So the time has come to find a final space for all my writing. Medium as a website has been the most accommodating.
So here we go to happier times. Come find me at https://medium.com/@titovarghese
So the time has come to find a final space for all my writing. Medium as a website has been the most accommodating.
So here we go to happier times. Come find me at https://medium.com/@titovarghese
Roaming around a mall in suburban Perth gets boring after a while. First because the mall is pretty small and theres only so much to see. So after the routine groceries, dessert and general ooruchuttal including saying hello to Richie the Cockatoo and aawing over the puppies at the pet store one finds oneself with not much to do on a weekend.
For that is life my dearies, you know you are thirty when your weekends get boring. I have always been considered a little off the norm according to trusted sources, but then that is my norm. Which brings me to Stephen King. Bought book 1 and 2 of the Dark Tower series after a futile search for the Game of Throne books at a second hand store.
The first book, The Gunslinger, started of with King discussing about arrogance and life at 19. How we kind of stop aging from then. How age creeps on us without us knowing it. How a few grays appear in the Jet black, how lines suddenly appear around eyes that still havent lost their shine, how the pot belly slowly grows to a size that once was never even imagined, how suddenly all your friends are married and having kids (ok that last one is just me).
Anyways thats my theme for the time being. Being 19 and Arrogant for as long as I can. Life in Perth is too boring otherwise.
Australia was that country I never gave a second thought about, like the second cousin that you barely know and try to avoid at family gatherings. You don’t know why, it just never seemed worth the effort.
But breaking two long held expectations of myself, I have now successfully moved down under (1. Never ever planned on Australia.) to join the woman who finally got stuck with me (2. I never imagined moving halfway across the world to join the lady. When you grow up in India, it usually goes without saying that the lady does the moving.)
Now that I am here and settling in (read as I have finally found a job), I have decided to dust off the old blog and add some masala to your hopefully-more-interesting-than-mine lives.
New countries and new people always hold new life lessons. I haven’t bothered to look but they will be updated in future posts as and when I learn them. The most important thing you need to know about Aussies and Australia is that everything is pretty laid back here. The people are generally always smiling and the much hyped racism hasn’t raised its ugly head once in the 3 months I have been here.
Western Australia, the state that I live in and so the most you guys are ever going to learn about from me, is a big, arid desert. Perth, its capital lies on the western coast and is the most remote capital city in the world. Its also one of the top 10 cities to live in apparently (According to this). The people here are super cool. The total population of WA is about 2.5 Million and the area of the state is 2.5 Million square kilometres (so roughly 1 sq.km per person :D)
Now that I have passed on my factoids and fed the blogging bug, I am off to get some cycling done (Yes, exercise and me have finally been introduced.) See ya all soon
It breaks my heart to read about the Guwahati incident on the news. Then I follow the outcry over it, reading all I can and realize, the men are silent. I am not one to get on a soap box for the usual petty issues but calling Sexual Harassment petty is again something we have been trained to do. We are taught to turn our faces from stark, evil realities – the reason being that we can not do much about it. Sorry uncle, but not anymore.
This is my India. This is my country. No matter how vile and corrupt you claim it to be, I love it still and wont take abuse against her anymore. We call India, our motherland, the earth is dhartimaa, the Ganges Ganga maa and then our politicians fight about which city is the rape capital of the country. We reserve seats for women, in buses, in trains, in colleges making them inferior on the one hand and superior on the other. Women are finally getting their place in the limelight and we push them down. We laud a female astronaut of Indian origin, using her to show an example of the woman of India. Then you go and strip a girl in public on caamera, showing the true colors of the Indian man.
I have objectified women, I accept it. Through school and 4 years of engineering when women were demarcated as a different species, I have ogled at them. Bangalore changed that for me, the freedom to interact with them, to sit with them without drawing stares, to drive them home without being the object of questions, to contest them face to face in debates and arguments, to enjoy silences together and to make the right kind of noises. This also happens in India. This is the India I love, no matter how much you call it an influence of westerners.
