Category: Harry Potter

The Book-Broker

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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A few thousand words…

Wish you a Merry christmas. May the season of Hope and love bring abundant joy in life. Fingers crossed in prayers…  

It’s Christmas…

Remembering all those days, right from school days, when I used to get gifts every christmas in the school, chocolates, cakes and a Gift, then a movie. Those days when we used to go for christmas carols, sleeping halfway through that, when i endlessly wrote letters to Santa every christmas, And once when my uncle told that Santa would come at mid-night and we kids, went to meet him, actually what turned out was that we chased him out instead,, and now down in dumps am here trying new ways to kill time till my exam, Blog, mails, book, read, write, sketch(New found passion), search (rather ransack, No wonder one of my friends called me a libraraian’s night-mare) the library, browse, roam around, eat, sleep and yesterdayI found out another, Cook, The chef in me overtook… 

Should I feel guilty???

I felt different, rather it felt different. I’ve been this way. My mind feels as if it has been through a roller-coaster ride. I don’t know why. I get excited for nothing and suddenly I feel down-in-the-dumps. then I feel very plain, just the usual aiyo-paavam-payan (Poorly poor guy looks). Sometimes I turn anxious, As anxious as i am very now. Or as anxious as a mother of a young-girl-who-is-on-her-first-date.

I remember getting up early one morning. Must be 4 AM, I get up and manage to wake up my own self and,

the voice:”Barath, you have to get up, you have to complete that story.”
Me: “Oh! No, Not now please, I would appreciate some sleep.”
the voice:”But, you have to write it da, remember what you said last night,”
Me: “what did I say?”
the voice:”Oh! its-its something like you have to finish it and then put it in your blog, Its un-updated for a while na.Forget that, you first get up.”

Me: “Just one hour please.”
the voice:”See you have to be serious. You need to start preparing for your exam too and its not even a month and you haven’t even started, babloo listen-“

Me: “Can’t you leave me in peace?”
Before that, Another me in me wakes up,
Me1: “Can’t you leave that poor-child for a while. Let him sleep.”
Me: “listen na, Naan Thoongarean, I Will sleep.”
the voice: “ekkedo ketuolli. Hell with you.” 

I dutifully got up in the morning and completed a short-story collection, but sinfully stay away from my text… 

The Silent Raga.

There are tales that are to be told, if not they tell themselves. A very compelling read, The Silent Raga by Ameen Merchant. I loved this book by just the last phrase in the back-flop of the book- The Infinite Healing power of love.. A moving tale of a brahmin house-hold in Sripuram, where the elder sister runs off with a Bollywood Muslim actor. An account of growing up in an Agraharam, their everyday life, love and loss. Can simple things be beautiful? Can love heal your past? Can you meddle with fate? Can betrayals be the bygones? Yes. Yes.Yes.

Read it for you may not love it. But it is a tale that should be known, for it happens or it may happen in the family where you, I, my friend or your friend were born. I loved Ameen for his daringness-The appropriate Brahmin Tamil words that were used frequently and yet not provided with a glossary. Ameen Merchant in his acknowledgement has mentioned about Indhumathi akka, who taught him the infinite richness of the language and who only knows what happened to Janaki akka. No outsider could bring in beautifully such an insightful understanding of the cultural nuances of a Tamil Brahmin household. An engagingly haunting enough narration speaks for the rest of the story.

My Pet peeve, Jasmine

I had a major near-migraine in the marriage, It was a simple marriage in a temple. How much I Loved this simple marriage in the temple, But jasmines should better stay away in marriages. I felt like banging my head against the wall and yell the hell out of me. Oh no, not again I can put up with jasmine. No grudge against the flowers and no offence against jasmine lovers. I just wish the whitey doesn’t smell much. It doesn’t matter to me whether it is good or bad, all I want is the Jasmine to smell less or humbly request my olfactory cells to de-sensitize itself a bit. The girl in the departmental store-counter exactly looked like someone who was on the shooting sets of a first night scene of a Tamil movie. Am not good at describing people, that too girls. So better imagine or check out any Tamil movie. It shows the girl getting into the room, the guy getting the milk tumbler from her and they sit on the bed, then either a close-up shot of two love-birds or blooming of the flowers or the scene of a distant sun-rise in a close-up shot.

