Prose & Poetry

Deviance – For Real!

So around November of 2008, I wrote a short story called “Deviance” about a Tamil dude who wanted to marry another man. The story was essentially the result of one of those “what were we even thinking?” conversations with another friend, (the erstwhile) IdlingInTopGear, except I actually wrote what we were thinking/talking into a story.

The story became popular in a very 2008 way – some people made into an e-mail forward with extra punctuation, some others posted it on their own blogs and so on; It also became a short film, starring very talented actors from the Chennai theatre circuit and was featured in an LGBT Film Festival in Chennai, too – it’s currently on a Youtube Channel for Indie short films called Bench Culture which is promoted by Karthik Subburaj, of Jigarthanda/Pizza fame . I’ve written a lot since then, but in all honesty, Deviance remains one of my biggest accomplishments in writing, not because of the popularity it achieved, but because a few people from the Tamil gay community reached out to me to tell me that they found it hilarious, and that for me was the greatest piece of validation.

Anyway, so 8 whole years later after I wrote Deviance, this news item comes up on my feed about an adorable gay couple who had a traditional, South Indian style wedding with pretty much everything that I’d imagined in the story!

Anyway, so I just thought I’d share it here because,
a) It’s too freaking cute
b) More people need to know about my Nostradamus-ness OKAY.

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{This is a short story I wrote for the Madras Mag Anthology. It is a wonderful book, full of gems from authors the like of Srinath Perur, Sharanya Manivannan, MR Sharan, among others, and it’s an absolute honour to be rubbing shoulders with writers of that calibre! It’s published by a super hip independent publisher, Mulligatawny Books, and by purchasing the anthology, you’ll be supporting quality Indian writing. You can buy it on Amazon, here.} 

