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Once-in-a-while fiction

An idea struck me this morning when I was brushing my teeth. It is that time of the day I get creative bursts of ideas, some random and some dumb. I am most likely to forget them as I shower and get ready to office. Today, I remembered to make a note of it in my sticky note and that is the reason I am blogging about it. The idea is to write occasional short stories influenced by real-life characters in which most part of the story will be fragments of my imagination. As always, I do not restrict myself or my writing with a lot of rules, but to make it more interesting for my readers, I will try and stick to the same characters in my stories, so you can relate to them. I will start with a love story.

A love that began with a (Pillayar Suzhi)

“Ma, recharge… mobile…hundred rupees and don’t forget the SMS add-on pack ma.” Dev shouted as he sped away as a pillion with his friend Jayan in a Yamaha Libero.

There could be a million things Dev could have done that day, but he chose to visit Mr. Ganesh in his sanctum near the college campus. As the 8 AM holy bells rang, everyone brought their hands together, close to their hearts. Dev did that too, but with his eyes shut. He listened to the slogas and the archanas, as if he were in a trance; he couldn’t get himself to open his eyes though. He thought it was taboo to do so before the bell-ringing stopped. When he opened his eyes, he saw a pair of eyes peering at him, with flowers and holy ash in hand. He takes some ash, does a quick Thoppukaranam (Super brain yoga) and smears the ash on his forehead. Jayan hurriedly blows the extra ash off his friend’s eyebrows. (Childhood friends, you see!)

Without a clear vision, Dev manages to look around to see where he can drop the extra ash left in his hands. Finding a pillar, he blows the ash on the sides and as the dust from it goes up, it mists the whole place. That is when he spots her. A girl in a pink and blue half saree doing Thoppukaranam in front of Lord Murugan (wrong deity, he muses and falls in love.)

He goes into a trance-mode again and this time only to think of how people can get stuck in their own clich├ęs. When the ash dust settles, she is gone. A strong sense of guilt invades him and he urges Jayan to carry on without him to college.

Dev does a 100 Thoppukaranams, so as to compensate for his ill-behavior in front of his favorite deity, Mr. Ganesh.

In the meantime, a few kilometers away, a balloon bursts. A child screams in vain as it watches the balloon fragments fall off from the sky.

An interpretation of Lord Ganesh tried by me in my iPad drawing app.


Pillayar Suzhi – It is a symbol that is representative of Lord Ganesh in Hinduism. Many Hindus write this symbol when they begin to write, with immense faith that writing this will help them complete a task without any obstacles and if obstacles arise, it will be evened out by the grace of the lord. Although, some believe this is just to check the smooth flow of writing of a pen as it includes a curved line, a dot and a straight line, which quite brilliantly is the best way to test a pen. Some say it contains all the basic shapes necessary to write any letter in Tamil. There is another theory that states this is written to test if the palm leaves (used for writing in old days) is good or not. Either ways, I call it Genius.
Slogas – It is the basis for Indian epic verse, and may be considered the Indian verse form par excellence, occurring, as it does, far more frequently than any other meter in classical Sanskrit poetry – according to Wiki.
Archanas – It refers to chanting the names of the Deity, which is a central part of every puja
Thoppukaranam - It is a Tamil (a South Indian Language) word, which means to hold the ears. From ancient times this practice has been evident in the Indian Culture, where people practice this in front of the image of the Lord Ganesh. Today this practice has been re-invented by some enthusiasts and is promoted in many parts of the world as "Super Brain Yoga" and more and more people are taking to it. (This topic deserves a fresh post altogether) :)

That's all folks!

As always, your feedback and comments help a lot. Do let me know your thoughts on this! :)



  1. The Lord Ganesha illustration is cool. I don't get what you were trying to convey through that balloon bursting scene...

    Destination Infinity

    1. yayy!! thanks Rajesh! :D
      btw, I agree the last part is confusing, but I am using that as my thread to the next story :) so, I hope you will come back to know what happened :) :)

  2. Nice story. I did not know the English word for thoppukaranam is Super brain yoga. I learned something new. What was his ill-behavior that will warrant 100 thoppukaranam? Finally, please tell me the connection between this story and balloon bursting. (First I thought it was an accident there and the God made him do 100 thoppukaranam so Dev is not there on the accident spot.)

    1. :D :D Thanks SG! I knew super-brain yoga existed but never related it to our thoppukaranam earlier.. it was a revelation for me as well.
      The ill-behavior according to Dev is behaving inappropriately in front of his favorite deity, as he is more of a relegious kind and never resorts to such antics, that too in a temple :) (more like ambi in Anniyan movie) :)

      Btw, thank you so much for interpreting the last couple of lines. I will reveal the connection in my next story... as mentioned I am trying to post a series of short stories with same character, and that needed a thread for continuation. :)


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