Monday, March 24, 2008 3 reflections

GAALIPATA - Alternative Ending

NOTE: If you have not seen 'Gaalipata' and would not like to know the climax then please do not read further. Else...enjoy.

Gaalipata – Alternative Ending
©2008 ShaKri

THERE ARE MANY REASONS why I wanted to write this piece. For starters, it is not every day that a Kannada movie gets my attention these days. ‘Mungaru Male’ was an exception – albeit with its own set of inefficiencies as I later realized – and considering the same team was coming together for ‘Gaalipata’ needless to say my hopes for this feature were equally high. It seemed like an exciting wait to see what refreshing things Mr. Yograj Bhat might have added to his latest concoction.

During my brief visit to India this February I managed to watch the movie with the family. And yes – it was almost everything I had expected it to be – fun, adventurous, funny, romantic, melodious, and visually appealing with a tighter script than ‘Mungaru Male’. Yes – almost.

The reason I say almost is because apart from the usual stereotypical things you might have read in ‘Gaalipata’ reviews, there were a couple of key points in the movie which had me wondering why Mr. Bhat had lost faith in his audience. Let me begin with the first one, since the next one is connected to it.

Soumya losing her husband.

This was a very important aspect of the story considering she was the one Ganesh was interested in. I do not have any issues in believing Soumya and the deceased Srinivas were very close. It happens all the time around the world where a boy and a girl are immensely close growing up and eventually fall in love. Fair enough. But was there really a need to emphasize a point that made it clear that the marriage was not consummated? Honestly, what groom would go sight seeing along the roaring river bank on his marriage night? Least of all try to save a kid from drowning and give up his own life! Sorry, Mr. Bhat. Not realistic at all. If you really wanted to see if Ganesh had the character to accept the girl as she was, then you should have done the following….

You wanted to kill off the husband…fine. You had to since then Ganesh would not have anyone to impress. But how about having had the man in Soumya’s life for a few months – or even a year or two before doing so? Maybe then one evening on his way back from somewhere he could have seen a kid drowning and given up his life. Why would this have been ideal? Read on.

The second thing that made me feel short changed was the climax. The girl – Soumya – despite her smiles and giggles and various other indications that she does like Ganesh, somehow manages to do a complete U-turn when officially asked. I mean the scene where her in-laws and Ganesh’s parents almost beg her to agree was pretty unrealistic considering she is so adamant about her decision. Okay...we can live with that too. But the climax had to emphasize and justify why it was she had been so reluctant. And this is where my alternative ending kicks in. So read on.

So Ganesh and Soumya are driving back to Bangalore when they meet ‘Dracula’ on the way who informs them about the kids. They decide to say one last goodbye before they leave and start rowing across the river. Ganesh pours out his heart and tells her everything he had always wanted to. He then pulls out the ear ring and tells her he had always kept it with him and asks her if he can keep it. She says she always knew he had it. He is shocked to hear that…to which she responds, ‘I like you a lot as well…but…I am three months pregnant now…’

The moment she says that a few things become very clear. A) Her rigid reluctance to marry the man thinking it would ‘spoil’ his life as most ‘filmy’ girls tend to believe. B) Her obvious liking towards Ganesh considering we can assume she did not know about her condition back then. C) Ganesh’s character and integrity – does he really have it in him to accept a widow with a baby on the way? Is he really man enough for that kind of reality considering he spends most of his time in dreamland flying kites and making fun of others?

Now let us move on. The boat immediately takes a jolt before Ganesh has a chance to react to what she has just revealed. Whatever follows is the same as in the movie. But the true issue is during his act of trying to save himself and the woman, Ganesh’s mind is filled with questions. His initial instinct of course is to save their lives, but what after that? So he brings her to safety and as they are catching their breathe she continues to want to talk about their earlier conversation to which he stops her and says…

‘Listen…if I had only saved your life I would have walked away in peace. But now that I have saved both your lives…what do you say we get married?’

