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daily blunder Fun Narration Personal

Daily Blunder | ‘Brutally’ Honest

I know it’s been over a year and a half (or rather, a year and three quarters) since I wrote a proper ‘daily blunder’. Well, there wasn’t exactly a paucity of blunders in my life to go on a ‘blunder-break’, so to speak. I’ve a database of infinitely-huge blunders that I could well publish a book on it (which is actually in the pipeline as we speak). As you might’ve guessed by noticing the frequency of posts (or sheer lack of it) in this blog, I was on a major writer’s block. It was on the compulsion (read: death threat) of a very close friend, that I chose to come out of my cocoon. Read on, if you still haven’t left this page out of boredom. 😉

If there’s one city in India which I love (second only to my hometown, Trivandrum), it is Kochi. For those who haven’t heard about the city, it is the commercial capital of the state where I reside – Kerala (India). Well, in a narrow minded mallu point-of-view, there’s nothing to like about both Kochi and Trivandrum either, but somehow, I fell in love with the city, which has been my home for the past one month. Oh btw, I got a job in this busiest city of Kerala. It’s been a month since I joined, and I’m all the more thrilled at the prospect of getting paid to use Facebook (yes, you guessed that right, I’m the Social Media Manager. At this small but growing company called NT Global).

Oh, I digress. More on the job on yet another post. 😉

So, this happened about a couple of weeks before I joined NTG. I had come to Kochi on a leisure trip with a friend of mine, Vishnu. Kochi wasn’t a part of our original itinerary. Vishnu was in search of a proper meningitis vaccination, so that his admission to a major US university would be through. We searched every single hospital in each nook and corner of Trivandrum and Kochi for the vaccine, but to no avail. Finally, we zeroed in on the elusive vaccine at a leading hospital in Thrissur. Jobless back then, I too set forth on an unplanned trip to Thrissur with Vishnu to get his vaccination done. After nearly a month of harrowing search for the mysterious vaccine, Vishnu got vaccinated in merely 20 minutes, at this hospital. Glad that our job on hand got over unexpectedly-early, we decided to halt at Kochi, stay there that night, go mall-surfing (read: window-shopping) the very next day and then return.

The very next day, we geared up for some serious ‘mouth-looking’ (translate that to malluspeak, or ask your friendly neighbourhood mallu if you didn’t get that 😛 ). Both Vishnu and I are serious literary- aficionados. We read, or rather, consume, virtually every book under the sun (provided it is captivating enough to satisfy our momentary vicissitudes). So that fateful morning, we decided to hop into a decent book store to start our sojourn.

We walked into the nearest mall, and located its sole, medium-sized book store. Like predators munching on their prey, we consummately started feeding on our staple diet of books. We didn’t notice time flying, as we carefully selected authors of our choice, browsing eagerly through books, both famous and obscure, satiating ourselves. Before we knew it, our tummies started rumbling – it was lunch time. We picked a couple of moderately-priced books and proceeded to the counter. The man at the sales counter seemed glad that we had finally decided to purchase books – he thought we’d sit there for the entire day, browsing (not that we didn’t intend to do that, but our tummies protested!). Vishnu was short of money, so I offered to pay. I fished out my purse from my pocket  to pay for our books; the cost of both would come down to around Rs 450. I fished a 500 rupee note from my purse and placed it at the counter.

 

Suddenly, the phone at the counter rang. The salesman at the counter picked it up and started talking. It seemed that the person at the other end was his wife or girlfriend or something. Unmindful of our presence, he started a very cheesy tete-a-tete with his lady love. We were exasperated. We didn’t have all day to wait. We could virtually hear our tummies which were about to burst. Vishnu gave the counter-guy one of his typical glares, magnified through his high-power glasses. The man seemed to take note of the stare, and quickly interrupted his motormouth girlfriend and cut the call. He took the books from our hand, checked the price and announced:

“450 rupa aayi, sir.” (Please pay Rs 450, sir)

I gestured at the 500 rupee note I had placed on the counter. The counter-guy looked at me, puzzled.

“Sir?”

I frowned and looked at the counter. My note was missing. Er… did I take that note from my purse and kept it on the counter, in the first place? I quickly rechecked my purse. At a quick glance, I notice that It had only one 500 rupee note and a few notes of 100. I had originally taken two 500 rupee notes from the ATM, or so I remembered, and one among them was missing. So obviously I had kept it on the counter. The counter guy had probably taken the note and shoved it to his safe.

