Archive for the ‘Madras Miscellany’ Category

“Deus Ex Machina”   1 comment



Deus Ex Machina: An unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel.

Deus Ex Machina: An unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel. But they do intervene in real life too coming out of nowhere!



The flamboyant Mr. Macho had just hit the road after letting his hair down in a high octane New Years Eve party. Mr. Macho was your impeccably dressed, classic metro-sexual gentleman by the day who doubled as a colorfully clothed pleasure seeking nocturnal party animal by the night. He was that friend of yours who always went to the office so that he could return to rave parties where his heart really was. Always lingering around for darkness to descend upon the city, this night crawler never missed a chance to swim to the depths of the hedonistic high seas to discover the hidden pleasure treasures lying undiscovered in the bottom. But what could’ve otherwise gone down as a run of the mill New Years Eve was about to turn nightmarish for Mr. Macho. On that fateful night, having swayed his body to the blaring electronic music on the crowded and dim lit dance floor to the hilt, he finally decide to take a break.


Just as he was about to take the leave, his excited girl friend, trying to drown out the music shouted: “One for the road baby!” She wanted her sweetheart to take a final sip from the chalice of bliss before they parted ways. With alcohol already creeping up his body, rushing through every nerve, he acceded to her last request involuntarily. Inundated in alcohol, he managed to mount on his bike after many futile attempts. Once he revved up the engine, a false sense of dominance embraced his judgments. While riding the beast, he felt his adrenaline pumping heart shout at him to go faster. Mr. Macho stepped on the gas throwing caution to the wind. Upon hitting the highway road, it dawned upon him that his eyes were beginning to betray him. The road ahead was slithering in front of him like a giant serpent, vehicles transmogrified into monsters screaming past him and he believed he was floating aimlessly, amidst stars and clouds, in a fiery intergalactic universe.


Just when his misadventure was a whisker away from mortally injuring the onlookers, his journey to meet his maker came to an abrupt halt. No soul on that spot could miss the zig zag biker creating chaos on an arterial highway on a New Years Eve. The limbs of the law too were no exception. A siren booming Police patrol vehicle, taking an abrupt turn, caught up with Mr. Macho in no time. From the vehicle, down came two men clothed in khaki. The higher ranked one thundered from his microphone at him to stop the bike. Nonetheless, Mr. Macho by now had hit a barricade and had stopped the bike barely managing to sit on it. Upon receiving orders, the subordinate in khaki cautiously approached Mr. Macho whose drooping head was still resting on the fuel tank of his bike. All the while focusing intensely on Mr. Macho, the man in Khaki gradually removed his paraphernalia to detect the blood alcohol level in Mr. Macho’s body. He stood in front of Macho and mustering his courage shot: “What’s your name?”


Angered by the interruptions Mr. Macho, who was still floating among the clouds, erupted like a simmering volcano. Raising his head, he looked at the policeman and replied nonchalantly: “I…. am….. Osama… Bin…. Laa…den.” Drunk as a lord, Mr. Macho’s critical faculties had deserted him long before. He had no clue whatsoever about his own identity. All hell broke loose when Mr. Macho, driven by Dutch courage, added a rejoinder to his reply: “And….I…….Here….To…Kill…..” Before he could utter another word to finish the sentence, the bleary eyed Mr. Macho saw in slow motion, a hairy muscular hand with a clenched fist at the end travelling swiftly towards his nose. In no time Mr. Macho found himself kissing the road and awkwardly embracing his bike which had fallen along with him. Darkness crept into his eyes from all corners blurring everything initially and knocking him unconscious eventually. On that night, Macho wrote himself into history by getting sucker punched when the chime of the city clock ushered in a brand new year.


The squeaking wooden floors, the groaning doors and the cracking chairs amidst loud babbles which made way for dignified voices made  Mr. Macho realize that he was in the middle of a court proceeding. As he summoned his consciousness gradually, it dawned on him that he had in fact kick started the first day of an eventful New Year in a nondescript court room. After spending the night unconsciously behind the bars, Macho was now in the dock for all the wrong reasons! He was facing the music for D.U.I. aka drunk driving. For him, the verdict was a foregone conclusion. He knew he was on the firing line and waited with bated breath to face searing questions from the judge. Mr. Macho hung his head like a dying flower to escape the penetrating gazes around him. He gathered some courage and decided to apologize profusely, in order to effect a last minute change of heart, before his imminent incarceration. But time seemed to move at a glacial pace for him, making his unpleasant date with the judiciary linger on for eternity.


“But, Wait a minute!” Interjecting him, I continued: “If your crime was proven beyond doubt and your incarceration was certain, what are you doing relaxing on your bed, narrating the whole incident to me?” Arching my brows, I asked him in disbelief: “Why haven’t they locked you up yet?” Mr. Macho, after glancing at his watch in style, jumped up from his bed putting on the airs of Superstar Rajinikanth and laughed at me deliriously. After dressing up immaculately and adjusting his blobbing hair for the nth time, he turned around and replied: “It’s Deus Ex Machina you see!” Scratching my head, I followed him downstairs and uttered: “How on earth!” “Did someone intervene to erase your criminality?”


“ Yes!…That… is.. Exactly… what… happened!” said Mr. Macho sitting on his bike, ready to kick start his beast. I was still not convinced and asked him again: “But…How….?” While starting the engine to hit the road, he said: “The charge against me was Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. The judge simply quashed them with one stroke of his pen claiming it’s all trumped up and vindictive.” “Because…”, asked an eager me expecting him to narrate a long winding explanation concerning the why of it all. “Because…..” said Mr. Macho revving up the engine,

“You don’t DRIVE a bike… RIDE it……!

“The Policemen Filed The Wrong Word and the case didn’t stand….Ha…Ha…Ha…”

As he began his journey, leaving a trail of smoke behind, to conquer the roads and disappeared into the horizon, I started home wondering who was really inebriate on that fateful night!



Check Out Another Post Based On A True Event:“When The Cub Came Of Age”


Image Source 



“The Calm Before The Storm” Part I   6 comments


Not Your Storm In The Tea Cup!!

                                                                       Not Your Storm In The Tea Cup!!


December 11 2016.

I was commuting along the Marina Beach Road when a pleasant onshore breeze, travelling afar from the Bay of Bengal, caressed my face whispering the message it had carried all along in my ears.

“Tonight, I will switch gears and am planning to wreak havoc on your coastal city” said the breeze with concern running all over its visage.

“Out of the question.”  I retorted with uncharacteristic nonchalance. “You will lose your steam before the landfall or veer away to any other destination. So, stop being delusional.”

 Arching its brows the breeze blustered: “You stupido, where will you run to if I hit the town with all my fury?” “No place is good enough to hide and nowhere will you be able to run.”

“The State”, I said haughtily, “is aware of  your metamorphosis and  will warn us about your impending onset.””They will track you, predicting you from head to toe, damaging your reputation as the agent of chaos.”

With a malevolent grin the breeze shot back: “I will shred all the wires, disfigure the electricity, plunge you into darkness and isolate you from your unassailable state.” “I will make the State go weak in the knees”

“Oh Boy! Rather than being lonely, I will simply let my Smart Phone do all the talking! ” “They are designed to bridge the gap you see!”The arrogantly confident technocrat in me barked at the breeze.

Fuming, the Breeze said: “I will make all your towers of Babel bite the dust tonight. When you wake up, you will be as good as stranded!””Brace yourselves  to soliloquize from dawn to dusk.”

”My Car will still take me to my friends swiftly. “ Scoring one over the breeze, I declared proudly: “All I need is to get in and switch it on! ””Not even the greatest tempest can defy the indefatigable spirit of human ingenuity.”

“I derive extreme pleasure by turning container trucks turtle.” “And stopping locomotive engines in their tracks…..oooh… I can do it all day long, just for fun”, laughed the breeze deliriously. “I will disfigure the car outpacing it simultaneously. ” pooh poohed the breeze.

“Well Thank You Very Much for the hagiography!” Gathering my last ounce of courage, I replied: “If that’s the case, then I will walk and reach my destination.”

“I will uproot the trees blocking your right of way or better fling them on the houses around you, you imbecile human.” said the enraged breeze.

