A woman I loved is coming for dinner tonight.
So as known, I slept very early, woke up in the middle of the night, lazed around watching random stuff, read random pieces from my diary, sat across the balcony. Having fallen asleep there, I wake up disoriented.
I get up and I make tea. As I wait for the water to boil, I vaguely go through a few random memories of her from the past.
I am thirty one years old, I have been alone for almost three years now, I have dated no one since-the-last-almost-three-maybe-four-years-of relationship/being-together/knowing her. I know her for the past six years. I fell in love with her, yet. She could have fallen in love with me; may be, she did. But, she avoided it. We were almost in an almost relationship, but we averted it.
Sometimes I like to be alone, I come into my bedroom at the odd time of the day, just to lie down for a moment. I Look out at the light coming through my window, it gives me a feeling of solitude filled with hope. It seems the most human thing, i can learn to live with.
I realise how, some mornings never dawn in a man’s bedroom, the drapes of a morning never unfolds till a woman arrives.
I remember a portrait of us together in a friends house. Probably the only picture of us together; me in a white tee and a black shorts after giving bozo, the chocolate lab, a shower and she in her pantsuit. The picture is a testimony of our worlds apart, Yet S’s mom finds that a cute picture, “No two same people ever fall in love”
There are times, I feel so ditsy, dizzy and disoriented. I do take refugee with some of my couple-friends, Three to two to be precise, for they make you feel better and humane. I remember once at a late dinner at their place, I could hear their baby whimpering from the bedroom. I was about to stop my story-telling as she paused for a second and asked me to finish first. I was a bit taken back, She got up as I finished with the anecdote, Winking at her husband V, she said, “I will get the baby, you take care of this one.” I am grateful in life for a few deep friendships that I had earned till now.
Sometimes all I do is sit at my sofa or lean against the counter in the kitchen or even without realising as I open my fridge or when I am about to leave for work, I start to think about the home that I have made in the last lustrum. The guest bedroom, the way the laundry bag is hidden from the view, the way the bamboo plant is kept facing the sun, the arrangement of rugs.The idea of an hand-sanitiser within the reach as you snuggle onto the sofa. The chair right near the front door so that one can ease into it, as reaching for the footwear. In some ways every little precise detail matched the version of you in my head.
At times, it gives me an immense feeling of a home, a family, when there is someone sleeping in the next room, the way I tip-toe across the entire house, the way a door should be closed with a silent hush. Something I picked up from somewhere,
just like this weird habit of mine – Celebrating either a 10,000th day or Eleven thousand eleven hundred and eleventh day of someone, I missed the first. So i planned the latter on April 1st 2014. How I bugged her all day to bunk, just to cancel my plan on the last minute. Yet Fahadh came to the rescue, planned the whole thing, A cake, a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates, I do have the small video of someone, mellowing down, the welling up in the eyes and a slight smile of mouthing the words, Thank you.
I imagine at times, the house filled with people, the two kids and the dog. As I have this space below the window sill, large enough to fit a small bed for a dog. Of her in the study, pacing deep down in concentrating on work, the kids sleeping, me sitting with the dog, talking to a friend/student. May be its a way that one is growing up without a family around.
May be somewhere a home awaits you, as the woman I loved is coming for dinner tonight.
That is something probably he is used to hearing from F, whom he considered more of a Kid Brother. “My Sister always thought you were a complete mess in your head.”
Something that stuck with him for life. There is a stagnant place in life, just like we all believe there must have been a simpler place in time. Strangely life takes you more often there, leaving you bewildered.
Like the tempting waves of the sea, as one steps into the shore, the water soothes you, caressing you and thereby slowly touching each fibre of your soul and wading you into it. There is a moment when you let go of the fear and step into the horizon of the unknown as the ocean engulfs you into it completely. Few people rarely get into ocean that way, to completely give into it.
Those countless hours they have spent on the sea, her fascination for water as F puts it. He was taken completely by the charms of the siblings. They are quite apart yet they are so similar. As we all grow up, we outgrow the intimacy of being brothers or sisters. What charmed him more, is that he can see himself as the brother and the sister and how much he miss being a brother to his own brother. As D puts it often, “Cranky families produce better children” Yet they are his own dysfunctional idea of family and love.
