Oru Police Station kathai

Apologies in advance to regular readers, but only Tamil speakers will be able to read this post due to the extensive use of Tamil words in this story.


One day early in the morning when I got up and was drinking the chuda chuda filter kaapi that Amma had made for me, there were these loud knocks on the door – dhud dhud dhud.

Idhu yaar pa, kaalan karthaleyai Amma grumbled as she hurried to open the door.

As soon as she opened the door, she took a quick couple of steps back saying shiva shiva!!!

When I went near the door to see what it was that made her react like this, even I was shocked.

There was a police constable outside the door. Saar, idhu number 67 thaaney, he asked

Aamam sir

Unga peyr Ramanathan aa

Aamam sir

Unga vayasu 19 aa

Aamam sir

Neenga koncham B-2 station varaikkum varanum saar. 9 mani kulla vaanga sir he said and walked off

Getting over her shock Amma asked me Dei yenna da panniney? Yedhavadhu vambuley maatindu irukeeya

Illa ma, naan onnumey panneley I insisted, all the while trying to recollect anything that I might have done to bring the cops to the agraharam, and right to my doorstep this early in the morning.

Ayyo, yellarum pathirupaaley, andha pakkathu veedu Maragatham maamikku idhu onnu podhumey unna pathi vadanthiyai kallapa Amma started grumbling.

Staying in a Brahmin agraharam in the 1960s meant that everybody knew everybody and everybody was interested in every small nitty-gritties of your life, at times more than their own lives. And a cop knocking on one of the doors was more scandalous than the Puratchi Thalaivar traipsing around with that young actress, his favorite heroine.

Rama, poi sollathey, edhavadhu vendathathu pannitu ippo police gittey maatindeya da, Amma asked again, jolting me out of my reverie.

Appadi ellam onnum illai Amma, I pacified her. After Appa had passed away two years ago, leaving Amma and me to look after each other, I had cut down on all those boisterous fun-loving friends I had at college who had a penchant for getting into trouble due to their stupid antics, more so with that monster of a Yezdi bike that Santhanam had.

But it had been more than a week since I had even seen these friends, let along hang out with them. So then, why were the cops after me, I wondered.

In any case, a couple of hours later, after I had bathed, done my Sandhyavandanam and had my regular breakfast of three crispy nei roasts made by Amma, I made my way to the B-2 station, a good twenty minute walk from my home.

Once I reached there, I walked up to the same constable who I had seen earlier – Sir, neenga enna station kku vara soneenglay, yenna vishayam sir?

Vaanga Ramanathan, vaanga, okkanthunga he said.

Surprised that I was offered a chair, I was still curious. Sir, enakku college kku neram aachu. Yedhukku vara sonnenga nnu sonna nalla irukkum, I said, trying to get to the crux of the matter soon.

Neenga moonu vaaram munnaley…..illa illa naalu vaaram munnaley….he began.

I started sweating profusely. Damn that Santhanam and his bike. I should have never taken it for a spin that day around a month ago.

How was I to know that ball rolling out of that gate would be followed by that stupid puppy? Try as much as I did, I know that I must have hit that puppy and maybe even killed it. Shit, this is what I get for being over smart and trying to ride bikes that I am not comfortable handling. Look where it landed me, at the police station!!!

As these thoughts and images of that small puppy were flashing in front of me, the constable continued neenga naalu vaaram munnaley passport kku apply panniruntheenga illaya, adhodu verification kaaga ungala station vara sonnom.

Aana naan passportkku apply pannaleye sir, I replied.

Unga peru Ramanathan thaaney?


Unga address New No 67, Old No 59, Periyar Kurukku Santhu, Shastri Nagar, Kumbakonam thaaney?

Illa sir, yen address New No 76, Old No 67, I said

O, sorry sir, oru chinna thappu nadanthidichu, naan thappana aaley verification kaaga vara solliten, he apologized.

Smiling, I breathed a sigh of relief and said parava illai sir, appo naan poren.

As I walked out of the police station, I decided never to ride that monstrous Yezdi of Santhanam again. All the thrills the bike provided weren’t worth the heartburn and tension that it also brought along with it.


This post has been written for Project 365 : A post a day where the intention is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided. Today’s prompt was to write about whatever I like, but using regional slang, dialect or accent. I chose to write a story mostly in Tamil for this prompt.

Come, fly with me

It is mid-2008 and since I am employed in the technology division of a leading American bank, I am acutely aware of the entire global financial industry deep in the throes of the entire sub-prime mortgage crisis. As if this wasn’t bad enough, my supervisor decides that it is a good time for me to get some onsite exposure and figures that I could get started off with transitioning the testing of a software application from the West Coast to Hyderabad where me and my team were located.

For somebody who had visited the northern parts of India (read northwards of Mumbai) only a couple of times and whose only claim to have travelled extensively would be a 7 day trip to Leh, Ladakh, this came as a bolt from the blue. Further, the fact that I was ‘newly married’ (it had been only around six odd months into my marriage then) and had to leave behind the Missus in a new city where she didn’t even know the local language, Telugu added to my palpations even more. But encouraged by her and by my supervisor, I consented and started off with the formalities such as the Visa, Tickets, Guesthouse bookings, etc.

