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Ariza | 26 June 2006, 1:34pm

The scooter in grey cut right across the road and turned up in front of the bike. The bike swerved in trying to avoid the scooter, skidded and scraped past the scooter throwing it down. Then it fell and still skidding came to halt at a little distance. The woman on the bike was underneath it while the man was thrown a little further. He collected himself and ran to help the woman with frightened concern.

"Are you all right? Oh my god are you all right? You!"he said turning to the man on the scooter in anger and was animated, but the woman had to be helped. Someone came up from the road and helped him lift the bike and all the while he kept asking with painful concern "Are you alright? Are you alright baby?" Someone noticed that his hand had started bleeding. The woman was in a shock. She was led away to the pavement holding  her hip. Her man wasnt going to let this go.

"You bastard. Cant you see you bastard!"

The man in the scooter had taken a fall but he had collected himself. He had been examing himself when the other walked up to him.

"What did you call me?"

"I called you a bastard!"

At this the other man jumped on him and we heard a whack but didnt see anything. There was already a crowd there but no one tried to help yet. Both of them rushed out of the crowd holding on to each other. The man on the bike still had his arm bleeding and he was trying to kick with his knee. But the other was stronger and he kept hitting him on the head. The bike-man was giving up, his upward thrusts of the knee were meek and he was loosing ground. The traffic came to a crowded halt. Some found a way through and didnt bother with the scene, others craned their heads over to see where the fight was, while still others parked their vehicles and started to watch.

A small crowd followed the men and the woman began to scream. Her man was getting it hard on the head and she was asking someone to stop them. We could see the strong blows the man was getting on his head. And then he gave in and fell to the ground. We saw the scooter-man, the one who had been reckless, scream something at him and get him in the stomach. Something else began to bleed. Someothers came in now and held onto the man and asked him to stop.

"Did you hear what he called me? You bastard. Your family bastard."

Someone suggested that the man on the ground needed to be rushed to the hospital. The scooter-man was looking at his scooter. He was looking to slip away. They lifted the bike-man on their shoulders. His woman stood shouting at the scooter-man. She got into the auto. Her man could barely walk and they brought him on shoulders to the auto. Someone slipped a key into his pocket and his hand was bleeding onto the road.

The scooter-man hadnt left. He had gotten brave. He came up to the auto and screamed at the couple: "Dont call me a bastard! That is what happens!"

Then something happened. The injured man in the auto  jumped out and swung his leg hard. We could see it from the pavement through the crowd. The blow landed between the other mans legs and we heard the sound it made. The man went down in a hurry.

Current Mood: Angry
Current Music: Beethoven

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Ariza | 24 June 2006, 11:14am

It is a saturday again and the old beggar is here. He comes with his wife who sits on a wodden cart that runs on ball-bearings. You can hear them coming but we dont notice. He stands outside the gate and calls us out. The routine has been fixed long ago. First he calls for the customary "Amma!" And then he calls out "Babu?" I take out a five rupee coin and go out. He enquires about everyone. I say everyone is fine. He lifts his hand, thanks me and walks away. Behind him and through the gate I can see his wife grinning. She doesnt have good teeth.

I dont like him asking about my family. I am sure he doesnt know how many people are in it. He will come next saturday and I will give him another five-rupee coin. Then, I will not answer his question.

Current Mood: Irreverent
Current Music: Souten

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After the rain

Ariza | 23 June 2006, 1:01pm

The rain had stopped for a moment and the sun came out shining. The wet terrace just outside my window started to glow and the thin leaves of the coconut trees started to glow. The breeze is still full of rain and I can smell the cool air blowing in. There is a cat curled up inside my helmet on my bed. I went to check on it. It has curled up nicely and it feels warm. It opened its eyes to my touch and looked at me from its sleep. I left it alone. The woman on the opposite building has had her clothes hanging in the balcony all day and they dont seem to have dried yet. The street is under soft mushy red mud that flowed out from the mounds by the side of the road that they had made while digging it up. I can hear the rubber tyres on the wet mud. I can hear the horns, the motor of the vehicles. The sun has disappeared again and it is wet everywhere. It is wet without the sunshine on it.

