chases Gilsananda who goes rushing for cover.

Ippadiyaaga..vantha annikay alarm bells muzhanga mangalagaramaaga...payanam thodangiyathu.
Aaana kodumais ennamo kontinue aagitu thaan iruku. Atha adutha postgalil paapomaaa :)

Ippothaikku apeetu ...appalika repeetu :)

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Jillunu oru kaathal kathai :) - 9

Ram meets Priya near by to his house and invites her home.

"Hey..ithaan first time enga veetuku vara la nee"
"Ada..aamaa..ithana naala inga vanthiruken..aana unga veetukku vanthathilla..hmm..unkitta onnu solanum"
"Neria thadava varalaamngara idea mindla vanthaalum..unga veetla thappa nenachupangalonu oru bayam..athaannn"
"En?? enga veetla en thappa nenachukanum?oh..antha ponnu paakara mattera solria..athelaam maranthay poirupaanga ithana neram"
"I dont think so"
"Seri..viden ..athelam ethuku ipo..enna saapdra?"
"Unaku samaikalaam teriyuma??"
"Evan sonaan..maximum kitchen left sidela iruku matum teriyum"
"Aprumennamo samaichu kudukka poravan mathiri enna sapdra kekara?"
"cha..antha ketta pazhakamelam kedaiyathu..ethahum biscuit..juice..snacks..apdi ethachum offer panlaamnu ketaen"
"hmmm...veedu semma neata iruku. Sathiyama nee maintain panra mathiri terilaye"
"Absolutely. Amma epovum hospital cleana maintain panuvanga"
"Sofa cover semma cutea iruku..matches with the wall color. Enga vaanginathu?"
"Ada..aama naanay ipo thaan note panren..intha wall colorukum ithukum match idea..amma vaanginathu"
"Intha paintingslaam nee pannatha? unaku varaiyalaam teriyuma?"
"cha..ennoda best drawing attemptna athu scale vachu margin podrathu thaan..athuvay slighta konikkum. Ithelaam en sister pannathu"
"wow..semma talent pola..this one also matches the background"
"ada..aama ipo thaan note panren"
"dei..nee nejamavay intha veetla thaan irukia"
"hahaha..en kekkara"
"illa..etha sonaalum ipo pudusa paakravan mathirye feel panriye athaan"
"ithana naala en kannula saatharanama pattathu..ipo un view pointlenthu paakarapo azhaga teriuthu"
"ithu Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya dialog mathiri irukkay"
"pazhamozhi sonna aaraayama anubavikanum mathiri..dialog sonaalum apdi thaan"
She smiled and threw a mock punch at him laughingly and sat on the couch.
"Enna?" she asked with shyness written all over her face.
"Enna enna?"
"Illa..ethku ipdi vacha kann vaangaama ennaye paakara keten"
Then only he realised that he had been staring at her.
"ada..ivlo blush pannuvia nee" she teased
"yaar blush panra" he stuttered amidst uncontrollable smile and laughter
"pinna..earslaam red aadichi paaru"
"athu en normal coloraakkum..naangalaam always ajith kumar color"
"aiyaa...nenapu thaan..vanthu ithana neram aachu ..ethuvum saapada thara mathiri ideavay ilaya..verum pechu thaana"
"hmm..tea kudukaria?"
"paravalaye..tea poduvia?"
"illa..rendu perukum serthu neeye potru ..hehe.."
"somberi..nalla hospitalitypa..tea podi enga irukunaachum teriyuma"
"definitely in kitchen mattum theriyum"
"velanginaapola thaan..ithelaam velaikaagathu raasa..seekrama kathko"
She came back in minutes with piping hot tea.
"Wow..semma gama gama nu iruku..enna tea ithu"
"ithu teaye illa coffee...adapavi...samaika thaan teriaathu paatha..teakkum coffekum kuda vidyaasam teriatha unaku.."
"hehee...arasiyella ithelaam know what..all these days thought this house was nice looking..but it looks beautiful with you in it"
"Seri..naan kelambaren..inga ukkanthirukaratha paatha ethachum solla poranga"
"Inga Chandramouli yaarum illaye..aprumenna"
"Chandramouliya?? Athu yaaru??"
"Nee Mouna ragam padam paathathilla? Karthik...Revathi..Coffee..Mr.Chandramouli?? antha padam vanthathulenthu intha mathiri interrupt panra risky personality ellamay Chandramouli thaan"
"Adapavi...seri vaa...nadanthu kittay pesalam...aaamaa..ethana thadava paatha antha padatha?"
"No past tense..evlo thadava paathukitu iruken kekanum...Eppo tvla vachalum paapen. Still counting"
"Avlo pudikuma?!! enakum antha padam pudikum..aana ivlo mosamilla"
"Who can hate that movie. Indiavoda Beethovan poatta musickaagavay antha padam evlo thadava venumnaalam paakalam"
"Beethovanelaam romba always Rahman fan..thappu thappu..RahaGOD he is ..of music. Avar vanthaprum thaan cine music got a global identity"
"Ada..rendu perum nalla music podranga..ketutu povomay..ithula ethuku competition..seri...apruma paakalam"
"seri..apruma ping pannu"
Ram came back to see Anil sitting on the stairs leading to terrace.
"Adapaavi..nee eppo vantha!!"
Pointing finger to himself, Anil says, "intha avamaanam unakku thevaya"
"hahaha..solluda..summa scena podrathay unakku pozhappa poachu..ulla vaa"
"Dei.....un kalyanam..Vijaytv la "namma veettu kalyanam" la varutho illayo..athey channella vara "kutram..nadanthathu enna" la varaama paathuka..avlo thaan solven"
"Shut up man"


