Sunday, April 24, 2005


Yes, I’m addicted…to blogging. I simply cannot take it anymore!

My temptation to blog every time I pass by my computer is killing me.

It happens all the time with me. Whenever I start doing something interesting, which keeps me engaged for a long time, I cannot refrain myself from it. Scientists call this inertia (property of a matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or motion unless an external force is applied)… and I totally agree!

It happened when I started playing “Minesweeper”, ”Solitaire”,“The age of empires”, “Tomb Raider”, and now, history repeats its histrionics all over again, with blogging.
I am so obsessed with “words” that I pounce upon every crossword or jumbled words game I come across and make it my mission to solve it. I must have turned more pages of my Oxford dictionary than those of the TQM and ST textbooks.

I cannot concentrate on my studies… I take the TQM book and my mind is busy finding out ways to improve the looks of my blog and the quality of my posts, to improve my vocabulary so that I use the right word in the right place. Now the Little Oxford dictionary is replaced by a larger 1092 pages Pocket Oxford dictionary, which will soon be replaced by their momma (the gigantic 1673 pages) The Concise Oxford Dictionary.

I turn to ST and again, the words in the textbook are swept off by the twister of my thoughts of testing the search bar in my blog and removing all the bugs.


Yeah! Yeah! I know … my blog is not going to write the exam for me and I have the whole world’s time after May 2 to do whatever I want. But I am unable to control the reins of my wild-horse mind.

There are only two possible solutions to this problem… either take control of my mind by force (which I failed to) or give in to the temptation (which I successfully have).

Since an excess of something is bad, its goodness or badness is lost once we have tasted the excess and we don’t yearn for it anymore. I’m waiting for the moment when this urge to blog boils down, after it has reached its saturation point…Hope it comes right after I post this. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

An electron releases its excess energy in the form of light as it jumps back to its original state from its excited one. Likewise, my chaotic mental energy comes out in this form as I struggle to return to my state of normalcy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Accident

On the fateful day, 26 March 2005, I met with an accident.
When I was riding my bicycle, I found that it moved more effortlessly than the one I rode the previous day. I thought I would have to spend lesser energy this time.
We reached on the other side of the trail from where we started and waited for some other friends to join. There were 10 of us totally-Vijay, Shiva, Sudarsun, Sriram, Gopi, Balaji, Sharmila, Suchitha, Deepika and last but not the least, the most important character in this story…I, me, myself.

We thought why not get adventurous and try going on a different route, whose other end joined the road around the lake. The road we chose was in really bad shape. Not the kind inexperienced riders like me should experiment with. But my friends were used to cycling on such roads, thanks to Nanganallur, where they have spent almost their entire life.

Deepika wasn’t feeling quite well and was riding at a slow pace. Shiva, Sharmila, Balaji and Suchi went ahead leaving us behind.

This place was kind of isolated from the busy, city-like atmosphere just a few meters away. The only sound we could hear was that of our cycles and us.

We reached a junction where we had to turn left. Gopi and Sriram went first. Vijay and I were waiting for Deepika and Sudarsun. I peeped to see where we were to go only to find a sloping, muddy and black stretch of the road, full of big and small stones. I said, ”Oh! My God! We have to cross this?”

I turned back to find Deepika and Sudarsun making their way uphill slowly. I thought ‘Ok, let me try and cross this. I’ll wait at the other end.’

I didn’t want to dirty my new shoes I had bought the previous day, and so told myself to try crossing without placing my foot on the ground. Now, riding on an uneven road without balancing with my foot when needed… that was a complicated task for me. But then I trusted my stars and boldly started to pedal.

I was moving fast… too fast, at which Vijay, amazed by my speed (that’s one adjective no one can associate with me), commented “Hey! Fasta porae?”

The very next moment…the sound of clanging metal and my scream, ”Aaaah!”
I think just then Sudarsun and Deepika reached where Vijay was standing, only to see me flat on the ground.

I had fallen flat on my face. For a minute, I didn’t understand what happened.
The first thought that ran in my head was- I didn’t want to dirty my shoes and now I am completely wet and muddy from top to bottom.
As I tried to get up, something fell out of my mouth, which I managed to catch it at the right time. The one thing I feared…and it turned out to be true…Yes, it was my TOOTH!

