A Longing for a long ………

A great feeling is blankness;
It is for this we strive in its fullness,
Blankness is when we reach the pinnacle
Eyes so closed, everything blanked for seconds.

What this feeling is, I am at a loss to know
For it lasts not long, too short, but we desire it to be slow.
You can name it easily, but can’t enjoy eyes up blown;
Somehow, we close all shutters for few seconds of glow.

Eyes go blind, ears but deaf, surroundings sense lost,
Reach when we,  the height,  in all silence that tallest post.
That is where I thank only one; none but God
For he granted us many ways to indulge in this
sojourn, so soft.

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A Stare At Dusk

“You need pay Rs.1500/- per month for her services. She is efficient and sincere and I know her for the last three years, since she started working at my friends house”. My wife told our counter-part and neighbor, introducing Sarada to her. Sarada got assigned the job immediately and her working time was fixed everyday evening between 5.30 to 7.

One Saturday, she was asked to come earlier by 3.30 and exactly at that time she knocked on the door, while I was preparing to go out to sell accumulated old newspapers for the last three months. I use the money realised to buy roasted cashew-nuts and this has been practice for the last so many years, that the sight of stacking old newspapers produced an elation in my daughter, she commanded as if her right, “Cashew nuts, on the way back.”. . I nodded approvingly.

In any act you are not alone. My eyes immediately stumbled upon another man, who was riding his two-wheeler, just in front, with all spaces available in it fully packed in the front and the rear, which would surely earn him more than Rs.1000/-. Whether he too was going to buy cashew nuts or some other delicacies I could not guess.

We had the same destination and soon we reached. There were two or three people in their cars for the same reason. You cannot jump the queue but wait. I found time to talk to the ‘fully loaded’ man. “You have a collection of one year or more”. “Yes. Son is against selling old papers. He is preparing for Civil Services and he would have already taken his share and storing it in his room. Of this many pages he would have cut and pasted in chart papers.” He announced proudly and added, “Month end syndrome, you know, is catching up and ten more days to go”. He gave ‘ten more’ a great stress and I concurred with him, mentally, immediately. As I expected he got more than Rs.1,000/- and left gleefully.

I was left alone when my innings began. As I observed, the go-down had a heap of old books kept in a corner. I obtained the owner’s permission to glean and select books that interest me. Short stories always enthrall me and if it contains selected short stories of various authors it is a double-delight. Small mercies do happen. I got a collection and selection of two short story books by Educational Publishers and the one from Frank Bros & Co, was compiled and edited by Mr.S. Chakravarthi, When it came to settlement, the buyer had an excuse, “Sir, today being Bank holiday, a lot of people turned up than expected. You just saw one man getting more than Rs.1000/-, . Could you please come back by six in the evening.”. “How much should I pay for this two books”, I asked. “Nothing, you can take more, if you want.” If I had bought these two books from second-hand book-sellers, they would definitely charged me Rs.50/-. ” Ok, I shall come by 6, I shall pay for the books then”.

About to open my mouth about the temporarily suspended payment, an equally eager daughter rushed to munch roasted cashew-nuts, as soon as I lifted the seat to take out the books, beneath which I had concealed a sachet of cashew nuts under various papers lying inside that space. In a flash, I took the books and announced the news about the delayed payment, with out looking at her.
” I know you are lying “, she said and in lightning act snatched the key from my hand and ‘brandished’ the sachet, I had hid inside, but not safe from her gimlet of eyes and she vanished.

I sat down on the floor, near the entrance door, and began browsing one of the text books edited by Chakravarthi. In the preface, written in 2009the Editor laments “Perhaps one of the most disappointing aspects of being an English teacher today is to me to terms with the fact that more and more students seems to be so disinterested in reading. This is, indeed, heart break. Young people today have access to several mediums of entertainment — cinema, television, computers, music at finger tips as a result of which their interest in reading is slowly, but surely, being neglected and heading for an untimely demise”. How true I felt. Many students goes through this mechanically just to get marks and never enjoy the literary beauty and due course simply forget ever having ‘studied’ rather read such a story, leave alone the author.

The first short story was ‘An Astrologers Day’ by our won RK Narayanan, which I have read umpteen number of times, that I jumped the next one by Saki, a favorite author of mine.