And about one of the oldest historical and literary doubts of Tamil ancestry. Does a women’s hair have natural fragrance or is it the use of flowers and cosmetics that gives a fragrance? Well who the hell cares? I just simply couldn’t get the amazement off my mind, what kind of a man would have given a thought or two on this.

And a word about me,

I don’t have any problem on how people dress and to bother the least, am not interested enough to rove around or concerned enough to preach sermons on the art of dressing. It’s up to the individual, but definitely all those girly-girly accessories turns me off. The Bangling bangles, the glittering giantess ear-droppings, the jingle-jingle junk metal jewels and the list goes on… I really cross my fingers with desperate hope that I meet someone who has a big positive NO to all this. If not, I have to declare that girls don’t turn me on and follow Elton’s path.

An Inbetween P.S: For people who have known me well, If you are reading this, Remember those days, when i have walked with any one of you, all through the shopping malls, Shilparamam, Krishna silks, or the streets of Cross-cut, Opnakkara veedhi or Ukaddam. I have endured enough to understand what that attracts a girl more in these shops. I don’t complain and I would never complain. I dedicate this to those, sisters n friends, who made a real man out of me to understand this part of a Girl’s Psyche, Before something comes up. Here I wave my white flage,, Truce Dears…

Jewellery and Marriages,

A wedding is a typical place where women put on a best show to display (Show off???) their August Austentine metals. Dressed in silk saris, promised to easily weigh a quarter of the person’s weight. I’m pitifully reminded of elephants in the Thrissur Pooram. The sight simply sickens me for no reasons. I scan the place thoroughly to spot a human in the crowd. Rarely, I come across one in the maddening crowd. One can see different kinds of people in such places. The Have’s as well as Have not’s. I crumble inside with the thought of how the rich people establish a maximum inequality in their favor by their grandeur appearance. Appearances are always deceptive, not just appearances, but everything of them.

Are women and gold made for each-other? Advertisements that show women easily getting married because of the jewels don’t show the latter Half, the Truth where it is understood that men were after the gold and not the girl. Is it the grace or the gold that determines the women’s quality? In Tamil as they say, Punnagaya Ponnagaya? Does gold hold any significance in weddings? May be wedding talked in terms of market value holds some(Like the groom), But Like gold, do grooms hold any investment value or re-sale value?

Life together is more than a one-day grand show. As Sparks tells, “Planning a wedding can take months.But planning a marriage takes a life-time.”It is just the egotistical instinct of us. What will others think if I get my child married in a simple manner? At times, we live for others. Totally in a wrong way, not the life meant for others, but making sure that others make a good commentary on us. To make us great, we put up a show to make a fool of ourselves. Living together is more than a mere day show. As Morrie says, “For one thing, the culture we have does not make people feel Good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own…”

Marriage just requires the presence of two consenting individuals. What else can be a great requirement? As a law-abiding citizen, I believe in the legality of the marriage. Even the so called holy-thread Mangal sutra is too much for a marriage. But I believe wedding rings make it more romantic, where you give in your hand and take your partner’s in return.(Read it equality) Mangal sutra. Well just talking figuratively, do you really want to bow before him and make a slave out of your self? And remember it’s just a one-sided license.

The greatest “Social institution” of our country is in the brink of disaster. Well honestly, Who cares this in the era of increasing divorces, one-night stands and casual live-in times? Just give it a thought before you enter anywhere.

My Romance with the rail…

It is more than a fantasy to travel, where one can unwind life. A thousand memories recollected from life to relive them. Some most memorable, strange, bad, weird, yet it is memories, that cannot be undone. There is something gracious in the journeys which teaches you the acceptance of memories and the journey called Life.

It was around 8.30 PM, that I boarded my train, bidding my love and short-farewell to dad and mom, I felt a bit apprehensive about the whole thing. Am kind of used to the travel, but honestly the thing that was traumatizing me was the memory.Last time, I left home and was on my way back in the same train. I last met Vipin, We had a small-dinner in the cantonment station. The train was halted for an hour, We talked for a while, a kind of catching up after a long while and I never knew that it will be my last while with him. And there was a kind of a pulling up inside me, I know it still hurts inside. Yet-Life goes on. 