She is stunned to hear his words. All these days she was underestimating his maturity about these things and so was uncertain but here he is, making such a bold decision!

And that’s it. They hug and credits roll.

I had another ending in mind which saw them both getting killed, but considering ‘Mungaru Male’ was already a tragedy, I wanted to give Mr. Bhat and Ganesh and breather.

Your thoughts on this is appreciated.

Friday, March 21, 2008 0 reflections

[Short Fiction] - The Ride

AS MELANCHOLY AS his feelings about his romantic life were, Deepak was never really the kind to let it get to him. Being a single guy working in a city that seemed to favor his type, his only regret however was being just that – single. He had unfortunately been unable to fish himself one of those thousands of free roaming damsels who were peppered all across that same city’s misty horizon. With his parents tucked away cozily in a sleepy neighboring city, a weekend visit to find out how they were was enough to maintain his good son status. As much as he would have probably preferred to stay with his folk, the prospect of a better paying job had been his initial incentive to move to the bigger city. As it turned, it remained the only reason he stayed on there.

Now as far as his need to find a girlfriend was concerned it wasn’t as if he hadn’t tried. Why there was that one day when he gingerly approached one of the new mint-fresh secretaries with a bizarre request in mind to strike up an equally absurd conversation. All was looking set for a natural flow of emotions when her father, the boss, walked in enquiring ‘Is everything alright, dear? No problems on your first day?’ to which the girl had coyly responded ‘No daddy. Everything is fine daddy. Thank you daddy!’ as Deepak gradually vanished from the scene without uttering a word. Or how about the other time when at an office party good old Deepak’s ‘chic-radar’ had gone off when he had seen a ‘lass in slow motion’, as he put it, and dug out his heart to give it to her right away. Only to be approached by the same perfume-breathing angel and asked ‘Excuse me, could you tell me where Sandeep is? I am his fiancé and I can’t get him on his cell!’ Deepak had murmured something incoherent and pointed her sheepishly to a drunken Sandeep who stood in the corner being silly. How on Earth such morons end up with such beauties, Deepak had wondered as he wandered off to continue fishing.

So yes, our man had had his chances with making conversations with the ladies, but sadly none of them seemed to be … well, his ‘type’. Now what was his type again? Well, someone equally silent, equally ignorant and definitely holding a PhD in ‘not knowing how to speak with the opposite sex’. What he also needed was someone who was convinced all of the above qualities did not describe her. Finding a combination of such a beauty was lot complicated than it seemed apparently.

But all said and done Deepak the brave weathered it all and survived since he was always convinced that she was out there. And the day he would find her would be the day he would stand tall and proclaim his kingdom of bliss while his single, date-less colleagues bowed down to him in helpless reverence. His little bubble of aspirations continued to fly beside him each day and despite being in the middle of what could only be described as the capital of ‘chaotic meat malls’, Deepak still managed to find peace in his bubble of silence.

You know what they say - the silence sometimes is a signal for the storm in the distance. And the same managed to happen in Deepak’s otherwise mundane and stereotypical life. His sense of calm with his single-hood met an abruption one rainy evening.

The skies had opened all gates that night with a vengeance. Each droplet of rain was being shot down like an arrow from Heaven out to get its target on first impact. The overflowing drains and horrendously congested traffic was becoming proof of a major whiplash on the way. The photographs God was taking of his scattered creation below were only increasing with each passing minute. People returning home from work or, in some cases, people going to their night-shift jobs were hopelessly praying that the galactic ordeal would somehow cease. But there hardly seemed any chance of that happening soon. Deepak was busy exchanging a 100 rupee note for some 10s at the security gate when yet another thunderbolt flashed across the skies.

‘Big rain on its way, sa’ab!’ yelled out the security guard from behind a pair of bulging glasses.

‘Yes! I need to head home before it gets worse! I never have change to give to that fruit fellow near my house, you know. He always has the best apples! That’s why I am making you give up your precious notes!’ screamed back Deepak from atop his 1997 model Kinetic Honda ZX, wrapped in an old winter jacket and armed with an awkward smile. He quickly pressed the ignition button and off he went to be caught in the insanity that was the city’s traffic.