The story was titled ‘DUSK’. “The story begins on a very a pessimistic note as the author describes all the defeated people of the world who come out of their homes in the dusk time so that they do not have to meet successful people. However, the rest of the story has little to do with this pessimism and we are drawn into the brilliant plan of a confidence trickster who was out to make money on some gullible victim. The end of the story is bound to make the reader laugh and wonder at the wit and creativity of a master storyteller”.

I went through the story totally absorbed in the twist and turns. A short story of just four pages, that simply transported to another world, that I was totally unaware that Sarada had finished her work and about to go home. As the story ended, as mentioned by the Editor, I instantaneously laughed aloud at the totally unexpected end that she looked back and stared. Stung by the stare, I had to tell fumbling, “Not at all at you”, pointing to the book I was holding,  “This book caused it”. Whether she took it or not, I do not know, I simply withdrew inside and cursed myself for  reading sitting at the door step.

Gift

The Sunday evening itch began by 5.30. With money in her bank a/c remaining untouched for more than a week, my daughter is getting restless in transferring that into somebody’s pocket. “My dresses are getting old, I want to buy a pair or more of churidar material. Moreover, I want to gift one to Kuttu’s sister who scored all A Plus in her 10th and came out top in her school.”. That last sentence won her my consent for the outing along with my always reluctant better-half.

So the process began at 5.30 and we went out by seven. A gestation period of more than an hour.

Enthusiasm is very contagious, it seems. While my daughter got enthused by her itching to get new dresses, her inclination to gift one enthused me. When I readily agreed to visit my wife’s cousins house after shopping enthused her more than ever.

The resultant goodness of enthusiasm immediately got us an auto, that we had a seamless journey. Nowhere in the three traffic signals were we held up, we got green signal the moment we were about to stop. Air filled was with enthusiasm.

The mall always brisk,presented a very lively and lovely ambiance for the shoppers. Festive season or not, this Mall attracts people from far and wide and it is a celebration once you enter it. A group fifteen was waiting outside with all paraphernalia for live performance of chenda melam.

“Ah, what happiness it is to be with people who are happy!”, a line in the Garden Party, a short story by Katherine Mansfield, struck me. All are happy and enjoying. They did not show any freckle of pain or disappointment,  all normally have. Cinema theaters, ice-cream parlor or an amusement park are centers of happiness, where one must throng to once a month to relieve themselves of the daily strain and pain. Better said than done. A deep pocket is a necessary concomitant.
The selection process, I know, considering past experience, will only be laborious. So I kept aloof in a corner. To include me also in the  process my daughter frequented me,  put me a question, “How is this one?”. Not to let her down, I said, ” You have one more or less in the same color”. She heard it half or full, she disappeared immediately.

The tube music flowing, took my thoughts to,1980, when I was in Delhi. The mall culture was not there then. But Palika Bazar was a golden rendezvous for many like me, from the taluks of Kerala. Film songs of Qurbani and Abdulla, coming in a sequence, simply transported me to that time almost 37 years ago.

Standing in a corner, lazily, but observing beauties moving around in plenty of all age groups, I thought some familiar face would say a sweet hello. It was not happening.

Then I remembered having shared an information in,  Facebook, about new Rs.500,  counterfeit notes of which are suspected to be in circulation, which was depicted having the security thread away from the normal position than  in a genuine currency.

I took out my wallet to check the fate of few notes in it. I had eight numbers of it. I patiently checked the security thread. All were ok. But not uniform. Three on the line, two within the line, two just inside the border and the last one well within. Why this variation I was in the oblivion. The counterfeit had its security thread over the signature of the Governor of the RBI.

Disappointed at finding no familiar face,still I did not lose hope. When it rains it pours , not the way it rains in these parts of Kerala, especially in a rainy season. Then I saw a glimpse of man, a familiar face, holding a chubby child in his hands and another young boy walking close by and beautiful lady just behind. The innocence of chubby child was more an  attraction that I saw less of his mother. It was none other than my ex-colleague. We exchanged pleasantries, and we parted. The minute he went away, another man touched my back. He was a Development Officer of LIC, who helped in reactivating my Agency, and smoothly reminding to start procuring business. In a Mall, Cinema theatre, ice cream parlour, hotel or in a amusement park, you need not ask your friend what brings them there? Then I saw client who as about to pack up after purchase. Just as my MD who often  makes a regular remark, when a former regular client walks into his cabin after a long gap, I too asked him, “Kandittu orupadu nalayallo, Sir, evideyille? ” ( Long time since we last met. Are you not here?). So I had a hat-trick, with in a gap of three minutes.