I was tongue tied and to win the war of words, I replied out of my last hope: “If not my friends, I will still jump over the wall and reach my neighbor’s house.”

“Well, if that is the case, I will make your neighbor pay the price!!” said the breeze dismissing my argument prematurely.

Before I could pick up the pieces, the breeze thundered:

“I will strike upon you with great vengeance and furious anger and destroy those who try to halt me and you will know my name when I will lay my wrath upon you and your neighbors.” “As darkness descends upon your city, fear will climb up your body conquering your soul, making you shiver like a leaf!”

Ignoring the fear trying to wrap me in a bear hug, I said:”My city is an unbreachable fortress! Come hell or high water, we will defend  it to the hilt.”

I was at my wits end when the parting shot came:

“I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to absolutely nobody for the vandalism I will visit upon your city. So Long!”

When the breeze bid adieu an awkward silence merged with an eerie calmness.


And Then Came The Cyclone! We christened it Vaardha !!

                               And Then Came The Cyclone! We christened it Vaardha !!


To Be Continued………….


Picture Courtsey: NASA

The thundering of the Breeze and the parting shot of the same are inspired by Samuel L Jackson’s Ezekiel and  Connor Mcgreggor’s famous quip respectively.


“The Siesta”   8 comments



“When he is not among the pigeons and not on a hot tin roof, he bids adieu to Youtube and comes down to have a siesta .”



“The Non-Starters”   15 comments

Bathsheba Sherman, the ghost from the movie “The Conjuring”, is the only thing which can send shivers down my spine. Ever since I watched the movie way back in 2013, I have had a creepy feeling that in the dead of night, she emerges stealthily from under my bed! And after intensely staring at me for a while, she pounces upon me going straight for my throat! Shouting on top of my voice, I grab her by the neck and launch a barrage of punches trying to knock her out or send her flying through the air. Sanity returns when the lights come on and it dawns upon me that in the name of pommelling the ghost to pulp, I had in fact mercilessly beaten my pillow into submission. And that’s how, without any alarms, my family and sometimes the whole apartment wakes up early in the morning! Purely Out of this world! The funniest part is when they try to point this flaw and pin me down in the morning; I wash my hands of claiming I was unconscious!! Even though I have no clue as to what’s in store for me in 2016, I’m sure not to have nightmares anymore!

No more nightmares in the year ahead!!

It’s Not My Resolution To Have Nightmares in the year ahead!!

After the nightmares, comes another hurdle called The Daybreak! Mornings are super cool! Waking up early in the morning to soak one’s soul in the freshness of the air and to fill your eyes with the vibrant hues of nature all around you is just peerless. If I go on to claim that I wake up in the mornings, just in time, to indulge in this ritual every day, I would’ve set a new record for taking heights of insincerity to stratospheric proportions!! Climbing up from the chasm of dreams braving the nubile girls, secret missions and other escapades down there to get out on time to respond to the blaring alarm has always been a challenge for me. I rarely make it on time and yes it is a no contest. The brave souls who try to wake me up are given a rousing reception comparable to the one an infiltrator gets when he crosses the Line of control stealthily. This is that time of the day when wingless alarms fly in the direction of the intruder! Despite these handicaps, I have no plans to wake up late because a head start has its own advantages.

early bird

No Plans to wake up late!

If I outsmart my desires in the wee hours and rise from my bed, another battle awaits me. Far from the hedonistic notion of soaking in the bountiful nature around you in the wee hours, there will be screams from my family to go jogging! If I don’t fall in line, they will soon get a kick out of kicking my rear. This proves beyond any doubts that I have successfully entered another year with my eternal battle with the bulge in tow! Even though, I’m not miserably out of shape, this jaded city soul desperately needs to pump some iron into its body to keep ailments at bay! So I don’t intend to skip exercise this year!


Not my resolution to skip exercise this year!

