Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tree of Life

"Hey Rahul! How have you been?", asked Mathew.
"Ah, I'm good buddy... It's been such a long time", replied Rahul.
"Yeah, quite a while, I reckon".
"So... What are you planning to do this weekend?".
"I heard Smitha is here from the U.S for a 2 week long vacation", said Mathew. "I'm thinking of calling her up and seeing if she has time to catch up".
"Wow! That's such good news!", exclaimed Rahul. "I'd love to meet her too... Are her husband & kids in town too?".
"Yeah, I think so".
"Good. Then let's find out if any of our old pals in town are free to catch up".
"Absolutely!", beamed Mathew. "I was just about to suggest that myself".
"It'd be wonderful for all of us to get together after such a long time".
"Let's make sure it happens then... ASAP". Mathew seemed as thrilled as a school kid.
"Yeah! With so many of us, it'd be one hell of a reunion".
"What do you suggest we do when we all meet up?"
"How about planting a tree for each person? Spouses, kids, all included.."
"Awesome bro! That's such an amazing idea... Let's do it!".

Sounds too good to be true right? Like an unlikely & absolutely unconvincing conversation between two old friends?? 

You're right! Such a conversation among friends would be something improbable in today's times. Wondering why?

Well... One simple answer could be that planting a tree doesn't feature in the 'fun things to do with friends' list we may all be familiar with. Why would someone want to 'waste time' planting trees when they can have fun with friends, right? ...Like grabbing a drink & catching up on what you've missed or maybe watching a movie together. Or perhaps a long drive or brushing up an old sport you thought you were no longer good at. 

While I agree with the fact that doing all those things with your friends would be absolutely fun & necessary, I'd like to emphasize that planting a tree (or more!) is no less fun as well as utterly necessary. In fact, it is the NEED OF THE HOUR.

We worship different Gods and fight with each other every single day and choose to believe that our Gods & our numerous religions need to be protected. What we forget in the process is that we are ignoring the one God that is around all of us -Nature. We don't realize the fact that it is Mother Nature that needs to be worshiped as well as protected equally by all of us. 

We don't forget to complain at every chance we get about the climate getting extremely hotter or drastically colder and sometimes even unpredictable. We express our displeasure quite vocally when there are unexpected rains or if the monsoon gets delayed. So, who is to blame for all that is happening around us? Think about it for a moment and I'm sure the answer will flash across your mind. Take a deep breath & try to recollect the last time you did something to change the current situation. If you have an answer, good for you. If not, then it's high time you did something about it. It is easy to curse the world around us and move on with our mediocre lives. What takes guts is to stand up on your feet and do what it takes to make it better!

Too much of importance is given to our gadgets and we have become slaves to the technology we created to aid us. The madness to outdo each other with newer gadgets has become the norm of the day. While it is important to stay connected with your work, family and friends, it is even more important to stay connected with your true self. How is that possible, you may ask. Take a break. Get away from the madness while you can. Go to a place where you're surrounded by nothing but trees. There may not be a Wi-Fi connection, but you'll definitely feel a far better connection. Someone once rightly said "If only trees gave out Wi-Fi signals, people would plant more trees. Unfortunately they only give out the Oxygen we need to breathe".

Go ahead. Plant a tree. Plant as many as you can. Plant one whenever you can. Get your friends, family and co-workers to do the same. It'll make you feel good for sure. If you're lucky, you'll even see it grow in your lifetime. Now, that would be an added bonus to your happiness.
Stay happy! :)

-Aakaash Nair.
(Oxygen Addict, Tree Hugger)

Originally written on 20.06.15

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Happy Husband

It was the middle of the month -and a week day too. Perhaps that was the reason there weren't many customers at one of the city's biggest clothing stores. A young man was walking about restlessly looking around, checking his watch and the handful of customers at regular intervals. He was also fiddling with his phone every now and then & checking out women's clothes on the line.

As he kept walking around, his eyes fell on a woman, who seemed like she couldn't figure out what to buy. She was holding the same set of clothes in two different colors and staring at them. He walked up to her & stood right in front of her. The lady took her eyes off from the clothes she was holding up in her hands and noticed that he had a charming smile on his face.
"Why don't you try them both on?". He asked.
The lady didn't know what to say. She seemed a bit startled at the sudden suggestion coming her way.
"Both these dresses will look really good on you... But personally, I think the red one would compliment your complexion better".
"Thank you". She said with a smile that was shy and at the same time a bit wary.
Before she could say anything more, he continued. "We have a whole new collection ma'am".
Pointing to one end of the room, he says, "I'm sure you'll find more than what you're looking for over there".
She smiled at him, this time not so wary as earlier and began to walk towards the direction the man pointed to. As if remembering something, she stopped abruptly and gave the man one of the dresses she was holding. She kept the red dress in her hands and said, "I'll take this one".
"Sure. Happy shopping", he said as he smiled and watched her walk away.

