kakakiki

She was the first one to call me that way. And I was not amused hearing it!

I was pleasantly surprised when I first heard that. The next moment I got a little worried. I was calling myself aneeskA and had wanted others to do the same. But this one had in it the … the … what do you say, hmm… ah! the “thing” to get famous all by itself – and I was worried. (But luckily it didn’t catch on.)

But after some three years, I was scratching my head looking for a URL to host my “koprayams”. It hit me like a comet. I, for the first time, was thankful to her.

I was very excited. I punched in kakakiki dot com into who.is confident that he will declare the link was waiting to be taken by me. I started counting the circles firefox’s busy icon makes. The wait didn’t last much. He propped up the result – negative. The site was taken some five years before she actually uttered it!

I checked the site – kakakiki.com – they sell combs! And that too complete with a video demo! Take a look.

Signal

Shiny kept on accelerating her scooty. All she could see was the traffic signal blinking yellow. It meant she had only a few seconds to cross the junction; else she had to wait for the next green signal which is almost a minute away. It’s not that she was in a terrible haste; she couldn’t stop herself after seeing the auto driver crossing the junction ignoring the fearsome yellow light blinking its hell out. All her self restraint vaporised. Shiny accelerated more.

It’s still yellow. Ten feet more. Still yellow. Five feet. Yello…RED. Two more feet from the junction. Her hands automatically pulled the accelerator high. Shiny closed her eyes. She could hear the vehicles starting from the other end – engines roaring. She tried not to listen. Her speedometer reached levels she herself thought impossible – she would have fainted, had she kept her eyes open!

Her scooty started vibrating. Even if it was a junction of not more than 30 feet of cross-over distance, it felt like taking an eternity to cross it. Her grip on the handle began to hurt. Big drops of sweat covered her forehead. Suddenly all the commotion appeared to be behind her. Shiny opened her eyes to find herself on the other side of the junction. “Yey!,” she yelled inside the helmet clouding the dust-shield with vapour.

Even before Shiny had the time to sip in her achievement, she noticed someone in white dress standing at the centre of the road waving at her to stop. Her Scooty screeched to a halt barely touching him. Shiny was angry at him for ruining her party. “Are you mad, you idi…,” she started to yell. Just before those words and their rest started materialising in her mouth, she noticed the tag “POLICE” neatly pinned on to his white uniform. “So this is how traffic police looks like these days. Nice disguise. You almost got me there,” she thought as she removed her helmet.

Smiling brighter that a 60Watt incandescent lamp, she said, “Hi”. Shiny couldn’t help noticing that the police guy was young and handsome.

Who said shiny couldn’t notice a thing?

*

Sun was scorching the earth as if it had sworn vengeance on it. Vehicles screeched past with horns full ablaze. People ran around looking for shade. Tempers were rising. Sweating was profuse. Decibel kept on rising all around. Meanwhile two people stood in the sun unaware of any of these.

*

“Can’t you see that the signal is red?” The white uniform barked.

Shiny was taken aback by the harsh voice. She was expecting the young officer to be mild on her. Shiny stopped smiling immediately. She blurted out, “It was not red. It was yellow.”

The officer hearing her meek reply, immediately softened. But he continued questioning, “Don’t you know it’s about to turn red? Why didn’t you stop and wait for the next signal?”

Shiny immediately looked up sensing the change of tone. She smiled one of her smiles reserved for special occasions like this. Needless to say, it was not such a pretty sight. The officer must have felt the same because he demanded to see her license.

“It’s in my purse”

“Then go and get it”

“It’s in my room. I forgot to take it.”

“What? You don’t have license?”

“No no no. I do have license. It’s just that I forgot to take it, that’s all”.

The officer tapped his foot impatiently. Shiny hastily added. “I have my ID card. Is that okay?”

“What ID card?” “My company ID card”

“Wha … No! I need to see your licence.”

“Sir sir sir. I was called to the company on an urgent matter. They are waiting for me there. It’s very urgent that I reach there. Can you please let me go?”

“No I can’t. You must pay fine. Then go where ever you want”

“Sir I don’t have my purse with me.” “So ..?” “I don’t have any money!”

“Oh! Ok. Where is your company located?” “Two blocks away.” “Then call your friends. Anyway its lunch time. Ask them to come and pay your fine.”

“No sir. They are busy. We work in shifts. Their shift just started. Nobody is available,” Shiny replied.

“That won’t do. You call somebody. I can’t let you go unless you pay the fine.” He stood in front of Shiny with his arms crossed. Shiny was thinking, “What a thug! It’s pity that he is handsome. Otherwise I would have shown him my real colours.”

They stood looking at each other. No one was saying anything. Shiny was contemplating whether she should flash one of her special smiles now. She was surprised to find that the charm didn’t work last time. After much deliberation she opted against doing it this time.

The signal changed. A biker was seen jumping the signal this time. The officer could see him doing it. He was in two minds. He wanted to keep staring at the girl in front of him. But he knew his senior was watching them. If he let the biker go, he would have to give a lot of explanations. Since it was his second day on job, he wasn’t keen on displeasing him. But this girl was so beautiful that he wanted to keep her waiting for some more time. But she seemed to be genuinely in a hurry. All through out the conversation, she kept checking her watch. She must be wanted some where else. Darn the biker. Hadn’t he jumped the signal, I could have talked to her for some more time.

