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Navnit Narayanan

PREFACE

When Auditor Gangadharan called me around 11 am on 09-


01-2018 and asked me to read a kindle book written by him and give
my opinion, I became curious. He declared, ‘This book is primarily
written for those WHO ARE INTERESTED IN SURREAL
FICTION’. In my earlier meetings with him he had shared his surreal
experiences and I told him, I do have such experiences.
Few hours later, he phoned me to state, his paper back is also
ready with complete ISBN Number. I was surprised. Is that so easy?
Had I been a fool all these years??
I already had a collection of my thoughts made in written form
in various internet platforms. I quickly gathered them and made into
a sequence, not really a sequence, an intentional haphazard order and,
oh… in next few hours by midnight of same day, my first kindle book
published. Next day the paper back.
I am aware, being version 1.0, it has a long way to go. But let
it begin somewhere. And I have begun.
Thank you for choosing to read this book. Thanks to my wife,
children, who always guide me from behind and lead me from front.
21-01-2018. I am republishing this book.

• Tamil contents are translated in English. Improved paginations done.


• What is published now is 10% of what I am intending to publish in
future.
• What is published now, are left unfinished and abrupt in some chapters.
Intentionally. They will be covered in other editions, not necessarily next
edition.
• The dreams are real. Not imagination. Narrations about more such
dreams to follow in other editions. Names and incidents are mostly real.

1
First Night in New York

Book is written in South Indian English practiced mostly in Tamilnadu,


India.
14-02-2018. Night of Maha Sivaratri. As I am watching, Juggi Vasudev
‘Isha’ program in TV, I republish again.

• Part-II ‘Second Day in New York’ created.


• Contents & Page Nos. added for both Parts.
• My spellings and grammar should improve.
• Maybe, by now, I have completed 15% what I intend to ‘have a say’.
Navnit Narayanan

PART-I
FIRST NIGHT IN
NEW YORK

3
First Night in New York

TiE CHENNAI – Coffee with


Charter Member – RAVI SANTHANAM

Attention Readers: Last time when I attended a seminar on


Big Data Analytics organized by TiE Chennai, I came back,
painstakingly typed for 4 hours and tried to post in my Facebook. But,
alas, one of their unstructured data analytical tool (about which I just
attended that seminar) considered my post as spam and asked me to
proceed to next window.
Without giving me an opportunity to review, my entire
contents were destroyed and went into oblivion. No proper feedback
from Facebook as well. May be, all of you are already aware. If not,
type in a conventional word processor first. Save. And then publish in
Facebook.
As I attended more of TiE Chennai, I was getting more
impressed that I have joined the right group at the right time. On 15-
06-2013, it was a program, COFFEE WITH CHARGER MEMBER
– Mr. Santhanam. No typo errors. I call him Charger Member.
Because, I got charged of my ambitions and business desires after
spending time with him and other likeminded colleagues. I went late.
Thinking the program starts at 7 pm, I went late, but it began
at 5 pm. Last minute, I realized it was from 5 pm to 7 pm. I was well
tolerated when I entered the IIT alumni conference room at around 6
pm. It was very interesting and overwhelming session as ever. Lot of
talks went around analysing success of established names with drop of
big and established names here and there.
He was talking about segmenting and insight. How we should
clearly segment our business or services and how we should have
insight into our business. We were also told to have passion about the
business we do. Typical of me, here and there I was contradicting, but
took care not to cross the limits.
Navnit Narayanan

Mr. Santhanam made a startling revelation about the Non-


Vegetarian Ponnu Sami Hotel and strictly vegetarian Grand Sweets
and Snacks being owned by same person. I would like to check the
accuracy of this statement. Time being not bothered. I would guess,
Ponnu Sami took over Grand Sweets probably on some financial deal.
I was personally aware of a hugely popular Agarwal Bhavan of
Govindappa Naicken Street clandestinely taken over by a South
Indian and run for several years.
I was not given an opportunity to discuss about my business
plan. And I felt happy about it. People I met are; Mr. Ravi Santhanam
– the Charger Member and leader of the leaders. Mr. Gopinath –
Simho HR Services, Mr. Hamja Maricar – Holiday mood, Mr.R.
Balasubramanian – Oyster solutions, Mr. Sivakumar – Nimble
Wireless, Mr.B. Venkat Ramani – Melio Systems and with me, that
makes 8.
8th person did not share the card. He did the same in previous
TiE Meet also. A man from west Tamilnadu, I always think that, they
consider themselves smarter than others and their humbleness and
simplicity is a thin veil. It is my personal Facebook posting.

5
First Night in New York

RAMAYANAM – As it should be!

Ramayanam, the story of Hindu God, Rama has several


versions. The original is considered as ‘Valmiki Ramayanam’. Saint
Tulsidas wrote his version of Ramayana. In Tamilnadu, Poet Kamban
wrote another version originally named ‘Ramakathai’ but popularly
called ‘Kamba Ramayanam’. When I attended one of the meetings in
Periyar Library Readers Circle, Chennai, I came to know the other
versions of Ramayana. The one written by Pulavar Kulanthai, in which
the virtues of King Ravana was highlighted in a big way and showed
the pathetic side of loser, Lord Rama, is difficult to digest to many.
There had always been logic. When Logic and common sense
is practically applied, we can find the original and inner truth. The
Indian Society, from present day Afghanistan to Myanmar, and from
Mount Kailash to Kanyakumari, had different culture and languages.
But there had been a unifying factor. As the First Prime Minister of
India, Jawaharlal Nehru rightly declared, ‘Unity in Diversity’ is the
hallmark of India.
For me the version of Ramayana, that states, Sita was daughter
of King Ravana, who was a paternal cousin of King Dasrath, and
hence Sita is by Indian culture and practices, sister of Rama, and hence
they are not eligible to get married to each other, sounds logical. One
generation is considered 13 years.
So, 13 years of separation from mainstream life, away from
regular place, when the human being comes back, is considered new
person, deserving a new identity. Based on this I have written my
version of Ramayana in a brief set of Tamil Couplets followed by
English Translation.
செய்தி: பன்னாட்டு அரிமா ெங்கம் ொர்பில் 30-12-2016 அன்று
'கம்பன் விழா'

