Not Everybody Can Surprise Me

Ahem! I was so proud when I wrote the post, Want Surprises in Life?Ask ME!!, two years back.But, my friends took a great effort to surprise me with something which I hadn’t thought even in my wild dreams.

Yes,I am getting a year older this week and few of friends blew my mind with a gift.happy_surprise_by_pachoncku-d3avj2r

There was a custom of celebrating birthdays in a particular Facebook group I am in and then when people got busier,the custom slowly died.So when my friends invited me over to a mall,I wasn’t expecting anything though I had a slight doubt about it.But,when I considered the lectures,the blaming and the harassment they had poured on me over the phone the day before the meeting,my doubt vanished in the air.

And there I reach and see an empty table and the minute doubt that was inside my head disappeared.But, when they gave me a brown-paper cover, I used my Sherlock brain and guessed the gift.Wow! brilliant me — a greeting card signed by my friends.Two seconds later I realized that I am a shame to Sherlock and there are chances that Benedict might disown me by seeing my observation skills.

But before seeing the gift,don’t you want to know the culprits who almost made me cry out of happiness?

Thank you my sweetheart Meow,my loving Prasanna and my awesomatic Gils. Muaaah! and thank you Aaroo for turning up and making it a bigger surprise.

Now for the gift


For the password,please solve this anagram – That Big Id Fry

15 Malayalam Movies which I want the World to Watch (Drama)

***Spoilers all over***

15 . Sukrutham

A successful journalist plunges into depression after knowing that he has blood cancer.He sees no hope in life and prepares himself for dying.He even tells his wife to get closer to their friend,who had a crush on her for a long time,so that she gets a life once he is gone.It is then he undergoes a holistic treatment and that makes him a new person with full optimism and an urge to live.But when he comes back during the recovery stage,he confronts the stark truth.His wife is unhappy,his relatives are unhappy and his childhood crush who was serving him is unhappy too.He realizes that all the love and sympathy the people had showed were only because he was about to die.The heartbreaking scene is when he sees his own obituary kept ready in his newspaper office. Mammootty plays the protagonist role without any glitch.The film won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam.

14. Bharatham

It was after watching this movie that I started loving classical music.The movie tells the story of a classical music family.Nedumudi Venu plays the elder brother and Mohanlal plays the role of the younger brother.The movie shows the emotional bonding of closely knit family relationships.The story becomes serious when the elder brother slips into alcoholism and to save the face the younger brother sings at the concert.The elder brother accuses the younger one to be an opportunist when the latter shot to fame and appreciation.The movie takes a turn when the elder brother goes missing to be found later as dead.The second half of the movie is the emotional struggle of the younger brother to hide the elder brother’s demise as their sister is getting married the next day.Mohanlal won the National Award for Best Actor for his role as Kalloor Gopinathan.The songs are too good that K.J.Yesudas won the National Award for Best Singer too.I love the keerthanam Raghuvamsapathe which is in the ragam Shankarabharanam.The keerthanam was a masterpiece from the music director Raveendran as he wrote it.

13. Kaliyattam

Inspired from the William Shakespeare’s play Othello,Kaliyattam deals with suspicion and back stabbing.The movie is set against the backdrop of the Hindu Theyyam performance and Suresh Gopi plays the protagonist Kannan as a Theyyam artist.The movie is very beautifully written and directed.This movie introduced Lal as an actor and his performance as Paniyan ,that too in a debut role,was simply amazing.The movie starts with Kannan marrying Tamara,the daughter of the village head, against the latter’s wish.The village head is played by Narendra Prasad who is a very powerful actor.He says to Kannan that if his daughter could cheat her own Father,then she might cheat her Husband too.Kannan’s right arm,Paniyan plants seeds of suspicion in Kannan’s mind about Tamara.Suresh Gopi has portrayed the Theyyam artist with sheer brilliance winning the National Award for Best Actor.

