Tuesday, January 18, 2011

NAANGA IRUKKOM !!!


Hi friends. Sowkkyama??
On Bhogi's day, I had to have my vision checked. Since I did it previously in class 11 at Prem's Eye Clinic [Now Vasan Eye Care], I decided to go to the same place. This post is a narrative of my travel to the hospital and back home. Also, all of us have two individuals inside us- the saint & the sinner, the playboy & the asshole, the guy-who-tops-the-class & the guy-who-washes-out-the-sem [You can see them in the picture]. It is these two guys who help us make decisions, and depending on whose advice we take, our action becomes good or bad. Here I'd like to differentiate the voice of these 2 guys inside me, with colour- green for the good guy and red for the bad guy…


Jan 14, 5 pm

My mom: Kelambu da…
Me: Kelambitten [Chatting in Facebook]

5:05 pm

Mom: Kelambu da…
Me: Kelambitten [Commenting on a photo in facebook]

5:10 pm

Mom: Kelambu da saniyane!!
Me: [Idhukku mela ukkandhirundha asinga asingama thittuvaa] Kelambitten kelambitten…
Mom: Naan venna kooda varattuma?
Me: [Edhukku? Kann doctor kitta nee kanda kanda complaint ellam solradhukka? Vendave vendam!] Unakkedhukku ma veenn sramam? Naane samattha poittu vandhudren…

5:15 pm

Got ready and went to the bus stop @ Pazhavanthangal subway

5:20 pm

Bus arrives. Vandhu 5 nimisham dhane aardhu?? Adhukkullu bus vandhudutthe… Sariyillaiye… I take a closer look at the bus. It is a TATA Motors vehicle. Ennadhu TATA-MarcoPolo vandiya?? Naan aera maatten! Oru Ashok Leyland employee, MarcoPolo vandi-la aerradha?? NEVER!! Ashok Leyland- Viking vandi vandhale ozhiya indha edattha vittu nagara matten. But the bus starts to move and now my conscience gets the better of me. Moodittu aeruda moodhevi!! I hop onto the bus. Hubba! Ukkara edam kedaicchudhe!! I buy a 7-rupee ticket to Saidapet.

Bus crosses Cemetery Road, Aazarkhana, Guindy and then towards Chinna malai. As the bus races past the corporate office of Ashok Leyland, I bend down and prostrate.

Guy sitting next to me: Edhukkuppa kumbudura?? Ingenna Kovila irukku??
Me: Illainga. Enakku velai kuduttha saamiye idhudhan [sentiment in my eyes]…

I point my finger towards the U-TRUCK on display there. The guy throws a strange, disgusting look at me. Arasiyalla idhellam sadharanamappa!

The bus crosses Chinna malai and reaches Saidapet. I get down the bus and walk, in a move to find Vasan Eye Care. After all, avanga dhane sonnanga NAANGA IRUKKOM-nu??

5.40 pm

My mom always tells me to know beforehand the whereabouts of where you're about to go. Having forgot that [just like I forget the rest of her words], I walk through all streets that diverge from Saidapet bus stand. I find myself in front of a cinema theatre, a Kalyana Mandapam, and finally Saidapet Railway Station. Ennada nadakkudhu inga?? Sutthi sutthi ore roadliye nadandhundirukkiye?? Also, I have this habit of DO-IT-YOURSELF when it comes to finding places, which clearly ends in myself being lost…

5.55 pm

Hopeless, tired and obviously lost, I ask directions to the hospital from an auto driver.

Driver: Arch vazhiya nera poittu right…

Seri nadappom vaa…

6 pm

Vasan Eye Care Hospital, at last. Just as I pull the glass door of the unit, the security runs toward me.

Security: Yov engayya pora?
Me: Ulla dhan!! Checkup-kku…
Sec: Idhu OP block ya. Andha veppamaram pakkatthula irukkura block-ku po. Anga dhan checkup ellam…
Me: Solli tholaingalenda!! Ok saar..

I open yet another glass door. As soon as I do, a woman in the hospital's uniform runs toward me.