Sarah’s cousin
Natasha’s Labrador had given birth to six puppies, of which five had already
found homes across the city. The last one came to us, something that Amma was
not pleased about. What is that thing, she had asked Shrinidhi when she
showed up at the door with a card board box that had holes and a puppy. Take it
back right now. Shrinidhi, however, had different plans. She had been asking
Amma for a dog for two years now, supplemented her pleas with research that had
been the result of googling “How dogs make life better”, and even changed Amma’s
phone wallpaper from photos of Srinivasa Perumal to photos of adorable, fluffy
Golden Retriever puppies, but had never gotten what she wanted. Amma said they
were dirty, and Appa, who worked twelve hours a day in his legal practice, was
too exhausted by the time he came home to have a different opinion.
She had been on the
verge of giving up when Sarah had told her during Lunch Break about her cousin
Natasha’s Labrador, Choochoo Arockiaraj, and how they were having trouble
giving the last puppy in her litter away. Why wouldn’t anyone want a puppy,
Shrinidhi had asked Sarah. That’s because these puppies are a cross, replied
Sarah knowledgeably. Natasha’s parents didn’t realise that Choochoo was in her
heat when they took her out for a walk, and the neighbours’ male mongrel-hound,
Dimitri, who was also on his walk, had seduced her. Her neighbours were
Germans, and they were so happy about the pairing, that they immediately told
Natasha that they’d not only take half the litter, but also pay for the vet and
pregnancy. Shrinidhi nodded sagely, although she didn’t really understand what
a dog being in the heat meant, after which she asked Sarah if she could take
the last puppy. That, as they say, was that. Natasha was outside the school
campus the next evening with the cardboard box laced with newspaper that housed
the puppy, a chew toy, and a separate box with puppy food. Thank you so
much, Natasha had told her. You’re doing an amazing thing! You’re going to love
it! I’ve given you enough food to last you a week, and feel free to ask me
anything about her, she said, pointing to the larger box.
Shrinidhi had had
exactly three questions – how old the puppy was (she’s seventy days old now),
whether she needed shots (she needs a booster on the 7th, I’ve already paid the
vet – I’ll text you his address), and whether she could eat Thayir Saadham (hmmm,
give her vegetarian puppy food first, Pedigree has it, with curd, definitely,
because it’s good for their coats, also give her boiled vegetables but once
she’s six months old, Thayir Saadham, why not. Just google to be sure).
Once she got her answers she knew that the little puppy she was carrying
wouldn’t just help her finish her lunch, but also be her companion for life.
When Shrinidhi
suggested that they keep the puppy in the little verandah across the hall, Amma
only cussed in response. Azhukku Shaniyan. Keep it in your room, with
your mess. Appa had told her the same, and also that it would help her bond
with the puppy better. And so, Shrinidhi kept the puppy in her room. She opened
up the box where she had been putting away Birthday and
falling-at-the-feet-of-elders money to buy a dog on her own, and spent the rest
of the day shopping online for the puppy, feeding her, and cleaning up the
dog’s piss and poop. 
Amma, why don’t you
name her? Shrinidhi had offered the next day. 
Her? asked Amma incredulously. It
is an it. I am not naming it. I don’t even like it. 
said Shrinidhi. That’s what I’ll name her. I’ll call her Adhu
name, said Amma. Now that the Punyojanam is done, shall I make some
Carrot Payasam to celebrate? 
Shrinidhi stalked back to her room, and
came back five minutes later to ask Amma if she could have a hundred rupees to
buy her a few tennis balls. Amma said no. Appa gave her the money on the
condition that she didn’t tell Amma.   
Adhu, whose name
soon morphed into Addhu, and then Addhooo, was an adorable little puppy. She
had inherited her mother’s droopy ears, short hind legs, stubby nose, and her
father’s jet-black coat. She was of soft, timid temperament and was happy to be
sleeping on most days, and whenever Shrinidhi brought her to the hall, it’s her
home too she would say, Adhu was happy to just lie flat under the fan with
all four of her paws spread out, making her look like a cuddly version of the
macabre tiger skin trophy carpets that one saw in the houses of rich,
villainous men in Tamil Cinema.
Despite the puppy’s
obvious cuteness which had won all the other hearts in the house, Amma
continued to show spite towards the dog. Ignore your mother, Appa told
Shrinidhi. She’s been stressed and irritated all week. Prabha Atthai is due to
call about her trip today.  
Prabha Atthai was Appa’s first cousin,
and older to him by about ten years. The only child of her parents, she moved
to the United States in the early eighties after marrying – Amma preferred to
use the word capturing – a mild mannered neurologist who was making good money,
and continued to do so. She rarely visited India, it was exhausting, she would
say with her newly acquired twang, preferring instead to fly her parents to the
States. Five
years ago she had lost her parents in quick succession,
and ended up spending a fair amount of time with Appa because he was the only
lawyer who would help sort out her parents’ wills, house deeds, and other
formalities without charging anything.  Before she left to the US, she called home,
and spoke to Appa about how grateful she was, and that as a token of her
gratitude, she would come to India more often, and stay with us. Appa had
welcomed the idea heartily, much to Amma’s displeasure. If only you were less
compassionate, she had told him. We would have got a BMW ten years ago.
The first time Prabha
Atthai visited us, she hauled her suitcase across the airport to the Tirusulam
subway station, took the train to Mambalam, and walked through the
morning-after muck of Ranganathan Street to reach our house which was on the
other side. Your city is so dirty, she’d accused once she got home. Look at
what I had to get through to come here. 
Why didn’t you take a cab, Amma had
A cab costs Rs.450. Don’t you have a driver? Please send him from now.
Prabha Atthai’s
schedule in Chennai was the same each trip.  As soon as she got home, which would usually
be in the middle of the night, she would insist on waking us up immediately so
that she could give us our gifts – items she had carefully picked out herself
from the dollar store. You don’t get anything like this here, do you, she would
ask, pointing to the acrylic pen stands and Jolly Rancher hard candies that she
would get us year after year. The only way we were allowed to go back to sleep
was if we said no.
Every morning, she
would sit in the dining table, and draw up a long list of cousins and relatives
to visit that day. She would then have breakfast, and talk. She would talk
about her life before she got married, her life after, life in the States, and
how life would have been if she hadn’t gone. It wasn’t the talking that
bothered Amma as much as Prabha Atthai’s need to have a pertinent response. If
Amma so much as hmm-ed, Prabha Atthai would turn her nose up, after which she
would repeat the entire story again for Amma’s benefit, and the rest of the day
would be spent on more such one sided storytelling, apart from lunch and dinner.
Prabha Atthai ran out of stories quickly, and would often repeat her favourites
– Amma, after listening to the story of how she saw Bujji Periamma elope with
her Professor back in the eighties for roughly the thirtieth time, made the
mistake of telling Prabha Atthai that she already knew the story. Prabha Atthai,
who was quick to get offended, wasn’t one to give up.
She stopped telling
stories, and started doling out advice instead – she would advise Amma on
everything she thought Amma would benefit from, but her core focus was on how
Amma had raised her daughters. Your daughters have too much freedom. Why did
you put them in a Convent? They’re probably eating Non Vegetarian food behind
your back. If you give your daughters smart phones, they will get boyfriends. For
four years, Amma handled it with great finesse, choosing to comment in a
neutral manner. Last year, however, Prabha Atthai crossed the line by straying
from her chosen topic of daughter rearing, to commenting on Amma’s cooking,
more specifically, by telling her that her Paruppu
could use some improvement. 
Amma started giving her the silent treatment, and two days later, Prabha
Atthai left to Latha Periamma’s house for the remainder of the trip. Things
sorted themselves out the way these things usually sort themselves out – Amma
and Appa had a fight, but neither Amma nor Atthai acknowledged or confronted
the other about the incident.
 Prabha Atthai called on schedule to inform Amma
about her trip, the timings of her flight, and whether the driver would be
coming to pick her up. By the way, Amma had told her.  We have a dog in the house. I hope you’re
alright with them.
Dog? What dog? When?
Amma told her the
entire story about Shrinidhi and Choochoo Arockiaraj. It’s annoying, but it’s
here. I can’t do anything. Do you have a problem with dogs?
Please don’t be upset
about what I’m going to tell you, Prabha Atthai said. But I am deathly allergic
to dogs. 
Oh, said Amma. I never knew about this. 
That’s because of who I am,
she replied. I don’t like burdening people with my problems. Why should I give
you one more worry? You must have enough with those daughters of yours. Anyway,
this is the problem. Even if I so much as see dogs, I develop a cough and a
severe rash. Is there any way to give her away before my trip to Chennai?
I’m sorry, said
Amma. I’ve tried everything. Shrinidhi just won’t listen. The only way the dog
is leaving the house is if Shri takes it along to her husband’s house after she
gets married. 
Shrinidhi has to get married before the dog leaves? asked Prabha Athai. Who knows when that will happen! Or if that will happen at
I know, said Amma. The times we live in. 
I suppose I should go to Latha’s
house right away this time. 
I suppose, replied Amma. 
Ok then, bye. I’ll call you
Bye, good night, said Amma and waited to hear the click sound of the
call getting cut. She continued to stand with her ear on the phone as the
events of the past fifteen minutes sank into her.
We had Carrot Payasam
for dessert that evening.

