Saturday, 22 July 2017

Kids Are Kids. They Will Never Lose Their Innocence.

Yesterday was the much awaited installation of our Lions District Cabinet and being the Secretary of my club I was privileged to hold the banner of my club and attend the installation. As its said man proposes and God disposes I fell ill with a terrible flue. As my co members were leaving for the programme I was thinking why God at this time you put me in bed and that too when one of my favourite actresses was attending the show

Poor mom because she had to baby sit her YOUNG son she also could not go. Anyways I slept through and got up today a lot back to normal. So still on rest I was relaxing on one of those bean bags which keep you as cosy as you love to be watching one of my favourite shows on tv. Anyone passing by would get to see me lying in the passage. Suddenly I hear this shrill voice " Naveen Uncle how is your fever ?  ”I looked out and there stands Adi my club presidents son who is my neighbour. So I waved at him and said "Monu am doing well" the conversation didn't end there and there comes the cutest sentence I heard in a few weeks. “Uncle ennikkum ennale paripadikku  pokkan patteella athukondu ningal vishamikkanda" which means I too couldn't make it to the function yesterday  so you don't worry.

I was so touched . A young boy of his age taking the trouble to stop at my gate and call out to me to console me for the bad feeling I had about missing the function was actually so soothing to the mind. I really could feel the concern in his voice when he said it.

We say kids are new generation and they are more caring about their electronic devices....... No it is not. It is about the way the kids are brought up. When the kids in our times asked for time to our parents they gave it in abundance and we were always happy with them. today we as parents don’t have time and we give our kids all the gadgets instead of the time they ask for and we complain about the change in their attitudes.

What all my parents said  I did as a child I see my son and nephew doing then why are we cribbing about  the lost New generation when we are the cause for losing them.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

A Cold Winter Morning in South Africa.

Here today I will share an experience from my childhood far from Singapore, in South Africa
I have firsthand experience of a traditional African belief -- if a relative of pregnant woman kills the child of a fortunate family, her child receives all the good luck. I learned all about this when my dad was the principal of a school in this beautiful southern tip of Africa. 

Imagine a lovely little country side, full of flowers, deep colours, fruit trees and fresh air, silent except for the ting, ting sounds of cattle bells carried to you by gusts of wind. Lovely white winter’s snows - summer days long enough for a beautiful jog up and down the mountains. This was once my home.

My safe and secure world of toys and friends was bliss for a boy of 3. And a school Principal was like a chief of the village and responsible for many aspects of school administration, such as collecting and depositing revenues. To reduce the chance of theft, all fees collected were banked the very same day. something strange happened on this particular day. The cash my Dad sent a member of his staff to deposit was returned to him at home, apparently due to some fault with the bank account.  My Mom, always careful, divided up the cash and hid it in various places around the house.

Later, my parents hosted a party for the teachers of the school at our home. It was a very cold winter night, and the guests were happy to chat in the sitting area. Suddenly an interruption by a “knock knock” on the kitchen door. Knock! Knock! Knock!  My mother saw 3 boys standing at the door. She asked what they wanted. “Oh Madam A student of the school has met with an accident  and we want to meet Intate.” Intate means a man in good standing. My father went out to meet them, as it was customary for the principal to sign to certify deaths in the village

As Dad was trying to get details, curious little me went out to say hello and socialise. One guy in the group carried me - my parents may have seen this as a very genuine touch. But the next thing my parents saw was a gun at my head. Mom said “Ayyo kallammarane, Mon avarudey Kayyil aanu.” - They are thieves and our son is in their hands. And my dad whispered to my mom “They know today’s banking didn’t happen.” They wanted the money in the house.

 “Don’t waste our time ....  open your locker and we don’t want anyone else in this house to move or else this kid will be dead.” The guests were frozen, and I was perplexed, I felt the toy on my head was a gift for me... and my mom and dad and all the others at home must have known that one wrong move and the bullet in it was for me.

As soon as the 3 reached the locker in the bedroom and saw part of the cash, they lost interest in me and mom quickly locked me up in the bathroom. But these guys not only knew the deposit had not been completed also knew the exact amount that should be in the house. “Give us the money! don’t play games.” My father stood his ground. The guys started walking out holding the gun to my father, forcing him out of the bedroom through the dining area to the kitchen.

