Thursday, February 24, 2005

Kahin Na Kahin Koi Hai.....

My name is Alangudi S. Krishnamurthy Iyer. Relatives call me Kichu. Friends call me Krishna. Please remember I AM KRISH. Before we talk of the present, the reason why I am here, it would be apt if you knew a few details about my past. Born in October 1978 to Alangudi Sreenivasa Iyer and Sundari, I was a loser even on my first day in this planet. My cousin Raghuraman, born to Alangudi Vishwanatha Iyer and Lakshmi in the other Operation Theatre, beat me to this world by a couple of minutes and ever since I have had to live in the shadow of his achievements. Ours was a liberal Vadamal Iyer Brahmin (I am Bharadwaj gothram) joint family presided over by my paternal grandfather, that towering giant of a man, Alangudi Sethurama Iyer. As you might have all observed by now, most of my early life story revolves around that charming village, Alangudi. I have very few memories of my childhood but whatever little I can recollect now are images of Raghu and I attending junior school in Panjampatti. Even at that young age, I was the brightest kid in school. Whenever we had inspections by Panchayat elders and Government of Tamil Nadu's Education ministry officials, I was always the chosen one to recite poems and answers questions in Science. However when exams came, I always stood second. No prizes for guessing who came first. Raghu. He would simply copy all my answers and force me to make that one mistake which would make him the topper. Being the elder brother whom I was supposed to respect and adore, I would silently play along. It was probably at around this time that I first started showing signs of my shy and reclusive inner self. There was this cute gal Kamala in school whom I used to fancy quite a bit those days. Now Kamala wasn't particularly intelligent but she was always dressed up so nattily (her father being a successful local tailor) that there were days when my heart wasn't with me. I must have been very obvious with my tastes since Raghu, at that ripe old age of 9, immediately began to sense that something was amiss and before long she was his. I took my first setback very personally and for months went into a shell. Time flew and we then moved to a bigger city Madurai.

My next memorable experience was in Std 10. It was the last day of the public exams and most of my friends in school with girlfriends of their own had all made plans to spend a wild evening. Of course, having studied in a co-education these last 6 years I'd made my fair share of girl-friends but most of these relationships were of the platonic kinds. Most of these girls either wanted me to help them with their academics ("You're clearly on your way to becoming a Rhodes scholar thanks to your Tam Brahm genes" proclaimed Mrs. Vasantha, my Chemistry teacher. Little did she know that I had a thing for her daughter, Pallavi and all I wanted was some chemistry between us) or find out from 'the inside' if a particular guy was 'taken or not'. There was even that one occasion when I had to do snoop around the desk of Aravind to see if there were any letters that he might have received from anyone but Pallavi (yeah, Chemistry became History and we ended up becoming pals) Coming back to the last exam again, armed with a nice guy reputation, you can imagine my shock when Reshma, the most beautiful, or rather fairest Punjabi gal, in the whole of school asked me out for a movie that evening. I was delirious with joy and borrowing some money (after all I had to buy her Gold-Spot and samosa in the interval) from my best buddy Arun, we went and watched Ullae Veliyae. I thought we had a wonderful time for she seemed to have enjoyed the movie, laughing at all my jokes and even cozying her palm with mine post interval. Buoyed by the success of our first outing, I was half expecting her to ask me out again. (yeah, shy kids never asked girls out - they waited to be asked out) Needless to say, that was our first and last date together. I later found that she had made a bet with a couple of her friends that I was 'a total vegetarian' and had actually won obscene money thanks to me :-( It might interest you to know that by now Raghu's untarnished name was scandalized by a few schoolmates who claimed that he had made promises of true love and marriage to each of them.