Kamban is a Tamil Poet who wrote his version of


‘Ramayanam’. His Kamba Ramayanam is rich in poetry. Many
Navnit Narayanan

organisations celebrate ‘Kamban Vizha’ in which his poetry is


celebrated in public place by intellectuals. Local chapter of Lions Club
International organised one such celebration on 31-12-2016. Reading
that news, this set of lyrics written by me.
கம்பனுக்கு விழா எடுங்கள்
கவித்துவத்தத பாடுங்கள்
உண்தமதை உலகுக்கு
உரத்துக் கூறுங்கள்.
Celebrate Kamban. Celebrate Poetry, Tell truth Loudly, Tell
to the world!
எங்கள் பாட்டன்
எம்சபருமான் ராவணன்
வதண
ீ சகாடியுதடை
வவந்தன் ராவணன்
கங்தக கதரவதரக்கும்
கட்டி தவத்து ஆண்டிருந்தான்
Our forefather, Great King Ravana, who had ‘Veena’ musical
instrument in his flag, controlled and ruled till the banks of River
Ganga.
சதன்னிலங்தக தீவினிவல
ைாழினிவல அரிைதண
பத்து திதெைினிவல
பதடத்தளம் நிறுத்திைதால்
பத்து ததலஉதடவைான்
என பாடும் புகழ் சபற்றான்.
In southern Island, Lanka, in Jaffna (‘Yazhpanam’ in Tamil)
he had his Seat of Power. He kept is army and its chieftains in 10
directions and hence called ‘Ten Headed’.
வடக்கு திதெைினிவல
வண்ண மைில் சூர்ப்பனதக
திராவிட சபண் இனத்தின்
தீரம் பதற ொற்றி நின்றாள்
In northern directions, his sister, beauty queen ‘Surpanagai’
was the chieftain declaring the valour of Dravidian Womenfolk.
தன் மகவு, சபண் மகவு,
7
First Night in New York

தரணிதை ஆள வந்த
ததல மகவு 'ெீ தத',
தனிப் பைிற்ெி சபறவவண்டி
ஜனகனிடம் அனுப்பி தவத்தான்
தந்தத ராவணன்
His daughter, eldest, destined to rule the world, ‘Sita’ was sent
to King ‘Janaka’ for special training. Janaka Kingdom was on other
side of River Ganges.
ஆரிைத்தின் சூழ்ச்ெிைினால்
அதத அறிந்த அந்த இனன்
தந்தத ராவணனின்
தமைன் தெரதனின்
தவப்புதல்வன் ராமதன
தவறுதலாய் சநறிப்படுத்தி
தங்தக முதற ெீ ததைிதன
தன் இதணைாய் மாற்ற தவத்தான்
Adversaries, Aryans, who were always looking for a chance to
cause any inconvenience to Great King Ravana, made a cunning plan.
King Dasrath was brother of King Ravana. The dear son of Dasrath,
Raman, was misled by cunning other race Sages, to win a competition
to marry Sita.
அதத அறிந்த அவன் அன்தன
அறிவார்ந்த தகவகைி
'ஐைவகா என்ன இது,
அதவைம் தாங்காது.
அவலப் சபைர் வந்தால்
ஆண்டாண்டு நீங்காது'
கங்தக கதர கடந்து,
காடு பல கடந்து
கடல் தாண்டி சென்வறனும்
காவலனாம் ராவணனின்
கன்னிப்சபண் ெீ ததைிதன
கற்வபாடு ஒப்பதட!
என்பததன எடுத்துதரக்க
தெரதனும் ெரி என்றான்
Wise mother ‘Kaikeyi’, came to know the sin committed by
Raman, (Raman is like Son for Ravana because King Dasrath is
Navnit Narayanan

brother of King Ravana. Hence, Sita is like sister to him. In Indian


Dravidian culture, it was considered a sin to marry some girl who is
supposed to be sister by relationship). Kaikeyi declared, it is bad.
World will not tolerate. The wrong name and bad reputation cannot
go away even after centuries. Cross River Ganga, Cross the Forest
Land, Cross the Sea, handover the virtues full Sita, dutifully to her
father and custodian, King Ravana. She demanded. King Dasrath also
accepted.
தனிைாக அனுப்பி தவத்தால்
தரணி பல வபசும்
எனவவதான் லட்சுமணன்
இதணந்து உடன் சென்றான்.
If Sita is sent alone with Rama, the world may mistake, and
hence Lakshman also was made to accompany them.
தன் மகவு, சபண் மகவு,
தரணிதை ஆள வந்த
ததல மகவு 'ெீ தத',
தனிப் பைிற்ெி சபறவவண்டி
ஜனகனிடம் அனுப்பி தவத்த
தந்தத ராவணன்
தன் ஜீவன், ததல மகள்
காடு பல கடக்க
கால் கடுக்க நடப்பதால்
தங்தகதை அனுப்பி தவத்தான்.
தன்தன மணக்கலாம்,
தங்தகதை மணக்காவத
என்றுதரத்தாள் சூர்ப்பனதக,
எழிலார்ந்த அறிவரெி
வபரழகின் முகவரிவை முகமாகும்
முகத்தின் முன்னணிவை மூக்காகும்
அதத அறுத்து அவள் அழதக
ெிததத்தனவர தீக்குணத்தால்
His legal heir, female, destined to rule the world, was sent for
special training to King Janaka, by King Ravana. Ravana learnt that his
dear elder daughter ‘Sita’ is painfully walking to cross the forests.
Hence, he sent his sister Surpanagai. ‘Soorpanagai’ being sister to

9
First Night in New York

‘Ravana’ becomes maternal aunt to ‘Raman’. If age difference permits,


they can marry. The knowledgeable, beautiful ‘Soorpanagai’ told
‘Raman. By Raman and Lakshmanan, insinuated by other race
cultured sages, insulted her, and cut her nose, the most attractive part
of female face.
தந்தத ராவணவனா
தளபதிதை அனுப்பி தவத்தான்
அதமச்ெதன அனுப்பி தவத்தான்
அதன் பின்வன வநர் வந்து
வானுர்தி இறங்க,
வனத்தில் வழி அதமத்து
இதண வந்த இருவரும்
இல்லாத காரணத்தால்
தன் மகவு, சபண் மகவு,
தரணிதை ஆள வந்த
ததல மகவு 'ெீ ததைிதன'
தனிவை அதழத்து சென்றான்!
Sita’s father, King Ravanan, sent his chieftain. Sent his
minister. Then he himself came, creating an airstrip for flight landing
in the forest. As both men, Raman and Lakshman were not around,
he took his daughter ‘Sita’ to their homeland.
பிரிந்திருந்த சபண் மகவு
வபதலித்து இருந்ததனால்
அவொகா வனம் அதமந்து
அதிவல இருக்க தவத்தான்.
அம்மாவும் அங்வக
அருகிருந்து உணவளித்தாள்.
’Sita’ separated from parents for several years, was mentally
disturbed. So, a great garden bungalow was created for Sita and her
mother also stayed with daughter and took care of her.
இடர்கள் பல கடந்து,
இன்னலுற்று இலங்தக வநாக்கி
இருவர் நடந்தனர்.
இதடைிதடவை வதங்கள் புரிந்தனர்
Navnit Narayanan

Crossing many hurdles, facing many difficulties Raman and


Lakshmana started walking towards Sri Lanka. On the way several
incidents and fights and killing took place.
'வாலி வதம்' வரலாற்றில்
சபரும் பிதழ அட ராமா!
மதறந்திருந்து சகான்ற
மாசபரும் தவறு
Killing of King Vali, who had a dispute with his brother, that
too hiding behind a tree, is a historical sin committed by Raman.
'அட ராமா! என்ன இது
எப்வபாதும் தவறுகிறாய்!'
சபண்ணினத்தின் இலக்கணத்தத
சபரும்பாலும் மீ றுகிறாய்
Hey Ram, you commit mistake frequently. Often cross the
limits and set procedures, to deal with womenfolk.
ெிறு வைதில் கல்சலறிந்தாய்
மாந்ததரைின் மண்தடைிவல
அந்த இனன் சொன்னதனால்
அறிதவ இழந்து
படிக்கும் பருவத்தில்
இரு சபண்தண சகான்றாய்
Hey Ram, while being a boy, you threw stone at elderly female.
Misguided, you killed 2 females while you are being student.
அண்ணன் மதனவி
அன்தனைின் வடிவம்.
அதத மீ றி வாலிைின் மதனவிதை
தம்பிைிடம் இதணத்து தவத்தாய்
குரங்கு கூட்டமுடன்
கும்மாளம் அடிக்கின்றாய்
Elder brother’s wife is equal to own mother. Violating this
holy practice, you forced wife of King Vali (after killing him hidden
behind tree) to live with younger brother Sukreevan.
பதிமூன்று ஆண்டுகள்
ைாரும் பார்க்காமல் இருந்திருந்தால்
மாமாங்கம் மாறிைதால்
11
First Night in New York

மதறந்தவனாய் நிதனத்து
புதிதாக பிறந்தவனாய்
புவனும் புரிந்து சகாள்ளும்
தங்தக முதற ெீ ததைிதன
தாரமாக்க நீ துணிந்தாய்
பதிமூன்று ஆண்டுகள்
ைாரும் பார்க்காமல் இருப்பது
உன் தாய் தந்தத
உனக்களித்த உரிை தண்டதன
As per Hindu custom and practice, if someone is not seen by
anybody for 13 years or more, he will be considered dead. When he
comes back, he is a fresh new man, stripped of old relationships and
restrictions. Since you married ‘Sita’ who is supposed to be like your
sister, if you live unseen for 13 years and come back, the old
relationship is obliterated. You may be eligible to marry same ‘Sita’.
This proper punishment was given to you by your parents.
குரங்கு கூட்டமுடன்
கும்மாளம் அடித்ததனால்
காத்திருக்க சபாறுதம இன்றி
கடதம மறந்து, கண்ணிைம் இழந்து
கட்டுப்பாடின்றி
கடல் கடந்து கன்னிைிதன
தகப்பற்ற நீ துணிந்தாய்
இதுவவ உன் வரலாறு
Since you joined and spent happy time with Monkey tribes,
you lost patience. You forgot your duty and dignity. You decided to
cross the sea and get back Sita immediately. This is your history.
திராவிடனின் மாண்புததன
தீர்ப்பதற்கு இது தருணம்
இலங்தக வவந்தவன
இலக்கு என்று இருந்த
பல மாற்றார் உதவியுடன்
பதட அதமத்தாய்
Many enemies planned to eliminate King Ravana, father of
your sweet heart ‘Sita’. They conspired to degrade the popularity of
great Dravidian race. Joining such enemies, you created an army.
Navnit Narayanan

சூரிைனின் கரங்கள்
சுடர் விட்டு ஒளிப்பதனால்
'பிரபாகரன்' என்னும்
சபைர் சபற்ற ராவணனின்
பிறப்வபாடு வந்த
பீடன், விபீடணன்.
உடனிருந்த உடல் வளர்த்த உன்மத்தன்
'கருநாக்கு' கைவன் 'கருநா' உதவியுடன்
The rays of the sun are bright and powerful. That means
‘Prabhakaran’. Prabhakaran was like King Ravana and King Ravana
was like later day Prabhakaran. King Ravana had a disdainful brother
‘Vibeedan’. Prabhakaran had similar, brother like ‘Karuna’.

தனக்சகன்று ஒரு பதட


தனிைாக இல்லாத
'ராப்பிச்தெ', 'ராெபக்தை'
எல்வலாரும் ஒன்றிதணந்து
எம்சபருமான் ராவணன்
பின்னாளில் பிறப்சபடுத்த
'பிரபாகரன்'
இவர் குடும்பம் அழித்தார்கள்
இதுவவ வரலாறு
Srilankan chieftain did not have a powerful army of his own.
They used to clandestinely visit in the night to neighbouring country
and got army support other country. Several such forces joined
together, eliminated the family of latter day Prabhakaran, our great
noble king Ravana. This is history.

ராமன் பிறந்த நாள்


'நவமி' நாம் சவறுத்வதாம்
இதுவவ நம் பண்பாடு
எடுத்துதரப்வபாம் பண்வபாடு!
கம்பனுக்கு விழா எடுங்கள்,
கவித்துவத்தத பாடுங்கள்
உண்தமதை உலகுக்கு
உரத்துக் கூறுங்கள்.

13
First Night in New York

’Navami’ the birth day of Raman is considered inauspicious


day. This is our culture. Celebrate Poet Kamban. Loudly tell truth to
world.
Navnit Narayanan

RELATIVES BEHAVIOUR

வதவிைின் ெடங்கு

When a female attains puberty, set of procedures and cleansing


rituals are done in our society. In olden days, it was done immediately
after puberty. Nowadays, they do few days before wedding.
1982 வருடம் தன்னந்தனிைனாக சென்தன வந்த
நான், 1986 வருடம் ஒண்ணுமில்லாதவனாக தனித்து
விடப்பட்வடன். உறவினர் சதாடர்பு அற்றுப் வபானது.

In 1982, I came to Chennai all alone. In 1986, I was let alone


in penury. All relationship got disconnected.
1989 வருடம் தனிைாக சுை முைற்ெிைில் கல்ைாணம்
செய்து சகாண்டு வாழ்வுப் பைணம் வளமுடன் சதாடங்க,
அற்ற குளத்து அறுநீர்பறதவகள், குளிர்ந்த வொதலைில்
குளிர் காை வந்தன.

In 1989, in my own efforts, I got married. Life started again


with prosperity. Like the birds who leave the dry waterbodies, and
comeback in cool garden, the relatives association came back.
குற்றம் பார்க்கின் சுற்றம் இல்தலசைன, என் அன்பு
மதனவிைின் அருதம விருந்வதாம்பலுடன், என்னுதடை
வடு
ீ எப்வபாதும் உறவினர் வந்து உதறவிடம் ஆனது.

If we find mistakes, we will never enjoy friends and family.


This is popular old saying in Tamil. My lovely wife treated all relatives
with good hospitality. My house was always with relatives.
1999 வருடம் உலக சபாருளாதார சநருக்கடி,
இந்திைாதவ தாக்கி என்தனயும் தாக்கிைது. சொந்த
நாட்டிவல அகதிகள் ஆன இலங்தக தமிழர் வபால, உற்றார்
உறவினர் இருந்தும் அனாதத வபால ஆவனன்.

In 1999, the word recession, hit India and then me. Like the
Srilankan Tamils who became destitudes in their own homeland,
despite having friends and relatives, I became like orphan.

15
First Night in New York

2002 வருடம், வம மாதம் 23 வததி (என் அம்மா இறந்த


நாள்) வாழ்க்தக பைணம் மறு பிறப்சபடுத்தது.

In 2002, May 23 (The day my mother passed away), my life


journey took a rebirth.

'ஒண்ணுமில்லாதவன்' என இழிவுடன் அதழக்கப்


பட்ட நான், அந்த அதடசமாழி ஏற்றுக் சகாண்வடன்.
இப்வபாதும் அதத என் அதடைாளமாக ெமூக வதல
தளங்களில் பைன் படுத்துகிவறன்.

Earlier, I was called a ‘Man with nothing’, because I did not


own any real estate property. I accepted that. And use that even now
as my pen name in social media.

2003 தீபாவளி. மிகுந்த ெிரமப்பட்டு, முதல் வெிப்பிடம்


வாங்கிவனன். ஆறுதல் சொல்லவவா, ஆனந்தம்
சகாள்ளவவா ஆட்கள் இல்தல. அன்பு உறவினருக்கு
அதிர்ச்ெி, ஆச்ெரிைம், ஆதங்கம். கஷ்டமான கால கட்டத்தில்
இருந்து மீ ண்டு வந்து விட்வடன் என்பது உறுதிைானது.

In 2003, Diwali time, with great difficulty, I purchased my first


residence. No one gave solace or happiness. They were shocked,
wondered, pondered. They made it sure, that I have come back from
my worst time.
உறவினர் வந்து
உதறவிட சதாடங்கினர்.
பலரும் வந்து
பாராட்ட சதாடங்கினர்.
மீ ண்டு வருவாய்,
மீ ண்டும் வருவாய்,
ததடகதள எல்லாம்
தாண்டி குதிப்பாய்,
உைர்விதன கண்டு
உன்னதம் சகாண்வடாம்!
என பாராட்டி, வந்து வபாகும் வாடிக்தகைாளர்கள் வலம் வர
சதாடங்கினர்.
Navnit Narayanan

Relatives started coming and living with us. They appreciated


us. You will cross all obstacles, you will come back successfully, we
are happy with your development. They declared.

என் அக்கா மகள் வதவிைின் ெடங்கு.


Just before wedding, my sister’s daughter’s function.
பல வருடம் கழித்து அக்கா வட்டுக்குள் ீ அடி எடுத்து
தவத்வதன். உள்வள நுதழந்ததும் உடனடிைாக ரூபாய் 30000
தூக்கி சகாடுத்து, வவண்டிைன வாங்க சொன்வனன். தங்கத்தில்
ஒரு தரமான கழுத்தணி வாங்கினர்.
After several years, I enter the house of my sister. Immediately
upon entering I gave Rs. 30,000/- and asked them to buy something
in Gold. They purchased a Golden necklace.
மாதலைில் ெடங்கு.
Ceremony was in evening.
ஒரு சபண்ணின் ெடங்தக நான் அதன் முன்
அருகிருந்து பார்த்ததில்தல. கிழவன் ஒருவதன
(அவர்களுக்கு வவண்டப்பட்ட வட்டு
ீ சபரிை மனிதனாய்
இருக்கலாம்) நாற்காலிைில் உட்கார தவத்தனர். (கிடப்பது
கிடக்கட்டும், கிழவதன தூக்கி மரவதணைில் தவ! என்பது
இதுதான் வபால). உறவுக்கார சபண்கள் சுற்றி இருக்க
ொத்திர ெம்பிரதாைங்கள் நடந்தன. நான் மகிழ்வுடன் ஏவதா
தநைாடல் சகாண்டிருந்வதன்.
It is first time in my life, I watch such ceremony sitting nearby.
An old man was made to sit in a chair. Maybe he is known to my sister
family. There is a Tamil saying, ‘Let things be, make the old man sit in
proper seat!’. Relative females doing various ceremonies. I was happily
making some small talks.
திடீசரன, என்தன பார்த்து, உைரிை குரலில்
கிழவனின் கட்டதள. "தாய் மாமன் அப்படின்னு
சொல்லிக்கிட்டு சும்மா இருந்தா பத்தாது. அக்கா
சபாண்ணுக்கு செய்ை வவண்டிைன செய்ைணும்" என்றான்.
Suddenly the old man, looked at me and shouted. “You cannot
sit idle, claiming to be Maternal Uncle, you need to do what is
required!’.
17
First Night in New York

எனக்கு ஆச்ெர்ைம் மற்றும் வகாபம்.


