Sab Theek Ho Jayega !

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Kochi / Ernakulam, Kerala, India
A Doctor who loves to Live, Love and Laugh with the World! Absolutely crazy about Cricket ! Other Qualifications: A Tired Bathroom Singer, Retired Gully Cricketer and Satire Writer !

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pure Mother's Love and Saas - Bahu Serial !

Some time back, there was a lot of debate on "Batch of 88", our group on Ning Network about Pure Mother's love and the love of your son's mother ! I voluntarily added fuel for the sake of fun. But what do I believe ? At the cost of sounding cynical, I must say 'Pure Love' is a Utopian idea. It simply isn't 'Real'.

Like it or not, all of us 'Love' self more than anyone or anything else. Birbal had once proved it to Akbar by subjecting a monkey and a baby monkey to a test. The mother monkey tries to save the baby from drowning in a tank as it was filled slowly from bottom. But once the water was above head, the mother monkey shoves the baby down and steps on it to save itself. Though this might be dismissed as just a story, we know it has some grain of truth in it.

To a large extent, Mother's love is quite magnanimous and perhaps the most revered. But if that was universal, we wouldn't be having so many thousands of abandoned babies. How can we forget the most famous abandoned son ? We also wouldn't be having orphanages all over the place.

I have seen how some orphanages work. In many cases the babies were not orphaned due to death of parents. They were just thrown on the roads by mothers who simply didn't want the child. The reasons for this un-motherly act could be manifold. It could have been poverty, birth out of wedlock or loss of support in life. But we can't deny the fact that many a mothers have left their children on the roads to elope with other men.

I am not much of a believer in God without being aggressively and pathologically Atheist. I would prefer to say I don't know God and hence I am a Nonconformist. But I love, adore and admire my parents too much to encapsulate in a few words. Mere thought of anything happening to them makes me sick.

But I have seen the other side of mother's love too. I have seen so many mothers who are simply jealous of the daughter-in-law and can do anything to keep her stranglehold on the son.

There are two sets of rules when it comes to mothers. One for her own daughters and another for the daughter-in-law. This is almost universal. I don't deny there are a lot of DILs who wreck havoc in the mother - son relationship. But the reverse too is happening and has always happened.

I know a lady who made life a virtual hell for her son just because she couldn't see her DIL happy while her divorced daughter wasn't happy.

I also know a lady who forced her son to sell off their house to conduct the wedding of her daughter on a grand scale. The poor son had to bring his bride to a small rented house. Once the daughter was 'burdened' with two girls and the daughter in law was 'blessed' with two boys, the mother-in-law went completely crazy.

She ordered her son to help his sister by giving her some money every month in spite of the fact that the daughter was living in much better conditions. Why ? Because the daughter had "Two Girls" ! Can things be more outrageous?

Mine is a reasonably happy family with a pretty manageable Mom and an accommodating Wife. But when it comes to her daughters, my Mom laments that her daughters are not that happy while her DIL is blessed with a very nice husband. Every mother thinks so; in no way am I flattered.

After looking at relationships over four decades, I have come to believe this world begins with the word "I". I is a letter as well as a word. Like it or not, we all love self and nothing wrong with that. All relationships are born almost without a choice.

We never get to choose mother, father, siblings, children, cousins, aunts and uncles. Neither do we get to choose our neighbors, unless one has the power to buy everything in the neighborhood.

There are but two relationships where we can choose whom we want; a Friend and a Spouse! Friendship to me is perhaps the most uncorrupted relationship in the world. We all yearned to meet one another and rushed to Bangalore on 3 April 2010 just because we cared.

There was only one motive; we wanted to see ourselves. We didn't expect any favors from anyone. It was just fun, joy and the wonderful feeling of friendship.

Our Reunion Snap of 3 - April - 2010

Past mistakes in life have taught me the value of friendship and I am not ready to loose a single friend. I mean every word of what I say, when I say; "You mean so much to me and this friendship is most precious to me". I have never told this to anyone. That never was necessary. Those for whom this is meant will understand when they read this !

