Onam

onam

Knock Knock?
Who’s there ?
It’s me?
Me who?
Mahabali
Mahabali who?
Yaar Jijith its me King Mahabali for gods sake (remember Onam).
And out I snapped from my deep slumber. Oh it was a dream and what a coincidence its Onam. Yes Onam; Sweet Sweet onam.I have done most of my schooling in the gulf and this is one festival which I missed out on. We did celebrate it in our way of course. We used to get new clothes and our family members used to get together in one of the houses and used to have a nice sadya but nothing beats the original. I do remember once I was in India during onam but due to some unknown reason that part has been blurred out of my memory. Anyway, we being kids loved the story of the benevolent king Mahabali who granted anything his subjects asked for and the rise of his prosperity reached great heights that even the gods became envious of him .They finally had took the help of Krishna who (luckily for us) stamped him into netherworld with a Boon of visiting us every year (I do wonder sometimes if not for the boon, the mythical mahabali would not have remained in our hearts).

I finished my schooling and returned to kerala to pursue my future studies and that was when as most people say I fell in love with the festival. It’s not just the grand day but preceding days which gives it a magnificent touch. All the kids wandering around different places to collect flowers for the pookalam .They even try to enter the courtyards of unknown houses and pluck a flower or two only to be chased away by the children of that house. The elders also have a busy schedule. The men are busy buying clothes for the family and some of them even begin to wonder in jest “wow what a big family I’ve got”. The ladies of the house are engaged in buying the ingredients for the various dishes to be prepared and of course the rightful new saree that they will wear on that day. All in all, the whole house is busy and a festive atmosphere is created. Its a feeling which one has to go through to enjoy it.

On Thiruonam, everyone gets up early and the kids who are already eager to wear their new dress have to be coaxed to take a bath first. Then all the children sit down with all the flowers collected during the last week and are engrossed in making the gorgeous pookalam. Remember, this has to be the biggest and the best since it’s the Grand Finale after all. If you haven’t seen one, I would advice you to do the same. Its one of the sights I enjoy a lot, the children will be arguing over the size and shape and when that is finalized they will evenly distribute the work among themselves ( I believe they could definitely teach the corporate community a thing or two on task allocation ;) ) and once the job is done they do make a point to ask the elders as to how it looks. The elders opinion matter a lot to these souls and once the favorable opinion is given (always), the smile which appear on their faces would even make the gloomiest person feel happy. They play around in the courtyard while the elders are busy preparing the sadya. The kitchen’s generally off limits to people other than the those involved in cooking (ladies of the house) .The elder men call up their friends to wish them and enjoy the sight of children wandering aimlessly. Sadyas ready and all the elder males along with the kids sit on the veranda floor (its generally a long line) where they are served on a banana leaf. Different varieties of food are served one by one and devoured with equal vigour.And to top it all off is the Payasam which makes you salivate just by looking at it. Its taken along with a banana and some ghee. Its tirne for the ladies now and the men serve them or in most cases they help themselves. After lunch the whole family sits in the courtyard and chat in general while the kids are busy playing.

Evening comes so soon and you begin to realize that onams come to an end so early but as the saying goes everything that has a beginning has an end and everyone starts saying their goodbyes having thoroughly enjoyed their day. For the kids the wait has started again when their beloved king would rise again from netherworld and bring prosperity throughout the land.

That’s what onam reminds me and to be in a far off place on this festival is a feeling I don’t cherish much. But I do pray to Mahabali that every time he visits us from now on I would like to be with my family and friends .After all Life is precious and so is the time one spends with family and friends. So one should be able to enjoy beautiful festivals like Onam.The wait begins!

Jijith Kuttan

Bolt From The Blue

G7

Date :23rd May-2005
Time 4:00A.M
Venue:Madhapur (Hyderabad)

With the temperatures reaching 43 degrees and the scorching heat dawning on the city, good sleep had become a thing of the past. We prayed that the monsoon showers would be early this year but the weather forecasts had a different story to tell. Three entities Mua(Kuts),Georgie and Poo were hustling and tussling shuffling across our separate beds (just to avoid the misconceptions) to get some sleep.The air cooler helped poo and george to get some sleep and we finally drifted by about 1a.m .Sleep had graced us.

Tshshhshshshgleeek..bleek!!Screeching noises awaken all of us .We heard the breaking of windows.I rushed to see what happened.Our kitchen glass broke.There was humongous winds lashing against us.Thunder and lightning followed and we (sorry Poo) got scared.

