The Hindu has a great column on Sundays written by one Mr Mathrubhootam. The columns are so funny, humorous and topical that they are irresistible. The writer claims himself to be a retired government servant, who is harassed by his wife and young son.
He is, in general, in disbelief of turn the world has taken in front of his eyes. He just wants to pass his days peacefully but the world, he claims, is conspiring against him by throwing one challenge after another. In more ways than one, the way he writes and the subjects he chooses remind me of R K Narayan. It was Narayan who created the fictional town of Malgudi, around which he heaped a liberal serving of unforgettable characters and humorous tales laden with sad underpinnings. Even now, when I randomly pick Narayan's books, it feels like an organic entity, full of life and energy. Reading those stories remind me of my own childhood in the godforsaken, middle-of-nowhere, big-enough-not-to-be-a-village and small-enough-not-to-be-a-town place, where we actually went out with friends and played unlike these days where children are glued to their gaming consoles. I used to steal mangoes, guavas, and berries from orchards with my friends and spend hot summer afternoons in the foliage of large trees.
In the era before Facebook and Twitter, we had quite a difficulty in meeting people. We had to actually get out of our homes and find out where our friends were at. We could see them face-to-face and talk to them directly. It was a cumbersome process. You could see them talk and gauge what they were thinking and respond without a 100 people liking or commenting. We could share secrets and laugh, not the ROFL or LOL kind, but the real one. It again was an ordeal. Our opinions were discussed and it fetched no like, unlike these days where the entire world is invested in what we had for breakfast or would have for lunch. In my days, the world was not this loving. My neighbours would actually feed me if I told them I was hungry. Just imagine. No smiley, no like but food. Awwss and Oomphs too were missing. How I passed my childhood days is only known to me.
Anyway, had a good day. Three interviews and two positive replies later, I think I'm set on my journey to be a freelancer. I would be requiring another couple of gigs to make it look like progress for I would be foregoing my regular income soon. To make sure that I can make ends meet, I would require the cumulative yield of the gigs to overtake the regular income. I had to take drastic steps as it no longer seemed convincing that I had to 'prove' myself on a daily basis to be in the reckoning, which was already skewed owing to multiple reasons. If all things are in place, I might even be able to quit on this concrete jungle, which seems more suffocating with each passing moment. I want to be amid the lush greenery of Kerala. Bountiful rains battering on the glass panes remain a cherished memory.
It is such a relief to be away from the newsroom. Away from the mindless bustle and rush, I can recline calmly on my chair, thinking of the promising future prospects. I really am tired of cities. Just like Narayan's Malgudi, I spent my entire childhood in a rustic place, where everybody knew everybody. In cities, people are only worried about themselves and think only of their advancement. I remember my first day in Chennai. I visited an eatery and saw a man holding a copy of The Hindu. I politely asked him where he got the copy at. In reply, he just took a few paces backwards and started shouting at me, suggesting I was a loafer, with evil designs on his wallet. I let the matter pass without reacting, for he was speaking in an alien tongue and given my limited knowledge of Tamil, there was no repartee at hand. Anyway, have come across many such specimens in my seven years here and would like to limit the future time frame and acquaintances to the barest minimum here.
Caesar needs a friend. When I'm not here and brother is away, he feels lonely. Given the cramped space we have here, it makes little sense to have another dog. When my plans are in motion and results are evident, I shall buy a patch of land and let loose my dogs. On own land, nobody can curtail their freedom. I'm daydreaming of the time when it would be a reality. Really need to go.