The second relationship which we choose is that of the spouse. The wife more importantly so because of what happens when a girl becomes 'Wife'. Just think over this. A hitherto free and pampered girl walks into an alien house to live with people whom she has never known before. Well, mostly so!

In a majority of cases, the girl has to make so many sacrifices, adjustments and accept her husband's people as her own. It is never easy, but they manage. At least for this one reason, the husband's people have to be nice to the DIL. This is more so with the MIL.

When a Mother in Law and the Daughter in law become good friends, we can call them, "DIL MIL Gaye"! If not, they will be "Outlaws" for each other.

Nuclear families have their own positives and negatives. I believe in living together. I can't imagine life without my parents and parents-in-law. We stay together and my parents-in-law stay just about a 100 meters from my home. They don't need me, the are my necessity.

My Mom is a little bit of a control freak. But I have made it a point to keep my wife free to do what she wants. My only advice to my wife is, "Do things exactly the way you want to, but Never talk back!" This has worked pretty well for us.

A reasonably happy wife makes a happy mother and a happy DIL and everything else. A house becomes 'Home' only when the woman of the house is happy. So for a Happy Life, you need a Happy Wife!

I carry no prejudice against any mother and no malice towards any relationship. But we have to respect the spouse. Even though I never watched the Ekta Kapoor's flagship serial, I loved the title of it.

It has a universal truth in it; Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi !

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Youth, The Celebration of Life !

Life fascinates me. It enthuses me and it also depresses me. After leaving behind four decades; I still believe I have seen very little, known still lesser and achieved nothing. This feeling makes me respect the achievers of my age and all ages, with or without Doctorates.

Life comes with beautiful stages. Blissful childhood, energetic youth, mellowed down middle age and golden old age. These can easily be hateful childhood, erratic youth, cowed down middle age and rotten old age. Some are lucky and some suffer; often without a rhyme or a reason. But life still is beautiful !

We see some precocious little talents among us and some exceedingly brilliant young achievers. It is often the middle age during which most of the people reach the peak of success and popularity.

Not many manage to retain the verve, valor and vigor in the sixties and seventies. Blessed are those one in a million who not only manage to remain active but even outdo much younger people for a place under the sun.

From time immemorium, we have heard "Age is just a number". But take a look at who is talking. The voices are mostly of those sports-persons on the verge of retirement or face-lifted movie stars. The truth is, whatever you do, the nature and age will catch up with everyone and that is the law of nature!

So which is the most beautiful stage of life? 

Childhood? I would say it looks beautiful in retrospection. But a child always has to grow up. The worries are manifold and they are getting worse by the day. Being a child isn't child's play anymore !

Middle age brings with it greater financial security and power. But it also brings in a lot of responsibilities, stress, lifestyle disorders and also the fear of premature death.

Old age can be a boon if one has a supportive family or network and most importantly health. But it mostly comes with bereavements due to loss of friends and peers and an unending list of health related complaints. Neglect by children and miseries of loneliness come to haunt.

So which is the best period of life ? Youth is the best, Period !

The little boy or girl wants to grow up and be like someone whom they idolize. "Mein badi hokar Doctor banoongi" or "Mein bada hokar Pilot banoonga" etc.

The middle aged one like me, will yearn for those free bird days; in spite of a lot more money, power, family and friends. Why ?

Any senior man or woman will definitely think of his or her own youth and say, "Hamaara bhi ek zamaana hua karta tha" "We too had our days".

Take a look at life from any stage and from any angle, "Life is nothing but a celebration of Youth". Every other stage is necessary only to aspire for or to yearn for or to be nostalgic about !

The dancing thrills of a Demi-God Hero or the romancing skills of an NRI hero. The will to succeed against all odds or the out of the box thinking. The rebel with a cause or the heart-throb lover boy. The main ingredient of life is all about what the youth does. All else are supporting roles; necessary, but just.