My mother ran behind my dad trying to pull him and get him away from them. Two guys went out of the door while one remained inside trying to force my father through the door, when mom literally pounced on my father and gave him one final pull - my father flew into the dining area, while she stood in the kitchen face to face with this 6 feet 2 inch guy. Mom focused all her energy to give the guy a push, and the guy flew out of the door and she banged the door closed. The would-be robbers retreated. The battle was won.

Life is so momentary. The next minute is unknown and we have to still be at our best. The way we react to a situation can make or break lives. If my mother had not pounced on that guy at that time my sister mom and I might have had a totally different life. As Mrs Clinton said to all the little girls, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and to achieve your own dreams." Please remember that nothing can stop a woman or a man who has courage, conviction and love from facing down opposition and improving their society. 

Thursday, 3 November 2016

My Name is Naveen and I am 34 years old....

After my stint of being stateless in a country I thought I belonged (India) and hanging state of affairs with my country of Birth (Singapore), I was given the choice to accept my citizenship in Singapore with a National Service obligation.  For those of you who don't know Singapore National Service is compulsory for boys after 18 to be full fledged citizens... it's a 2 year process and really exciting.

I was 34 at that time. I celebrated my 34th birthday in India and I had told everyone around I was going 18 and my cake had an 18 year old candle.....

On the 3rd of Feb I joined the National Service camp. The volunteer who came near our car as we got off told me that family can move to the viewing area. I told him I was a recruit as it is called and the poor boy was stuck. I was ushered in to the waiting area.

I was seated with boys who looked absolutely innocent by the age. There I am sitting a corrupted 18 year old man. I did not look naive I am sure but yes I acted naive.

We had to fall suit for the oath. And that’s when I lost a few heart beats of mine. A captain with a bass voice walks in and says to stand in attention.  Probably after school that was the first time I stood in attention. Never mind but I did. The next sentence I hope I had not heard it as my pulse rate went at 144.. “I WANT ALL OF YOU TO BEHAVE WELL AND SING ALONG WITH THE NATIONAL ANTHEM WHEN IT IS PLAYED DURING YOUR OATH TAKING." Also included was I will check your mouth movements? I am not joking I thought Life as Naveen Manomohanan ends there as at that point I had not even heard my National Anthem fully, except for my mother humming it at times.

The introduction went passed and then played the National Anthem "Majula Singapura" it was lovely and I was desperately trying to move my lips to at least get somewhere near to the language. OMG, I realised I could be a good actor.

We were marched into a room were I realised I was in a battalion which was called Bravo... I was listening to the introduction I am Muhammed Imran 20 years old. I am Avinash and I am 21 and there is came in I am Naveen Manomohanan and I am 34 years old .... Perfect Silence and I said I was married and I am going to have a baby soon. My platoon called me POPS. ... and I became a premature dad to 46 and before I could know the 47th my own son joined the team.... 

Monday, 31 October 2016

Am I Back .........

A warm welcome back to me and all of you who read my blog..... I am sure many of you must have been thinking were I was. Yes I was in hiding from the world cocooned for my transformation. The transformation to be stronger bolder and ready for the leap. The launch pad is ready. Before I go about the big leap I thought I should pen down Life as Naveen  Manomohanan. ... the hidden years.�

From somewhere to nowhere and rehabilitated back to face everything. Indeed Life as Naveen Manomohanan has been really eventful with steep ups and steeper downs. Happy, the unexpected, the lovely people, the tears, the family who stood by, the friends, the so on and so fourh.

I hope all of you would enjoy the little I would pen here.... I did not enjoy it real time but looking back at each day gives me a sense of great accomplishments... Happy Blogging and season’s greetings to all...

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Life as a Kite .... Flying all alone .....