Now Guwahati has just ripped to shreds what little was left of the Male Indian Hero, let us get over the shitstorm of media that will discuss everything but what needs to be addressed. We need strong laws and stronger policing. Castrate the bastards that are guilty of rape, not after years of courthouse drama but immediately. If a woman is felt up in your view, raise a voice. Make them, as Amit states here, carry a stone. I live in an Arab country and see women covered up and protected. They live a secluded life behind Abayas, their lives controlled by one man. I think of India and feel proud but now I wonder.
With Guwahati, we have outdone ourselves. We have taken India to the next level of lawlessness. Mothers, sisters please stay at home. Men, go grow some balls or as they say in Hindi “chudiyaan pehen lo”. As for the f***ers on cam, I am not likely to visit Assam anytime soon, but if ever our paths cross – I have a punch with ur faces on it.
The day has finally arrived. The rebel in me has waved a white flag and is now on display. The mother has finally won.
So here it is. All that fighting, all those posts amount to Zilch, Nada, Zero. So if I never blog about this ever again let this be my final statement. I am not against marriage. I am however completely against the system of arranged marriage in its current shape and form. This blog is going to start off what is going to be the search of a lifetime (for me ) for that partner for life. I am simply going to write who I am and then hear out your comments.
History first, born as the eldest into an Orthodox Christian Keralite family, you would think I was a goner from day one. Luckily for me, I was born in Libya, to parents who were educated and in a scenario where my mother used to earn more than my father. That changes the way one sees the roles of the male in the family. He need not be the breadwinner, and all life decisions are made by both the husband and the wife. There are fights but they don’t mean the end. So born outside India, in a community that was predominantly Indian, the state wise break up was too small for any group to be independent, which made me fluent in Hindi.( I speak it without the mallu accent.) The school I went to didn’t differentiate between the genders because they couldn’t afford to, I grew up considering all women my equal. Moving back to India was the shocker. Schools seated boys and girls separately. A girl cried because I touched her shoulder. I almost was weeded out because I talked English than Malayalam. I adapted fast. Girl became the enemy, then the object of boyhood crushes and it wasnt until 11th and 12th that the walls started breaking down. Some of my best friends are from that era, the wonder years, when as a unit the class gelled. I have seen friends falling in love, falling out of love and some staying in love still (married and with a beautiful daughter).
Then came the engineering years, 4 Years in a village in Tamil Nadu where Keralite boys are at the top of the pecking order, where the women dont talk to you because the college doesnt allow it, where women 2 years older than you come to teach you and you have the biggest ever crush on them, where we bent the rules, broke them and some times just sometimes got them abolished.
Then came Bangalore, the city that stole my heart. 3 Years that went by in a warm fuzz. I love that city and its people, for Bangalore belongs to everyone that is in it, it doesnt differentiate between the states, it recognizes talent and it gives you opportunity. I plan to settle down in Bangalore and spend the rest of my life in whats left of its gardens. Plus most of my friends live there and I would like to be in Bangalore closer to them than in Kerala closer to relatives that are always trying to find out whats wrong with you.
Then came Hyderabad, a job with a software major that went kaput due to millions stolen by its owner and chairman. The city failed to impress me but again the friends were many. This city taught me what love really is, how it doesnt see caste , creed, color or any other division you name. It also showed me how friendships are often wasted, how someone you trust can have priorities one doesnt understand. This was the city also where I was supposed to be when I had that fateful accident on Valentines day in Cochin. The accident almost took my life. I was in a coma for 3 days, then at home with broken bones for 3 months.
Now fully recovered physically, the only thing that remains is a voice that is straight out of a bad movie. I have only one of 2 vocal chords left in my throat and it cant be fixed. Apparently there is some experimental surgery going on in the US but by the time it can be replicated, I might be dead.
