Cringe Attack: Senses

I was a northern state for a week and it was a great stay. The capital city of this state was a lovely one albeit its little discomforts. But one thing that reinforced in me was that your senses are sure to be the first point of attack every time you go out. As I returned home I realized that we wage a war of senses with the world we step out of our home. We win sometimes, we lose most times, but that doesn’t matter because every smell, every temperature, every sound, every pressure is an experience. I’ll leave the shade of feeling you feel to you. If this post makes you cringe, my job is done.


There are lots of things that you see with your eyes, like the orange coat sunset over the clouds, or the trippy half-cut side of a purple cabbage, or the way the coffee powder mixes slowly into milk. These are some soothing sights that you see in your day to day life which have a positive effect or not effect you.
Here comes the Attack.
The first attack I want to talk about is the one where you’re sprayed with Influenza infected droplets of death, Saliva. Sneezing is one of the most ungodly acts of human nature when done without closing mouth. I’ve been in a situation where a light behind a man highlighted his open sneeze and I saw the particulates fly off in every direction. Brrr. I ran before I got a fresh coat of Saliva.
Everyone loves eating, but some people manage to make it the most undesirable act of the century. They chew with the mouths so open that a Crow could come and pick some food off. Also, that sound that accompanies it. “Chowk Chowk Chowk”. Please.
Human body makes a lot of wastes, some of them are disgusting, some of them go unnoticed, I’m going talk about the disgusting one. Oh, not that one, but the one that comes from your eyes and nose. Doesn’t that little white goop in their eyes want to scratch out your own eyes? Or the gummy boogers you see having a fun time swinging in their nose hairs make you cut off your own nose? If you have felt the same way, Hello. Once I saw a man whose boogers slipped and fell into his soup. I wanted to jump out of my skin. I’m not saying everyone will be aware every time, but please for the love of god!
Have you ever sat in a restaurant or a coffee shop and someone bent down right before your face? Yes, getting a butt in your face is not the greatest thing while eating food. But that’s not the worst part, it’s the butt crack that makes you spit out your intestines. If you manage to think that, ‘it’s Butt, nothing but’ then you might be built for something stronger like the spitting.
Oh. It’s not the normal spitting. This is a special kind of spitting that makes you hate physics. The spit that curves. The phenomenal bus-window spit. This guy who has been ‘arachifying’ that pan in his mouth for the past 30 minutes chooses the exact moment right before you get up, before the vehicle halts at your bus stop, and he goes “plicchhhh” towards the windows. You must have seen rainbows? That’s how the spit curves. It curves from his mouth and hits the one behind his seat. That is, you, painting you in Red. As your tears mix with the pan, I’ll let you deal with that scarring image.


Ears are a wonderful sense to enjoy the world, the sweet music of the nature swishing and swooshing with winds, or the consistent tapping of rain on your window or the eargasm you feel when you hear the waves rock you to sleep. But there is another side to sounds. Naaais.
Here comes the attack
One might think this is the lesser of sensory attacks, but I have some tricks for this one. You might’ve experienced this, you’d be having lunch and there would be this one guy that will have his lunch and make sounds like a whale. You can literally hear him drinking his water, or munching his murukku.
Or those loud talkers in theatres who seem to make the most irritating noises of all. And there would be another couple that will making noises that mimic rats squeaking. Get a room please.
There are those idiots who tap the table during an important meeting. Man, that makes you so mad. They must be hung with their ID cards.
And you bathroom singers. Pothum da dei
You know, you’re moving in a line, standing in a que for a bank or even Pongal in kovil, then you hear a sound, “darrrrrrr”. Let’s pray to the mighty power above it was a one of those times where a hole was made in a fabric by tearing and not the people tearing a hole in the fabric of time by releasing body air. Ewww. IKR.