'வட்டுக்குள்வள
ீ நுதழந்தவுடன் ரூபாய் 30000 தூக்கி
சகாடுத்து, தங்கத்தில் ஒரு தரமான கழுத்தணி வாங்க
சொல்லி அதன் பின் தான் குளிைலதற சென்வறன்! இது
சதரிைாதா? நான் தாய் மாமன். நீ ைார்?' என்வறன்!
I got surprised and became Angry. Immediately upon entering
the house, I gave Rs. 30,000/- to buy required things and then only
entered bath room. I am maternal uncle. Who are you? I asked the
Oldman.
முற்றத்தில் முழுதமைான அதமதி. பின்னர்
சதரிந்து சகாண்வடன். 'நான் ஒன்றுக்கும் ஆகாத
உதவாக்கதர. ஓெிைில் வந்து ொப்பிட்டு வபாவவன்.
ைாருக்கும் எதுவும் செய்ை மாட்வடன். வாய் கிழிை
நக்கலாக வபசுவவன்!' என்பது வபால என்தன பற்றி
தங்கதள அறிந்வதார் மத்திைில் சொல்லி
தவத்திருக்கிறார்கள் என்பதத.
Total silence in the hall. I later came to know. I was projected
to all of them as useless fellow. I do nothing to anybody. I come empty
handed, eat free food, and talk nonsense, nothing else. And it is how
I was made to be known amongst their known people.
Navnit Narayanan

PERIYARIST AND ME

சபரிைாரிைலும் நானும்...
Periyar (Big man by literal meaning), Ramasamy (Lord Rama)
by birth name is a popular atheist leader in India. He was highly critical
of Hinduism and practices. Those who adore and follow him were
called ‘Periyarist’ by themselves.
ெமூக வதலத்தளத்தில் ‘தமிழச்ெி’ என்ற சபைரில்
எழுதும் ‘யுமா’ என்ற சபண்தண பற்றி சதரிை வநரிட்டது...
‘சபரிைாரிைல்’ என்ற வார்த்தத பல இடங்களில்
சதன்பட்டது.
In social media, some female was writing frequently as
‘Tamilachi (Tamil Female)’ and her name seems ‘Yuma’. She was
frequently using the word ‘Periyarist’.
தன்னுதடை சபைர் ‘யுமா’ இந்த சபண்ணின் சபைர்
‘உமா’ இருக்கலாம்.
Her actual name could be ‘Uma’, a popular Hindu Goddess
Name. Living in France, she is being called ‘Yuma’ is correct as a
French pronunciation.
இந்த சபண், ஈழ விடுததல ஆதரவு, சபண் இன
விடுததல, இந்து மத சவறுப்பு, தீண்டாதம அழிப்பு, சுை
மரிைாதத, ஆகிை கருத்துகளின் பிரதி பலிப்பாக
காணப்படுகிறார். உருவ வழிபாட்தட வகவலமாக
நிதனக்கிறார்.
She reflects, Support to Tamil Eelam, Liberation of Women
from Men domination, Hatred towards Hinduism, Eradication of
untouchability, Self-respect, and such ideologies. She considers Idol
worship and a cheap and lowly practice.
எதிரிக்கு எதிரி நண்பன் என்பார்கள். ஈழ விடுததல
என்ற சபாதுக் கருத்தில், அந்த வபாராட்டத்தின் எல்லா
காலகட்டத்திலும், எல்லா இடங்களிலும், எதிரிதை
வழ்த்துவதத
ீ விட, தங்களுக்கு உள்வளவை ெண்தட
வபாடுவது, வகவலப் படுத்துவது, காட்டிக் சகாடுப்பது
அதிகம்.

19
First Night in New York

Enemy’s Enemy is friend. At all times, in the war to achieve


Tamil Eelam, instead of fighting the common enemy, more energy
was spent to fight amongst themselves, insult each other’s, betray each
other.
‘நான் ஒரு இந்து என்று சொல்ல சபருதமப்
படுகிவறன்!’ என்று சொன்னால், இந்த சபண்ணுக்கு
பிடிக்காமல் வபாய் விடும்.
If I declare, ‘I am proud to be Hindu’, this female will hate me.
Because she is hating Hinduism practice and principles.
‘சபரிைார் திராவிட கழக வதாழர்கதள எனக்கு
பிடிக்கும்!’ என்றால், என்தன ஒரு பச்வொந்தி பட்டிைலில்
வெர்த்து விடுவார்.
If I declare, ‘I like friends in Periyarist movement’, she will
treat me as chameleon.
‘ஸ்ரீ ரங்கநாததர பிளந்து விடு!’ என்ற கவிதத என்
சநஞ்தெ பிளப்பது வபால உள்ளது..
Her lyrics, ‘break the idol of Lord Ranganatha’ is so painful to
me, I feel like my heart is broken violently with a chisel.
‘சபரிைாரிைல்’என்றால் என்ன?
What is ‘Periyarist’?
‘ராமொமி’என்ற சபைர் பதடத்த ஒரு தனி மனிதன்.
வகாவில் தர்மகர்த்தா மகன். பணக்காரன். தன் உச்ெ வாலிப
வைதில் (26?) காெிக்கு வபாகிறான். அங்வக அவனுதடை
எல்லா உடதமயும் திருடப் படுகிறது.
The individual, ‘Ramasamy’, a rich man, son of benevolent
Temple care taken, in his prime age (26?) goes to ‘Kasi’, the holy city
of Hindus. As he takes bath in Holy river Ganges, all his belongings
are stolen.
ஒட்டுக் வகாவனம். வைிற்றில் பெி. சமாழி சதரிைாத
ஊர். பிட்தெ எடுக்கவும் முடிைவில்தல.
Just a Loin cloth. Hungry stomach. Language unknown place.
Difficult to beg also.
அப்வபாது ஒரு விருந்து. இவன் சமாழி (தமிழ்)
அறிந்த அந்தணர்கள் நடத்துகிறார்கள். அது, மூதாதைர்கதள
Navnit Narayanan