Happy Holidays!

One of my favourite December memories was when my sister was 7, and she had just seen her first “Christmas Celebration” show in school. The show has been pretty standard all these years – carols and the nativity play with Pre KG Gabriel groupies (I am also very disappointed to say that I had never been chosen to be one of the Gabriel groupies despite being one of the cutest kids in my batch. There are some people who think that it was probably because I might have bit Baby Jesus but like hello, Baby Jesus is a plastic doll! Plastic dolls were made to be bit, and most importantly, BITING IS A TOTALLY ACCEPTED HABIT WHEN YOU’RE FIVE, OKAY. Moving on).  

Ofcourse,  my sister’s LET’S GET A CHRISTMAS TREE! enthusiasm for the festival was put off by my visibly flustered mother who told her it wouldn’t really be possible because Jesus Christ wasn’t Iyengar.  
“Is Santa Claus at least Iyengar?” prodded my down-but-not-out sister. 
My mother answered in the negative, but when I think about it today, my sister’s question has incredible possibilities. 
Merry Margazhi from Santhanam Claus of North Mada Street

Also, since you didn’t ask for it – Santhanam Claus Stothram:
Oh you better watch out
Learn Thirupaavai 
Do Sandhi three times
I’m telling you why
Santhanam Claus is comin’ to town! 
He’s making a list 
And checking it twice,
Been spying on you
Since the last Chittirai
Santhanam Claus comin’ to town!
He sees you when you’re smoking
He knows it’s meat you ate 
He knows if you’ve been a-bhishtoo
So be good for umaachi’s sake! 
Merry Margazhi and Happy New Thai!

The Boredom Of Ravana

This is the first mythology based short story that I am writing. I really hope you like it. 🙂 

