Chennai Times !!

Note: Some facts are hard to believe. So I’ll better call the below story a fiction.

I was about to sleep after the long night shift, when I got a call from my office admin department. “Sir, I was told to book tickets for you as you are going to Chennai this Sunday. Will an AC class ticket in train be alright? “

Being a ‘kanjoos’, I have never traveled in an AC class compartment. So for me it was like sweet melody to my ears. But without showing any excitement I replied back: “If this is the best you can get, go ahead “.

“Okay Sir, I’ll let you know once I book the tickets”, replied back the admin and cut the call.

I felt proud to work for my company. I started to sleep. I still don’t remember how the lovely A/C Train journey dream started, but it ended when my phone rang again. “Sorry sir we do not have any A/C tickets available for the day. Will a sleeper class ticket be alright? “, said my admin friend. I was more than happy to travel in sleeper class. But without showing it out I replied. “If this is the best you can get, go ahead “.

“Thank you, Sir “, replied my friend and the call ended. I started to sleep; within in few minutes I got a call again and it was the same admin: “I am extremely sorry sir we do not have any tickets available for sleeper class also. Why don’t you leave for Chennai today instead of Sunday?”

I don’t even have my underwear washed, so there was no way I can go to Chennai today. I put it in a different way: “Sorry, I have some plans for today. Why don’t you book a bus ticket instead?”

“If you are okay with bus I can book the ticket in minutes “, he replied back.

I slept for almost 15 minutes before I got the next call. “I am really sorry sir, but there are no Volvo tickets available”. Now I started getting angry and decided to open up. “I don’t care how you book or what you book, even an ordinary bus is okay with me “.

“But sir, according to the company standards we are not supposed to book a non A/C bus“, replied the Admin.

“Then you provide me an A/C also, I’ll carry it along with me to Chennai”, I thought of replying. But that did not come from my mouth: “Friend, I am not going to complain anyway. Just book some ticket for me to get to Chennai “, I said.

I received my fourth “thank you” as reply.

I was not able to sleep for the next 20 min. I started working out all the tricks I know to conquer my sleep. I started with counting numbers from 1 to 100 and back. But sleep was no were near. Probably ‘Sleep’ might have gone to the admin’s place to take revenge on him. At last after several desperate measures which went for 30 min’s, I started sleeping again, but not for long. There came the next call.

“Sir, I know I am disturbing you and I am sorry for this. But all the bus tickets and train tickets are booked for Sunday “.

“Can you please book a local train ticket for me? Even if seats are unavailable, I’ll stand and travel “, I replied.

“Sorry, sir. Even that is not available “, replied back Admin.

Anger was at my nose tip: “If you cannot do it, I know how to get tickets. But can I reimburse it ? “

“Yes, Sir. You come on Monday and we will give you the ticket price “, replied Admin.

Now isn’t that a great idea. First I will be going to Chennai from Bangalore on Sunday and to get the ticket reimbursed I will have to come back to Bangalore on Monday.

“Okay, I will get it reimbursed some other day”, telling this I cut the call. I started calling my network of friends in Bangalore and within the next 10 minutes my friend Rahul informed that he has booked an A/C Volvo to Chennai. I started sleeping again dreaming about Chennai.

All my friends even my brother warned me about the Chennai heat. So when I packed my bag I was careful to take only light coloured cloths. The temperature inside the A/C bus was close to 0 degree. Could be that the bus was bracing itself for some hostile weather conditions. I found most of the people having similar blankets. So most of them are from the same family and they all have come prepared, I thought to myself. By the time I realized that the blankets were provided by the travel agency, I had reached Chennai.

It was not the heat that welcomed me. Instead it was the rain. When tiny droplets of water fell on my cheeks, I knew this trip was going to be special. The first thing I needed was an auto that can take me to our company Guest house. Finding an auto was easy but the ride was not going to be that easy. In Chennai all rickshaws were pre-paid ones. Although all the rickshaws have fare meters, the drivers won’t engage it at any cost. Could be that they have forgotten how to operate it. Unless we agree to pay the combo price the rickshaw driver’s demand the rickshaw’s wont move. At last I reached the guest house but only after burning a hole in my pocket.