To cool down the aching tendons, sore foot and my sweating body after the exercise, what better way than take a shower! But the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner was ringing across Chennai when it became a water world recently. In a city, notorious for its water shortage, there was water everywhere but, unfortunately, not any drop to drink. I know the forces working behind the curtains which brought this plight upon the city like the back of my palm. But the truant monsoons, fiery global warming, the ensuing climate change, the plight of the struggling poor and other sane considerations of the civilized world takes a backseat when I step into take a shower! In the shower that follows, my egregious singing drowns out the voices of the poor and the unceasing spray of water cools down the global warming. At the end of the day, the climate aggravates whereas I stubbornly waste the elixir of life. Old habits die hard but not this year though! Splurging water is not in my radar this year or ahead in my life.


It’s not my resolution to waste water as well!!

After cleansing my body, when I sit down to break my fast, something always eats me instead. There is the inevitable desire to maintain a balanced diet in mind but when I get a whiff of what’s been concocted in the kitchen, the desired balance is kicked out of the window by my appetite. Now, this food obsession gives me food for thought! To not surfeit on food and drinks will top my not to do list in the year ahead. Nevertheless, the silver lining is the fact that I am still a vegetarian! Else I would’ve bursted at the seams long before!! But the insatiable “Mr. Hyde” within me wins the hunger games more often than the rational “Dr.Jekyll”.

After having kept hunger at bay, I ventured out on a fateful day as a volunteer to serve the victims of the deluge. My contribution was the humblest since it involved picking up cartons containing relief materials from storeroom and unloading the same on the Lorries outside. Seven Minutes! That was my duration of volunteering to be precise. By then, frustration which had steadily crawled up my body had bursted out as anger. The battery of volunteers, who supposedly had landed there to lend a helping hand, were pleading to allow me to take their selfies with cartons in the background before I picked them up. For the narcissist, posing for selfies and earning likes in the time of calamity towered over sending aid to the ravaged victims. When the clamour grew higher turning pleadings into commands, I was back in the hut. No points for guessing the moral of the story. I will of course not stop volunteering but have no plans ever in my life to pose for a selfie.


It’s not my resolution to pose for selfies anymore!!

When I walked back home, it dawned upon me that I alone was not the victim at the camp. Things took a turn for the worse when I striked a conversation with two other crestfallen guys. Half way through the conversation, I realized that I was talking to two guys whose imagination was wilder than the wild, Wild West. For, over the course of the talk, they even unearthed the hidden interconnections between the deviant youth and cancer cells. My silent nodding only exhilarated them! When I couldn’t take it anymore, I started retorting and lo and behold: All hell broke loose!! Hell hath no fury than skeptics scorned!! Words flied thick and fast between us as we tried to drown each other out, lowering the quality of debate to the point of no return. From this New Year on I have no plans to get hot under my collar at the drop of the hat. Let sanity prevail now and forever! To debate with skepitcs is not even in my radar for eternity. Because, as they say, debating with skeptics is like mud wrestling with pigs. Firstly you get covered in mud and secondly the pig loves it!! And you are the eventual loser!

keep calm

It’s Not My Resolution to Reason or Debate with Skeptics.

Even though, we didn’t kill each other and just kept ourselves to trading abuses, I was just a whisker away from being dragged into a quagmire of violence. The very likelihood that one could dislocate another man’s jaw, land one’s knee on another one’s chest and knock him out cold is disturbing. The bravado magnifies if the antagonist, at the other end, is feeble. And the bloodlust grows when supporters and opponents join polarised camps, making way for absolute pandemonium. Come January, I plan to stay away from violence in all its manifestations. Violence in thoughts, gazes, words and actions will not be in my territory for the coming year. No plans to abuse or hurt anyone intentionally!! It’s really hard but let me try and fail nevertheless!!


It’s Not My Resolution to Hurt anyone intentionally!!