Mooku Varmam

This is my favourite/unfavourite part in this blog. My special wishes and condolences to nose for enduring so many things in life. Seriously Nose, You da man.
As the heading says, using nose is an art, it has a million good purposes, like taking in the sweet smell of vadai, or the fragrance of a flower or the olfactory treat of breathing in a new book. But at times certain things are thrust upon you and you can’t hold your breath always.
Here comes the attack
First let’s start with all bodily odours. I think a bus is the place where one can experience all the human based odours. First of all, sweat, that little salt droplet that rolls down from your underarm, ever so slowly that it progresses like the dooms day that’s coming towards us. While you’re engrossed in tracking that sweat bullet on your skin, the person standing behind you is grossed out by the unmissable gappu it creates. His poor nose is bombarded by nasal bomb from you. As he tried to move away from you, someone else releases something else among the bus crowd. This thing as strong as the Bomb Trump dropped over afghan. Beware, this one is the sum product of multiple dishes from the previous day that didn’t ferment properly inside your body. I really wish there was a fart detector in public places. People would run for life.
You go to the conductor to get ticket, but your heart stops for a few minutes as your face goes into different corners of your head. The smell of bad breath demands you! It demands you to be felt! This is such a horrible experience you know. You can’t express the insane amount of discomfort your nasal cavity faces wanting you to rip off the nose but also must continue the conversation until you get what you need. All his pan, unbrushed teeth, the onions he had, makes sure you count your blessings post this experience
Seri, okay you get down from the bus and another war. The mighty koovam. This ever-present river will make sure your olfactory senses are deactivated for a few moments such that you can’t breathe.
But the other thing that trumps this is public bathrooms. If there is a place where you want to train your senses, this is the ultimate dojo. Nose, eyes, and ears will be made sure you grow a new pair.
Nose Knows Everything.
After all this if you survive you’re the best.
Remember. Everyone has problems related to body, don’t take it lightly, make sure you fix it. Also make sure you don’t offend anyone with your words.

Divisions of Mankind

Bullets of sweat rolled down her cheeks through her eyes,
her clothes were all shredded and her skin was darker than usual,
on the other end another young girl tried her best to gather funds,
funds that might help younger souls get education and food,
The engineers and wives signaled money only for signal implorers,
they earned more everytime the lights turned red,
the other one typed away until her eyes were red,
two corners of a society, one up there and one down there,
she was termed ‘underprevileged’ and her as an something unutterable,
When vehicles whizzed past at green light, her employer was at delight,
His eyes were set on the money she’d begged, little did the givers know,
She shared, commented and canvassed, none cared, none understood her plight,
Later they called her, ‘keyboard warrior’ and ridiculed her, none donated though,
Two corners of a society, one up there and one down there,
They both went home to one kid, one that was special for them,
one that didn’t have parents to look up, Two corners of a society, met there.

போடு தகிட தகிட – ராஜமுழக்கம்


கூட்டம் அலை மோதும், கடலின் அலைகள் இசை ஓதும்,
அனல் பறக்கும் வெயிலில் மேடைமேல் ஒரு ராஜபார்ட்,
முகத்தில் சாயம், அகத்தில் சோகம் தோய்ந்த வேகம்,
இது கூத்து அல்ல, ஆட்டம் அல்ல,
கண்கள் ரெண்டும் நெருப்பு பிளிற,
நாசியிலிருந்து வீசும் வேகத்தில் காற்று குளிர,
கால்கள் ரெண்டும் தெறிச்சு ஆட,
பூமி சிதற வருகிறார், வருகிறார் ராஜா!
போடு தகிட தகிட, நம் கோடி பறக்க பறக்க.

இந்த அரங்கம் அதிரும் ஆட்டம் கண்டாயோ,
மையிட்ட அந்த விழிகளில், கலைஞனின் திமிரு வழியும்,
சூறை சினத்தின் வெளிப்பாடு இந்த நாட்டியம்,
அந்த களம் உதிரும் உத்திரம் பூசி,
காயங்கள் ஆறும், ஆட்சிகள் மாறும்,
தேர் குதிரையின் மார் கூட்டில் துடிக்கும் இதயம்,
எதிரிகளின் கூட்டில் பூட்டு தொங்கும்,
பொங்கும் சூரியனை தோளில் கொண்டு, வருகிறார் ராஜா,
போடு தகிட தகிட, மன்னன் வருகிறான் திசை தெறிக்க!

