Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Old anecdote from college hostel

Ever since I started my blog at infy long ago, I had wanted to jot down small anecdotes of different people I had met in different stages of my life and one person who I always wanted to write about before she disappeared from my memory forever was our engineering college hostel and its warden (Nighty Thalla).

Hajira Bivi was one person who you couldn't forget easily. She was almost always dressed in a night gown with a shawl covering her part of her hair..and falling lazily around her rake thin shoulders, haunting the stairs and corridors of the hostel with a sour expression most of the time.The name was coined by would be romeos stalking the hostel who invariably got her at her angriest sour faced expressions.

In all the time that I studied for engineering , Cochin University never had hostels for BTech students , and we were all left to the mercy of private hostel owners who charged exorbitant rates for jam packed rooms and meager meals.But with its apartment converted structure and sweet talking owner, the suburban hostel had seemed like one of the better evils of the lot at first glance.

The initial honey moon period soon ran out and soon I began to find that vegetarian food just meant no non vegetarian (albeit the occasional bug in the food) and not necessarily any of nutritious stuff that we were supposed to get. Hajira warden who was super sweet initially started finding fault with us for no reason and soon , she would start stalking the staircases at night to catch people who were awake late night and report them to the hostel owner. Soon , we found that people who got along well with her seldom got reported while people who got her ire , got reported for minor matters like reaching 2 mins late after the 6:00 PM curfew. At 6:00 PM , she would wait at the hostel gates to see who were late and woe betide anyone who got caught.

During this time , somehow she started telling a few of us about herself, how this job was the only way she could support her family and this endeared her to us in-spite of all her faults. After all those were part of her job.But then some strange things began to happen. Things began to disappear. Small things like audio cassette tapes at first, but then things like watches , even money.These missing things were seldom heard of afterwards , until some one saw all of them in a bag in her room. Sometimes, long after something disappeared, she would return the things to its rightful owner citing that she found it somewhere. Many of the hostelites secretly thought that she might be a kleptomaniac who takes things and then returns them  after months.But she was sweet in many ways , and on one occasion , even let me and three of my friends in at 6:30 pm when we had a true emergency.

Soon afterwards, she was removed from her warden post supposedly for some misappropriation and we had a new dragon of a warden. We thought that was the last that we would hear about her , but that was not the case.During that time, yours truly and some of her friends decided to move into a rented house and almost paid the advance , but for some reason, the house owners backed off from giving us the apartment at the last minute. Later we found that a character assassination had been made and by none other than our Nighty Thalla..which prevented the house owners from renting it to us. She was very much there in the neighborhood and was hoping that we would join the new hostel that she had just started .

Then the story of the egg black magic or "Motta matnthravadam" happened. and it seemed to me at that time one of the funniest stories of the time. One evening , our new warden came running to our room and said , "You know , I 've known it all along. This place is jinxed". We thought she was being a bit too silly , but were eager to hear the story. "I went to the church priest and he confirmed ." She continued. It seemed that the from the day she joined for the new post , she was having a head ache and illnesses. When she finally had it checked by a priest, he told her that she had been a victim of ,hmm what else other than "motta manthravadam" by the old warden.. The idea of our Biwi casting a spell on the new warden was so funny that it was the topic of hostel dinners for weeks.But black magic or not , she could do nothing much to influence many people to join her hostel and soon I heard that she had left for her home town permanently.

Some times, I have wondered what became of her, and though we have cursed her a good many times while we were at the hostel, in my heart of hearts , I wish her well.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snowy Dreams..

When I was a child, I had  always wanted to see snow. It was an elusive dream for me.White snow covered himalayan valleys and swiss alps were scenic views seen only in the hindi movie songs.When my cousins had gone to Shimla or darjeeling and recounted having taken snow in their hands, I could only look on with pure green envy. Once , my parents had planned a Shimla trip too in a december, but for some reason , it never materiaized and we went to calcutta instead, and that year, due to some climatic variations , we could not travel to darjeeling. Thus my snow hopes were dashed yet again.

Later , when I got married , my husband was working in Albany ,NY and I visited the place in october.This time , I was sure that I could experience 2 seasons that I had hitherto never seen in the tropical cities of kerala-Fall and Winter-colors and snow..The fall colors were superb that year , but alas , my husband's company snowstormed my snow dreams as they sent us back to bangalore 1 week before the first snow of the season.

Several different stints of onsite and offshore later , now, I find myself staring with utter displeasure out of an office in minneapolis into the snow covered pavements. I have to walk to the bus station in that snow(!!) and wait for my husband at a snow covered bus stop(!!). I would probably have jumped with joy at the prospect of going out last winter when I saw snow for the first time. But as they say , familiarity breeds contempt and not a  day now passes when we don't complain , how difficult it is to go out in the snow and how we wish we could have the tropical warmth of kerala for a day...

