Aug 16, 2018

970. Just mom things


Mothers love their children. That is true. Nothing to deny this fact. But moms do crazy stuff that will make you cringe.

If putting you in your place is an art, my mom is a Picasso in it.  If you are reading this, you might be able to relate with this post.

1. My mom always bought me clothes with a futuristic thought. When I was eight years old, she would buy me clothes that I was supposed to wear when I turned ten. Her common logic would be " You will grow soon and the shirt will become small in no time". If I still argue with her, she would quickly throw the googly " The clothes will shrink after the first two wash. Hence we should buy bigger size clothes". 

2) To avoid this trouble with ready made clothes, I started prefering custom made shirts from a tailor near my house. My mom would accompany me to the tailor shop. When he takes measurement, she would say " Keep an extra inch. He will put on weight".

My mom's dream of me putting on weight and growing up in stature, never came true. I still look like a college kid.
3) When she feels that the weather is cold, she would make me wear the sweater. I hated the month of December. I would be wearing a sweater all the time.

4) She had a knack of counselling others and empathising with them. When her friends come to her asking for parenting advice, she gives them the best advice.

Rani aunty (Name changed): My 7 year old son still wets the bed. What should I do?
My mom: Don't worry. Give him less water to drink before he sleeps. My son Prason used to wet the bed even when he was in class 6
5) When I was in college, I used to take my friends to my house. On one ocassion, my mom was showing them my childhood album

Reena: Aunty who is this boy in his underwear?
My mom: That is Prason! At least in this picture, he is wearing an underwear. He would always run around the house like Archimedes when he was a kid. 

A picture with my mom taken when I was 23 years old.

Some of the common words that she used to utter when I was a kid are flashing across my mind now

  • Prason! How many times have I told you not to enter the house with your mud feet after playing in the ground. Go wash your legs
  • PRASON! It is 7 am! Get out of your bed! NOW
  • Prason! Go flush the toilet
  • Prason! Did you eat the IDLIS. or did you flush them down the toilet?
  • Prason! Did you pee on the bathroom floor? You should pee only in the toilet and not in the shower.
  • Prason! Did you eat the Dairy Milk bar from the fridge? 
  • Prason! Did you put a wet spoon inside the Boost bottle?
I can go on and on with this. But I am stopping it right here. What are the darndest things, your mom has said?

-Chronicwriter

Aug 9, 2018

969. Not all Brahmins?



The last two days made me realise the Dravidian inside me. When I was scrolling across my news feed, I could see many people praising #Kalaignar. But among them were a few people who were spewing venom. Some of these venoms even included false information.

I agree when we do not like a person, we will look at their negatives with hatred; but to spread false information is plain cheap. I could zero down and understand that those were spewing venom belonged to two categories

1) Naam Tamizhar friends of mine.

I have many friends who are followers of Seeman. In fact, I love certain schemes and thoughts of Seeman. But the manner in which those friends spread false information made me lose my respect for them. I can only feel sorry for them.Will dedicate a separate post for them later

2) Brahmin friends of mine.

Except for one Brahmin friend of mine (my bestie), the rest showed their true colours in the last two days. One friend who gets angry with the #notallmen foolishness, went on to create a hashtag #notallbrahmins

This post is for this second group of people. I don’t think I need to address the first group of people; but I need to convey this to the privileged class

It was the year 1990.

I was 8 years old. I studied in Morton English Primary School. I was in class 3. I had a class mate. Her name was Lakshmi Priya. She always got the first rank in class tests. Whenever I could not attend classes, I would go to her house to get her class notes. 

Whenever I reached their house, I would be asked to remove my sandals outside the compound wall (not outside the house). Then I would be asked to come to the backyard. I will be made to stand near the grinding stone which was at the backdoor. 

Her mother would keep the note book on the thinnai. I will be allowed to keep my notebook on the thinnai and copy from her classnotes. I thought that they were a disciplined family and hence followed this. 

When I am done with copying from her classwork, her granny would come with a mug of water and pour it on the thinnai and wash it with a broomstick. I did not know why she was doing this. One day when I told my mother about this discipline in Lakshmipriya’s house, my mom with tearful eyes told me “From now on, you need not go to her house”.