It was as if we had invoked the Wrath of Thor(Lord of Thunder).Our kitchen was in a mess,all plates and accessories were flying around,everything wa sin shambles and the worst was yet to come.

Enter Our Hero ..George George…Me and poo were little scared to go near the windows to get it closed coz of lightning(it was scary and poo had a feeling that thor loves him and will not harm him but with the electricity out and poo being not the one so visible with his FAIR complexion thought what if Thor doesnot see him and just send out a lightning and it falls on his head by mistake;cant take chances now can we?After all he’s got to get married (that’s another story,we’ll talk about it later).So where were we..yes George single handedly(one hand is still reccupearting from that bike accident long ago) had the guts to go and close all the windows fighting against lightning and rain and the mighty winds.Finally we thought we had relief.But then again it was not to be so.We started shifting poos beds to our room(as I said earlier he was basically pissing in his pants) and were about to sleep but wait there we see water gushing in our room..infact water was gushing in all rooms.We took all our belongings on the ground and placed them at higher grounds.Poo suggested we don’t need an aircooler now since the water on the floor and the fan above will create the required effect(hehhehe). So basically we had no idea what to do.It was like displaced tsunami victims.Again George George saves the day and gives a briliant suggestion that we go to NSD’S current flat.We left to his house and we made a survey of madhapur.Pretty bad I would say.Trees uprooted,hoardings upside down,traffic lights showing both red and green synchronously(I wonder who wrote the software for the same,might have been a tough job).The time was 5:00am.We slept till 7:00 and then came back to our flat to see the damage in daylight.It was like a river and we could have held The Annual Hyderabad boating race out here.Our Hero makes an aerial survey of our flat and together with our servant(no..no..not poo,we have a maid)all start cleaning up the place.Finally the task was accomplished .(Exclusive Photos available at the following site:

http://www.marblebrats.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=tsunami

So for the Bravery exhibited by Mr.George George in an hour of Crisis I put forward a resolution and asked the marble brats to vote in favour of conferring upon him the first ever Marbleite Knighthood status and hence him being addressed as the honourable Knight George George-in short form “GKNIGHT “.

We needed above 60% majority to confer the title.With 13 votes,it was going to be a tough task for georgie to win with votes coming from foreign locations as well .But as they say “Its George George after all and the impossible becomes possible”.It was decided that incase of a tie The First Lady(The Gorgeous Lacchu Darling) will decide the verdict.

Result:
George george bagged 99% votes in his favour and was given the Marbleite KinghtHood certificate(designed by Mua:See Certificate above) and conferred KnightHood.
Long Live GKNIGHT

Jijith Kuttan
Editor-Hyderabad Times

A Prayer

prayer

I Say a Prayer for you today,
That you might be a star one day,
That your wishes may be fulfilled
And that all your dreams may come true some day.

Some people don’t believe in prayers
Oh! its just a notion they say,
They don’t understand the power of it
But believe me, I am putting my soul into it.

I know that God’s busy nowadays,
Tending to every persons needs, night and day;
But I know one thing for sure my friend,
He’ll listen to the prayers I say.
“Why?” I hear you say.
Well ,coz Its for someone very special,and that’s you I say.

There may be times when you feel lonely ,
And you might have none around,
You might think alls deserted ,
But hey ,I ‘ll be still around.

I say a prayer for you today ,
That happiness engulfs you every day;
That you be granted the fruits of life and
That you live this beautiful life every day.

A Friend

The Bull Effect

vull1

A typical morning for me would start with browsing my favorite newspaper to uncover the latest happenings in world affairs and simultaneously sipping a hot cup of sweet aromatic coffee.For some superstitious reason it means to me that the Day in most probability would go good. But for some unknown reason, this day which I am about to describe had something else to offer.