A good 5-6 weeks after the decision was made, there I was at the old airport terminal at Begumpet, Hyderabad, passport and tickets in hand. The fairly lazy old Immigration Official there didn’t even seem to care that I was leaving the country and stamped my passport without any questions whatsoever. And in those days, airline companies were not progressive enough to keep passengers informed of delays in their flights and I therefore ended up at the waiting lounge of the airport a good 7 hrs (3 mandatory hrs + 4 delayed hrs) before the actual flight departure time.

Heathrow Environmental Protestors - 'This airport is filthy.'Now, anybody who has ever travelled from the Begumpet airport will attest to the fact that it is anything but a pleasant experience. However, the only saving grace was that the friendly janitor was allowing people to step into the mens’ rest room and smoke out of a window at its far end; for the small price of a ten rupee note or in the case of a few Americans, a dollar bill.

The flight itself was quite uneventful except that since it was my first long haul flight I had to actually consciously get my butt out of the somewhat comfortable seat and the nice in-flight entertainment system every once in a while and take a walk up and down the aisles, just to keep the blood flowing in the lower half of my body. However, things took a turn for the worse just before we descended into Frankfurt for the connecting flight. An announcement was made that the seven passengers who were travelling onwards to San Francisco would have to ensure that they de-planed from the back door of the aircraft to be specially whisked away to our connecting flight which was actually being held back due to the delay in the Hyd-Frankfurt leg. Nothing was mentioned about our luggage at all, and I assumed that it would inevitably fly with me to San Francisco. Oh, how wrong I was!!!flightdelay

The second leg of the journey was also quite uneventful except for a lovely cake which was served to a few passengers, courtesy the tenth anniversary of a couple who were actually seated bang next to me on the flight. So far so good. My troubles with this trip really began after I landed at SFO. By the time I got anywhere in the longish Immigration Queue to get my passport stamped and actually set foot on American soil, I heard my name being announced (actually mispronounced) over the PA system along with a few other Indian sounding names.

lostluggageAfter getting my passport stamped when I made my way to the airlines counter I was informed that my luggage had missed its flight and would be delivered to my local address 24+ hrs later when it would take the same flight to SFO from FRN. There I was, at least 13000+ kms away from home with just the clothes on my back and my travel documents in my satchel (or man-bag as it is called in the movie Hangover). Since this was my first international flight I wasn’t quite aware that luggage getting delayed, or even worse, lost in transit was quite common and travelers always needed to carry a spare set of clothes in their hand baggage. As with most other lessons in life I learnt this one also the hard way.

In any case the airlines compensated with a AmEx Travellers Cheque for USD 50 and also handed me a night kit consisting of a sweatshirt, boxer shorts, a toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste, packed in a nice pouch as compensation for the missing luggage. There I was, stuck at SFO International Airport with just my travel documents, satchel and this pouch with spare clothes for the night. Thankfully, the weather wasn’t too nippy and I could manage with the jacket that I had worn.

'The train is late again. No need to worry, your ticket is valid for four days.'Making the most of this situation I decided to use public transport to complete the last leg of my journey from SFO to the small town of Concorde, California which was a good 65 miles away. After making preliminary enquiries at the Helpdesk at the airport and armed with a  Google Maps printout which they helpfully provided me with, I finally ended up using the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Metro train from the airport to the Concorde station and then walked the last 5 mins to my guest house near the station.

It was only when I finally got indoors, switched on the room heater and settled down did I realize that I had finally arrived at the US of A. All the Hollywood movies, the TV series, the conversations with cousins from there, the banter with colleagues who returned from onsite trips, wouldn’t have prepared me for this experience.

This, my friends, is just one of the stories from the time I had travelled the furthest from home.

I am sure you all have similar stories of your own, with lost luggage, misplaced passports, mistaken identities, bad weather, delayed flights, etc. Go ahead, share some of them in the comments section below.


This post has been written for Project 365: A post a day where the idea is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided. Today’s prompt was to share a story from the time when I traveled the furthest from home.

My dream teammate : Guest Post


Today, my guest author takes on a topic which is a pet peeve or a pet grouse depending on what kind of colleagues you have at work. He talks about some of the characteristics that he would want in his team mates (in a lighter vein, as is his style).


The best kind of team mates are the ones with the following attributes –

a. Should be more sincere and dedicated than you. While you goof off reading useless blogs like this one, he/she should do the work assigned by the Team Lead and should also help you complete your tasks in time.

b. Should not be more glamorous than you, if you belong to the same gender. I mean, you are the one who should get all the attention, right?

c. Should be a good listener and must patiently listen to all your rants & raves about office, home, malls, marriage, love, guys, girls etc.

d. Must periodically shake your computer mouse so that your desktop does not get locked and screensaver comes in. It must not become obvious to your Team Lead that you are loitering outside the office.

e. Must use the same charger as you and should bring it to office regularly so that you can freely charge your mobiles at office.

f. Should carry lots of money and should lend to you whenever you need. You are very reasonable. You don’t expect your colleague to be wealthy. I mean, if he is wealthy, he will not be working in the same company as you, right?

g. Should not go on leave frequently. Your Team Lead will then pass on his/her tasks to you.

h. Should not get married before you do.

i. Should not get promoted before you do

j. Should not go onsite before you do.

k. Should remember your birthday and give you a decent birthday gift.