“Njaan daa ippo paisa eduthu vachathe ullu. Kandille?”, I said. (“I’d just placed the money on the counter, didn’t you see?)

“Illa sir. Enikku… enikkormayilla…”, he replied. (Er…. No. I don’t remember, sir)

Vishnu came to my support:

“Alla, avan paisa eduthu vaykkunnathu njaanum kandathaa. Ningal eduthu counter il vachathaayirikkum,” (I saw him place the money on the counter. You must have absent-mindedly placed the note in the safe, accidentally)

The sales guy was scratching his head with the back of his pen. He opened the counter, checked the notes inside for a moment, thought for a while, and said:

“Ayyo, enikku orma illallo!” (Er… I don’t remember)

By now, I was sure that the counter guy was trying to con us. I politely convinced him that I did place the note on the table. Vishnu also went on to support me. After a few minutes of give and take, the counter guy finally agreed that I had indeed paid him. He apologized profusely for his mistake and gave me the balance amount of Rs 50. He neatly placed the books into a cover and handed it over to us, with a smile. We smiled back, and scooted from the place.

We decided to have lunch from the mall’s food court itself. It didn’t take a long time for us to finalize on our choice of food – noodles. The food court had a pre-paid system. You had to pay initially, and the food would be delivered within a short while. As I was opened my purse to pay, I had the shock of my life.

There, inside my purse, rested TWO 500 rupeee notes.

We had conned the book store. I didn’t pay them ANYTHING. We got the books for free!

If there’s one attribute I value more than anything else, it is honesty. I can’t say that I’m not a liar, but I try my level best not to lie/cheat. Pangs of guilt started attacking me. I had made a huge mistake – severe enough that the counter guy might even lose his job! 500 rupees was a huge amount in bookstore-lingo. I immediately shared my situation with Vishnu. He smiled.

“Buddy, I seriously think you need to give this a miss. We got a great deal man! We saved 500 bucks and got couple of good books for free. And we were paid 50 rupees too (the change) for accepting them. Cheers to us!”

I didn’t buy Vishnu’s reasoning. No sooner did we finish eating our lunch, I rode the escalator back to the first floor, and went to the book store. The counter guy saw me and smiled. He still didn’t realize that he was conned.

I gingerly walked up to him, and slowly made him aware of the situation, with apologies, weakly trying to conjure a smile. Surprisingly enough, the counter guy smiled. He said that such mistakes happen to everybody, and I was indeed a noble person to accept my mistake and promptly correct it. I paid him the 500 rupee note, profusely apologized once more and left the place with a lighter heart and a smile on my face. I had done a good deed, that day. God will reward me.

I reached home, late that night, by train.

The very next morning, I was rudely woken up by my mom. She was grumbling something. I drowsily opened my eyes, and vaguely tried to listen to what she was trying to say. Apparently, she had fished out an ATM receipt from my jeans pocket and was complaining about something related to that.

“… Mone, nee ingane paazhchelavu cheyyaruthu. 1500 rupa nee ATM il ninnum edutho? Ithream cash enthina eduthath? Ninakku paisa undennu karuthi ingane chelavakkaruthu. Save cheyyaan padikkanam…” (Son, don’t spend too much like this. You took a whopping 1500 bucks from the ATM? Why did you take so much money and splurge it? Don’t have the impression that you can spend like crazy cause you have money with you. You should start saving…)

My heart skipped a beat. Slumber left my eyes in a moment’s time. I grabbed the ATM receipt and looked at it again. It seems I had withdrawn 1500 rupees the day before. I had THREE 500 rupee notes with me, not two. I failed to notice the third note, which was kept in another chamber of my purse!! I didn’t make a mistake the other day, and I’d given an extra 500 rupee note to the book stall.

To cut a long story short, 500 rupees gone down the drain.

“Amma paranjathu shariyaa. Paisa sookshichu chelavakkanam”, I sighed. (Mom, what you said is true. I should start spending judiciously).

P.S. True story.

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daily blunder Fun

Daily Blunder | Bike Blues

There’s this friend of mine, Ganesh (name changed for anonymity’s sake). He’s a school-college-buddy and lives near my place. We’ve known each other for over over sixteen years now. He’s a guy I adore and admire a lot, mainly for some of his principles which he holds strong. Even though fate’s played some nasty games with him, he’s come out of all adversities bearing a characterestic smile on his face (and a tika on his forehead – our friend’s a devout ‘Shiv-bhakt’).

