Tuesday, December 30, 2008


A long time back it was. I was living in a large family, which brings along with it its own share of bloody joys and sorrows - waiting in line for the toilet, fights over who is going next to the bathroom and who gets to have the remote, dinner with a gang of 14, noisy and fun christmases and diwalis... phew! it was one roller-coaster ride. Well all this was happening in the side-wings. The main-stage belonged to my dad and uncles who were busy haggling over family issues. One such issue led to the following short story when I was 15...


I first heard it as a faint thumping. I pulled the blanket over me and turned on the other side, trying to shake off the disturbance. But it persisted. I groggily opened my eyes and pushed the blanket to my side….It was the unmistakable sound of metal against wood….A tree was being cut. I jumped up and looked out of my window, rubbing my eyes to clear out the nocturnal deposits. There outside my window, in our ancestral garden, a veteran was being pulled down – an old hibiscus tree. I could feel my guts contract. I was witnessing a gruesome murder.
The murderer brought down his axe repeatedly on the old albeit strong body of the tree. The tree wouldn’t give in; he fought back offering strong resistance. He had rendered his service of protection and utility for too long a period to be forcefully pulled down. But he was a tree after all wasn’t he? His dermis was split open; his first line of defence rendered useless. The murderer exulted, effusive over having scored a point over his old opponent. The murderer secretly knew in his heart that he would win…No… he was absolutely sure. He had done this before; he was an old hand at this. Yes! he would win! The tree’s strength began to wean. The axe was being brought down even more forcefully now. The murderer reached the life centre of the tree – the soft, sensitive, white core. Its sight gave the murderer new strength, born from a maniacal frenzy, increasing every second.
The sound….KAAT!...KAAT!...KAAT!...seemed mundane to the terrestrial world, dampened by the even more deafening sounds of cars, horns and children. But deep down in the bowels of the earth, the sound resonated with a demonic clarity. It shook the very foundation of life, threatening to tear apart the fragile heart of Mother Nature. She trembled, quivered, frantically searching for a place in the now dark underworld to hide herself and block out the deadly, piercing cries of help of the tree. It was futile, useless…for everywhere, every pocket of space was filled with the sobs and cries of her dying offspring.
Back on the surface, in my ancestral garden, the tree was losing the battle. The sharp metal cut through his xylal veins, splattering the liquid of life everywhere. But the murderer continued. He put down the axe and caught hold of him. The tree gave in. The murderer twisted his body, or rather what remained of it, to and fro. The pain, the tingling, agonizing pain, shot up through his dry fibers, reaching every single leaf and flower, making them scream and shake. I held on to the bars of my window as I saw the tree living its last dying moments. Framed in my window like a sad painting; bright red and green, and of course, the pale, visceral white. The leaves and flowers gasped.
CRRAAACCKK!,,,,,,,,,,THUD!...and shook for a last time.
Then everything was still. The only sound was the murderer’s heavy breathing. He wiped the sweat off his fore-head and flicked it. The beads of sweat fell on and mixed with the laborious secretions of the tree. The buds were closed….as they’ll remain forever…forbidden to see the light of day. Their delicate stamens curled up in infancy for ever. The golden pollen – a million trees swiped out a once. A floral abortion.
The murderer packed his weapons. With eyes cast downwards, he received the sum for the murder from the one stained with the greater sin. I turned my eyes to the street where a small crowd had gathered. In the crowd was an old man in a white shirt and white dhoti… and a prominent frown. A frown?! But shouldn’t you be amused like the rest of the people standing there? Why was this man frowning? Ah! then I knew. I recognized this man as one who lives down the street. A grumpy, old man. His daily routine included picking hibiscus flowers from the tree in our garden, every morning for pooja. His lament rose from the loss of gain.

So the tree died, lonely and friendless.

Well, there it is, my first baby step. I still don't remeber what it was in me that made me take up this tree-cutting thing with so much of gusto... Especially that part about mother nature and all, I still chuckle when I reach that part! A lil too dramatic for modern tastes I guess... I left it there so that I can show how my baby step really manifested itself... But, I still haven't shown this to my uncles or dad though! Since they are technically supposed to be the ones 'stained with the greater sin'... And oh yeah, that old man's dead now I heard.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree!

