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aut me aut nihil

aut me aut nihil = Either me or nothing. no,no... me not boosting. me have an inferiority complex and trying to compensate :D 

Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 02:39

Of TMC and MegaWatt...

(True incident that happened during the riots in b'lore over cavery water. I know i promised u guys a short story with characters and all... but forgive me i can only manage a monologue here.)

I passed out of college in May, 2002. I was offered a job in a good(`paying` is silent) company through the wonderful thing called `Campus selection`. But nobody told me that they could defer my joining by eight months. They did. Believe me when i say those were the longest eight months of my life. Star Movies ad HBO gave me company through those lean times at home, Trichy. After some time i had to get off that couch, since it was developing a huge dent because of all the lying around. I went to Bangalore where most of my friends(already joined their companies) and two of my cousins lived. I fell in love with the city the moment i disembarked(they have females for bus conductors!). And the daily walk through MG and Brigade road were the best i have done. We would give each girl a score in the Aish-scale (Aish being 100). It was like trying to sort an almost ascending array that is infinitely long. I even managed to get a full-time job in Mangalore for a meager pay. And i would visit my friends in b'lore every other weekend as they were the closest.

One weekend when i was over in b'lore...the still standing Cauvery water issue rose to its zenith in years. With farmers from both states commiting suicide, the tamil film industry getting involoved, buses burnt and all the political stunts it was indeed an acme. The problem is that Karnataka would send the alloted water across the border. TN retorted or rather the stunt parties suggested that Karnataka who are marginally dependant on the electric power from the dams of TN should be given the finger. Im sure it added fuel. There was a sort of mild-curfew in tamils predominant areas of b'lore. It was nothing like in the Mani Ratham movies, where a mob would walk around with assorted varieties of spears and spades. Since nobody was allowed to come outside and even if they did there should never be more than three persons standing together for more than a minute, it was quite calm, nevertheless tense. The situation was under control simply because it never went out of control. Although Mysore and the related areas still showed hostility towards their tamil neighbours b'lore was still unmenacing. My mom got panicky and called me to ask me to rush home immediately. I assured her that there is little trouble and im not coming home and i have to go to work on monday to M'lore.

The Majestic. Sunday night. Cool air. Shoulder bag and water bottle.
I cant read kannada, but i was never not able to find a Mangalore bus from Bangalore. I inquired the condutor standing infront of such a bus whose starting and destination point's words differed only by the first letter, "when does the bus depart to m'lore?". The conductor told me it would do so in fifteen minutes. He was a 45-years-uncle-next-door sort of guy complete with a beer belly, thick glasses and gutka. I gave him Rs.500 and asked for a ticket to m'lore. ...click... The entire area went black. Power-cut. The conductor was actually entertaining a small group and the power-cut made to change their point of discussion to the cauvery issue. The conductor seemed eager to join the conversation. As he gave me the ticket and the change and went back to it. As i was mildly interested in the topic i stood there and tried to decipher the kannada. Im was not good at that. But i know profanity when i hear one. The carefully thought out blasphemy were directed at the Tamils who by their view are directly responsible for this power-cut. The conductor was the most heated one. I had a feeling that he called out to the entire Kannada community to unite against the dark force that is Tamilnadu. He even used some tamil swear-words. Being an orthodox Tamil i couldnt take it anymore.

I walked away and saw the ticket read Seat#35("Penultimate row, God! My spine!"). I went into the bus and depositted my overnight bag in the luggage slot over the seats. I came outside again to light a cigerette. In the light i checked the change the conductor gave me. There was a Rs.500/- bill in the change. He must have thought it was a 100. It would be very simple to just ignore the mistake and walk away a few hundreds richer not to mention the free bus ride. But my upbringing would never allow that. I promptly went back to the conductor to inform him of the mistake. He was still engaged in the same conversation if not with more might. I interpretted him right in the middle of "..all tamils are arrogant bast.." and told him "U gave me a 500 instead of a 100." in Tamil.

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