Within minutes he found himself honking incessantly and weaving his way past the serpentine muddle. As four-wheelers and suicidal auto-rickshaw drivers whizzed past him spraying his trousers with muddy water, he continued steering ahead towards the one place he could not wait to get to sooner – his one bedroom apartment in a dingy residential complex at the end of the city. During the waiting minutes at red lights, even in the traffic’s cacophony and meaningless mayhem, he would never miss a chance to look at couples riding together with their bodies stuck one behind the other. Just the thought of being so close to a woman gave him imaginative pleasure. His hopes of bagging a girl for himself only got more fodder on such occasions as he giggled to himself in hopeless yearning. Ah! Must be quite a feel, he would think before being honked at violently by some goon waiting behind him thus bringing an end to his mental journey amongst the roses.

But there was something different about this particular night, reader. It wasn’t that Deepak had never gone home in a rain or ogled at unsuspecting fellow riders. Despite the familiar feel of that night there was something more to it that he could not quite catch. Needless to say given the relentless interruption of the rain there was no way he could have guessed what was about to happen next.

Home was near. Deepak had just spent about 45 minutes in a grueling battle for space in the cratered roads of the city that were now overflowing cesspools of variable depth. About fifteen more minutes and he would be back in his haven of dim lights and overcooked food. Ah! Paradise, he thought as he made a steep curve that led onto the market where he intended to buy his precious apples. Just as he was about to kick up the gas he noticed a figure standing on the side of that isolated street waving at him to stop. The continuous downpour was making it difficult for Deepak to decide what to do with this hitchhiker. But the moment the headlights of his rusty vehicle fell on the person’s face…he knew he was going to stop.

Covered in a dirty-yellow raincoat from head to toe with a wet strand of lose hair plastered to the forehead stood a body with a pretty feminine face attached to its top. He instantly noticed the perfectly placed nose-ring which he had always found a major turn-on in girls and the ever so subtle green-colored bindi that shone like a star in the rain of lights. He slowed down and went a little further than where the woman stood. She galloped to his side and frowned to make herself audible.

‘Sorry! I need to get to the next bus station as no buses are stopping here! Could you please drop me there?’

Deepak knew his response would always be a ‘yes’ but somehow felt the need to ask her, ‘Next bus stop? You mean the one where 345D stops? That one?’

‘Yes! That’s the one. The last bus is in fifteen minutes and I have a long way to go…so please…?’

He could smell cloves in her breathe. She must have been returning from a dinner party, he thought. Something to ask her later during the ride, he figured.

‘Sure! Come…’ he said signaling his head to the pillion seat that had never been blessed by a feminine derriere in all its existence. The moment the contact took place he could feel even his bike shiver in excitement as much as he did. She did not touch him yet managed to get on behind using the spare wheel attached to the back of the vehicle. However her thighs managed to make contact with his as she settled down comfortably behind him.

‘Damn it!’ he cursed himself ‘The stupid wheel should be removed as soon as possible. This way a future episode might lead the lady to hold him to get on the vehicle. For now this amount of physical contact should do….’ he said consoling himself.

Soon the odd couple was on its way. Deepak knew that the bus stop would be at least a kilometer away from where he was headed but of course, had that place been even in the next country he would have given the girl a ride regardless. This part of the city was reasonably quieter than the main areas so the prospect of a conversation, despite the loud downpour, was in the offing. But as always, Deepak was at a loss of words. He wasn’t sure what to ask her. ‘So…are you married?’ was the first question that popped into his head but he dismissed it thinking it would be quite inappropriate to ask her that. How about, ‘The rear wheel is a little shaky. Can you please put your arms around me instead?’ Oh no! That would make her panic and maybe yell at passers by for help! No…he wasn’t too excited about a prospect of getting his derriere handed to him on such an eventful night. He knew he had to start with something more generic. And so finally after a few minutes of careful pondering, he did.