When I was at home in the evening, contemplating about the day which went by, I realized that I was being driven around by passion more than reason, sowing seeds of doubts within my mind about my ability. To bury the pangs of guilt, I took asylum in the internet where I was greeted by mediocrity yet again. Posts by netizens masquerading as the last word on everything under the roof were parading in front of me. This breathed life back into the ghosts of frustration, jealousy and vengeance which were suppressed within me. Egged on by the trinity, I transformed myself into a combatant of different kind called “the Key Board Warrior” and took the plunge into the virtual world to fight mediocrity. The lone, brave key board warrior fights valiantly in the “Comments Section” and stamps his authority by hoisting triumphant flags of victory there. After warding off useless troll and fed up waiting without any response from the authors, I started realizing that there was no point in fighting impractical battles in the worst of places. The year ahead will not have any more Key Board Warrior cameos from me! Not intentions to interfere in mediocre debates as well. Upset that I wasted my time, I while more of it away clicking on random cat and dog videos to keep my inner demons from surfacing inside my head again. Nevertheless, they appear for the showdown!!  It’s downhill all the way from then on. They mercilessly question all the beliefs that I hold and lure me to walk away from them indicating that still holding on to them steadfastly were pointless. By punching holes in things which I stand for and killing my ideologies, they reduce me to a rubbled heap.


It’s Not My Resolution to be a Key Board Warrior this year!!

My inner demons let loose their partner who goes by the name Loneliness upon me. Coming under incessant attack from frustration, loneliness, self-doubt and anger my conscience runs for cover finding asylum in a decoy called Porn. The veil of ignorance surrounding me justifies watching porn which otherwise is considered a blasphemy. When normalcy returns, it only helps raise my culpability shaming me and questioning my self-worth. The picture is complete when the Judges arrive and make the day a judgement day. No, not the erudite judges of our venerated courts but the relatives who judge your worth by weighing the zeroes in your pay package and material possessions! Already deprived of self-worth and devoid of recognition, the journey downhill culminates when I end up losing my dignity as well.

Darkness descends upon my thoughts as I start viewing things from the glass is half full perspective for eternity. From this year on I intend not to waste my time reading nonsense. I have no plans to chop and change my views and will not vacillate when it comes to taking a decision. Because if you fall for everything, you will not stand up for anything! I have no intention to let self-doubt in the form of skeptics, relatives and naysayers creep into my thoughts. Porn will have no role to play in the year ahead. I plan not to sit licking my wounds or brood over failures. To keep them at bay my mind is fixed on taking to the road. And will never ever let myself question my self-worth and dignity. As a postscript, I would like to join that there is no plan to cry out on top of my voice to get recognition. The wisdom is that recognition will follow you if you lead an examined life.


It’s Not My Resolution To Doubt Myself In the Year Ahead!!

The floods in the far end of 2015 have cleansed the city and my soul clean. The slate is clean for us to begin a new lease of life. As I go to sleep tonight, hoping for a better year ahead, I recognize that nothing can hold me back! Not even Bathsheba Sherman, who by now would have gone in search of another bed to hide under!



This post is part of Write over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by Blogadda.



“Of Rain Clouds, Sun Shine and Redemption”   13 comments

When the Rain gods eventually sent the pregnant clouds home which lashed the west coast breathing life back into every thing conceivable, it was just another day’s work for the Sun god in the east. It rained cats and dogs at Chengannur in Kerala whereas Chennai in Tamil Nadu turned into a fire breathing dragon at the same time. Astonishingly, the elements involved in this annual affair are all at peace with each other and all this happens like clockwork when the time for staging things arrives.

It was during the crack of one of those “would’ve been sticky days” in Chennai that the truant rain clouds had a change of mind. Out of the blue the heavens opened!! And we had a rare – precious – ephemeral but  well deserved wet and cool morning!! Nevertheless even before we could utter “Carpe Diem” fully, things were back at square one. Since such sporadic rains can open the floodgates on pests, insects and what not, I was promptly posted from my bed to the backyard to inspect the plants in the garden.

Bleary eyed, my eyes searched for pale leaves, emaciated stems and other deceptive intruders. With the sky above still dark and hatching plots to pour again all I wanted to do was get out of there and to bury myself on the bed plunging headlong into another chasm of dream. Certain that all was quiet on the western front, I headed for the exit. But a very very very late change of mind saw me stop and turn my attention to the yam which was thriving in the kitchen garden. Convinced that there could be more than what meets my eyes, I got under the canopy of the plant after scrutinizing its light green stem.

What could've otherwise been a customary plant inspection in the backyard, turned out to be a novel play of light the other day.

