Funny and memorable moments - Sabarimala
This post contains some funny (The Military Stare) and Memorable (Rendae Chaaya, Rs 2, Polo the mint with the heart) moments that happened during the trip of Sabarimala (01/01/07). Enjoy reading it. If you feel its TOOOOO LOOONNNGGG then I would prefer you going through Military stare to laugh and Rs 2 to understand about my dad.
Being a patriotic supporter of
Dad and I were tired after the first darshan of Lord Ayappa and decided to have a cup of tea. On the way we saw this AVT chai shop and dad said to me that he wanted tea from that shop. There was this big crowd in front of the shop. Dad went near the shop and coz of the crowd had to stand at the back line and he yelled for 2 cups of tea. The end result he didn’t mind dad or any other Tamil or Telugu or Hindi people requesting for coffee or tea or any food and gave food only to those who knew Malayalam. Dad was really angry over this and came to me and told the matter. I told him that I would get the tea soon and also shall make him realize the mistake. He said try it. I went before the shop, stood behind the line and smiled to the tea stall owner. When he noticed my smile I shouted politely, “Renda Chaaya” (in Malayalam it means 2 teas). I said it with an accent close to that of a Malayalee. He looked at me strangely and I gave him back a smile. He immediately gave me the tea. I paid him Rs 10 and I asked him for the change, “Rendu rubay” in pakka Tamil accent. He looked at me surprised and immediately I smiled, bit my tongue (showing him that I made a mistake revealing my identity) and rephrased to “Renda Roobaaya” (Didn’t even know that’s the correct way Rupees is said in Malayalam). He gave the 2 rupee change with a strange face. I told him immediately, “Ivalavu kevalama Malayalam pesana dhaan chaay kodupeengana unga kada mooda vendiyadhudhaan” with a smile (Meaning – If your gonna serve only to people who can speak such rubbish accented Malayalam then get ready to close your shop). He understood his mistake and immediately started selling food to everyone with equality. Dad liked the way I tackled the situation and once I reached him he said, “Renda Paeru evada poiko” (he meant where are both going to but what he said actually was where did both of you go?). It was funny and we laughed out loud. From that instant we used the words evada, poiko, ivada, avada, renda, all numbers with funny accent, etc).
Another great incident which made me feel great about my dad. I and dad boarded the bus to Pamba from Kottayam railway station. The conductor while giving us the ticket said that he didn’t have the exact change and that he would give 2 rupees at the end of the trip. I told my dad that he won’t unless we ask him about it. Dad smiled and said that if he doesn’t give us back the money then we can give him a friendly guilt which would make him not to repeat the mistake at least for the day. I asked him how he is going to put guilt in the person as he is used to questioning. Dad just smiled and said if the opportunity to make him feel guilty comes then I shall show you. I said ok. After 3.5 hours we reached Pamba. While getting down I questioned my dad whether he gave us back the money? Dad laughed and said he asked for it and am gonna give it to him. Since dad had been wearing the mala I was quite positive that he is not going to shout at the conductor for money. Yet I was confused on what technique he is going to employ.
Dad went to the conductor, asked him where to board the bus when we return back the next day and after some jovial talk he asked for the money. The conductor with the good mood gave the 2 rupees to dad. Dad took it in his right hand; put them in his shirt pocket, and then he did a strange thing which surprised me as well as the conductor. With his right hand he pulled the conductors right hand, opened his palm, held it with his left hand, used his right hand to take the same 2 rupees from his shirt pocket, kept it in the conductor’s hands, closed his fingers over it and said, “A small gift from me to you for the New Year. I like your work and I understand that you are not paid well for your kind hearted job. Next time don’t make someone ask for their money, let them tip you on their own”. The conductor didn’t say a word. Dad said thank you for your service and started walking. His face was smiling at me, actually it was glittering with the 32 gems in his mouth and his eyes were in Tamil terms looked Tejas. The conductor came to his senses and immediately ran to some nearby devotees and gave them their change. It was an unbelievable sight. I learnt more from that one instance than what I had learnt from my moral science book. I was really proud of being his son.
