Running away from home . . .

Running away from HomeI ran away from home. Sounds dramatic doesn’t it? Ok, here’s the truth…I hated being an engineer or a doctor. When I was born in an upscale maternity clinic in Chennai, legend has it that I was immediately anointed to be the next big engineer in my family before they even decided a name for me. So, in the end, I ended up being called Krishna Kumar BTech, right from my childhood days. I proudly went around shouting my name hoarse during kindergarten and primary school, drawing sniggers and cheers. I felt proud. When I grew up and finally realised that BTech wasn’t really a family name, but a degree, I hid under my bed for a day refusing to come out even when my friends called me out to play cricket and eat pani puri.

The day I passed my 12th with flying colors, my parents embraced me in a group hug, gave me a few kisses on my cheek, stared me in the face and asked me for my choice between four options: (a) engineering (b) see my parents hang their head in shame (c) herd cows in the field (d) lick Rahul’s (Superstar engineering cousin of my family, duh!) ass.

So, in the end, I scraped through the four years of college life (read: torture) with repeated attempts before I could finally get an A4 sheet of paper that proudly announced to the world that I was an engineering graduate, and also that I was unemployed even though major IT companies like TCS, CTS, BTC, BMTC, and ABCD hired people like herds of cattle. So, when the questions from my aunts and uncles grew shriller, my parents decided to get me a job (using ‘influence’) in an unknown IT firm, that looked more like a spare-parts shop. That was the final straw.

So, yesterday night after a storm hit my house, utensils and slippers were hurled around with equal fervour, I packed my bags, took my beloved Nikon D3100, grabbed all my pocket money and climbed onto a late night bus to Bangalore.  So, officially, I ran away from home. Or, more precisely, bused away from home.

Early morning 5.30am

I was sleeping peacefully on the upper berth of SRM travels, when suddenly, I heard all sorts of words being thrown around and people screaming their heads off. I woke up with a start, rubbed my eyes and opened them to realise that people were conversing in a greek and latin tongue. The cleaner in the bus smiled at me and said “Nīvu alli hōguva?”, to which I just gaped in silence. “Aap kaha jayenge?” he asked, which met with another bout of rigourous head-shaking from my end. “Oh, tamil ah…enga poganum?” he asked. Ah, it was like taking a breath of fresh air after years of being held captive. “Therila anna. . . next stop.” I said.

It was then that I landed in the place of my dreams…Koramangala.

When I got down from the bus, I was shivering from head to toe. The cold bit into my bones and I wasn’t prepared for such a changeover. There I was, dressed in a trouser and sleeveless tops, in a place that felt like the Antartic. I looked around to see jumbled torn-up jelebi words and affirmed to myself that I was still in some part of India, the country at the center of the equator, just 2 kms from the sun.

I found a small hotel nearby and booked a room for a day. Thousand five-hundred rupees! Daylight robbery. The pocket money that I had preserved all through these years did not seem to be enough anymore. I threw my bag aside on the bed in my cramped room, took my mobile phone out and called home.

“Hello…” my mom spoke into the receiver agitatedly. She had picked up the landline at the first ring.

“Its me…” I said, the words choking in my throat.

“Kk…”, she said, “Where are you chellam?”

“Amma, I’m in bangalore.”

“Oh, kutty, why did you go so far away? You come back now please.”

An Indian mother’s customary rule book states that once a kutty, always a kutty. Even though I’m 21 years old.

“No ma…I want to be here. I want to earn a living for myself, doing something that I love…”

“Do it here kuttyma, come back to Chennai. Don’t take all the fights to heart Krishna, I miss you.”

A tiny tear trickled down my face. I swiftly fingered it away.

“I miss you too ma. I miss appa too. But, let this be a new start to my life. One day, I will make you proud. Till then, goodbye ma.”

“Atleast answer my calls kk, you will not know what a mother’s heart is going through right now.”

“Sure ma…”, the emotional blackmail again. Sheesh.

“Saptiya da?”

No matter what the situation is, a mother’s standard question. Did you eat?

“Ya ma, I ate.” I lied.

“What are you going to do there Krishna?” she enquired.

I looked around my room, I found my bags on my bed, my slippers under my bed, and my camera beside my bed. My camera.

“I’m going to be a photographer ma. A wedding photographer.”

(Excerpt from a story I have been writing for quite a while…)

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Manic Monday . . .

*This post is part of The Chennai Bloggers Club’s Manic Monday series initiated to keep the spirit of blogging alive and challenging.*

 

The warning bells ring aloud,

Dreams abruptly clogged,

A jolt of realization,

Of the day ahead,

A slap to the head,

A sigh

A groan

A yawn

Dragging our feet to the battle beyond.

 

A harried brush,

An obstinate bath,

A hurried breakfast,

An awkward goodbye,

Events rush past,

Hectic

Callous

Unflinching,

We run with the wind,

Swim against the tides,

Battle the knives and swords of tongue,

Famished,

Drained,

Bloodied,

We return triumphant,

to our abode, every Monday night.

 

We try to just survive.

Just breathe.

Just live.

 

Lying on our beds, wide awake,

Hunting,

Scavenging,

Foraging,

For peace.

A glassy look at a pitiful world,

A murmur or two,

A lament to God.

We keep searching for peace.

Everywhere else.

But, never within.

An 87 Year Old College Student Named Rose

(Found this on the internet, one of the most uplifting stories I’ve heard)

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know.

I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me
with a smile that lit up her entire being.

She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.

“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.

She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…”

“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.We became instant friends. Every day for the
next three months, we would leave class together and talk non-stop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine”
as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and
she revelled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was
introduced and stepped up to the podium.

As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell
you what I know.”

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop
playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day.

You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.
We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!There is a huge difference between growing
older and growing up.

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old.

If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change.
Have no regrets.

The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those
with regrets.”

She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.”

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.

At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died
peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s
never too late to be all you can possibly be .When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they’ll really enjoy it!

These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.

REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS
OPTIONAL.

We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give.

Am alive . . .

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Life seems to flow by like a river,

Moments of happiness few and far between,

My eyes speak of a fear unknown,

My heart beats to a tune unearthly,

My soul dances to steps uncertain,

But, am alive.

Eyes are wet without a reason,

The flowers wilted by will or treason,

The world spins to a beat uncanny,

My hands reach out to dreams unflourished,

My legs walk down a path untrodden,

But, am alive.

Deathly silence keeps me company,

Pangs of fear crush the joy within,

Tears stream down my face unexpired,

My body succumbs to pain unclothed,

My soul searches for a life untainted,

But, am alive.