By the time my daughter finished he shopping it was 8.20. She asked me, “Which one of the churidhar material should I gift?”. “The best of the three  and the one you like the most;  then forget ever having given a gift”. I said.

Injuries Invited

Sakthidharan, was in utter dismay. Just slipping into retired life after more than three decades in the  field of education, this morning had not been as good as he would have liked it to be.

It was about eight ‘O clock, that he heard the calling bell ring. He expected, being the first week of the month, this may be the beginning of parade of monthly payment collectors just as newspaper wala, milkwala and all and sundry walas.

It was no surprise for him and as expected a beaming, Narendran stood at the door for collecting the monthly cable subscription of three hundred rupees. Today, he appeared bit busy than usual.

Sakthidharan paid the money and soon Narendran left without his customary remarks, as he used to make, about something happening in and around the locality.   Narendran was unlike many others who visit him every month because of his refined manners and was more acceptable to be invited in and to engage in small talk. Sakthi was bit disappointed that he could not share some of his anecdotes when he was in service. The hidden truth in most cases is that, while the teller is having enough time to relax and recount his memories, the man at the receiving end, especially when he is on collection mode and umpteen calls to be made, that day, would only reluctantly  listen and would only try wriggle out at the earliest opportunity.  Today, Narendran would have came well prepared for this eventuality and appeared more a busybody.

Sakthi was about browse his newspaper that he suddenly remembered that Narendran had left with out paying the balance of Rs.700 against Rs.1000 he had paid. He was sure he had paid a single currency note.

He called his wife, who was busy in the kitchen, “Narendran did not pay the balance of Rs.700.”, he announced gingerly, to which his wife responded rather tamely, “Just be calm, you may have put it in the table drawer or in your shirt pocket”.

This indirect missive made him more furious that too coming from his wife, he uttered, “you believe him more. He is not such a person to cheat: but you cannot believe each and everybody blindly”.

Not to lose the battle his wife added. “He has been coming for collection for the last three years. Not in any way has he behaved to think badly of him. You check again”.

This infuriated him further. “I have checked everywhere, He only came in the morning. I know his house. I must go immediately”.

To this his wife  made  a calming retort. “You know his mobile number. Call in that. Or call in his land line number. Both are with you.”

Sakthi immediately began the exercise. When he heard the ‘switched off’ message, he frantically tried in landline. The bilingual voice informed him the landline is temporarily out of service. This compounded his agony.

A habitual walker always,  and if the situation warrants more quicker action, Sakthi had a bicycle to reach nearby spots. He pulled  it out and began pedaling his way to Narendran’s house. In his anxiety he lost the road sense and an reckless auto rickshaw  knocked him down. Sakthi made a evasive turn, the cycle turned upside down and he fell on the road. Soon people gathered. His whole body was writhing in pain, because of the sudden impact. Many abused the auto driver for his reckless driving. But Sakthi was too concentrated on his money in suspense than on the road. He right arm was most affected.

The news reached his home. His son reached the spot in his car. Soon he was taken to the nearest hospital. En-route, his over speeding son hit another vehicle and there ensued a war of words, between them, while Sakthi remained inside the car cursing Narendran for all that happened. The car suffered damages. Somehow, they reached the hospital.

Narendran was about to reach home that he got the news about the accident. He immediately rushed to the hospital to see his client. He saw his son who was restless and walking up and down. Sudhir heard his father’s rant against Narendran through out the way and he  had taken a position.

The moment he saw Narendran, he was about to spit fire. His mother calmly entered the scene and by symbolic signs implored Sudhir to maintain gumption. Narendran was entirely in the dark about his role in the present situation,  approached Sudhir’s mother  with all innocence in the world asked her, “Madam, How it happened?”. He saw Sakthi sleeping deep in sedation.

With our revealing any thing that was supposed to be the cause, Sudhir’s mother told, “In the morning, soon you left,he took out his cycle to meet somebody. Then  he had an accident. Soon Sudhir took him here. By the by, Narendran, may I ask you one doubt?. Sakthi Sir, says he paid Rs.1000/- and  did you return the balance of Rs.700/-.?”.

Narendran was taken aback for a moment and replied, “Yes he gave me Rs.1000 . But at that moment I had no money. Then Bhaskran also came for his milk bill. That was around Rs.700/-. Saksthi Sir asked me to pay Rs.1000 to Bhaskaran and Bhaskaran paid balance of Rs.300/- to Sakthi Sir and soon he settled me also. That’s all.