12. Deshadanam

Mothers in Kerala cried as much as they could after watching this movie.The movie revolves around a Namboothiri family.The movie deals with the personal pains of the family when they had to sent the family’s only child to a monastery.The songs are soulful and capture the depth of the heartache of the parents.My favorite scene is when the boy comes home after the ceremonies in the monastery. According to the rules,after the ceremony the kid is a spiritual person without any family ties but the boy is too young to understand the concept.He runs to his Mother calling “Amma” and she kneels down to show her respect to the boy.This broke my heart and I couldn’t resist my tears.

11. Bhoothakannadi

The beauty of this movie cannot be explained in ten sentences.Even today,critics and movie researchers write pages and pages of appreciation.A masterpiece from Lohithadas. This movie is a must watch one for the passionate movie lovers.The realization of the protagonist shown in the climax will remain a big pain your heart.My advice would be not to read the plot of the movie before watching.And of course Lohithadas won National Award for Best Director Debut.

10. Paithrukam

This movie might make an atheist believe in God.I love the dialogs in this movie especially the ones between Nadrendra Prasad who plays the Father and Suresh Gopi who plays the eldest son.The movie is about the disagreements about the principles and beliefs of a vedic scholar Father and an atheist son.Though I disagree with certain things shown in the movie,I can’t stop watching it.I lost count on the number of times I have watched this movie simply because of my love for the way the movie is taken.A personal favorite of mine.The rendered version of the keerthanam Seethakalyana is beautiful.

9. Sadayam

I was scared to go out of the house for many days after watching this movie.For the first time I was scared of Mohanlal.He plays the role of a convict and the movie shows his reason for killing them.

8. Vidheyan

I don’t like this movie because Mammootty has acted too well as Bhaskara Patelar and his looks haunt me still. Mammootty went on to win so many awards including National Award for Best Actor.He plays the role of a selfish,cold and pervert landlord.He is bloody cold in this movie that I wanted to kill him getting into the screen.What an amazing actor he is.Respect!

7. Kireedam

The movie which we, Keralites, are very proud of,yes indeed very proud of.The movie which made Mohanlal the King of Malayalam cinema then.The movie which showed what an actor Thilakan is.You will start believing in fate after watching this movie.You ask any Malayalee,Kireedam and the song Kaneer poovinte will be always their evergreen movie and song respectively.Kireedam shows the life of Sethumadhavan played by Mohanlal who had to kill a criminal to save his Father, who is a policeman,from getting attacked.And his life goes upside down.One of the best scripts from Lohithadas.

6. Mathilukal

Both the novel and the movie are incredible.The movie is an adaptation of the novel by the same title written by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer. The novel is said to be autobiographical one and talks about the prison life of Basheer. Mammootty plays the role of Basheer.This is one movie in which there is no female cast.The movie revolves around Basheer falling in love with a woman prisoner who is on the other side of the wall.They never see each other but talk across the prison wall.The woman prisoner is shown as a voice over.Then they come up with a plan to meet but before that Basheer gets released.The movie won four National Awards including Best Actor Award for Mammootty,Best Director Award for Adoor Gopalakrishnan and many international awards too.This movie is a classic and unique example of how we can make a love story without rosy visuals,erotic dialog and even without showing a female on the reel.This movie is awesome.

5. Nizhalkuthu

The plot is so profound that every scene lingers in you for days.The story is about the hangman in the Travancore,British India.The movie revolves around the life of a hangman.The guilty feeling of hanging an innocent man is pictured in raw.While watching,you tend to sink in too much for the hangman’s emotional struggle and yes,the movie is very disturbing.The performance by Oduvil Unni Krishnan as Kaliyappan is worth watching and in my opinion his performance was class apart.People who like to dissect movies should not miss this one because every frame is important.

4. Thaniyavarthanam

What will you do if people refuse to believe that you are sane?The plot of the movie goes like this –A family believes that one man in each generation becomes a lunatic due to a curse.Mammootty tries hard to make people believe that he is not the one in his generation who is suppose to become mad.But the people around him refuse to believe the truth even after the doctors declaring him as sane.Without any choice,he acts like he is mad and the movie ends with a tragedy by his Mother feeding him food mixed with poison.