Drungen Mangi Shtyle

I had to go to a place near Mahabalipuram for an errand entrusted upon me on Friday, (en na sila moonjigala paatha than kothu vidanumnu thonum pola) and I was met with a certain situation while returning home which made me rethink my life choices. This peculiar situation flipped my perspective on life and made me feel like there is more to live in this life. You might have think I met with an accident or met a sage or at met a beautiful girl. Normal fate would have opted for any of the aforementioned options, but my fate had other ideas. I got to spend 90 odd minutes of bus travel with a man who was fully drunk.
He was not your average drunkard who you see outside Tasmac. But he was your party-peppy-yo-yo-mama guy, he was wearing shorts, a plain shirt, had a metal strapped watch and a bulky wallet because, well, because he wanted me to pick pocket it from him. Yes. That’s how it was.
I got into one of those Pondicherry busses. Unlike, our MTC bus, this one had a taller and better backrest and I think they could be classified as semi sleepers. I took a ticket to Thirvanmiyur bus stop and got a window seat luckily(?). I wanted go into pulavar mode and enjoy the fresh breeze, but No. Fast forward 15 minutes there comes this man. And mind you, in all my conscious life I have seen a man so drunk only a few times, after saying something to the conductor he came and sat down in the seat in front of me, and as fate ruled, I happened to stretch my legs which hit his legs below the seat and he came and sat down next to me stating that I’m free to stretch my legs now, that was the only freedom I had. He introduced himself to me and said that he is fully intoxicated, I, being creeped out by his sudden interference offered him the window seat in case he throws up. He refused straight away, and said he just had a few beers and shots. Now even more creeped up by his non-vomiting confidence, I decided to get up and move to another place. But no, also this guy saw me starting to get uncomfortable and didn’t let me go. He started calling me “bro”, he was around 40 years and he was calling me bro. Nera kodumai.
I nice ah took out my earphones and plugged it in, he noticed that. “Bro pesunga bro, people lam ippo pesavey maatranga, veetuku pona ava tv laye iruka neengalum pesa maatringa.” He was emotional. I was awkward. Dei, you have a wife da, I’m not your bro da.
“Bro illa light ah thookam varuthu, athan…” For fucks sake I called him bro. Ignoring my plea he started rambling something and all, starting from, meeting Sachib, seeing Amibath Bachab, Dhonib, Bodi, Banbogan Singb, and other intelligible worbs that I didn’t quite understand. His tongue was rolling like Vandu Murgan. I tried to avoid him by not talking. For 15 mins or so he stopped, then came the next stop where a family got into the bus.(Paavam avangalukum headwriting was kirukals pola) they proceeded to sit in the seat in front of us, but the Knight in drunken armour came to the seat’s rescue. He didn’t let them sit and argued with them, why? Because he wanted that seat aam, and there was an aavi of a dead person residing below the seat. Unable to hold in my laughter I laughed out, so did the family. The conductor tried to intervene, but believe me, he threatened that he will vomit on his tickets. (nuclear, biochemical laam enna weapon, ivan paarunga saraku vomit vechey bus ah hijack pannitan). The conductor tried his best to argue the man out of that seat. But he didn’t budge. He suddenly turned to me. (aiaiyo)
“intha bro kitta kelunga naa evlo decent aana family nu”. (flash backs to Winner thirudan comedy)
Unable to sit there another moment, I got up, pushed him down into this seat and got up and sat in the last row which was empty. There was no other empty seat, in the bus, appada sethan sekarunu I thought.
But Saniyan saraku adichitu nera en kitta than vanthuchu. Pakkathula iruntha uncle ah ezhupi vittutu ukkanthiruchu.(Flashes back to avar rendu ambathu, ivar rendu ambathu aagamotham cheers) Seri innaki pozhuthu ivan kooda than polayenu nenachen. Appo than he said, “Bro hold this, inthaanga” (he gives me this thick brown wallet, full of cards, cash and more) I gave him a Quizzical look and he explained that I wanted to hide his wallet so that he can blame the conductor for getting pickpocketed. (he was telling all this loudly enough for everyone to hear). Seri pogatum kazhuthaye nu I took his wallet. Apparam he forgot that somehow and showed an expression of vomiting. (again aiaiyo)
I got up from my seat, asked the window seat guy to clear and made him sit there, I still had the purse and his stuff. This guy, out of nowhere begins singing. Not knowing what to do, I sat there like Inji-thinna-something. He turned towards me and did the same expression vadivel does in that bagavathar scene. I knew that he was going to explode any minute. He was a time bomb ticking.
Tick tock, Tick tock, Tick Tock…
My stop was almost there, I proceeded to give his stuff to the conductor who said he’ll take care. appo than I noticed, his Ticket rate was way lower than mine. He was supposed to get down somewhere long before my stop.
After getting down, I saw the bus stop again shortly after few meters. He got down.
Onney onnu than I remember in that situation, “Manaivi amaivathellam kadavul kodutha varam, motor amaivathellam avan avan seitha venai”

Its just a Monday

Don’t go into the day with fear,
It’s not the deep blue sea to consume you,
Its just another day to go through,
Don’t let it consume you, conquer you,
After all, its another day to go through,
Let not the screen scare you with its numbers,
Or the traffic with its bumpers,
They just your managers, Don’t let them count your damages,
Do your job, after all its another day to go through,
Don’t let that keyboard clutter give you flutters,
Relish your coffee or that sour green tea,
Don’t footboard or drive dangerously,
If not your humans, the pet waits unremittingly,
Go home, its another day to go through,
Respect thy fellow being, every human and otherwise,
Make sure you keep that mind wrinkle free, be wise,
Sulking will do no good, laziness, make sure its dead,
Cheer yourself up, its just another day to go through,
Brush your hair, Kajal on, Get that bag, get a move on,
It’s not Don’tDay or Moanday, Its just another Monday.

Cliché Kadhali

நட்ட நடு நிசியில் நீ, நான்,
என்னென்ன எண்ணங்கள் என்னோடு என் எதிரில்,
உனக்குள் உன்னோடு உலகத்தின் உண்மையை உணர்ந்தேன்,
சத்தமின்றி சச்சரவின்றி, சில்லறை சிதறும் சிரிப்பு,
கார்மேகம் கடலில் கரைய, காத்திருந்தேன் கரையில்,
நிமிர்ந்து எழுந்தேன் உன்னருகில், சிலிர்க்கும் கனவு,
நின்னுடன் எங்கும் உலாவினேன், சிற்பமாகும் கண்ணெதிரே
நங்கைகளின் எழுச்சி உருவாக்கமே, சூறை கனலே,
நடுங்கினேன், எரித்திடும் உன் சிரத்தையை கண்டு ,
நிலவே, எந்நேரமும் உதவுகின்றாய், சிதைந்த கண்களோடு.

In Between

Aathi was narrating the whole story to the new-born twins, as they listened intently as if they understood everything, “I was dodging. My eyes were on the analogue clock that seemed to be counting down to 2 minutes eternally. 70 more seconds to the next time out, it was only the 6th round but I was already blacking out. Blocking the opponent’s punches against your face isn’t an easy thing, you know?”
This is not how Aathi intended the match would go. The Opponent better known as ““The Russian”” was leading the round with 4 points.
“This is exactly the opposite of what I had in mind. I was supposed to breeze through the Finals. Being the Reigning champion and considering that “The Russian” was inside the ring, only because another challenger got disqualified after the referee was “accidentally” punched during the Semis should make me the obvious winner, but fate had other ideas. In that fraction of blackout, I had let down my guard. A Red boxing glove was floating towards my face. I tried my very best to dodge and move my head. Time slowed down at that moment, a moment every boxer fears. I see the red glove’s shining fist travelling towards my face, my cheek, in fact, in slow-motion.”
Aathi stares into the microcosm, paralysed with shock. The whole crowd pauses as “The Russian” delivers an astounding blow.
“The red glove transforms into fingers. A soft hand whose palm felt like the softest cloth you’ve ever felt. The thin Silver ring felt like an Icy Kiss planted on my cheeks, the caress of the fingers felt warm. It was the most confusingly comforting feeling. It was as if the hand was asking me to lie on its palms and to take all the rest I need”
Everyone including Aathi’s coach was gasping loud. The punch had sent the mouth guard flying into the crowd. The Super welterweight champion’s face had taken one of the strongest punches ever witnessed. No one expected a punch so hard from “The Russian”. Aathi fell like a log on the ring floor. The crowd erupted as the referee began the knockout count.
Ishi continued the flip side of the story, “I was on the other end of the city, I was tapping my feet frantically, my final chance to prove myself to the world was right beyond that curtain. It was the showdown between Myself and Bharathi, Ishi “the Drumming Barista” and Bharathi “the Ballet”. I’ve always wanted to be a drummer, my whole family was disapproving, even my sisters whom I thought I was close to, didn’t support me when I told them I’m going to take part in, “Are you ‘The One’?”. But here I was, a simple coffee shop assistant, in an international stage against one of the best drummers in the world. I will win this.”
The crowd was booing when the host announced Ishi’s name. It was because of ruckus that happened during the previous round. Ishi had challenged last year’s winner of “Are you ‘The One’?” and it had ended in an exchange of harsh words. The screen lifted and the competition officially had begun.
“A.R. Rahman was in the front row and he gave me the warmest of smiles. It reminded me of Aathi’s. The Judge struck the gong, the sound of which took me back to the first time I saw Aathi. The boxing ring was echoing of grunts and moans, of people getting punched in face. But inside the ring was a dancer, the most graceful dancer I’ve ever seen. A dancer whose eyes showed me myself. Dodging the opponent’s jabs and punches with such elegance was Aathi. As Rahman’s Jeans theme ran through my head, I began to fall in love with Aathi’s movement. I must say that I’ve never seen someone so charming and powerful at the same time. Little butterflies popped up in my stomach and my feet and fingers began drumming some random music. For some reason, boxing became my favourite sport at that moment. And something inside told me that I had to get to know more of this person, or else my head will burst. Right after the match, I asked Aathi out. Yes, I did ask that boxer out for dinner. It was a positive answer.”
Ishi’s thoughts were disturbed by a countdown from the crowd, Bharathi would always start her piece after a countdown of 10, and the crowd followed her. She was called ‘The Ballet’ because her fingers in close-up would look as if they we’re dancing over the Drum.
“It was unexpected, but that caressing touch was what I needed at that moment. Though it was the first date, and I’ve never let anyone touch me, I loved the feel of Ishi’s palm on my face.”
Oneeee! Echoed into the crowd.
Twoooo! Crowd followed again.
Aathi’s Coach was screaming, “Aathi! Get up, get up Aathi!”
“My head was spinning from the punch I had just received. I was trying my best to push myself up. It was as if the world was moving faster around me. I put my gloves to the ground and pushed myself up, I was not able to. My body had no strength. I blamed myself; I was too pompous and too distracted to do the training. But how would I be able to forget my darling Ishi? That baby face, those glowing eyes and the quivering lips, I was not able to get that face out of my mind. I was reeling inside my mind; my body did not have the strength my Mind had. How I wished Ishi was here, cheering”
The counting stopped abruptly
“I got up and adjusted myself and my position on the stool. Distracted by my sudden move, Bharathi continued her counting, now I could see a little stress on her face now. I was thanking Aathi for this. ‘Boxing isn’t only about physical strength and fitness, it is also about psyche, every movement of yours will affect the opponent’s psychology babe. Something as simple as a sneeze would put the opposite party out of function momentarily. Use it.’ “
“I got up. Somehow pushed myself up, I stood”
Noticing that Aathi’s mouth guard missing, referee declared a timeout.