And it was a pleasant surprise to meet Nishanth, His mom cooked me Chicken, Chicken biryani and I know for sure that life is going to be sure like this catching up people on the way to something-else. It is quite good to see them once in a while, The life of the past, the people from the past, the grown-ups a real part of your growing up days.  

And in the dark, sitting by the windows, I look out to the passing by nature to seek a re-assuring smile. I set out to dive into my  own divine universe of contemplation. I think the unthinkable but nothing in particular. And this act helps me to put things past and look at the life passing by, like the scenery outside the window. 

The sights, the lights, the images of the night and the people in his life tells me a story, of which I have no clue.” The inherent urge to know all scares me beyond comfort. I sets my world in the rewind mode and takes a tour back in time to learn from the life I had not lived. I know that I cannot gain control over anything. 

I knew from the sight outside window when I see and regale in the rustic rural of our landscape, the India which is not told and shown, the India which doesn’t shine like the brand India. I, like the millions others travelling by the  window seats of the Indian railways discover the Often-found-but-not-bothered India. A India which only the others can feel exotic about. It all happens inside me with the outside world, mutely witnessing it. I took a book and slowly divulged into it, an easy way to the alternate world. 

The peace-full Potterian me

And then I saw this kid, reading Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets, the last pages, I saw him totally engrossed in the book throughout the travel, standing by the entrance. I was even scared for him, but he was totally into the book. Must be, he was reading it for the first-time. Well, I did remember meeting Neeta, a girl from bangalore, who I had no clue then, that she will be gonna be my best potter-pal. I was like him, reading Harry potter and the Order of phoenix, then. She just casually started a conversation. Soon I was not-so-drooling and closed the book for no better-reasons. We had a thorough heated discussion on Snape. Mind you, Anybody out there, I never thought ill of snape and loved him thoroughly with the same respect I had for Dumbledore. I Trusted Snape as how dumbledore trusted Snape. We somehow come to peace with the other for the sake of our co-travellers and parted our ways with an anger which soon turned out to be the most rewarding experience. For I never met such spirited Potterian till now, the exceptions being me and JB ma’m. 

I was thinking, should I talk with the kid. I hesitated, in spite of knowing that I, no way look like a kidnapper or a child molester. I didnt feel like intruding him when he was in Hogwarts. As Rita akka remarked, I cannot be Nasty like Neeta who just drops in and talks. well I know it is going to be my funeral, when you have read this. Babe, Just listen I didn’t mean it, but just mentioned it. And before I could talk, the train reached the terminal and we had to get down. 

This kid just disappeared. I took an auto, and when I was about to get down, I saw this kid sitting next to me in the same auto, closing the book, with a smile. I stopped, got down and Asked him if he was reading it for the first time, He said yes and he just  watches the HP series movies and now he could no more wait for the sixth movie, so started reading the book. I felt So happy, Happy for him, Happy for me and Happy for JK Rowling… Soemthing that I just cannot contain in me, when I see someone reading HarrY potter. 

                                                       ……………..Potterians of the world unite…………….

The funeral of a smile

Here by, I cordially invite you to the last funeral of the living smile. Well If you haven’t attended one, Please make it possible to attend this without fail. I really wonder that how you would have missed the death and the funeral of a smile all these days, living here. I see at least a dozen everyday. What else can I do than witness the death and the funeral. At times, it is silent like I smile and you don’t see me or ignore and walk past me, sometimes it just takes a word to kill the smile, sometimes the curt ignorance and the silence, which deafens the smile to death. You just walk past, but I prefer to wait and see them die peacefully for I cannot save them.  when I walk, I tread upon the ground carefully not to step on any smile that’s dead or on the ones that are shattered and stripped of life. I don’t wish to hurt them more. I just walk by, but if you can see, I cry silently inside for I knew the pain. Like a smile, Dreams and hopes are the most often killed, by us, unknowingly, rather unwilling to be known. We have perfected them to perfection, that we no longer know that we kill them. I have killed them enough in number already. So I knew. Now I look out longingly at the smiles that have been bloomed for me. I daily walk through the grave-yard called society where smiles, dreams and hopes are brutally killed for they are not violence, but norms of society which every individual should listen to. For they are excluded from the standard defining definition of Violence set by the society… ie You and me

P.S. Previously published as Yeh Dil Maange More…