Blog: Cloud Nine

Blogger: cloud nine
The early morning sunrise in the forests of Sakkanthi was purely magical. Mist floating by, jungle fowls announcing the start of the day and crisp morning air- Velu Nachi loved her time out in the wild. What day it was? She tried to remember- Saturday. Wasn't she supposed to have her language classes today? Jumping with a start, she gently touched Kuyili sleeping nearby. The Maruthu brothers had already washed up and were waiting for the women to get ready. The horses trotted in a uniform rhythm towards Ramnad Palace. The King was already waiting for her in her chamber, fuming in anger. Not a good sign, she mused. It always amused her no extent when the King got angry. She loved the thrill i... Read more
clicks 495 View   Vote 0 Like   8:17pm 11 Jul 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
The shrill hooting of the owl followed by incessant barking, cut through the dark night like a knife. A chill went down her spine and sweat trickled along her temples. She was hanging precariously on the window sill of the first floor, hiding among the eerie shadows cast by the Palace. Holding on to the sill with a valari ( Tamil boomerang) and sword weighing her down and fingers aching to let go, she gritted her teeth and looked towards the clock tower. The men guarding the Fort of Ramnad were weary after the long celebrations of Vaadai Vizha. ( Winter solistice) The drinking and merry- making must have made them unusually lethargic, she mused to herself. Safety cannot be compromised and sh... Read more
clicks 376 View   Vote 0 Like   7:37pm 5 Jul 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
Why does this always happen to me? I do a thorough research, visit an array of shops before finalising the product, but they always fail me:( Someone said- the household appliances you buy always are determined by your Karma. I think in the last incarnation, i was born Kamsa and murdered all them seven children who now are reborn- as my fridge, washing machine, mixer, gas stove, A/C, TV and laptop. And boy how they exact their revenge! Women these days can seldom live without these gadgets and gizmos. Do we worry about the erratic power supply that plays hide and seek with us? Never!The memory of our first fridge dates back to 1985 when we were the first family in our town to own a white God... Read more
clicks 209 View   Vote 0 Like   7:24pm 23 Jun 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
Snow is what i had been yearning for a long time. I love cold weather, ask L. He knows how i pucker and shiver in the modest cold weather. When i declared i wanted to visit somewhere very cold with snow, ice and blizzards, L must have been mortified. May be he was reminded of his previous trips where he had to fight for extra blanket, heater and anything under the sun to keep me warm. When i selected Sikkim for the summer vacation, L was sure baffled. Yet, i went on- booking tickets, hotel rooms and what not. When the eventful day arrived, we boarded the train, loaded with home made food for three days! The look on poor fellow passengers as we wheeled in our luggage said it all. Chapatis, c... Read more
clicks 450 View   Vote 0 Like   8:50am 20 Jun 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
Every turn of your life, he is there for you. He smiles with you, laughs at your blunders, ruffles your unruly hair on disappointments, shares your pain and at times is your worst enemy ever. You wish you never set eyes on him that fateful day, yet the memories of that catastrophe come back to haunt you every night. He wooed you with his condescending smiles and furtive glances. All you have now is a wedding album laden with funny pictures. A skinny version of your partner staring wide eyed at the camera man- " Oh, this fellow must be paid the balance 20000 bucks". And you would be staring at the camera with a huge stupid smile- " God, is my make up still okay?" Ah, we women!Isn't it true, m... Read more
clicks 488 View   Vote 0 Like   6:29pm 11 Jun 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
Something that had happened in the recent past had me almost yelling with joy...A picture that made every cell in my body sing with happiness. This is what we all had been waiting for almost a decade. And thank God how he granted our wish- all aunties of the nation now have their own icon. Let us all welcome the new auntie to our tribe with pride and glee...Welcome Aishwarya!That is the dream girl!I can still remember how husband dear used to watch the pretty damsel with dreamy eyes. Fuming, wasn't I? And now all the aunties of the world can heave  sigh of relief! Aish is flabulous, after all! And her styling in full flowing caftans has made the press guess- Is she fat, is she not? Than... Read more
clicks 470 View   Vote 0 Like   9:55am 4 Jun 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