After a few minutes a young chubby woman came out of the trial room. He walked up to her and she showed him how her dress fit, posing from different angles. He gave her his approval as well as some more clothes to try on. As she went back to the trial room he waited outside patiently.

The lady who went to the other trial room earlier came out wearing the dress the man suggested. She looked very good & happy in her new set of clothes.
"Told you", said the man.
The lady blushed and gave him a big smile. She thanked the man and went back to the trial room. 
The man continued to walk around the shop. 

His gaze froze on a tall dusky woman who was taking out clothes from different sections and keeping them back almost immediately. She looked lost and confused. 
He walked up to her and introduced himself.
"Hello! Can I help you?".
She took her eyes from the clothes and looked at him doubtfully.
"I'm Aakaash. Fashion consultant. Almost everything you see here are designed by me".
Her face brightened up as she said excitedly. "Wow! Such a pleasure to meet you!".
She put her hand forward and said as she shook his hands, "I'm Shweta".
"So, what are you in the mood to buy, Shweta?" He asked.
She looked around unable to make up her mind and shrug her shoulders. 
The man went ahead & picked up a few tops and bottoms for her and handed it to her. 
She looked at them with dismay.
"Ohh, my husband is definitely not gonna like 'these' type of clothes", she said.
He looked at her with an amused expression on his face & said, "Well, no offence ma'am... But I'm sure your husband wouldn't have a problem if some other woman wore 'these' type of clothes!".
A chuckle escaped her lips as she agreed to his comment. 
She took a good look at the clothes in his hands.
"Also I believe, you are what you wear, and you become what you wear" he said. "If you are happy in these clothes please buy them. If not, you can try some of those boring daily wear Kurtas at 30% discount".
She looked at the Kurtas for a moment and then at the clothes in the man's hand. She grabbed the clothes from his hands & walked towards the trial room.

A few minutes later, the chubby lady from the trial room, came up to the man & showed him what she had selected. He nodded in approval & accompanied her to the billing section. The lady walked out hurriedly after paying the bill. The man took her bags and followed her outside.

Meanwhile, the other lady, Shweta looked much more confident and happy about her new clothes as she walked out of the trial room. She went up to the billing area and told the girl at the counter "You know, I've always loved shopping here. But this is the first time I've felt so good about it... Thanks to your Fashion consultant Aakaash!".
The sales-girl at the counter took her eyes off her work and looked bewildered at Shweta's comment. "Thank you for the kind words ma'am", she said. "But we don't have any in-house fashion consultants here". 
Shweta looked startled.

A little far away from them, on the other side of the mall, the man was walking with the chubby woman. 
"I'm so sorry baby", said the woman. "I took some three hours to shop. You're not angry no?", she enquired eagerly.

"Not at all. How can I be angry with you?", he said. "I'm always happy. I'm a happy husband!".

-Aakaash Nair.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Crying over spilled Water!

This has been described as the worst/hottest summer we have faced in decades. With no sign of the monsoon season approaching & lack of proper water supply, the city of Kochi as well as other places in Kerala face severe water shortage. There is a water-shutdown for 2 days (6th May & 7th May) and we have been advised by authorities to save water & use it judiciously next couple of days. At my in-laws place (in the middle of the city) they do not have a well... which means that the water tank is the ONLY storage possible. We hope they can survive for 2 days with what is left in the tank. At the apartment where I live with my wife, away from the city, surrounded by ample trees, we are facing an unexpected water shortage. Wells have dried up, tanker lorries that supply water in times of emergency have stopped as their companies have shut down and people (mis)using water at our residential area have resulted in daily water shutdown from 10 AM to 6 PM in my apartment. My best friend who owns a hotel chain in Kochi faced few hours of no water supply right in the middle of lunch time, their peak business hours. We have no idea when things are gonna be restored to normalcy... and we have no idea IF it'll remain normal hereafter. So.. Who is to blame?? No one but us. You, Me... Every single one of us. I don't think anyone (not just Kochiites but others in every city/town in India) can say we didn't see this coming. We have had enough & more warnings and we have brushed aside subtle as well as in-your-face awareness campaigns/posts like it didn't matter to us. Water shortage seemed like a problem faced by tribals in distant Africa, never something we'd have to face in Kerala- 'God's own country' right?? Sadly we have come to that point where we don't need written articles (like this one) or hoardings by NGOs to tell us we are in deep shit for what we did in the past. No point crying over spilled water now... You've already wasted as much water enough to provide the needy for a decade, cut down hundreds of trees to build houses, shopping malls and whatever in the name of progress and for a better TOMORROW!!! Tomorrow?? Really????? Funny isn't it?
Its sort of too late for us anyway... but never too late for the next generation. Save water, save trees, plant as many trees as you can, find ways to conserve water when there is rain and perhaps you'll leave a generation that would thank you from their heart for the 'little' good you did instead of cursing you for the mess you've created.

