Archive for the ‘short-stories’ Category

Typist Iyer

June 7, 2006

"You are joining the typewriting course in Andhra Mahila Sabha" said Kesavan Iyer. Kesavan Iyer felt that since his son Rajaram's studies were going nowhere he would equip his son with other vocational skills such as typing. But appa does "mahila" not mean "woman" ?, said a proud Rajaram.  He was after all a second class in pratmik and was sure his father would be proud of him for having caught this fact. He found the idea of having to join a woman's institute funny and thought his father would join in on what he thought was a good joke by his otherwise poker faced father.

Kesavan Iyer was an income tax inspector. He was pretty sure his son would never pay any income tax not because he felt his son was into any black money hoarding or anything but purely because one needed some form of income to pay income tax. He had unwavering faith in his son's abilities.

"I'll ask the principal to make an exception", Kesavan iyer fumed. Rajaram was devastated. His friends would ostracize him if they found out that he had joined an all woman's vocational training institute. On the first day of class he decided to bunk and go to the nearby Nageswara Rao park. This place was a haven for lovers. Love letters were littered all around the park. Rajaram picked up one of the letters and an idea struck him.

Rajaram went back home with a lot of zeal. His father was a little puzzled and did not expect to see a cheerful rajaram. The wizened old man that he was smelt something fishy. When Rajaram had gone to play, he pried into his son's bag. Inside he found a stack of love letters all addressed to Rajaram from different women.

When Rajaram came back his father was boiling. He showed Rajaram the stack of letters and demanded an answer. Rajaram hid a smile but acted as if he was ashamed. He said he could not help it as he was the only boy in the whole class. "You no longer have to go!" yelled Kesavan Iyer. Rajaram was thrilled and went to his room with a sullen face. I deserve an Oscar, he thought. Kesavan iyer had recognized his sons handwriting and horrendous grammar on all the letters but decided to let his son have the Oscar for being creative for once.

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Red or Green Iyer?

June 6, 2006

"Red or green" quizzed rajaram iyer's roommate manish. Was he talking about the suit he would be wearing for his marriage reception rajaram wondered. Rajaram knew that Manish was a fan of the hindi phillum star govinda but to choose between a red or a green suit he opined would jeopradise manish's marriage. Manish was 32 with a balding pate and was close to setting a record of being the oldest marwari to get married. Rajaram felt it was his duty as a roomie to make manish see some sense and prevent what looked like a sure shot harakiri. While rajaram was mentally formulating a plan on how to place the other sensible options on the table, manish repeated impatiently "Iyer, Are you taking the red channel or the green channel?". Rajaram was releived that the discussion was not about suit colour but still did not understand what manish was implying.

Manish and Rajaram were taking the same flight back to Chennai. While Manish was a marwari from washermanpet, rajaram was a vadama iyer from the brahmin stronghold of mylapore. Manish was determined to make his wedding a lavish affair and had splurged quite a bit of money. Rajaram mentally made a note that the next time someone asked him for an example for an oxymoron he would say "Marwaris splurging money" . Rajaram was stunned that the world's biggest kanjoos had spent a fortune on four Sony Handycam's. Only later did rajaram realize that Manish bought one for himself and the remaining were to be sold in the Burma Bazaar black market. Manish had done some complex arithmetic and figured out that he would essentially be getting his camcorders for free by doing this. So long story short, he wanted to know if his unsuspecting volunteer for the camcord transport was planning to take the green channel or the red channel at the chennai airport.

Rajaram the novice that he was did not think there was anything to debate on that. He was going to take the red channel and frankly declare that he had 2 camcorders in addition to his own digital camera. After all if there was duty to be paid it would/should be borne by the marwari he mentally reasoned. There was a brief altercation where manish tried convicing the adamant brahmin that green channel was the way to go. Rajaram won the debate and was proud that he had converted someone into the path of truth and nobility.