The girl that he fell in love, a girl who who grudgingly yet soulfully built a home in a house full of strangers. A girl who painfully transformed herself into a woman, having fought for a place in the world. A woman who with an easy smile and with a sip of wine can be dismissive, “Yeah.It all happened. Everything was given to me at the right time.” He did wonder at how many people, actually would be so nonchalant about growing up.
A few remnants of the residual love, the slight amused tilt, “You are so much a kid, still.” the smile she had for him through the side mirror as she parks her car in the reverse, a momentary pause to decide whom to greet first, the dog or the guy. The way he longs for those rare moments when she leans onto him, the smell of her morning shower, the smell on her hospital dress, when she is back home. The way she closes her eyes as a test and a thought to decide how much water for the rice to boil. A tired greeting on the phone at the end of the day. The twinkle in her eyes at his every gesture of love and surprise. Her resignation for his ways into the future, “You are still a student, bubby” Her habit of flicking off the TV for a second to see him in the screen, sipping the cup of tea for sweetness. The way she raises her voice stern and firm, when he is all bugging about ,”Bunk today, Please.” The memory of a woman checking her Kohl in the mirror as she gets ready for work.
Those evenings, when they all huddle together on the floor around the sofa, Tea, snacks, Wine, endless chatter and banter, the movies, the cards, the board games, those dumb charades. Its the time, when all he looks is for a moment when she would little brush against him as she gets up to leave or snuggle quietly into his lap, humming along a song quietly, as she winks at him. Those myriad memories of her. As F teases him, “You are way too smitten,” And remember, “My Sister always thinks; you are a complete mess in your head.”
To meet and part; To part and to meet. And the final memory as she closes her eyes and sings in a soothing voice and in tune with the pitch as she raises in the timbre,
“Kaatru Veesum Veyyil Kaayum Kaayum Athil
Maatram Èthum Illayae.. Aaaa..
Vaanum Mannum Nammai Vaazha Chøllum Antha
Vaazhthu Oayavillai Èndrendrum Vaanil..,”
In that Ephimeral bubble of eternity, he rests his life as she opens her eyes with a smile. The unmistakable sad silt of her head with the twinkle of a small sigh.
I knew deep inside me that I will not and cannot love him as how S loved him. Yet my fondness grew aplenty, platonically. He made me grow into the person that I always wanted to. He taught me; how to dribble a ball, climb, swim, trek, to whistle with fingers, tie a sailor’s knot in ropes and Windsor’s knot and seventeen other ways to tie a necktie, something that my children adore in me now.
And, as I always remember being the youngest and only daughter, how it was to be treated a-bullied-yet-the-princess of the world by my brothers. I wish my two daughters would stop constantly picking on their brother and leave him to grow up like, the memory of mine-You.
He was new to the place; with hundreds of new faces around, he not only felt new, but also out of place. Still he braced himself for what was ahead in store. With each passing day, he became familiar with the new faces. Soon there would be someone to greet him, smile at him, and stop by to ask, ‘had lunch?’ ‘Do you have class now?’ ‘Nice shirt yaar’, ‘Want to have chai?’ Casual acquaintances do happen this way in a new place.
But still there were few people, who do not need such mere casual niceties. But there was something else; Some other people who took him to them. Kevin, The Great Dane Singer, Nagaraj, Swami, Oliver Twist, Range, Henry, Kalyani, Robert Langdon, Jamie Sullivan, Sparks, Jayakanthan, Harry Potter, Erma Bombeck.
And not to forget Alvin, the cute kid, who lost his family on a Christmas Eve. It was Alvin, who showed a different him to others. People by then knew that he was a story teller. And she loved to listen to his tales. She knew, he is different and all that mattered to him was the words and what they convey to world.
There was this guy and the first novel he brought for him. “The pleasant Interlude”; and from then it was their ritual- A book for every birthday.
Oh! Not to forget how these three met on a mid-night to be introduced as hard cotter potter-maniacs. Be it the mess, corridors, Stone benches, the front shop. They were never tired to carry a conversation of what would happen to Harry and Hogwarts after the death of the beloved Headmaster Dumbledore.