“Yes coach, I just got Distracted, yes coach, I will concentrate”
Only Aathi’s body was there, soul wasn’t.
“Gritting the guard between my teeth, I charged forward towards “The Russian”. Landing three solid punches on the face, I proceed to do a pseudo-jab. But I was surprised by a lower hook that landed on my chin out of nowhere and time slowed down again. I saw the glove pull away from my face as I began to fall back and my reflex kicked in”
The red glove turned into a red rose pulling away from Aathi’s nose. Ishi appeared in sight sitting in front of me, giggling like a little girl.
“Ishi used the rose again to rub it in my chin because it tickled me. Ishi blushing, “Those are the most beautiful pair of eyes I’ve seen. Makes me want to keep staring into them.”
Aathi interjecting, put a finger on Ishi’s lips, and kissed.
“It was the most soulful kiss ever, we’d forgotten we were in a restaurant and we were lost in the warmth of each other’s lips.”
“That mixture of lipstick and bubble-gum flavour was still lingering in my mind. Bharathi had begun her bout with elegant tricks on the cymbal alone. I was unsure of how I was going to perform in the final round. 3 more minutes for her to finish her performance and It would be my turn to prove myself to the world. But my mind kept drumming that tune I picked up from Aathi’s box training rhythm, ‘thup-thup thup-thup thup-thup’. Now-disturbed by Bharathi’s mix of mridangam and Tabla, I began losing my confidence, beat per beat, as her fingers drummed, “tapa tapa tapa tapa”, my mind was empty, only the sound of a mridangam was echoing in my mind. “tapa tapa tapa tapa…”, reminding her of that day.
“‘Ishi, come here, I met Aathi today.’ I hear a ringing noise in my ears. Aathi had met my Dad, a martial arts instructor now, The Ex-Major General from Indian Special Ops. The person I fear & respect the most had met my spouse. Aathi had done it. Aathi had spoken to my dad, and I was standing in front of him, looking at his mouth moving, but only a ringing sound in my ears.
“We shall talk about the marriage if Aathi retains the title, and you, get a job or win that competition if you need my permission.”
Ishi knew that dad did not care about the title, but only about his child’s life. But Aathi, wanted to show him that the title won’t be lost. Aathi wanted to win the match only to show Ishi’s father that he was wrong in judging their love as infatuation.
The mridangam vidvan was on a roll, playing the most difficult piece in the raga. “tapa tapa tapa thuppa thup thup”
Aathi’s lips were bleeding.
“Missing a beat had almost costed my teeth and lips, I had to win this, this is my only chance to prove myself to Ishi’s father”.
Only 30 seconds was remaining, and If Aathi somehow manages those 30 seconds of “The Russian” barrage, the timeout would help to recuperate.
“I breathed a sigh of relief when the gong went off. I sat on my stool, waiting”
The crowd’s loud cheering drowned the gong.
The crowd’s loud cheering was stopped by the gong.
“Done waiting, I stood up from my stool, I could feel breathing becoming heavier after the gong went off”
I threw up left drum stick in the air, and struck the cymbal with the right one”
. . . .
“I saw Ishi. Standing there on the other side of the signal, the person I loved the most. The person I was ready to share my pizza with, the person whom I can cook for.”
“I saw Aathi too, standing on the other side like a dumb human, looking for someone; that someone was me. I tell you kids, I was very much ready to wash this human’s dirty under(you mean underwear?) for eternity. And I still do.
They both went running towards each other, and hugged. But the sentence they uttered to each other at the exact same moment was the most confusing one, even for me, the narrator.
“I won but I lost, Aathi”
“I lost but I won, Ishi”
As the Narrator, I rewound back to the part after the gong went off at Ishi’s competition.
Announcer: “The Judges have decided a contestant and Winner of “Are you ‘The One’?” Title, a house at OMR in Bustancia and a fully funded scholarship at KM College of Music goes to…. Bharathi “The Ballet”!!”
Amidst the celebrations, AR. Rahman Requests for the Mic, “I Would also like to offer a fully funded scholarship to KM College of Music and a position of drummer in my crew…”
“…Ringing sound again…”
“…My ears were ringing too… My opponent’s jab had landed on my left ear which left bees singing in my ears. Another punch, and I was Disoriented and was blocking my way into the corner. Referee broke us and started again. I decided to finish it and I sneezed. A Fraction later my punch knocked out Irvina Sokolov, “The Russian”.
Something as simple as a sneeze would put the opposite party out of function momentarily. Use it.
Or so I thought, she got up in the 9th count and won straight”
“Aww, that’s alright, but what did you win, darling?”
“We both did not make the required weights prior to the Match and the match was declared as a Non-title match, I still have my Championship title”
“Oh, you Devil”
They hugged the longest ever and walked with their fingers entwined.
Their Marriage Invitation read
“Ishant weds Aathira”
After this long story, the twins were fast asleep unaware that their Mother was a 5-time World Boxing Federation Champion and Father was regarded as the best drummer in the millennia.
Refer: WEIGHT AND WEIGH-IN CEREMONY * If both the World Boxing Federation Champion and the Challenger fail to make weight, the championship shall not be vacated at the scales and the contest will go forward as a non-title contest and the World Boxing Federation Champion shall retain the title, regardless of the result of the contest.