They landed at 10:00PM to a balmy 38 degrees celsius at the International Airport in Chennai. There was a mad scramble to get out of the Indian Airline aircraft. Manish and Rajaram decided to join the melee and run for the immigration clearance. Once they had gotten the entry stamp they went through X-ray machine. Rajaram was a little jittery and beads of sweat appeared from nowhere. Manish on the other had was Mr.cool  and was crooning some govinda tunes. The X-ray machine clearly revealed two camcorders, 5 cordless phones and two digital cameras. His box was a Mini Fry's electronics store. The customs inspector took his hand and applied a chalk piece mark indicating "E" which we figured stood for electronic goods. Rajaram got the previleged "E" as well. Next stop was where they had to decide on taking the red channel or the green channel. Manish then did something that was a total shocker. He took some saliva and erased the "E" from his hand. He winked to iyer and signalled him to do the same. Rajaram quickly distanced himself from manish and did not want anything to do with him. What if the security camera had caught this and considered him Manish's accomplice? Rajaram scurried into what looked like the Red channel. Iyer then looked around but manish was nowhere to be found. Rajaram then saw a lungi clad guy wheeling a 62 inch television through the green channel. It seemed to him that he was the only person in the red channel. The devil in him appeared and nudged him to go green but the angel in rajaram was overpowering. He went forward to counter A where a bored customs officer started questioning him. The customs officer then asked him to go to counter B since electronics was dealt there. Counter B did not have a customs officer. When rajaram mentioned that the officer said that he would be back and that he had gone for lunch. Rajaram wondered who would have lunch at 11:30PM. Should that not be dinner he thought. Only later did he realize that the officer had indeed gone for lunch at noon and had not returned for what would be close to twelve hours and counting. He then heard a whistle in the form of a Govinda tune from far. It was Manish standing near the airport exit waving to say good bye. He then said cheeesee and gave a final wink to the security cameras. Iyer continued his endless wait for the officer in counter B.

rajaram iyer’s encounter with a pot bellied constable.

June 4, 2006

Rajaram iyer was late for his IIT JEE physics tuition. His mom had insisted that he have a couple of more idlis inspite of him being 30 minutes late for his tuitions. She told him that his professor would understand. He quickly picturized a scenario where he was explaining the reason for his delay to Professor Balasubramaniam. He shuddered at the thought of having to face the professors choice abuses and the fact he would become an object of ridicule of his friends. He quickly dodged his amma and escaped on his run down hero cycle. He raced down the crowded TTK Salai. He made an amazing left turn in the busy Music Academy junction that would have made Lance Armstrong proud only to be stopped by a pot bellied constable. The constable gave a very disapproving look. He kept shaking his head which reminded rajaram of the look his father would give him everytime he would have to go through the tirade of getting the parent's signature on the report card.

Do you know how to read quizzed the constable. Stunned by the question rajaram stuttered in the affirmative. Rajaram then made what he thought was a very sharp observation where he saw a maruti suzuki make the same mistake. He pointed out to the constable why he was being singled out when pretty much every one else was doing the same mistake. The constable's total indifference to this made rajaram wonder if he was talking to a deaf pumpkin. The constable then came to the "matter". He was a master at this art. He started sympathizing with rajaram all of a sudden. His face seemed to indicate that he was rooting for rajaram and for this matter to end quickly. He said he would take care of the "matter" with minimal fuss and it would cost all of 100 bucks. Dealing with the bigger pot bellied SI would prove to be at least 5 times more expensive. Rajaram had a torn 5 Rs note in his pocket that his mom had given him for filling air for his run down cycle. He was getting late for his tuition and needed to do something quickly. Rajaram decided to wear a beggar's look. His impoverished physique lent credibility to his story. He told the constable that he was deviod of any money whatsoever. He further mentioned that he would go request his Income Tax Inspector dad that constable uncle had requested 100 bucks to smoothen out a case and his dad would be very happy to give him the money. The constable started perspiring which was unusual for the music season month of december. Rajaram's signal had turned green and he happily whistled forward only to face the music of his physics professor.

rajaram iyer’s encounter with a filipina

June 1, 2006

Rajaram Iyer was nervous in spite of being in the midst of friends. He had been away from this gang for a long time and this reunion was something he had long yearned for. He had left his friends as a nerd who had the reputation for being all work and no play. He was keen on changing that image. He started recounting an incident and the whole room came to a pin drop silence. This was after all a brahmin talking about his escapade with a filipina that even a couple of bystanders joined in to listen. The master story teller started weaving his magic.

" I feel like a true chrisitian walking towards the holy father to confess and seek redemption for my sins. I did not realize it would be this hard. I do not want to appear boastful but I have had my share of escapades with filipina women. Quite a few actually. I prefer to go to places where they accept credit cards including American Express.  The place I go to has a frequent visitor discount. Filipina women are very affordable. You typically have an ensemble cast to choose from and once you have identified who you plan to spend the next hour with, you are right away draped in a towel. There is tagalog music in the background. Free water sport is thrown in the mix. They startle you with icy chill water and in spite of your shrieking they giggle and yell back something in tagalog and go back to doing what they consider to be a fairly entertaining ritual. Did I mention you get all of this for 9-10 bucks. You tip them as you please and service with a smile is always their motto."

The room was stunned. Jaws were wide open. Rajaram Iyer had grown up people thought. Iyer had a look of satisfaction in his face. Mission accomplished he wrapped up

As they say in Master card ads "A filipina haircut for 9 bucks priceless!"