There were a few girls, who met him almost every evening/weekend to get/share/exchange/rob books from him. Also they loved to call him Krishna, for they believed he has a way with girls, but not just with words alone. Those evening spent in the stone benches and those never ending conversations at the girls hostel gate. Girls, it seems had to face a tough time with their infamous warden because of him, as how someone later testified.
Then came two Psycho Seniors. Remember Kevin, not just a problem child in the case of high school shooting, but someone he held close onto and someone who grew on him. She knew that behind this stupidity and Vainokki, rather Bada Jollu Party, there is a sensitized guy.
Not to forget the beautiful world of Malgudi that R K Narayan weaved with his words and imagination, which brought us together and also the hatred of you for poor Ginny, I have never seen anybody so much drooling for our Harry.
Oh! And then the senior and the sister, with whom he had real tough time, when it comes to make her read books, and had to throw up real emotional tantrums to make her read books. Someone who got him Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the first day and the last day of his life in Coimbatore.
Pray for me Brother, Gone with the Wind, My Days, and a Readers Digest Edition of A Walk to Remember were their last exchanges. Rather the meen curry and Kari meen at Neyyattinkara.
Have you ever sit on a public place reading a book? Well you would. But have you ever snatched a book from someone when they were deeply immersed in it? And then call your friend and show, “Hey Look, Nicholas sparks.” And still forget that there was a guy standing in front of you, mouth wide open and little intrigued. I know someone, who just got lost in North Carolina then.
A junior, who was introduced as a fellow Potterian and a co-Aquarian, someone who shared the equal madness and passion for books. Someone who made him gift her, Tuesdays with Morrie
And then someone else walks into his life, a junior to start with, and then turning out to be a precious little brother he always longed for. They grew together without books. I remember those Friday evenings when he went to see him off. Those old book stalls, where he leisurely spend an hour or two buying half of dozen of books, only to be snatched/robbed, when he is back to campus.
It rarely happens that he gets to read the book first. It was always made sure that the book is circulated among their reading circle; read by everyone and then promptly returned to him.
Such was the life of The Book Broker.
P.S. To all my Book-Lover friends from PSG… Love you folks…
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Not that every day, you happen to have a talk that leads you to a discussion that had been an haunting in you, All I had poured is basically me, but what I more importantly tell is I’m what I write, I’m also What I don’t write… And as Jayakanthan puts it, “Please remember that what is written is not just a piece of paper, but a writer’s heart, Read it to respect too,…”
No!!! This is not a review of the book, or Am not gonna talk about anything related to the book, There is always a coming back for everything on earth and for everyone… And So for me, for someone who didn’t write anything for ages, It is something little that does the wonder in life,
For I believe that little things matter the most in life.. THE MOST… And I greatly adore/admire/love/respect Arundathi Roy, who christened her book, The God of Small things… Happyness like the sands of the sea is made up of numerous little things, Life is made up of such numerous beautiful little things which make the short while a worth while occasion.
Be it watching a sunset, a cozy conversation over a cup of chai or a little shared dinner, a late night coffee or spending an evening with friends … And when I say friends, It sounds a little tricky… for What is a friend and who is a friend differs a lot in every one’s perspective. Someone who makes you feel good, someone who brings you a smile for no reason, someone who makes you care, go for him/her. Nothing great can define a friend and a friendship … It is often the overstated or the understated…
An unexpected catch up in the canteen, leading to an idle no-sense/no need of a sense/all sense conversation, a small walk the talk/hey am leaving/ hey see the sun/
A path through the dried grass, thoroughly littered with shit and shattered glass, and the tall bushes and tress, a careful walk among the once lush greenery, leading to the lake, the dried patch of the earth, a small make-over place to sit, a amateur flutist trying his level best to play sound and a musical response from the cuckoo or a peacock…. Watching the blue hues turn to the orange hues as the clouds magically sweep the sun home, the birds flying home in the V direction, the frogs croaking in the lake, a duck paddling its way to and fro, a small bird searching for the fish, the buffaloes grazing lazily, three friends chatting over, one desperately trying to play flute, the other playing and singing songs and the third other ever innocently watching the stupid acts of the two guys… One thing leading to the other, a talk about Tamil movies, One animatedly talking about her love for Tamil movies, and how she likes the dance of the actor Vijay *Sigh*,, Hey indeed Vijay a great dancer, but actor….. oh My God……
Then a photo session to follow, Oh! how much I love to click people,,, The most beautiful moments captured in the camera and frozen in the mind and every picture tells a story, how the picture was taken, what happened before, during and after… Listening to the old songs, the English rapp, malayalam Naadan pattukal, the Hindu devotional songs, Suprabhatam, “The best way to,” ….. get up in the morning, completes your friend.. How true, The joy of getting up early in the morning to the sound of the magical muse…. Some things just happen… The accidental meeting, the unplanned act of sitting together and watching the sun-set…
An unexpected Gift(s), The most beautiful thing in life is surprise, and the next wonderful thing is being surrounded with people who surprises you… An Unexpected gift, that too a book, It indeed feels great when someone gifts, and then a long ago requested cloth bag…. I felt so good…. An unexpected phone call, when you were busy sharing dinner, what feel is that when you turn into kids and share food, in spite fighting over the fish pieces and still sharing leaving the little for the sure-late-comer….
