Sunday, April 17, 2011


When my father first told that I'd have to leave for India after my 10th ,I didn't believe him. Ofcourse,I had known it all my life ..but somehow I just wasn't ready for this.

No amount of tears or starvation would change the decision. But I was going to try anyway...and thankfully my Mum began to get worried.

“I think our daughter is going to starve herself to death.”

“Oh..don't worry.She'll come when she's hungry.”

That evening my father brought home Tandoori..CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT! TANDOORI FRIED CHICKEN! No I am not going to give up that easily.

Ok, maybe I'll just take a peep.

There, I saw my mother tearing away the juicy fried flesh from a bone of poor dead chicken.

..gasp.....YOU TOO MUMMY!!

I slammed the door shut,and my groaning stomach lulled me into sleep.But not for long .I was 2 a.m. I can bet Mummy left some over for me.How could she not..she's a Mummy after all.

I slipped as quietly as I could into the kitchen. My mouth was already watering..slurp Tandooori..wait till I get my hands on ya..

  OK  Fridge..' oopen sesame'...............

Noooooooo...the fridge was almost empty. Course it would be, we would be leaving in a day. But ..but where's my tandoori....grumble..grumble..Great! There goes my stomach again!

The only thing that saw my despicable state that day was an apple.

Fine! Apple it is..'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' foot!

D-day finally arrived. Last calls to my best pals were finally made. I didn't have much time to think. Everything was happening too fast..sigh even the street lights looked as if they were waving at me.

At the airport, my friend was waiting to see me off. She gifted me a mug and then a warm hug

“So this is it eh? I'm finally going.”

Lo and behold there stood before me the majestic Air India .The Maharaja mascot with his twirling mustache gave me a smirk. I fastened my seat belt and watched on like a deaf mute as the air-hostess instructed how to pull out the oxygen mask in case we crash idea that seemed alluring then..She then pointed to the four emergency exits... ah..EXIT is it still possible?


Four hours later I could see the tops of coconut trees swaying like a dance and before long I would be stepping on the red mud of Kerala.

Strange. I am slowly being molded into this mud. My feet feel firm on this ground. It's been seven years now. I  can now live without Odomos, I can hear the music of my mother tongue and finally, can understand any local joke and laugh my heart out. I've learnt to go with the flow and yet be the stone that impedes it.

What else can I say....”I'm lovin it.”

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


“See it’s really simple. First you’ll see the white cross, then the violet house and..are you even listening?”


“..and when you see the river,get up. Go near the door and tell the man this is where you get down.”

“Why can’t I just get up when the bus stops?”

“Because things don’t work like that here. People don’t wait for nobody. Got that?”

“But anyway you’ll be there na?”

“I won’t always be there.”

These were the words of my brother that kept irritatingly echoing in my skull when I made my first bus ride …ALONE!!

The thing about Kerala is that everything is green.So green you can’t tell one green from another. Trees ,trees and more trees. No matter how hard I try to fix a landmark,I get confused.
Which is why that sunny Sunday morning I looked shocked to hear my uncle saying that he couldn’t drop me to church because he had work…hmph .. work on Sunday!
Oookay getting  on the bus was easy. I had always gone to school on a bus. buses didn’t have scary conductors. I watched him slide like an expert from one seat to another giving tickets. How simple it was for him. I kept telling myself ‘Relax..all you have to say is one””Where to?”

“One Pllu..”

“What ?”

“One Plla..”


“Do you mean Pallipadi sister?”

I nodded.

Dear God,why was I even born?

Ting …ting..

“You can get down here.”

Till death do me apart...I shall never forget PALLIPADI !

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Students Bus Concession, that's what 'ST' stands for .I dunno ..don't ask me how. But with this, a student need only pay 1/4th of the bus charge. And fortunately, when bus fares in Kerala hiked, the ST rates continued to be the same. Cool? Think again.

There are three golden rules to remember if you are an ST ( i.e student giving bus concession). I had to learn it the hard way.

RULE NO.1  An ST Must Act Blind

Nowhere is it written in the law that an ST cannot sit, but it is accepted by all conductors, drivers, most full ticket passengers and some ST's (traitors!). So when you are an ST, and see a seat...then what are you waiting for ? Sit! You must now close your eyes to the people glaring at you for 'stealing their seats'. It will be easier for you to pretend you are asleep. Of course, an ST must have have the courtesy to get up for an old or pregnant lady..(but so should every other able body in the bus!)

RULE NO.2 An ST Must Act Deaf

 Sometimes the conductor will get grumpy when he sees an overflow of STs or most of the time he will have no reason to. Nevertheless,never mind him..Never.
 He will be jabbering about what a pain in the neck you are, and even curse your ancestors. At best, look out of the window at the beautiful and blaring traffic. If you can't, because you are too short and therefore crushed between people's shoulders. ..then..may the Lord hear your prayers.

RULE NO.3 An ST Must Be A Superman/woman (Why On Earth should ST s Be Dumb??!!)

This is the most important step.The code of law does not specify that an ST can only get in after full ticket passengers, but the code of conduct of everybody makes it so. And if you act like a revolutionary by getting in'll end up being the martyr.

And thus, an ST must have the innate ability to jump on to the bus as soon as it takes off. You might be dangling from the bus, but the your old powers from planet krypton will help you hold on...just like it helped your ancestor ST s. Do not be afraid when you brush past the motorcyclist. You will get used to it and perhaps even get acquainted.

Once you've mastered these, then I will  be proud to announce that you've just survived the Test of Survival.

Congratulations. Lets celebrate.
Cheers to the brains that thought of ST.