The Guest house and the surroundings were cool and the place looked great in the morning. I was in the evening shift and had plenty of time to roam about. As I was walking besides the lanes of T-Nagar an old man stopped me. He was looking straight at my eyes. Before I could say something he started: “I can say lots about you just by looking at your face. And if you allow me I can tell even more by looking at your palm.”

“Sorry, I do not believe in these sorts of mumbo jumbo “, saying this I started to walk again.

The old man smiled and said, “How can I make you believe me? If I say what is there in your mind, will you allow me to read your palm? “

Now that sounds interesting. So I replied back, “Yes, tell me what is there in my mind “.

The old man’s looks were killing me. Without taking his eyes from me he told me to think about any two flowers in this world. Different flowers came to my mind and I thought of finalizing rose and jasmine. As rose is very common I changed it to lotus. Lotus and jasmine seems to be a good combination. So I replied back, “Yes, I am ready“

The reply from the old man was the least expected, “Your first choice was rose and jasmine but you later changed it to lotus and jasmine “. He didn’t wait for my reply, instead he asked for my palm. I couldn’t believe what I heard and the only option I had was to show my palm.

After seeing my palm he started saying things about my past as if he is reading from my daily dairy. Now did he get my dairy from somewhere? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. When he started saying about my future it was even more interesting. Before he left me he kept me pondering over his words: “Within the next 42 days you will be getting a letter or paper, with which your whole life will change. You will also be getting a good amount of money along with this paper “. Saying this the old man continued with his journey.

I did not believe in superstitious till date. I have laughed at my relatives who approach such people before taking decisions. Now I was standing in middle of T-Nagar looking at my palm which has helped a person tell anything and everything about me, myself and my life. I felt my self exposed. How can someone do something like this? The whole incident was beyond my logic. My left brain still didn’t want to believe the whole thing but my right brain had become a big fan of the old man.

Left brain: “You should have thought about some rare flower in Australia and I am quite dame sure the old man will not be able to say the name “

Right brain: “But how did the man know that I had changed my preference from rose to lotus?”

Left brain: “ Boss, all of a sudden if you ask this question to any one in south India these are the common flowers they will think about. Moreover the expression that you put on your face when he said rose and jasmine was screaming the truth that it was wrong. So he just switched to the next common thing which was jasmine and lotus “

Right brain: “How can you assume some thing like that? I don’t believe in your stupid logic. If you want me to believe in your theory you need to prove it “.

Left brain: “Sure I will. I will do this when I get an opportunity”.

I was left alone in this conflict. Let them fight, but as a human being, I need to listen to my stomach also who was crying for some good food. So I went straight to the near by hotel. Some things the old man said echoed in my mind: “Your family members will frequently fall ill. You will get a paper in the next 42 days which is going to change your life. A marriage will happen in your family soon. “

Marriage will not happen for sure as the next chance was supposed to be mine. I kept my thoughts apart and though of having a good lunch. The restaurant was big enough but not even a single seat was vacant. Almost 20 to 25 people were waiting for their turn. I too stood with them. My eyes started roaming at others tables, looking for an empty seat. To my relief one small table with two seats were there in one corner. I hurried up but before I could conquer my table, a girl sat on one of the chairs.

Should I sit on the other chair? Is there someone along with the girl? As I couldn’t find anyone I said, “Excuse me “. The girl stared at me. “If you don’t mind may I sit here?”

“Sure”, the girl replied.

I sat opposite to her. She was looking nice and she smiled at me. I started searching for some topic to start a conversation. The topics that came to my mind were Child Labour, Sati system and Rajarammohanroy, The Second World War etc. Before I could start with any, she asked me, “Are you working? “

That was the starting and in the next 5 minutes I understood that she was in search for a job. Naturally she asked me about my company and slowly started showing interest to join. So I asked her about the things she know about computers.

“I am good in CTT “, was her reply.

CTT?? I was hearing this for the first time. “Deepak, it is high time you update your knowledge on computers”, I told to myself. After talking to her for half an hour I finally understood, what she meant was C++ and not CTT. At last I some how convinced her that I will let her know if there are any vacancies and I trudged back to my room.

