Bon Voyage, Cousin!


I got a call a few minutes ago, it is impossible to call it a call, all it was a monologue of half a sentence long. A string of words from him and an uneasy silence on my part, that’s what our conversation was. Can I call it a conversation I am not sure, but one thing I am sure of is that the feeling were genuine, even though my response was brutal and highly prejudiced.

Before I divulge what he spoke and what its implications are, I must tell you who he is and what he meant to me in another era. He is my cousin that much I am sure you would have guessed and here is more about my cousin that you would need to know to understand our relationship and its prejudices. I am willing to write about him only because I know he will never read it and even my stupid family will never stumble upon this, it will be buried deep in my archives waiting for an occasional visit and will eventually be forgotten. I guess when it comes to my cousin my ungratefulness extends to such a level that I could not even remember his name. May be its true that when relationships are forgotten through time and when they gets buried for so long in memory even blood shall lose its flavor.

He is cousin or nephew I know not which, I suppose I never got hold of their distinctions and I sure am not in a mood to look it up now. The fact it makes no difference what so ever to anything that I have to say or what I feel. His name is Vaishak and he is the son of fathers only sister. My father comes from not a wealthy family and he climbed up the social ladder (so he claims) on his own through much hard work and perseverance, hence his crude mannerisms. His love for book is perhaps the only personality trait I inherited from him or all I want to inherit form him. But nevertheless unlike him his family was not so lucky, I am not pretty sure whether “lucky” is the right word to use.

Bon Voyage

His sister’s marriage though happy is not with someone whose second nature is to have a rainy day account. This nature of his always left them at a state of perpetual poverty, never too rich never too poor either, kind of in the in between. This though in contemporary society is regarded as unfortunate, this has preserved in them a sense of innocence that is seldom seen among the corporate animals that roam the concrete jungles. They have simple taste and even simpler lives, something to envy I guess. 

My mother has instilled in me prejudices so coarse that it took me 21 years of my life to clear the soot and look at it with any clarity of mind. Such has been the extend of the prejudices that I forgot that my father actually had a family. It was like things in a fairy tales that are too good to exist. But I must Say my mother is not a bad person but pride and ego can do terrible things even to the amiable of angels. Don’t hate my mother I beg you, she doesn’t deserve that, She was only protecting me from what she had convinced herself was bad. Nonetheless her actions deprived me from understanding life as it is in its raw form. Alienating me from people who were earthly and volatile the same. I had to learn the art of being contended at the smallest of things on my own, to cherish the wet mud that molds my feet and the sight of the rare blue butterfly or even the smell of the virgin earth being touched by the mighty rains hands. But I ended up spending one third of my life learning these things when I could have readily understood it all, It was all there just outside.

I still remember the time I had spent with my cousin, the times we bathed together when we were children in the small open bathroom with mulberry bush hanging from one side, Splashing water from the little tank that use to store the water from the well. The little garden with all the beautiful flowers and the tasty mulberry bushes. The many a wonderful evening spend playing in the faint stream that ran by the green paddy fields. I still remember the small aquarium he had, a small one, with so many little fishes in it. Nothing too fancy, no expensive fishes just the ones he had caught form the nearby stream. He had even taught me how to catch a fish with nothing but a plain piece of cloth, Alas! I had forgotten it, I had forgotten it long ago I suppose along with the sweet memories of that era.

It surprises me how much there is to tell, I never knew the faded photographs in my father’s old photo album had so much history, so many memories in it. I never knew that the characters in those pictures had a life and they were more than their innocent smiles and that they were ones very much alive. Strange what one phone call, a few minutes of someone’s voice can accomplish. I don’t want to tell anything, may be another time when I feel I am much more ready to face the truth of life.

He had called me now to tell me that he is going to Qatar, in search of a job. I am sure he got a job in there where his other uncle works, I did not so much are bother to ask what he is doing and what job he got. I did not tell him anything but I did pray for him, pray that all that is good shall only befall him and I prayed him Bon Voyage.

A Series of Fortunate Events

When I woke up at 5 am today, I knew I could expect great things today, and guess what I was not the least bit wrong. We were a trio on a destination less journey, not exactly but it was the farthest thing from a well planned holiday that I was ever on. The fun fact about this holiday is that its kind of a journey to most of my friends birthday and it’s the first time I am going to see my girlfriends home. And guess what I decided to do a travelogue of it on my blog.
Today, was just as bleak as any would have been on any bleak day, the railway station was like a set taken out of the many country side flicks that I have seen. The biggest man made structure that I have seen in the periphery is a small thatched building and I suppose that’s the railway station. (Of course it was!). The morning was much uneventful, the long winding roads that took us to my friends home was nothing out of the ordinary, nor were the occasional shops that stood by the street. There was not much that said that the hours to follow housed much adventure.
A narrow muddy road took as close to our house of residence, a beautiful villa stationed amidst many trees, with chirping birds and hustling winds. The house was a sight to see on its own regard. Though much is said of the beauty of the house, what made its truly special is what makes it a real happy home, it love and car, both of which it had in abundance. I should say the sheer location of the house and its radiance sends out this message much profoundly.

Thirumandhamkunnu Devi Temple
No journey in the states of India is ever complete without a visit to the local temple; to be engulfed in the spiritual aura of tradition Hinduism and the tranquil air of the world around the place are birth taking. The much talked about temple and the many lives that it touched has had finally come together. There was even a slight inclination to astrology lately, no! we were just kidding around with a palm reader, nothing special I always wanted to know what they would say to the many people they come across and looking into your future is always fun. The fact she said so many things and a few she did get right and some there were no was to validate the judgments. This Temple was unique, unique in the fact that this fine example of traditional temple architecture offers no direct view of the idols unlike other temples. The many stairs that lead to the temple has many a million stories that link up to my life and my family.
The Unnamed Hill
The journey back from the temple would have been no less interesting than death. Little did I know that the adventure had just begun, and a beautiful hill full of infinite adrenaline was waiting for us to arrive. The suggestion to go to a rather unknown hill to the outside world came to as much of a surprise and I was rather skeptical in going to a place that had so less to offer when we could rather spend time at a place more worthwhile. But nevertheless I decided to go anyway; the journey to the hill was as always just as bland and boring. But things took a real turn uphill when we came at the foot of the hill. There she was, standing majestically tall and arrogant. 

The ascent was amazing, as I lead the way uphill with just gut feeling to guide, the path were just as strange as the hills could be. Jumping from rock to rock and climbing through small alley ways among the tall dry grasses that surround the whole place. The ascent took us through some rather intriguing moments of slippery and some breathe taking vistas among the way. It did surprise me that the small hill had so much fun to offer, there were moments of frivolous pleasure and there were moments of real danger, one false move would have had as roll down to endless abyss (rather exaggerated).

We spent some fabulous moments atop the hill and I could but proudly say that I was the first among my friends to scale the mountain (hill) and conquer the peak (hill really sounds boring now, right?).  The moments cannot written down in word and neither would I ever be so cruel to the exhilarating memories we made atop that grassy hill, those were the best of times and it would be rather insensitive of me to kill those bitter sweet memories by the injustice of penning them down and killing the moments. The descent was just as exciting but nothing would ever compare to the minutes we flew away in the wind.

Moments are yet to be made some that we like to cherish in our lonely times, savoring the honey that seeps out of its many pores and some that we boast among our friends and take upon ourselves as moments of great pride and prestige that we so solemnly show those battle scars away with great joy. These are the moments that talk to us over time and remind you time and again of the reason why it all exist. Let me remind the one thing today taught me with great pride and joy.

Life is for the living, Dying for the lively, Make life worth while.