‘Some rain isn’t it?’ he said looking over his shoulder.

‘Yes! Unexpected shower today…’ she said blowing clove fragrance into his face.

‘Actually my friend was supposed to pick me but she had a flat tire on the way. That’s why I now have to take the bus back home’ she continued as she punched something into her cell phone. He could hear the ‘beep beep’ of her fingers and immediately imagined her trying to get in touch with her boyfriend or husband or someone who will definitely ensure there was no chance for him with her. ‘Morons!!!’ he cursed the whole men folk mentally.

‘Yeah…dad? Don’t worry. I got a lift from someone. Yeah yeah…no no…no problem. It is fine. He is dropping me to the next stop. I will take the bus from there. Yeah yeah…it is OK. Yeah…OK…bye…bye...’ and she hung up.

‘Ah!’ Deepak smiled to himself ‘…finally some faith in men. It was her father! Thank God. This means she is definitely not married. Wait! What if she is … and she is visiting him! Damn it! I should have checked her feet for a toe ring!’

‘So….your father is relieved?’ he asked her again only to get silence as a response.

‘Yeah?’ he asked her again making sure he could get a glimpse of her face in the rear view mirror.

She shook her head in approval. He began wondering why she had decided not to continue the conversation. Good lord! Was it his odor? Did he not smell right? He definitely remembered using deodorant that day…but wait…that was in the morning! No! Maybe he smelt like garbage after a long day at work. Sigh…stupid deodorants, he cursed and drove on.

Before he could ask her another question he realized she was punching numbers again. And he was convinced this time it was to her a) boyfriend or b) husband or c) boyfriend who is someone else’s husband…no no…poor girl. She seems quite civilized. She would never date someone in a marriage. But who knows, girls these days are so unpredictable, he continued thinking before he heard the girl speak again.

‘Yeah…Seema? Hi! Where are you now? Oh yeah? OK good! No no…don’t worry. I managed to get a ride. No not an auto…some gentleman…yeah yeah…’

‘Ah! Some gentleman!’ he thought to himself ‘Wow…she thinks I am a gentleman. Of course I am. I value women and appreciate them. I treat them with nothing but respect and kindness. Of course I am a gentleman. Nice to hear it from a girl though and…’

‘Stop here please!’ she shrieked just as Deepak was about to wander off into his thoughts.

‘What!’ he thought. The damn bus stop is already here! Good lord!

And sure enough. There it was. Standing in the middle of nowhere with a few bystanders and families waiting for that last ride of the day.

Deepak slowed down and stopped at the side of the road. She got down, using the spare wheel again, and adjusted her hand bag.

‘Thank you so much! I truly appreciate this’ she said looking him directly in the eye. The rain had thinned down a bit and he noticed how beautiful she really was. Her soft cheeks, her deep dark brown eyes, her slightly pudgy nose that stuck out because of that amazingly well aligned nose ring and her genuinely mesmerizing smile.

‘Oh….fine…’ is all he could get out of him as the girl suddenly noticed the bus honking its way in.

‘Just in time! See you…bye!’ she said before scampering away into the crowd with cloves in her mouth and Deepak’s heart in her hands. As he stood by and watched her take a seat in the bus and vanish in an ocean of shivering lights, he couldn’t help but smile at himself for such an amazing adventure. He had half a mind to follow the bus and see where she goes, but somehow he couldn’t muster the courage to do so. It would be quite un-gentlemanly like, he deduced.

He arrived home that night wet with mud and love. He just could not stop smiling as he pulled in and walked up to his fifth floor of eternal joy. He opened the door and switched on the lights and the first thing that came to his mind were … ‘Apples!’ He suddenly realized he had forgotten to get his favorite fruits that night. But the following second he did not care much for it. He was just gloating in the effect Ms. Pudgy Nose had left him with. He started undressing slowly singing a song to himself ‘…zindagi bhar nahin….bhoolegi woh barsaaat ki raat….ek anjaan haseena se…mulakaat ki raat…’ and started wiggling out of his pants. Just as he was about to take out his wallet he was shocked to realize it wasn’t there! His song became an abrupt murmur and finally stopped as he started frantically looking around for his wallet. No – nowhere to be seen. He fished out his bag, retraced his steps and even went down to his bike. But the wallet was nowhere to be found.