We have seen so many colors of lover and as many different lovers. The Innocent lover, the Brooding lover, the Crazy lover, the Mischievous lover, the Jumping Jack, the Lover boy, the Sacrificing lover, the Tapori lover, the Villainous lover, the Scheming lover, the Shy lover, the Lusty lover and the Current day lover; we have seen them all.

Legends from all races, cultures, religions and regions from any time in history have been about youth and the conquests of the free spirit of youth. Vidhu Vinod Chopra called Dev Anand 'The Original Idiot' during one of the award ceremonies. Most of the youth of today believe Dev Anand is a senile film-maker making one flop movie after another.

What they fail to see is This ! An extraordinarily handsome Dev Anand had captured the imagination of a nation and set afire the hearts of thousands of girls of those days. And a ravishingly beautiful Waheeda Rehaman went on to rule the hearts of the youth for many years.

They look like this today !

That is the law of nature !

Let us adore and protect the Childhood, celebrate the Youth, enjoy the power of Middle age with responsibility and respect Old age and learn to age gracefully so that our future generations don't scoff at us.

Because "This Shaayari" summarizes what life is all about !

Monday, August 23, 2010

Incorrigible Originals - Part 1


This post should not be considered a work of fiction. It is not. All the stories are true incidents that happened on Bellary Medical College Campus between 1988 and 1994. The persons mentioned are real flesh and blood people. 

The abbreviations used here are just to save my beloved friends from their respective spouses. Sorry guys, if any of you end up in the soup in spite of my honest efforts to the contrary, don't kill me !

I don't claim any Intellectual Property Rights over the dialogues or one-liners, but the people in the post might. I should in no way be held responsible if the "Incorrigible Originals" sue the Copycats !

After I post a blog entry, I revisit it once or twice just to weed out spelling or grammar gaffes. I never bother after that. But some posts are close to heart. So when I went back to re-read "Once Upon a Time in Bellary...", I got the inspiration to construct this post.

Boys will be boys; in any era, any place and any time. The Boys in Bellary were no different. Here is a collection of some of the one liners and wisecracks from our times in Bellary.

800 vs 1000

There was a sporting beauty on the campus. Two of my classmates were smitten. But there was a problem. There was a third man and he owned a Maruti-800. Well, Maruti-800 for a Medical College boy in 1990s was huge, as huge as an Audi today. We didn't even own a bicycle.

Looking at Ms. RR going out on a Sunday evening with Mr. NA, our guys were naturally depressed. My friend said, "Look, there goes she on 800. Ufff... my stomach is burning Yaar". The other 'Aashiq' soothed him, "Don't take it to heart. We will chip in with 500 - 500 and bring a 1000". Maruti-1000 was just out on the roads those days !


We had a senior guy called Eldhose. He had a typical Mallu sense of humor. He used to tell his juniors, "I am L-Dose, Lethal Dose. Be careful". Lethal dose for the non-medical people is the dose of a drug that can kill people. Eldhose, if at all you read this post, pardon me for quoting you without permission.

Instant Answers

My inspiration in self-deprecation was Sreenivas Reddy, the Master Punster. He came back after what looked like a tough Pathology practical exam. The boys asked, "Hi, Seens, how was it?". And this was typical Seena reply...

Oh what Dhagdanki exam man. Nothing special. To every question the examiner asked me, I could say "I don't know Sir". After getting the same answer every time; the examiner got fed up and asked me, "Doctor, Don't you know any other answer?". I said, "I do know Sir". So he asked me the next question. And I replied, "No Idea Sir" !


There was a depression over the Bay of Bengal that caused lots of rains all over South India. The usually rain thirsty Bellary too enjoyed some cool showers. Our friend K. G. Ravi wanted to know how a depression elsewhere could cause rains in Bellary. Suresh Bhatta quenched his thirst for knowledge with this gem...

See, the sky over the Bay of Bengal got depressed and it has come down. All the air in atmosphere and water in the see got displaced and is now it is raining here !".