The decorations were done and the tree was up – loads of trinkets that I allowed my friend to painstakingly shop for me for the tree (thank the Lord for that! But I put them up mind you!), and streamers in shining red and silver that adorned the walls. Nice it looked. I plunked into my couch and stared at it all. Ok, so it was all done, but who’s going to look at it? Yeah, my relatives and friends of course; they might pass a few half-hearted comments to please mom (not me, come on! I’m not the one who is going to send them back with loads of Christmas goodies right!). But hey! I deserve them ok, who actually takes out time now-a-days to do things like these?! Or the kids might ooh and aah at the tree to make a grab at the gifts beneath it (Yeah they did both :)). But that’s it! All my hard work will then be packed and stacked away for a whole year for the sole viewing pleasure of spiders and roaches. As I was whiling away my resting time thinking so, all the while solemnly sizing up the tree, I get a call.
It’s my friend Nishant, who works as a photographer with the newly launched broadsheet newspaper - DNA.

Nishant : “Hey Jacob! Merry Christmas!”

Me: “Thanks da”

Nishant : “Listen I need to shoot a Christian home for a Christmas special in our Daily”

I look at the tree as my smile broadens, I can see it hatching an opportunistic plan, that cunning piece of coniferous trimming! It somehow twists its twiggy way into my head and says those magic words – “OF COURSE YOU CAN COME HOME!”

Nishant : “Cool da, I’ll be there in an hour”

He came. He shot my tree AND me, with my brood of nephews and nieces. And on Christmas day there was my tree published in a newspaper for the whole of Bangalore to see, with its proud owner standing next to it *smug grin*
Ok ok yeah it is DNA for heaven’s sake, something which half of Bangalore still thinks refers to that piece of ladder-like thingy that determines your fat nose or extra body fat, but still, at least a pint-size population of Bangalore would have seen it na… And that counts! :)
On the whole, a nice Christmas gift it turned out to be :), all thanks to a scheming tree, Nishant and TONS of divine providence…
Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Damn the bloody leap year man!!! All my dreams of waking on a lazy Sunday morning for my birthday are now sunken… And this being a special birthday and all, when I leave behind my lanky teenage years and step into the more complicated aisle of adulthood… Tsk, tsk. Anyways, since this being a special birthday and all, and it being a Monday, I thought I’ll get to work and make myself a birthday-resolution list! Since now I have to ‘act’ adult (not ‘be’, note that. Who really IS anyways?!) now, I have to give up a few of my teenage wayward ways that are a shame to adulthood… Supposedly… So here goes!

1.Hit the Gym – I see the sag… I see the tyres… I see the girls ogling at John
Abraham… I see myself not giving a damn… gotta stop. Hey dude you could look at the good omen! JA – Jacob Anand! All I have to do is keep lifting a stick stuck with two metals balls on its ends, repeatedly, like a zombie, for three hours a day, four days a week, giving up on my social life and favorite shows, sweating, panting, tearing a measly muscle here and there and wearing really short gym shorts… Ha, I could do that…! Watch out Bips, here I come…

2.Stop Watching Springboob, uh sorry, Spongebob Squarepants – Ya, I know,
it was a hard confession… I can already see the LOLs and ROTFLs in your head… but who cares! That spatula-wielding yellow creature with holes has me glued to the TV set every night at eight… Not to mention his star buddy, Patrick, who reminds me of half the politicians in the world…

3. Not be fed by mamma - Ok, ok…it’s not everyday… only when I’m too pooped
out after a grueling day at CU not CC to pick that plate and feed myself. And what the heck! The food tastes better… :)

4. Stop playing Boggle (Is that the right spelling deer?) in class – Ever since I was
introduced to this game to kill time in boring classes I have taken it on with a child-like competitiveness. (You don’t know what boggle is? Ha! Loser!) Never mind the fact that I lose half the time, because I at least get to keep myself from snoring off and leaving sleep-drool on the desks. (Which a lot of people in our class have quite excelled in doing. Think twice before you place your hands on that ‘comfortable’ desk again!)

5. Throw away all my old comics and books – You can’t imagine the number of
these things that I have! Superman, Archie, Tinkle, The Moby book series and more… I have read them a gazillion times over and over again, sometimes even preferring them over my optional English texts (Ya, I see you nodding in agreement). Given a choice I’d very well prefer getting my degree in this. Hey Bachelor of Comics, BCom, doesn’t sound suspicious either. :)

And now comes the mother of all resolutions
6. Break every single resolution given above! – Come on already, you think I’m
gonna go out of my way and do all of the above! Ha! Then people won’t recognize me…! So let’s just let it be k? This birthday I’ll just celebrate all of the above instead of giving it away…

So there it is… My dismantled list… And my Happy Birthday…

Thanks deer for that ‘Happy three days before your birthday day!’, and then ‘Happy two days before your birthday day!’, and then ‘Happy… (ok so you get it na) wishes. I only hope you don’t start with ‘Happy 365th day before your birthday day!’ from tomo… :)