‘Aha! That girl!’ he screamed out loud. ‘Damn it!’ he said kicking his bike in fury. ‘No wonder she kept me distracted with all that talk and thigh grazing and clove magic….aaaaah….what a fool I have been….God….’

Deepak was seriously furious. He closed his eyes and re-designed the scene again.

‘She gets behind me. Manages to maintain a strong thigh-presence during the ride. Also manages to keep blabbering to God knows who without allowing me to speak even once. And finally takes off with four-hundred rupees and a hundred made into parts of 10 each. Totally five hundred rupees gone. Not to mention my company’s photo ID, my credit card, my favorite Superman sticker, my lucky dollar…all gone. Years of cherished memories vanished – just like that…..’

Deepak sat down helplessly on his bed not knowing what to do next. ‘Women…’ he said before going on to end the rather eventful night with a broken heart and a bankrupt pocket.

The following morning he wore a rather drab look. He knew he had been exposed to the one most amazing yet tragic experiences at the same time. What he was unsure of was which part of it to cherish – the clove filled love or the pocket picking shove. He arrived at work with several things on his mind. The first thing he needed was to go to the bank and get some money since he had none on him. He also needed to contact his credit card company and let them know what had happened. He couldn’t do anything about his lucky dollar or his Superman sticker and that is something he regretted.

‘How were those apples yesterday, sa’ab?’ jabbed the security guard as he passed him by. ‘Oh…didn’t get around to buying them,’ responded Deepak as he continued walking into the building. ‘I didn’t imagine you would sa’ab’, shouted back the guard ‘since you zoomed off yesterday without even checking that you dropped your wallet! Here it is. Please make sure it has everything sa’ab’, said the guard with a grin shining on his face.

And just like that – Deepak was in love again.

© 2008 Shashi Krishna. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, March 17, 2008 2 reflections

A Familiar Emotion / a 30th Birthday Special

Turning 30 is always an interesting experience, I have been told. And as I finally end my 20s series on 18th of March, 2008 ... a few words that seem to do justice to how I feel right now.

Thank you for being here, reader.


A Familiar Emotion

And then he stood, watching the sheets cascade,
White crystals from Heaven’s many gates,
Dripping in silent dances of glittering fade,
And vanishing in a mirage of illusive mates.
He stands forever, and he wonders so,
Just how long he has been standing somehow,
Not wanting to know, nor caring to show,
What is turning him into a new number now?
A decade of silences, years filled with echoes,
Of love and hate, and of grieving souls,
Moments stuck to his heart’s rain-soaked windows,
Are now letting him go…to change his roles.
He feels his pulse, realizing he is still the same,
Who laughs harder each time life becomes inane,
Who is fond of the cliché, yet wants to mature,
With a bag full of stories of faith and disdain.
A new decade is his, his to make and design,
Filled with promises and hopes that simmer in the mist,
A new season of things he can bravely call ‘mine’,
And a fresh start to crave for things he cannot resist.
He shuffles in his pockets and empties them quick,
Not wanting to reminiscence the nightmares bygone,
Walking swiftly to shelter, he finally finds it,
A note written to himself once, that reads ‘Move on…’