What could’ve otherwise been a customary plant inspection in the backyard, turned out to be a novel play of light the other day.

No sooner had I placed myself under the plant and looked up at the leaves than the sun shined on me! Through my bleary eyes,I saw sunshine filtering through the tiny gaps between the leaves. When I looked around I felt as if a phantom was walking stealthily, lifting the veil of darkness which had surrounded us for a while!! This time I had all the time in the world to utter “Carpe Diem” even though the moment was ephemeral!! I could feel it and I felt alive and redeemed!!

By the time I picked up the camera, the darkness melted away. I could capture the sunshine nevertheless!!

“The Triumph Of Labour !”   11 comments

With firm hands, sturdy legs and chiseled bodies labourers have to stretch every sinew to make sure the hearth, back home, burns. Ignoring the pangs of their bodies, their steely resolve help shape the future of the nation even as their futures remain wrapped in mystery. The tribe, ever ready to get their hands dirty, toils hard as the nation conquers new heights. Nevertheless, they remain confined to fetters !



Still wondering from where would have the legendary DEVI PRASAD ROY CHOUDURY got his models for his statue because it looks as if the four men were born to fulfill this great endeavor !

THE TRIUMPH OF  LABOUR” by DEVI PRASAD ROY CHOUDURY was unveiled by the then Governor Madras SHRI BISHNURAM MEDHI in the presence of K.KAMARAJ, the then Chief Minister of Madras, on 25-01-1959.

“Rediscovering her dignity.”   11 comments

It was another blazing day in Chennai. No one barring the juice men loved the sun when it unleashed its fury upon the hapless residents. It meant steady business for them and at the end of the summer, they laughed all the way to the bank. It was on one such busy day that I was waiting for my friend in a juice shop by the side of an arterial road. Everything was running according to the script for the owner of the shop. There was a steady stream of people coming in and choosing from the wide variety on offer and his dedicated employees were taking orders without any delay and delivering them promptly. Customers from all walks of life occupied seats neatly arranged under colourful umbrellas. The less fortunate ones had to stand with watchful eyes to occupy a seat the moment it went empty. Lovers whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears, families with warring siblings, men on top of their voice over cell phones and giggling college girls completed the environment. Keeping an eye on this perfect setting was the enterprising owner who, amidst all the cacophony, spotted the regulars and promptly called out their names and waved at them.

Suddenly, into this perfect world, enters a destitute woman. In her endless journey through the pavement, knocking on the doors of every store she passed by, she had decided to halt at the juice shop today. Draped in a threadbare cotton sari, her young age was betrayed by the sagging skin, frail hands and hesitant steps. Her body bore visible signs of endless battles with poverty. As she stopped by the juice shop, her eyes searched for souls who could empathize with her plight. With her hands held together in prayer, she approached the ones perched under the shade uttering something indistinctly. The elites were terrified at the very sight of her. Some scurried for cover all the while warning her to stay away. The others shrieked and shooed the frail woman away. By now the outcast came under the radar of the owner. The employees, after receiving orders from him, came searching for her. Before the approaching men could chuck her out, she stumbled upon a stranger who gave ears to what she was pleading for. From then on he took over the situation.

The stranger asked her whether she would like to have a glass of juice. When the woman nodded in the affirmative, the man sat her down on the chair beside him and offered her his glass of juice.I clearly saw the woman’s sun strained face light up suddenly. This time it was not out of joy but something which transcended it. It looked as if the woman had rediscovered something which she had lost long ago: “her DIGNITY”. Wiping the tears rolling down her cheeks, she drank her glass of juice in the most civilized manner possible. The woman thanked the stranger with folded hands, meanwhile the stranger paid for the juice. It dawned upon the onlookers that the frail woman in fact was pleading for something to quench her thirst which they mistook for alms.

As they both parted ways, the stranger had already taught them what real RESPECT was and the frail woman had showed them what real DIGNITY is. The onlookers learned a lesson or two about what it takes to listen to a fellow human being. Having witnessed all this I uttered to myself that HOPE IS STILL ALIVE !!

Posted November 9, 2013 by Aneesh in INDIA, Madras Miscellany

Tagged with , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: