Archive for July, 2011

Prejudice

Posted by Freddy on Jul-30-2011

There are times when people, especially the haughty ones, find themselves deflated of that huge bloated balloon of ego and self importance, and falling from the high heavens above, nose down to where they actually belong – the floor. This happens most of the times with people of that part of the world that boasts of the power of the money, which they acquired during the times of imperialism. Money without a tradition. And this is a sample of the blooper:

At the final dinner of an International Marine Conference, an American delegate turned to the Chinese delegate sitting next to him, pointed to the soup and asked somewhat condescendingly, ‘Likeee soupeee?’

The Chinese gentlemen nodded eagerly.

A little later, it was ‘Likeee fisheee?’ and ‘Likeee meateee?’ and ‘Likeee fruiteee?’ and always the response was an affable nod.

At the end of the dinner the chairman of the conference introduced the guest speaker of the evening: none other than the Chinese gentleman who delivered a penetrating, witty discourse in impeccable English, much to the astonishment of his American neighbour.

When the speech was over, the speaker turned to his neighbour and with a mischievous twinkle in his eye and asked, ‘Likeee speecheee?’

The Descent

Posted by Freddy on Jul-23-2011

My fever has left me for good, or at least has taken a break and decided to visit other fine people of the neighborhood, leaving me where I was, merry and full of mirth. It was a fine season and the weather these days are perfect for a refreshing sojourn. I have taken up my favourite books once again, and decided to amuse myself with the creativity of some of the writers whom I consider are simply out of the world. I would like to share with you some of the things that leave me smiling or chuckling, for I consider it the noblest quality to make people around you smile.

“One uses the verb ‘descend’ advisedly, for what is required is some word suggesting instant activity. About his progress from the second floor to the first there was nothing halting or hesitating. He, so to speak, did it now. Planting his foot firmly on a golf-ball which some honourable person who had been practising putting in the corridor before retiring to bed, had left in his casual fashion just where the steps began, he took the entire staircase in one majestic, volplaning sweep. There were eleven stairs in all separating his landing from the landing below, and the only ones he hit were the third and tenth. He came to rest with a squattering thud on the lower landing, and for a moment or two the fever of the chase left him.”

So goes the description of a dreadful fall that a certain person experienced while descending the staircase, in the style of the inimitable genius of Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, who is capable of transforming any infernal situation into a side cracking hilarious anecdote, worth remembering again and again. I would share with you all, my friends, some of these gems, to brighten up your day as well as to introduce you to pieces of very fine literature that has come from the pen!

The Third Kind

Posted by Freddy on Jul-16-2011

As I slowly woke up from my sleep, lying lazily on my couch facing the large mirrored almirah on the other side of the room, my heart sank.

As my eyes opened, in the mirror, I saw my reflection lying. ALSO THERE WAS, IN THE MIRROR, ANOTHER ME – older in appearance, sitting besides. I glanced around instinctively to see the source of this reflected image and there was none! The ‘sitting me’ was crying uncontrollably in silent sobs, as I lay gazing it.

The sobs turned rapidly to a mocking smile, and then a burst of laughter followed. A laughter that didn’t have any mirth. A laughter that had only a horrifying penetrating long look that made my whole body shiver. The ghastly figure slowly started growing bigger and bigger, or was it that my reflection started growing smaller- I couldn’t tell. Mind was not in a logical thinking mode, as it was observing the changes that took place every fraction of a second on the reflected sitting me. It grew bigger to such a size that I felt even the mirror grew itself to contain the fullness of the reflection. Then, from the next moment onwards it started jeering at me as if I did it some ‘wrong’ because of which it had to suffer so much – the jeer switched over to an expression on unspeakable sorrow! As the sorrow got deeper, the hands and legs became thinner, and the skin started sagging, the face started drooping, eyes half shut, and a hundred wrinkles ran criss-cross over like a crack on a huge glass window. It was like me watching myself growing old right before my eyes. I realized that there was some grave sorrow that I would be growing old with. The sorrow, that was yet to set its gloom on the bright sunshine of my life so far. The thought gave me a shudder and I don’t remember anything after that. Another of my close encounters with the ‘third kind’!

Who Is ‘She’?

Posted by Freddy on Jul-9-2011

As I lay half asleep half conscious, fighting the fever, I was conscious of my own delirium and my own hallucinations, the tricks of my mind bringing forth all the adventures of my life. How far they were real and true, I couldn’t tell. I was out of touch with reality and I was beginning to enjoy the fantasy ride of my mind! My mind started playing an incident with the clarity of a motion picture. Complete with sound and special effects.

It was late evening and I was lying in bed oblivious to what was going on in my house. As the night fell and unknown fear started creeping in. It got creepier by the moment. I could hear the loud nonstop noise that came from the kitchen as dishes were falling to the ground. I could hear unintelligible whispers in my ear. Soon, as the sounds got a degree more distinct I heard footsteps in the hall. The water in my bathroom sink was running all at once. I decided to get up and face my fears and see what was happening in my very own house. I got up with great difficulty as my sleep and dreams were pulling me back to my bed. I fought against it and started walking.

