Saturday, December 1, 2012

Marriage fixed in terrace

Office of a popular magazine, Chennai
                 "The short story to be published in this month's edition is ready. This one is a special one. 25th wedding anniversary of us is falling this Friday. This one is the surprise present for my hubby.", said Nithya to her colleague Raghu.
                 "Oh congrats!! Present!! What is so special in the story? Have you written something about your relationship?"
                 "Of course the days when we started our relationship. The tale of our marriage. A memorabilia."
                 "Is yours a love marriage?"
                 "Yes. But only a few know that. Now you are in the few."
                 "Sounds interesting. Can you mail me the story? Let me read?"
                  Nithya sends a mail to Raghu and said, "Raghu! Check your inbox."
                 "Yes, received. Let me have a cup of coffee and start the story with its aroma."
                 "I don't know why you people need a coffee to do a thing."
                 "Like you people even in your forties need Fair & Lovely to come out of the house. Accustomed."
Raghu opened the document attached in the mail. The topic of the story read, "Marriage fixed in terrace".  "Topic is really good Nithya. Only you can select topics like this. Last week I read a story by the name 'Parabola'. I'm still figuring out why the story writer named the story so."
                  "Thanks Raghu. I thought the story name should reveal the entire story."
                  "You could have stopped with the title. This says the entire story."
                  "Oh! Did you read the entire story?"
                  "No. I have to start."
                  "Read completely and lemme know how is it."

Raghu started to read
                             Marriage fixed in terrace
Madras, 24 May 1987
                      Ramalingam and family moved to Madras. Ramalingam, a senior officer in Canara Bank and was transferred from Madurai. Ramalingam, his wife Radha, daughters Nithya and Kalyani. Radha is a Commerce graduate and is a housewife. Nithya, just completed her final year exams and her parents were searching a suitable bridegroom for her. Kalyani finished her eighth class exams and got admission into one of the best schools in Madras.
                   "Nice apartment. I can see many youngsters with whom I can play." amused Kalyani.
                   "You can even discuss about your studies with them. Always wanna play. Let us live here. You go and find a suitable playground where you can stay. You can play 24 x 7 and I won't be hindering you there.", scolded her father.
                  "I know about you dad. Granny has said me how you broke the head of Kesavan thatha while playing cricket. Also used to play the entire evening. Like father like daughter."
                  "See Nithya. How silent she is. Learn from her. Stop throwing replies when seniors advise you. I don't know why my mom said these things to you."
                   Nithya and her sister Kalyani arranged the house with the things that have come from Madurai. The apartment had four floors and their house was in second floor. There was a huge terrace as well.

                    It was 6 in the evening and Nithya with her sister Kalyani went to terrace of the apartment. Few kids were playing hide & seek and Kalyani joined them. There were five youngsters of age between 18 to 25 and a middle aged lady discussing about something. She moved towards them and a girl from them came and asked, "Hey you are the one who came today to DS 2 right? I am Madhavi. I stay in house straight opposite to yours and I study Economics in Stella Marys."
          "I am Nithya. Just completed my graduation. Physics. My dad got transferred here from Madurai."
          "Oh Madurai. Nice!! Come on let me break the ice."
          "He is Kathirvel. He works as a clerk for Sundaram Finance."
          "Hello Nithya!"
          "He is Madhavan. Engineer. He is working for Ashok Leyland. Poet, Story write, Movie critic, Philosopher. He does everything better than he does engineering. You will start coming here just to hear things from him."
          "No. No. Don't take that serious. You can categorize my writings similar to how bathroom singers sing. And welcome to our group."
          "Thank you."
          "He is Sudharsan. She is Kanakaambaram and this lady is our one and only Ambujam. My mother and she is like women in Balachander movie. Gen-next. We can discuss everything with her like a same aged friend."
          "Namasakaram aunty."
          Nithya just saw them discussing and felt happy to get good company.
                   These people used to discuss every evening. The thoughts of Madhavan and Nithya always remained linear. They developed a good respect with each other.          