Woman: Neenga ippo dhan 1st time inga vareengala?
Me: [Yen? Hospitala sutthi kaamikka poreengala??] Uh… Aamam.
Woman: Indha form-a konjam fill pannunga.
Me: [Ennadhu form-aa? Naan enna inga watchman velaikku vandhena? Eye-checkup-ku dhane vandhen?] Ok

Name? Oralavu nyabagam irukku...
Age? Hmmm… Kootti kazhicchu edho pottudalam…
Sex? Answer therinja ore question…
Address? Adhukku dhan 'bit'tu vecchirukkomla?? College ID card…
Phone number, E-mail ID? Sappa question…

The woman comes to me.

Woman: Ok saar. Konjam inga wait pannunga. Unga pera kooppiduvaanga… Counter-la 100 rupees kattittu wait pannunga… Neenga endha doctora paakkanumnu solvanga…
Me: [Oho… Kasu kudukkaradhukku munnadiyum wait pannanum? pinnadiyum wait pannanuma?? Enna oru service!!] Ok ok…

6.15 pm

Nothing much happens… Shit! The tower is down… Double shit! There's no tower at all!!

6.30 pm

Nothing much happens… Except for that one of the employees has walked across the hallway 500 times since my entry into the hospital. Hurrah!!

6.45 pm

Nothing much happens… No! Wait!! There comes this pretty Vasan employee lady who shakes hands with every other employee saying "Happy Pongal!!". Excuse me madam! Naanum naalaikku Pongal kondada poren…

7 pm

Nothing much happens, except that my urinary bladder is almost full… Hereon let's address the Vasan employees as V-boys ok?

V-boy: ACHYUTHAN!!!
Me: [Getting up in spring-action] Present Sir!!!
The whole hospital laughs… Indha asingam unakku thevaiya? Thevaiya??
V-boy: 100 rupees pay pannunga…
Me: [Giving 500 rupees] Ok.
V-boy: ID card vaangikkunga. Inime Vasan Eye Care varumbodhu indha ID Card kondu varanum…

Kondu vandha free-ya treatment pannuvangala??
Illa… Konduvaralainna innoru vaatti andha form-a fill-up panna solli saavadippanga. Eppooodi??
Paravaalla college ID card-a vida idhu nallave irukku…

V-boy: Dr. Mehta… Second floor.

7.05 pm, 2nd floor

Hubba… Tower kedaicchudutthu… I receive 6 new msgs. Adhula 4 msg BSNL-lerundhu… Mobile-la TV paarunga, E-mail check pannunga, Unlimited GPRS, Software download pannunga… Dey! Naan vecchirukkaradhu Nokia 1203 da! Adhula picture msg kooda paakka mudiyadhu!! Aen da saavadikkareenga??

Ah! There is a msg from my school friend Shalini… It reads 'Hi. How are you?' Ennadhidhu?? Indha ponnu namakku ipdiyellam msg anuppa maattale?? The newest msg is also from Shalini, reading- 'Sorry da. Wrongly sent.:)' Thoo!! Indha avamanatthukku thookkula thongalam! 'How are you'nu kekkumbodhu smiley illa… 'Wrongly sent'-ku smiley!

7.10 pm

V-boy 2: ACHYUTHAN!
Me: [Amaidhi… Amaidhi…] Yes?
V-boy 2: Go to that room. We have to perform a cataract test…
Me: [Ennadhu CATARACT TEST-aa??? Power irukkaanu dhane da check panna vandhen? Ippove kann operation panna solvaanga polirukke??] Sir, enakku Cataract-lam illa… Power check panna dhan vandhen.
V-boy 2: It's a normal procedure sir. Bayappadadheenga…

He makes me place my chin on some machine and asks me to look at the picture in the screen. It's a picture of a small farm house with a sun-sky background and a meadow foreground… En 5 vayasu thangai idha vida azhaga padam varaiva sir…

V-boy 2: You're right…
Me: Right? About what??
V-boy 2: You don't have CATARACT…
Raasaa!!! En vayatthula paala vaatthe!!!