Like me, Ganesh always depended on KSRTC for his transport needs. That is, until he secured a well-paying job. He decided to put an end to the qualms of daily-commute by buying himself a good motorcycle. And he had no second thoughts about the model – he went for one among the best bikes in the market – The Yamaha R15 Limited Edition. Now, there are only a thousand of such bikes in the market which upped the oomph factor of the bike.

The sudden step-up from mundane commuting to stylish biking was a shot in the arm for Ganesh. He would flash his new toy, zipping through the crowded streets, showing off his beauty. He was too humble to flaunt his bike. Yet, his babe was the object of our collective envy. Ganesh handled his ‘babe’  with utmost care. He would wash and clean it every day, following every rule in the owners manual down to the last dot. In fact, he was obsessed about the R15, albeit in a healthy way.

One fine morning, Ganesh was all set to leave for office. He had an early appointment that morning, hence he’d woken up early to give his bike its daily wash. Making sure that every part of the macho bike gleamed like a new pin, Ganesh mounted his stallion. It was time to hit the road. Turning on the ignition, he pressed the start button. The familiar ignition rattle was music to his ears.

The bike did not start.

His faithful warrior always responded to the first attempt. Ganesh tried again. The ignition-noise emanated again and died down. He tried again. And again. And again.

The bike didn’t respond.

One of the few cons of the R15 is that it lacks kick start. Ganesh remembered his friend recommending him Pulsar 220 because of the same reason. He’d then decided to go against his friend’s advice. Ganesh wasn’t worried. It must be a temporary problem, he decided. He thought he’d wait for a while and try again.

He waited, and tried another hand, to no avail. No matter however hard he tried, the bike failed to respond.

Beads of sweat started pouring down from Ganesh’s forehead. He was running late for his appointment. After a few more tries, Ganesh threw up his hands in despair. He kept his bike back into the shed and took a bus to office. He was fifteen minutes late for his meeting, and his boss was certainly not impressed. After an abnormally-long day, Ganesh reached home, tired and panting. Before he retired to his bedroom, he pulled the bike out of his shed and tried another attempt, in vain. Dejected, Ganesh decided to call it a day. Bikes always have starting problems, he reassured himself. It’d be alright by tomorrow.

For the next two days, Ganesh switched back to KSRTC for his daily commute. Day-in and day-out, he would try starting his bike, only to stand dejected and depressed. How could his brand new bike fall ill despite his careful attention? Machines have the same indiscretions as do humans, he realized.

The very next day, he decided enough was enough. Ganesh called the nearest Yamaha service center. The mechanic said he’d drop by that evening. Ganesh was relieved. His baby’d be back in action within no time, he told himself.

The mechanic promptly arrived, that evening (on a Yamaha RXG, nothing less). Brash and young,  he was a Rajnikanth-worshiping chap, oozing ‘style’ in every movement. Humming a Rajni song, he gingerly unveiled an array of spanners and started work on the bike. He examined every part possible, trying to start the bike every two minutes. The ignition would sputter, and then stop. For a brief instant, the bike made a slight ‘vroom’ sound, much to Ganesh’s excitement. But then it died down, as soon as it started.

Fifteen minutes later, the mechanic stood up and took a stretch. He took a casual glance at the bike’s right side. Suddenly, he fixed his glance at one point. He beckoned Ganesh towards him. His right index finger pointed towards the side of the bike. Ganesh saw it for himself. No sooner did he saw what the mechanic pointed, a smile, or rather, a sheepish grin developed on his face.

The mechanic had pointed his finger at the petrol knob of the bike stood pointed towards the ‘OFF’ position. Ganesh had switched off his bike’s petrol knob in all his punctiliousness to keep his bike ‘perfect’. How in the world would his bike start, when its petrol was turned off? 🙂

Ganesh looked at the mechanic, who was now grinning back at him.

“Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. This is MY third time,” he smiled. 🙂

P.S.

This post is written as part of the Close Up “Fire Freeze” Contest. Check out their Facebook page, where you can post your own stories. Pour your experiences here as comments. Set the ball rolling. 🙂

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daily blunder Narration Personal

Daily Blunder | Bee Gees

This happened way back. Rewind to the year 2000, when I was just an itsy-bitsy Seventh grader at Loyola School, Trivandrum. *Ah, those were the days*.  It happened on the eve of a weekly test – unlike periodic mid-term exams where all the exams happened together in a very short time span, our school had a system where there’d be an exam every Monday and Friday. If you ask me, that was a foolproof system which would inculcate the benefits of perseverance and systematic behaviour amongst students. 🙂 The very few strains of systematic behaviour within me could be attributed to those forlorn weekly tests. Before I get swayed by pangs of nostalgia, lemme narrate my story! 😀