நிதனத்து அவர்கள் பதடைல் இடும் விருந்து. அவனுக்கு


அங்வக உணவு கிதடக்க வில்தல.
There is a feast. By his language people. Brahmins. In memory
of their elders and departed souls. This hungry man with just a loin
cloth, could not get food there.
தூக்கி எறிைப்பட்ட எச்ெில் இதலைில் இருந்த
உணதவ, நாய்களுக்கும், பிச்தெக் காரர்களுக்கும்
வபாட்டிைாக இருந்து ொப்பிட வவண்டிை அவலம்.
He was made to eat from dustbin the thrown food, amidst
dogs and beggars.
இது அந்த இதளஞனின் மனதில் ஆழ்ந்த ெிந்ததன
மற்றும் சவறுப்தப தூண்டிைது. புதிை ெித்தாந்தங்கள்
வதான்றின. ‘கடவுள் மறுப்பு, பார்பன சவறுப்பு, ஜாதி ஒழிப்பு’
இவற்தற அடித் தளமாகவும், ‘சபண் விடுததல, மூட
நம்பிக்தக எதிர்ப்பு, சுை மரிைாதத’ இவற்தற
தூண்களாகவும் எழுப்பப்பட்ட அந்த கட்டிடத்தத
‘சபரிைாரிைல்’ எனலாம்.
The youth went through deep thinking and hatred. New
principles formed. Denying the existence of God, Hatred towards
Brahmins, eradication of caste system, are the foundation. Liberation
of Women from Men domination, Self-respect, eradication of foolish
belief and ritual are pillars. Such a building can be called ‘Periyarist’.
அந்த ‘சபரிைாரிைல்’ கட்டிடத்தில்
அதடக்கலாமானவர் பலர். நிரந்தரமாக தங்குபவர்கதள
ெிலர். அந்த பக்கம் எட்டிக் கூட பார்க்காதவர்கள் பலர்.
Many people took shelter in that ‘Periyarist’ building. Some
people permanently. Some people never went that side.
எனக்கு சதரிை, கடவுள் மறுப்பு என்பது ஒரு
இைல்பான அறிவுொர் உணர்வு. அது ெில ெமைம்
தன்னிம்பிக்தகைின் சவளிப்பாடு. எனவவ கடவுள் இல்தல
என்று சொல்லுபவர்கதள நட்புடன், நம்பிக்தகயுடன்,
புன்னதகவைாடு தக வகார்த்து இதணந்து செைல் படுவது
நலம்.

21
First Night in New York

To my knowledge and belief, ‘denying the existence of God’


is a knowledge-based feeling. It is exposition of self-confidence. So, if
someone denies God, we should smile at them, befriend them, shake
hands with confidence and work together.
கடவுள் ஏற்பு என்பது, அனுபவம் ொர்ந்த ஒன்று. அது
சபரும்பாலும் தனி மனித விஷைமாகி விடுகிறது.
Accepting God is based on experience. Mostly a personal
feeling and belief.
கடவுள் மறுப்பு என்ற இைல்பான அறிவுொர் உணர்வு,
தன்னிம்பிக்தகைின் சவளிப்பாடு ெிறு வைது முதல் எனக்கு
இருந்தது. ஜாதி ஒழிப்பு, மூட நம்பிக்தக எதிர்ப்பு
என்சறன்றும் உள்ளது.
The knowledge-based feeling of ‘denying existence of God’,
and reflection of self-confidence, was there in me from my small age.
Eradication of caste system and foolish belief and rituals is there in me
at all time.
எனவவ, அந்த ‘சபரிைாரிைல்’ கட்டிடத்தில் நானும்
ெில காலம் தங்கி இருந்வதன். நிதனத்தாவல மகிழ்ச்ெி.
ஆனால், நிரந்தரமாக தங்க முடிைவில்தல.
So, I stayed in that building ‘Periyarist’ for some time. It was
happy memory. But I could not stay permanently.
பார்பனர்கள் சூழ்ச்ெிக்காரர்கள். இருக்கட்டும். அதத
தவிர வவறு ஆயுதம் அவர்களுக்கு இல்தலவை! நம்வமாடு
உண்டு, உறங்கி, சமாழி வபெி, பழகி, நைவமாடு இருந்த
அவர்கதள, பிறப்பின் அடிப்பதடைில் நாம் தள்ளி
தவத்தால், ெிங்களவர்கள் தமிழர்களுக்கு செய்தததத்
தாவன நாம் அவர்களுக்கு செய்கிவறாம். இது என்ன
நிைாைம்?
Brahmins are cunning. Let it be. But they have no other
weapon. They ate with us, slept with us, speak our language. They are
friendly and nice. If we distinguish them, based on birth, we do the
same thing, what Singhalese doing to Tamils. How can it be correct &
Justified?
விடுததல புலிகள், ஈழ தமிழர்கள், சபரும்பாலும்
இந்துக்கள். இந்து பழக்கம் சநருங்கி உருவ வழிபாடு
Navnit Narayanan