Monday, November 15, 2010


കരിമിഴിയില്‍ കൌതുകവും
കൈവിരലില്‍ കുസൃതികളും
കളമൊഴിയില്‍  കൊഞ്ചി വരും
കളിപ്പാവ  കുഞ്ഞു വാവ

പൂവിതളാം  നിന്‍  കവിളില്‍
ഇള  മഞ്ഞിന്‍  തുള്ളികളോ
ചിരി മാഞ്ഞൊരു  ചെന്ചോടിയില്‍
 അലിവോലും  ഗദ്ഗദമോ
 നീ  നിനയ്‌ക്കും  വിഭവങ്ങള്‍
നിനക്കുണ്ണാന്‍    സ്വാദ് ആയി      
ഉറങ്ങാനായി  താരാട്ടും
നിന്‍  പാവകുട്ടികളും   

എല്ലാം    ഞാന്‍  കൊണ്ട്  തരാം
നിന്‍  കൂടെ  കൂട്ടിരിക്കാം
മുഖ  പുഷ്പം  വിടരനായി
നെഞ്ജോരം  ഒമാനിക്കാം
കണ്ണാ നിന്‍  പുഞ്ചിരിയോ
 പൂക്കനിയെന്‍  ഇട  നെഞ്ചില്‍
എന്നും  നീ  ചിരി   ചൊരിയൂ
എന്‍  ഹൃദയത്തിന്‍  വിഷുക്കണിയായി    

എന്റെ ആദ്യത്തെ മലയാളം ബ്ലോഗ്‌

ട്രാന്‍സ്ലിററരെഷേന്‍ എങ്ങനെ വര്‍ക്ക്‌ ചെയ്യുമെന്ന് കാണാന്‍ നല്ല രസം ഉണ്ട് .മലയാളത്തില്‍ എഴുതാന്‍ ഇത്ര എളുപ്പമായിരിക്കും എന്ന്  ഒരിക്കലും കരുതിയില്ല  .ഇനി എന്റെ ജൌര്‍നലില്‍  മലയാളവും കാണാം.ഇപ്പൊ ടെക്കനിക്ക് പിടി കിട്ടി വരുന്നു. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

A free monday afternoon

After hours of fruitless searching for good deals on laptops and multitudes of attempts at writing prose blogs on a lazy november afternoon, I finally came to the conclusion that I am no good at writing the mundane daily details into blogs that some people so effortlessly seem to do.. and that too on a daily basis. Finally did what I like best , read a book. (Prisoner of birth by Jeffrey Archer). It was his usual hallmark style with twists and turns and if you have read more than  3 or 4 books of his, alas, very much predictable. But it is an enjoyable book nevertheless and the premise is interesting unlike Sons of Fortune which was akin to reading a bolly wood movie story of twins separated at birth.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Phoenix Song of Seasons

The Song of four seasons
Played from time imemmorial,
The story of life and birth
Of youth and death and rebirth

Those tender green leaves and grass
sprouting up in an earth so fresh
feasting on the first spring rains
Offspring from the white winter egg

How fast they grow , how fast they grow
into the splendour of summer youth
The aura of strength, the brightness of sun,
the fragrance of flowers, the music of birds.

Alas such beauty can never last
Such is the spell that nature casts
From the egg, the phoenix born,
There comes a time for its fire to burn

Down comes the Fall, the color of fire
Burning down trees in nature's ire
Blazing flames consumes the green
Soon Yellows and red are only seen

The fire dies down, the ashes remain
burnt phoneix feather,Charred and brown,
dead leaves let go from trees so bare
buried in the earth's coffin of snow.

But the phoneix song of seasons,
It will be played again
From the white winter egg
Life will sprout again.

Such is the tale of nature
Such is the circle of life
The phoenix of poetic dreams
Rising from ashes into a whole new life

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memories-An old poem

In a old dusty cupboards,
Forgotten memories lay
The remnants of a distant past,
All packed out of way

With a distant scent of nostaligia,
I opened the attic door.
Oh! what would I find there
In that antique store

Old albums and photos rare,
half destroyed by damp
Books that once I never kept down,
Now with dusty book worm stamp

Old dolls with broken limbs
And dresses worn and torn,
Those well dressed toys of yore,
Thrown away in scorn

I scanvenged through the rubble ,
remembering the days old,
The hand made greetings cards,
The badge of secret society bold

Letters that the postman brought,
postcards and inlands blue,
Satin ribbons and knitting,
threads of every hue,

Hobbies started , abandoned,
Playthings I outgrew,
All were stored and safe
Stacked out of view

As I put everything back,
It brought back a smile
These memories of mine,
Would stay with me a while

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Monsoon Begins in Kerala and it Rains in Minneapolis

Every year, unfailingly , the monsoon reaches Kerala on the 1st of June. It never ceases to amaze me how rain can metamorphosis the very landscape of a dry parched hot landscape. The smell of fresh wet mud is intoxicating. The earth adorns herself in bright greens after throwing away the drab browns. As I was getting lost in the dreams of a green , wet Kerala monsoon, I glanced out of my office and found that it was raining heavily here Minneapolis.In fact hail stones were falling down and melting into rain water forming puddles in the concrete sidewalks.Thunder rumbled and and lightening flashed. I was delighted. suddenly it did not matter that I did not have an umbrella and would probably get wet on the way home. Rain had made my day.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A new Beginning for old Tales...:)

I have long ago given up any hope that my poetry writing spree of 2007 would come back again any time soon. So after a lot of thought , this is my new blog mantra. I will try to dish out anecdotes from my boring life that happened in the same week in the past. Not a very unique idea.. but hopefully this may bring up some interesting stories from the back of my memories..

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Back to Blogging

After a looong sabbatical, I'm back at my journal. I was so busy turning the pages of my life to add pages to my online journal. Now hopefully I can do both or atleast fill in some anecdotes from time to time... :)