Polo the mint with the heart
Loved this incident. This one shall be remembered whenever I shall see a beggar in my life. After finishing our darshan I and dad were climbing down Sabarimala. Since dad had climbed the mountain without even taking a single Polo or glucose we decided to distribute the Polo mints to all the Maniganda’s (first time small kids coming to the shrine). While climbing down we were distributing the mints to every child we can reach. They were happy. Some oldies who were real tired also had the fortune to have the mints. Only two people of the (8*12 = 96) 96 mints replied with a thanks. That was nice to hear from them. We were nearing the bottom of the mountain and I was walking in front of dad. I saw this beggar amputated (left hand and right leg too) and didn’t mind about it and continued with the distribution. All of a sudden someone pushed me and went fast. I turned and noticed dad running towards the beggar. All I saw was his back bending towards the beggar and it was in that position for quite sometime. I realized that it wouldn’t take that long for someone to throw money for a beggar. A funny thought came into my mind that dad didn’t have change and so had dropped a note and was taking the change. I laughed at myself, shook my head, shot myself with my handgun and went towards him. People were laughing around dad and dad smiled at them and responded with the smile, “He needs it more than anyone else. He is the one who is shouting at his voice to attract people”. That’s when I realized that dad had put a polo mint in the beggar’s mouth. I found that the beggar was happy and with his heart he namaskared dad. If there is anyone reading this blog thinking that it was disgusting putting food into a beggars mouth then I regret your soul. I liked what he had done and definitely would remember this incident till I go to my grave and for sure that I shall narrate this one to my children and their children too.
This was fun. Never had so much fun with dad. Both of us behaved like college kids. We were sitting in a deserted platform in Kottayam for our return journey to Chennai. We had a solid 4 hours to time pass. After a while a train came and stopped in our platform. The AC compartment was in front of us. All of a sudden I saw this guy who was wearing a tight white T shirt, a very small shorts, a near knee long socks and tennis white shoes. The most interesting thing was he had a turkey towel over his shoulders and was speaking in a cell phone. He had a military cut and it confirmed my intuition that this guy was a new recruit to the military. Since our platform was deserted he obviously looked at me and dad. I was staring at him all the time. My eyes focused only on his eyes and I was telling dad what I was doing. I requested dad to look at him in a way that gave him a point that dad was commenting on his dressing style. Dad looked up and down all the time. This guy even came down the platform, went to a shop had a biscuit packet and got up again to his compartment. We still stared at him. He got real uncomfortable and so turned his attention to the other side of the train which was an empty zone. After 5 mins the train had the Go signal. I told dad that this guy would come and shall have a look at us and if he does I asked dad to stare at him just as I do. As I had expected this guy stood near the door and watched me. This time I raised my left eyebrow and gave him a hard stare. To make things worse for him, as the train moved my neck turned in perfect synch while my raised eyebrow stare continued to exist. As our view was impaired with a pole I had to give up. But after 2 seconds we noticed that the guy leaned out of the door and looked at us and we immediately gave him back the stare. As the train left the station I stood from our seats, moved to the platform edge and still continued to stare at him. This went like for three quarters of a minute and finally the guy vanished into the compartment. Instantly I and dad laughed like college kids for atleast 10 minutes. We even spoke about the guy for half an hour. I and dad were sure that this guy would have thought about us till the next morning. Even now when I remind dad of the term military shorts dad shows his 32 pearls. Someday I need to meet this guy and give him his stare.
TV – The Idiot Box:
One good incident which doesn’t fit under the Sabarimala category but is worth remembering in my life. PS am lazy that I don’t want to write a separate blog for this. This one goes at the top of my memorable moments list. I was working on my PhD qualifiers report early in the morning. As I had been working on it the previous night too and since I hadn’t watched much TV my dad got real confused. He came to me, sat near me and asked what I was doing. After I explained him what I was working on, he told me to relax. He got up took the remote from the shelf and came near me. He showed the remote in front of my face blocking my view of the monitor and asked me to watch some TV and that I close the laptop. This was the first time in my life that my dad has taken an effort to bring the remote to me and asked me to watch TV. It was really a proud moment for me. 18 months ago I was a voracious TV watcher. Though being in a state where most channels are to be accessed using a set top box I still managed to watch lots of TV programs. My favorites at those times were POGO (I never missed most cartoons) and NDTV (My only access to sports). But now things are different. It might look that I am turning out to be a workaholic but it is actually wrong. I am having more fun in my work environment than what I used to have watching TV. Anyway I had made my dad realize that am turning out to be someone he wanted to be. But now he wants his old son back though I am making him happy. Let’s see what the future holds for me – an idiot box or an idiot itself…..