Current Mood: Cold
Current Music: Commando

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Kudos to the Courts

Ariza | 22 June 2006, 12:44pm

The high court's squashinging of the ban on the Da Vinci Code was appropriate to say the least. What made it even better was the wording of the order where the court asked the government not to meddle with individual choices. I mean people have chosen to pay a fee to watch the movie! Those who percieve the movie as hurtful to thier sentiments are free to avoid it and free to protest against it. No one is taking that right away from them, but to intrude into my privacy and dictate what I can watch is ridiculous (I mean I can vote! Choose my own Government but need to be told what to watch?) And it is simply a movie!

I think this debate isnt disappearing in a hurry. But what is amusing to note is that with this book and movie Dan Brown jumps into a league of writers that includes James Joyce and Salman Rushdie, both of whom had their books banned for various reasons .(Ulysses was obscene and Satanic Verses was know) Brow, however, is nowhere close to either one of them as far as literary talents go. This additional publicity is only going to help him sell more books. It is a bad book and from what I hear a bad movie. (never-mind-the-cast)Now if only governments would leave it alone we could get over the curiousity of watching it and then forget it.

Current Mood: Preachy
Current Music: None

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Love and loss part I

Ariza | 19 June 2006, 10:45pm

If you live long enough, loss is inevitable. So when I began an informal friendship with an old anglo-indian neighbour of mine for a few free drinks in his yellow-light filled apartment I expected it to have no impact on me. But i suppose that in this life he was a stifled story-teller, a writer may be, and when he began recollecting his life in short glimpses for me I simply could not let it rest. These churned the half baked ideas inside my head and left me more battered than confused.

The theme that runs through all of them is Love. Mr.Miguel, childless, who lives alone in his flat now, loved his wife. It is a statement I can attest to with my own observation. Each day early in the morning I would see them walking down the road on their way to the church immersed deep in their conversation of what topics I could never make out. I remember one cold foggy winter day in particular: On their way back Mrs. Miguel met an old friend who offered to take her home on her two wheeler, Mrs.Miguel was suffering with a painful leg ailment then, and she agreed. It was only when I saw Mr.Miguel burst out of the fog looking like he had been hit by something and like he was rushing home to get it fixed did I realise what he was missing: his wife.

He hasnt been to the church since his wife died. Our association began that same year when he called me to fetch the christmas cakes with the same unchanged expression on his face and then to prove it that he was ok he asked me if I wanted a drink. We were on. The first story he ever told me was about a dinner soon after his marriage when he had asked some collegues home. He thought that it went well until late in the night when he woke up to find his young wife crying beside him.

"How could you do this to me?" she asked.

"do what?"

"You knew that I had an exam tommorow and you still called them. I have spent the whole evening cooking so that you dont look bad and now I am tired. My exam is ruined. A whole year gone."

He didnt know that. He tried to console her without much conviction and fell asleep thinking that she would get over it by morning. A little while later he woke up again when his wife came up to him and shook his sleep out for the night.

"Dont sleep like that now. Help me with it." He was reluctant. He had to go to the office and what would she do with a degree anyway? (1950's remember.) But he still hadnt lost his bachelor-hood shyness around her. He took the book and started asking her some questions.

"Soon", he later told me, "I was in it." "It was history and she told me fascinating stories about now-long-dead-kings. I realised what all this meant to her."

I think he saw the passion in her eyes. He never doubted it again. She needed it with more intensity than he needed to do his mundane job. He guessed my thoughts and added:

"It was a legendary night because thats when I realised that I had got myself a fire brand."

Another time he told me about her dreams.

"She always had a grand way of dreaming" he told me. "Then she would wake up early in the morning and tell me about it and I could see it sometimes, like I had been there with her and I would be in a fantastic place because she dreamed in bloody cinemascope." It was GGGRand with a capital G I realised.

"She would tell me about hundreds of funeral pyres on a desolate river bed or of a rain forest with sky high trees looking down on her with suspiscion in her eyes. Sometimes I would wake up by the force of her dreams!"

She had been infectious too.

Somewhere along the line we had agreed that I wouldnt ask any questions and Mr.Miguel liked it because of that. Often I found him lost with his glass in his hand and then his eyes had that expression that said he could see something happen right in front of him and I knew I could be lucky if he agreed to transcribe it for me.

(to be continued)

Current Mood: Feeling Better
Current Music: Old

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Things I dont know about Hyderabad.

Ariza | 2 June 2006, 8:34pm

Things I don

Current Mood: Confused
Current Music: kill bill

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Ariza | 31 May 2006, 8:06pm

We are all lonely. which of these applies to you.

by Charlotte Bront

Current Mood: Sad
Current Music: None

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Normal Times

Ariza | 28 May 2006, 7:53pm

I have always wondered at the plight of students growing up in normal times.

For a few years in my otherwise dull life, we grew up with trouble brewing around us. I can never forget that winter morning in 1989 when we were aroused from the warm slumber of our Telugu class by a group of college students who shoved us out of school. We were so ecstatic that in our desperate search for words we clinged to the first one that we got and screamed our way back home repeating it.

"No School! Mandal! No School! Mandal!"

It was only when we saw the potency of these words as images on a television that we realised why everyone was staring at us.

We weren

Current Mood: Preachy
Current Music: Dance Dance

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Ariza | 25 May 2006, 10:06pm

It is the season of Avakkai!

My mother believes it will be an inevitable failure if it rains on the day you make the mix. So when we saw the clouds bunch up together over the corner of the sky while she was selecting the fruits in the Nallakunta market, my father and I knew what we had to do. I began to speed the process and my father got the car ready so that she could be whisked away before she could spot the doings of an ungrateful rain-god whom she had specifically asked to stay away by reciting a thousand names of Vishnu. As a kid I had once made the mistake of asking my mother why Avakkai was important and she replied:

"Because Avakkai is the year! Get that wrong and the year is gone."

"But I thought it was Ugadi Pachhadi that....."

"Yeah. that too. but this is different."


I am still waiting for an answer.

We got the Mangoes cut, tasted the sourness of most of them and got the salt, the mirchi powder, the avalu-podi and the garlic before the sun disappeared behind these clouds. All through our journey we asked her questions that never miss. Where did you learn? How many years of apprenticeship? Is there a secret ingredient? Which of us two gets the recipe as heirloom (my brother or me?)? She quickly lost herself in answering these questions. She learnt it from her mother; but then she also had to then go and learn it from her mother-in-law and was never allowed to make it alone for years until the old woman dropped dead one summer before the mango season. My mother didn

Current Mood: Amazed
Current Music: Money

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Ariza | 25 May 2006, 8:05am

It was only when I reached home that I recalled the whack on the television. An innocuous looking constable had stopped me with a per functionary wave of the dreadful lathi when I was on my way back and I stopped not because I was frightened of a flying missile but because I was excited. It was one very large drink later and I was quixotically confident of getting through. The man who in another times, if I had been sober enough to care, would have whacked me for protesting democratically for my rights looked at my still-black name plate and said I had to cough up. I didnt know that the reason you didnt see any traffic police around was because they merged into the normal race of policemen smug inside their Rakhshaks and I made the mistake of saying so. He corrected my bravado with a casual statement that the drink inside didnt aid in misunderstanding:

"do you want to see saab then?"

Now see, I wanted to live on the edge by stopping and being clever with a pitiful constable but I had no intention of standing up to a man who looked interestingly like prakash Raj with no dialouges. So I looked sheepishly and took the convenient cover of truth:

"I just have twenty rupees."

The kind constable didnt hide his contempt for me who made him miss a few other eminently stoppable, female-rider less targets and he knew with the certainty of inaction that I was as broke as I confessed. He quickly settled the twenty rupee note into his pocket and let me be. I still dont know if it is compulsory to have a white board?

Shekar Kammula was on the Metro plus with his star Sumanth. The interview reads different to me because of a habit which helps me have an imaginary conversation butting in with the famous ones with the confidence of being a success myself. But it was when they spoke of the presence of a strictly adhered script that I realised how rare that was in movies that are made on the whim of our tastes. I imagined myself to be a producer of script-less movies, arguing out a case for north Indian heroines whose lips make sense even when they arent speaking the blessed language; for songs and fight sequences that look like they had been confused by a tired editor after yet another marriage proposal rejection and for comedy written with the impatience of an early landing, with an argument that Shekar with his sensitivity could never beat:

"It makes money."

Current Mood: Bored
Current Music: Fanaa

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Ariza | 23 May 2006, 12:55am

It seems to be mandatory to start like this nowadays. Well the good news is you'll know when this blog ends....I'll have a disclaimer then again. Anyway here it goes

Most things written hereon hereinafter will be pure creations of my idle mind. Nothing here is calculated to titilliate or provoke any person living or dead. Nothing in here bears any resemblance to anything thought provoking. The author is not responsible for anyone who believes so.

Suffer if you know your grammar. I dont.
Suffer if you know your spellings. I wont spell check. I wont pay for pointing out.

copyright. All rights reserved.

Current Mood: Bored
Current Music: Naseeb

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