Take care. Make life worthwhile & meaningful. God bless!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Patriotism Ki Maa Ki Aankh!

OK! Call me unpatriotic or whatever fuckin shit you want to. If you have no better use of that desi topi you bought last year, please book the nearest maidaan & start an 'India Against Aakaash' campaign right away... But if you ask me, I care a crocodile's ass for whatever you think of this post.

As some of you might know, Diego Maradona (needs no introduction), was in Kannur, Kerala this week. Lemme not waste time in giving you details of his visit you already know about from the TV, Newspapers and whatever! What bothered me outright was the footballer screaming "Indiaaaaaa.... Indiaaaaa" as the crowd cheered his name & went into a frenzy. I am not balled over at the hysteria of the poor Malayali crowd for a player of Maradona's stature. What irked me was the player's blazing ignorance in geography. I am not extolling my geographical genius here, but I am bloody well aware of where Maradona comes from. Of course, I must admit it is all thanks to my geography teacher Sindhu miss, who in her own inimitable tempting style taught my class how far the Andes mountain range spread. Sigh! Good 'ol days when she'd........ Oops! Sorry.... Drifted off topic :P

You don't hear me scream "South America.... South America!" when Argentina's playing right??? Bledddy Naaaaansense... Then why Mr. Maradona you shouting "Indiaaaa... Indiaaaaa" at the top of your lungs??? In case you didn't realize, a Karan Joharishly creepy but ultra magnanimous Malayali philanthropist called Bobby Chemmannur got you to this strange land of crazy football fanatics called Kerala... North Kerala or Malabar to be more specific. Kerala, in case you didn't know is a country in itself with its capital at Dubai, Washington D.C, Bangalore, Moon & everywhere else except Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum for those who've never used a tongue cleaner). So if you can't scream "Keralaaaaa... Kerala!" when you're here as a OUR guest... pardon my audaciousness, you can go fuck yourself somewhere in that area where Sindhu miss told me to shade darker (some big shit volcano I believe) on the Andes mountains. Thank you.

A Bleddy yaangri Mallu.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Story-teller & his Chatterbox

The master story-teller had no words to speak for the first time in his life as he stood in awe of the adorable chatterbox. Every word she spoke fell on him like tiny pear-shaped drops of summer-rain. He felt his body & soul getting drenched in the voluptuous magnificence of the rain that was now beginning to engulf him in its amative wrap. He fell on his knees & surrendered himself to the story she had to tell. For he had no doubt, it was the Greatest Love Story ever told!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Old man & the C

"Shot ready, Sir", I said politely. 
He looked up at me with a sharp gaze taking his eyes off the black tea he was consuming. 
" ചായ കുടിക്കാനും നീ സമ്മതിക്കില്ലേ? ", he said in that 'infamous Thilakan tone'.
" അയ്യോ! ചായ കുടിച്ചിട്ട് മതി Sir... ഞാന്‍ ഇവിടെ wait ചെയ്തോളാം ".
A tiny smile appeared on my face as I completed that sentence since this seemingly rude old man reminded me of my late grandpa who was tough on the exterior but soft inside. As if to justify my thoughts he gave me a glimpse of something similar to a smile from the corner of his lips, took a bite off the ഉണ്ണിയപ്പം in his right hand & gulped down the tea in his left hand at one go. Taking help from his trusted lady assistant to get up he looked at me & said, 
" വാ... പോകാം! ".
Those were the only words Thilakan sir ever spoke to me. We exchanged smiles a couple of times. That's about it. But it was more than enough for me to comprehend that here was a terribly misunderstood old man, simple & honest at heart, who at his younger age never cared a damn about being politically correct and was even more so at his old age. 
R.I.P dearest Thilakan Sir.... 
I wish I had the chance to direct you someday! Sigh!

Pic taken on the sets of "Simhasanam" directed by Shaji Kailas.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Believe In Angels...

They said God gives as much as he takes,
I never believed them.
He took more from me than he could ever give!
They said time heals all wounds,
I never believed them.
Time transforms every wound into a scar!
They said you're now in a better place,
I never believed them.
The best place you'll ever be is my heart!
They said I am foolish to keep dwelling in the past,
I never believed them.
'Coz I am living in the future we created together!
They said I have the superpower within me to give my life meaning,
I believed them.
YOU are my superpower...
YOU gave my life meaning...
YOU are what I believe in...
I believe in angels!