Ravi asked, "So what will happen to the sky?" Bhatta gave the finishing touch, "As soon as all the rains fall down, the sky will automatically revert back to its original shape. So you don't have to worry, it will not fall on our head !" That sure was a huge relief !

Pick-Wig Story

In the days dominated by Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt, I used to experiment with my hairstyle. Once I cut my hair short in the front and sides and grew really long hair at the back. It was supposed to look like Sanjay Dutt's style in the movie 'Thanedaar'. But it went horribly wrong somewhere.

When I came out of our hostel after the showers, Praveen Kumar Varma aka PK was the first one to see me. And he had this piece of advice: "Tera puraana wig kahaan gaya Yaar? Yeh naye wig se puraana zyaada achcha tha!" "Where is your old wig? The old one was better than this new one!"

Hair Raising Story

Coming to more hair-raising, Devendra Reddy had a rich growth of curly but stiff mop over his scalp. But somehow we were surprised to see him bald or with forever sprouting short hair on his head. I once raised this issue with him and this was his hair-story in his own words.

It is all thanks to my Mom Yaar. She just has my hair to offer to the God in Tirupathy. First it was for my Father's bypass surgery. Then it was for my Entrance exam. Later it was my sister's class ten exams. After I secured Medical seat, she had offered my hair to Lord Venkateshwara. Now it is for the class 12 exams of my sister.

Ever since my birth, for any good thing to happen in my family; my head has to go under the knife of some butcher in Tirupathy. Sometimes I really wonder if I will ever have any hair over my head in this life at all. Thank God, I have only one sister. Just imagine if there were more !

Creative Genius

DP, my room-mate was an enterprising little chap. He was ever friendly. Talented Cricketer and a good time pass guy. But there was one problem. He was rarely seen in Bellary. He used to get home-sick so often, people used to say he did MBBS through Correspondence Course! There was a Pathology Internal Assessment test the day he landed in Bellary after another of his returns from Home-sickness.

In the examination hall, he nudged his friend and asked, "Hey what is this VDRL?". His friend replied, "Venereal Diseases Research Laboratory...". He meant to enlighten DP about VDRL Test. But our boy cut him short and said, "OK OK, I will manage". He then wrote a short note that went on for an entire page and this master-piece in creative writing read something like this...

VDRL:  Vineral Diseases Research Laboratory. This is a state of the art Laboratory situated in New York America. It has branches in London, Moscow, Paris and many other countries. The Indian branch is is New Delhi.

They do research on Vineral Diseases in these laboratories. Syphilis, Gonorrhea, AIDS etc are the Vineral Diseases. They have different sections for different diseases. Vineral Diseases are also called STD. Not like the STD booth but Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

AIDS is the most virulent of the Vineral Diseases. It is a modern day epidemic. It is caused by HIV and spread by indiscriminate sex without using condoms. AIDS has no cure. This is why wise men say, "Prevention is better than Cure". So "Don't Condemn Sex, Condom it"...

To keep this post from becoming a full-length novel, I stop here. There are so many stories two write. I hope to be back with the Incorrigible Originals - Sequels as and when they come back to me !

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Crematorium Humor !

I have always wondered what keeps us alive amidst all the problems, stress, illnesses, terrorism, politics and India - Sri Lanka Cricket matches. Then I have realized it is our ability to laugh. That exactly is why I call my blog, "Live, Love and Laugh"!

It is easy to laugh during good times. But evoking even a smile while going through the rough is tough. Right now we are going through some really tough times. My Father in law, a hugely respected man of his times is suffering in the ICCU fighting for life. It has been real agony watching him suffer and continue to suffer. If he is a little better one moment, he is worse the next. This is life !

This is the reason for my posts dwindling over the past weeks. But I am a die-hard optimist, fun loving and positive chap. I often try some humor even during worst of the moments. This perhaps is my in built defense mechanism against stress; both in life and in Intensive Care Unit.

