Wednesday, April 20, 2005

..my day in the alien world

..when it came to designing some poster or a T-shirt or a club-logo, people would come to Room No: 35, IV block KREC hostel..sometimes strange people whom i didn't even know..And in my college, which was a treasure house of fests, i never feared unemployment....friends and strangers (no longer strangers) used to get things done and leave with a big Thank You..and it's no wonder, i spent more time with Adobe Photoshop than the Tanner and Spice tools..
My fellow kanndigas were hosting a "kannada fest" and were all keyed up 'bout it..and like any other fest, it was supposed to have a T-shirt..i worked on the design more fervently since it was our own event..One of us had to sacrifice an internal test and get the Tshirts done from Tiruppur..I finally gave up explaining the intricacies involved in printing to the chap who had happily agreed to bunk his test..and I decided to go the "banian city" myself with a junior as tamil interpreter.. we landed on the tiruppur station, booked a lodge nearby and went in search of the printer with his address on a crumpled sheet of paper..I was busy contemplating on the colour of the Tshirt while magesh ( the interpreter of maladies..i mean the interpreter of tamil ) was busy asking the address to the locals..finally, we found the merchant guy...We placed the order and planned to get the material and return to Mangalore on the same night..That chap overheard us and started laughing..( he knew kannada, for he hailed from Bangalore and had settled there..so unlikely of him )..We were asking for something impossible..1 day was too short and my interpreter had to write his test the next day ( poor chap, had spent the whole of his previous night reading notes in the train..am not sure, may be to impess cute females around )..I bravely asked him to leave and soothed him that i'd handle..the merchant asked me to leave and see him the next day..
I went to the lodge and the sense of being all alone struck me at once..thought i'd have a look around that place and very soon i found myself in the busy streets of that city...there were strange people, talking strange language..all that was "white noise" for me..made no sense absolutely..found no difference between the vehicular horns the shouts of roadside vendors..the fear of being all alone just amplified.. The sight of a sign board in English ( a rare spectacle ) made me break loose and run towards it..it read "consumer fair" ..the rides and giant wheel did not seem to attract my tired body..i sped towards the only stall with an English board,but my spirits soon sunk to the crust when i discovered that "learn tamil in 15 days" was the only book whose title i could read in that book stall..
the next day, i broke my "moun vrat" when i spoke to the merchant in Kannada..He then introduced me to the printer and left..this printer gave me reminds of Kallu mama of satya fame..my scared mind translated every utterance of his as "bol.. aakhri khwaaish kya hai"(what's ur last wish).. i had begun to miss my interpreter badly..i was really proud when i could make out "saapadam" from his sentence and said "yes, i'm hungry"..my return ticket was booked for the night but the prints were still wet..the poor beings in the press were trying out their best to dry 'em and kept consoling me in their own ways whenever i looked up my watch and vexed..the merchant sent his man. the payment was done and he would drop me to the rly station..I left in one vehicle with 1 box while the other was being packed..i bid adieu to kallu mama who was busy packing the second box which would reach the station later..time slipped by, the train arrived but, the second box didn't..the next train was at 3 in the morning !!..
I went back to the factory with the driver and one more guy whom the merchant had asked to take care of me (that was 'coz his English vocabulary was better than the rest of the workers )..i generally don't chat much, but i went on blabbering with this guy..senthil was his name..he took me to his master's chamber..booted a PC (which had minimum configuration to run winamp).. with a lot of effort he fished out a couple of Hindi songs for me..and when i asked for some of my favourtie tamil songs, he couldn't digest it for a moment.. Soon, the clock struck 1 and we drove back to the station..On reaching the station, i asked 'em to go home..they insisted on waiting, but i ordered 'em to leave..and then i took a note of Rs.100 and tried to tip this senthil guy..that was the the worst thing i possibly did..he cried out "enna-da..friendship da.."..he blabbered something in tamil..i know he was't happy with my move.. i quickly added "i had to treat u guys..and now that there's nothing available, i thought"...i saw the other guy approaching, but was soon stopped by senthil.. i saw 'em vanish in the darkness and the train approach from the other end out of gloom..
the nasty fall i had trying to push the boxes in the moving train, the sleepless journey sitting on the doorstep of the jam packed compartment, bunking my internal...everything paid off when people came to compliment me, with the new shirts put on..
a week later, i called up the merchant to settle the final bills..and it was senthil who picked up the phone, the guy from the alien world, which was no longer alien to me..
i just wish i had known tamizh..and this is one of the drives for me learning tamizh..i have three distinguished gurus, aish, nari and nazir..who always keep arguing that one's tamizh is more authentic than the other..although, all seem the same to me.....



1 Comments:

At 1:13 AM, Blogger balsu said...

i can concede that nazir speaks good tamil, but not nari - i'll forget my tamizh in the next fortnight...just wait and watch:)
nice one!

 

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