‘Good Heavens! What is going on???’

By then, Vijay dropped his cycle and ran towards me. I showed him the white thing on my palm, still unable to believe that it was indeed my tooth, ”Is this a tooth?”

But it slipped off his palm before he could see it.

My thoughts were speeding away as if they were all on a superhighway and running away screaming ‘the –world –is –going -to –end-run-run’

I was horrified when I realized that I had broken my tooth.

I started crying in pain, not the physical pain, but the pain that I had no answer to my questions, especially the last one:

How will I go to college on Monday and meet the placement head?

How will I attend the interview?

Now, who will marry me?

Oh! No! God, Why me?

I was bleeding. Thank God! There was a house nearby and a hand pump behind it. As I cleaned my mouth and spat the water out, I feared some more pieces of my teeth would fall along. I struggled to see some white pieces of teeth on the ground but was relieved to find that only one tooth was broken.

Deepika was trying to console me saying, ”Nothing happened, don’t worry. Everything will be fine,” She was chanting, ”Om Namah Shivaya”. As she said later, that was the only prayer she could remember then.

I could see nothing but darkness lying in my future. My only worry was- how on earth could I attend the interview in this condition?

Even the old lady who was living in that house repeated the same thing that Deepika had said. She suggested that we take a taxi to the Van Allen Hospital in the town.

By the grace of God, some guys who came across that way helped call a taxi and in a few minutes, Sudarsun, Deepika and I were on our way to the hospital.

It was dark by then, and being new to this place we had no idea where the taxi driver was taking us. We reached the hospital after what seemed like a long nightmare of fears.

Sudarsun met a person inside and explained that I had met with an accident and I needed help.

The person asked him, ”Does the patient need a wheelchair?”

I thought ’ What! A wheelchair? Thank God, I didn’t need one.’

Sudarsun replied that wheelchair was not required and asked where the doctor was.

The person said that she was in the ICU.

On hearing the term ICU, Deepika was shocked,” What? The ICU?”

We waited in a room where the nurse there examined my wounds and said that I had cut my lips, but a suture wouldn’t be necessary. I was relieved and thanked God ‘Ahh! No stitches!’

In the mean time, in the place where I fell down, there were only three people and they had to return 6 cycles to the place where we had rented them.

Gopi was the hero, as he could successfully tow two cycles in addition to the one he was riding. Somehow they managed to return all the cycles safely.

After a long time, the doctor was located and was called to where we were waiting.
She examined me again and asked,“ Do you have the broken tooth?”

I shook my head no.

She said,” Ok, you will need just one stitch on the lip.”

I thought’ What!!?’

I asked her,” Is there any way to treat this wound without a suture?”

Doctor: Yes, it is possible, but that will take longer to heal. It is better to go for a suture.

Me: Then will you give me local anesthesia, please…

Doctor: Ok.

And then she turned to the nurse and asked her to prepare for the tiny operation procedure.

As I was made to lie on the bed in the mini operation theatre, I observed a thin white pipeline on the ceiling with the word “Oxygen” painted on it. That rang a bell in my head…Yes, I remember, I have read about such pipelines to the operation theatres in ‘Coma’, the novel by Robin Cook.

Before starting the procedure, the doctor asked me again if really needed anesthesia.

Doctor: If I stitch without anesthesia it will pain only once. But with anesthesia it will pain twice, once for injecting it and next time when I stitch.

I said ok and opted to proceed without the anesthesia. She promised that if the pain were unbearable then she would use it.

She covered my face with a green cloth, which had an opening for my mouth. She explained step by step, what she was doing, to assure me that it would be over soon.
As the needle pierced through my lips for the first time, she told that there was one more left and then it would all be over. I felt like a fish caught by the fishing hook.

I waited for another piercing…and then the operation ended.

I felt like I had won a battle ...really! A stitch without anesthesia …that seemed like an achievement for me! I felt stronger and more confident than ever.
It was a pleasant surprise for me to know that I could bear so much pain with such ease.

One thing I observed all this time was that I was very calm (except for my unanswerable questions) and my thought process was much more clear than the two angels with me. (May be because I believed what Deepika had told me earlier…it’s just a tooth!) They were too confused to do a thing right. Later Deepika told me that they had indeed become so tensed that they didn’t know what to do. Yeah, I understand… had I been in their place, I would have been rooted to the ground like a statue.

As I came out of the hospital to return to the hotel, I saw the view on the left.
The dark blue mountains bathed with the moonlight above. It reminded me of a dream that I had seen a long time ago. In the dream I saw myself on the top of a hill under a very huge statue of Jesus Christ and the full moon above flooded the valley with its light. And just some time ago, Deepika had showed me the picture of a baby with some words in Tamil under it… I don’t remember the words but it roughly meant that Jesus is with you through all your troubles.

I couldn’t hold back my tears…did that dream actually tell me that I was to meet with an accident? I strongly believe that everything happens with a purpose. But I never thought that my belief would prove itself like this.

When I entered the hotel with Deepika holding me tightly in her arms, I saw Meenakshi walking towards us. And as she came closer, her eyes widened in disbelief. Soon she came over it and hurried to get our room key.

Once in the room, I couldn’t wait to change my wet and soaking dress. The bathroom mirror showed me something I should live with forever in my life… the front tooth, shattered and robbed of its existence, screaming out to me that the tooth is a mere mortal but the proof of its mortality is immortal.

Soon m’am and sir were in our room. Both were shocked to see my condition. Deepika told them” Nothing happened, Sir. It’s just a tooth. It can be restored.“
Sir repeated it in a questioning tone ”It’s just a tooth?” Maybe he could foresee my future then… it’s not ‘just’ the tooth, it’s the tooth itself that matters.

I was so overwhelmed to see the way everyone took care of me that it made me cry. I can never be so caring. Later, after the campfire, one by one my classmates came to see me and wish me ‘get well soon’. I could talk with some difficulty. I told what happened and flashed a toothless smile. At one point, we seriously thought of collecting 10 rupees per visitor. We would have been richer by a few hundred rupees. I had a good time being the center of attraction for some time. I took a snap with some of the visitors. I also took a snap with team that rescued me. The photos would be uploaded in a week or two.

Rajesh kept warning me,” There are people around you now to share your sadness. But you won’t have them every time you need them… so don’t get depressed.”

I said, ” Depressed? Not at all!”

But every time I see my teeth in the mirror, I cannot help but get depressed.

They say that some things or turning points in your life completely change your viewpoint and the way you look at life. It has in my case, literally… before, I used to observe other’s eyes, and now I notice their teeth first!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Kodaikanal-An unforgettable trip!

When I heard about the tour plans to visit Kodaikanal, I was eager to be a part of the excursion. The reason - I wanted to relive my 12th std. tour. The memories of that tour are still fresh in my mind. All the 26 students of our class went and enjoyed every moment of the 3 days journey and sightseeing in Thekkady and Kodaikanal.

I thought this time too we all would have a blast and cherish those moments for life.
Now, I think I have had a bigger blast than I had ever imagined…and thus made it the most memorable of all the excursions I have ever been on with my friends.

I will come to the “memorable” part later.

On the D-day, 24 March 2005, everyone was ready with packed bags and full of energy to dance and scream during the 12-hour travel in the bus.

And here, Meenakshi and I were waiting for our technical interview at AU.

Meens was sure not to miss out on the fun even if it meant traveling with her friend and joining
the others at Kodaikanal the next day. But I had left it to my fate to decide if I am going or not. If I do get to join the party, well and good. If not, then I will spend the 3 days blogging. Anything was fine with me.

Everyone was waiting for our arrival at Tambaram right from 2.30 p.m.
We had our interviews scheduled for 4.00 p.m. and 4.30 p.m.

Every now and then we got a phone call asking if our interview was over and if not when would it start, how long it will take, and ‘all-the-best’ wishes.
As usual there was a delay of one hour before our turn came, and as I came down the stairs after my interview at around 6.15 p.m. I saw Meens talking to Rajesh over the mobile. The expression on her face screamed out that all had lost their patience waiting for us and we had to hurry…I mean HURRY!

We ran for our lives towards the exit gate in AU, wondering how everyone would react when they see us…we could imagine all shouting at the top of their voices, but we didn’t really know ‘what’ they would say…a joyous welcome like “Yayyyy! They have come!” or “Hmph! They have come!”, mumbling curses under their breath.

After a long time, bargaining with the auto driver, we were on our way to Tambaram. We swept our purses clean, fishing out every rupee note and coin to pay the auto fare.
As we reached our destination, we were relieved to hear the former welcome statement accompanied by a good applause by our friends. We felt like heroes…to be precise, heroines.

By, we were on our way to Kodaikanal, leaving all the tensions behind us.

I found that everyone in the bus was more exhausted than us. Obviously, waiting under the hot sun for 5 hours would drain anybody’s enthusiasm.

As we all were settling in the tour mood, a group of friends started chatting with our M’am about our dreams, ambitions and how the past 4 years at college has ruined us intellectually.

That was when I was surprised to find that Rajesh, the most popular guy in our department, and I think alike. And that too just 5 days before the last day at college! Sigh!

Later, at around 9 or 10 p.m., we heard from the AU volunteer that I was ‘almost’ selected at TI. Now, I didn’t know what that ‘almost’ meant…was it like I almost got the job and there is still another interview to attend, or that I almost got selected but didn’t make it. Neither did he.

Pushing that thought into ‘I-will-think-about-it-later’ box in my head, I was looking forward to seeing Kodai.

25,March 2005.

Early morning the next day, there was a feast waiting for my eyes. As I woke from my slumber, I saw we were going uphill, leaving the hot and steaming terra firma behind us into the land of icy-cold-minus-the-ice, 2030 meters above the sea level.

We checked into the hotel, which was the very next door to where I had stayed with my school friends during the trip here 4 years ago.

By around 11 a.m., all were ready to go sightseeing.

The first spot we stopped at was what they called a “waterfall”.
Well, just because water falls and cascades down the rocks, it cannot be termed as a waterfall. It was nothing but gutter water making its way down to some river. Since the slippery rocks gave one the ‘adventure factor’, many were trying to get to the top most point possible and take snaps.

The next stop was at Dolphin Nose. The road to reach this place gives you a tummy rolling drive in your vehicle. But we were in the safe hands of a seasoned driver with 15 years of experience driving on such roads…so no worries. The Dolphin Nose is the edge of a cliff, which has a few rocks jutting out resembling a dolphin’s nose.
The view was breathtaking…literally. By the time you reach down to see the Dolphin Nose, you are out of breath. I hope I got some really good snaps of that view. I’ll post them all when they are ready.

Beyond this point there is another place called Echo Rock. I didn’t go there.
It took half an hour or more and an Amul Badam milk and a coconut water to reach back to the top. The amazing thing I noticed was that the roots of the trees lining the path down to that point posed as a flight of stairs…and a very strong one at that! Mother Nature!

After an adventurous trekking, we made our way back to the town, had lunch and got ready for the next thing to do- boating and cycling.

We went on boating first…in a boat that wouldn’t move how much ever force Vijay and Sudarsun applied on the pedals. I was the navigator. Deepika was the passenger.
We couldn’t go far enough in the lake…our time was up by then and the rescue boat and other staffs of the boating club were calling us again and again, distracting Vijay’s and Sudarsun’s attention from their concentrated efforts to pedal.

Then we went to get our cycles for rent and go on a 5 kms. trail around the lake. It was dark by the time we returned, so we decided to come again the next day… Now I feel that it was not a good decision. You’ll know why.

Later in the evening, on calling our placement head, I learnt that I had been called for the HR interview at 7.30 p.m. the previous day but I had already left by then. This meant I had to meet her at college on Monday and know the details about when and where I have to attend the interview. God! Help me!

26,March 2005

The next day again we left the hotel at 11 a.m. for this place called Silent Valley.
This place was really beautiful. From the edge of the rock we were standing on, we could see the colorful flora down below, which looked like the florets of a cauliflower.
Also the face of the rock is so steep that the clouds hitting the rock are pushed upwards like the smoke of a chugging train. It looks like a chimney and someone is cooking such a big feast down there that the smoke never stops coming.
I was trying out my photographic skills to capture the sheer beauty of the valley, which I really hope comes out well.