Working in the ICCU, we see people with serious illnesses every day. My staff has been like a family for almost 16 years now. We try our best to save everyone. We win some and we lose some. It hurts when we lose but life has to go on.

I philosophize like this, "Everyone has to go one day. We all have a day, time and place to meet the inevitable. Hence it is futile to fight, sulk, hate and live in negation of the wonder that is called Life". This song is a favorite of mine. Not the picturization, just the words !

We are often easy about our own death, howsoever scared we might be within. But any mention of death of our near and dear ones invariably makes us vulnerable. At least it makes me so. And this precisely is why I am feeling miserable looking at a man I have come to respect for over 13 years; suffering in my own ICCU.

With this long and melancholic introduction, let me move on to the subject. Humor on the death bed or about death itself is not unknown. I Googled for 'Graveyard Humor' and found enough material to be read till I fall dead. Being an Indian and Hindu, I don't relate much to graveyards. I have seen them only in movies. So I believe we can call our brand of humor as "Crematorium Humor" !

There are some jokes I have loved. This is one of them. Standing before the Taj Mahal, a wife asks her husband, "Will you build a monument like this for me too?". Husband, "Sure, so when are you going to die?"

I admit death scares me. Even my own death, though I act cool about it. I was extremely frustrated by the April heat during last summer. The AC in our ICCU wasn't working. I blurted out in the heat of the moment, "When I am dead, please make sure I am burned down in an Air-conditioned Crematorium. I just can't stand the heat". My staff didn't find it funny. But I found it quite witty and that is why I have reproduced it here.

Some people have been really funny in the face of death. There is a story about Tenali Raman's death. When he realized he was going to kick the bucket, he decided to play his final prank.

He went near the wall, raised his legs against the wall and died with his legs at right angles to his body. Since the rigor mortis set in and his body became stiff, it became impossible to lay is body straight on the funeral pyres. Either his feet were up in the air or he was sitting.

This left the people laughing even when he was no more. Thus the story goes about a man who made a name for himself making people laugh. Even in death, he left the people laughing, a tad wistfully perhaps. That is a "Legend" for me!

My father's maternal uncle, Mr. Vittal Kini was one such natural born joker. All of his jokes were in our native language. Translating them in English is tough, almost impossible. But let me give one example here. He was quite sick and was admitted to a nursing home. He had a little nosy, talkative and a bit pompous younger brother. This chap was going on yapping even as our man was suffering.

When the Doctor came for rounds, Mr. Vittal Kini suddenly shouted, "Doctor, give some sleeping tablets...". The Doctor told, "But you don't need any...". Mr. Kini groaned, "No.... not for me Doctor, give it to my brother. He isn't allowing me to sleep". He passed away the next morning !

The younger brother mentioned in the story above was Mr. Devappa Kini. He too was a nice but a little eccentric chap. Famous in his times as a Dilip Kumar clone, he was a maverick of sorts. He was apparently cheated by a priest in a property dispute.

After his death, he was cremated by his sons. My father and uncles were there too. As the body was burning over the pyres, the right leg rose in the air, semi-flexed at the knee joint and deep flexed at the hip. Looking at this spectacle, his youngest son quipped, "Oh God, just look at him. Even after death he is trying to kick the priest". Now this was real Crematorium humor !

If 'Death' is as inevitable as Pakistan's being a thorn in the flesh for India, America's ignorance of rest of the world and Corruption in Indian Politics, it deserves to be laughed at. We can't beat it, we can never get even with it and all of us have to succumb some day. So as long as we live, why not laugh at it ? One can't laugh at death after death. So better laugh when you are alive. You don't lose anything and it costs nothing.

So, make at least two people laugh every day and make sure one of them is You ! A day on which you haven't laughed is a day you haven't lived. A day on which you haven't made at least one more person laugh, is not worth living ! So laugh while you live and laugh till you die. Leave with a smile on the lips of the people !

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hello is it the Doctor? Good Night !