And a phone call to talk/share/ramble on about the recent Jayakanthan book read.. The Characters Ganga/Henry/Ranga/Kalyani who teach you what life is, An author with a fatherly concern who teaches you the healthy view of life, a non-judgemental writer, the greatest humanist-ever, and therapeutic words brimming with love. Jayakanathan, You made me a human… And tons of Thanks to JB Ma’am for having introducing this legend in my life….
What more can be asked in life than love, people, books, music and certain other little which you love the most and that makes life the more meaning full… They make you passionate and compassionate enough. What more is needed in life than to live life with love? What more can life be? when you’re surrounded by people whom you love and people who love you?
What more can be asked in life, when you know that life is in the little moments of happyness and life is only when you live, As Anu akka says,”what more life can be, when you have learnt, how to romance life…”
We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a “small one.”
P.S1.Well I Thank Nikhil for His , Honest Blogger Award that He bestowed upon this Humble Blog And his Cho cho cho chweet words for me
“the tamil payyan-most men aren even half as honest as he is in his space,the longest posts in ma blgroll which is quite superb though you tend to struggle for words thaks to the sheer magnitude of his posts,fun loving,humorous and sexy.. :p).”
P.S2. And if you have noticed I had changed the blog name from Musings to Musings of a true believer. People Who knows me well, Know well about this Incurable optimist too and I believe that I’m a true Believer, an Inspiration from Nicholas Sparks..
P.S3. And, Recently I had been asked by a good friend of mine, to actually confess (anything) in my blog, I remember telling this to a friend, followed by a roar of laughter. But I believe in this still …, “I want to read with my lady-love, A walk to Remember in my first night and cry.” It’s now left to you to imagine, what kind of a man would want to read in his Nuptial Night……
P.S4. This post is dedicated to all my friends who have been with/through me, eternally.
It was a great surprise to know that I was awarded by Ani It was a great feeling to be awarded by famous bloggers and also someone lovely like Ani. Thanks a ton Ani buddy!!!! and also for her kind words of love and comfort.
And I would like to award this blog to the following lovely bloggers.
How much Once I longed for one, that i decided to create one by my own and send it to a friend and ask him to pass that to me back through another.. crazy days,, Then it all happened. The wonders of the people, I met here and their constant encouragement, love and support which made me go on. Without them, I wouldn’t have made out.. Thanks a ton. Love you all.
This is a story, I wrote for my friend’s blog. With his permission, I present the same here. Hope you like this…
Recounting memories of someone is a tiring process, yet there are certain memories, when cherished creates rainbows of myriad hues with subtle shades of different emotions in the mind. It gives the true delight of life, which soothingly embraces the soul. One such memory is Mano anna.
There was no one in the street who didn’t know him, the mechanic Manoharan. Everyone calls him, ‘dey mechanic’. Dad and mom call him ‘mano thambi’. To me, he is mano anna, my mano anna.
I met him when I was six or seven years old. He was six years elder than me.
I am the only child at home. I can be spotted either roaming in the street, fighting with older boys, or in the mechanic shed after my school hours. There were at least a dozen kids and it was natural for us to squabble one thousand times each day. Though I got along well with everyone, I spend most of my time in Mano anna’s mechanic shop. At 15 he was the owner of this shop. Mano anna, unlike me doesn’t speak much.