With Mangamma entrenched in a whirlpool of personal issues, Shaji, the King of Thanjavur and his soldiers attacked Tiruchirapuram and occupied the villages on the Cauvery’s embankments. The absence of Queen Mangamma who was on a pilgrimage to Palani emboldened the Thanjai King further. His soldiers pilfered the villages at nights and sent them to Thanjavur by day. Heaps of gold, tonnes of rice, livestock, women- the Thanjavur soldiers were unstoppable. When Mangamma got word of the looting and plundering, she was enraged. Revenge would be sweet if she launched an attack on the Thanjavur Palace, she thought. This was the right time to attack King Shaji at his homeland. She ordered Dalavoy ... Read more
clicks 368 View   Vote 0 Like   2:51pm 27 Apr 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
The nightmare had its own after effects. As trusted by people, the early morning dream petrified Mangamma. She knew someday, her end would be in the hands of her grandson. But that did not stop her from being ambitious and politically active. She was angered beyond words by Sethupathi of Ramanathapuram who had announced autonomy from Madurai, refusing to pay tribute to the Madurai Naiks. Mangamma wanted to teach a lesson to the old Marava and sent a written caution through her trusted company of soldiers to pay the tribute. Sethupathi never wrote back to her, but sent word through the soldiers that he would visit the Queen soon at Madurai. Trusting the cunning Sethupathi, Mangamma waited for... Read more
clicks 325 View   Vote 0 Like   1:51pm 18 Apr 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
The birth of the little Prince Vijayarengakrishna brought immense pleasure and happiness to the battered souls of Madurai, especially the Royals. Mangamma was elated and donated gold worth millions to the Meenakshiamman Temple. A golden crown encrusted with diamonds, rubies and emeralds adorning the principal deity, a golden chariot for Kallazhagar, innumerable tanks and ponds dotting the Madurai landscape…her thirst for service and devotion remained unquenched.  In the midst of all such hectic activity, there was a soul that remained detached from this hullabaloo, distant and silent. Mangamma failed to note the frail and diminishing health of Chinnamuthamma. How much ever people tried to... Read more
clicks 357 View   Vote 0 Like   6:13pm 17 Apr 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
Victory does some strange things to a man. Success climbs to one's head, brings down empires and ultimately leads to destruction. What made Mangamma send her son to Ramanathapuram, nobody knows. May be she was happy at the outcome of Rengakrishna's meeting with Zulfikhar Khan, may be she wanted to show her might to the Marava King who remained a thorn in her eye. Summoning Rengakrishna, Mangamma asked him to fight Kizhavan Sethupathy, the Marava ruler who had been planting hatred among the people of Madurai based on religion. Sethupathi, a devout Hindu, marginalised the newly converted Christians .They were denied jobs in the Government, shunned from the community wells and tanks, se... Read more
clicks 499 View   Vote 0 Like   5:36pm 15 Apr 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
The setting sun painted hues of red, orange, yellow and pink framing the eastern horizon. Mangamma watched the dusk from her window, herself a painting of melancholic grace. Something was not right, today. She had the feeling right from the moment she woke up today. Chokkanatha was still in Tiruchirapuram, fragile and sick. Her heart went out to him, but she kept reminding herself of his betrayal. He never ever saw her, except at the Durbar Hall where political issues were discussed. She had maintained a cool diplomacy with him, evincing keen interest in the proceedings, questioning, discussing and suggesting. In the confines of the Palace, she carefully avoided him. Unable to bear her dista... Read more
clicks 407 View   Vote 0 Like   8:02pm 14 Apr 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
Was it an illusion? A mirage in the desert? Mangamma could not say. She had indeed seen Achaiya among the crowd. And she did want to see him, just for once and ask the question that has been gnawing at her heart. Why did he run away? From her? Their fairy tale romance? Blissfully unaware of her dilemma, Chokkanatha spent every living moment of the day in the temple. Rengamma who was worried about her son and the fall of Tiruchirapuram ( modern day Tiruchirapalli) to the Nawab of Mysore and the furtive land grabbing in the east by Kizhavan Sethupathi of Marava Kingdom. She had to see someone active on the reins, not her melancholic son. She waited eagerly for the unborn grandchild that would ... Read more
clicks 301 View   Vote 0 Like   5:07pm 13 Apr 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
Full moon after full moon came and went unnoticed and Mangamma was in a spell. The spell of love that Chokkanatha showered on her in abundance. By the time she could remember that she was to be crowned the Queen, it was too late. Chokkanatha had dutifully tried to forget the Thanjavur Princess after Vijayaraghava Naik refused to give her hand. He felt he was in love with Annam, God help him, he truly was. But there was something amiss in their courtship and he couldn't put his finger on it. How much ever he was near Annam, he felt she was somewhere in a land far away from him, wrapped in her own dreams. What baffled him was her indifference even when he had promised her the Crown of Queen. S... Read more