One evening in July- Terrace
            Ambujam came to terrace and saw Nithya waiting over there.
            "You came first today. Usually it is me who use to reach here first. Good. Good."
            "Yes aunty. It was boring in home. Thought of spending some time here."
            "So what you do in leisure time in Madurai?"
            "I listen to radio aunty. Also I write somethings. Stories, Poems."
            "So lady Madhavan."
            "What sort of things you listen in radio?"
            "Songs. A lot of. I like Ilayaraja's music and whenever they play his songs. I move to the radio."
All others came meanwhile.
            "Yes, he is such a genius. Have you heard Rettai Vaal Kuruvi(A Tamil movie) songs. There is a song Rajaraja Chozhan." She started to sing.
             Kathirvel interfered and said, " Ya, he is a good composer. But people say he is arrogant and don't respect anyone. See he broke up with Bharathiraja. Bharathiraja is the one who gave him opportunities in the beginning but he broke up with him. In Vedam Pudhidhu (Tamil movie), some new guy called Devendran has composed the music and those songs are also good."  
               Madhavan stopped him and said, "This is 102nd time we are having this discussion. However he is. His music is good. I don't see arrogance in his music. One's mindsets reflect in his/her creations. His creations are soothing. May be Bharathiraja could be the reason of break up."
             " You don't accept the truth."
Ambujam: "Hey Madhava! Nithya too writes poems and stories like you."
Madhavan: "Is it?"
Nithya : "Ya. Inspirations. Bharathiyar, Kannadasan, Vairamuthu. Jayakanthan, Sivasankari. I read them and started to write as well."
Madhavan: "Let me read your stories and poems. Bring them tomorrow."
Nithya: "Sure."
Kankaambaram:  "Madhavan! Give yours to her as well. Let her get the same troubles and feeling what we      got."          
Madhavan: "She will like my stories."
Madhavi: "Ha ha. A good joke."
 Kathirvel: "Did you see MGR and Karunanithi had..."

The evening blues continued.

The next evening 22 July
             Nithya came with a notebook in which she wrote her poems and stories. Usually they meet at 6. Then it was 5:30. Madhavan was already waiting there.
             "You came early today.", asked Nithya.
             "Yes. Even you came early today." The eyes are spotted with an affection when Madhavan said so.
Nithya gave her notebook to Madhavan. Madhavan read few pages. He saw a revolutionary writer in her. The poems conveyed sharp messages that were nailed hard. He kept the notebook inside his bag. He didn't want others to read those before he do so."
             Everyone came and had regular discussions. Time went by and Madhavan reached to his flat DT1. He opened the note book and read all the stories and poems. The last poem in the note book had the title "Idhu Kadhalai Irunthidumo? (Wiil it be love?)". The poem had the descriptions about linear thoughts a girl and boy had and how it evoked a feel of love in the girl. It finally ended saying "Nithyamum Madhavan(Always Madhavan)."  Madhavan took a paper from draw. It had some story written and the title of story was "My love Nithya" and the date at which story was written is 21 July.


The next evening 5:00 PM
          "Oh! You are already here." said Nithya to Madhavan.
          "Yeah. Read your stories and poems. Such a brilliant writer. But when it comes to poems on love, you write like me. Extraordinary."
         "Thank you sir."
         "Did you read the last one?"
        "Ya. The story about modern Jhansi Rani. Great."
        "The poem?"
        "Which one?"
         Nithya took the notebook from him and noticed that the page was teared. She took in her mind that the relationship is only upto this terrace discussions. She was not speaking with an interest. She was half-colored. The people came to discussion and Nithya continued to be same. Everyone went but Nithya stayed. Madhavan asked her why. She didn't reply. He took a paper from the bag and asked her if it was the missing paper. The paper's topic read "My love Nithya". Both shared a lighter moments for few minutes and left to their homes.

Evening of August 24
          Ambujam aunty came early by 5 for taking back dried cloths and saw Nithya and Madhavan laughing out and speaking something. When she went nearby, both said to her that they love each other.
          Ambujam saw the intimacy between them developed these days and said, "Nithya! I'll do the necessary things to get you guys married. What will be the reward for me if it happen so?"
          Madhavan replied, " A walkman and 20 cassettes containing Yesudas songs.:

The next day
         Someone knocked the door of Ramalingam's home. Radha opened the door and saw Ambujam.
         "Please come in Mami. Nithya said a lot about you."
         "Ya. We used to talk in the terrace."
         " I heard you singing mami. Good voice."
         "Thank you. Can I get a little curd?"
        Ambujam saw Ramalingam reading Vishnu Sahasranamam. She saw two to three horoscopes in the drawing table. When Radha came back she asked,
        "Are you seeing matches for Nithya?"
        "Yes. We got two horoscopes but they did not match with her horoscope."
        "Oh! She is 20. I know a boy in this flat. He stays in third floor. His name is Madhavan. Their parents are also seeing matches for him .Why can't you ask his horoscope?"
        "What is he doing?"
        "He is an engineer in Ashok Leyland. He gets Rs. 2000 per month. Very nice boy. He will be a good match. Just go and ask his parents and let us hope for the best."
         Ambujam left. Ramalaingam finished reading Sahasranamam and thought to go forward since Ambujam came and said about the boy while he was chanting slokas.

