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“Deus Ex Machina”   1 comment

BASED ON A TRUE EVENT

 

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!

 

#1. LET’S CALL HIM MR.MACHO

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.

#2. THE ADRENALINE JUNKIE

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.

#3. LONG ARM OF THE LAW

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?”

#4. BIG GUN BITES THE DUST

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…..am….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.

#5. THE COURTROOM DRAMA

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.

#6. RETURN OF THE DRAGON

“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?”

#7. DEUS EX MACHINA

“ 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…..you 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!

#8. THE END

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

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“Down On My Luck”   4 comments

 

 

What will you do when  you come face to  face with a place where history sleeps intertwined with culture on a hartal day with low mobile battery and no one for company ? Well, First you will take a snap. Then you pretend to think, trying to forget that you are the unluckiest person on the earth right now, until the rarest of the rare bus appears on the horizon. This is the southern entrance of the renowned Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur, the cultural capital of Kerala. This ground plays host to the most famous Pooram in Kerala:The Thrissur Pooram which was  the brainchild  of Sri Raja Raja Varma the  Maharaja of  Kochi.

 

They say that the knowledge system in god’s own country can be broadly classified  into two. The  one which emerged from our own backyard, tracing its lineage to the Sangam heritage is dubbed the “Kaavu Parambaryam”/Traditional Knowledge. The other which had its birth up north, which migrated down south over the course of  time was baptized the “Kshetra Parambaryam”/Heterogeneous Knowledge. It is through the tug of wars between these contrasting but vibrant systems that the language called Malayalam, the identity named Malayali and the state called Kerala as we know today came into existence. Kaavu, which is essentially Dravidian, imagines nature as sacred and unbound assimilating within its embrace the mores of the folkways. Driven more by commonsense, this knowledge tradition includes flourishing sacred groves, rudimentary idol worships, instrumental magic rituals backed  by occult beliefs, unsophisticated but intricate arts and straightforward dance moves backed by oral tradition. The non systematic-practical learning rooted heavily in the vernacular completes the picture .

On the other hand, Kshetra parambaryam draws heavily from the migrant Aryan tradition which reached the southern tip of the subcontinent through flourishing contacts due to improved trade and flow of  ideas by hermits and monks. In sharp contrast to the Kaavu, Kshethra parambaryam draws heavily on rationality, based on which a sacred space is  demarcated based on formulas , a chosen god from an elaborate pantheon is placed, idol worship backed by detailed rituals are systematized, intricate art forms and  sophisticated dance moves dubbed as classical are practiced by a chosen few within four walls. A non utilitarian educational system backed by the language of the gods completes the Kshetra parambaryam. In short Kaavu celebrates the ordinary son of the soil, his mundane ways of life in the open, celebrating and  elevating his language and oral culture. But Kshetra parambaryam promotes the erudite Brahminical abilities and his devotion to pioneer, broaden and deepen his knowledge in various fields such as mathematics, astronomy, medicine and philosophy through god’s language all the while  maintaining a monopoly.

Over  the course of time, due to the rise and demise of  various ruling dynasties, these divergent knowledge traditions evolved as a consequence of thriving contacts between the two resulting in a unique cultural syncreticsm. Even though the convergence between Kaavu parambaryam and Kshetra parambaryam was visible across various art and dance forms, it  was more pronounced in Language as well as Festivals. Festivals especially Poorams in Kerala, from the outset, were fantastically designed rituals  based on grandstanding, aimed at perpetuating the rule of the mighty.

Pooram, the equivalent of carnival in Europe, was an  occasion for the subject class to forget their unbroken period of  unshrinking labour from morning to sunset. Pooram was that  occasion for a peasant which brought him some joy, colour, and moments of  brightness in his otherwise dark, depressed and deprived life. For the ruling jenmi, it was an occasion to stamp his wherewithal to stage a larger than life spectacle which remains incomplete without an array of caparisoned elephants, the perambulation of the presiding deity, imposing pyrotechnics, generosity towards  his subjects and  magnanimity for the deviant ones. Hence on a Pooram day one can find the confluence of  every conceivable forms of trade, tricks and personalities amidst a sea of  humanity gathered  at the rendezvous to witness the spectacle. Longstanding feuds are buried, egos are massaged, friendships are renewed, drunkards and fraudsters forgiven, deviants and iconoclasts are forgotten bringing together families, distant relatives, friends, kin groups and the society as a whole.

In many ways it is an ingenious way of sending out a message to the subjects about  who the real ruler is by an ostentatious display of power and wealth. Lost in the sheer joy of the moment and reliving them in the future, the subjects pledge their allegiance to masters voluntarily than by coercion.  This stabilized the kingdoms against threats from within in the form of grass-root protests and rebellions. Thus the power of  the mighty is  sealed for eternity. This oversimplified picture gets more complex when we bring into frame the effect of  heterogeneous cultures from across the seas like Christianity and Islam having strong influence on the society. We dont need to necessarily pick sides here because this  is how objective historical  forces bring together people resulting in cultural assimilation which gets reflected in changes across visible and invisible spectrums of a society. You just need to  be subjectively aware of these objective forces acknowledging that reality is chaotic and dynamic!!

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This is  a mish mash of some trains of thoughts which chugged along the nerves in my grey matter during a Hartal Day in the past. The above syndrome gets all the more worse when  I am famished. It is just an attempt to scribble them down before they disappear and these are pure possibilities based on what I have read and heard from books and great minds over a period of time!

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“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………….

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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.

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