The next place we visited was the ‘Thoppi Thooki Paarai’. Given the right pressure and temperature, the cap thrown from this point will come back like a boomerang. I thought there would be vendors, selling caps for 5 or 10 rupees and refunding us if we succeeded in our attempt to bring out the aborigine in us. But surprisingly, there were none. Maybe this was not the season for throwing caps.

I witnessed another of Nature’s innumerable miracles! From a particular position there, one can see the profiles of 3 human faces etched out on the steep face of the rock. The topmost one being that of a child’s, below that of an old man with a crooked nose and further below a middle-aged man’s profile. It was as if someone had actually climbed down there and carved out those figures on the hard rock. Unfortunately I couldn’t capture it on my camera as the sturdy rock shied away behind the curtains of the cottony white clouds.

Further down the road there was Berinjam Lake. This place is a real beauty with the mountains bordering the lake. The banks of the lake make a typical background for a romantic Hindi song where the hero and the heroine run around the trees and slide down the slopy bank covered with dry but soft leaves. But the presence of the pitch-black ravens was an eyesore… or was it a sign of something bad waiting for me..?

A few hours later, we were back in the town with our cycles. Then the dreadful happened … I met with an accident. But I won’t go into the details now else I’ll spoil the image of the ethereal beauty I created before your eyes.

I couldn’t attend the campfire due to the accident. Deepika and Sudarsun reached late only to find the others boarding the bus to come back to the hotel. That was like splashing a bucket of freezing cold water on Deepika ‘coz she had planned long before what dress and accessories to wear for the campfire.
At midnight, we celebrated the birthdays of two friends- Kanchana and Anitha Jasmine. We created so much noise that we had to be warned by the hotel staff to close the door before screaming.

27,March 2005:

We checked out of our rooms by 10 in the morning. We were to go shopping at the local market and visit Pillar rock and suicide point before leaving for Madurai.

There was nothing to see at Pillar rock as the rock itself was covered with clouds.

The same was the case with the suicide point. But I did notice some difference from the last time I saw this place, 4 years ago.
Then: There were banners here and there to make the people coming here with the intention of suicide, change their minds .For e.g. Just before you reach the suicide point, there was a huge board, which said, ”Jesus loves you”.
Now: There is a huge hoarding of a jeans brand with the words …believe it or not…”No Escape”.

Then: The end of the flight of stairs led to a space with just a small wall with no other barrier.
Now: The suicide point has lost its meaning ‘coz it no longer seems to be a place where one can suicide without being distracted from the home made chocolates or the wooden showpieces. So
Many tiny shops have mushroomed up that the authorities would have to consider extending the ‘suicide point’ to accommodate them to prevent any accidents due to overcrowding in the shops.

Then: I remember a group of people cheering a couple of very ‘busy’ monkeys who were used to the humans peeping into the privacy of their open bedroom.
Now: I saw a monkey and its young one, symbolizing the universal bond of a mother and a child. This time I photographed it. Hmmm…I wonder if it is the same monkey I mentioned above.

Time to come down the slopes of everlasting beauty…

We stopped at this place with a funny name, Batlagunda, I suppose, for lunch. That was when the driver of our bus started bickering about going to Madurai Meenakshi temple, as that would delay our journey back to Chennai. At last, we decided to go to the Samayapuram temple near Trichy. We had a good darshan of the Lordess and I reached home contented that the trip was “fine” and I managed to be back in ‘one piece’.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

I'm Back

Hello! I’m back after a busy and hectic month…. not that it is the end of the financial year. But because it’s the end of our college days (sounds like Arnold’s End of Days? I think it is.).

Last month was very EVENTFUL…Trust me!

Let me give you the chronology of the events: -

Feb end-Mar first week I was suffering from Measles.
Mar 10-11 W -Campus Interview at AU.
Mar 14 Thanksgiving
Mar 19 Project Exhibition
Mar 21 Farewell at Kishkinta
Mar 23-24 TI –Campus Interview at AU
Mar 24-27 Tour
Apr 1-2 Model Exams

Mar 26-Present Recovery from the accident I met with on Mar-26…Oh no! Not that “number-8-and-its-catastrophic –effects” again!

Each event is eventful in itself. I’ll post the stories one by one in random order.