One fine day, a really, really, long time ago, the great Demon King Ravana sat upon his throne in his island kingdom of Lanka. His ten hands stroked his ten chins, deep in thought. After he decided that stroking all his chins was not going to provide a solution, he called his minister, the wise rakshasa Saranu.
“Tell me, Saranu” He boomed.
“Yes, Your Greatness”
“Am I not the best king in the three worlds?”
“There is no doubt, My Lord.”
“Have I not conquered everyone who is to be conquered?”
“Every one, Your Greatness”
“Am I not number one?”
“Well ofcourse, Sire. May I ask what seems to be troubling your royal highness?”
Ravana looked around to make sure there was no one else in his court. He sighed a loud sigh and buried all of his faces into all his palms.
“I am bored. BORED! The wine, the women, the revelry, the dancing, even the skies! They’re all boring!”
“Perhaps, you need a vacation, Sire. A change of place.”
“I thought of that. But where? The heavens? That Indra is so annoying, he’ll make even a vacation into a war just so that he can ride that elephant of his. He may not be weary of losing to me, I don’t blame him, after all, what is a greater honour than falling to the most mighty ruler in the cosmos? But there is no fun in torturing the idiot Devas anymore. And the Mortal realms? Bah! Those puny human lands bore me with their puniness. I find doing my morning business more challenging.”
“Maybe you should try, the, um, puny monkey lands.”
“Monkey lands?”
“Yes, your terribleness. It is said that the Monkey Lands of Kishkindha are quite a treat to the eye. And who knows, they might make a good colony. I heard their old king Vaali is back.”
“The old king is back? What happened to the other monkey? What’s his name…some Sageera”
“Sugriva, sire.”
“Yes, that weakling.”
“Vaali took it back from him.” The minister lowered his voice. “Gossip says that it wasn’t just the Kingdom he took from his brother, but his wife too.”
Ravana’s ten heads shook as he giggled. (I know what you’re thinking, but let me tell you that Rakshasas giggle too.)
“This monkey is after my own heart. Imagine his delight when he finds out that I, Ravana, The Great King of Lanka, The Conqueror of the Three Worlds, The Bearer of Shiva’s Sword, The Terrifying Ten Headed …headed..”
“….Terror, My Lord! The Terrifying Ten Headed Terror!”
“Yes! I thought of that. The Terrifying Ten Headed Terror making a visit to Kishkindha! Ravana, The Rakshasa whom the universe comes to worship, visiting! I am sure that he would be weeping tears of joy if he could listen to this.”
“Your modesty has always awed us all, my Lord.”
“Summon the Pushpaka Vimana!”
The Pushpaka Vimana was one of it’s kind, and Ravana found it fitting that he should seize it from his Half-Brother Kubera, because after all, he was one of a kind too. As the enchanted chariot soared across the skies, the Demon King surveyed the mortal lands below them.
“So plain…so plain. How do people live here?”
“Not everyone has the blessing to be in the beautiful Lanka under your direct rule, Sire”
“I’ll say. I have no idea why my cousins roam around here. But hehe, that Tataka has a wonderful sense of humour, there was this one time…” He stopped abruptly. “What is happening there?”
“It seems like a celebration My Lord. Looks like the Ikshvaku Princes have come of age”
“Heh. Let them celebrate while they still can. They are going to get killed by one of our clan soon, anyway.”
“My Lord, there is this one prince. He goes by the name Rama, is said to be the shade of the rain clouds and is training to be the finest warrior in their race. They have prophesied many great things about him.”
“Stuff and nonsense Saranu! I’d like to see him survive Tatu’s breath in the mornings. These humans, they are wimps. Completely useless. Brahma knows why they were even created. Speaking of, have I told you about the time Brahma granted me the boon of invincibility?”
“Only a few million times, Your Greatness. But it seems like a new story every time you say it.”
“Yes Saranu. There I was, after three thousand years of penance, ready to chop my last head off, when Brahma decided that he couldn’t find a more worthy beneficiary and appeared before me, bowed before me and proclaimed that he was ready to give me whatever I wanted!”
“And what did you ask for, my Lord?”
“Oh you know me, Saranu. I am a simple Rakshasa with simple desires. I asked for invincibility! But you know these Gods. Brahma hung his head in shame when he told me that he couldn’t grant me, the one of the greatest penance, invincibility! What could I do?”
“What DID you do, sire?”
“I may have been frustrated, but I was too intelligent to be let down! So I told Brahma – It is fine if you cannot give me invincibility, O Brahma, but grant that I may never be defeated by any God or Demon!”
“Your wisdom and grace are beyond us all, Your Greatness.”
“Yes, I am aware. And that, Saranu,  has made me the most Invincible..”
“Sire, the Monkey! On the shore, praying! It is Vaali himself.”
“Ah, so we are in Kishkindha! Land Pushpaka!”
Pushpaka landed to a silent halt and Ravana descended on to the shore, waiting to be received. Vaali didn’t budge.
Ravana coughed with his one head.
Vaali didn’t budge.
Ravana coughed with all ten of his heads.
Vaali didn’t budge.
“The insolent monkey!” thought Ravana. “Ignoring me, the greatest and most powerful being in all three worlds! He must be humbled.”
The Demon King walked up to the rock where Vaali was praying, grabbed his tail….and got tangled in it.
Before he could understand what was happening, the monkey king flew from the eastern shore, to the western shore to offer more prayers, taking the Lord of Lanka along for the ride.
As Vaali dived into the waters for his holy dip, Ravana was dunked into the waters as well, tail all around him.
“Monkey!” he called out. “You puny little monkey! Take your tail off me!” But Vaali was too engrossed in prayers to notice.
Ravana tugged, Ravana pushed and Ravana pulled, only to find the tail growing longer, and more twisted. As he tried to set himself free, Vaali decided that it was time for him to offer his respects to the Gods from the northern mountains.
Vaali soared across the skies, again, carrying the Demon King, now completely knotted in his tail, along with him.
The more Ravana tried to break free, the more Vaali’s tail coiled.
Up went Vaali, Up went Ravana.
Down went Vaali, Down went Ravana.
Vaali took sharp lefts, Vaali took sharp rights, and with every passing minute, Ravana began to experience a kind of nausea that was as severe as his penance to Brahma. By the time Vaali finished his prayers in the northern mountains and the southern shores, he was completely convoluted, completely stuck and completely exhausted.
As Vaali headed back to Kishkindha, into his royal palace, the very queasy Demon King in his tail realized that the only way to get out, was to get Vaali himself to uncoil him.
“Help!” he called out.
“Hark! Who goes there?”
“I am here!”
Vaali spun around. No one.
“Who dares play tricks on me? Show yourself!”
“I am here! I am here!”
“Where? Where!”
“In your…tail”
Vaali turned his back to find his tail gathered into a rather enormous lump. He slowly uncoiled it to reveal ten very tired (and rather green) heads.
“The Lord of Lanka?”
“Yes! Yes! Set me free! Please!”
Vaali Paused.
“What are you thinking about?! Please set me free!”
“Did the Lord of Lanka just say please?”
“Yes! Please! Let me out!”
Vaali unraveled the rest of his tail to set the Rakshasa free.
Ravana rose to his feet, a little dizzy. “I have done the most severe austerities for the greatest lengths of time. I have conquered the three worlds. I have been blessed by Shiva himself to bear his sword. And yet…and yet..your tail!”
“How did you get in there, sir?”
Ravana opened his mouth to tell him about how he had wanted to take the Monkey King by his tail and throw him into the depths of the cosmos for ignoring him, him who was the conqueror of the three worlds….when he noticed Vaali’s tail twitch in an I-might-just-take-you-for-another-ride kind of way.
“Er…It must have been a cosmic intervention! A divine happening!”
“Indeed! And I am blessed to make your acquaintance. Good sir, I give you my deepest apologies if I had upset you anywhere”
Ravana thought for a minute about the way his stomach churned during his flight, as if Lord Nataraja himself was dancing in it. “Haha! Nonsense! It was like floating in the clouds!”
“I am glad you are not hurt. Would you like something to drink, sir?”
“It is all right, Vaali. Your hospitality pleases me, but I must be off now. I have many important things to do in Lanka, being the conqueror of the three worlds isn’t an easy job you know!”
“I can only imagine sir. You must come again. As long as I am here, Kishkindha will always be a friend of Lanka.”
“My Lord!”
“Tell me, my Lord, what happened? Were they petrified by your presence? Terrorized by your ten heads? Cowed by the Conqueror of the Three Worlds? Bullied by the…”
“Yes, Your Terribleness.”
“Be honest with me. Did you see what happened?”
“Er…Y-Yes, My Lord. But I must say that even in your flight in entwined form, you were like a glorious comet that was… in reverse!”
Ravana groaned. “I was humbled by a monkey! A MONKEY! Do you know what this means?”
A very long pause later, Saranu spoke – 