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 3 reflections

ಬೆಡಗಿಯ ನಿರೀಕ್ಷೆ

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ಬೆಡಗಿಯ ನಿರೀಕ್ಷೆ

ಇದು ಅವನ ತಪ್ಪಲ್ಲ. ಚಿಕ್ಕ ವಯಸ್ಸಿನಿಂದ ಪ್ರೇಮಿಗಳ ಕಥೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕೇಳಿದ ಅವನಿಗೆ, ನಿಜ ಜೀವನದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಇದ್ದ ಕಲ್ಪನೆಗಳೆಲ್ಲ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಮಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಸುಳ್ಳು ಅಂತ ಗೊತ್ತಾಗ್ಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಕನ್ನಡ ಚಲನಚಿತ್ರಗಳಲ್ಲಿ, ಬಾಲಿವುಡ್, ಹಾಲಿವುಡ್ ಸಾಗರದಲ್ಲಿ, ಅವಳನ್ನೆ ಹುಡುಕುತ್ತ ಹೊರಟ ಅವನಿಗೆ, ಸತ್ಯದ ಅರಿವಾದಾಗ ಇನ್ನೇನು ಮೂವತ್ತು ತುಂಬೋ ವಯಸ್ಸು. ಏಲ್ಲಿ ಸಿಗುವಳೊ ನನ್ನ ಕನಸಿನ ಬೆಡಗಿಯೆಂದು ಮಗುವಂತೆ ಹಂಬಲಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಅವನ ಮನಸ್ಸಿಗೆ ರಾಮಬಾಣದಂತೆ ನಾಟಿತು - ಒಂದು ಕಹಿ ಸತ್ಯ.

ಅವತ್ತು ಆ ನಗರದ ಛಳಿಯ ವಾತಾವರಣದಲ್ಲಿ ನೆಮ್ಮದಿಯಿಂದ ತನ್ನ ಸೋಲಿನ ಜೊತೆ ಕುಳಿತಿದ್ದ. ಆಚೆ ನಿಸ್ಶಬ್ಧವಾಗಿ ಬೀಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಹಿಮವನ್ನು ನೋಡುತ್ತ, ತನ್ನ ಶಾಕಾಹಾರಿ ಪಿಜ಼್ಜ಼ಾವನ್ನು ಸೇವಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದ. ಅವನ ಮನಸಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಅದೇನೋ ಒಂದು ತರಹ ಚಿಂತೆ...ಯೋಚನೆ.

"ಛೆ! ನನ್ನ ಜೀವನದಲ್ಲಿ ಎಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಅಸಾಧ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಸಾಧಿಸಿದ ನನಗೆ - ಒಂದು ಹುಡುಗಿ ಗತಿ ಇಲ್ಲದೆ ಹೊಯಿತಲ್ಲ"....ಎಂದು ಮೂಕ ಕೊರಗು. ಏಲ್ಲೊ ರಸ್ತೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕೈನಲ್ಲಿ ಕೈ ಹಿಡಿದುಕೊಂಡು ಹೋಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಜೊಡಿಯನ್ನು ನೋಡಿ - "ಮೂರ್ಖರು! ಮಾಡಕ್ಕೆ ಬೇರೆ ಕೆಲಸ ಇಲ್ಲ ಇವರಿಗೆಲ್ಲ! ಸುಮ್ಸುಮ್ನೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಕಣ್ಣ ಮುಂದೆ ಬಂದು ತಲೆ ತಿಂತಾರೆ....ಖರ್ಮ!" ಎಂದು ತನ್ನ ಮನಸಿನಲ್ಲೆ ಮಾತಾಡಿಕೊಂಡ.