It was a history exam that Friday. I’d learnt most of the portions and I just had to revise/re-read a few chapters, so that I could write better essays. Since I was abreast with most of the portions, I decided to lay idly on my bed, even after waking up at 6 am in the morning. Dreamer that I am, I was in a state of blissful idyll,  probably dreaming about completing level 5 of Roadrash, after buying the venerable Diablo superbike!! 😐 Well, as I was immersed in a wide plethora of dreams, I felt something fall into my right earlobe. I didn’t give a second thought to it, and sleepily poked my right ear with my hand, trying to scratch off the recesses of the ear. Thanks to my sleepy countenance, I actually pushed the object deeper into my ear. Within a few moments I opened my eyes wide and shouted in deep pain. My right ear was buzzing like crazy.

The object that had fallen onto my ear was actually a tiny bee and I’d pushed it deep into my ear! 😐 😐 😐

CC Credits: _Pauls_

At the outset, it might seem hard to believe, but those of who have seen me in real life would know better- my ears are enormous. To this date, people tease me, calling me elephant-eared – some say that intelligence is directly proportional to the size of your ear, citing ace chess player Vishwanathan Anand as a case in point. Not in my case, anyway, I’m the guy who actually pushed a living breathing bee onto my right ear!! 😐 Mom and Dad rushed into the bedroom listening to my wails of agony!! I kept shouting on the top of my voice:

“എന്റെ ചെവിയില് വണ്ട് കേറിയേ!!” (A bee got into my ear!! Help mee!!!)

First, my parents thought that I might actually be scared from a nightmare and tried to console me, saying there’s nothing to worry. But seeing my repeated wails of misery as I jumped around the whole house, clutching my right ear-lobe in ear-splitting (<–pun) pain, they knew better. Dad brought a pitcher of water and  poured into into my ear. The bee, which was frightened by the reddish-black hole it had fallen into, was maniacally biting and hitting the walls of my tympanum, trying to rescue itself – a few drops of water scared it even more and it struggled, flailing its arms and legs even more vigorously! Dad peeped into my ear, and he could actually listen to the buzzing sound of the bee!!

In a couple of minutes’ time, parents got ready and we rushed to the medical college hospital in our car. All the while, I was madly crying out in pain – dad got incensed, midway, thinking that I was over-reacting to the situation. By God, I wasn’t. His abuses only doubled my trauma!! Finally, I was rushed into the casuality of the E&T department, and a slew of doctors surrounded me from all sides. By now, I was badly trying to control myself – elaborating the situation amid sobs, to doctors, stifling my pain. I clearly remember this lady surgeon there – her face was a mess, literally (Dad still makes fun of her!! ). Well, she consoled me and I was ushered into a push-back seat, lying sideways – right ear facing upwards. The doctors started off in no time.

Interestingly, I was surrounded by lady doctors only! Apart from the chief surgeon lady, all others were very very good looking. There was this lady in a red salwar – her face is still vividly etched in my mind. She held my hands together and consoled me in a very sisterly way. I liked that! 😉 Meanwhile, the chief surgeon inserted a screw-driver-ish contraption into my ear. A bang of pain. EEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!! I cried out at the top of my voice – which was pretty much shrill back then, I might’ve rocked the entire medical college junction with that… lol! The red salwar doc placed her hands over my mouth and caressed my face while picking up a few other instruments. My mind was in chaos – and I heard the word ‘surgery’ being mentioned somewhere. I was scared shitless and  my parents’ reassuring faces was my only saving grace. I would miss my history exam, I lamented. I’d prepared so well… 🙁

Meanwhile, the doctor removed that contraption and poured some fluid onto my ear. For a few moments, I was in utter bliss – the pain subsided and I guess the insect was killed instantly! Soon after which, the doc. inserted another contraption which, after a few gasps of pain from my part,  came out with a dead bee stuck at its incisor-like end. Finally! 🙂

It took an hour more to clean my ear – the poor bee had lost a couple of its appendages inside my ear which remained pierced in my ear-walls. All the people assembled there were dumbstruck at how a bee entered my ear and were mentioning how lucky I was! They were almost sure that I’d need a surgery and that I’d actually lost hearing ability to my right ear – the insect had gone deep inside, millimetres away from my tympanum!! Thankfully, I came out unscathed. 😀

I was discharged from the hospital at 8:45 AM, with a long prescription of medicines which I had to ingest for a month or so, in order to prevent any further infection. I had a lot of minor wounds in my right ear and they needed some strong medicines for quick healing. 🙂 Anyways, I reached home, dressed in a jiffy and made it to school in time for the history exam at 9:30. The exam went well and I secured a neat 82! 😀 Dad and mom were happy!