He is very soft spoken, who never loses him when dealing with people. He can be always seen working, with those grease stains all over him. All he knew in his life was his mechanic shop, his motor bike, his Bible, his harmonica, his volley ball and his few friends. He had an elder sister, who was studying in Chennai then. He earned and spent everything for her. And Whatever he is, to me, Mano anna is my good friend, a brother and my first male companion.
I spent my childhood days in his company and grew up with him. My parents never objected or had problems with this. My grand-ma didn’t like me spending time with mano anna. There were times when she was rude and shouted at him for no reasons. I appreciated my parent’s efforts to pacify her, but every time they fail miserably in their mission. I had no problems over anything. I hate my grand-ma for her constant surveillance on me and her endless preaching on how-to-be-a-girl. I remember her constantly telling me that it is not good for a girl to have friendships with boys. I can very well understand my grand-ma. To her, her views and perceptions were right and hence she was reasonable. But I never personally believed in all that she told me.
I passed out of the school and took admission in the college. When I was in second year, mano anna got his sister married off .Things changed between us. He didn’t like me spending much time in the shop, rather never encouraged me. But he and our relationship remained the same. He will come to our home once in a while to help my dad and my mom in their usual chores. There was this one thing that I always wonder about him. He never went further our sitting room in our home and even when my mom insisted on eating with us on any festivals, he never accepted the invitation. He would always excuse himself and get the feast packed to eat in the shop with other workers.
And my mom for every Easter and Christmas would specially cook spice stuffed oil brinjal, puliogare, drumstick curry and pappads for him. I could only smile pitifully for him at the very thought of seeing him miss all the wonderful non-vegetarian feasts. I loved my mom more for what she has been to him in all those years.
When I was in Mumbai, I got his wedding invitation. I couldn’t attend his marriage for some reasons. I met Mano anna lastly in my marriage. He was there with his wife and his girl child. It felt good to see him after a long time. His child was six years old. He had named her, ‘Avantika’. I remembered my childhood days with mano anna. I met him, first when I was six years old.
I couldn’t help but smile with tears for all that Mano anna had given me in my life- including my name for his daughter
Now, two decades of life went turning me forty five. Life blessed me with two boys and a girl. Whenever I see my eldest son and daughter together, I’m reminded of Mano anna and me. I can now tell my grand-ma that my relationship with mano anna gave me a healthy view of men and women relationships. It helped me to trust men and understand that they are different and not bad. He taught me how important it is for women to be courageous in life. And I teach my kids responsibility for I’ve seen what it is to be responsible even in one’s young age.
I remember those days of my life, when I’m in the mechanic shop with mano anna, busy in his work. The only emotion I remember of Mano anna is how I cried softly when I first listened to his harmonicas magic. The only memory that lingers in my mind is the expression in Mano Anna’s face as he wipes the grease in his face with the back of his hand.
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” I was certain he would turn my way. He would look at me. He would flatten his ears. He would growl. In some such way, he would conclude our relationship. He did nothing of the sort…
…. I was weeping because Richard Parker had left me so unceremoniously. What a terrible thing to botch a farewell. I am a person who believes in form, in the harmony of order. where we can, we must give things a meaningful shape.. It’s important in life to conclude things properly. Only then you can let go, otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did and your heart is heavy with remorse, that bungled good-bye hurts me to this day.. But I hope you will remember me as a friend. I will never forget you, that is certain. You will always be with me in my heart…So Farewell, God be with you..”
– Life of Pi- Yann Martel.
I met him three years back. I remember it was one April afternoon in coimbatore. When he was on his way to Bangalore from Chennai, That was the first time I met him. Never ever thought that our lives as friends would be so limited to such catching ups at random times when we’re on our way to something else. Life moves on and we made it a point to meet so.
Well It all happened with the one letter I sent when I was in my eight standard. I wrote a letter to my first pen pal through the Ink Links of Indian Express. He replied and we were friends from then. Our friendship grew with the years. It was odd meeting him in person after a long correspondence through letters and phone calls. He looked recklessly handsome with a careless cute smile which I grew fond of. The ease with which he approached when I was apprehensive about the meeting made him more special. He introduced me to his dad, who knew well everything of/about me.