ಅವನ ಈ ಬೇಸರಕ್ಕೆ ಹಲವಾರು ಕಾರಣಗಳಿವೆ ಅನ್ನಿ. ಒಂದು - ಪರದೇಸಿ ಹೆಣ್ಣನ್ನು ತನ್ನ ಜೀವನ ಸಂಗಾತಿಯಾಗಿ ತರಲು ತುಂಟ ಆಸೆಯಿದ್ದರು, ಕಾರ್ಯರೂಪಕ್ಕೆ ತರಲು ಧೈರ್ಯಸಾಲದ ಹೃದಯ. ಹೋಗಲಿ ಒಬ್ಬ ದೇಸಿ ಹೆಣ್ಣನ್ನೆ ಲವ್ ಮಾಡಿ - ಯಾವುದೇ ಜಾತಿಯಿರಲಿ - ತನ್ನ ತಂದೆ ತಾಯಿಯನ್ನು ಓಲಿಸಿಕೋಳ್ಳುವ ಸಾಧ್ಯತೆ ಇರದ ಬದುಕು. ಇದರ ಮೇಲೆ ಪದೆ ಪದೆ ಈ ಅಂತರ್ಜಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಿಗದೆ ಆಟಾಡಿಸುವ ಮುಖವಿಲ್ಲದ ಹುಡುಗಿಯರು. ಅಯ್ಯೋ ದೇವರೆ! ಯಾಕೆ ಕೆಳುತ್ತೀರ ಇವನ ಪಾಡು.

ಅದೆಲ್ಲ ಹೋಗಲಿ - "ಭಾರತಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗಿ, ಜಾತಕ ನೋಡಿ ಒಂದು ಸುಂದರವಾದ ಹುಡುಗಿಯನ್ನು ಆರಿಸಿಕೊಂಡು ಜೀವನ ಸೆಟಲ್ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳೋಲೊ ಪೆದ್ದ!" - ಅಂತ ಹೇಳಿದ ಅವನ ಮನಸು ಕೂಡ ಈಗ ಶಾಂತ. ಕಾರಣ? ಎಲ್ಲ ಕಡೆ ತಲೆ ಮೇಲೆ ನಡೆದುಕೊಂಡು ಜಾಲಾಡಿಸಿ, ಜಾಹಿರಾತು ಕೊಟ್ಟು, ಅಂತರ್ಜಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ತನ್ನ ಚೆಲುವಾದ ಪ್ರೊಫ಼ೈಲನ್ನು ಬಿಟ್ಟು, ಸಾರ್ - ಹೋಗಲಿ ವಧುದಕ್ಷಿಣೆ ಕೂಡ ಕೊಡೋಣ ಬಿಡಿ - ಎಂದು ಹೆಣ್ಣಿನವರಿಗೆ ತಿಳಿಸಿ.....ಎಲ್ಲ ಮಾಡಿಯು "ವಿದೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಬರಲ್ಲ ಹೋಗಯ್ಯ! ಏನೊ ಮಹ ಬಂದುಬಿಟ್ಟ ಸುರಸುಂದರಾಂಗ!" ಎಂದು ಕೇರ್‍ ಮಾಡದೆ ಇರ್‍ಒ ದೇಸಿ ಫ಼ಿಗರ್ಸ್. ಇವನೇನೊ ಮಹ ಭಾರತಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗಿ ಅದೇನೋ ಕಿಸಿದುಬಿಡುವೆ ಏಂದು ಹಾಕಿದ ಯೊಜನೆಗಳೆಲ್ಲ ವ್ಯರ್‍ಥ. ಬಂದ ಹತ್ತು-ಹದಿನಾರು ಜಾತಕಗಳಲ್ಲಿ, ಸೆರಿಯಾಗಿ ಹೊಂದುಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದೆ ಮೂರ್‍ಓ ನಲಕ್ಕೋ. ಅದರ ಮೇಲೆ ಆ ಹೊಂದಾಣಿಕೆ ಇರೋ ಜಾತಕದ ಹುಡುಗಿಯರ ತಂದೆಗಿರೋ ಉತ್ಸಾಹದ ಕಾಲುಭಾಗವು ಆ ಹುಡುಗಿಗೆ ಇಲ್ಲ.

