Creative Begging

Everywhere we go, we meet beggars of all sorts. But begging has taken a totally whole new dimension lately. There are so many aspects that are being exploited that it only makes one wonder at the creative juices that flow within these guys. Two days back, during my unfortunate stint at home, I was in a coffee shop near the railway station. As I came out to leave, a guy came up to me and told me that he had lost everything on the train and he needed some money to get to the next town. I asked him how much he needed and gave him twenty bucks to get a ticket. I went inside the shop again and got some water to drink. The owner told me that that fellow was a con man and he gets money from whomever he meets like this. I was stunned. All the happiness of performing a good deed vanished and I felt a lot of anger rising in me. Then I started laughing appreciating the well-played act put up by that fellow. As I drove back home, I remembered all the times I had been conned like this. The previous day in Trichy, some young fellow came up to me and told the same story. I gave him thirty bucks. A month ago, in Koyambedu, while sending off one of my best friends, one lady told me the same story. I gave her ten bucks. The note was a little shaggy. She looked at it doubtfully and asked me to replace it. I shouted at her like anything and drove her away. Women with babies, men and women with sad stories, ahhhhhhhh… begging is going places my friend. it is going places. It is up to the general public to be aware of all this bull shit and turn a blind eye to these cunning motherfuckers. I am not against helping the poor, but I am very much against getting conned. So for those of you with good hearts, please, I repeat, please be aware that there is a lot of cheating going out there. These guys act and seem genuine. But remember they are nothing more than con artists who live on the genuine concern of the good-hearted ones. Kids are being brought into the beggin racket as well. And it does pain one to turn them away. But do NOT let yourself be cheated.

The End Of The Beginning

I find it kind of hard to believe. Yes, really hard to believe. There are a few things that you imagine that you hope never come true. But what do you do when these things do come true? My college days have ended. My friends have gone home. Two of my roomies have vacated and gone home. Life feels kind of incomplete without these people. I was returning home from college on the night of May 6th with Jasa after saying good bye to my friends in the hostel. I could not feel anything. I felt numb. I could not feel sad. I could not feel bad. I just felt numb. Sigh… We were returning on Old Mahabalipuram Road, laughing all the while, recalling all the places we had been to along that stretch of road. We talked about what the future held for us and our plans for the same. The four years of my college life have been beyond comparison. I really can’t say anything else. I am not able to say anything else. I do not want to get emotional or sentimental on my blog.

They say that life begins in college. Now the beginning has ended and the rest of life beckons. I am not sure if I want to go. But I guess I have no other choice and I take my steps with trepidation. Let us see what happens…

A Look In The Mirror (Part 2)

Here I am again. Instincts just got over and I heartily thank all the people who made it a success. Nothing could have been done without my enthusiastic juniors whom I thank again with all sincerity. Another wonderful thing that happened to me in the past week was that my arrear in DSP got cleared, thanks to the grace of God.