“Kutts, comeon we’ve got to get our clothes ironed” .Ok I said and off me and my friend George go to get them. While we start the journey on our bike ,we happen to see an army of bulls coming our way.Theres about 20-25 of them walking slowly and lazily as if they own the road. I have never respected the bull much and think of them as tubelights since unless you sound the horn 4-5 times these undergrown hippos do not move away from you path. My friend starts shaking from behind coz the only thing he’s afraid so far as I have known are these dumb bulls. The reason being, an encounter which had to endure in Bangalore.A bull just attacked him for no reason(as if they need any. i told you they are crazy nuts) and from that episode he gets transformed into a kitten on the sight of these humongous creatures.Me on the other hand am not afraid of these pesty things and I sat on my bike like a bold and confident leader least interested in wordly affairs.Just then I happened to see one bull just staring at me in some horrible way(don’t misunderstand).I responded and said (in my mind of course) “what are you staring at you bozzo?”(this was later to be the cause of my doom..Read on folks).Finally after 10 minutes and a lot of horn blowing the army had gracefully (Hah!)passed us. We get our clothes and after I have a refreshing bath I come to notice that one of my pants have been stolen.”STOLEN? come on man that’s the costliest pant I have ever bought in my life.Van Heusen for gods sake and it costs me 1500 bucks.Maaammmaaaaaaaa!”.I am furious and start hurling curses in my mind to whoever has taken my pant.” May the pant get on fire or better even may the zip break when he’s wearing it.But wait why the hell should my pant suffer, he should suffer”.I try to forget the ordeal and find another one and rush to office .A demon had awakened in me and my drive to the office would have even made Michael Schummaker(why cant these fellows get some proper names like robert or jim or john which I can spell properly atleast…) proud. I give my bike to my friend and get inside my office building and in a fit of fury climb the seven flight of stairs to my office floor.4 floors were ok but afterthat only I know how I dragged myself up .I switch on my system and reach for my desk keys and …..ohhhhh great,the keys are attached along with the bike keys .Ok cool down now, its just a small thing ,no need to worry.I call my friend and he says he will be here in 5 minutes. Now I have the task of walking down and am exhausted while I reach the bottom(remembner the 7 flloors I climbed). The keys collected and this time I avoid the stairs by taking the lift(wish I had taken it the first time..grrrrr).i start my work on a good note and am relieved thinking that the worst of the day is over. Wrong again! Just got a mail from client that all data in a particular table are missing .The moment I heard it i knew it would definitely have something to do with me. After all its my day and I was proved right once again(Why me?of all the people why oh Gracious Lord, Me??) …We get it cleaned up somehow and I keep my fingers crossed till evening just hoping no more untoward incidents happen. My friend calls me up and say they will pick me up.I call after 1 hour and am delighted to learn that my friends are about an hour away from my present location. So I catch a 3 wheeled automobile(AutoRickshaw-shared one ) and am sharing seat along with the pilot who has this uncanny ability to drive without touching the steering wheel.He’s not even hardly bothered about vehicles about 5 times our size zooming past us and whats he got to loose anyway ,if something happens,I’ll be the first to be thrown out and its my photo which will become a painting on the wall with a garland on it.PHEW! Somehow I survive the ordeal and reach my flat only to find once again that the keys are with my friends.Then on I couldnot stop laughing like a madman at the situation I was in and finally managed to get a stomach cramp.I had a half an hour waiting period and my sanity had left me with crazy thoughts such as one of the aeroplanes flying on top would get some engine trouble and crash on my head.Well it could happen after all its my day!

I called up my mom and told her of the days events.She asked me who did I see first in the morning .Well ,the answer was clearly written on the wall.”A BULL”.Looks like the mean looking bull cursed me for looking it eye to eye and standing in its path like a King. From that date onwards,my notions on the bull have changed.Every time it crosses my path,I bow my head in respect.Ah!what a majestic creature.It walks with such grace that would make the roman kings envious.I could go on and on but I have to stop folks(technical difficulties).

Ps: Dear Bull if you are reading this forgive me for that moment I dared to look you in the eye.You have taught me a good lessen “Never ever look a bull in the eye”(Oh lord where is this world heading to?)

Angel

comeon

Studying hard in the midst of chaos,
Wide awake in the midnight hours,
Toiling from dusk to dawn,
Deeply Immersed in the mind of thought
You my friend,are the angel of Strive.

I envy thy energy and determination,
The strength in that beautiful soul,
The will to struggle and succeed,
Regardless of the consequences in store;
You my friend,are the angel of Success.

Hope your strength passes on to me,
And I get inspired by thee,
To take up challenges and to surge forward
Withstanding all the forces to the end,
And all this with majestic modesty;
You My friend are an angel indeed.