          "I saw a girl putting rangoli in second floor. Beautiful girl and looks like she was brought up with moral values . I want Madhavan to get married to girl like her.", said Krishnamoorthy to Santha.
          The door was knocked and it was Ramalingam and his wife. They came with fruits and flowers.
Krishnamoorthy:  "Santha. People from second floor has come. Please come. Please come."
Santha              :   "Please come. Please come."    
Ramalingam      :  "Please take these fruits."
Santha              :  "He was just saying about your daughter. You have brough up her well."
Ramalingam      : "Thank you."
Radha              : "Ambujam mami said you are seeing for matches for your son. Even we are looking for matches for Nithya."
Santha              : "We are also thinking the same."
Ramalingam      : "This is the horoscope of Nithya. Can you please give Madhavan's horoscope so that we can proceed?"
Krishnamoorthy: "Santha get me Madhavan's horoscope."
Ramalingam      : "Are you from Tirunelveli?"
Krishnamoorthy: "Shenkottai."
Radha              : "You people speak beautiful Tamil."
Krishnamoorthy: "Yes, here is the horoscope."

September 4 Betrothal
        "Where is the walkman?" asked Ambujam to Nithya.
        "I didn't promise. Ask Madhavan."
        "Will get you a brand new Sony Walkman Aunty. In couple of weeks.", said Madhavan.
        "Luckily your horoscope matched. Whatever words I put to Nithya's parents. Your horoscope had all ten matches. That is why all went good."
         "Aunty don't say to any one. We had only six matches. I altered my horoscope according to Nithya's."
         "Culprit! You did it as you wrote in one of your stories. Get me a walkman and 20 cassettes. I won't let anyone to know it."

December 1 1987
            "We had a good bridegroom with all matches in our own apartment. Such a nice guy. But we searched in all other places. See, they are the perfect match", said Radha to Kalyani during the marriage day.
            Madhavan tied the holy knot. Their faces had tonnes of happiness.
            "Kanakambaram! Kathirvel is really a nice guy. Get me a color TV. I will arrange your marriage", said Ambujam.
The marriage night Apartment terrace
           "The days we talked a lot
            The days where our eyes talked with each other.
            The love that folded untold
             It all happened here.
             Still I remember your first hi here
             The day when I fixed you are for me
             The day when you fixed I am for you
             It all happened here.
             Yes this terrace is our heaven.", Madhavan said this poem.


"Nithya! Chanceless. Why there are no intimate lines in your love as in the movies. Did you avoid it since you think they are private? It would have been more romantic if you've added them."

                       Nithya returned home. She had bath. She was documenting something in her computer. Madhavan and her daughter Sahana called Nithya twice. She did not come. When Madhavan shouted, "Nithya! Are you deaf? How many times should I call you?" Nithya ran and slipped while running  in stairs. She felt down. .
Nithya saw Madhavan crying like a child.
 Madhavan said, "I shouldn't have shouted. I could have taken the Dosa from hotpot. I might have lost you. Sorry! This will not happen again."
"No. Nothing happened. I should have waited here. My mistake."
"See. Be careful. I will shout. My office will pay for Dhoni to pose for branding but not for employees. My personal problems. I should have controlled. Go and sleep." Tears fell on the hands of Nithya.

                        Nithya has practice of writing diary. She wrote on the day, "One of my colleagues said there is no romance in our love. Yes, it is. Today, my husband cried because I slipped in the stairs. I am safe and was not hurt. Still he cried like a child. His tears fell on my hand. I felt the love. I felt the romance. This is what love. Better than those days when we sat on the terrace and talked for hours. The care, the bond even after 25 years. I'm blessed. I got a surprise gift from him before I give him one. Thanks to terrace and Ambujam mami for making this happen."