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Payanangal Thodargirathu - Thikku theriyaatha Naattil

Than muyarchiyil satrum manam thalaraatha Gils..carrying the burden of the Vethaalam of 'Travel', boarded the flight from London. (Spoiler alert for thalai Ramesh - Intha flightlayum air hostess semma sumaar ;( )
My seat was almost at the tail end of the bay and the moment i belted myself to the seat..i slipped into my mini coma state, only to be woken up by my seat mate(?? for want of better term). She was carrying a huge paperback version of 'Shantaram' and got engrossed into that book. I was about to re-enter dream land when the crew woke me up to serve breakfast. I politely refused. The same sequence was repeated for lunch also.
"You dont like airlines food is it??"
I gave her a surprised look and said with a tired smile "yes"
"You better have some drinks atleast..its going to be another ten hours before we land..." and then the conversation went on......till we landed :) We spoke about everything under the sun, which by the way was bit closer, right from the Indian lifestyle to her career in real estate and American economy and Obama's policies. By default, any foreigner will ask about Taj Mahal. And she was no vithi velakku. When i described my trip to that place and the Taj and the little stories about that building, she got thrilled and told me she would definitely include Taj on her Honeymoon trip as a must visit spot. Incredible India karanga kitta commissionuku solli vaikanum.
She then told me about her long distance relationship fiance who was in London and about their plans to move to Costa Rica post marriage. Epdiyum Father of Foreign country aagara idealaam antha akkaakku wished happily. When the flight landed i asked her to help me locate a payphone. She graciously offered her cell. Since she was already a citizen, her immigration went like a breeze and we waved each other goodbyes. Ennada..kodumaiye nadakalaiye paakareengala...meejic starts.

I was counting a lot on the Interview at the Port of Entry. Hoping against hope that my "good luck" will come to  my aid and would somehow screw it up. But shockingly for me, that aapeecer hardly asked anything and simply sealed my entry IN and there by stonewalling all my escape plans:(  Vidhiya nonthukittay was walking towards the rest room only to realise that it was under maintenance. I approached the nearest security aapeecer.
"Polisskaar polisskaar..where is the rest room"
"Go North and take the 2nd exit on the west and proceed in the south westerly direction for sometime you will see the notice board to your east...."
"isssstoooop...dei...irukara ella directionaiyum sollita..unaku route therilaina utru" nu mindvoicela thittikittay avan sonnathukelaam mandaiya aatitu..finala asked "so..i go straight and take right is it?"
That guy gave me one "not again" look and waved me off. Appolenthu start aachunga. Intha veena pona oorla evanum left right use panni direction sollarathay illa. Aaathiram avasarathukku kooda vazhi solla GPS paathu thaan solluvaanunga pola!!!

One word for those landing at O' Hare aiport.
Airportku badhila oru ooraiye valaichi poatrukaanunga!!! Again took a train ride inside and this time again got lost. No wonder you see. Went and asked one security lady the route to my gate. Athukku naan pesinathay puriala nenakren. Nera security check areakku kootikitu poiruchi. Naanum appavia antha metal detector gatea, namma oor kovil thiruvizha timela entrancela vaipaangalay, antha mathiri nenachukittu crossed. Avlo thaanga. Ennamo action moviela climaxla vara mathiri ella sidelenthum securities odivantaanga. Oruthan laptop checking oruthan aerobics panra mathiri inga nillu anga nillu nu ordered. Finala ithu oru dummy peicenu decide panni poitu vaa raasanu vazhi anupi vachaanga. Appovum paarunga..gate enga iruku sollala :( marupadiyum kaettu engayachum thirumba parade uda poraangalaynu naan vaaye thorakala.