நடத்தும் வராமன் கத்வதாலிக்க கிருஸ்தவர்கள். அவர்கள்


சபரும்பாலும் கடவுள் மறுப்பாளர்கள் அல்ல.
Liberation Tigers, Eelam Tamils are mostly Hindus. Or
Roman Catholics who practice another form of idol worship. Mostly
they are not atheists.
ஆனால், ஒரு இன விடுததல வபார் அங்வக நடக்கும்
சபாது, கடவுள் மறுப்பு என்ற இைல்பான அறிவுொர் உணர்வு
மற்றும் தன்னிம்பிக்தகைின் சவளிப்பாடு சகாண்ட, கடவுள்
மறுப்பர்களிடம் இருந்து தான், அவர்களுக்கு முதல் ஆதரவு
கிதடத்தது. கடவுள் மறுப்பர்களிடம் இருந்து, அவர்களுக்கு
கிதடத்த முதல் ஆதரவு, அதுவவ காரணமாகி,
சபரும்பான்தம மக்களிடம் இருந்து அவர்கதள பிரித்தது.
When there is freedom movement by oppressed the first
support naturally comes from rationalistic, self-confident people who
are atheists. The very same first support, become a reason for majority
people to keep away from such freedom movements.
ஈழ விடுததல ஆதரவு என்ற எந்த ஒரு இைக்கம்
இருந்தாலும், அங்வக, கடவுள் மறுப்பாளர்கள் முக்கிை
நபர்கள் ஆகி விடுகின்றனர்.
If there is any movement for Tamil Eelam liberation support,
these atheists appear before and become significant.
எனவவ, தமக்காக இல்லாவிட்டாலும், நமக்காக
இல்லாவிட்டாலும், ஈழ விடுததல என்ற சபாது அவெர
அவெிை நிதலக்காக, ெராெரி சபாதுமக்கள் ஆதரவு சபருகும்
விதத்தில், ஈழ விடுததல ஆதரவு இைக்கங்கதள
வகாைில்கள், மசூதிகள், ெர்ச்சுகள், மற்றும் அதவ ொர்ந்த
ெங்கங்கள் திருவிழாக்கள் வழிபாட்டு முதறகளுக்கு எடுத்து
செல்ல வவண்டும்.
So, if not for themselves, if not for ourselves, at least for the
sake of Tamil Eelam liberation, which is common objective, urgent
objective, necessary objective, to get the support of common popular
masses, we should take the Eelam liberation movement into temple
festivals, Church functions, Mosques meetings, related institutions,
body of individuals, festivals, ritual places.

23
First Night in New York

THIS IS JUST FIRST STEP...


இது முதல் படி தான்.

ததல குனிந்து கரத்திதன படிைினில் தவத்து


வணங்கிவனன்!
I bow my head, place my hands in stone steps and pray!
திருத்தணி முருகன் தரிெனம் காண, படி ஏறுகிவறன்!
கந்தகுமாருக்கு நன்றி. பவராடா வங்கிைின் காந்திமதி
அம்தமைாருக்கு நன்றி.
தத பூெம், மாெி மகம், தவகாெி விொகம், என முருகனுக்கு
பல விவெஷங்கள். ஆடி கிருத்திதக ஒன்று.
To have the Darshan of Lord Murugan of Tiruthani, I am
climbing the steps. Thank you Kandakumar. Thank you,
Mrs.Kanthimathi of Bank of Baroda. Thai Poosam, Maasi magam,
Vaikasi Visakam, … many festivities for Lord Murugan. Aadi
Kiruthikai is one of them.
நான் ஒரு மிகப்சபரிை முருக பக்தன் அல்ல. ஆரிை
மாதைைிவல பல்லாண்டு ெிக்கி தவித்த மக்கதள மீ ட்க
வந்ததாக சொல்லப்பட்ட திராவிட மாதைைிவல
ெிக்குண்டவன் நான்.
I am not a great devotee of Lord Murugan. I was imprisoned
in Dravidian fancies, that claimed to get people out of Aryan Fancies.
எனவவ ெிறு வைது முதவல எனக்கு கடவுள் மறுப்பு
சகாள்தக இருந்தது. ஆனால் ஒரு வித்திைாெம். நான்
கடவுள் மறுப்பு சகாள்தக சகாண்டிருந்தாலும், நான் ஒரு
இந்து என மனபூர்வமாக நம்பிவனன்.
From small age, I was atheist. But with a difference. Though I
was an atheist, I firmly and consciously believed, I am a Hindu.
மதம் என்பது கட்டாைமாக்கப்பட்ட ஒன்றாக
இருக்கும் சபாது, (மத ொர்பில்லதாவர்கள் என்று
சொல்லிக்சகாள்ளும் தங்கதள ஒன்வறாடு ஒன்றாக
இதணத்து காட்டி, அவர்களும் ஒரு குழுவாகத்தாவன
இருக்கிறார்கள்) இந்து மதம் தான் ெகல சுதந்திரமுள்ளது.
Navnit Narayanan

When religion is compulsory by practical aspects, even self-


declared secularists join, form a group, and behave in a passion. That
way, Hindu religion is the most liberal, transforming, self-adjusting
religion that encompasses in it itself all the natural principles of justice,
harmony, and development.
இது முதல் படி தான். திருத்தணி முருகன்
வகாைிலில் 365 படிகள் உண்டு என்று பின்னர் சதரிந்து
சகாண்வடன்.
This is my first step. The temple of Tiruthani Murugan has
365 steps, representing as many days in a year. This I came to know
later.
அருகன் என்பவத மறுவி முருகன் ஆைிற்று. ஷ்ரவன்
என்பவத ெரவணன் ஆைிற்று என்று நான் இப்வபாதும்
நம்புகிவறன்.
‘Aruga’ became ‘Murugan’. ‘Shravan’ became ‘Saravanan’. I
believe in it even now. Aruga and Shravan are names of Jainism
Creator.
தெவ ெமண ெமைங்கள் உக்கிரமாக வமாதிக்சகாண்ட
காலகட்டம், இந்திைாவில், குறிப்பாக தமிழகத்தில் உண்டு.
There had been a period in India, especially in Tamilnadu,
when fierce fights took place between Saivites and Vaishnavism.
ஈஸ்வரதன, பரமெிவதன, தகலாை நாததன, லிங்க
வழிபாட்தட மூலமாக சகாண்டது தெவ ெமைம்.
‘Saivites’ is based on Lord Shiva, also known as Easwar,
Parmeshwar, Lord of Kailash, worship of Lingaa.
கிருஷ்ணதன, விஷ்ணுதவ, நாராைணதன
மூலமாக சகாண்டது ‘தவணவ ெமைம்’.
Vaishnavism’ is based on Lord Krishna, Vishnu, Narayana, all
the same for the same.
கடவுள் மறுப்தப மூலமாக சகாண்டது ெமணம்.
Jainism is based on Atheism. Denial of existence of God.
அஹிம்தெதை, அதனவரும் ெமம் என்ற கருத்தத
மூலமாக சகாண்ட சபௌத்தம் வட இந்திைாவில்
வதான்றினாலும், இந்திைாதவ விட பிற நாடுகளிவலவை
பரவிைது.
25
First Night in New York