clicks 593 View   Vote 0 Like   7:59pm 12 Apr 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
Chokkanatha's eyes roved lazily on the damsel standing by the window, her back to him. This woman can drive me crazy, he mused. Annam stood still, her face devoid of any expressions, lips tightly pursed and hands trembling. Chokkanatha climbed down his bed and came near her. She seemed lost in her thoughts. He gently held her shoulders and turned her toward him. She turned with such a speed that Chokkanatha was startled. Her eyes a fiery red and face writ with anger, she hissed- " Don't you lay your hands on me!" Chokkanatha stood awestruck a moment and broke into laughter. Ah! This was a ploy to get to him, wasn't it, he thought. He tried again to hug her and only then did he feel the cool ... Read more
clicks 453 View   Vote 0 Like   3:56pm 10 Apr 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
Achaiya woke up with a start, the lamp glowing by his side and the pitch darkness outside baffled him. He broke into a cold sweat remembering this dream, a very bad dream. Annam, his Annam was crouched in the corner of a dark room. Her face was all wrinkled, body shriveled and eyes mere hollows. Her parched lips were uttering "water", "water" in a feeble voice. That was when Achaiya woke. He paced the room with swift steps, suck by a whirlwind of emotions. Something was not right. Only God knew what was to befall him and Annam...Royal Courtyard- Thirumalai Naik Mahal, MaduraiChokkanatha Naik was conducting his Royal Court in his grandfather Thirumalai Naik's Grand Durbar Hall, seated in ... Read more
clicks 212 View   Vote 0 Like   8:02pm 9 Apr 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
The stallions rode out into the dusk, their hooves pounding the ground, kicking up a red shroud of dust. Chokkanatha Nayak peered at the figure on the horseback in front and kicked the sides of his horse urging it to go faster. A slender figure handled the reins deftly, challenging him, nudging him. He couldn't make out the face, yet he knew this was someone very brave. To beat a Nayak King in his horse race needed plenty of grit and courage. He glanced to his side and found his dear friend Chieftain Achaiya closing in from his right. The two had agreed on a feast after the race- the winner had to indulge the loser with food and drink that night. Where from did this third horse rider ent... Read more
clicks 574 View   Vote 0 Like   9:32am 7 Apr 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
Doctors who locked up and starved their maid- Sanjay and Sunita VermaImage Courtesy- TOIToday's newspapers have reported the arrest of Doctor couple who locked up their maid in their flat for more than ten days. Locking up a thirteen year old with bread to last a few days and some water to drink is what a couple of educated(?) doctors could do. What are these people? Quacks? For someone who can't even bear to see birds in captivity, this news was shocking. For someone who has had tough luck with maids- i have a long history of run away maids, this news indeed was claustrophobic. Every household these days employ them, whether we like them or not. It is a whoosh whoosh sweep in two ... Read more
clicks 361 View   Vote 0 Like   7:15am 5 Apr 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
Untouchability is a sin. Untouchability is a crime. Untouchability is something that you and i live with, every day. Sorry, we are not living in the caves, nor are we neolithic men and women. We don't even drape leaves and animal skins, but we hold our own women and girls untouchables. Strange, strange...very strange. Ostracizing our own flesh and blood in our own homes, our own sisters and mothers whom we conveniently ignore when they suffer in stoic silence. Confusing, is it? Conservative households in cities and villages alike boast of women who spend three days every month alone and aloof. Shunned from entering the Pooja room, spending nights in the most unlikeliest of places- do we... Read more
clicks 405 View   Vote 0 Like   2:53pm 2 Apr 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
Now, this is one very intriguing topic that i have been itching to write! When one of my friends suggested i read a book 3's A Crowd by Dr Vijay Nagaswami, all i could was keep recounting the number of instances i had noted marriages on the rocks, literally, quite a few! Here is one serious..ahem... analysis of why things go haywire in a marriage.1. Mismatch errorNoticed this error in the marriage of a very close friend of mine. This male was married to a prim and proper lady of the same caste and religion, as it happens with every other Indian wedding. The main problem was in the fact that the guy was an undergraduate with many, many businesses managed on his own plus a cushion government j... Read more