“On the bright side, My Lord – at least you are not bored anymore.”


Poetry, Modern

She leaves me
White, like the virgin snow

She wants change
I don’t.
She wants freedom
I give.

She feels guilt
Hidden in a silence
Yet she doesn’t return.

When she is alone
She will remember

There is a question
Only I
Can answer

That there is a hunger
Only I
Can satisfy

I am her lust
I am her craving
I am her desire

I am Thayir Saadham


Six thirty in the gym,
I was wondering what to do
Aimless on the floor
And then I saw you
Six feet tall
And oh so fair
I knew you’d be older
But I didn’t really care
You looked like a God, 
Half Perumal, half Greek
You were the kind of maaplai
My parents wanted to seek
I ran on the treadmill
Didn’t notice my feet go sore
All I saw was you.
And then, some more. 
I thought it was infatuation
Harmless and hormonal, 
But it became something more
The moment I saw your poonal
And so I asked my Trainer
Cause Information is wealth
But then what he told me
Wasn’t good for my health. 
My heart was broken
The sky fell on my head
Nothing could console me
Not even Nutella on bread. 
Tell me why, dear God
Tell me why, did you
Make the man of my dreams
Married and 42? 
The battle may be lost
But the war could be won
Please, Hot Maama
Tell me you have a son. 

The Knife

“Saravana! Chicken 65! 2 more orders! 10 minutes!”
“Bastards” thought Saravana, as he diced the meat. “No creativity. There are 15 other items in the menu, but nobody looks beyond Chicken 65”
“In their defense, I think that’s what tastes best with the alcohol” chimed Kural, the kitchen assistant.
“I’m just saying. It’s only 4 o clock and I’ve already cut up 6 birds”
“Is that a new knife?”
“You noticed! Yes yes, it’s new. I got it only today. It’s designed for cutting meat. But the way things are going, it’s going to get blunt by the end of the night.”
“Yea yea. Now’s the time those underaged kids come. Morons. They’re the worst. Don’t know how to handle alcohol and end up puking all over just when the actual customers come. It’s becoming more like TASMAC with each passing day.”
“Haha. They’re very entertaining. Especially those girls. Imagine what would happen if their parents found out”
“I have a feeling they already know. Yesterday, I saw this girl at table 2 drinking with her father.”
“Hahahaha! Chancey illa! How’d you find out?”
“I don’t know – she looked 19 and he looked 45. I just assumed.”
“Don’t assume Kural, these days, anything is possible”
“I’ll say.”
“Chicken 65, 2 plates, order up!” Saravana called out.
“I’ll go” offered Kural as he took the heavy tray into the smoky pub. The kitchen ticket said Table 4 and as he neared his destination, he smirked. Underage kids. And it looked like a birthday party – there were 3 boys and 3 girls, none of them older than 20 and they had an enormous cake already on the table.
“Chicken 65?”
“Eii! Your order has commmee. Get me another drink already!” said one of the girls in a high pitched voice. She seemed particularly drunk. Must be the birthday girl, guessed Kural.
“Yes Ma’am?”
“I want….I want…one laaarge vodka. Laarge. You understand?”
“Yes Ma’am. With?”
“I don’t knowww. Eii, what should I have it with?” she asked, poking the boy sitting next to her.
“How many rounds did you have?”
She started counting her fingers. “Onnne. Twoo. Three. Three! Three rounds onnnly”
Some friend, thought Kural. It was clearly this girl’s first time and he was already overloading her.
“Okay. I want one laarge vodka. And one redbull okayy?” she trilled.
“Yes Ma’am. Anybody want anything else?”
“Ohhh!” interrupted Birthday Girl. “I want a knife! I have to cut the cake. It’s my birthday” she smiled.
Kural nodded and headed back into the kitchen. Saravana was cutting up another bird.
“Can you believe it?” he asked. “Another 3 plates of Chicken fucking 65! I quit.”
“I want your knife”
“I know customers can be assholes sometimes Kural, and I have thought about it myself a few times too, but murder is simply not the answer.”
Thoo. Some drunk 17 year old wants to cut her birthday cake. Give me the damn knife already.”
“Why such a hurry? Figure aa?”
“Chi. She’s piss drunk. It’s her birthday after all. Let her cut her cake before she pukes on it.”
“Yes officer” smiled Saravana as he washed the knife and handed it over to Kural. “Make sure you get it back! It’s brand new!”
“I’ll try”