My next brush with the fairer sex happened in my first year in Engineering College. (And that's not to be taken literally, its just a figure of speech I'm using) By now, I had decided to let my academic pursuits take a backseat and was on a mission to reinvent myself. I discovered myself in basketball, beer and Boyzone - the second because I knew this was my easiest entry ticket to discs and pubs and the last one more because women seemed to swoon on hearing their inane songs. At the same time, I also developed this formidable reputation of being maddeningly funny and chilled out. The coolest chick in first year and the object of all my dreams, Shriya once told me offhand
"Wit is the most important quality in a man; second is compassion; third is intelligence. Everything else is gravy."
Obviously she didn't practice what she preached. If only this were true, the least I should have had was atleast her or better still harems that would make Sheikh Emir Al Jabah of Saudi Arabia envious. Neither became a reality and damn you, I was a really funny guy. I mean, my jokes made guys laugh so much that they peed in their pants. It was then that I realized that I had to compromise somewhere. My basketball exploits in second year soon won me more than just female fans. A couple of moderately intelligent women gave weak hints of trying to work on something serious but unfortunately they happened to be called Paromita Biswas and Shraddha Thakkar. Maybe I could try and convince Alangudi Sreenivasa Iyer but I knew I didn't stand a ghost of a chance with that great Tam Brahm soul, Alangudi Sethurama Iyer. One more year went by and I was getting more and more frustrated by the day. Just when all hope had subsided, a little bit of light streamed in from the end of the tunnel. Juniors came in and two prospects looked appealing at first glance - Geetha Thyagarajan and Vanitha Gopikrishnan. I trained my guns on the former first for the simple reason she seemed richer. I made my moves and was almost there (it happened way too easily..should have suspected) only to finally find out that she was born in 1976. Tendulkar might have done it but no way would the Alangudi elders approve. Vanitha Gopikumar, on the other hand, was a totally different ball game. For starters, she refused to play ball...on the flimsy grounds that I was a senior. She hated sports, listened to only KJ Jesudas and absolutely abhorred drunkards. It was a tough call between finally getting for myself a steady girlfriend and giving up those carefully cultivated habits. The former won but before I was ready for her (giving up beer takes time boss), she got engaged. To a male Bharatnatyam dancer. Sheeesh.

The remaining 2 years of college are a blur so lets just skip that. Next in line was that dream software job in Bangalore. Wise seniors had told me that girls in Bangalore were like grains of sand in the Sahara. Available just about everywhere waiting to be picked up. You just could not fail. Even the stats backed their opinion. Obviously they had not contended with once-in-a-century exceptions like me. The first 6 months were carefully spent in compiling an entire dossier of exhaustive information - all obtained by observing and casually mingling with species that both fitted my family's and my own specifications perfectly. After starting out with a sample of around 25, I zeroed down to 4 potential candidates. On each of them I had a huge file which told me every specific detail I needed to know - their favorite colour, actor (that wasn't too difficult - it was all Arvind Swamy), food, dress and even their favorite ex (yeah, I ensured this list was only of 'single-at-present' women).....The groundwork done, you'd think it was the right time to move in for the kill, right ? Alas !! As if by some strange co-incidence all my 4 targets happened to be involved in some stage of marital discussions (one was about to get engaged that weekend) and there was no way they would even consider talk of "trying to get to know each other so that we can look at a meaningful long term relationship". Damn you. I could not even get myself to tell them I needed a bloody girlfriend if not for anything else, just to spite the Alangudi elders. Yes, Raghu got married that year and he was just 22. His misdemeanors had finally caught up with him since his latest girlfriend's father happened to be a DGP. And here I was still trying to get my first 'official girlfriend' :-(

It was somewhere towards the end of my second year at work that some moron suggested that B-schools were the place to get hitched. Cracking the entrance exams proved to be a cake-walk but when I was told that the top B-schools had a pathetic M:F ratio, I had to work really hard to botch up the interviews so that I got myself an admit into a tier-2 B-school where there would be a higher chance of landing myself a girlfriend. Of course, there was this small thing of a career to consider but then didn't some old wise man say that "Behind the success of every man lies a woman" . I guess I presumed that it was more important to get my priorities right and so I landed up in Delhi. A couple of weeks later, I had my first reality check. Women in B-schools were just of two varieties: ones that had steady boyfriends from Std 6 and ones that had steady boyfriends from Std 7. I mean, there were enough Tam Brahm women for me to genuinely have a go at but most of them seemed to be really committed. One of them Archana, who had been brought up all her life in Delhi and could barely speak her mother tongue, wanted to impress her Tam Brahm boyfriend from school days, a jerk by name Chandrashekhar, so much so that she chose me to teach her to sing Vaseegara in Tamil..Could things get any worse ? Even Delhi seemed to have given up on me.

