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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

This was written for an associate - higher up the professional pecking order -  on completing 31 years of service in the organisation.


Hats off to a fruitful haul

Before...
the confetti flies, I disagree
with what you said the other day,
that survive is what you did, in
these three decades and a year.
Perhaps...
consciously modest, you’re trying to be
or truly humble that you downplay
the merit of your successes, of
these three decades and a year.
Yet...
as I look back, at the last
couple of months of our association,
my perception is different, of
these three decades and a year.
For…
it’s clear, from your nature
that every feather in your cap has been,
achieved through sweat and toil, in
these three decades and a year.
Therefore...
Despite the hiccups, it’s a
pleasure to be a part of your team,
congratulations on your achievements, in
these three decades and a year.
 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Between The Cup and the Lip


We had met after 28 years, my friend and I.

My college mate back then, he was now a US citizen who had cashed in on the magic of silicon chips and was in Cochin to attend his niece’s marriage. While in the midst of everything he wanted to take a break and get away from all the hullabaloo; Bangalore flickered on his itinerary. So along with a friend he caught the next flight to Bangalore.

Why Bangalore, I had wondered when I came to know of his visit.

Then I realized East or West, chimps are drawn to (silicon) chips besides dollars. What do you say guys?

When we caught up in the lobby of Lalit Ashok, memories were rekindled and it was like the old times again. He introduced his friend and since they had a few hours to spare before their flight to Cochin, we headed to the nearest pub.  While we chatted over beer and whisky at the PUB WORLD, my new acquaintance told me that he was a painter by profession (I should have guessed because most of his face was hidden behind the beard) and pointed out that the mural behind the bar counter was painted  by him years ago. That was a pleasant surprise and as we walked over to take a closer look, some of the old hands working in the pub recognized him and exchanged pleasantries. To him this might have been the recognition he deserved for a job well done. Anyway it brought in a sense of warmth and belonging.

After the curiosity died down, we resumed our drinks and animated conversation. But our creative friend’s contribution was irregular; he was busy chipping away at a something with the kitchen knife he had borrowed from the pub’s cookhouse. And then abruptly, he gave me the piece he had been working on and said, “Keep it as a memento of today’s meeting.” Shortly thereafter we headed for the airport and parted company.


Some gestures though spontaneous leave a permanent impression. To me it resembles Lord Ganesha and adorns my home – a priceless possession. Look closely and you might discover something new.

Thanks mate, wherever you are.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Transformation

After a long time, I watched a Malayalam movie last Sunday on TV. 

The story – a social drama – showcased the pristine beauty of Kerala, the uncertainties of life, the consequences of childhood waywardness, and the comfort of marijuana. But even while engrossed in the movie, random thoughts of my childhood flitted in and out of my mind like fireflies on a wet, dark, moonless night. And as the movie came to an end, I sat trapped in nostalgia. Then slowly, very slowly I saw my present form beside the reflections of my past. It was that of a stranger, disconnected from everyone and everything I once loved and cherished.

I had turned into a recluse, fashioned by circumstances in the sands of time without my consent or knowledge. To me everyone had become a potential foe or a threat. And I had either distanced myself or lashed out at anyone who tried to come close to me. As I sat stupefied under the weight of the revelation, I wondered: “Would I be able to enjoy life once again selflessly in all its innocence, trust, and sense of wonder?”

Just like the old times!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Leaf From My Book Of Memories...


... reproduced at the behest of my friend Sudhir, being placed before my childhood chums.

Two decades and a couple of years back, Azad and I went for the 1st show at Sujatha theatre, which, if you remember was on the road behind Cochin College (I don’t know if it still exists).  As usual, Azad sponsored the tickets to king’s row - those days I was a perennial pauper - and we sat down to watch the movie. I don’t  recollect the name. The first half went off without a glitch but half way through the second half the power went off. The only options before us were to sit through the power cut and see the movie when the supply resumed or leave the theatre and head home to avoid a conflict for coming in late.

Azad came up with an alibi to save his arse, but I was worried. It was difficult to gauge my dad’s varying moods. Or, come up with a reason for my coming in late to suit his existing frame of mind. Anyway despite all my fears, I decided to stick through the movie come what may. I had 20 paisa in my pocket for student's ticket fare. With that we bought two blue bird cigarettes and puffed through the power cut. The power-supply resumed shortly and the movie was over by ten at night. As we had already sent up our bus fare in smoke, we half walked, half ran our way home after taking a shortcut at Pandikudy. Azad had some more distance to cover to reach his house, therefore we bid adieu in front of my gate.

