Sunday, November 16, 2008


Guru Swami 

Death knew its defeat. He knew he could be won over by selflessness.  Selflessness didn’t want to be a warrior. It chose to be armor. The war of righteousness was won and the death was defeated

I listened to the monk teaching the state of mind, the Mahabharata. The death was Bhishma; the selflessness was Shigandi. He taught that the characters in the epic were our own selves in different situations. Yudhishtira was our better part and Dhuryodhana replicated the worst - Both were with in us. 

When Islam and Bible taught how to live methodically, Hinduism taught the same a bit graphically. The closest comparison would be Macintosh graphics in comparison with the MS DOS or Linux. Or like relating to films more than books. 

I go to Sabarimala every year. I believe that in a year of 365 days, one needs to know all possible sort of intoxication. For me, Devotion was one. Clad in the black and the tulasimala, I sat down at the gathering, barefooted. I was ready both spiritually and mentally for the pilgrimage. 

This is the Lord Ayyappa Ashram, situated far and away from the noise of the City. Here’s where I come every year to get ready for the pilgrimage.  A thatched roof and wooden bars bought the natural ingredient of peace in the hundreds who were ready to seek salvation. 

Our mindset is like Thrayambagam – The Bow of Lord Shiva – Unbreakable. The strings of the bow never meet. Lord Rama will be born. He is Knowledge.  He will break the Thrayambagam and tie the strings. Then there will be flood, rain and storm. The sun and the moon would rise together. The bow is your mindset. And when the bow is broken, you will be subject to change. The flood, rain and storm will bring the renaissance in you. And there will be a new self, who is more educated and with a new mindset - another Thrayambagam.

It was the darker stage of the twilight and I could hear the chariots of moon roll. The monk was at his best today. I could hear the silent plea of insecurity – The mantra of Swamiye Sarnamayyappa. This was the month of Vrishchikam. I tried to close my eyes. My mind left me to wander out of the ashram - To the past 20 days I have been living like a monk, to the 20 days that lay ahead and then to the past behind. 

The monk who is preaching is called the Guru Swami. And the hundreds who gathered in front of him were all Swami. All of us are called the first name and then they would add Swami to it. Like all belonged to one family – the family of God with the same second name – Swami. And they called me Parasurama Swami or Paru Swami. 

All of us were listening to Guru. He talked about Thrayambagam and its relativity to mind. He talked about the war of righteousness. When he concluded, the chanting of the mantra grew and it filled the hundreds of seeking minds.



When I got out of the ashram, it was close to 9pm. The Banyan tree was direct opposite to the Ashram, across the road. Old men gathered around it and younger men who passed by nodded to them in respect. There came a bus, which halted there and then went off like a frustrated monster that is not happy with its daily chores. Few women, who was late from work was hurrying home. There was hardly any streetlight and a Swami offered them a torch.  

I went near the Banyan tree. I was waiting for Manu. He was on his way back from office and had agreed to pick me up. I could still hear the Bhajan. It came with the breeze and caressed me. This was one ambience I would want to come back every time. 

The bike halted abruptly. Manu was on it. I could hardly recognize him with the helmet on. 

“So what’s up, Paru?”

“Good. Where are we going now?”

“We will have some food man. I am kind-a famished.”

“Awright then.” 

I got in the backseat and the bike shot ahead. Manu is more of an intellectual when it comes to spirituality. He has an answer for everything. Sometimes when he speaks, I felt like he is named after ManuSmriti

When the bike was speeding up, the wind fought the speed and hit us strongly. But the wind did not know that Manu was wearing a helmet and I loved the wind. 

We halted in front of the Chai shop. Raja gave us a broad smile. This was one person who was interesting in every way. He wore red lipstick and maroon nail polish. And he asked us which color suited him best. He always ended the conversation by pinching on Manu’s Cheek. May be that’s why he showed us all his make-up. He just wanted to pinch Manu. When he walked away, I would look at Manu. Manu would give me a wicked laugh. 

“He might be a gay”

“And u?”