Oh before we forget the important stuff, I smoke but I am cutting down, I drink but I am not an alcoholic and I love to party. I dont dance (2 left feet is an understatement) and I am not a person who loses his temper (used to but now I just go silent). My cousins are close to me and we speak more in Hindi than in Malayalam. I have had previous relationships (Yes , more than one. I am a sucker for love). I have had my heart broken and I have broken a few hearts. I am looking for a woman who will be a friend, a lover and a confidante. A person who will be with me in the good times and the bad. A person who wants to travel the world like I do, who wants to see the arctic lights and also see the jungles of africa. A woman who doesnt have any qualms in staking her claim on me but gives me the freedom to be who I am. Someone who is protective but not possessive. Someone who will love my family and hopefully try to be the daughter they never had, the sister my brother would have loved. Oh and love animals of all sorts because if I could, I would adopt all the strays in the world (am planning to settle for a dog for now)
There you go. That is it. The matrimonial ad that is never written, the truth as it is never stated.
Love cannot be forced and it cannot be coaxed. Futile attempts of finding a mate are often made by putting best friends together hoping that since they get along like a house on fire, there is nothing that could go wrong. So when Ajay was coaxed into asking Maya out, she had given in. Ajay Reddy was that one guy who everyone knows in college. Not particularly spectacular in anything at all, he somehow still rose above the average. The fact that his father was loaded helped, but it wasnt the money. Ajay was a nice guy (I give credit to his mother ) and you knew it from the very first time you meet him. Ajay had met Maya during one of those innumerable events that college always throws up, given the authority to lead a team and had handed over the reigns to Maya completely. But his operational skills were indispensable. When a guy has a car and knows the streets of Bangalore like the back of his hand, he is indispensable.
That how they had met, they had become friends over the event and when college ended, Ajay was the only one left of the huge circle that Maya always had around her. They had grown closer over coffees, talked on the phone for hours together (Maya doing most of the talking) and somehow everyone else had decided that they would be perfect together.
Ladies, just so you know, when a guy is told by his friends that, ” Why arent you going out with this girl who knows you so well and accepts you for who you are ?” , every guy starts thinking of whether its a possibility. When the friends dont stop asking the question, the idea grows and is often accepted. Thats how Ajay thought he was in love with Maya. That is why he asked her out. Maya said yes coz she knew Ajay was a nice guy and would have no hidden surprises.
Dinner was at one of those places in Koramangala that you always pass by but never enter wondering if its too expensive. The host knew Ajay personally and escorted the both of them to a table that seemed to have been set specially for them. Money does have its advantages. Everything seemed to be going fine, except that both were extremely conscious. Ajay was wondering if Maya even realized what a big issue this would become for his parents, Maya was wondering if Ajay would want to kiss good night. They always hugged, but this was a date. It was then that Hari had broken through her thoughts, his face suddenly appeared breaking clouds in her thoughts as if asserting his claim on her. Maya almost choked on her pasta. The evening ended with both parties wondering if anything important or stupid had been said. The drive to her apartment was quiet, both lost in thoughts. When Ajay had rushed around to open her door, reality hit like a brick out of the sky.
This was it, the door was 5 steps away,4,3. As they turned to face each other, Ajay was the first to speak, ” This was a bad idea.”
Relief hit Maya like a freight train and she had to stop herself from shouting in joy. But the smile she had was one of understanding. They had tried it. They both knew it wouldnt work. Then Ajay asked the question, so simply that Maya was speechless for a few seconds, ” Who is he ?”
This was the connection people saw. The fact that each could read the other like an open book. This also was why they could never be lovers. For even true soul mates need secrets.
“Dinner was Great ! Thanks for a wonderful evening.” , said Maya and quickly went into her apartment. Ajay was left staring at the door. But true sport that he is when he smiled and turned around, looking through the key hole Maya knew they would be alright.
Chapter 5: Here
Chapter 1: Here
Reality has a way of playing games with our dreams. Its nothing new, its been happening for ages now and it keeps going. Tara knew this, yet the hope that someday she would be married to Hari had held so true that she never doubted it. Knowing someone whos been there from the beginning of your memories kind of has that effect on people. We all tend to ignore the idea that people meet to part. Some people come in unnoticed, add meaning, often change you in ways you cant and then fade away. Hari wasnt fading away. Tara never expected him to. “Until Death Do Us Apart” – all those times she had heard it in the movies, she had pictured Hari being the man holding her hands. Not that she would be having a christian wedding, but the sentiment of it remained.
