March 2, 2013


"Play Chess, listen to music, read, eat, sleep, work... Some time, visit the Countryside!" 
says Arun Karthik who brings us a very interesting article to read and enjoy. 

Please Note: The article is written in English and Tamil.

By Arun Karthik

ஹாய் !
I often say this! When ever I travel down south of my state, I always get this ‘feeling of belonging’!
Recently I went to தஞ்சாவூர் (Tanjore) with my CSE A (and E) classmates for a wedding. Mr.A___ (yeah, "Mr." from now onwards; well and truly!) tied ‘the knot’ on February 14 – no no, it was an arranged marriage!
The function was fun in the sense that we classmates all got to meet once again - possibly the beginning of many similar events! Also had a chance to catch a glimpse of the “Big” temple in the centre of the city amidst heavy rain! Yeah real rain, not like the ones in Madrasapattinam.

What is always impressive to my monitor-looking, bus-sleeping eyes is the unhurried pace of lives in the not-so glamourous towns of the south. True, Tanjore is not yet ready, it just looks foot-in-mouth for the oddly placed Maruti Swifts, Taveras and SX4s – the roads are too tiny to accommodate the huge cars. Strangely, there are a surplus number of buses on roads – the buses are mostly half-filled or empty. The vehicles never cross 3rd gear and I am sure of this – when our car went above 3rd and 4th, it was chased by dogs! Proof enough, the animals were not used to such speeds! And then there is the more-than-convincing pleasant-looking ‘Vegetarian’ restaurants; something that I am personally very happy about! Being a veggie and finding a good place to eat in any street is always a good thing!

நாங்கள் கல்யாணம் கண்டு களித்து விட்டு பெரிய கோவில் சென்றோம். Nature started blessing us with water-drops, progressively becoming heavier.
"என்ன டா பசங்களா! என்ன feeling-U?" (வாய்ஸ் from heaven)
 We were running a little behind schedule. We had to reach Chennai on 14th night to catch up for office the next day. You see, 'Leaves' are worth more than gold in the Corporate world. They will be available but you cannot use them.
"Lay-offs are easy;
day-offs aren't so!"

 We weren't prepared to leave without visiting the shrine! And we did just that.
Most of us were thinking what to do in the next 5 years or so with our lives... It wasn't easy. Some of us had jobs, some of us didn't, some wanted, some didn't; it's harder than semester exams to decide...
On the way back to our hotel rooms, we got the 'privilege' of getting this guy's auto.
And திஸ் is what happened... (we were three of us in the auto, with the driver in front)
Autoguy (AG): "எந்த ஊர் தம்பிங்களா?"
"சென்னை "
"படிக்கறீங்களா ?"
"வேலை ல இருக்கோம் "
(2 minutes silence)
AG: "இன்னிக்கு பெப்ரவரி 14. தனியா வந்து இருக்கீங்க?" (chuckles. He looked to be around 60-70)
"friend கல்யாணத்துக்கு வந்தோம் "
"ம்ம் ஹ்ம்ம் ... நானும் டிப்ளோமா படிச்சிருக்கேன்! வெல்டிங் வொர்க் பண்ணிருக்கேன், ஒரு 3 வருஷம்! ரொம்ப புழிஞ்சு எடுத்தாங்க. வேலை ய விட்டுட்டேன்! பிச்சை எடுத்திருக்கிறேன். accident ல கால் damage ஆய்டுச்சு! அதனால பிச்சை எடுக்க முடியல . ஏதோ இந்த ஆட்டோ வ வாங்கிட்டேன்!"
(எனக்கு வயிறு கலக்க ஆரம்பித்தது! "who is this guy???")
He continued...
"எல்லாரும் நைட் தான் தண்ணி போடுவாங்க! நான் காலை ல கூட போடுவேன்! full  தண்ணி தான்! எப்பவுமே தண்ணி ல தான் இருப்பேன்!"
 (Dude! Watch the road!)
"சரீ, சாப்பாட்டுக்கு என்ன பண்றீங்க ?"
 "அதுக்கு என்ன! இங்க எல்லாம் அப்பப்போ கோவில்ல அன்ன தானம் பண்ணுவாங்க! வரிசை ல நின்னு வாங்கிக்கலாம்!"
"அப்போ, சாப்பாட்டுக்கு பிரச்னை இல்லை! ஹ்ம்ம் ..." (may be we are struggling too much after all!)
My friend intervened... "அண்ணே! steady ஆ  தானே ஓட்றீங்க , அப்றோம் என்ன!"
"அதெல்லாம் ஓடும் பா! அவ்ளோ ஏன் இந்த ஆட்டோக்கு RC book, registration கூட கிடையாது!  "
(That's ok!)
"எனக்கு லைசென்ஸ் um இல்லை! "

(what??? I started to analyze... No license, no RC, no insurance, PLUS watered! Will I reach home alive? Forget home, atleast our hotel room??? It was raining; clouds dim; vehicles whizzing past... it all seemed so 'perfect' for an anti-climax or something untoward of that sort! :D)
"போலீஸ் கேக்க மாட்டாங்களா?"
"யார் தம்பி இதெல்லாம் கேக்கறா! இது என்ன சென்னை யா???" (smiles, all along!)
After we got down, he asked "5 ரூபா எக்ஸ்ட்ரா தாங்க பா!"
Yeah, right! Value addition for our lives! :)
This man doesn't really portray my sense of belonging, but definitely, the 'takeaway' from this - is not that you can get drunk and drive...BUT
"Life goes on"
 இப்படிப் பட்ட மனிதர்களும் வாழ்கின்றனர் ! 



Play Chess, listen to music, read, eat, sleep, work...
Some time, visit the Countryside!