I have spent a lot of time speculating about what I am. This old MGR song, “Unnai arinthaal…nee unnai arinthaal…”, it was the first thing that got me thinking about myself. I seriously find it hard to believe that I am where I am today, considering the way I have been and the way I am . have to thank my parents a lot because they gave me the best possible exposure a kid could ever have: Dad taught me English before I learnt Tamil; Mom sent me to learn Hindi in my 2nd std(Sadly, the only lines I know in Hindi now are “What is your name?” and “I love you” (which the guys taught me during our final year tour) ); Dad sent me to guitar class in 3rd std; Dad sent me to Karate class in 3rd std; Dad gave me some poems to read in my 3rd std (I still remember reciting my first poem during prayer in my 3rd std. It was about a plane. It goes something like Zip! Zap! Zoom!..lol..I don’t remember the rest..:-( ); Dad got me to study 10 General Knowledge questions a day from my 3rd std; Dad sent me to many competitions and encouraged me from as long as I can remember. (I won a district-level essay writing contest and won a free computer course in my 6th std. Ahh..These events still remain fresh in my mind. My classmate Balakumaresh told me about this contest and gave me an entry-form. I won both the quiz and the essay-writing contest. But they awarded me the prize for the essay-writing contest only, to give another kid also a chance to learn computers. That was the first time I actually saw a computer. :-) . Then, Mom got a 386 PC and let me wreak havoc on it. She never scolded me no matter how many times I trashed it. lol…and that was at least 2 times a day. 😀 ); Dad and Mom gave me so much freedom even back then (I remember watching Tom & Jerry, Thundarr the Barbarian, Popeye the Sailor, Centurions, Swat Kats even before examinations); Mom gave me permission to learn computers a second time in my 8th std (My friend Kathiresan and I deleted all the system files in the Windows 3.1 computers in the labs and rode away like hell on our cycles…lol..); Dad let me take my bicycle to my school 5 kms away (He wanted me to go by auto, but I wanted to show off..lol..and I did ride to school till my 10th std.); Grandpa got me a new keyboard (PSR-320) in my 6th std after watching my guitar performance during my uncle’s wedding; Mom got me a new computer (Pentium II) in my 9th std and an Internet connection as well and sent me to learn the “C” language (That changed my whole life, and I guess the rest is history.. 8) ); Grandma introduced me to Christ at an early age and started my spiritual life; Dad started getting me story books and any book that I asked for from my 3rd std (My first book was Rani comics.. :-D. From then on, Dad took me shopping every month to old book stores in Coimbatore, and both of us went on shopping sprees and came back loaded with bags of books. In fact, there are rooms full of books in my house. Mom burnt more than half of them in my 11th std, after the nuisance of rats became too much for her liking.); Dad spent thousands of rupees getting computer books for me from my 9th std. I have had innumerable fights with my parents. I have shouted so many bad things at them. But in the end, I have to admit that I love my parents and my sister more than anything in this world, and nothing can change that.

I have heard from my parents and friends that as a kid,I was very, very naughty. They still show the scars left over from where I bit them. Nothing was safe from me. Anything within my reach became unusable within a fraction of a second. I hung around with kids who were mischievous. We used to jump outside the class over the wall and hide in the toilet in my 3rd std if the class got too boring. :-D. We used to pull girls’ ponytails. Then we made up with them, got them to give us their food, and as soon as we finished it, resorted to our old ways. Love was a big thing then, and I have lost count of the huge volume of love letters and proposals that passed between boys and girls. My father used to make me kneel in the hot sun if I did not get the first rank. lol…It all seems so funny now. I got hit so many times by my parents and teachers. I guess that is the only way to control streaks of mischief. :-) . As I grew older, the sort of company I hung around with did not change. My teachers scolded me for moving with boys who were not good in studies. I remember rebutting them saying them that it is not studies that make a person, but character. Today, I feel proud that I was wise enough to realize it even back then.

I love freedom. No rules. No barriers. No constraints. I will give anything to have a carefree life. But that does not mean I hate work and responsibility. In fact, I sort of alternate between the two all the time. I love to take up responsibility and do something if I feel I can actually make a difference. But all the same, I love to be free as well. Hmm.. Looks like it is my personal paradox.
Helping others is another thing that I have been doing for as long as I can recollect. I hate to admit it, but this has got me into lots of trouble more than once. Now, I have learned to think twice before I act.

Being carefree and chitchatting were my favourite pastimes. Lately, I have changed in that aspect. I still move with people freely. But I avoid unnecessary talk except with a very close circle of friends, with whom I sit up till early in the morning talking about things of no consequence. I have decided to to revert to my old self and chitchat with everyone from now because I miss it a lot. 😀

Fistfights and brawls were a part of my life from the moment I joined school. My short temper is one of my weakest points. But the way I see it, if I lose my temper, then it means that there is something seriously wrong. The only fault I see is, that I get too angry and act too harshly. A few times I act very calm and composed. Hmm… It will take a lot to change that part of me.

Poems and writing have enthralled me from the moment I was exposed to them. I am amazed by the way thought can be communicated in a rhythmic, coherent and pleasing manner.

I have always had this penchant for different and challenging tasks that few dare undertake. Risky sports are not the only way to get an adrenaline rush. I can vouch for that: Normal, everyday things and challenges in daily life can give you the same feeling. Doing things against insurmountable odds gives me pleasure like nothing else can.

In conclusion, I feel that the following extracts from two very famous poems epitomize me:

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I-
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”