7.15 pm

V-boy 3: Saar, kanna nallaa perisa theranga??

He drips a drop of that irritating-eye-checkup-liquid in both my eyes…
Sometime later, he does it again…
A few more minutes, and he drips that liquid again…
One more time…
Now he holds a flashlight in his hand and like he's searching for some small object that rolled to the underside of a bed, aims it at my eyes, which by now have shed a tumbler of tears due to the liquid.

Podhum nirutthuya yov…

Again, that liquid…
Again, that torch light…
Some time later, V-boy3 realises that if he administers one more drop of that liquid to my eye, I'll go blind permanently. So, he sends me to… who else? V-boy 4. My stomach hurts! I need to go to the bathroom!!

He places on my nose, a metal spectacle like thing, and asks me to read alphabets, while himself placing one lens after another, asks, ippo nalla theriyudha?? Ippo nalla theriyudha??
After a couple of tries, he gets totally confused.

V-boy 4: Neenga idhukku munnadi kannadi potrukkeengala??
Me: Aamam… 5 varushama.
V-boy 4: Enna power?
Me: + 0.5, rendu kannliyum.
V-boy 4: Seri, velila wait pannunga. Unga pera koopduvanga. Appo neenga doctor-a poi pakkalam…
Ennadhu marupadiyum wait pannanuma????

Dr. Mehta calls me in. I go there. She asks me to place my chin on a machine. The screen on this machine, unlike the previous machine where I kept my chin, shows a slit of yellow light. This reminds me of the SPECTROMETER experiment in 1st year Physics Lab…

Dr. Mehta: Mr. Achyuthan, I don't think you need any spectacles. You're eyesight is fine.
Me: [Apdiya?? Namakku indha alavukku nalladhu nadandhadhillaye??] Mam, you must be mistaken. I've been wearing glasses for 5 years now. +0.5 on both eyes.
Dr: Then why aren't you wearing them now??
Me: [Good question. Next meet panren] The doctor said it's not a continuous-wear type. So, I just had to use it while reading.

She takes me to the next room, where she puts on me the same metal spectacle like thing and makes me read aloud numbers instead of alphabets. After a couple of tries, I read those silly characters perfectly. But still, I need to take a piss, and I need it very badly…
Dr: Oh my!!!

Enna aachu sollunga doctor, evlo selavanalum paravalla- Achudhana kaappathidunga… Please!!!

Sorry doctor. Paiyan kaila innum 400 rooba dhan irukku. So 400 roobaikkulla kaappaattha mudiyumna kaappaatthunga. Illainna vitrunga. Ozhinjudhu sani!!

Me: What happened doc?
Dr: Your power has increased- from 0.5 to 1.5.
Adhane paathen! Dey soda buddi!!!
Dr: You wait outside. I'll give you the report in a minute
Marupadiyum wait pannanuma????

I come outside and decide to sit on a plastic chair. But first things first.

Me [looking at some blurry image of a person in front of me]: Excuse me sir. Toilet enga irukku??
V-boy 5: Neenga nikkura edatthukku 2 adi munnadi irukku…
Me: [That explains the phenol smell] Thank you!

I go into the toilet and start peeing into the siphon. There is a huge mirror right behind the siphon. Orutthan "chuchu" pogumbodhu avan moonji epdi irukkumnu paatthunde pogalam! Enna oru buddhisaalitthanam??!! This could possibly the longest piss taken by any human in the history of humanity.

I come out and collect my receipt and go to the ground floor. The guys at the reception direct me to the OPTICALS section.

V-boy 6: Sir, report kudunga…
Me: Indhaanga.

The guy stamps the hospital's seal on the report and gives a copy of it to me.

V-boy 6: Saar frame paakkareengala? 500 rupees-lerundhu 25000 rupees varaikkum frames irukku.
Me: [Enakku ungalaiye kannukku theriyala, idhula frame engirundhu theriya pordhu??] Sorry sir. Enakku ippo kanne theriyala. So naalaikku vandhu spex order panren. Sir, time enna?
V-boy 6: 9.05 pm…

I rush out of the hospital and call my mom. Idhukku mattum kannu theriyuma-nu neenga enna kekkalam. That's the advantage of having a name like ACHYUTHAN. My name is the first in my contact list.