She immediately turned to her son, when Narendran was gone, “Your father himself is responsible for the agony he has inflicted upon”, and told the rest. Sudhir stood dumbfounded at his father’s unnecessary rashness.  A wave of regret rose in his heart and  his previously fire spitting eyes welled up with tears.  He rushed in to meet his father.  He was aware it will pain his father more than the physical pain he was in and he walked in with a choking throat.

Lost and found

“No, that we can put that inside the helmet space. No need to buy a carry bag for that”. I told my daughter just after having finished shopping in the nearby margin free shop. ” Ok then”. she replied.

Slowly we made way for us to the outer from the counter, with a humble request to the other shoppers to give us some space to move out.

I scrambled my pocket for the ignition key. It was not there. I thought I would have missed it in some part of that store and made my way in. In my anxiety to find my key, I was too lost in the thought that I did not see any of my neighbors or friends, till one stopped me forcibly, to know which stock to pick tomorrow. I had no mood for stocks then, that I told him I am in search of my ignition key, which is missing. His usual suggestions followed, as any body would do normally, and he went his way.

I rushed to the first floor and asked the sales girl about my missing keys. She presented a drooped mouth and she too joined the search in that small area. My efforts coming to naught and the bleak possibility of finding it elsewhere, my agony accentuated as I have already lost the duplicate one, six months back.

Anxiety writ on her face, my daughter asked, “Got it?”. I said no. I rolled my eyes on all the bikes that were parked there. My Honda Activa was missing. “God, somebody has got the key and got away.” “No, you parked the vehicle behind that Maruthi”. My daughter added. I rushed near the Maruthi. My priority is now the vehicle and not the key. No it was not there.

I thought, most probably, I would have left the key in the slot and left and somebody has made a killing.

I stood calmly for a moment and closed my eyes and I laughed. “Why are laughing?”. my daughter asked.

“Both of us are fools. We had walked all the way”.

Just then my friend who asked for tomorrows bet passed me. I called him, “You buy Multibase a BSE listed company”.

Believe it or not.

I asked, Mr.Menon, when he walked in on a Monday morning, what has now become his daily routine, to trade in the stock market, ever since he opted for voluntary retirement, after more than three decades of service in a nationalized bank.
“Menon Sir, where is Mr.Kumar, who was in Fort branch some years back. I have not seen him him for the last so many years.”
“Kumar is in Peroorkada. Do you want to talk to him?”.
Menon took out his newly acquired mobile and about to call Kumar. I stopped him. “No need at all. I just enquired. That’s all”.
I handed over to him his holdings print-out and he briskly walked in to the trading hall, as if not to lose money by furthering and engaging in loose talks.
Then I turned my attention to colleague, “Anil, have you observed ever, If I think or talk of a person he will present himself before me.” “Is it so?”, acknowledging that he is not aware of such a mental faculty embedded in me.

Some time back, I was talking about one of friends who was my class mate in primary classes and whom I have never met during the last forty years or more than that. His name was similar to a north Indian name ‘Jugnu’. Because of the peculiarity of the uniqueness of that name it struck deep into my memory even now. So after the conversation I left my friend and walked into a medical shop, nearby. A man with a teenage boy was coming from the shop. He passed me. Suddenly I had an inkling. Is it not Jugnu?, I turned. He too was looking back. I did not sing “manasamaine varu”. This song was sung by him every during Friday evening sessions in schools those days. This was the only song he used to sing and repeated with with unfailing regularity every Friday.. Jugnu singing means manase maine varu. I shouted out of exhilaration, “Jugnu……..am I right?”. “You are Narayanan.” We embraced as if a photo session and the young boy looking excited at our sudden emotions. Selfies were not in vogue in that time, that we could not do a snap shot. I told the youngster that we were class-mates and meeting after gap of nearly forty years. I turned to Jugnu, after all the customary inquiries, “Jugnu, Believe it or not, barely ten minutes ago, I was talking about you to a friend. on some context and what a coincidence.” I could not suppress my excitement at this unexpected meeting. He may have taken it as mere exaggeration.

I am going to mention here two or three most striking of all these incidents.

I was doubling as a demat a/c opening facilitator, while my primary target was always selling LIC policies. Through this opening, I created a relationship and subsequently cultivated it to my advantage. Such a cultivation resulted in a policy in 2003 for a Sum assured of 3 lakhs. My client, Mr.Premkumar, was an officer in a Bank. He had shares of the bank to be dematted. After the formalities, I opened my LIC window and procured a policy for a song. I was unaware that he was closely related to my ex-colleague, Mr.Santhosh, but subsequently came to know. Some three years back, Premkumar, visited Capstocks for submitting KYC and reactiavation forms. By the by, I asked him about Santhosh and got all information about his present place of posting and his new post in Dabur. It was about 1’o clock in the afternoon and I took leave of Anil to go home for lunch. I was about to start my two-wheeler. Then all of a sudden a bike came to a screeching halt blocking me. Bit annoyed the way I was blocked, in a most unlikely way, I was about to give vent to my disapproval. The rider took off his fully covered helmet and greeted me. It was Santhosh. Pleasantly surprised at his unexpected arrival, I asked, ” I met your cousin, Prem Kumar, some one hour back. Did he tell you?”. “Not at all. It was a mere coincidence.”. How come all this is happening?. I was aghast.

It was about 3.20 in the evening, markets about to close, Menon came and sat in front of me after squiring up his positions. Soon Kumar walked in. Menon surprised at his arrival, conveyed, “Innu ravaile Narayanan thanne kurichu thirakki. (Today, morning, Narayanan enquired about you.” I turned to Anil and put a Rajni style question “Ith epadiirruku?”,( “How is this one?”). Anil nodded his head approvingly.

On may 3rd last month the best of all times happened. I was telling my wife about my sudden journey to Hyderabad, in the September of 1984, to attend an interview in VST. At that time, the whole Andhra Pradesh was in turmoil on account of sudden dismissal of the democratically elected government of NT Ramarao, by the only and one true angel of democracy, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. I reached upto Bangalore from Payyannur somehow one morning. And then I got a ticket by bus to Hyderabad in the night, that will help me reach my destination on time.

I had an uncle who was somewhere in Jaya Nagar and my cousin was then working in Ind-Suzuki. I somehow wanted to meet my uncle, as I have lot of time till 10 pm in the night. I just walked along the MG Road and looked around. I saw a hoarding that mentioned the authorized distributors address. I noted that in a piece of paper and reached the spot. I was informed by them that the sales office was located in Koramangala. I hired an auto and reached the spot. A bulky and chubby young executive was sitting there. I told him I wanted to meet my cousin, who is on their rolls. He immediately identified my cousin and connected me to him, who was then in their Hosur manufacturing base. I got the address and reached my destination with out any fuss.

Later on I came to know the man who helped was one Mr.J.Suresh. He resigned and subsequently joined Brooke Bond, helped the company in getting rid of unsold two-wheeler, the company had in its stocks, consequent of its take over of Karnataka Scooters. Then he became brand manager and I met him in my depot, while he was on tour. I was telling all these to my wife and added that currently he is the CEO and MD of Arvind brands. Least interested in all these, wife gave a dead ear but I put all my heart to thrust as much as I can during the space. Surely, she would have cursed me. I left her to her chores but the delight that she emitted at her escape reflected on her eyes and face.

I switched on the TV and immediately moved to CNBC TV 18. I was pleasantly thrilled. CNBC’s Priya Seth was interviewing the CEO and MD of Arvind Brands, Mr. J.Suresh. I immediately summoned my wife to see the man of whom I was discussing a minute before. She had no thrill and expressed her customary exclamation “Ah, so what?’. My readers  may also feel so.

Titbits

I begin everyday at office with a flourish. With a presentable smile, I think so, and a big good morning wishes and if possible I will add a pinch of humor too. Many times it falls flat and sometimes I get carried away by its success. I am always on the look out for something to start. Many a times I get something to stir and cheer up my two colleagues. So many things happen in between 5.30 in the evening and 9.00 am in the morning. All need not be strictly humorous. But I reserve only cheerful things for the mornings.

