February 24, 2009

Murphy's Law

When something has to go wrong, it always will. And when everything has to go wrong, it most certainly will.

This happened on November 21 2008 on Friday. I had to go to Trichy for my brother's engagement and was to be away for the weekend. I had informed my TL of this before.

Rewind to Wednesday Night

I had to give mom a cheque for Rs. 1300. And I gave it to her dated Nov 2o 2008 forgetting that my account balance was less. After giving the cheque I realized this and told her to hold it for 2 more days as the online transfer of money would have solved the problem.

I repeatedly told amma and appa to deposit the cheque after Trichy Trip.

Rewind to Thursday Morning

2pm I get a call from my frantic dad. He had supposedly asked amma to drop a couple of cheques in the morning. In the afternoon, while he was ironing his clothes, mom happened to say that she dropped mine too. Abandoning the hot iron and crinkled clothes, he rushed to the bank to realize the cheque had gone for clearing.T My bank was closed by the time I could make any cash deposit. I had to wait.... an endless wait not knowing what was going to happen. All I could think was, my perfect record at the bank had good chances of taking a beating .

Fast Forward to Friday Morning

I rushed to the bank at 10am. I was the first customer.On being summoned I deposited cash. I also asked them if they saw any cheque that had come for clearing and they said
No. I was happy I had done damage control and went to work. Wrapped up all loose ends when my boss calls me in for a meeting. Its 3.30 and appa was waiting outside. He had come to pick me up on the way back from his office. The meeting lasted 45 minutes with me squirming for some part because I had a train to catch.

My boss had apparently not known about my leave and was wild. There were talks about Saturday becoming a full working day and so on and so forth. Finally, I took leave.

I did not look up at appa who had waited so long. He didn't utter a word. I was desolate and really upset. After reaching home, I changed up and got ready for the trip when I had to go out for an errand.

Of all the days, today, I had to leave the headlights on. Now I am careful and try my best to be really responsible, but what could I do when fates conspired against me and made me erratic? So I was greeted by a car that coughed and spluttered on my face when I tried to start it. My car battery died a premature death and my car refused to budge. I had to be home in twenty minutes to leave to the station.

I looked around, saw a few security guards outside a residential apartment and asked for their help. Now I had not faced this situation before and I did not know how to handle the car when it kicked in after people pushing it.

So the security guard took my car and said he will take it for a small drive and get it back. Meanwhile I called dad and he said nothing. If he had atleast scolded me it would have been better. His silence was killing me. He said leave the car and get back. I mean what else could we do? I then called my friend Darshan, to come and help me. He came in his car and at that precise moment the security guard got my car back.

I had half thought he would run away with it. Darshan asked me to follow him and asked me not to stop at any point of time. He said if I stopped, I would have to push the car and that was not an option. He took me through all the lanes and we bypassed all the signals. I was quietly following him and I reached home. I just parked the car, I was seeing double when I realized there were some water pools that had collected in my eyes. I even forgot to thank him and just got inside.

All the way to the station, I was thinking about the day's events. The result was I got paranoid. I kept asking my folks if they had the tickets - onward and return. If the car we were traveling in, had sufficient fuel. After all assurances I started to relax.

We arrived at the station and I got my next shock. I received a message saying that the cheque had bounced and the penalty was Rs. 350 which was debited from my account. I called customer care and all they could say was, unusually, of all the days, the cheques had gone to clearing at 7 am in the morning and my deposit was at 10.

Mom and dad tried consoling me but I was beyond consolation. I felt like I had been hexed. After a while, I just started laughing. I sure did get crazy then.

It was time for the train to come and our compartment was S11. What we did not know then was that a new compartment had been added. My family bore the brunt for my cursed state :) and needless to say we entered the wrong compartment.

Imagine our horror. Dad alighted to find out which was our compartment and the train started moving. Mom, Sandy(my sister) and I in the wrong compartment and dad's position unknown. Did he get on to another compartment? We did not know....

The best thing about the wrong compartment was that there was no connecting passage to the next compartment. We had to get out and then move. We could not even connect to dad as the signal was weak. By this time, Mom and Sandy were looking fearfully at me. That's what I would like to think so, despite their reassurances.

Nothing, I repeat, nothing was right with me.

Then after 3 stations, we finally could call dad. It was nearing 9.45 pm. He said there was a railway track ahead and that the train would halt for 15 minutes. We had 3 heavy suitcases amongst us. He asked us to be ready to leave immediately. The train stopped and dad came along with another relative who was luckily in the same train as us. But he suffered from asthma and we didn't want him to strain himself.

Dad asked me to carry the biggest. I am physically frail looking but I am strong. However the journey to the other compartment was nothing like I thought it would be. The way was uneven and pebbles lined the entire stretch. I kept slipping as my slippers were not flat. And dad kept urging me to move fast. He said he was turning back to get my mom & sister and asked me to lookout for my relative. It was one of the most frightening moments in my life. I kept thinking the train would start moving just when I was midway between compartments and I would be the only one who would be left back.

Luckily for me, the curse must have started to weaken or decided to grab another victim. I reached the compartment, hand bruised from the branches on the trees, shoulder hurting carrying that suitcase. But within 5 minutes, all four of us rejoined and the train started to move. That sure was a close call and I hugged all of them.


I watched Slumdog Millionaire on Jan 24th. A well taken movie as it treads the same old subject of winning when all odds are stacked against you. So, message wise, the movie had nothing new to offer.

I loved the kids in the movie and I think they truly deserve all accolades for emoting so well and naturally.

Frieda was ok. Dev was better.

Being an ardent fan of A R Rehman, I am truly happy he got the oscars. However, I feel its a misplaced reward for the only reason that he has created far superior music gems in the past. And in comparison, "Jai Ho" was an average score. The lyrics by Gulzar showcased triumph of the human spirit and I liked it.

A R Rehman's music apart, his humility and down-to-earth demeanour is praise worthy. That he spoke Tamil speaks volumes about how praise and laurels will never make him forget his humble rise from roots.

Anil Kapoor was anything but subtle in his acting :).

Each character was well etched. The police station and the cops. The blind young boy(That was the most painful part of the movie for me) and the older brother.

I learnt one thing.... Two brothers who grew up in the same environment, grew up to have completely different traits in nature and that made me wonder. We are not entirely, what the society makes us to be.

We become what we want to. Society takes the praise or criticism as the case is.