I did not understand the reason for many years

Cut to the year 1999.

Till then I did not know such a thing called as caste. At home, they never explained to me about the caste system. Even while learning about the caste system in school text books, I studied it only as a subject and I never related it with me or my classmates. 

His name was Santhosh. He used to come to school with a big Tirusul mark on his forehead. I did not know that it was his caste symbol. I was short and hence was made to sit in the front bench. He was tall; but still chose to sit in the front bench. 

It was a practice for school teachers to ask questions to students. I was not the extremely studious guy. I would score in the 80s. Whenever I answered a question correctly, he would either slap me or pinch me and say “Dai parapayaley! Nee ellam padichu enna panna pora” (Hey “caste-name-boy! What are you gonna do by studying?”). I did not even know that the word “parapayan” referred to a caste. 

But I considered it as a cuss word because he would use it in an angry tone. When I shared it with my uncle, he told me that parayar  was actually a caste name and brahmins considered them too low. My uncle also told me that I did not belong to that caste. 

As a Christian, I don’t have a caste, but because our roots came from the caste system, even Christians would ask me which family I belonged to. After a point of time, I started replying to Santhosh by saying “Yes, I am a parapayan! So, what?” 

One of my workplaces

There was this colleague of mine who wrote a mail to the HR stating that I was bringing beef to the cafeteria and it was causing disharmony among employees in the organisation. How I handled that issue is another story.

My bestie

Yes! he is a brahmin. We have different spiritual beliefs. We have different political beliefs. But we eat beef together and we talk about politics and religion freely. I have never seen him degrading people based on caste!  For me he is a shudra; he is a kshatriya, he is a vaishnavite and above all, a human being.

These are just three incidents I have mentioned that has happened in my life. And I love Kalaignar for putting all the caste fanatic Brahmins in their place. 

Next time I see someone saying “Don’t generalise all those who hate Kalaignar based on caste!”, I would just smile and say “Okay my dear Dalit friend! I hear you. But nee konjam moodikittu iru”

- A fellow Dalit (Chronicwriter)

Jul 10, 2018

968. A few seconds before happiness

If you search on the internet using the phrase " A few seconds before happiness", you will be seeing this picture taken in the year 1955. 

You might have also seen this picture on Instagram and as forwarded messages. Today, my friend Madhu sent me this picture. She knows I love dogs.

This picture immediately pulled me back to my childhood. I was 10 years old then. We used to live in Chellakan street in water tank road in Nagercoil.

The uncles in that street were fond of me. All of them knew that I loved dogs. There was this Gabriel thatha who would come home every evening and teach songs to my sister and me. He also told me stories about puppies.

Then there was this thatha called Devadoss. My mom used to call him uncle and hence I also called him uncle. On 1st April 1993, he came and pressed the door bell. I went and welcomed him.

Just look at this picture here. That is how I welcomed him. He was holding something in his hand. I thought he had some chocolate in his hand. But then he brought it forward and there was this little fur bundle. A cream cockerspaniel puppy.

We named him Bubbly because he was Bubbly. He lived for exactly 10 years and Bubbly was literally a part of my life. Read more about Bubbly here [link]. After Bubbly passed away, I could never fathom the idea of having a pet dog in my house because the void left behind by him is something that I have not come to terms with even now.

Today, there are around 5 street dogs that sleep in front of my house and they will not let any strangers near my house. My daughter Anya is asking me to get her a pet dog. I am still contemplating. Probably she might be having her " a few seconds before happiness" moment soon.

- Chronicwriter

Jun 28, 2018

967. Ignorance is bliss

This image captures my performance in my bachelor of engineering degree in the best way possible. 

I scraped through that 4 year course without having a clue about "Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering". 

Now I work in an IT firm as a marketing head. This is what Engineering does to many people in my country.

I loved mathematics during my school days. But Engineering made me hate that subject. I still remember the name "A. Singaravelu". 

We literally had to study the books he wrote to clear Basic Engineering mathematics, Laplace theorem, Fourier transforms. 

All these are con names of mathematics papers that attacked us in each semester. After every mathematics exam, my reaction was similar to that of Mr. Yogi's  in this  picture. At least some of us get over this confused state and walk out of it when we start working.