My home nicknamed as ‘seriality’ home is nothing new to my friends. For the latest serial news and reality shows I always recommend them to call my better-half and confirm. Left to herself after seeing us all off, in between her house hold chores, she gets immersed in serials, reality shows and cookery shows. The tragic part of this is that it continues even after 6’o clock in the evening and this keeps me away from the remote till 10. It is this aspect of my wife, jumping from one serial to reality shows and vice versa, that prompted me to popularize my house as a ‘seriality’ home among my colleagues. ,

Today morning, when I was about to assume my official personality, bereft of any ideas to beef up(sorry, if it upsets my ‘gorakshaks’ among my friends) the morning atmosphere, after the customary broad smile and warm wishes, my mood swinging between an agelast to an abderian and eager to settle somewhere in-between,     my eyes caught sight of a vernacular business magazine that featured an interview with Dr.Jacob Thomas IPS in the inner pages. To catch the attention of the readers, there was a catchy quotation from the esteemed guest. I read it fast and loud enough to to catch the ears of my colleagues. I read it as this “Parotta bhoomiyil adiyurachu”. I seriously thought, the guest is chiding the beef plus parotta eating culture of Keralites and, I asked my colleague to read the pages. Feeling something fishy, he snatched the magazine and corrected me. “Narayanan It is not parotta bhoomi it is poratta bhoomi” (battle field). Clock showed 9.15. By then the day’s trading had commenced.

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If memory is correct, I first tasted Coca-cola in the year 1970. It was priced Rs.1 per bottle.

My father, then working in a wretched tea company, Brooke Bond India Ltd., as a salesman, now part of Unilever, bought us a bottle of this beverage, while we were all out on a rare visit to Trivandrum; shared it among we three off springs and the balance left, the the last gulp, was consumed by our parents.

Unfortunately, I too became a salesman in this nasty company in 1984, How much I regret my resigning my Central government job in New Delhi in 1980, I have no words to reason that ghastly decision. Its impact still linger.

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Sales Manager thundered during the sales meeting. “We are all wives of this giant tea company. Like a true wife, we must take care of our husband, his health and his needs”. He received thunderous applause for the motivational speech.Some two months later, this man married a new husband.

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Last Monday evening,I was waiting for my turn to enter the doctor’s room for consultation. I was accompanying my son whose right shoulder was proving to be problematic. Just then an old man too joined us. To break the ice, I asked him, “Sir, are your from Sreekanteswaram?”. To be honest, I have never seen him anywhere else. ” No no. I am coming from peroorkada. Who among you is here to see the Doc?.”. I explained the rest and reciprocated to know his problem. A laconic reply followed:”Acute back pain”. Then I asked my usual question. “Sir, where were you working?” “In VSSC.”. Then naturally as expected he asked about me. Energized by the morale boosting reply, I said ‘Capstocks’.
“Rajendran’s?”. he asked. I affirmed more enthusiastically. He continued, ” I have an a/c there for the last 25 years, but now I am not operating”. This was the answer, I was eagerly waiting for. I immediately, drew my visiting card from my wallet. ” Please visit us or call me. I shall arrange everything to reactivate your a/c. Markets are poised for good upmove.” Just then those who were in the consultation, came out. It was my turn next. I turned to the senior citizen, “You may go in, Sir. I shall wait”.

My son who was listening to my conversation, immediately reacted when the super ceder disappeared into the Doctor’s room. He irritatingly said, “I know you are going to do like this”. I replied, “Client first”.

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If you are in hurry, please relax a bit and do not be in a hurry. Because it creates more hurdles and may even hurt you.
Last week I was in a hurry. I had to catch 4.15 train. At the point it was already 3.30 and I had hardly an hour. I had to withdraw some cash from the nearest ATM. I had to endure a mini traffic snarl and when I reached the nearest ATM, with my light luggage, it was not functioning. I rushed to the next one. Here five persons were already waiting. I was the sixth. Time 3.45. Then as we watched patiently the one who was now engaged in withdrawing money had a collection of debit cards. One after one he was inserting and drawing cash. At his wits end, one man shouted, much to my delight, “Mathi akado. Onnu thirinju nokku” ( Please stop and look behind). Then the man responded “Please, just one more”. Then another responded, “Iyal kaliakkiyitte povu”. Butterflies in my stomach are becoming crocodiles, as time is flying fast. With all respects, I begged, “Ellarum onnu sahayikanam. Ennikku 4.15 train pidikkanam”. Kind-hearted, they let me in. I just wanted a two thousand note. All that came out was in hundreds. While collecting, because of the pressure I fumbled, cash fell on the floor and I thought I collected all and I immediately got an auto with money clutched in my hand, I began to count. I found hundred bucks missing. In my hurry I did not say even a word of thanks who allowed me in earlier. That was more a hurt than the money lost. Perhaps a fine for my discourtesy. I take it that way.

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