Ever since, I make it a point to sleep with ears covered – even today! 😉

P.S.

I was reminded of this incident when i saw the Mohanlal movie ഭ്രമരം | ‘Bhramaram’ which has the star scratching his right ear, falsely assuming that a (poorly computer animated) bee has gone into his ear! 🙂

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daily blunder

Daily Blunder | ‘Watch’ out

Time: 7:45 AM, 22nd December, 2008
Coordinates: Mens Hostel, MES Kuttippuram
Occasion: Jashn ’09 – IEEE Kerala Silver Jubilee Celebrations, Valedictory Function.

I was among the 120-odd delegates attending the event, the sole representative of the IEEE Student Branch of my college. While other colleges had huge delegations to the tune of thirty plus students, my Fellow IEEEians  simply refused to attend the event for fear of  impending end-semester exams. My Branch Counsellor literally forced me at gunpoint to attend the event for sake of the college’s prestige.  I had to wage a huge fight with my parents to get permission to attend the event, at the end of which I boarded the Mangalore Express with buddies from MBCET and reached Kuttippuram the very next day, at about 4 AM. The MESians surprised us with their hospitality and kindly accomodated us at their wonderful (not sarcastic, seriously nice) Mens Hostel.

We were told that the programs would start early that day, and thus we had to be up and about by at least 8:30 AM. Haggard due to lack of sleep (due to some long winding ‘nightly conversations’ 😛 ), I had flopped onto my bed no sooner had I reached our room. I opened my eyes when my friend Arun from Mar Baselios shook me up to my senses. Everyone had gotten ready and I was among the few who were yet to bathe and dress up. Cursing, I grabbed random clothes from my bag and walked lazily to the toilet/bathroom area at one end of the hostel – we were housed on the third floor of the four storeyed hostel. Half asleep, I tried to open at least half a dozen (occupied) bathrooms only to mutter apologies at cuss words from the respective occupants.

To my delight, I finally got an empty bathroom and barged inside. I placed my clothes and watch by the windowsill and took a bath. It was refreshing – the water was ice cold, but I actually enjoyed it. I shook off my tired countenance and recharged myself. Basking in the glory of the new-found energy, I pulled out my towel that lay beneath my clothes, without looking at the windowsill where it was housed. That was when I heard a strange ‘chink’ sound. Something had fallen down, apparently. It was glistening and silvery-white, I could actually see it fall, through a corner of my eye. Dismissing it for an instant, I resumed… until I got back to my senses in shock!

Frantically, I checked the windowsill, beside my clothes, for my watch. It was missing!

It was my watch that went straight into the Indian Closet!!!

Titan Watch

Cursing like a madman, I did everything I could to salvage it – to no avail. My watch was already on its way to the septic tank deep down. The only hope of rescuing it was upon some future-archaeologist who’d examine the remains of my precious Titan ‘Chronograph’, rotten amid human excreta, with avid interest! 😐 Flush red with embarrassment, anger and dismay, I kept the incident under the closet (<– pun!). After all, the watch was over five years old, and septic tank, it seems, was written in its destiny! 🙂

P.S.

The very next day, I heard an announcement at the main stage about a lost-and-found watch at the college premises. I was like 😮 ! These people actually fished the septic tank for my watch without even my mentioning the incident! Joyous, I ran to the announcers desk, all agog with hope!

Shalima, the purdah-clad girl at the announcer’s desk smiled at my flared-nostril expression.

“I don’t think this watch is yours!”

She held a tiny watch in her right hand and flashed it before me. It was more a bangle than a watch, all gold-plated, with a tiny time-dial. An expensive ladies’ watch.

Muttering some choicest expletives under my breath, I thanked Shalima and left. 🙁

P.P.S.

“Son, where is your old titan watch?”

Mom’s irritated voice woke me up one fine Sunday morning.

Uh oh. Amma… I haven’t seen it in a while. Don’t know where it is!
Mom: It must be that scrawny bitch of our servant! She’s been stealing my money for long… now she’s also taken your watch! One day, I’ll catch her red-handed, and then….

I didn’t hear the rest of what mom said, for, I’d closed my eyes again with a smile on my face.:D

I now have a flashy Bosch watch, thanks to my uncle who’s a dealer of Bosch. 🙂