And now fate had thrown a curveball. Hari had somehow, out of half a billion women in the world chosen the one girl Tara hated. Why ? Well, the answer would be life. Sometimes there are no reason as to why we dont like somebody. Maya was actually very likeable. But Tara just didnt. From the first moment they had met, Tara and Maya had always been wary of each other. Okay, okay, I wont beat around the bush. Tara didnt like Maya because she thought they were similar. Not just similar, if they werent born to different mothers they might have been twins. They were both exactly the same height, they both had the same bone structure (the shape that turned heads in traffic) and they both excelled at one thing. That one thing that Tara loved – Basketball. Only problem was Maya was debatable better at it. Call it coaching, more natural ability or plain old luck every time the two had come face to face (and it was a sizeable number) Maya had beaten her. Often by a matter of points but it had happened. And somehow sport had a spillover to real life. The few times they had met off the court, there was a chill that both felt. Both avoided such meetings if possible. Each kept track of the other, knowing where they worked, what there common hangouts were and avoided these places. So yeah just as I said, Tara knew Maya. And when Hari described her, the hair, the eyes, the face – Tara felt that fate had played her a real bad hand. God had a wicked sense of humor and she wasnt finding it funny.
“So.. Do you think I can find her ?”, Hari asked, those brown eyes of his pleading her to say yes, “Do you know her ?”
“Why do you want to see her so bad?”, Tara said, avoiding the question and pleading with her own black eyes, ” Are you sure you even remember her properly? You just saw her once. That too under the influence of alcohol through a cloud of smoke.”
“I… I cant explain it. I havent felt this way before, ever. Its like one look at her and I wanted to take her into my arms and protect her from everything. Not that she looked like a lost puppy. But you know she just.. she was.. she… Oh how do I explain it to you?”
“Try”. One perfect eyebrow went up into an arc that all her male friends found cute but Hari didnt even notice.
“Well, you know how I am always cribbing about how my websites are still missing something. How they could be better? That your idiot brother was making me mad. Well, she was like that. She seemed almost perfect, like the true idea of a woman, at least my true idea of a woman, except that there was nothing I wanted to change in her. I just wanted that moment to freeze, wished that time would freeze, that was the one memory I want to take to my grave.”
“Stop being so melodramatic. You arent dying yet. The moment is gone, you are alive and she probably doesnt even remember you.”, Tara wanted to run away but this man held her in a spell. Him pining for someone else but her was pure agony but she couldnt leave.
Maya remembered him. His face, his hair, that darned half smile.
Chapter 5 : Here
The fairer sex is an enigma..
I dont understand even the one i call maa..
In their grace and beauty hides something..
of which i fathom nothing..
Speaking the same language as we do..
Their meaning i still cant undo..
Over and over to know i tried in vain..
how their power over men drives us insane..
We love them for every little thing..
For just looking at them makes our heart sing..
We secretly like them making us wait..
We like to watch their lovely gait..
One they say is made for me..
Wonder where n who is she..
The search is on and forever it will be..
Till i find the angel meant for me..
I posted this one on orkut a long long time ago and got quite surprising responses.. including a “To men” right back at me..
A knight stands strong fighting his side..
On the other a lady scorned and weapons drawn wide..
Both in eternal battle engaged for now..
What attacks and counterattacks, and oh how?
One without the other incomplete..
Each in the other their match do meet..
From time immemorial to future unending..
One to the other is bound , body and mind..
Try as we may to escape it..
The thing is thats the only way we fit..
Two pieces of a puzzle simple..
Two faces of a magical coin till we wrinkle..
Fight it or embrace it choose u can..
But lie not to ur heart and to ur own clan..
For even in the deepest of hatred..
A little care and love has somewhere bred..
I have my reasons to choose my path too..
But logic gives me reasons few..
To ensue in a fight ages old yet new..
As always i stand by as i have no clue…