35 more orders of Chicken 65 later, it was closing time. Saravana was cleaning up his work area when Kural plopped on the table next to him, exhausted.
“Man I hate Wednesdays”
“Tell me about it”
“What happened?”
“Your knife! I forgot to get it back!”
“I knew I wouldn’t get it back the moment you took it. I’ll get a new one tomorrow. If there’s anything I love, it’s billing the management.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes yes. Need to get it first thing in the morning tomorrow.”
“First thing in the morning? What’s so special about that knife anyway?”
“Nothing. It just cuts so well.”

“Shrinidhi! Could you get the door?”
“Yes Ma, going”
“Must be Kamala Maami” Prabha mumbled. “Varshaporuppu and she shows up half an hour late. Why is it so hard to get a cook these days”
“Sorry I’m late! Bus-ey kadaikala” said Kamala maami, half sprinting into the kitchen. “Varshaporuppu also. What are you making?”
“I’ve already started on the thaligai, maami, but why don’t you get going with the Paayasam. It’s the neivedyam. I’ll ask Shrinidhi t o help you”
Aiyyo, its okay. She’s just a child. Let her stay away from the kitchen.”
“Just a child? Maami, she turned 19 day before yesterday.”
“Oh yes oh yes, I forgot. What did you all do?”
“Nothing, maami. She said she was going out with her friends. She went out and showed up one whole hour after the time she said she’d be back. Didn’t talk to me, or even her sister. She just went straight to sleep.”
“She must have been tired. ”
“Ennavo maami. It was the first time we even let her out that late. Next day we took her to the temple.”
“Nice. Where is the Jaggery?”
“Third shelf. Oh, when you’re cutting it up, make sure you don’t use the red knife.”
“Illa maami, it’s just that I use it to cut onions. I don’t want the same for the neivedyam you know?”
“What about this one?” Prabha looked carefully at the knife Kamala Maami was holding – it had a long black handle and what seemed like a very sharp serrated edge.
“I don’t remember seeing that knife. I don’t know, it must be new….Oh what the hell, I don’t remember cutting onions with it, so go ahead.”
Kamala maami shrugged and went ahead dicing the jaggery. She stopped after a few cuts and took a long hard look at the knife.
“What happened, maami? Is there anything wrong with the knife?”
“Nothing. It just cuts so well.”

The Chetan Bhagat Plot Generator

Why wait for Chetan Bhagat to release another book?

Our book is going to be on:

The hero and key loser of this story is:

His co-loser and culturally diverse friends, please

The extremely intelligent, beautiful, feminist heroine with whom our hero screws around with (multiple times):

So what do our boys want in life?

Which they intend to achieve by:

And where is all this happening?

Pick any 3 social stereotypes/prejudices that you may want our loser-hero to confront (isn’t this fun?)

Now, about the man himself! What do YOU think of Chetan Bhagat?

The newspaper that will review this awesome book will be:


“Mom, I’ve decided to get married.”

The Seshadhris were only too ecstatic to here these words pop out of their elder son’s mouth, yet afraid at the the same time. After all, their son did study in the United States for 3 years. And from what they heard from their neighbours, the States “do things” to perfectly normal sons. What if he wanted to marry a white girl? The blasphemy! How would they ever explain to their relatives?
“Indian no?”, Mrs.Seshadhri asked, nervously.
“Oh thank god! Chamathu da nee. We’ll see the girl tomorrow!And I’ll have to call all our relatives to inform them. Ha! First I’ll call your aththai. Her son went to the states and ended up with one of those…punjabi a? Ya, punjabi-o ennavo. But my son? Chamatha Iyengar ponnu paathutaan.”
“What? I know I’m getting excited but its not everyday your son gets married! First ponnu paakanum. Give me her address.”
“I can’t give the girl’s address.”
“Why not? ” interrupted Mr.Seshadhri. “Is it because they don’t know? Its okay, we’ll convince them”
“No, its because there is no girl”
Ennada solra?” chorused the parents.
“I am in love with an Iyengar, yes. But its not a girl. Its a boy”
“Is this some kind of TV show? Is some shanniyan going to come with a camera and say all this is some joke? I know! Vijay TV-la Simbhu is doing something like this. He’s going to come now, isn’t he?”
“No mom, nobody’s behind your almirah. This is real. I want to get married to him and him only”
“This is not normal, you know that?”
“Appa, who’re you to say that it’s not normal? How do you know that it isn’t normal? I want to get married to him and that’s the end of it” and he stormed out of the room.