As soon as I reached my room, I asked my friend to think about two flowers. Once he was ready I asked him whether it was rose and jasmine. He smiled at me and said, “How did you do that?”. I smiled back and told I just got the power to read human minds. My left brain was happy with the results and right brain was still confused.

I called my home that evening to hear that both my dad and mom were not well. Dad told it might be a case of food poisoning but there is nothing to worry. After the call the old mans picture came to my mind. I started to get a bit nervous.

Things at the office were going great and I slowly forgot about the old man and his sayings. After a week I got a call from my brother who was studying from Chennai. He told me that he had fainted once that day and he had consulted a doctor. The doctor has told him to take some tonic to increase the haemoglobin count in his blood. The old mans sayings echoed again, “Your family members will frequently fall ill.”

Days went by and I almost forgot the old man when I heard the next shocking news. One of my cousin sisters has married her lover as her parents were against their love. “A marriage will happen in your family soon “, that was the old mans words.

“Even this can be a coincidence. You don’t believe in him” said my left brain. But things that are happening were in favor of my right brain, who by now was the old mans greatest fan. I checked the date in my cell phone. Today is the 31st day since I met the old man. Eleven more days to go. So if every thing he said is going to be true then my life as a whole is going to change after getting the mentioned letter or paper. And what is going to be on it? Should I take a lottery to increase the chance of getting the letter and money? Endless questions came to my mind. When we toss a coin what we expect is either a head or a tail. But what if it stands in the middle? I was in that state of mind. “I still don’t believe in the old man”, I said to myself. But again I was expecting something before the 42nd day.

My assignment at Chennai was completed successfully and on my 36th day. I packed my bags to return back to Bangalore. I was expecting those papers before I return to Bangalore. That is when my friend who was staying along with me at the Guest house called.

“Deepak, you have a letter and I have dropped it inside your room through the window “.

“What!!!! “, I am coming right now. Before he could complete I cut the call and hurried back to my room. I was almost running and people around me were looking at me. By the time I reached my room I was huffing and puffing. The main door was locked and it took me almost 10 minutes just to take out the key from my pocket. I was taking more than the usual amount of time to open the door. At last I somehow managed to open it. I looked around for the letter but couldn’t find it. I was getting impatient. “Where is the letter that is supposed to change my future?” I murmured to myself.

I called my friend. I was almost shouting at him, “WHERE DID YOU KEEP THE DAMN LETTER? “.

“I dropped it through the window. It should be inside. “, he replied.

“If I don’t find it, today is going to be your last day”, saying this I cut the call. The letter was not there below the window. Then my eyes found the slightly open bathroom door that was next to the window. I opened the door and there lies my future in a pool of water.

The letter was soaked in water and was in a pathetic condition. I though of an easy way to dry it. I didn’t have an iron box in my room. Then I thought about the microwave. I put the envelope in the microwave and set the timer. Each second was like an hour to me. At last the timer reached zero. I opened the microwave and found the letter dry. But it took some time for me to realize the biggest mistake I have made. The letter was almost burned out and the letter broke into pieces when I tried to open. Even a forensic expert would have a tough job in trying to get it opened. The whole thing happened because of my friend I thought. Only if he had not put the letter through the window. I called my friend once again and shouted at him.

“Why are you shouting at me? That was just your monthly food bill and it was given by the receptionist. I can get it again for you in minutes“, my friend shouted back.

“What the …..? “, that was my reply.

Within the next 10 minutes I had another copy of the letter which was nothing but my food bill for the month.

I was amazed to see the food bill. It was close to eleven thousand. I thought about the poor Chicken and mutton that have become my prey. So what the old man said has become true. This is going to change my life. I am going to become a vegetarian from now onwards and on the process I am going to save a lot of money and become rich.

I took my bag and left to Chennai - Koyambedu bus-stand, which was the largest in Asia. I was going on leave as I had my exams and the plan was to join Bangalore office the coming week. As the bus started moving the amazing things which happened to me at Chennai came to my mind. I should publish this in my blog I thought. All of a sudden the bus slowed down. A crowed has gathered on the road side. I peeped out of the window and saw the last thing I wanted to see. The old man was lying on the road side. Is he dead? I don’t know. The bus was moving again. I didn’t know what to do. My mobile was ringing. It was my manager. The voice from Bangalore said: “You did a great job in Chennai. Your promotion papers are ready and you can get it from me when you come back on 28th. Also you will receive the arrears for the last four months along with it “.