3. Kodiyettam

Actor Gopi became Kodiyettam Gopi or Bharath Gopi after the portrayal of his role as Shankaran Kutty in this movie.He won National Award for Best Actor for living in the movie as a carefree,lazy and good for nothing guy.He pushes us into dilemma whether we should hate him or not.He refuses to change even after getting married.The movie shows how he changes in his life.My favorite scene in the movie is when Gopi goes to K.P.A.C Lalitha’a house for pennu kaanal and Lalitha becomes all coy and romantic by watching him from behind the door.

2. Elippathayam

After watching this movie,you will know why Adoor Gopalakrishnan is considered as a genius in the cinema industry all over the world.The movie shows the struggle of Unni,played by Karamana Janardanan.

Wikipedia says

It is critically considered by many to be one of the most outstanding pieces in Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s filmography.
This film documents the feudal life in Kerala at its twilight. The protagonist is trapped within himself and is unable to comprehend the changes taking place around him. The film won the British Film Institute award for Most Original and Imaginative film shown at the National Film Theatre in 1982. The film was shown at a number of film festivals around the world, including the 1982 Cannes Film Festival.

In this movie too,climax scene is a well written one.

1. Nirmalyam

Any day,any genre,any language,this movie will always remain as the best movie I have ever watched in my life.I have to tell you this — I deeply regret for watching this movie so late in my life.I have been hearing my parents raving about this movie and about the protagonist played by P.J.Antony but procrastination failed my attempts to watch this.The movie is made from M.T.Vasudevan Nair’s short story Pallivalum Kalchilambum which I had read during my school days.But back then,I was too young to understand the stark realities in life.I bet you that after watching P.J.Antony in the role of “Velichapaadu”(Oracle of a temple),you will not forget him for lifelong. M.T.Vasudevan Nair himself directed movie and his script was flawless.Of course P.J.Antony won National Award for Best Actor and the movie won National Award for the Best Feature Film.

So what is your score in the above list?

PS : and  wait for the next post — 15 Malayalam Movies (Love Stories)

Change of Order

Karthik sat on the couch without uttering a word.There has been a chaos inside the house for more than an hour.His Mother fainted after hysterically running around the house once the news broke in the form of a registered mail.His Father said nothing and he has been laying down on the sofa since the earth hour in the house.The mail which the postman had delivered in the afternoon is yet to open because their telephone rang simultaneously to convey the contents of the mail.The maid stood next to Karthik and he went inside the bed room to check on his Mother.She is conscious now,so he sat next to her.

Now what are we going to do?“,Mother asked amidst her tears.

I don’t know“,Karthik replied without looking at her face.

Somebody’s curse.I am sure

He didn’t reply her and she didn’t expect one too.He went out of the room.

There weren’t any pronounced miseries in their life.The family was the typical upper middle class family.Parents worked in Government offices and the son worked in US of A.The picture was so perfect that the Mother had a habit of burning chillies to ward off the evil eye.

When Karthik came back home for a vacation,the dining table looked like a table in the model recruitment agency.There were more than two dozens of photographs of girls waiting to be his bride.His parents were already trying hard to catch up with the trends that they asked him whether he has an affair and they were ready to nod for it too.This made Karthik regret a bit thinking why he didn’t invest some efforts in finding a girl by himself.So finally in two days he did manage to meet five girls and by the end of the second day he showed green flag to Divya.

There were two reasons for selecting Divya : One,she didn’t jump up and down when he told her that he will be taking her to US and two,she didn’t purposely talk anything to impress him.

When he left to US of A,he had his engagement ring on his finger.Next six months,he worked his ass off so that he has long vacation for the wedding and honeymoon.And there he landed a week before the wedding to get himself groomed and there laid a registered post in front of him grinning at him.

His phone rang.

Yes,what you heard is correct.The wedding is called off.Yes…Yes..Thanks…Bye.

He wondered how come the news spread so fast within hours.

He called up Madhu whose engagement is next week.Looks like even he knows the news.For a second Karthik felt that in front of the power of BSNL telephones ,the power of social media is nothing.