Jijith Kuttan

The Boulder

Kid

There he lye’s against the strong boulder,
Ahh! What a sight i might say.
His sweet face, those tiny arms, that serene face
laying in tranquility against the unwithering rock.
The train jerks, his body sways, the eyes open from slumber;
“Oh! Nothing to worry” my boulder’s strong as can be,
He then dozes back to sleep.

Oh, how much i would like to be that kid,
Sleeping against the silent boulder,
Draped in warmth of eternal love.
The tender kiss, the protective hug
The silent admiration i would receive,
And the love filled admonishments for my naughty acts.

But times have passed, I have crossed that age,
And I am not as young as I dream to be.
Life’s a mess and future bleak,
But hey there’s nothing to worry
My boulders still strong as can be.

Jijith Kuttan

While traveling in the train I saw a child sleeping in his fathers arms and for a second I wished I could go back in time and sleep like that without any worry of the day to day tribulations we face in life today and enjoy my fathers never ending love once again (which still has not withered with time).Many of us are more sided towards our mother and sometimes forget our dads love which he may not show at times coz normally men dont show off their emotions much but its there in their hearts. So whenever you go for a walk with your dad next time, just try to hold his hands;he might resis it at first but persist and you will witness love that transcend words. Trust Me! It works.

A new Day

A new Day
———

Shadows of yesterday have faded away..
The sun has risen again today ..
Beaming bright rays across the bay..
And a new hope along our way..

The stars have left the sky..
Darkenss has given in to peep of day..
Shelling out fairly to scanty and bounty
And a new hope along our way..

A new Day has dawned..
A new chance to shine ..
A new dream to follow
and A new hope too along our way!

Wish I were…

Asleep was I with nothing in mind
But crept did sweet dream with warm thoughts of you
for longed have I to be with you…

Wish I were the tender leaves enclosing the bud you are
for close could I hold you, though for a little while
in my arms would you be.

Wish I were the oyster and you the pearl
for to no eyes would I open you to
and mine alone would you be.

Wish I were the sea and you the river
for as the river craves to reach the sea
so would you crave for me
and together would we reach new shores.

Wish I were the deer and you the musk
for to get you they would have to kill me
else safe would you be with me
and with my life would I protect you.

What can I do but wish
but all would be fine
for wont you be mine …

Are You Listening?

Hear

The Hall was packed to full; the morning radiance had cast its spell, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee permeated the room. The Business leaders of Company X were joined by two business leaders from the UK.

They were searching for an appropriate partner for outsourcing their project. In this quest they had covered about half of Asia and Europe. Ireland, China, France and Philippines were part of his itinerary but he finally zeroed in on India. Now just to be happy of receiving this distinction does not provide much value to us, but as to why we received it lies the key factor.

To extract such crucial information is a skill or should we say an art of its own and only a handful of people have mastered it to perfection.We were in luck and had a person whose expertise in this field was unquestionable and he took on the mantle to ask the client this tricky Question.

According to the client, the Irish accent can be deciphered only by their next of kin. The French were hampered by their language barrier, and also by their ‘antagonism’ to the cultures of the rest of the world. The Filipinos had been short-listed but their overtly demanding nature that almost led to an altercation spooked the client.

Any way what we are interested in is – Why India???

Pat!came the reply which will send everyone who reads this to the moon and back. He appreciated the huge strides India has made in the IT services industry during the last decade, complimented the quality of our work, the cost factor, the efficiency, language, adaptability, cultural sensitivity .Sounds flattering right?

Now comes the flip side of the story; We know that nobody is perfect. So we asked about what he considers our drawback.
His reply – “Indians are hard of hearing”.
What? Sorry, we didn’t get you.
Indians jump the gun”.

The client’s words can be explained with the following three scenarios:

PHASE1-

A new project has to be executed. The client starts explaining the details of the project.
When he has barely uncovered one-fourth of the plan, we already have an idea of what the client wants, how it works, its design… The whole map of the project has been charted out in our heads.We run to our workplace with an energy and drive that could undertake 2-3 space expeditions in 24 hours.We slog over it night and day and EUREKA! We are done with it and make the earliest appointment with the client to showcase our product.

PHASE 2-

The D-Day arrives; everything is in place. The presentation is carried out to perfection masking even the minutest of flaws which could have caused trouble.We are about to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.But wait!The client gets up and says “That was an excellent presentation, but that was not what I had asked for”.The audience is dumbstruck.We try convincing the client that what we had shown him is what he had asked us to do.He replies “What you have done is indeed what I have asked you to,but that’s only half the story”.