But there are few lovely souls who still linger in the same wavelength even when they become the EVP of their workplace. No I am not taking a dig at the person you have in mind. May be I am.

-Chronicwriter

966. Keep your respect with yourself


At times we feel like showing our respect and gratitude to those we admire and look up to. That does not mean, that we need to show that respect always for everyone to see. At times, we can keep that respect with ourselves. It will not only preserve our sanity; but also avoid cringe-worthy situations for others.

Shankar was the comedian in the 8th standard C section class. He made a fool of himself when ever he tried to string a sentence in English. Back in those days, officers from the board of education will make surprise visits to schools to access how well the teachers are teaching. So one day, when they made the surprise visit, the board representative chose Shankar to interview him about the class and the class teacher.

Board Representative: What is your favorite subject

Shankar: Maths

Board Representative: So tell me what is the square root of 16

Shankar: _______________ (Blank look)

Board Representative:  Does your teacher teach you well

Shankar: He hardly teaches us (He actually meant that the teacher is a hard worker and he teaches us well)

The board representative took the teacher aside, spoke with him in a stern tone and left.

Fast forward to the year 2017. Shankar has now successfully completed his bachelors program. Nothing has changed much with respect to his language skills. He is now given the responsibility to welcome the chief guest of the graduation ceremony. He goes on the stage and opens with the line

Good evening ladies and gentlemen! Today we have an impotent man among us.

(He actually meant "Important"). Remember the Balatkar joke from the movie "Three Idiots"? A similiar scene has finally become a reality. After his welcome speech, he walks down the stage with his head held high. The tamasha did not stop there. When his turn came to receive the award, he thought of seeking the blessings from the chief guest while receiving the award. The above picture captures this blessed moment. 

-Chronicwriter

Jun 12, 2018

965. How I fought my drug addiction problem in college.



In my first year of college I met this guy called Sundar. If you wanna know more about Sundar, all you have to do is watch the Tamil movie Kaadhal, and look out for a character called Virutchagakanth. He is that unassuming character whom we would never ever in our wildest dreams think of as a bad influence for us. Little did we know that he would change the fate of 5 guys in college. 

Sundar, single handedly spoilt all 5 of us. I had never tasted a drop of alcohol till that moment. But as I did my college in Pondicherry, alcohol eventually found me. Sundar never made me drink alcohol. Alcohol was my own personal choice. 

People in my close circle would know that I was addicted to drugs during my college days. Sundar was the stash supplier for all of us. It all started in the fall of 1999. I know we dont have a climate called "fall". I just wanted to sound cool in my blog. 

So It was sometime in the month of October. On a cold and hot sultry night ( Don't give me that look. That is how those nights were) , I was preparing notes for Basic Engineer Mathematics ( I flunked in that paper) paper, when I heard someone knocking my hostel room door.

It was Sundar. His eyes were red and he was smiling. I ushered him inside the room and he was sweating profusely. I knew something was wrong.

" Enna machi aachu? ( What happened bro?) " 
" Nothing much da! I am just high" 
"Are you drunk?" 
"No, I snorted 10 grams of Cocaine" 
"What! Is not that a drug?" 
"Yes! I am now high and I can see the 7th dimension?" (Appavey avan Christopher Nolan-kku tough koduthaan
" What is that?" 
" You will not understand" 
"Tell me please na" 
" You have to experience that to understand it" 
"But I am scared to take drugs" 
"Smoking is injurious to health macha! But Cocaine is just like sugar" 
" Will I behave weird and odd once I snort it in?" 
"No! Am I behaving odd? I am just high. You can try this pack"

He pulled out a small pack from his pocket, unwrapped it and there it was. I was seeing Cocaine for the first time in my life.

"How should I snort it in?"

He immediately pulled out a broken Reynolds pen and asked me to insert one end of the pen inside my nostril. There was a small hole in one end. It acted like a straw. Then he asked me to snort it in one go. 

When I was about to snort the powder, he stopped me and said that the pack would cost me Rs 10/- He said that it was usually in thousands; but because he had a cousin who has contacts with the underworld, he could buy that imported Cocaine from Brazil. 