Kadavul punniyathula met another person who looked less beku than me. He guided me to the correct gate. A point to mention here. Again i went in early and ennoda gate counter kooda open agala. Ennoda punctuality pathi pesara makkalay note this point your aanars. I showed my ticket to the lady at the next counter and asked "echuseme."
That serious looking lady, simply raised an eyebrow in reply
"err..ithu American airlines counter thaanay??"
Her looks told "paatha Amenjikarai airlines counteraatama iruku...athaan ivlo peria board vachirukomla" still she replied "Yes"
"My flight number is this..eppo varum??"
"Innum 2 hours aagum"
She was like "what for?!!" and replied "welcome"
Was watching tv and some mokka advertisement channel was running with news bits every 15 minutes. Yaaro oru karuppana vellakaaran sututaannu case oduthaam. Atha pathi reporters were asking opinion from every kudimagan of that theru where that sambavam happened. Typicalla Sun TVla Amma aatchi pathi karuthu solla kozha adi pakkama gumbal sepaangalay athey pola thaan irunthicih. Got bored and after few minutes went again to the counter lady.
"Echuseme..Prabha wineshopungala?"
"err.." showed her the ticket again and asked "i one doubt have..intha left hand cornerla irukkay..athaana flight number??"
"adapaavi..athu teriaama thaan ithana flightla vanthiaa"nu she rolled her eyes and said "absolutely"
"ila...oru vela neenga thappa paathutu vera flight nenachukittu soliteengalonu thaan..just wanted to double confirm"
"your flight will come here only..please wait"
she said "ok" as if udipi hotella order edutha server mathiri and went back to typing something. Kandippa internal mailboxla enna kanna pinnaanu thitti mail adichitruponu thonithu. So stayed away from that place. After sometime again got bugged and since no one else was sitting on that area i was bit afraid.."oru vela namma ticketay thappo..illa vera day book pannirupaangalo..naama thaan romba earlya vantomo"nu egapatta kostins. Antha pombala kaari thupinaalum paravaalla will ask againnu went back to her.
"Your flight will come here only. In another 45 minutes. I will ensure that you are boarded into it. Please be seated"
"hello..i wanted to know where is they payphone.."
It was her turn to feel flustered. Naamalum bittu poduvomla.
"you've to go down in the aisle take north and the near the second exit to the east you will find the payphone"
Adipaavingala..unga oorla right leftna ennanay teriatha??? Handsa kooda north to south runningnu solluvanga pola nu nenachukitty roamed around for a while and came back to the same place. By that time, micha gumbal of my fellow passengers had also arrived. Amongst me and that counter lady, i wasnt sure who was more happy when i boarded the flight.

Eppadio..oru vazhia ooru vanthu senthaachu. It was relatively a smaller airport at Charlotte, though it also had a shuttle running inside. Ithu varaikkum nadantha damagekellam sigaram vacha maathiri uchha katta damage was awaiting in baggage claims. As usual, en flight baggage counter wasnt displayed. Everyone of my saga prayaanis were tensed. Namakku thaan ithu pazhagi poachay. I went and stood near one conveyor where no was standing and was about to sit on the edge of it when it started ON and surprisingly that was the baggage counter for my flight. My mom had tied a saffron ribbon to my suitcase to mark it amidst the crowd and off it came proudly in the conveyor as the first luggage peice. I rushed to take it down and was surprised to find it heavier than what it was when i boarded.
Usualla check in la saamaan thooki potruvanunga..apdi thaan kelvi. Nyayapadi weight kammiaa thaana varanum appovum!! Epdi jaasthi aachunu yosichikitay lost the grip on it and fell right on my leg. Mangalagaraamana aarambam. Vadakkupatti raamasaamya paaka pona koundamani maathiri mandaikkulaara "Ooooohh"nu nari oolai ituchi.
Oru thaatha was calling me.
"that is my see the corner sticker...that is my name"
"Adapaavi..itha edukarathuku munnaye sollamaatia...hmm..ipdi ponam ganama irukkay thookatumnu venumntay vitrupa" nu manasukkullaye polambikittay "sorry sir" i said.
"Its ok.." Avar enna mannichitaaram. avvvvvvvvvvvvv
Oru vazhia my suitcase came as the last peice. Atha thookitu came out of the airport.

Charlotte welcomed me with its coldest summer night of the year.

~Kodumais Kontinued