A lonely kite through life.. flew from place to place. Saw many kites flying higher than me and they looked awesome. It never took too much of my attention… but as I came closer one kite caught my attention…. It was not colorful it was not anything but that kite at the very first moment took my mind off. I got entangled and we flew together miles. The time the space and the love we shared had no barriers, i gave in my self and was so comfortable in the arms of this beautiful flying machine. We together conquered many new worlds. Discovered the beauty of the hidden and the beauty of life.

 Suddenly a gust of wind gushed in and it was like a thud. My new kite mate’s strings loosened out but still we flew and conquered the whole sky which was our place. But now I see that the distance of those strings have gone soo far and my new kite mate is flying high and high above leaving me far behind back were we met. It hurts to think that the kites we meet up soon fly past us and we still keep flying without a destination. Love is the strings which keep us flying high but some strings entangle us so close just to loosen out in a short while. Kites which flew together as close as possible gets pulled out and we can just look up above and say that it all evens out in love and war.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Thank you.... the most paying word...

I went to a wedding two days ago. It was raining and parking my car was a big issue. I somehow managed to get my car into the basement of the wedding hall and was desperately trying to park it when I find this nice man in a security guards attire run upto my vehicle to direct me.

I combed my hair and got of my car and as I was walking up I saw the security guard standing at the entrance. I said “Chetta, Thank You!” which means brother, thank you.  Caught unawares by my impromptu gesture of thanks and sporting a rather weird look on his face, this gentleman, came forward, patted my shoulder and said “It’s a pleasure, mone!” And mone means son in Malayalam. I was so touched. He was so happy.

Why is it that all of us being from the country known for love and benevolence forget that by being a little considerate to the next man who helps us, we make a big difference in their lives. We are happy and they are happy too. Friends why don’t we start saying a thank you with a smile to all those who make a difference in our lives …. no matter however small that maybe

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A Mind to Give.....

Onam is a state festival of Kerala. Every Keralite across the globe celebrates Onam in great spirit and zealous enthusiasm. Onam is an occasion celebrated in honour of  Mahabali the erstwhile king of Kerala. He was an asura king but very just and honest. Power and politics are not limited to human being and also find place among Gods…. It so happened that the Gods became jealous of King Mahabali and approachede lord Vishnu asking him for help…  which  is how Lord Vishnu assumed his fifit avatar from among his ten called the Vamana.. Vamana avatar  was that of a tiny man. Having assumed the guise, Vamaa then goes to King Mahabali in his priestly form and asks for three measures of his land, each to be measured by a step he would take. The benevolent king being as good as he is gives the right to the little Vamana to take the three steps. He takes his first step and covers the earth and with the second he covers the sky and for the third he asked the king where and the king bows down and shows his head. Vamana puts his feet on the king and pushes him into the earth. Just before pushing him in he gives his a boon to come and meet his people once every year. We Keralites celebrate Onam in memory of this great king.

Onam is a festival of harvest as well and new clothes don the occasion during which the elders give gifts and money to the younger ones and vice versa.

I was home for Onam this year. My sister delivered a baby boy and I am acting the big uncle very well. There was this old lady, named Shanthamma, who was good at the postnatal care.. A very chirpy and vibrant lady, laughing always  - one would be much energized on seeing her. But tke a look at her household and it wouldn’t take long to realize that her life was in misery. This poor 65 year old lady needs to earn to feed her daughter, son-in-law and 2 children. As if that wasn’t aleady enough, she is ill treated.

So this Onam we decided to give her some extra money so that she could have some nice food with it. My mom and sister gave her some money. I felt that it was a great gesture to give her that extra bit for all the  help she was for my little nephew and sister. Deciding impromptu, I went down with some money to give her… when she walked upto me and told me “Aviii (she calls me Avi instead of Naveen) ninakku enikku ithraye tharaaan pattooo….” Which means “I can only afford to give you this token for Onam...” She squeezed a 100 rupees note into my hand.. God it was such a touching moment… I could have cried. A poor lady like her wanted me to be happy and she was forgoing her happiness only for me which I couldn’t imagine. 

Yet my dear friend you should have seen how happy she was… we have all the luxuries of life and do we ever think about another person..? I felt ashamed of myself.. I was trying to add and subtract in my mind of what to give her but she was far beyond in her thoughts.