clicks 304 View   Vote 0 Like   5:57pm 26 Mar 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
I had to reboot my system twice before i could finish this post- thanks to TNEB. I singularly, happily, sparingly, affectionately dedicate this post to TNEB- Tamil Nadu Electricity Board that has made us TamilNadu Elichavayar Board;) ( for those who do not understand Tamil, elichavayar means someone who miserably trusts and is failed.)Day after day after day, night after night, we have been praying the power cuts stop, or atleast dwindle.Much to our chagrin what started as a mere three hour power shedding has now burgeoned into 10 to 12 hours a day. Imagine spending half your productive day without power, sweating and panting in this summer when the mercury shoots above 40 degrees celsius. A... Read more
clicks 428 View   Vote 0 Like   4:23pm 22 Mar 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
The very name brings wonderful memories...Memories of a distant past, buried away under the ugh..laundry, office, piles of homework and bills. I met her first the day after my wedding. She was standing under the neem tree and i looked at her from the balcony. She was a beauty- all milky white and shining. But i took instant dislike to her, as husband dear was neck deep in love with her!  A trait every man develops right from his diaper days, i learnt that later. They hold their wives only second to their first loves...In this case, i was burning with envy as i saw husband dear wiping her sweat(!), caressing her as if she were some delicate piece of jewelry. Grrrrrr! Men and their maniacal p... Read more
clicks 365 View   Vote 0 Like   3:52pm 12 Mar 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
Time to change! Yes, it is. It is now or never. Winds of change are sweeping everywhere- starting from the hitherto demure lands like Tunisia to Syria, Bahrain to Egypt. For us, in India, it is routine as always. We defecate in public, kiss in private...we jump queues, yet never put our foot forward when needed to. We pamper our children, leave our elders to rot in old age homes. The word change means so much to us, something that we love to hear, never follow.Boy would i love to change our " why would i care" attitude to public property. A neta dies, we go beserk. Like elephants on masth we go on a  rampage,we set fire to buses, break window panes, hurl crude bombs and what not,... Read more
clicks 209 View   Vote 0 Like   10:20am 12 Mar 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
As the last of the onlookers and sympathizers trickle out of the house, all i can feel is emptiness. Father has remained strangely silent these few days. And the stoic silence paired with hushed whispers all around the house have been driving me mad. What more can a nine year old comprehend from a whirlwind that has transpired in a few days? All i can now understand is Mother is dead. As in DEAD AND GONE...The sheets on my bed still smell of her, the closet where her sarees are neatly arranged hold a wisp of her perfume. Her sarees...How much i love them. That pale pink saree with magenta flowers strewn all around like tiny stars...How could she do it? She had used that saree to hang herself... Read more
clicks 621 View   Vote 0 Like   7:52pm 9 Mar 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
This post has been selected as Blogadda's Tangy Tuesday Pick, 13 March, 2012.When someone says they are happily married for 50 years or 60 years, all i can do is roll my eyes upward! What a sham!!! Here is what Sirji tells Madamji and what she feels in reply. Does she have the courage to mouth it? Nah!Sirji:My, my! You look beautiful!Her Majesty's Voice: Oh no...no shopping today:(Sirji: I just love your sambar.Her Majesty's Voice: When is your Mother coming here???Sirji: Can i have a tea? I have a splitting head ache!Her Majesty's Voice: Dinner plans shelved???Sirji: I can't find the iron box...where is the iron board?Her Majesty's Voice: Oh no...not again. I am not going to do the entire w... Read more
clicks 903 View   Vote 0 Like   6:51pm 6 Mar 2012
Blogger: cloud nine
Our country is blessed with water and lush greenery. Nature has bestowed all its blessings on us. We can feel how lucky we are, with a visit to the desert outbacks in Saudi Arabia. Married to the sweetest man on the whole planet ( Yayy! I reserved a new ring, there, sweetheart!) i had envisaged Saudi Arabia where he worked- dull, gloomy, sandbox where miles and miles of sand lay till the yonder. Dammam was no better, which screamed of shopping malls and traffic bottlenecks. The adventurer in me always wanted to explore the Land behind the Iron Curtains- the men who toil on such desert soil and i died to see how the Sheiks survived sans the oil. As luck had it, husband dear finally budged to ... Read more
clicks 447 View   Vote 0 Like   10:37am 1 Mar 2012

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