(In loving memory of Elvira Guadalupe Murguia Nuñez ~ February 23 1986--October 23 2009).
You'll always be the biggest love of my life. Love you forever and beyond eternity!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

English August

As usual I was glued to the computer this morning when my maid came to clean my room. We normally don’t exchange words. I just lift my feet up from the ground if I’m busy with something while she sweeps the floor. Otherwise I walk out of the room and take a 5-minute break while she’s at it. There are rare occasions when she decides to get friendly and asks me some irrelevant question to which I usually respond with a nonchalant reply. This was one of those days.
I put my feet up on the chair and continued to do my work while she began sweeping the room. A few minutes later she realized it was ‘Ask-Nerdy-A-Question-Day’.
“Mon enthuvaa padichathu?” [What have you studied, son?]
“English”, I replied taking my eyes off the computer for a second.
“English maathram ee kaalathu aarenkilum padikkumo?”, [Are there people who study English alone these days?] She asked looking as perplexed as an onlooker at Rai Bareily hearing Sonia Gandhi murder Hindi.
“Hmmm...”, I said nodding my head and stopping my work momentarily, waiting for her to say something.
I had my eyes fixed on the monitor even as I paused and waited for her to speak. However she didn’t ask anything else & quickly finished her work & left the room.
Should I have told her I’ve also studied Cinema? I thought to myself. Oh! No. What if she thinks I go to the cinema hall with a notebook every Friday when a new movie releases to take down notes! That would only add to the weirdness quotient she already attributes to me. Sigh!
I continued to do my work leaving the maid to believe that English (Literature) is for dummies while smart people do rare courses like MBBS, Engineering or perhaps this rarest course called MBA. Someday in the near future maids will get smarter and savvier like this one maid I saw in an Advertisement some years back and they'll understand the feelings of poor folks like me.
The original ad was in Tamil and shown frequently on SS Music in the mid part of 2000’s until perhaps 2009. It was one of those rare ads that are funny & creative especially for an ad on a ‘Spoken-English course’. I couldn’t find the original on You Tube. Here’s a dubbed version in Hindi.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Anyway! -By Mother Theresa

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centred;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

This poem was reported to have been inscribed on the wall of Mother Teresa's children's home in Calcutta, and thus attributed to her. However, an article in the New York Times (March 8, 2002) has reported that the original version of this poem was actually written by a certain Dr. Kent M. Keith.

I cant remember how many times I have received this poem in my email and how many times I've ignored it when I was asked to forward it. I don't believe in blind-forwarding, that's just a truck load of crap. But the kind of mood I am in right now & the confused stage in life that I'm going through right now I felt this poem was perfect. Doesn't matter who wrote it, I sincerely hope the words in them change your life... for the good. It may not change your life the next minute or day you read & follow it.
Read it anyway!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Tightrope Walker

He was never really an accomplished funambulist in the first place. In fact he was one of those people who managed to throw a surprise at people when they least expected. At times he displayed sparks of genius in whatever he did, yet sometimes he gave the impression that goddess luck was his favorite mistress. The only thing consistent about him was that he performed marvelously under tremendous amount of pressure. It was like a bizarre quantity of pressure was the only fuel that sustained this possessed man.

Nash Skye, was near about thirty or so but could easily pass off as someone barely out of his teens owing to his rather frail looking yet slightly athletic body. His eyes had some sort of ambrosial charm the womenfolk of the village spoke about in fancy terms. Strangely he never got carried away by any of the adulation he got and it almost seemed like he was blind to the beauty around him. No one knew where he came from but the village elders would vouch for the fact that he was a typical drifter who had his heart set in a land of hopeless dreams. 

During his last act, when the villagers were about to write him off, he did the unthinkable. He took the biggest risk of his life and pulled it off with incredible gusto. He let himself fall off the rope exactly when he reached the middle and even as the unsuspecting villagers let out a scream he hung on to it with his two toes and swung like a pendulum until his body came to a rest. No one had ever seen anything of that caliber ever before. Suddenly the tightrope walker was the new God in the little village.

The dumbfounding story of Nash Skye and his incredible act spread like wildfire. It was only about a week back when less than twenty people waiting to tear him apart with their cynicism witnessed an act of divinity. Today there were easily a hundred of them gathered around to see their 'God' perform once again. They waited with bated breath as he walked towards the middle of the rope. THUD! The pale thin man fell halfway through his act & lay paralyzed in a pool of blood even as the spectators began to walk away. Some of them walked away hastily to avoid being in a nasty scene while the others quickly decided to grab a cup of tea from the nearby tea-shop. One thing was quite certain. Everyone in the village had found a new topic to discuss for many days to come 
-The fall of the tightrope walker!

[Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/91515119@N00/1795141144 ]