Me: Hello! Ma??
My brother: Dey! Checkup pannittiya? Enna power? Enga irukke?
Me: Amma-ta kudra…
Bro: Kannu therliya?? Ha ha ha!!!
Me: Adingo! Amma-ta kudra…

Mom: Solluda. Doctor enna sonna??
Me: Doctor kedakkattum. Maaa, kannu therla ma!!
Mom [Hiding laughter]: Naan appove sonnen kettiya? Periyavaa sonna adhula oru arttham irukkumnu therinjukko!
Me: Artthamellam aprom therinjukkaren. Ippo kannu therla. Konjam vandhu koottindu po ma…
Mom [Laughing]: Adhellam onnum illa da; nee vandhu serndhuduve enakku nambikkai irukku! 10 manikkulla vandha dhan sadham!! Nyabagam vecchukko!
Me: Ma… Ma…

Phone goes dead!

BSNL vaazhga!! BSNL employees vazhga!!
Ayyayyo, veliya varumbodhe mani 9.05… Ippo 9.10, 9.15 aayirukkume!!
Seri enna panradhu? Road-a cross panni bus-stand povom…

A blind guy with a guide stick crosses the road. I follow him, since at present his vision is better than mine…

After reaching the bus stand, I peep into every bus and ask the bus number from a passenger inside. At last, comes an M 18C

Me: Saar. Indha bus number enna?
Conductor: Aen pa? Kannu therla? M 18C. Nee enga povanum?
Me: Aamam na. Kannu therla. Pazhavanthangal subway onnu… [I give a 10-rupee note]
Cond: Enna Vasan Eye Care poittu vandhiya? [Chuckles and gives me a ticket and 2 rupees]
Me: Aamam na… Ticket 7 rooba illa?? 2 rooba dhan bakki kudutthirukkeenga??
Cond: Ticket 8 rooba thambi. Nalla vela nee vandhu aerine… NANGANALLUR-ku kadaisi bus idhu dhan!!

As the bus stops at Chinna malai, a pretty girl enters the bus and takes the seat right in front of me. I try and try, but can't get a glimpse of the girl's face… Damn that hypermetropia!!!

Aandava! Aen enakku mattum ipdiyellam nadakkudhu? Enna madhiri ilaignargalukku AIDS vandhalum paravalla… Long-sight varakkoodadhu!!

Xerox kadaila irukkara naai nalla theriyudhu; Courier kadai vasalla irukkara kezhavi nalla theriyudhu; Aana enakku mundhina seat-la irukkara ponnu moonji theriyaliye!!!

The bus floats via Guindy, Katthippara, Cemetery Road and then Pazhavanthangal. At the subway, I hop down and start walking towards my house. In a minute, I walk up the staircase.

Bro: Dey 9.55-kkellam vandhutte?? Bus udane kedaicchuduttha??
Me: Illa da. Naan patta paadu enakku dhan theriyum. Saadham irukkolliyo??
Bro: Ippo dhan da saaptu mudicchom.
Me: Ennadhu??!!??!!
Mom: Unakku pazhaiya saadhamum naarthanga oorugaaiyum irukku. Nanna saaptu padu…

I fall down, faint and pass out…

Enna koduma saravanan idhu??        Enna koduma saravanan idhu??

MORAL OF THE STORY

Vasan Eye Care: NAANGA IRUKKOM !!!

Me:       NAANGA       KELAMBAROM !!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Idli vadai sambaar...

Hi fellas! How are you? In order to wipe the tears of those single friends, who don't have a girlfriend/boyfriend [for obvious reasons], i put forth this post. But first of all, I'm warning you that in the following paragraph, I'm gonna ask you a few questions- very personal ones. So, i advise you to push out of your room, your mom, dad, brothers/sisters, cousins, room-mates and of course, the omnipresent "pakkatthu veettu paatti" who has finished watching serials in her house and is sitting in your house to gather shreds of gossip... Ready?