I gave him a  Ten Rupee note. He gave a kiss to Gandhi thatha. Then I snorted that Cocaine in. I felt as if I was floating in the air. I actually felt as if two ladies were holding my hand and walking in a cushion laden road. I started to smile too. Sundar and i giggled till we slept off that night. Eventually I started to yearn for Cocaine and every week we started snorting Cocaine. 

This 'once a week' habit became an alternate day habit and eventually we were snorting Cocaine on a daily basis. We even went to our classes under the influence of drugs. Five of us had become drug addicts in our college. Cocaine was in our veins and no one could tell that we were under the influence of drugs because we acted normal even when we were high.

There was no stopping us. Even though I flunked in one of the papers, I eventually cleared that paper and even started scoring great marks in all semesters. I was literally my department topper when I entered the seventh semester in college. 

That night, we were waiting for Sundar to bring us some stash. Even after waiting for a long time, he did not arrive. So I walked up to his room and knocked on his door. He was not in his room. But the door was open. 

I walked inside the room and found some aluminium foil, a hammer and some newspapers in his table.  I heard someone walking towards the room. I thought it was the hostel warden. I did not want to be caught with drugs in my hand and hence I went and hid behind the cupboard in the room.

The door opened and Sundar walked inside the room with strips of tablets. He locked the door and opened all the tablets and placed them in the aluminium foil and started to powder them with the hammer. He then packed them in the newspaper and went out of the room.

I knew that he was going to supply Cocaine to my friends who were waiting for it in my room. So I decided to follow him too. As I came out of the cupboard, my instincts told me to check the tablet strip. It was VITAMIN C tablets (Celin).

I had my heart in my mouth. So this guy Sundar had cheated us for 4 years by giving us Vitamin C powder on a daily basis. That was when reality hit me. We acted normally all those years because we were never ever high. I was angry with Sundar because he had already pocketed hundreds of Rupees, not only from me; but also from my friends.

Note: Please do not tell anyone that I was a drug addict in my college days. Adhu enakku asingam illai. Adhu ungalukku dhaan asingam. 

Additional Note: Due to large amount of Vitamin C in my body, I seldom caught a cold during my college days

-Chronicwriter

Jun 11, 2018

964. Jurassic Park - The scariest movie I have ever seen



I have seen Evil dead, The Exorcist, Exorcism of Emily Rose, Child's Play and many more Horror movies in my life. I have never ever been scared. In fact when I watched "The Omen", I just treated it like a comedy film.

But one movie that scared the living daylights out of me has to be Jurassic Park. I watched the movie in a movie hall. We never had the habit of watching a movie in a movie hall. In fact the first movie I watched in a movie hall was "The Ten commandments". I was a small boy at that time and I slept off in the movie hall.

The second movie I watched in the movie hall was Jurassic Park. I watched it in Nagercoil in the legendary Pioneer Muthu movie hall. I added the above picture for a reason. That scene is what made me almost shit in my pants. Those two dinosaurs chased two little children and while watching that thrilling scene, I literally pulled my legs up and placed them on the chair because I feared that a dinosaur might creep from under the chair and bite my legs.

The two little children would scamper around the room to flee from the dinosaurs and eventually they would escape from the room through the ceiling. When the boy is pulled up through a hole in the ceiling, a dinosaur would jump to bite his legs off. That was the precise moment, I felt warmness in my pants. My bladder gave up and I peed in the seat.

Even today, when I watch the movie, I remember this scene and it still scares me big time.

- Chronicwriter

963. Why I did not become a policeman

I always wanted to become a cop.I had a fascination for guns and policemen. Late in the year 1985, my folks took me to an exhibition. I was just three years old at that time. 

As we were approaching the entrance, I saw a policeman. I was holding my father's hands and taking tiny steps. I freed myself from my father's grasp, ran up to the cop and poked his butt with my tiny fingers and shouted " Appa! Is this a Policeman?"

My father did not know what to do. He ran towards me, picked me up, apologized to the cop and walked away. I was angry with my dad because he had not yet answered my question. 

"Appa! I want to see that gun"

"No! That is a real gun. I will buy you a toy gun"

"Okay. Appa"

He kept his word. We came out of the exhibition with lot of goodies. My mom had bought lot of kitchen household items. My sister had a doll in her hand and I had a gun in my hand. As I walked out of the exhibition, I pointed the gun at the policeman and said "Hands up". He smiled at me. 

