Friday, March 28, 2008


The word insubordination always brings to my mind a memo issued to me and Remesh Sir by Mr. Mahadevan (when he was principal of GEC Bartonhill) a week after we had entered his office with some 35 other faculty members to register our protest against his vulturous preying on the week.

That you, Mr. R. Deepak had broken into the chamber of the undersigned on the ... Your act amounts to insubordination, gross disobedience, indisciplinary behavior, dereliction of duty and instigating other staff members to revolt against the principal ....
I had since then cherished that memo as a certificate of merit and throned "insubordination" as a virtue. But today, the word insubordination flashed in my mind for an entirely different reason.

For last few months I was feeling that I don't get time to think nothing [1]. Even today, when I had no classes to engage (thanks to Raagam 2008) , I was still frustrated about the lack of mental free time. Today in my office room, I started searching the Internet for that lost time; I began reading articles about time management for teachers. It was then that Devi Chechi came to to clean the room. So I left the room for her, fetched some water and went to the nearby PG classroom which was deserted (thanks again to Raagam 2008).

There I was thinking about why people spend so much time planning for what to do and so little time planning for what to think (and what not to). Is it not because of that lack of planning for what to think that the joy of thinking nothing has become so rare for me?

Then I looked out of the window on the left, right into the dense green leaves of trees flanging our building. Greenery always brings to my mind a glorified picture of my childhood vacations at my grandparents' place. This time, it also brought two questions along.
  1. Does greenery bring the same class of feelings to everyone?
  2. Does greenery (or the lack of it) around you during your childhood have any lasting impact on your value system?
I left the first question unanswered since the second one had more exciting prospects.

If you grow up in a pristine environment, you imbibe the value that humans are subordinate to nature and that they have to learn and adapt themselves to live in this nature. They get to know the joy of subordination to nature - the joy of falling from branches of the guava tree, the joy of getting bitten by ants living in mango trees, the joy of getting frightened by the mooing of a cow, the joy of running to shelter when rain strikes you by surprise, the joy of the pain of lemon thorns under your feet, ...

In a city you grow up seeing how man has conquered and reshaped nature to fit to his petty needs. You get to know the arrogance of insubordination to nature. You see water made to flow your way, you see wind made to blow your way, you see fire packaged in red cylinders arriving on cycles at your door step, you see earth shaped to hold your house, you see the skies scared off further high by the sky scrappers. You might end up believing that every thing can be done according to your plan.
You end up believing that you can even plan and find time to think nothing.
[1] Thinking nothing is my favorite pass time. Most of my blog posts on en-route are nothing but an afterthought of thinking nothing.

Monday, March 03, 2008

I got married.

Decisions in life have never been crisp for me. I cannot mark a single date for most of the important decisions in my life. The process of such a long stretched decision making often leaves me with a rich treasure of emotional excursions but with no definite (one blog) answer to the reasons behind the final decision. The case with my marriage was no different.
Vinita and I got married on Feb 16, 2008 at Puthiyakavu Bhagavathi Kshetram, Kollam. The event was effectuated and enlivened by a few close relatives of Vinita and a few close friends of us.

"But is not an event in fact more significant and noteworthy the greater the number of fortuities necessary to bring it about? Everything that occurs out of necessity, everything expected, repeated day in and day out, is mute. Only chance can speak to us" ~ Milan Kundera (Unbearable Lighness of Being)
I was of a marriable age, and the divorce case of Vinita was nearing verdict when we met at Government Engineering College Bartonhill as colleagues. We were sorrowfully happy to realize that we understood each other quite well and quite effortlessly. It took a string of fortuitous happenings and introspective and societal analysis before for we slowly landed onto the decision of spending the rest of the life together. Though impossible to foretell, we had to make sure that Vinita's five year old son Nandu won't reject this idea outright. I had a few chances to meet him and our interaction boosted our confidence and joy.

I discussed the matter out with a few close friends of mine, and each of those interactions proved over and over again that I'm not the mad one out. Then I discussed it with my mother who was expectedly shocked and stated her firm refusal of my proposal. It was during that time that my brother's marriage got fixed and so Vinita and I decided to postpone the next step till that marriage was over.

Looking back, those ten months now seems to have been a blessing in disguise. If not for those ten months, I wouldn't have been so confident to answer in negative any questions about whether I'm acting in an infatuation.

Meanwhile, the news leaked out among the lady faculty of GEC Bartonhill, mostly through a well wisher who pained herself by assuming that she too is responsible for this fate of mine. Wish she had known better about my ways of decision making in life. But here again, it was for the better. With every new person coming to know about our affair, we were getting the feel that our affair is more and more natural.

In between I moved out of GEC Bartonhill to join NIT Calicut. In company of extreme liberals named MuSa and Ramuvettan, who believed in me more than I myself did.

The week after my brother's marriage was over, I found time to announce my state and my decision to my father. Expectedly, he too spared no words in trying to convince me of my madness and in stating his refusal to accept my decision.

I took the conscious decision of keeping my other relatives (including my brother) uninformed for two reasons, both of which are painful to me.
  1. Those who don't support will take pains to convince me against this, which they won't realize to be futile until I go ahead and do it. Then not only do I take them through the pain of my decision but also through the pain of my disobedience to them.
  2. Those who do support, will find it it a very hard time to try and talk to my father. Not only would they be powerless to convince my father, they would also end up being in the betrayer's list of him.
So all that was left to me was to go ahead and finish the legal formalities of marriage and then give my parents a second chance.

What happened then was not a planned flow of events, but a landslide of shocks, probable conspiracies, sternness, unconditional support, will power, conviction, unsuccessful attempts, soothing concern, crisis management, unexpected helps and finally the ritual marriage at Puthiyakavu Bhagavathi Kshetram. The time was 5.30 in the evening and none of the people involved would have rested their mind or body for a second that day till that time.

If life had agreed to tread the plans chartered by mortals, then on Feb 16th, we would have signed our marriage under Special Marriage Act in front of the Sub-registrar at Kollam.
But, it seems that life wanted to speak to us again in the language of chance.