Touch your heart, kidney or some part of your body in proximity to your hands and answer the following questions...

1. Have you ever had the experience of going on an early morning walk/jog, alone on a curvy road flanked on the sides by lush green grass?

2. And after you jog for about 20 minutes, you feel tired and stop at a random point on the road. You take short fast breaths and aimlessly stare at the grass. Have you noticed the small drop of dew on top of a blade of grass with a small sparkle in it?

3. You relax for a couple of minutes and then start jogging again. Then you see a boy-n-girl walking slowly, the boy's hand on the girl's shoulder and the girl's head leaning on the boy's shoulder. Have you felt that it would have been nice if your girlfriend/boyfriend also showed up that way and you were walking like them?

4. Before you wind up your jog, you cross a standard "Nair kadai" and you smell the aroma of fresh milk. Have you ever sat on the 'bench' and said aloud "Nair! Oru special tea!!" and open the newspaper there with a huge sound just to show how brisk you are?

If you've answered a YES to the questions- atleast one of them, you belong to that category of people who think they are heroes in some low budget tamil comedy movie shot in the 1990s mostly in Ooty or you're a retired military officer who says he's unable to leave behind the practise of getting up early, when in fact you have insomnia and can't sleep for more than 10 minutes, even in a POWER SYSTEM ANALYSIS class... You are fit to live there and there only- not in Ooty, but in the 90's. With the year 2000, tamil cinema and hence TamilNadu has bid goodbye to you people...

Now to those who've answered a big NO to those questions... You form the majority of the tamil speaking population and out of some magic force, you are smarter than the previous category. As can be the easy guess of any common man, the reasons for your NO could be-

1. You didn't actually go for a jog because you were sleeping under a blanket- snug and cozy- and also you threw the alarm out of the window as soon as it rang...

2. You haven't woken up yet, and so you'd not be feeling tired. Even if you did wake up, if you had really jogged for 20 minutes, you'd not be tired... You'd be DEAD!

3. Ok. You DID wake up, you DID jog, you DID stay alive and you DID get tired... What would you do if you saw a guy with his girl? If the girl was cute, you'd do something stupid to attract the attention of her, even if you know that it will end in a worthless attempt. Or, you'd be fuming from your ears in envy, thinking how that guy got lucky... Either way, you won't be thinking about your girlfriend/boyfriend clearly because, let's face it, YOU DON'T HAVE ONE!!

4. Lastly, about the "Nair kadai climax". If you have the smallest amount of common sense, you'd have stopped me saying that the question is fishy... Endha tea kadaila milk aroma vandhirukku?? We testify what they give us as tea, only by touching it. If it's warm and brown, it's tea [or coffee]; if it's warm and white, it's milk; if it's warm and colourless, it's venneer; if it's not warm- God save you...

Ok. Now you can let your family and friends into your room. But not the "pakkatthu veettu paatti"!
Desperate singles are everywhere. Gather enough saliva in your mouth and spit it with force in any direction. I bet it'll land on a guy who's single and longing for a girlfriend [Single girls have umbrellas to protect themselves!]. These people are so single that even their mere presence could make someone lose his/her mate... Unfortunately i fall in this category too. Once i accompanied a friend of mine to a cinema. I think it's BOSS [a] BASKARAN. We went to the theatre, and we happened to see a collegemate of his. As soon as she saw him, she jumped up and ran towards him and cheerfully shouting "Shree! What a surprise!!", she hugged him. A nice sight of course [she was a mokka figure, otherwise my heart would have been blown into a million pieces there]. The 3 of us watched the movie together, and while he went out to get some popcorn, i sneaked next to her and whispered a few words into her ear.