"ಅಯ್ಯ....ಈ ಮುಖಕ್ಕೆ ನನ್ನಂತಹ ಚೆಲುವೆ! ನೋ ವೇ ಡ್ಯಾಡ್!', ಎಂದು ತನ್ನ ಕೋಣೆಗೆ ಹೋದ ಮಗಳ ಪರವಾಗಿ ಏನನ್ನು ಹೇಳಲಾಗದ ತಂದೆ....ಮೌನ. ಇದೆಲ್ಲರ ಮಧ್ಯೆ ಇವನಿಗೆ ೨೦೦ ರುಪಾಯಿಗಳ ತಿರುಮಲ ಚೌರ. ಪ್ರತಿ ಸಲ ಜಾತಕ ಹೊಂದಾಣಿಕೆ ಮಾಡಿಸುವ ಖರ್ಚು ೧೦೦ ರುಪಾಯಿ. ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಹೋಗಿ ಬರುವ ಆಟೋ ದುಡ್ಡು ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ೧೦೦ ರುಪಾಯಿ.

ಎರಡು ವಾರದ "ಧಿಡೀರ್" ಭಾರತ ಕರ್ಯಕ್ರಮಕ್ಕೆ ದುಖ್ಖದ ಮಂಗಳ ಹಾಡಿಕೊಂಡು, ಬಂದ ದಾರಿಗೆ ಸುಂಕವಿಲ್ಲವೆಂದು ಮರಳಿ ಬಂದ, ನಮ್ಮ ರಾಜಕುಮಾರ, ತನ್ನ ಛಳಿಯ ನಗರಿಗೆ. ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಬಂದರೊ ಕೂಡ ಆನ್ಲೈನ್ ಜಗತ್ತಿನಿಂದ ಅದೇನೊ ಮಹ ಸುಖ ಸುದ್ಧಿ ಬರುತ್ತೆಯೆಂದು ಕಾಯುತ್ತಿರುವನು.....ಇಂದಿಗು. ಸಧ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಬರೀ ನಿರಾಶೆಯ "ರಿಜೆಕ್ಷನ್ಸ್" ಬಂದಿವೆ ಹೊರತು ... ಸೆರಿ ಕಣಪ್ಪ, ನೋಡಕ್ಕೆ ಸುಮಾರಾಗಿದ್ದರು ಒಂದು ಚಾಂಸ್ ತೊಗೊತೀನಿ ಬಾ ... ಏಂದು ಹೇಳದೆ ಇರುವ ಹುಡುಗಿಯರ ಹಿಂಡು.

ಇದೆಲ್ಲ ಆದರೂ ಒಂದು ಮಾತ್ರ ಸತ್ಯ - ಇವನ ಬೇಸರದ ಮನಸ್ಸಿನ ಒಂದು ಪುಟ್ಟ ಕೋಣೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಭರವಸೆಯ ದೀಪ ಇನ್ನು ಊರಿಯುವುದು. ಆ ದೇವರು ಈ ಕೆಲಸದಲ್ಲಿ ನನಗೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕಾಪಟ್ಟೆ ಎಡವಟ್ಟು ಮಾಡಿ ಹಾಕಿದ ಕಾರಣ - ಒಂದು ಸೂಪರ್ ಬೆಡಗಿ ನನಗಾಗಿ ಕಾಯುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾಳೆ....ಸೆರಿಯಾದ ಸಮಯ ಬರಬೇಕು ಅಷ್ಟೆ.... ಎಂದು ನಂಬಿ ಕೂತಿರುವ ಇವನ ಆಶಾವಾದಿ ಹೃದಯ.

ಇವನ ಈ ಆಶವಾದದ ಬಿಂಬ ಸತ್ಯವಾಗಿ, ಇವನ ಬಾಳಲ್ಲಿ ನಿಜಕ್ಕು ಒಂದು ತುಂಟ ಚೆಲುವೆ ಕಾಲಿಟ್ಟು ಈ ಪುಣ್ಯಾತ್ಮನನ್ನು ಬೇರೆ ಜೋಡಿಗಳನ್ನು ನೋಡಿ ಕೋಪಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳದಂತೆ ಕಾಪಾಡುವಳೆಂದು...ಬನ್ನಿ, ನಾವೆಲ್ಲ ಹಾರೈಸೋಣ.

ಶ. ಕೃ