“I don’t mind.” 

And then he would laugh out vigorously and all other customers in the teashop would look us be-wildered. 

“Tell me this Paru… why do you go to Sabarimala every year?”

“I love that place, the ambience, the intoxication which is devotion, the communal harmony, the…”

 “Wait. I got my answer. So you said Communal Harmony?”

“Yes. You know that we bow to Vaavaru Swami. He is supposed to be the playmate of the lord and he is a Muslim. We have constructed a mosque for him. And we let the Islam have the control over it. Is it not great?”

“Hmm. It is. As far as we believe what you said.”

“What does that mean?” 

So that’s it. Manu has something in store for me today. Raja came with the Snacks we ordered. 

Manu leaned on the chair. Took a cigarette packet out of his pocket and offered me one. I smiled and ignored. He smiled broader and lit one. The smoke went up in the air. 

“Do you believe that Lord Ayyappa lived in this earth? Or are you convinced that it’s just another story?”

“I prefer to believe that he lived.”

“Hmm… Cool. So he lived. Where? India?”

“Yeah. Kerala, to be precise. The Pandalam Dynasty. It has references in History. He was born as a prince there. So it ought to be true.”

“Good. You are close. So you believe in History. And you trust logics and facts.” 

I was not feeling easy with this conversation. But I had to continue. 

“Yes. I do.”

“That’s great. India was a land of Dravidians. And then Aryans migrated here. We were happy with our spaces. But often fought out of greed. But we all worshiped the Trinity. It was always Vishnu, Shiva and sometimes the not-so-lucky Brahma or rarely natural forces which led to the Trinity again. What I meant to say is… We were all Hindus.” 

I was listening patiently. The smoke was filling the air. It might be the first time I am being a passive smoker. I was hyperactive otherwise. 

“So. When was the first Foreign Invasion?”

“Don’t know.”

“Even I don’t.” 

Thank god. He does not know something. 

“But there’s something I know. That’s about the first Muslim invasion.” 

I did not reply. 

“It was Genghis Khan. He was a Mongolian. Not sure if he is a Muslim. But his name sounds like Shahrukh Khan. So I thought he might be.” 

He laughed again. I did not. 

“Then there was Tughlaqs and Mughals.  Do you, by any chance, believe that Vaavaru Swami was a descendant of these barbarians?” 

I gasped for breath. What’s he reaching at? 

“Which means Ayyappa lived when Mughals were ruling India. Or later when Tippu Sultan was converting Kerala.” 

“I don’t know.” My sound faded away. I finished the tea in one gulp. I wanted to get away. 

“You can always argue that Muslims were there before Mughals. But that does not prove anything to ones consciousness. Or does it?” 

He smiled now. Leaning front, face close to mine, he blew the last puff straight to my face. 

“So. What say sir?” 

I got up from my seat and walked out. Half of my mind wanted to run away. And half did not know what to do. I stopped. Looked back at Manu. He was still smiling at me. I went back as I wanted to punch him on his face. But I sat down again. 

“I don’t care.” That was vague. And I did care.

“I don’t care about all this. And I can’t take too much history. These are all beliefs and I would like to get away with it.” 

He smiled. 

“Its your wish man. Nobody is bound to believe anything. But certain facts need to be told.” 

I closed my eyes. I can’t take facts. I always hated them. 

“In Upanishads, it says of the existence of Vaapuran. He is supposed to be one of the demons in the mob that Lord Shiva controlled. Lord Shiva was obviously concerned about his son at Pandalam. He then sends Vaapuran to accompany Ayyappa. This dude is our object of suspect. He is no Muslim. And you don’t really have to construct a mosque for him. Because he does not care.”

He laughed again. He took his helmet and keys and got up to leave. 

“Relax. Go ahead with your pilgrimage. We will talk after that.” 

He washed his hands and left. 

I sat there alone. Did he just come to pick up and leave me here at this Chai shop? Or he just wanted to prove a point? I closed my eyes. 