He was my first pen friend and one of my good friends. He died last month. He was just 23. I heard the news from another common friend. I don’t understand/rather I don’t want to understand the rapidity of life. The instability and the uncertainty that makes this life shockingly rude.
The memories of our last days hits me with a painful numbness. I wish I made that one phone call or sent one mail. He was a friend and will be always be a friend to me. I can never forget his smile, his addiction to music and the way he passionately plays his guitar. He was such a natural when it comes to music, people and books, those titles, characters, quotes, plots, and anecdotes he remembers about books, people,places, events. He was an inspiration to me, a worst critic and the best mentor to my writings. His awesome sense of humor made him quite popular among his friends. I had met him only a few times, when he was in Coimbatore. Those evenings we have spent roaming in the streets, those dinners at posh restaurants and street side shops. Those book hunting’s, those mid-night walks n talks we had, The letters and mails he sent are the only memories I have of him now.
“If there are friends or family out there who you haven’t called in a while, I would say send them a note or a call. Life is always moving too fast,work is always waiting in a small box which we all call laptops and everyday emergencies are a part of it. But its far worse to sit in a room at early morning hours typing a blog, hoping that you got one last word with a loved one” – Anu
I remember the song that he sung for me on his birthday, “Nalam Vazha en naallum en Vazthukal. Tamil Kurum pallandu en Vaarthaigal.” With Love. I wish You. May God be with you.
Bye da Vipin.. We will miss you.
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Foreword: With Due apologies to my Non-Tamil readers, Right after I told Raj, Had been trying to write something in Tamil.. (Had put the translated text in the Comments) But avoided it at all costs, Well when Life gets overwhelmed with???? I write, and the best has come close to what I feel, in my Mother tongue often..
And this is a writing on, The colours of thoughts and how the colours of love are always the unfading ones, yet the ones that traumatize life… Will arrange other means for my tamil posts and wouldn’t bring it here… Excuse me people this time…. Just an attempt.
வாழ்க்கை இத்தனை வண்ணமயமானதோ? வன்மையுமானதோ? மனதில் மனிதர்களின் எண்ணங்கள் வண்ணங்களாக மருவி ஒரு பூம்பட்டானை போல் இருதயத்தை சுற்றி திரிகிறது. எதை பார்ப்பது? எதை ரசிப்பது? என்பதே ஒரு வியப்பு. எண்ணங்கள் வண்ணங்களாக, பாசத்தின் சாயலை பூசி, சற்று பூரித்து போய் மனம் படைத்த ஓவியம் இந்த அன்பு.
மனம் தேடல் கொண்டு, பின்பு கண்டு, கேட்டு, வாசித்து, வியந்து, சேகரித்த நினைவுகள் எவைஎல்லாம், மனதை வருடி கொடுத்து விசாலமாகியதோ, அவைஎல்லாம் இன்று இதயத்தை இருக்குகிறது. எவை அன்பின் வண்ணம் என்று மனம் நினைத்து பேசியதோ, அவை வன்முறை என்று காலம் கண்டித்து கற்று கொடுத்த பாடங்கள், ஒரு நல்லாசியை போல் அவனுக்கு உணர்த்தியது. காலம் தாமதித்து.
எஞ்சிய வண்ணங்களின் வாஞ்சையை வாடமலும், வற்றாமலும், இருக்க மனம் பயிலும் முயற்சியே அன்பெனும் ஓவிய பயிற்சி. “இங்கு இருப்பதும் பூரணம், அங்கு இருப்பதும் பூரணம். பூரணத்தில் இருந்து பூரணம் எடுத்த பின் மிஞ்சி இருப்பதும் பூரணமே.” அதே போல், வண்ணத்தில் இருந்து வண்ணம் எடுத்த பிறகு மிஞ்சி இருப்பதும் வண்ணமே.
எனினும் இந்த சில நாட்களின் நினைவுகள் மனதின் மெல்லிய அசைவில் போக்கிஷித்த போய் மீண்டும் மனதை வருடுகிறது. நிஜங்களின் நிழல் வருணிக்கும் வேதனை தாழாமல் மண்ணில் முகம் புதைத்து அழும் இந்த மழலை மானுட மனம் படைத்த ஓவியத்தின் அன்பு கசிந்த வண்ணங்கள் எண்ணமாயிற்று !?
addthis_pub = ‘barathwillbe’;