I just was recovering from my favorite comedy show 'Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chasmah" when my friend Murli called and said "I have something to share". Well, we have shared so many things including the same plate for dinner "Once Upon a Time in Bellary". So I was all ears. Here is what he shared; in his own words translated from our common language Tulu to English !

I had a call at around 9:00 PM. A lady was on the line. She said, "Hello, is it the Doctor?". I replied "Yes". She immediately blurted out, "Good night!". Now this was something special; calling a Doctor just to say Good Night! I too said a polite "Good night".

I was about to hang up when she came around with, "See Doctor, my child had fever this morning...". So this is how I had to understand her. She had called me at night and had to wish me. It wasn't morning, wasn't even evening. So she began with Good night! I just couldn't control my laughter and am laughing nonstop. I just had to share this with you!

I was laughing too. I said, "Well, she probably doesn't know you also can start a conversation with Good evening even at midnight!. But anyway, she was nice and polite". Murli quipped back, "That she was. She was nice!". So I said, "Good then, take care and ... Good night". We both were guffawing before we hung up!

This shared tidbit took me back in time when I was working in a small private hospital in a small town in central Kerala in 1996. I was still new to Kerala those days and had serious problems with Malayalam. My experiments or rather misadventures with Malayalam is a material for a full size non-fiction hardback. I hope to deal with that sometime in future !

We had a fellow Doctor who worked as Resident Medical Officer [RMO] with different hospitals around the place. He was pretty good with his work. He was a 'Freelancing Consultant Duty Doctor' to any hospital that called him and he sure was a much wanted man.

But there was a problem, he was too fond of Malayalam, his mother tongue. I often suspected he hated English the same way Kalaingar Karunanidhi and his cronies hate Hindi. With my limited vocabulary in Malayalam, I preferred to talk in English to all the Doctors. Some of my colleagues didn't like this, but were magnanimous enough to let me continue in English.

People naturally never conversed in any other language but Malayalam in and around Pala. Most of the discussions between Doctors in IMA Scientific Sessions took place in Malayalam. For the uninitiated like me, this was amusing !

One fine morning I saw our friend Doctor outside our bachelor's quarters. Since it was too early in the morning, I asked him, "Hey, so early ! Quite long since we saw each other. What are you up to? Where are you heading to? Are you off duty or on leave? Or do you have night shifts going?".

This series of questions was too much for our man. He never liked this English part of me. He just stared at me and pondered over for as long a time as Shoib Aqthar takes to mark his run up. And then he came out with his deadly bouncer, "I offed and went to house yesterday. Today night I climb night at MMC. Today, tomorrow and tomorrow after tomorrow night. Three days I am night only. Thursday I get down".

If my friends from Karnataka and other parts of the world can't understand the fun, it definitely is not lost in translation. Only a Malayalee can understand this. But all Malayalees will admire me for not laughing out loud in front of him, right then, right there.

Honestly, I had my reasons to remain calm ! Our man was a very well built hulk who could have eaten little me for breakfast. At 7:00 AM, I wasn't sure if he had finished his morning grub !

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Blogger who traveled the untrodden narrow paths !

I am not a megalomaniac to make tall claims of grandeur. I have always maintained I am an ordinary man with all the weaknesses of a common man. Please don't get fooled by the title; it is just for a bit of shock value. So what is this travel through untrodden narrow paths? Read on...

If you have already gone through one of my earlier posts, "All Roads Lead to Hell Part-1", this can very well be considered a sequel. 

I had told "Kochi is a city of 200 million potholes of varying sizes interrupted very infrequently by remnants of what has been certified as 'Tar' by the PWD ! Welcome to Monsoon Tourism in God's Own Country. Ayurvedic Massage for the battered backs is our USP!" 

I take back my  words. After 6 weeks of very decent rains, we don't have potholes in Kochi. Absolutely no potholes. There are no roads in the first place. So where will you get potholes? Miles and miles of gutter with just three decent roads is what we have today.

Thammanam - Pullepady THOAD - Gutter In Malayalam

Some of the huge craters on our roads can put to shame the Chambal Valley. Especially the Thammanam - Pullepady road I used to drive through has become a sight to behold. I am reminded of our holiday in Kullu - Manali 11 winters ago. The drive is as perilous and treacherous as the drive through to Rohtang Pass. No exaggeration, honest !

This stretch has no tar whatsoever
Driving through the main roads of Kochi is as easy as pushing a wheelbarrow with a truckload of dirt uphill with boulders falling over from all sides. No escape from the jam. They keep coming from every angle; the buses, auto-rickshaws and two wheelers I mean.

I must thank Kishore Kumar and Mohammad Rafi for keeping me alive. It is their songs that have helped me to keep my equilibrium through this madness.

So what do I do? I start a quarter of an hour early from home. And I start back home the same way in the evening. Why? To beat the jam. What else do I do? Well, this is what I mean by, "I Take the lesser trodden paths".

There are fortunately over a hundred small pocket roads in Kochi connecting different parts of the town by bypassing the traffic clogged main roads. These are the roads I take and there are 5 reasons.

1] Only small cars, two-wheelers and auto-rickshaws can traverse through these roads. Buses and trucks are out and that is a huge relief. Well, mostly so !

2] The out-of-town tourist vehicles can't solve the jigsaw puzzles of these roads and hence they stay off. The alien vehicles and a large chunk of women drivers are the worst traffic * Congestors *.

* Congestors is my humble contribution to the vast and rich English language. If someone has already used this word, I am not aware. I don't claim IPR for this * 

3] Almost 80% of natives of Kochi don't know where these pocket roads will lead them. And average Kochiite isn't an adventurous animal. That helps semi-adventurous beasts like me.

4] Due to lesser traffic, these roads are like virgin forests. The roads aren't great, but there aren't any craters. All you need to keep vigil is of small boys bumping into you on bicycles or sometimes tricycles.

5] Almost as a rule these roads have their regulars like me. Most of them stick to their time and know when the school or college hours begin and end and hence when to avoid these roads.

So the chances of getting caught in a quagmire are narrower compared to the relatively broader main roads. So most of the times it is 'All is Well' on these roads. I can't be complaining. But there are some freak incidents that add to the charm and also the harm.

One particular mad evening, I took my regular road at quarter past four. But an arrogant Auto-Rickshaw driver while trying to overtake a car had got the whole place jammed. I had to beat the retreat.

Somehow managed to get out of the mess to enter my second pocket road. Lo and behold, a mini-truck fellow had decided enough is enough of main roads and joined our bandwagon. But the problem was with the the road. It was so narrow for him, the poor fellow got stuck in a bend and couldn't move either forward or backward.

I escaped pulling out on the reverse through a long lane of honking vehicles. And to my relief, I found the next pocket road with lesser congestion. And as I went three fourths the distance towards escape, I realized why it was lesser congested. One Tata Sumo had fallen victim to the incessant rains. It had ended up in a gutter; thereby breaking through the culvert and completely cutting off traffic through that road.

I had to retrace again and head towards the only way out; 'The Main Road' leading to Kaloor International Stadium. I took the widest pocket road towards the stadium. But was crammed for space by a Tempo, an Auto-Rickshaw and then a 60s model Willis Jeep.

To complete my evening of misadventure, a little boy on a bicycle leaped in front of my car from behind a parked Tempo and banged my car head on. Thankfully he wasn't hurt. Quite shaken, I pulled down my windshield to protest and give him a tongue-lashing. But instead of raising an alarm and creating a hullabaloo, he actually said "Sorry Uncle!". 

That was a surprise. There is no appeal after 'Sorry'. So I drove on and reached home twenty five minutes late.

I told my story to my anxious family and went to take a shower. After my evening cup of tea and snacks, my father asked me, "Did the boy say Sorry to you?". I said, "Yes". My father quipped tongue in cheek, "No wonder he did, KL-7 is missing from your number plate, only BD - 6826 is remaining!"

KL-7 Missing after Action !