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A DACOIT’S TALE

Watercolour, Watercolor, Art, Painting

The stranger stared at the bearded man in amazement.

“Aren’t you the fearsome Durjan Singh?” he whispered in awe, and then started shivering in fright as he realized he was indeed the notorious dacoit.

Sitting in solitude under a tree in the remote village, Durjan looked more like a Swamiji than the merciless killer he was reputed to be.

“Fear not, you will come to no harm,” said Durjan, “And you need not whisper. All of them know,” he said, pointing to the village.

As he spoke, a boy of about nine came up to him, in a wheel chair. Durjan’s expression softened and he reached out to the lad with unbelievable gentleness.

 Seeing the puzzled look on the stranger’s face, Durjan sighed, realizing that it was story time again.

“May I, papa?” asked the lad sweetly.

Durjan smiled and said, “Go ahead, Dilshan dear.”

***
“Two years ago, papa rode to our village to plunder, along with three others. Most of the villagers were terrified and ran off…”

“Thank you, Dilshan,” said Durjan and continued, “All ran off except this courageous kid and his bed ridden mom. Dilshan , who wasn’t lame then, stood boldly and challenged me. He was only seven!”

“As I stood there admiring this lad, my three accomplices lost patience, shot the mother and injured this gallant lad.”

“Thereupon, I fired only three more bullets.

Ever since, I am the guardian of this village- and Dilshan is my son.”


                                  

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LINGUA-WOES

A Tamil gentleman nearly got clobbered when he appreciated the food served for lunch at his Telugu friend’s place.

The poor guy innocently said ‘Pramadham’ which means ‘Excellent’ in Tamil, but unfortunately means ‘Danger’ in Telugu!

‘Tamasha’ means ‘light stuff’, ‘Comedy’ etc in Malayalam, but beware if you use it flippantly with the Hindi speaking people.

Indiscreet use of this word- which means a street dance or something in Hindi- is not received kindly by them.

The simple word ‘Avasar’- which also is a Sanskrit root word- means ‘Occasion’ in Hindi; ‘Avasaram’ means ‘Requirement’ in Telugu; ‘Opportunity’ in Malayalam and ‘Hurry’ in Tamil!

There must of course be several such examples in the various languages ‘spooken’ in our delightful India.




RIGHT WRONG

Seeing her eyes glow in excitement,
Obviously though she has it all wrong,
I rush to grab the correction opportunity,

Till I have another look at the gleam in her eyes.

Hell, I think, let me be wrong a hundred times over,
If only to preserve that glorious joy,

Rather than prove her wrong
And watch her enthusiasm wither.

THULABARAM

There is, in the Lord's Abode in Guruvayoor,
A common balance for weighment of offerings.

It's called Thulabaram.

Only, it is anything but common.

A priest there is entrusted the task
Of weighing the offerings you committed
To Lord Krishna.

It may be a few kilos of some vegetable
Or fruit, grains or sugar or what you will.


But it got to be necessarily what you committed!

For,

Have seen with my own eyes
The priest struggling to weigh
A couple of kilos or maybe three
Of a certain vegetable, think it was yam.

But it simply wouldn't balance, though he
Kept on heaping the yam on it!

Then, on the priest's asking,
The devotee said he had thought
Of a different vegetable, maybe raw banana,

But had settled for yam since he couldn't
Get the banana.

The priest quickly removed the yam
Asked the devotee to be back
With the vegetable committed!

Only then, the priest said with conviction,

The weighment would happen.