Me: Sangi... I know you're this 'modern girl' and all... But is it really necessary to hug Shriram in front of 100 people??
She: Why? What's wrong?
Me: Technically speaking, there's nothing "wrong" in it. But don't you feel that it's sort of like uneasy??
She: Nope... Not one bit. [obviously!]
Me: Haven't you heard of these words- Accham, madam, naanam, payirppu?? There is a slight possibility that your mom told you about all these when you were about 16 years of age??
She: Duh! I know all that. But to be frank, i don't feel all that with Shri...
Me: Why? Are you in love with him?
She: Hell NO! He's gay... That's why.
Me: Aiyo!! He's not gay!!
She: I think so... Isn't he?
Me: I know him like the back of my hand. He ain't gay at all... In fact we've slept in the same bed together. If he's gay i'd have been the first one to know.
She: Aiyo!! He's not gay?? Aaagh!!
Me: IMPOTENT? YES!  GAY? NO!!

A couple of drops of tears rolled down her cheeks. And Shriram came, knowing nothing of our conversation. The movie was done, and we went home. Weeks rolled by and i never heard from Sangeetha. One day, Shriram told me that after the movie, Sangi wasn't getting along with him and that she's started avoiding him [No more 'theatre-hugs'; good for her!]. Days later, he told me that he's seeing her with another guy regularly...

He asked me "Ennada panna?"... I replied Chandramukhi-Rajni style, "Naan nalladhu dhan pannen!". "Inime nee yaarukkume nalladhu panna koodadhu da...", he said and gave me a blow on my chin!! It didn't hurt me much... Whatever be it, at the end of the day, girls encourage casual hugs only because they think of such boys as gay, and that their sexual security is ensured. So, if you don't get such hugs, remember- YOU'RE NOT GAY! Anyhow, girlfriend illadhor sangatthukku innoru adimai sikkittaan... MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

Now being Pongal time, i wished everyone "Happy pongal!". It does feel stupid to celebrate a festival which has the name of a food item- and a 'not-so-cool' item at that. We used to call lazy sluggish persons "Pongal thinniya?" But on that one particular day, almost the entire state consumes the same shit... Not only humans, but also cows and oxen... If we have a day dedicated to Pongal, then what about idli, dosai, upma and most importantly kichhadi? From a friend, i came to know that in other states they had a more decent name to the harvest festival- Makar Sankranthi. But, i also learnt that they do the same stupid things that we do.

Ok, coming back to the topic, I take pride in removing Sangeetha out of Shriram's life [I can hear your 'Thank you' wherever i go, Sangi!!]. Just by a few seconds of conversation, a single guy has made another guy single! SINGLEness thus spreads like a virus. To this day, Shriram is lazy, hazy and disinterested- just like he's been eating PONGAL all lifetime. Another impact of the PONGAL tradition. After all, it's PONGAL and I'm SINGLE!!

Anyways, as a final word of advice to those who have a girlfriend/boyfriend- don't hang out with singles. You have a bright chance of losing your mate; and a brighter chance of losing your mate to that 'single' friend of yours. Otherwise, YOU STAY SINGLE!

Happy Pongal everyone!
And happy idli, vadai, sambaar too!!

Ok. Now you can let in your "pakkatthu veettu paatti"...:)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Vampire's ratthacharithram

Hi friends! How's the new year? Any good?? Yeah, i know... Same things happening, same people passing through our windows, same figures in our class, same food at hostel/home, same set of disgusting words thrown at us... Then what's so new about this 'new year'?? Nothing except for wherever we used 2010, we're gonna use 2011 [phone numbers and pin codes excluded]. Anyhow, let's just saddle up for another idle year and kill time in 2011, just like we did in 2010.

This post is, again, an imaginary story. It is dedicated to Balaji anna, who is a regular blood donor...

February 13 2011,  6.14 pm
Undertown Chennai


“Things are looking brighter than ever, eh??”, George asked me. “You KNOW that we hate brightness!”, i hit him back. “Yeah, i do. It's just another stupid figure of speech. Hey, you're just out of enthusiasm, that's all... Here... Nothing a toffee can't cure...”, George added while stretching out his arm with the brown toffee. I took the toffee and noticed something strange on his arm.

“George! What's that scar doing on your skin?? Don't tell me you had a fight with a werewolf again”

“Ok, i won't say that...”