The eyelids shut heavily as if it would never open again. I could feel the wind and the sea. The sea was rising. Rising like never I have seen. Then there was flood. The wind grew stronger. Soil was swept away and the pale flesh of earth was visible. It grew red as seconds ticked away. Then there was mud all over it. I looked up. I saw the moon and the sun side by side. The clouds could not stand them and ran away. There was a loud crack. And the trees fell down. The earth split and swallowed everything. The sound got worse. Suddenly, I got hit and fell down. 

When I opened my eyes, there was a crowd looking at me. A nail polished hand was rubbing my cheeks and eyes. And there was water spilt on my face. 

“What happened Sir?” 

I pushed Raja away. Then I saw genuine concern in the people around. I smiled at them and said I was ok. After paying for the tea & snacks, I got out. I saw tea stains on my shirt. 

The Thrayambagam is broken. And the strings are tied. I smiled.


After Godwin

Jincy was online.

"I read Godwin. What was the message?"


"Why? I thought stories ought to have a message."

"Hmm. We have had enough messages in the past. There's Bhagawad Gita, Quran, Bible and many others. Do your consciousness seek messages in every story you read?"

"I dont know"

"U need n't. Messages don't really work. Its all about a persons free will on how he should live, see, read or feel. And i write stories just because i feel like writing."

"Hmm. May be you are right."

"I am."

Sunday, November 9, 2008


My Uncle

Simon Aldfrid, my uncle, was a librarian. The best part of having a librarian uncle is that you don’t really have to go to the library to know Charles Dickens or Mario Puzo. Simon Uncle was more than a library himself. He believed that he belonged to the Angles and Saxons. Angles and Saxons had their roots in Germany. They migrated to Ancient Britain in the 5th Century. And was later conquered by Normans when Hitler rose to power in Germany. Simon Uncle says that his people were forced to serve the British Army and later they were deported to India when East India Company handed over the wealth, power and integrity of the Nation to the Queen. Simon Uncle belonged to that mixed race of Angles, Saxons, Normans and finally Indians.

When Simon uncle belongs to that race, so do I. And he told me I should have at least 3 children and they should each have three and so on. When he said this, his eyes slid an inch and he fell into a trance.

I am Godwin Aldfrid, nephew of Simon Aldfrid.


The Ghosts

Godwin in ancient Angles literature means “a Friend of God”. I never had the chance to be-friend god. But I heard about the Ghosts.

I joined the school where Simon Uncle was the librarian. I was glad that he would be around. I met new friends and learnt to see the life fresh. This was a boarding school. I was happy about it.

There was a difference in my friends at primary school and those at boarding school. In my primary school, parents of my friends would sympathize with me, as I had none. And they made sure that their children are taking a note to realize how lucky they were to have parents. I always ended the conversation saying I have my uncle. In the new Boarding school, there were no parents. But a few confused minds.

There I learnt about the Ghosts. They were some frustrated Dictators re-born as senior students. They were supposed to be the guardians of hell. They were 2 and none really knew them. But they were everywhere. I began seeing them at night. And a friend said my bed is stinking of urine. I was hurt and spend lesser time in bed.


Obvious end of the Mystery

I go to Library when there is nothing to do. I loved to see Simon uncle overseeing the places where each author is supposed to sit. He knew what is there and where it is. He just knew everything my little brain could think of.

When I entered I saw his assistant, all smiles. He is Solomon. And thinks that Angles and Saxons really existed and that they were the supreme race on earth. It sounded like if they were not, he would loose his job.

“Where is Uncle?”

“He is inside with his favorite children.”

Well, I am his favorite. I thought. I could feel my chest pounding until I saw them sitting across a table and Uncle was talking about some thing. May be its Angles and Saxons.

They were 2 of them and were all ears to my uncle. The first guy was lean, terribly lean. He wore a heavy metal bangle on his hand – too heavy that his right side was always low compared to the left. His long fingers told me he could be an artiste. The second guy was dark and bald. He wore an attitude on his face – too much to let Uncle stop and think if this guy knew it better. His physique told me he could be an athlete.