The Seshadhris were appalled, and did what any other parents would do when presented with such a private confession. They called the entire family over to discuss it.
Mamas, Mamis, Thathas, Paatis, Chithappas, Chiththis, Aththais, Athimbers, Perippas, Perimmas and a motley crew of cousins promptly assembled to exchange their views over filter coffee and masala vadais.

Enna kodumai Seshadri idhu
“This is not the time to joke, its a very serious issue pa. Namma community-la this is just not done”
“Are you sure about this? I mean was he joking?”
“Will anybody joke about things like this? Avan serious-a dhaan irukaan. He’s gay.”
“Amma Amma, what’s a gay?” interrupted 6 year old Achu, loudly.
“Sshhh, Achu. Go play outside with Kichu.” said his visibly embarassed mother.
Achu promptly ran outside hollering KICHU! GAY-NA BAD WORD DA!
“Yea. I’m hoping he gets a girlfriend soon.”
“Shree, he’s 6”
“The earlier the better. And I’m so not sending him to the US”
“Not everyone turns out like that. My son married a perfectly nice girl. Enna, she’s punjabi. But very nice girl.”
“You know she has a beard, right?”
“Oh please! At least she’s a girl.”
“Enough enough. This is not about her daughter-in-law’s beard. Idhu konjam serious-aana matter.”
“Yes yes. There are so many fundamental complications”
“Like if this marriage does go on, who gets to be the Maapla veedu?”
Chechu make it clear to them that we will be the groom’s house. We will demand our rights”
“Hey, who gets to tie the thaali?”
“Will there even be a thaali?”
“Maybe they’ll tie a golden poonal around him”
“One more doubt. The girl usually sits on her father lap when they tie the thaali. Does this mean that the son sits on his mothers lap? How does that work exactly?”
“Yea! And then usually the girl wears that special koora-podavai before she ties the knot. Do we have to get this guy a koora-veshti?”
“Atleast you’ll save on all those silk sarees.”
“And that Mehndi thing. Unless your son wants it, ofcourse”
“Hahahaha! Thats so g…nothing”

An uncomfortable silence followed, but was swiftly interrupted by the Periappa.

“Come to think of it, that golden poonal will weigh a lot”
“Does your future…err son-in-law cook?”
Aiyo! Don’t call him son-in-law! I don’t even want this to happen!”
“Maybe you should do that. Vidaatha. Then he’ll come around”
“No way, then he’d elope. Odi poyiduvaan!”
“Thats not good for the family name.”
Thu! As if marrying a boy is very honourable.”
“And besides, eloping-na, usually the girl runs away, gets a baby and then only gets accepted back in the household. This is how it is in all tamil padams”
“Ok, but how the heck are these guys going to get a baby?”
“My point exactly, so they won’t elope”
“Which is worse. What if they get together like those villains in Vettaiyaadu Villaiyaadu?”
“Aiyo! That’s a movie about homosexual psychopaths! You’re son is too sensitive for that. He cried in the climax of Kabhi Khushi Kahi Gham, for heaven’s sake!.
Appove we should have noticed…”
“You think there’s some kind of homeopathy treatment for this? Or Ayurveda? Some kashayam or something?”
“No no, its a state of mind. No kashayam can cure it”
“Or should we send him to a psychiatrist?”
Illa. Those psyciatrists are Peter parties. They’ll end up brainwashing us about how we are educated and must accept him the way he is”
Adhaan pannanum” said Mr.Seshadhri, finally.
The entire household went mute.
“You mean…we have to get him married? To that…that boy?”
“Only then, he’ll be happy.”
“Aiyo sentiment thaangamudila
“My decision is final. I’ll go call him and find that other boy’s number. I have plenty to talk to his parents.”

The household watched him go with a rather stern resolve in absolute silence. The only sound was the jowku-jowku of Paati eating Vadai.
Enna paati? What do you think?” said one of the cousins, finally breaking yet another uncomfortable silence.
Ennadhaan payyana love pannaalum, atleast Iyengar payyana paathu love pannane, adhuve porum

Translation for the last line: Even though he loved a boy, at least he loved an Iyengar boy, that’s enough for me.

UPDATE: I have to give credit to 2 other people for this actually.
1) Idling in Top Gear – It was a conversation with him that sparked off the whole thing. Thanks anna 🙂
2) Vanilla Vats – The line “KICHU! GAY NA BAD WORD DA!” is an adaptation of one of Miss.Vat’s actual quotes.
Now that I’ve mentioned you guys, please stop the death threats. thank you.

How the Grinch stole IPL

Everyone, who lived in Indi-ville,
Liked IPL a lot.
But the Grinch, who lived a little north of Indi-ville,
Did not!