The biker was coming closer. He had to make a decision. Biker was almost near. If he didn’t react now … Anyway I know where she works. I can see her some other time.

“Okay fine. This time you are excused. You can go for now.”

He jumped away to stop the biker. The bike skidded to a halt in front of the officer. Shiny couldn’t believe her ears. She was thinking that he would make her stand there for a long time. She immediately popped the helmet on her head and fired the engine. She could hear the officer barking at the biker – demanding license. She wondered why he was so angry at him.

— dedicated to my lovely friend —

my lost shots

The worst nightmare of a photographer? Lamenting about lost shots and opportunities. I lost two beautiful snaps today …

Today morning when I was coming to the office, I saw :

A girl watching a father and son on the other side of the road. Father is testing his son’s vocabulary for today’s test. Girl is watching them intensely – her textbook lying open in her arms, idly.

and

During today’s onam festival one of our first lunchers was my BU head. After the meal, he praised all of us for the sadhya. I was in the ante room watching him. He said “Delicious” and gave us a thumbs up.

I heard a click – sound of the shutter opening and closing … in my mind

.. I was no where near a camera

SPLASH

I got photo-tagged two months earlier. I made a promise to my tagger that I will come up with a similar astounding story as he himself did.

“What is photo tagging?” I don’t have a clear picture myself! But I think it can be defined more or less like – Select a picture from your picture folder and write its story. Even if it is this simple, mano has an uncanny way of explaining this in a much more complicated way – seventh picture of the seventh (or was it the sixth?) album in your hard disk ignoring the recurring picture folders in them!!

He asked for one picture – I am giving him six. I hope that would make up for the delay.

And here’s my story.


Chembra is almost seven thousand feet high. Three of us scaled it last February. We started as six and ended up at the top as three. Chembra is the most amazing climb I have ever been to. Cold moist breeze always sweep you. The view from the top is just fantastic. Kerala is indeed god’s own country.

Chembra climb is in three tiers – a short steep climb first, vast plain green ground follows and then the final long steep climb. After the first level, our water supply totally dried up. We had six bottle of water – one for each of us. No one had even a drop of water left. But luckily we were welcomed by a cold sweet spring on level two. Ramettan, our guide, led us to it. It was a carefully maintained and protected supply of underground spring by the forest guards. All for good reason – there is no other source for drinking water on that height.

We drank till we were full. When we were leaving the spot, it struck me – an idea for a classy shot. I asked Bonny to collect water on his palms and hit me with it; with Linson ready to film it.

All agreed. We were set. Linson made the call and – SPLASH! CLICK!

Bonny somehow managed to miss my face completely! Although some drops did fell on me. We tried again – this time bonny did better but the shutter was a split-second late in opening – lousy shot – bad angle – bad throw. We tried a couple of times more. By then I was really worried – I was getting wet and it will show on the picture. I didn’t want that. That would spoil the beauty of the shot. I knew we were losing it.

[click on this for a larger image]

I almost gave up when suddenly I thought, “What the hell! I will do the hit this time”. I became the hitman – me on bonny. Linson chose a much lower angle. All we had was one go. It was a tight call.

ONETWO THREEGO! SPLASH! CLICK!

… and it was perfect! We had an absolute beauty. Check it out.

Bahujanam palavidham

(The post’s heading can be loosely translated in to the international language as: Diverse Populace)

Yet another episode of my take on Bengaluru and its ways. This time it is about its people. Being a metropolitan, it is a mélange of every flavor of India – colorful yet smelly!

It’s a place where:

– Conductors conduct money straight to their pocket; so are the policemen – bribery is in the open

– Dogs are morning walked – looking for a place to empty their little tummy – an unassuming human stay guard

– Even after selling only outdated goods, our local Supermarket still gets steady customers

– Morning jogging a sweet excuse for ogling girls

– Waiters showering girls with VIP care – it’s bad to be a guy these days

– Shouting into the cell phone – good enough to deafen people standing within 100 meter radius

– Earphones stuff people’s ears – even if nothing is being played on it

– Jagged clothing is considered cool

– Even if the traffic signal says wait, you just can’t stop from continuously honking the vehicle waiting in front of you.

– Peeing along public road – that habit came from dogs, I guess

– Jumping red signal is a passionate hobby

– Malls – a fashion parade ground

– A land of extras – everyone is hell bent on looting extra money for any service

– Bikers are just girl transporters – no respect shown / none received

– And of silly people like me :-)

Marriage-o-phobic!

What are these girls up to? I can’t help wondering, marriage invitations are poring in on the dozens. Why is everybody in a hurry? Is something going on without my knowledge? Am I being kept in the dark deliberately? Hmm … that’s not possible. Why would anyone want that? Hard to say.

But seriously, why the rush? Half the girls in my class have either got married or at least got betrothed. But soothingly enough, not even a single boy of my class is not even a mile near this. He he. Boy am I glad or what?
I am also noticing that most of the alliances are happening with NRIs only. Statistics are really frightening. What is wrong with the local boys? The only good thing is that I now have classmates all over the world. I can go on a trip around the globe without any worry of boarding. Free stay! Man ain’t I lucky?

So, where does that leave me? By the time I want to get married two things can happen – either there won’t be any girl left or being a home-grown local could ruin my chances. From the sounds of it, it is true they say that the future is indeed bleak.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed.