Monthly Archives: February 2010

No sense is better than nonsense

"You were scared of me.. right Leo ?. I know, you used to walk away from me when you see me sitting infront of the house. Guess you were in class 5 then."

Trying my best to deny a fact, I mumbled: No, pauly chetta.. I was never scared of you. Why should I be ?

Again with a partial smile on his face, he continued. It’s ok Leo, I know everyone used to be scared of me. But trust me, Pauly chettan is no more the same. I’ve changed, but no one understands that now or want to believe so.

Pauly was the only graduate in his family. Studious, most beloved son of his parents and a good neighbour to us. It was in ’95, when people spotted him doing exercise on the middle of the road at mid night. It was the beginning. Unknown the reason was, but he gradually was losing balance of his mind and as any helpless mentally challenged person he too was branded as a ‘madman’ or a ‘branthan’ soon. Within an year his parents passed away and soon the eldest sister-in-law took control of the home.

It was in her better interest that Pauly stay a madman. Thus he was smartly kept away from all financial deals of home. Was never fed properly and beaten when asked for food. A hell in earth, that’s what he was in for past 12 years. His freedom came in the form of dividing ancestral property by siblings(they just had a small hut and a hutly shop), and that made S-I-L to go out of home. Since then Pauly is a new man. He has recovered tremendously and is now all words with people around. It would now be difficult to tell that he had some mental illness few years back. Above mentioned conversation to me when while at home, reiterates the fact that Pauly has certainly changed. He now speaks more sense than many living in the same street.

But, how do we take care Paulys of the world ? By medicine or just by being a little more humane ?.. Guess through a combination of both, but with more dose of latter they have a better chance of regaining their self.

Thoughts from being at hometown for a month

Homecoming after many months greets you with numerous pleasant and unpleasant encounters… relatives with plastic smile and intrusive questions, friends for whom every celebration means more and more liquor, mom who thinks son should be fed 24×7, brother who thinks his brother is drinking too much these days coz his belly hs bloated up, nephew who thinks his uncle = punching bag, at church bumping into that old schoolmate whom you had a crush on and disappointed to see her carrying a baby now(:P) …countryside drives through paddy fields that makes you believe you are in heaven, and the highway drives makes you believe you are in hell…. kerala never ceases to surprise you….by the time you are ready to return you are stuffed with so much memories to cherish until the next homecoming.

Took a long break to be at hometown this Jan. Had to attend a conference and also co-ordinate for brother’s marriage. An inter-religious, inter-state, inter-language, inter-culture marriage comes with its own challenges and opportunities. Challenge to break the conventional prejudice notions of people and opportunity to welcome a wonderful yet different person to your family. Both turned out to be refreshingly smooth and successful.

Cant resist mentioning few of the random observations I could make while at home, Kerala.

  1. For a marriage function, people come to eat. Period.
  2. Only people who listen to a marriage mass at church are the co-priests and altar boys. Rest all are busy envying other’s outfits.
  3. In a party, majority prefer brandy to rum to whisky. I was told that it is coz it gives them a faster ‘kick’.
  4. After 3 pegs, brand matters and not taste. Fill local liquor in a scotch bottle and they will still thank you. 😛
  5. Smoking is no more preferred, especially amongst 20-30 age group
  6. Everyone has an opinion about everything. However it is limited to preaching and not practicing.
  7. Goons and taporis during school days have become more successful than class toppers. Seeing this trend on a regular basis now.
  8. Gulf is still the ‘chosen land’, even for the newly pass-out engineers
  9. Interactive digital class-boards have come in our small town and students are also given linux os to use along with windows.
  10. Seeing more parda clad kids on the roads. People becoming more conscious about their religious identity ?
  11. People have gradually started to stop looking ‘down’ at people who start own business instead of job.
  12. Perception of success is more valued than success itself.
  13. Some book stalls still survive by selling only malayalam books. People are actually buying them. Long live the language.
  14. More real estate deals = more disposable income in hand = more audi’s and bmw’s on roads… Merc is no more the ‘in’ thing.
  15. Going through the speed track in highways are their birthright, even if the car is going at 20 kph they wont budge to left
  16. To get a work done, bribe/tip before the work. It helps far better than giving it later. Anyway you will end up paying for sure.
  17. Somethings never change… like a standard unlimited lunch that is still available for Rs. 20 in most hotels.

so after 25 days, 2000+km of driving, 4 functions and 5 kg increase in body weight…am back in A’bad. This time it was totally worth it…..and the memories are so overwhelming… let me take use months to  miss it so much that I rush back at the next possible exit.