PHASE 3-

After being reprimanded by our bosses, we start the project all over again, the only difference now is that we focus on delivering what the client actually needs.

Where did we go wrong?

Its simple- we just heard the first part of what the client wanted and having made a brief sketch of it in our mind we ignored the remainder of what the client had to say.

Now the Million $ question. How can we overcome this pitfall?

Simple:

1) Listen completely to what the client has to say.
2) If you don’t understand something don’t feel ashamed to ask again. It’s better to get
things clarified than Phase 3 to occur.

Happy Listening

My Lord Shiva

lord1

I have been a true believer of all religions and at different stages in my life I have been blessed with each one of them.The joy I get in visiting a Church ,Temple and seeing a mosque is something which reverberates in me like the sound of the sea hitting the shores.Today is Mahasivarathri and I dedicate this article to the Hindu deity Shiva or may I say “My Lord Shiva“.

“Pray before you go to sleep”; my parents used to tell me when I was a kid.They had not specified as to who I should pray to. Dad and mom have been very thoughtful about religion and always told us to respect all religion as God is One.We would see the Mahabharata, Ramayana and read the Bible (a friend of my mom gave it to her) with much religious fervor. But being a kid I did not understand much of it and time just passed but my parent’s words did inculcate in me the ability to understand and respect all religions. After my 12th standard I had to do my engineering far away from my home and family. My friends used to go home on the weekends and that would in most probability leave me having a lonely weekend. Incidentally, on one of those lonely days I decided to visit a famous Shiva temple out there. It was about 4:00 in the evening and I was able to get into the yard. The inner sanctum was closed and would be open only by 5:00.There was a few places to sit by and I chose the huge banyan tree with the idols of the snake gods perched below.” What did I do there”? Well,I just sat there and chatted with them.” On what”? Everything that was in my head at that time; on how I felt and sometimes a trickle or two tears may even suffice during these conversations. The inner gates opened and I went to say my prayers to the majestic Shiva. His humbleness in his attire and striking posture would give you a sense of confidence to overcome any fear or obstacle that would ever tread your path. From then on visiting the temple on weekdays became one of my top priorities. In the educational department i was an ok student in the beginning and just managed to scrape through in the first semester but then a got a severe blow. For me College life was to be enjoyed and it be passed easily was some wrong notion on the back of my head. I paid for it and lost 4 subjects in the second semester. People who were around knew as to how I felt. Basically I felt like the lousiest soul ever and the harder part was telling this to my parents. My only place of solace was the abode of Shiva and I made a solemn pledge to overcome this failure. I put in my more hours of study and managed to pass all the subjects. From then on strictly adhering to vegetarian food and visiting the temple during the exam period became my way of life.(I also had the blessings of the church I visited with tobs and george after most exams).Anyone reading this would feel this as foolishness,but from the point of sounding totally immodest “I succeeded” and I manage to pass all the last four semesters on my first try. I even managed to get a campus placement. This converted me to a complete devout of Shiva.

After college, there was a delay in joining the company I was selected for(recession time) and living conditions for me, George and Thampi was pathetic to say the least. We used to share the smallest room ever in cochin with a broken cot(we were scared as to when it would break down) , cardboards over it and the washroom also did not meet the most highest of expectations except when georgie would take up the mantle for cleaning it.Here again due to some coincidence a Shiva temple was present within reach of 5 minutes walk down the lane. The ritual of visiting it every weekend once again started and within due course this low ebb in my life also vanished. Once again he came to my rescue and in the process taught me some important lessons in life ;one being the value of money.

At last the company called me and Hyderabad was the next destination. And guess what , (coincidence I guess) just outside the flat we stayed was a huge shiva temple and I just knew from the sight of that life will get better and all obstacles and fear will be vanquished.Life just begins here……

Not everyone may understand or believe in these coincidences or the part it had to play in my life so far but I, with all my heart believe that Lord Shiva has been and is still my constant guide towards some unknown destiny which I am moving towards. And on my part, I dedicate this day to a day of fasting and a constant vigil at night showing gratitude for all that he has done for me.I don’t believe any amount of fasting will equal the boons he has given me in life but why not try to make up for it in a small way atleast.

Oh! I forgot the last coincidence; My parents were married in a Shiva Temple in our native place(I just learnt that recently).

-Jijith Kuttan

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