Friday, August 10, 2012

Worries about Monkeys and a Home

Like every other morning, this one too had a lazy blanket pulled over me when my alarm rang for the fifth time after 7 am. This time, the ring of the alarm was annoying. But then i realized that it was not an alarm- it was the phone ringing! And guess who... Yes. You guessed it. I couldn't miss that call.
I was at home. In my quarters. Its a good home. I have a home. It's a pleasant thought- I have a home.
After brushing and bathing, i realized that drinking water is over. So i got ready fast and was trying to go to the office.
I opened the door and found three monkeys sitting on the corridor, silently picking at each others fluffy hairs. Cute- I thought. So I locked the door and walked towards the stair case. Suddenly, one of the monkeys ran towards me screeching. My heart skipped a beat or two. Adrenalin. Death. Run, escape. But i had locked the room- I can't enter my room. If the monkey runs on to me, i will have nowhere to go. Behind me is the end of the corridor, on the third floor. I cant jump off third floor!
But- god be blessed- the monkey went back and kept on picking on its companion. I went back slowly without provoking the monkeys and opened my room. I was thirsty; but there is no water. Now i was suddenly hungry. I need to go to the office. Gathering courage, i got out of my room and walked again to the stair case. But this time, all on a sudden, a BIG monkey appeared from the staircase and came jumping on to me. I am a dead man. But when it saw that i was frightened, it went back proudly. And i went back frightened. Once inside the room, I called a few friends. Mr. Sreekanth Reddy offered me help. But at that moment, he realized that he lost his bike keys. Excellent. I was never happier!
I lost hope in life. I locked myself inside the room. I only have a packet of biscuit- a small one. Death, come with thy cold hands and welcome me into thy kingdom. Alone in my home, I will fall prey to death under seige!
After half an hour, i opened the room and looked at the corridor using a mirror. Monkeys are still there. Death is closer. A few steps closer. Trapped.
My phone rings again. Sreekanth sir. He will be late.
Trap gets closer. I can feel the clenches. Am I sweating? May be this is how death by tension and fear is! May be...
Phone rings again. Sreekanth sir is here. The rescue team is here. Finally. Death is not that close. May be, they can save me from predators.
They came with sticks. And courage. The rescue team. But there were no monkeys. What! No monkeys? What happened to them? Where are they? Why was I caught?
They replied with a smile, “what sir? There are no monkeys here... why are you so frightened?” I blushed... partly ashamed... and looked around. ya. No monkeys. NOW there are no monkeys!
Thanks to the rescue team. I am saved. 
Now, that I am free, I can reflect on what happened and how much courage I have and why monkeys don't have a home and why they come to my home and what we do to other living beings and why we do what we do and so on... Quite some time is needed... because monkeys do deserve a home... like i deserve a quarters... Now I worry. I have a home which stands exactly where their home used to stand... Worries about monkeys and a home... 
Yes. Worries about monkeys and a home!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

An aunt and a crow!

Whenever I go home, there are a few things I make sure I do. Some of them are visiting old Kunjaamma at Neeloor, praying at St. Joseph's Church Neeloor and staying a full day at home. But there are a few more things that I desire to do. One of them is visiting my aunt Eliammachi. 

There are many stories of my childhood that they narrate to me. I was the third child of my mother. And my mother was the eldest of 7 sisters. No other sister was married when I was born. So I was the baby of all those 7 sisters. Imagine how love-rich I was. May be, I was never even put down on the bed if each one wanted to caress me for a while!

Eliammachi was my mother's younger sister. She is an extremely beautiful woman. Lovely woman. She is all love. There is always a smile on her face for me. And a kiss for me when I bid farewell. She has gone through tough times for the last decade. But she has managed to maintain her smile and love through all the hardships.

One story she narrates to me is this. When I was a little baby, she took me to the church once. Since mother's home was on a hilltop, it demanded a lot of mountaineering. Anyway, she carried me down the hill to the church. After church, on the way back, she bought me a bun which i liked. I happily rested on her shoulder, nibbling on the bun I got.

It was sunny and hot and the climb was steep. She opened her umbrella so that I won't be burned in the heat. After a while, when my aunt looked back, she found my bun almost fully eaten. Wondering how the little baby could eat that much, she observed me while walking.

When the story reaches this point, she will stop and break into uncontrollable laughter. It seems, a crow was flying around behind us. It cleverly flew down and pecked on my bun little by little while the little me looked at it eating my bun. I can imagine my own face curiously looking at the crow stealing from my bun. My aunt would top the story saying cutely: "my son, you looked so innocent and calm then; as if you were allowing the crow to have its share".

She would pinch my cheeks saying this. And my eyes would be full of tears of joy and gratitude. Just like it is now... Eliammachi, I love you...