Uncle looked at me. He smiled. Stopped his lecture. And called me to him.

“Well, Godwin. These are my children.”

He pointed to the artiste. “This is Jubith” and then he pointed to the athlete. “This is Sreejith”

Both gave me a cold look. The question was obvious. Who the hell are you?

“And this is my son. Godwin.” Uncle smiled at me. They did not care. May be its just because he calls every one his children. I wished to tell them that I really was his child. I stood close to my uncle.

They got up. Smiled at my Uncle. Gave me that cold look again. Walked out.

“They are good children. Just not the best.” Uncle smiled. Nobody got the certificate except me. And I knew why. I was either Angles or Saxons.

Arun Kumar ran in breathing heavily. Seeing Simon Uncle, he slowed his pace and tried to walk normal. Uncle did not seem to notice. I got up and went near him.

“What’s wrong?”

“Did you see them?”


“The Ghosts”

I felt my throat dry.” No. Where?”

“Arey yaar. They just walked out.”

I was confused.

“They were two. One guy had a heavy metal bangle.”

They are good children. Uncle’s voice echoed and trailed off.


The Crime

I was in 8th class now. 2 years were long and eventful. It is Diwali and we are all waiting near the parade ground for Ragesh. He had promised us a gift on Diwali. He had said that we would celebrate the day “King Size”. What was that? May be he will come riding in a chariot and take us all to a palace where they served great non-vegetarian food.

He came late. There were no Chariots and he looked like a thief. He gathered us all under a rock and opened the cover he hid under his vest. It was a bottle. A bottle of Beer. Some one said, “WOW”. I felt like a moron sitting under the rock holding the bottle. Everybody drank from the bottle.

I was a team player. I joined the team.

It was dark now and the fireworks blessed the place from heaven. Diwali was in the air and people were gathering in the parade ground to have a glimpse of it.

Ragesh was talking some crap about how-he-got-the-bottle stories. He was blabbering about his local contacts. Everybody was on a high. And everybody got a turn to boast about something. Everybody listened to the speaker with utmost patience. And silently nodded when the speaker concluded. We made no noise to catch the attention of people around. Someone pointed at me. It was my time to boast.

I had nothing in this world to boast about. Except the supreme race I come from. But no one would be interested in that except Simon Uncle. I decided to cook up a story.

“I met the Ghosts.” Immediately I had all the attention, focused.

“I saw them stealing a book from the library. They realized I have seen it when they were walking out. If I tell my uncle about this, they are gone. They pleaded to me. I said I would consider.”

There was a silence. They could not believe what I said. But soon all were glad and clapped their hands loud. I became a Hero. We did not mind the noise. Everybody was relieved of the frustration they were carrying since the day they joined the school. A rocket went up to burst into wonderful flowers. In the light of the fireworks, I saw 2 men standing behind the rock. Their face was barely visible. But the heavy metal that hanged down a fragile hand reflected colors that came from the Sky.

I could feel my sweat running down the forehead. I fainted and collapsed.


MI Room

I opened my eyes. I could not open it fully, though. It hurt. I knew something has happened. The fan had n number of leaves and it looked like it was a complete circle – Like a stretched Kimono. The colors were just the shades of Grey. I am familiar with this place. This is the Medical Infirmary Room – fondly called MI Room.

I could see Simon Uncle sitting next to me holding hands. His eyes were full. I tried to move my hand, I could not; neither could I move my legs. There was something terribly wrong.

“None of your friends stood for you.”

It took some time for me to understand what Simon Uncle was talking about. Was he continuing something that he was talking before I opened my eyes?

“But I can’t leave my son behind for some ruthless…” The sound faded away or maybe, I was not interested. He might talk of the racial supremacy now.

I could see the shadow of the Ghosts in the night lit by Diwali. The heavy metal glare hit my eyes sharper. It felt like I will faint again.

“… And I got them suspended from School. The Ghosts are no more.” It sounded more like an echo.

What did he just say now? Suspended. Did I de-fame the Ghosts? With obvious fear and not love, my eyes were full. My hands and legs hurt worse. There was a hot liquid that was going down my stomach. It accumulated and begged to be free. I did not know what to do. I did not know how my friends would great me. Definitely I would not be given a war hero’s welcome.  I would be labeled a Complaint Box. I did not want to do this. God, I did not want to. Why did you name me as your friend, when you never cared to listen to me?

I could see a pair of eyes coming closer. It was the doctor, examining.


05th May 1998

Simon Uncle decided that I would join another school. He was thinking of finding another job too. He started to hate the school. Now the Dickens, the Puzo and the Grisham would not have a person to govern them. They would wander like lost dreams all over the library and might escape their imprisonment into the school and might go to meet Simon Uncle in his new job.

But things were clear. I am quitting the school. I walked along the bathroom side corridor of my house. Nobody really cared about me after I was discharged from the MI Room. I realized that everyone loved the Ghosts and it was just not the fear. I wanted to tell something to myself, as no one else cared to do that. So I said

Whatever, my role in this play is over, its time to quit, its time to escape.

I entered the Trunk Room. This is where we keep our boxes when we first enter the school. We enter it again only to take the boxes & leave. I was leaving.

The Trunk room is dark and darker as you get in. I did not care. I saw my box. It should be heavy. I tried to recollect what was there inside it. It is been long – long 4 years. The box was on the top of 4 other boxes, all piled up together. It fell making a huge noise when I tried taking it down. Dust flew away choking me to gasp for breath. It was not normal for any one to enter the trunk room alone. But I was alone since the day we celebrated Diwali.

When the box fell down it revealed a window that had been shut since the box came in. The air around enjoyed the new get away that was discovered. And the light showed up brightening the trunk room. A massive shadow passed over my figure. I turned back to find none.

Huh. I was relieved.

I took the trunk that had fell down and carried it out. It was heavy. But I could manage to drag it along. Suddenly the door shut and I was surrounded with darkness. The window I discovered was far and the light from it formed a white thick line on heavy dark metal boxes. I was growing weak on the knees. The hot liquid that I felt when I lied in the MI Room accumulated again and it slowly started to slip free. My shorts were wet.

A matchstick was lit. A yellow flame grew strong and beautiful and I saw the person holding it.


He lit a cigarette. Smokes replaced the flame and it all died away. Darkness returned.

I stood like I was expecting him all the while. The box that I was carrying slipped down and the hot liquid flew stronger between my legs. And then I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was from behind. I did not have the courage to look back. I did nothing. Then across the fabric I wore, I felt the metal bangle. The sweat started coming back. I felt like I was slipping into a darkness that was worse. Suddenly I could see many – all like in an X ray. Simon Uncle, His Speech on Angles & Saxons, His Library, My friends at Day School, their Parents, My friends here at Boarding, Jubith, Sreejith and then there was nothing.


I belonged here

It was snow white around. And there was nobody else. It should have been 3 – 4 years since the trunk room incident. I don’t remember what happened there. Whenever I try to do that, a pain hit my head. Then I would stop and think of better things. I felt there is a membrane around me that I did not have when I was at Boarding School. The best part of this life was there was breeze all around. There was music. Not the kind of music I use to hear at School Mess. This was quiet, a music that was everything – it was more like the chanting of a mantra. The Aum. I never knew what it was. No one ever told me what it was. Now I know. I could see the water, the air, the earth, the fire and the sky with in me. I felt like an Intellectual. I was never hungry and I never felt taking a leak. I tried to turn my body and I could see the world spin. I could see clouds everywhere, but no human beings. This was absolute tranquility. This was where I belonged. This was heaven.

On 5th of May 1998, I was killed.

What's happening?

It was all here. Before someone observed that Kings are not Gods and Gods are not real, before some one interpreted the structure of the globe, before someone invented filaments could glow, before everything... it was all here. Before life knew about colors, there was rainbow. We became the chosen ones to celebrate its glory. The glory of life.

I can’t stop typing. :)