Pondy Bejaar

I don’t use words like “bejaar”. That is only for locals in lungis, Pondy Bazaar vendors and uniformed people with paunches who’re mamool crazy (you get what I mean). But there is no other word which fits perfectly in the title (:-D) and what happened to me on Vijayadasami day.

I parked my bike in an area which didn’t have a “no parking” sign. There were several vehicles parked nearby. I visited a Bossini store and tried on some clothes. I didn’t find anything tempting enough and walked out, proud that I hadn’t spent a penny. I reached the parking place to find it empty. A flower vendor who was sitting nearby told me that the police had taken away a bunch of bikes from there and said that the police station was at the end of the road.

I tried to be as calm as possible. But on the way I almost snapped at a woman who stepped on the back of my shoe. I put on a threatening expression as I walked without allowing space for people who came from the opposite side. I felt like I was going to faint from low BP. I slowed my pace and calmed my mind further.

You see, just 2 days before I was caught by a traffic police fella for jumping a red signal at the turning outside Citi Centre, because of carelessness caused by the sheer joy of buying a gorgeous silver top. Police Uncle was waiting there to ruin shoppers’ happiness. (Yes. I know I made a mistake. But a policeman waiting there was just too much. Do they wait at every signal? Do they wait at Tidel Park signal? Velachery signal where everyone happily turns while the red light is on? Noooo. They wait at Spencer, Citi Centre, Besant Nagar beach… where people just come to relax and have a good time.)

Police Uncle demanded 100 bucks from me for adding to his collection, so that he could shop at Citi Centre too. Luckily I had only 50 bucks in cash. I told him so and gave it to him. And while the red signal was still on, he asked me to go. Police Uncle is so strict about rules being obeyed.

I had never been fined by the traffic police earlier. And now I had to pay up for the police to celebrate Vijayadasami. Heck! I decided it was fate, as I walked into the Pondy Bejaar police station courtyard. A khaki clad inspector told me that the traffic police SI was right at the backside of the station. I walked there, saw him standing on the road platform behind and luckily my bike was parked right there. He asked me to pay Rs. 150. I told him that where I parked, there was no “no parking” sign. He said that parking spaces would have a “parking zone” sign. Huh? How am I supposed to know? I hardly go to Pondy Bejaar.

Anyway Police Uncles would’ve bought nice Vijayadasami treats for their families, while the petrol money I’d got from my Mom went poof. Later, I gave myself a special “cheering up” treat – a chocolate cone. I’ve discovered that ice cream gives any day a happy ending. At least I had a nice cone because of Police Uncle. And now I am writing a blog post after a long time, literally without taking my fingers off the keypad! Wonderful experience. But Police Uncle, I don't want to thank you. Anyway you had a great Vijayadasami because of my money, that's a substitute for a "thank you".

A Book to Remember

I really should’ve read the book before – A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. There was a time when my cousin used to read lots of Nicholas Sparks books and I never tried reading them then. And later I got bored of romance and mush. When I took the book from my library I thought I would probably get bored halfway.

It didn’t elicit yawns. Rather it brought out tears. I haven’t ever cried three times while reading a book. I don’t know if I am too sappy, but A Walk to Remember was really touching and beautiful.

It was about a rich boy falling in love with the local priest’s daughter – something he never dreamed he would do. She is most of the time plainly dressed with her hair in a bun and isn’t an attractive girl, but a beautiful person. Someone who prays for good things to happen to everyone, helps anyone in need, often spends time with kids at an orphanage, collecting money for charity and all such things. He always thinks of her as a good person. When the unexpected finally happens – when they fall in love – it brings out the beautiful side in him.

He spends time with her, reads the bible with her, visits orphans… while suddenly she reveals to him something shocking - she is dying of leukaemia.

He is devastated. And as she gets sicker and sicker, he starts praying for a miracle. Then one day, the voice of God seems to tell him something – that there is one thing he must do for her happiness – marry her.

She accepts his proposal. He then convinces his parents and her father. Their wedding is one she always dreamed of – in a church bursting with people.

Then there is a twist in the end. One that puts this book ahead of many books. One that is even more special than the rest of this book. The marriage is a miracle that saves her life. That is why God spoke to him.

Experience the book yourself. It is beautiful and unputdownable. Now I have borrowed my second Nicholas Sparks book – The Choice. Hope it matches up to A Walk to Remember.