When I opened the gate to step into my house, I found my father dressed up and  ready to step out. So, feigning innocence I asked him where he was going so late in the night. He said he planned to go to Gary’s house to check on me for being so late (I had told mum that I was going to Gary’s house for combined study). The power failure was a twist of fate, which I couldn't anticipate. Then, I reasoned with him and tried to pacify him by saying that it was too late to go to anybody’s house. “Does he have a phone?” was his next question. Since we didn't have a telephone, I tried to wiggle out by telling him that no booths will be open so late at night. It was the era of STD booths and late night calls and that stupid reason gave me away. He said, “You lead me to his house, I’ll follow you”! He added that Gary’s parents, being parents themselves, will understand his concern for paying them a visit so late into the night.

The rest, my dear friends is history - the circuitous route I took to find a secluded spot and spill the beans, which took us to the junction on 50 feet road before Dalton’s house, past Biju Peter’s house, St. Jude’s shrine, Joseph Sebastian’s house, even Gary’s house, and then the deserted stretch in front of INS Dronacharya, where I confessed, earned some sound whacks on the spot; the non-stop festivities that followed for a few days at home thereafter was the icing on the cake. I also recollect the frequent rests he took on the way due to his heart condition.

For all his efforts and worries, he left us very early and I am the president of Utopia.

Regards

Vincent Thomas



Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekend blues… in God’s own capital

Stepped out early,
on Saturday morning,
hoped to calm my restless state.

On my itinerary,
were some unique 
spots,
assured to calm my restless state.

Sat by the seashore,
but the rhythm of the pounding waves,
failed to calm my restless state.

Stood before the palace gates;
but the sight of the meandering pathways,
failed to calm my restless state.

Looked inside the museum,
but the splendor of the artistic depictions,
failed to calm my restless state.

Walked in the park,
but the charm of the planted flora,
failed to calm my restless state.

Peeked into the zoo,
but the twinge of the caged inmates,
failed to calm my restless state.

Listened to the folk-songs,
but the renditions of the street musicians,
failed to calm my restless state.

Bought a takeaway dinner,
but the taste of the spicy spread,
failed to calm my restless state.

Trudged to my hired space, 
but the loneliness within the place,
aggravated my restless state.

Took a sheet of paper,
put my restless state on 
it,
drifted off into a peaceful sleepppzzzzzzz……..

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Driftwood

The solitary piece of driftwood,
broke my stroll and my thoughts;
stripped of its bark and bleached,
it looked grotesque yet alluring;
a creation of nature’s vagaries,
or mankind’s insatiable need;
could be a part of the local flora,
or a drifter from distant lands;
wanderings and brief stopovers,
erased its identity and its roots;
mood swings of the elements,
built resilience and the will to survive;
its existence is spiced with variety,
yet mired in uncertainty and transience;
for tomorrow it may become kindling,
or part of an artist’s design;
it may even  merge with the shoreline,
or be swept-in for a new spell of roving;
its future therefore is a probability,
and fate is preordained.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Pleasant Encounter

It happened by chance,
for between the query,
and the point of sale,
there were many goof-ups,
besides the waste of time.
Courtesy – an inept salesman,
and our many lingos.

Yet she patiently persisted,              
for her need was urgent,
and the computer Shoppe,
was the only one around,
that’s when I intervened,
to make the task easier,
for her and the salesman. 

“You a techie?” she asked,
as she waited for the bill.
”An underpaid writer,” I replied.
“What about you,” I asked.
“Pursuing my M Tech” she said.
”What do you write?” she asked,
” Just about anything,” I parried.

“Pick a topic,” I teased,
she tried but gave up .
“Can you write about me,”
she asked with a smile.
I nod ‘n’ wished I was younger,
by a quarter of a C or more;
as I reflected, clients drop-in.

Magic’s lost, moment’s broken,
she stepped out and so did I.
we bid each other no adieu,
and just melted into the crowd,
to become strangers once again.
Yet I had a word to keep,
and finish what I  started.

This here is to the comely one...,
What I saw when you walked in,
was brains and a sense of poise,
focus and a tad of prudence,
the more we spoke, I understood,
that before me was the reflection,
of my nation’s future… its hope.