I had a doubt and asked my dad in a loud voice "Why does that police man have a big tummy?"

My dad closed my mouth and walked out at a faster pace. I was angry because my dad did not bother to answer my second question too. 

I assumed that the policeman had big tummies because they hid ammunition for their guns in their stomach. At that young age, I thought that belly button is the entrance point through which they push bullets inside the tummy.

I tried to push a nail inside my tummy too because I thought iron nails were nothing but bullets used in guns. That landed me in hospital.

Even when I used to play the game " Robber and Police" with my friends, I always chose to be the police. I liked to wear a cap and chase robbers. During one police chase, I became too hyper, and ended up kicking the robber in his head. Too much of Vijaykanth and Jackie Chan movies made me do that. My folks made me stop watching action movies after that.

When I entered college, I started riding a bike. The traffic police always had a ball and I ended up paying fines at regular intervals even when I followed all traffic rules. That is when I decided not to become a cop in life.  

Now I am putting a lot of weight around my tummy. I think I might become a police officer sometime in the future.

-Chronicwriter

Jun 6, 2018

962. No Plastics in TamilNadu after 2019



When the Tamil Nadu Government announced that they will ban disposable plastics from Jan 2019, I was pleasantly surprised and happy. I was hundred percent sure that Scientist Sellur would have been behind this decision. 

The ban excludes using disposable plastic for packaging milk, curd, oil and medical utilities. So we can still pollute the environment by throwing these plastics around.

The Industries that will b heavily affected by this ban are

1) Supermarkets

Supermarkets rely heavily on branded plastic bags. They have a big bunch of plastic bags at the billing counter. Now these bags have to be replaced by cloth or paper bags. The percentage of customers who visit the supermarket will definitely fall in 2019. E-tailers will have a great growth in their market-share in 2019. It is time for shops to venture into the E-tailing space soon.

2) Catering services

The plastic cups and plates will also be banned in 2019. So caterers will have to use paper cups or leaf cups. Marriage reception costs will go high and caterers will invariably charge high for this change. Plastic straws will be off the radar too. Tender coconut sellers will have to find alternate means to sell their products. And lovers will no more be able to drink from two straws in the same coconut.

3) Political parties

Plastic flags will also be banned. Party flags will now have to be in cloth or paper. The spend on flags will by political parties will have to change drastically. 

4) TASMAC

Plastic sachets for packaged drinking water will also be banned. Lower income people will find it difficult to mix sarakku while drinking. They will start to drink raw henceforth.

5) Silicone Implants

I am not sure about this. But plastic surgeons might be able to answer this.

Now you know why Pamela Anderson's image is used in this blog. It is because she has a plastic floating device in her hand in the picture. Neenga enna nenacheenga?

Chronicwriter

Jun 4, 2018

961. Three decisions that changed the face of TamilNadu


January 1968 should go into the record books as a memorable event in TamilNadu history. The country was facing a major turmoil.

The Cauvery tribunal board was not yet finalised. But the tension and animosity between the two southern states was on an all time high.

At this time, three major amendments to the constitution of the South Indian party was made.

DMK leaders K. A. Mathialagan, V.P. Raman, C.N. Annadurai, A.A. Arumugam and M. Karunanidhi with Swatantara Party founder C. Rajagopalachari (Rajaji) met together at a function and concluded on three major decisions which eventually changed the face of TamilNadu politics.

First decision: The politicians should always wear veshti for political events. Till date when ever there is a political party meeting, they always wear white veshti.

Second decision: The second decision was to field Mathialagan as a candidate in Thousand lights constituency. He went on to win three elections in the constituency and served as the Finance Minister, Minister of Food, Revenue and Commercial Taxes in the Tamil Nadu government and Speaker of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.

Third decision: A.A. Arumugam was responsible for the third decision. He knew that bribery and fraudulence was at its peak in the party. He decided to curb it. While heated discussion was going on between Rajaji and Annadurai, A.A. Arumugam beckoned Karunanidhi and told the three important words " Alert Aayikodaa Arumugam". Later on he was fondly remembered as Alert Arumugam by his party cadres.

Spot Alert Arumugam in the above picture

-Chronicwriter