Words didn’t come out of my mouth. I cut the call and looked at the direction the old man lied. Then I check the date. I will join back on 28th and that will be the 42nd day.

The End ( Don't forget to put the comments )
Also check my new blog :


Anonymous said…

This time the humor part is bit dull. But, when one reads this blog, he is going to be the part of the story till he finishes reading. The way of presentation is marvelous...!!! One more beauty of your writing is that, it makes the reader think whether the narrated story is real... I'm still confused after reading, not able to decide - it was an incident or an imaginary story...!!!??? Really appreciate your efforts to publish your thoughts mended with your talent...!!!

Keep it UP...!!!

Will be waiting for the next one.
Radical Surge said…
Hmm.....moshamilla..not bad....bit lacking in the humour department...all in all....a gud effort......
Anonymous said…
gud undaaa it was a thrilling one .....
Kishan Tikandar said…
Hey unda.. gr8 job da...

i will tel u ... start writing on Harry Potter's lost twin brother in Kumbh mela.... by the next 420th day u'll have the heaviest of item in ur hands with..... dunno wat???? hehehehehe
Anonymous said…
Superb ending ...!!!!
rgz said…
dude ... really superb !!! but tell me .? is it real ???

u rocks dude ..
Unknown said…
eda Unda..
this one is fine.. but the level of expectation from u is mainly in the Humour part.. so I believe, this time it wasnt that good as the prev one.. Overall its a good one.. but not upto ur level... da Ur strength is Humour... We all have very high expectations on u.. keep it high.. keep rocking and go higher n higher...
All the best..
Ravi said…
Machan....adipoli...did this really happen ?
Anonymous said…
da ..i like the way u write..u r really successful in transfering thoughts to readers mind..simply superb...but jst like others mentioned there is lack of humour..

keep writing and stop singing PLz..
Anonymous said…
Good work done in the narration part , as if a real life experience. Successful to a great extent in exploiting the dilemma in readers mind ! bring your thoughts together and do it again and again !

Anonymous said…
good one.......
waiting for the nxt .....
Roju said…
Top-Notch...Nothing else buddy.

Anonymous said…
Great piece of work except for the humour part. But the CTT part was narated superb!! just awsome!! maybe you have a superior right brain than your left brain!!
Keep polishing it!!lol
Waiting for the rest of chennai times with your underwater activities!!lol

See you undan soon
John Alexander
Mohan said…
Deepak, its really good, you should have added all the Chennai days also that would have made the script more intresting.... R u going to add PART II of Chennai Times with other Updates...

What's d the next story n when is it???Waiting for it..... :)
Anonymous said…
any new stories??
Unknown said…
Was tat a real story? confused???@@... i like it..tat part bout the food bill was funny..i can imagine u doin tat.. keep it up... hopin to read more of it
Dhanya said…
A definite thriller till the end... narrative is spot on and not exaggerated. Marvelous description and I can literally visualise the excitement and anger on realising that the paper was finally just a bill! well done... :)
KONERU said…
Awsome Deepak... Is it real story??? If Yes... that's really Great... I never read in my Life.... U know I hold my stomach to control my Laugh... Awaiting for next good real life Story....
darsh said…
nice work..
wil have to read up ur earlier ones as well..
Anonymous said…
This is NOT for Undan!!!

Then for whom? The people who read this and waste the time!!!

I am working with Deepak for the past 3 yrs. I would have believed this story if he hasn't mentioned about the promotion!

Do you know y? If any body in e4e is getting a promotion, atleast about 90 days before he/she will get to know that. More over he/she will start acting according to the new responsibility!

So, what do you think??? He doesn't know he is getting a promotion? Infact he is one who informed me about my promotion!

Note: He caught me today and made me to read the whole story. If don't reply, I am not doing justice to me!!!
Unknown said…
Quite interesting....
Babith said…
left and right brian concept is new....good going...
Babith said…
left and right brian concept is new....good going...

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