Clouds on the horizon

Hello I am Mr. Selvamani, and this is a normal hot, humid, filter coffee scented morning, reporting to you live from Madras. I work in the meteorology department. Not he one who deal with meteors, aah no no. We deal with temperature both in celsius and in fahrenheit. Also with rain and the absence of it. I was the one who pressed the button for the sirens when the tsunami hit last to last year. I could also be asked to present the weather section of the evening news bulletin, if Lord Subramanium answers my prays.

The intro aside I would like to get into the main issue here. Today morning when I came into office and was reading my emails, peon Thambi came and announced that two people urgently want to meet me. I asked them to come in. They entered. One of them was middle aged, whereing a white joobaah, what you call a kurti in hindi. And a white gold edged dhoti. He was also wearing a pretty heavy gold chain on his meaty neck. The slight smile on his face made my apprehension disappear. The other guy was young and thickly muscled, and was wearing a maroon lungi with multicolored flowers. His shirt was open halfway down showing lush hairy vegetation.

“Ghung goon ghoon”, said the young man.

Why tell me, I said.

“Ghung goon ghoon goon”, said the young man, looking at the elder man, who nodded wisely.

This morning would be hard, I thought. How can I explain these simple folk of the vagaries of global warming. Of what harm their brothers and sisters had done to mother nature through the centuries.

Nowadays it is easier to forecast the winner of IPL, than to predict the rains, I thought. Sometimes we pick a card from a deck we have. That deck has various combinations ranging from humid, slightly sunny to extremely wet with knee deep rains. But how can I tell that to these men, who have such faith in my oracular powers.

“Ghung goo goo goo” this time the elder man said. To which I woke up and found myself staring out the window at a city pigeon.



Selvan dropped in today, with the April newspaper bill. While he was doing the calculation for my trip ridden month, I offered him the besan ke laddoos, mom had sent. He refused, embarrassed, at his own behavior.
‘I don’t have sugar’, he said.
‘Not even in tea – coffee. Started doing this since around 40 years, and I am 50 now. I work as much as a 20 year old.’
‘I just have sookha roti with sabji with no oil, and 4 idlis in the morning.’
I was a little dumbfounded to reply, soaking it all in.
‘Why so sweaty?’, he asked.
‘Just cycled from Jayamahal.’ I said.
‘I have seen you many times, in Neelasandra, Austin town.. It is good..very good.’
‘I was also cycling to Hosur till 10 years back. 80 kms a day. I was then in the courier service. Also dropped newspapers on my cycle. Got this moped 5 years back, as it was getting difficult, more because of the growing urgency. Zyaada paper daalna toh zyada zaldi daalna.’
‘165 Rupees sir’.
Leejiye sir 165.
‘Kuch zaroorat pade toh call kariye sir’

P.S. Selvan is around 5’6, weighs around 80kgs, and I am pretty sure can dhobhi pachad all you facebooking ppl.