So, what are some of the attributes and characteristics that you would want in your teammates. Go ahead and use the Comments section to enlighten us with your preferences.

My acceptance speech


To begin with I would like to thank the director of this movie for considering me worthy enough of bringing to life his main protagonist on the screen. The amount of effort, dedication and passion with which he created this character made it very easy for me to portray it with panache on the screen.

Next, I would like to thank the dialog writer and editor of this movie for making me sound and look so wonderfully elegant in the role. Some of the lines spoken will remain with me forever and will haunt me for many more nights to come. And the slick editing has ensured that all the best parts of my acting prowess have found a prominent place in the final cut.

Huh, what is that? What did you say? Yes, I know that I have been awarded with The Best Actor of the Year award. So what if they are not the Academy Awards or the Emmy Awards? So what if they are only the Razzies?

What, they are awarded to the best ‘worst’ movies and acting performances of the year!!!

Sheesh, you sure found a nice time to read out the ‘fine print’ to me, didn’t you!!!


This post has been written for Project 365 : A post a day where the intention is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided.

Today’s prompt was to give an acceptance speech for an award that I had received.

Pants on fire

I never lie. I don’t have to resort to lying. I live a life with so much integrity that lying as an option is unnecessary for me.

There I just did it again. Once again, I had to lie, just to make myself look good in front of the world.

I am more than sure that all of you reading this blog had been taught as infants or at least in kindergarten school that lying was bad. We were all taught via various stories, anecdotes and fables that honesty was the best policy and lying was something that should not be resorted to under any circumstances.

But then I am sure that in the process of ‘growing up’, both physically and mentally, we all kind of figured out that there were lies and then there were ‘white lies’, the type that didn’t quite harm anybody and could be used to save our skins whenever we got ourselves into some mischief and into a tight spot. I know that I have used more than my fair share of white lies as a kid given that I was quite boisterous and used to get myself into trouble almost every time I went out to play with my friends.

And then as we grew older, we began to rely on lying (or at least some of us did, I am sure) as a mechanism which used to help us avoid unnecessary situations, arguments, people or discussions with people we knew. As teenagers we must all have lied about bunking classes, studying late into the night, petty quarrels we had with our friends, and more, and I am sure that as you read this sentence, you are taken back in your memories to those small little lies uttered back then.

And while I don’t necessarily condemn or condone lying of any sort, the fact remains that looking back at those days, at those harmless little white lies we told as teenagers, I feel kind of stupid and immature. While the inconsequential lies don’t matter, the ones we told our friends about liking a particular movie, a particular book, a particular dress that he/she had worn, just to be part of the group, just to ensure that we weren’t sidelined by the rest of the group, they just don’t make any sense anymore. Among many of the unpleasant things that we all did to belong to a group, this form of lying was probably the most harmless.

'Oh, just crafting lies I never even have to tell...'

While I don’t resort to too much lying anymore, the fact remains that for a lot of us, especially those who have lofty professional ambitions and want to scale the corporate hierarchy in a hurry, we don’t have an option but to resort to lying. After all, no supervisor would like it if his subordinate went ahead and actually told the truth about the unmatched shirt, trouser and tie combination, he wouldn’t appreciate the truth being told about how badly the presentation with the client went simply because he didn’t quite understand the client’s question. I mean, after all, he is the boss, and as good subordinates, we are all expected to listen, nod in agreement, clap in appreciation, and praise in moderation. Whoever told us that ‘honesty is the best policy’ forgot to add the small * at the end of the sentence and add the caption “conditions apply”.

And this is not just in corporate offices or professional situations; I personally know a lot of people who resort to lying as a way of living even at home just to ensure that their marriage is not affected by unnecessary tiffs every day. And therefore, a true blue SRK fan grins and bears a three hour marathon session of Sallu Bhai’s ‘Kick’ just because he had lied about the same during the courtship period with his newly wed bride. Husbands who end up throwing the dal prepared by their wives into the dustbins and make do with a club sandwich from the office vendor have to go home and lie about how tasty the dal was if they intend to be fed at home ever again. Some lies, such as the ones above, are not only necessary but also compulsory to ensure that divorce rates and marital violence statistics stay well within acceptable limits in India.


So, what’s your story? How often do you resort to lying, and what are the kind of lies you tell? Go on, don’t feel shy, use the Comments section below and tell us. Just remember, you don’t have to lie here J


This post has been written for Project 365 : A post a day where the intention is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided. And today’s prompt was “What was the last lie you told? Why did you tell it?”