I walked slowly and cautiously down the stairs, hid behind the wall and poked my head out to see.

When I did this, there in front of my face I saw an old woman with long black hair and jagged old clothes DOING THE SAME THINGS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WALL.

I screamed at the top of my voice, but my voice wouldn’t come out. I dashed for the door, pulling and tugging at the doorknob, but it didn’t budge an inch. It felt like someone or something was holding it closed.

I ran to the basement to get some sort of weapon but there I heard more louder whispers. There was loud banging on the closed door. Now I rushed towards my own room. Got in and locked it from inside. My mind was racing – what should I do? I was stranded in my own bedroom with horror and fright. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I saw the woman standing in front of me, staring and gliding toward me.

I blacked out…

The Mysterious Temple Visit

Posted by Freddy on Jul-2-2011

A very jolly jovial person that I am finds it surprising when I take this overwhelming urge to chronicle the bizarre and sometimes grotesquely funny incidents that I have witnessed in all these years of sailing. Thanks to this fever of mine. Some incidents are not as funny as what I have narrated before as it happened in the curious room. This one is not as funny, as much as to say its recollection each time ‘chicken’s me out’ would be a bad understatement. It blew the living day lights out of me- that day. This is how it began.

I was in a very picturesque village in the Palakkad district of Kerala. This is a district inhabited by a majority of people belonging to the farming community. Palakkad is still considered as the ‘rice bowl of South India’, though there is hardly any proof to this claim in the modern times. The people are less educated, education wise, but they have immensely strong belief system based on legends and lore that, to a man of modern education it would certainly appear whimsical.

I was taking a stroll in the evening absorbing the picturesque beauty of the landscape. Endless paddy fields interspersed with little pools of dense coconut trees. At a long distance was a very small temple and by this time it was thronged by people as it was a custom to visit temples at the dawn and dusk. My western origin has given me the looks because of which I found it difficult to make an entry into small temples such as this. I was seized by an overwhelming desire to visit the temple and see for myself the beauty of it and to experience the calming peace. Just as this thought crossed my mind, a young man about twenty years came to me and as if he could read my mind asked, “Do you want to visit the temple?” I was surprised, but said “Yes”.

“Then follow me. Just be careful enough to follow me without uttering a sound. Walk behind me by at least 3 feet but never fall behind or walk faster”.

‘Is this the usual practice for anyone who visits a temple? I know it is not, but why am I made to follow this strange rule?’ I kept thinking.

“It is because you wanted to visit here and you need to prove you are worthy enough to get the grace. Best option is to follow me with faith in your heart by removing all traces of your skeptic mind”.

I was surprised for the second time, but since I was happy that I was about to fulfill my heart’s desire, I didn’t think much. I started following him – silently.

We had walked for more than 10 minutes and I was feeling strange since the temple didn’t appear that far to me from where I began. I also noticed that it was getting darker and darker. The crowd started thinning out and I couldn’t spot the temple from the place I was now. I kept turning my head every now and then to see if we had lost track of the route. I wanted to ask the young man whom I was following so religiously. But I remembered his caution and refrained from speaking out.

I kept on walking with the man 3 feet ahead of me. He was walking with such a steady pace that my wish that he turned and asks me how I was feeling, went unfulfilled. Why couldn’t he read my mind now? Sparks of skepticism crept into me. However I kept quiet. It was almost completely dark now and the road was empty. I still couldn’t see the temple!

I started getting scared and couldn’t hold it any longer. I went on, “Hello, where are we going? Hope it wouldn’t be too late, because I have to return to my guest house”.

He didn’t utter a single word. I found it so ridiculous and this time I raised my voice and went on in an angry tone, “Where are you taking me to? What do you want? Who are you, by the way?”

The man gave a violent turn to look at me. I couldn’t believe what I saw. I nearly went paralyzed seeing his countenance. He was so angry that in the faint light his eyes were giving out a glow like a burning ember. His face no more looked human. It was beastly, with fared nostrils and two large canine teeth at the corners of his mouth! His tongue jutted out that resembled that of a deadly hound. With this he uttered a howl like some vampire of the Carpathian mountain ranges. I was too shaken and collapsed on the ground. I fainted.

I woke up from this bizarre ordeal to find that it was morning already. No Idea for how long I lay unconscious. I woke up with a very sore feeling. Just as I was thinking about how to walk back to where I started the journey, from where I could see the temple, I REALISED THAT I WAS RIGHT AT THE SPOT WHERE I BEGAN, AND THERE ACTUALLY WAS NO TEMPLE AT SIGHT!

Just plain Paddy fields, nothing else!!!