Madhu,there is one advice for you“.

Don’t worry,I will be using contraceptive for sure“,Madhu joked from the other end.

No,it is not that.For God’s sake don’t register your marriage before the wedding.Getting a spouse VISA is not very difficult.Missing the wife for a couple of weeks is better than getting inside a wreathe of mess.”

Don’t tell me that you had registered your marriage“,Madhu couldn’t help not to scream.

Yes,I had.I wanted to take her with me so we registered and started to process VISA.And now,I don’t even know what to do.“.

You are right.I am getting divorced even before getting married.

Karthik felt that his head became heavier as seconds passed.The telephone call said that the mail has the handwritten apology from Divya with her reasons for calling off the wedding. Karthik didn’t open the mail.He walked to the kitchen and dumped the envelope in the black garbage bag.The drumstick from the lunch’s sambar got stuck to the envelope and the other waste changed the color of the envelope within minutes.

He went back to his bed and next morning when he woke up,his head was too heavy that he couldn’t get up from his bed.Later that day when his Mother made bed for him,the pillow still smelled tears.

I’ve Found A Reason For Me

Two decades back 

Me : “Mom,I want to marry Aditi”.
Mom : “Yes!”
Me : “Aditi,I want to marry you”.
Aditi : “Yes!”


Me : “Mom,I want to marry Aditi”.
Mom : “Listen,there are certain things…”
Me : “Aditi,I want to marry you”.
Aditi : “Listen,there are certain things…”

Time could change them but not me.

Err…I have a Photography Page now

I thought a hundred times before writing this post because I was very apprehensive about creating a photography page. Midst a lot of brilliant photographer friends,I felt very shy to expose the pictures have clicked.But,then I thought getting suggestions and criticisms will help me in clicking pictures better.So here is my photography page.Like the page and make my pictures as your wallpapers.

Bhavia Velayudhan Photography

Lessons From A Funeral

My paternal grandmother passed away on 10th January 2014.Oh no,no, this post is not a rosy picture of my relationship with her nor about her glorious past and, this post is not about the philosophies of life and death.This post is far different from what you can even guess.

I did see lot of positive and negative things during the funeral.The negatives outnumber the positives but I am not going to write about the negatives here because of two reasons : 1)The negatives won’t fit in just one blog post and 2)my Father might kick me out of the house for badmouthing about his relatives(he doesn’t follow my blog,but still this is a very bad risk.)

Lesson No.1

For the first time in my life,I became a “real” host.When my Grand Father passed away,I was too young to help my parents in anything other than controlling my Brother.In most of the other functions, which were weddings,there was nothing to do except getting dressed up in the morning,having sumptuous meal in the afternoon and dancing in the night.This time the scene was different.I had to immerse my hands in everything from sweeping the floor to settling the bills.Money is important;in fact,having cash is very important.More than liquid cash,cash works better in Kerala.Especially during an emergency such as death,having cash in our hands is a big relief.I was always against the idea of keeping cash in our hands.But,this time I realized how helpful cash could be;of course we cannot pay by card to drivers,helpers and in grocery shops.A fair amount of cash can be very helpful during emergencies.

Lesson No.2

This is the most important lesson that I learned.After the funeral,that night I didn’t think much about my Grand Mother but I thought very hard about what I saw during the day.There were a lot of times,when I have teased my Father telling that he doesn’t know how to keep up friendships.He rarely keeps in touch with his friends.But,my Father never ceases to amaze me with his life.His entire “bachelor lodge” friends gang came down and that was a big relief for my Father.They cheered him up.Most of them had taken off from their work and traveled early morning to reach our place.They joined rest of the family giving orders,making people work and settling some bills.Next day I got to know from my Mother that all my Father did was sending a text message to two of his friends in his old gang.This is when I understood the true meaning of friendship.My Father doesn’t have them in his Facebook friends list,he doesn’t talk to them daily,he doesn’t remember their birthdays,he doesn’t text/IM/Whatsapp them,but when he needed them the most they ,all, were there with him.Nobody complained or made a fuss about he sending text message to only two people.They were more than enough happy to stay with him for the entire day.That night what I thought about was how many friends do I have whom I can truly and blindly trust in my life,how many friends will actually come down to console me when I am in need,how many friends will pay off my bills even without mentioning about to me later and how many friends will  take the pain to take a day off to sit with me.After thinking for a long time,I came down to just two people and realized that those two people have been with me for more a decade.Though I had told about my Grand Mother’s demise to few of my friends,only these two people came to see me.I’m so glad that I have two people in my life to whom I can hold on when I am in deep shit.The irony is the people with whom I talk/text/chat didn’t give me even a call.Having sincere friends is a big bliss in life.Yes,this is an advice — If you don’t have trustworthy friends or relatives,work on it.They make a huge difference in your life.