“Oh come on George, who is it this time? Antony??”

“Leave it, kid... Errr... It was Solomon. At the bar yesterday. We vampires sure have a bad time.”

“Ptoooiiii... What did you put in this shitty toffee??”, i asked after spitting it out. “Cat blood”, he replied, chuckling. “I hate you, George... and your fuckin toffee!”, i said and got out of his house.

It's almost night time and I don't have anything to give Mary tomorrow... What kind of a boy am i? Having nothing to give his own valentine- that too on this very special occasion. “I don't give a shit to what you do, John,”she'd say with a smile,“as long as you love me...” I've been downcast all day. George can't stand the sight of my sorrow. He always comes up with something to cheer me up- even if it means giving me a cat blood toffee...

Ok... let's get on to the formal introductions. I'm John Lucin and I'm a vampire who lives somewhere under Chennai. Like most others, i don't go sucking people's blood. Only if a vampire tastes blood, does he get addicted. Even that kind of madness can be taken care of by 30 minutes of meditation or 6 hours of sleep. Yet humans don't understand that. They're always scared of things stranger than themselves. I admit that sometimes vampires get scared of humans- the female ones when they're out of facial make-up... With extreme difficulty i managed to befriend a human boy, Kumar- roughly my age, friendly, good-looking and very decent in his words. I learnt a language that he calls Tamil [and which George calls Tamil in its ugliest form]. It is to his place that i head to, after sundown most days.

7.02 pm
Ramanathan street, T.Nagar, Chennai


I texted Kumar and he replied that he was home alone... Thank Devil! He's free tonight... Right now, he could be the only person who could help me with what i can give Mary tomorrow. When i went in, he was munching something [The sentence must have been 'whenever i went in, he would be munching something']. “Dey, adhan iruttirucchulla? Yen jannal vazhiya varra? Kadhava thattittu varalaamla??”, he asked. He usually doesn't like uninvited guests, especially when he's eating. “Hey buddy... You have to help me. I need to give Mary a present tomorrow. And i don't have enough blood!!”.

Sorry i forgot to tell you this. In our world, we don't have our economic system based on money or material. We use blood for all sorts of financial transactions. The rarer the group the more its value. A drop of O +ve human blood is around 1000 'rupees' [based on Kumar's calculations].

“Hey buddy, in my household, both your footwear and English have a place outside the doorstep- on the shoe-rack!”, Kumar scorned. He hates it when i talk to him in English. Although he can speak English fluently like a vampire, he uses only a meagre amount. “Mannichudunga thalaiva”, i said. I heard this line in a movie once. “Dey, konjam help pannra...”, i asked.

“Unakku exacta enna madhiri gift venumnu sonna, naan select panni tharen...”, he said.

“Andha eera vengayamellam engalukkum theriyum... All i want now is blood da...”, i continued.

“Enna enna panna solra? Kaiya kizhicchukkattuma??”, he started getting angry.

“Illa da... Oru 6 drop blood kuduttheenna.....”

“Kadana kudukkattuma? Eppo thiruppi tharuve??”

“Velaiyadadhe da...”

“AB +ve blood 6 drop-na.... Mmmm... Oru 36 aayiram varuma?? Enna vaangi kudukka pore? I-phone 4G-aa??”

“Oru ring paatthen. Nalla irundhudhu. Adhu Mary-ku kandippa pudikkum”

“Ennada Gowtham Menon padatthula varraa madhiri 'Surya, engappavukku unna kandippa pudikkum; Enga onnu vitta chitthappavukku unna kandippa pudikkum'nu dialog pesara??”

“Please da. Help pannu...”, i almost cried.

I think Kumar has understood the situation now. “Sari sari azhuvaadhe...”, he said,“Nee veettukku poradhukku munnadi kudukkaren...” He always helps me when in need. But never accepts anything in return.