The Grinch hated IPL! The whole IPL season!
But no one knows why, please don’t ask the reason

It could be because his medium pace bowling wasn’t too tight
Or maybe because his cover drive wasn’t still quite right
But I think, the mostly likely reason of all
Was because his brain was two sizes too small

But whatever the reason, the drive or the medium pace
He sat there in his cave, with a very grumpy face

Staring at his TV set with a sour, Grinchy frown
At the people celebrating the team of their town
He hated it when people cheered, it made his grinchy blood boil
Didn’t matter if it was a Chennai Superking or a Rajasthan Royal

“And they’re buying their tickets!”, He said with a sneer
There’s a match in town, IPL is practically here!

Then he growled, with his Grinch fingers nervously drumming,
“I MUST find a way to stop the IPL teams from coming!”

For tomorrow, he knew
All the IPL fans would gather at the stadium. And then!
Oh the noise! Oh the noise! noise! noise! noise! noise!
And then, those blasted fans, young and old, would shout!
And then they’d shout!
They would shout and holler until their voices were hoarse
They’d scream for their team and that filled our Grinch, with great remorse.

And THEN they’d do something the Grinch liked least of all
Everyone down in Indi-ville, the tall and the small
Would get together and talk!
And then they’d talk!
They’d talk about the day’s match, over much song and wine
They’d talk about the batsmen, bowlers and the cheerleaders fine
They’d talk about every wicket, six and four
They’d talk, until their throats went sore.

The more the Grinch thought of this whole Grand-IPL-Thing
The more the Grinch thought,
“I must stop this whole thing!
Why, I’ve put up with it for long enough now
I must stop this IPL…but how?! “

And then he got an idea!
An Awful idea!
The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea!

“I know just what to do!”
The Grinch laughed in his throat
And he quickly made an Umpire’s hat and coat
And he chuckled, and clucked
“What a great grinchy ploy,
Wearing an Umpire’s outfit to trick these stupid people gives me such great joy!”

“Those fans of the IPL, those fools
Don’t they realize that the ICC always plays by BCCI’s rules?
And 20-20, what a stupid trend
Any REAL cricket lover, it will surely offend.
Why don’t they understand its all a money making gimmick?
Argh! The thought makes me feel bulimic!

But tonight! I will stop it all
and I, the Grinch will be the reason for the IPL’s downfall!

And so the Grinch, in his hat and coat so red
Cackling (so loud it would wake the dead)
Climbed down to the stadium in the little town
And not for a minute did he slow down.

Into the stadium he did sneak
(He stopped in the cheerleader’s dressing room for a little peek)
He raided the players’ quarters, like a stealthy cat
And ransacked the place, stealing every stump, ball and bat.
He didn’t even leave Dhoni’s Zandu Balm
And on his way out, even stole a cheery girls’ pom-pom

He put them in his big brown sack and did a little dance
Now there would be no IPL, no, not a chance.

“Oh those mimble-wimbles will come now!” He was grinchishly humming
“They’ll find out now that the IPL is not coming!
Oh I know what they’ll do! They’ll open their mouth for a minute or two
And then they’ll cry! Oh-boo-hoo-hoo
And that’s a noise”
Grinned the Grinch
“I simply must hear!”

So he paused and put his hand to his ear.

And he did hear a sound rising, and although
It was very very low
It began to grow

But the sound wasn’t sad!
It was…merry!
It couldn’t be so!
But it WAS merry!

When he stared down at the stadium,
The Grinch popped his eyes!
For what he saw
Was a shockingly shocking surprise!

The players were out there, playing
The bowlers were out there, bowling
And the cheerleaders were out there, cheering!

Dhoni’s bat was but a slab of wood
But even then, he was extremely good
Ishant Sharma’s deliveries had such great bounce
When he bowled off paper balls, they didn’t weigh an ounce!

And the crowd roared, they shouted and clapped
While the Grinch, he felt like he’d been slapped!

He hadn’t stopped the IPL from coming! It came!
Somehow or the other, it came, just the same!

But how could it be so? It came without branded bats! It came without fancy balls!
“It cannot be be!” The Grinch is appalled.

And he puzzled for three hours, until his tiny brain became sore
He took a little break and then puzzled some more.
And then something hit him! A revelation!
Possibly the answer to all his frustration.

“Maybe the IPL”, he thought
“Isn’t about the glitz, glamour and fame
Maybe, it has been created, out of love for the game!
Them Indis love their cricket, we all know they do
And everyone wants more of what they love, don’t you?
They want their cricket, they want their thrills
They want to see tested, every player’s skills
So even if there are a million ads,
A thousand TV babies, moms and dads
So be it tests, one dayers, t20s or even ones with a taped tennis ball
Every game’s a game, no matter now small! “

And what happened then?

Well in Indiville they say,
That the Grinch’s brain grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his brain didn’t feel so tight
He whizzed into the pitch and its harsh white lights

He brought back the bats!
He brought back the balls!
He brought back the stumps!
Yes, he returned everything he stole, he gave it all.
And then, to celebrate Grinch’s great change of mind
He got to bat, and this time,
His cover drive was mighty fine.

-Originally Seuss-Rhyme by Coconut Chutney