Lesson No.3

My Father was in an important meeting when my Grand Mother passed away.His mobile phone was switched off and thus,he became the last one to know the news.The shock was immense as he wasn’t expecting such a news because Grand Mother had looked perfect before he left for work on Friday morning.This is the time when you need an efficient and sensible spouse.In our society,men get little time to grieve as they are expected to run around.Here things were different.My Mother made sure that my Father is free from all the strings of responsibilities and gave him the space to grieve,cry and pass the phase.It was a big thing a wife could do to a husband and vice versa. She ran around the house,made sure the things are ready for the rituals,made all of us work, and in the end everything went on well as we all helped her.She didn’t pester him for taking decisions or opinions because those weren’t the need of the hour.For the first time,we felt that we worked together like a family.My Mother told my brother and me only one thing — this is the time to support the Dad and we made sure that he has his time with his siblings and family members. Later when my Father hugged three of us,I could sense his relief and I feel as a spouse and kids,the best thing one can do to another family member is to help him/her move on during a bad phase.He did tell us to go back to work  but we stayed with him until the rituals are completed only because we didn’t want him to go through the pain alone.


Now to talk about my Grand Mother — We never got along well and we had our own fair share of disagreements and fights.But,she was a beauty with brains and an awesome Mother.I was surprised when I realized that I didn’t shed even a single tear throughout the funeral.But,on the third day when we went to collect her ashes,I did see pieces of her bones and I couldn’t help not to cry then thinking about the Iron Lady of my family.

A Metal Trunk

People say that our love for Mother is/should be unconditional.But,I do have certain reasons to love my Mother more.The beauty of Kerala is only in my heart and somehow I like to love the place by sitting at somewhere else,which means I come to Kerala very rarely.When I am on vacation,the days are spent like a queen by sleeping whole day and watching movies at night.I somehow get attached to my bed that ,at times ,I don’t even leave my bed room.So during one of such lazy vacations,I decided to help my Mother in cleaning the house.We changed the drapes,cleaned the terrace and planted some new vegetable seeds.

Do you want to see something special?”,my Mother asked me.I thought this is her yet another way of making me work.Twenty minutes back she had asked me whether I want to see some earthworms and made me dig the soil for a 100 meter stretch.Then five minutes back she had asked me whether I want to see her wedding saree and made me help her in folding her sarees.

No,Amma“,I replied.

One last thing for the day,then you can rest and I will make pazhampori for you“.I hate such situations.She knows that I will do anything to have pazhampori.”One last time,OK?“,I said.

I brought the ladder and climbed up to the attic.There was a big and dusty metal trunk.I glared at her for making me touch this dusty thing.We slowly placed it on the floor and I sneezed hard.She opened the trunk and I again sneezed.After sneezing for the third time,when I opened my eyes I saw a trunk full of memories.I saw a trunk full of things which took me back to my childhood.

The metal trunk had my old answer sheets,the diary in which I had written alphabets for the first time,my school ribbons which I had tied on my braids,the jewelry which I had made,my dance costumes,some of my favorite jewelleries,my friendship bands,my birthday gifts and cards,some stupid love letters which I had received,letters from my friends,my notebooks,my first diary,my slam book and many more.