I was preparing my romantic speech [it was so stupid, only i called it romantic] and he was reading a book on his subject or something. 45 minutes passed. He received a text msg in his Nokia 1203. He got active and immediately made a call. “Saar, enga irukkeenga?.... Ok..... Seri.... Ippove varen”, he said and ended the call. “Dress-a maathikko... Veliya kelambarom... Engannu kekkadha!”, he almost yelled.

I turned myself human [more or less] and put on a dark blue t-shirt of his... It looked awkward on me... We hopped on his bike and after crossing a block, he started talking to me. “Dey, en friend-oda friend-oda thambikku accident-am da. Blood kettirukkaan. Adhaan...” After about 15 minutes, we reached the place, after being irritated by red-light on half the signal posts we met.

8.17 pm
Apollo Hospital, Graems Road, Chennai

We rushed into the hospital and parked the bike. The guy who was waiting for us looked extremely sad and shocked... “Saar, rattham kudukka enga poganum?”, said Kumar to that guy. “Saar modhalla blood-a test panna 2nd floor poganum. Vaanga”, the guy responded. “Naan poi test-ku kudukkaren. Neenga ingiye irunga, paiyana paathukkunga”, said Kumar. A nurse came and escorted him, running. After the blood was checked and confirmed fit for transfusion, they pierced the artery that ran over Kumar's elbow with a long needle connected to a transparent tube that terminated in a thick plastic bag. While blood oozed from the tube into the bag, i inquired the guy [whom i came to know as Mr. Ravi] about the accident. “Aamam saar. Suresh en thambi. 10th padikkaraan. Eppavum jaakradhaiya dhan cycle oottuvan. Innikku enna aachunnu theriyala. Edhirla irundha kadaikkaran paathu phone panninaan enakku. Oru car idicchuttu poittudhu, kailirundhu rattham kottudhunnu. Inge Apollo-la admit pannittadha sonnanga. Udane vandhen...”, he went on.

A little boy roughly 15 years old has been a victim of rash driving and is suffering. Good thing I'm a vampire. Vampires are never a threat to other vampires. Most of the time we're attacked by werewolves or humans. We either feel no pain- all our wounds are self-healing, or die just like that. There is no “saving from death” policy here. But look at humans! They willingly or unwillingly kill their own kind and yet struggle hard to save them also. Strange, yet sensible. Suddenly he said,“Thambi, unga peru enna? Neenga Kumarukku sondhama??”.

“Illa saar. En peru John. Kumar en friend”,said i.

“Kadavul madhiri vandhu rattham kudutthu kaappatthirukkeenga. Romba thanks...”, he said with tears in his eyes.

I patted on his shoulder and went on to see the kid. He was actually a small boy, with not a strand of facial hair... “Chinna paiyan... Paavam!!”, i said to Ravi.

Just then, Kumar was done with the blood giving process. Boredom-> hatred-> frustration-> happiness-> Shock-> Grief... So many different feelings on a single day. I don't think i can take it any more... My eyes started to well. Kumar came to me and said, “Azhumoonji! Va pogalam...”

Outside the hospital, near the parking space, Kumar turned to me and said,“Blade-a vecchu verala kizhicchu dhan unakku rattham tharanumnu nenacchen. Nalla velaiya kailiye oosi kutthittaanga..” He started to remove the bandage on his elbow. I stopped him and said,“Your blood is for saving lives da... Not for buying a fucking ring. I'm really sorry da”... I started to cry again.

“Seri seri... Scene podadhe!”, Kumar intercepted.

We boarded the bike and headed back towards T.Nagar. After a minute of knifing past other vehicles, Kumar started to speak.

“Seri naalaikku Mary-ku kudukka onnume illiye unkitta? Ena panna pore??”

“Don't worry. I'll think of something”

“Ennadhu?”

“Naalaikku dhane? Paatthukkalaam...”

Banners heralding the sentence “Donate Blood” came to my mind. And to the left of the road was the small sign “City Speed limit- 40 kmph”. Kumar was driving at more than 60 kmph.

“Dey, ippo dhane accident ana oru paiyana paatthe?? Speeda kora da naaye...”, i barked.

“Ellam engalukku theriyum. Nee moodittu va da naaye!”, Kumar barked back...