(Dude, MS-Word count tells me I have typed 1850 words for you..You just have 150 left ..wind up)

It was then that I discovered the magical world of blogging. My funny side resurfaced and I started expressing myself to faceless strangers through self deprecatory articles. I began regular e-correspondence with a luscious (don't ask me how I found out) Venezuelan beauty queen; an 'escort' from Philipines made an e-pass at me, a cool Caucasian chick promised to drop by at Pune during her next visit to India and I even became pally with a Tollywood film actress. But the one thing that continued to elude me was a Tam Brahm girlfriend with whom I could share a profound and purposeful relationship. And then I met him. The first time he commented on my blog, he sounded snooty and arrogant. After trading abuses and insults on a few more occasions, we discovered that we shared a lot in common. Our past was more or less similar - small town backgrounds, 'liberal' Tam Brahm families and that great binder, single male - him by choice and me by circumstances. The more I talked to him, the more he freaked me with scenarios of the impending future. An arranged marriage to an alien Athai Ponnu. A lonely and miserable life in Colarado. Naaaaah...I've had enough. To hell with the Alangudi elders. Thanks Jupe for opening my eyes. I know Jupe's blog gets more hits in India than mine. I know he has a reasonably good female following. So here I go.

Girls, I've made my mistakes. This is my last chance to correct them. I'm coming back in August from the US and there is not a chance in a million that I will go back alone. Through this blog, I hope to appeal to all you single women out there to consider my case with sympathy. And yeah, Appa, Amma and Thatha, in case you've also heard of this blog and are reading it from Saravana's Net Centre in Alangudi, my first preference is still Vadamal, non-Bharadwaj gothram, Tam Brahm girls.


Anonymous said...

thalaivaaaa... kaala kaaami...

appa, amma, in case U're reading this comment of mine, please be assured that I wud go along with any living thing U label a female and give me..


Man with no Name

OK said...

Scathin' attak on de poor bugger. Yoo hate him dontcha??

Anonymous said...

Mush and Marriage here, Poetry and Prose there, Humor and Horror yonder. Is there a method in all this madness ? Why don't you just mix it up ?

Purely my 2C.

The-intellektual-whore said...

Did you ever try out for that annual creative writing conference for Business school graduates @ St. Gallen ? I'd have reckoned you'd be a cinch if you'd participated.

If reader requests will be entertained, how about a short story based on sports ?


Jupe said...

Kaala vaari uda ivvaluv enthu'va ? Gotta be careful with you around mate..Neway the latest one rocked !! ;-)

Hate is a very strong word to use. Lets just say I admire certain aspects of the person in Q but also disapprove of a lot of other aspects...N i'm not being politically right here..

Hmmm..Is this who I think it is ? If yes, then I'll think about your point else the answer is the stock 'Main aise hi hoon' ;-)

Now that's one heckuva id :-p Ny chance you got inspired by Woody Allen's The Whore of Mensa ?? If yes, I think we need to chat up a li'l more :-)) Btw, have we met ?

Thanks for the giddy compliment - to answer your Q, nopes...Couldn't give SG a shot in 1st year for some personal reasons..2nd yr, couldn't care less..was partying my tail off ;-)

The-intellektual-whore said...

a. Yes for the Woody Allen connexion.

b. No for the 'have-we-met' part.
But Yes, I am TamBram ;)

*raised eyebrows* ? Am a pal of Rashi's :)

Jupe said...

Oh ho ;-)

Btw, am not much into writing sports stories but may I suggest PGW's Archibald's benefit :-)