That’s when I decided,one of the best gifts I can ever give to my kids is a trunk full of memories.When I was a kid or a teen,I never thought that one day I will see my notebooks and become emotional.Some birthday cards from my friends drowned my in a flood of memories.Suddenly I felt those things so close to my heart.

A note to the parents of my generation,don’t throw away things related to your kids because after few decades,those things will be more precious than Gold.




Some Overheard Facts about Indian Mothers-In-Law

Today during the lunch I overheard yet another rant about a Mother-in-law.So I thought why don’t I put all that I have seen,heard and told about Mothers-in-law starting from my Grandmothers to the Mother-in-law of my neighbor.

Category 1 : Her daughter is not working but her daughter-in-law is working

1)If  DIL buys a saree,then DIL should buy one for her sister-in-law too.
2)DIL should not make SIL do the household works because she is unemployed and feels inferior
3)DIL should give money to SIL because SIL is unemployed
4)SIL often visiting the house is not a mistake but DIL visiting her house is a big mistake
5)SIL can take anything from the house including DIL’s things

Category 2: She doesn’t have any daughters but have two or more daughters-in-law

1)Both the DIL are not allowed to talked to each other because that might give chances to plan some conspiracy against MIL
2)She has a special liking towards the DIL who has a baby boy
3)If both the DIL have daughters,then she will take the horoscope of the grand daughters to every known astrologer to see whether the girls will have a brother
4)Both the DIL are made to hate each other
5)She has a special liking towards the DIL who brought more dowry/gold and during a fight,this point is raised

Category 3 : She has only one son


1)She doesn’t like her son gifting anything to DIL without buying gifts for her
2)Daily,by the time the son gets back from office,she is ready with a list of complaints about DIL
3)Her son should not support the DIL
4)DIL should give her entire salary to the MIL and then MIL will decide how DIL should spend the money
5)Her son should not stay at DIL’s house because he might be manipulated

Category 4 : She has a daughter and a daughter-in-law and both are working

1)She likes to believe that her daughter’s job is better than DIL’s job
2)If both daughter and DIL are in the house with their babies,the DIL is expected to leave her baby unattended and do the household work
3)There is something fishy about DIL’s job
4)Her son-in-law’s family is better than DIL’s family
5)There is no problem in her daughter staying in the house for many ever days but DIL should not go and stay in her house for more than two days

Category 5 : She has a daughter and a daughter-in-law and both are not working

1)Her daughter can take rest,watch TV and sleep in the afternoon but DIL is not allowed
2)Her daughter is more beautiful,more obedient and more loving than the DIL
3)Her son should not buy anything to DIL unless he buys it for her sister too
4)She and her daughter are more entitled to her son’s salary than the DIL
5)DIL’s parents didn’t raise her well
Read about a different Mother-in-law here.

On the Roads Less Travelled – II

Continued from here

If you want a peaceful life, break this engagement. There is nothing much that I have to tell you. Your life is getting inside a deep hole. Now don’t blame the God telling you weren’t given a warning


What happened?”Her mother ran to me almost snatching the cell phone from my hands.

Hello, hello”She spoke loudly and then blamed it on the poor network.

And I sat there like a stone not knowing what to do.

My mouth went dry and my body sweated badly. My hands stank badly because of the sweat. In another few minutes I will get engaged to Dasan. I frantically searched for some water. The Cuticura talcum powder mixed with tears and sweat flowed into my already wet bra. Few drops of tears escaped through the space between the cleavage and my bra and flowed over my stomach line. I wiped them with my sari and rushed to the main door of my house.The tension came out through my blouse in the form of hot talcum smelled vapors.

The crowd which consisted of my family, relatives and neighbors and people from his family looked at me as if they saw an alien. My mother’s eyes and face turned red because of the brunt of indiscipline her daughter did on the engagement day.Her face went blank as she didn’t how to cover up this shameful act of her daughter.

“Aai, aai, she couldn’t even wait for few more minutes to see her man.” Somebody from the crowd said.

The crowd took things lightly and teased me. I saw a relief on my mother’s face. I ran into the crowd to tell that I don’t want this engagement.But, as I was taught not to tell my opinions in public,especially in front of men, my voice got stuck in my throat and only air came out of my mouth which made no sense. My head shook down in the embarrassment which they mistook for my disciplined coyness. The engagement went on by Dasan’s elder sister Sujatha and Priya’s mother Ragini wearing one bangle each on my both hands; the wedding happened exactly after forty-three days.

Post my wedding lunch after reaching Dasan’s house, Ragini chechi made me sit inside a room like an antique piece kept in the showcase. The room smelled the fresh paint and the wooden window panes looked sticky with varnish. The room was very small that the walls might collapse if four people stay inside it. The cot was new and the bed sheet felt like a starched saree. The only piece of decoration in the room was an old family photo framed inside a moderately thick black frame which hung from a rusted nail. Small black ants came out of a hole on the floor and made a drawing on the white washed wall.The ceiling fan above my head looked more like an ugly chandelier than a fan. The jasmine flowed reeked and my sweat made the smell of the room worse.Women from Dasan’s family came inside the room intermittently and talked about how they were related to me now. People poured inside despite the heat and suffocation inside the room. Some held my hands, some pinched my face and some pecked my cheeks. Some others patted harder on my arms and back to show their affection.I faintly smiled at everyone.I wanted to take off the saree,the jewelry and the smelly flowers.

I felt bad when they lied on my face telling that I am beautiful. I knew well that I am not beautiful and that is exactly the reason for marrying Dasan who is twelve years elder to me and who is unemployed. If my Father were alive, he would have at least married me off to a man who has a job. But, I cannot blame my Mother too. Till how long can she keep me in the house; I am already twenty-five years old. To make matters worse I am dark, I am short, I am uneducated, and I am unemployed too. When I told my Mother about what Priya told me over the phone, she sat on the floor massaging her knees and replied “If you were at least fair-skinned, we could have searched for somebody else. I hope you are aware that how difficult it was to get this alliance. You are lucky enough to at least get married. Be happy about it.” That was a valid point because every other girl in our neighborhood has got married. Girls who are younger than me have two or three kids now.Even I got fed up of looking at all those married girls and feeling inferior.

Dasan is lucky”, most of them rhetorically said this while leaving the room. Majority of the crowd checked my gold ornaments and made various odious comments about why my Mother has given only four sovereigns of gold and the remaining twenty-five sovereigns were Priya’s gold which her mother lent me for the wedding.

My head almost busted with pain and I slanted on to the wall. The wall was cool and the smell of the wall paint plunged into my nostrils acting like a sedative. The noises around me faded and cool breeze from Bharathapuzha River calmed me down. I woke up hearing somebody shouting behind the wall of my room. Saliva was flowing through the sides of my mouth and I hastily wiped it with my saree. I opened the window wide and saw a girl slapping a boy. The boy looked helpless because of her nonstop slapping and I stood wondering what it could be.

The girl was shouting something in English which I didn’t understand. When her parents held her to control the situation I understood who she was.

Priya! I whispered to myself.

After calming down both the sides, when the crowd was about to disperse, she ran to him and slapped him hard and shouted “Never touch a girl without her permission” followed by something again in English. That night I heard stories about Priya.Every relative of Dasan had a story to tell about Priya. I learned that she shouts at everyone.I loathed her in the next second. What a terrible girl. I frowned.I saw Dasan smiling at me and my headache got worse.

Then, it took more than a decade to realize how true Priya was with her feelings and how she calmed down even faster than she raged.

It is an expensive phone. I bought it only last week. That’s why I shouted, please Kuttiamma, I’m sorry.”

Her face turned innocent and I hugged her. I smiled at her and looked outside the car window. There stood a tall and huge arch and a big wooden board hanging from it. The name of the apartment was written both in English and Tamil. I looked at her and she said,”Chitra Avenue”.

Chitra Avenue”, I repeated.

Behind us, Choolaimedu High Road woke up from its sleep and when Chennai smiled at me, I couldn’t help not smiling back.

*These are the first three pages of my first book – “378 Miles“.Do let me know your reviews.I will update about the publishing date later.