The Buddhism, based on non-violence, all are equal though


took birth in India, it spread more to other countries.
இந்து மதம் என்று தனிைாக ஒன்று இல்தல.
So, there is no specific religion known as ‘Hinduism’.
வமற்கண்ட தெவ, தவணவ, ெமண, சபௌத்த மத
கருத்துக்களின் ொராம்ெமாகவும், அவ்வப்வபாது நிகழும்
அறிவிைல் கருத்துகதள உள்வாங்கியும், முந்ததப்
பழதமக்கும், முந்ததப் பழதம, பிந்ததப் புதுதமக்கும்
பிந்தத புதுதம என, பிறப்சபாக்கும் எல்லா உைிர்க்கும்,
ெர்வஜன சுகிவனாபவந்து (அதனத்து ஜீவ ராெிகளும் சுகமாக
இருக்கட்டும்) என்ற உன்னத வநாக்கங்கதள அடிப்பதடைாக
சகாண்டது இந்து மதம்.
The comprised essence of tenets of Saivites, Vaishnavism,
Jainism, Buddhism, and adapting to the contemporary science-based
happenings, remaining oldest of old and newest of new belief and
practices, with the principle of all living creatures (not just human
beings) are equal, let all be happy and prosperous are the high ideals
of Hindu religion.
அத்ததகை உன்னத மார்க்கம், ெமண ெமை
அடிவழிைில் வந்த முருக வழிபாட்தட சுதவைான
கததகள் மூலமும், சுவாரஸ்ைமான உறவுகள் மூலமும்
(பரமெிவனுக்கு பிள்தள, நாராைணனுக்கு மருமகன்
ஆனாவர முருகப் சபருமான்!) உள்ளடக்கிக்சகாண்டது
இைற்தகைானதுதான்.
It is natural that such a great Hindu religion, created tasteful
stories giving human like relationship between Lord Murugan based
on Jainism, depicting him as son of Lord Shiva of Saivites and Nephew
of Lord Vishnu of Vaishnavism.
ெில மாதங்களுக்கு முன், இந்திைன் வங்கிைில்
பணிபுரிந்த வகாமான் ஒருவர் என்தன ெந்தித்தார். இந்து
மதத்தில் வமல் தனக்கு நல்ல பற்று உள்ளதாகவும்,
ஆனாலும், மற்றவர்கள், இந்த மார்கத்தில் உள்ள மூட
நம்பிக்தககதள வகலிவைா, விமர்ெிப்வபா செய்யும் வபாது
பதிலளிக்க இைலவில்தல என்றும் சதரிவித்தார்
Navnit Narayanan

Few months back, a Gentleman who served as officer of


Indian Bank met me. He told me that, he firmly believes in Hinduism.
But when others criticize and ridicule the belief and practices in
Hinduism, he finds it difficult to answer.
“தற்வபாது அதிகம் விரும்பும் பாடமாக ‘விைாபார
வமலாண்தம’ (MBA) பாடத்திட்டம் இருக்கிறது. ொதாரண
கல்வி வழிைில் அது, ெட்டம், கணிதம், கணக்கு,
புள்ளிைிைல், வமலாண்தம (law, maths, accountancy, statistics,
administration) என விரிந்து கிடக்கிறது. உலக புகழ் சபற்ற
கல்வி நிறுவனங்களில் இததன, கததகவளாடும்,
விதளைாட்டுடனும் இதணத்து சுவாரஸ்ைமாக
தருகின்றனர். அத்ததகை நிறுவனங்களில் படித்வதாருக்கு
மிக உைரிை ெம்பளத்வதாடு கூடிை வவதல கிதடக்கிறது.
I told him. MBA, Master of Business Administration is a
sought-after course in higher education. In world ranked top
institutions, MBA is thought with Games, Stories, and entertainment.
In small less popular institutions, they are mathematics, accountancy,
company law, etc.
இததன புரிைாதவர்கள், அத்ததகை கல்வி
நிறுவனத்தில் கததயும் களிப்பாட்டமுமாக உள்ளது என்று
கருதுவர். அதத வபால தான் இந்து மதமும் என்று
சொல்லுங்கள்” என்று சொன்வனன்.
Those who do not understand will call such top-notch
institutions as places of playful and meaningless nonsense. Same way,
those who do not understand Hinduism, call it nonsense and ridicule.
‘ஆஹா, நல்ல கருத்து கூறின ீர்கள்’ என்று அவர்
மகிழ்வுடன் ஏற்றுசகாண்டார்.
He happily accepted my explanations and promised to reply
critics.
இது முதல் படி தான். முதல் படிதை சதாட்டு
வணங்கும் வபாவத இவ்வளவு ெிந்ததனகள்.
This is my first step. As I touch the first step and pray, so many
thoughts.
பல படிகதள தாண்டி மதலவமல் முருகன்
வகாவிலில் நான் மடப்பள்ளி கண்வடன். தவணவ
27
First Night in New York

வகாைில்களில் மட்டுவம மடப்பள்ளி இருக்கும் என்று எனது


அரும்பாக்கம் நண்பர் ஸ்ரீதர் வாதிட்டது நிதனவுக்கு வந்தது.
After climbing several steps, I found, ‘Madapalli’, holy kitchen
of Hindu temples. My Arumbakkam friend Mr. Shridhar was arguing
with me that only Vaishnavism temple will have Madapalli.
எதனைாட்சகாண்ட முருகசபருமான் நான் முழு
நாத்திகனாக இருந்த கால கட்டத்திவலவை, வள்ளி
சதய்வாதன சபருமாட்டிகளுடன் மடப்பள்ளிைில் வதான்றி
எனக்கு திவ்ை தரிெனம் சகாடுத்த காட்ெி நிதனவுக்கு
வந்தது.
I recollected. The omni present Lord Murugan who enslaved
me, gave Holi darshan to me with both his wives, Divine mothers,
great Valli and Deivanai, in Madapalli, even as I was an atheist in those
days.
‘தமிழ் எங்கள் உைிருக்கு வநர்’ என்று பாவவந்தர்
பாடினார். ‘முருகன் என்றால் தமிழ்’ என்று தமிழ் மூதாட்டி
கூறினார். இருவரும் வநர் மாறுபட்ட கருத்துதடைவர்கள்.
‘Tamil is equal to our life and breath’ declared atheist poet
Bharathidasan. ‘Murugan means Tamil’ said, great grand lady Tamil
Poet, Avvaiyaar. Both are dynamically in opposite camps. One is
atheist. Other is Devoted to Lord Murugan in entire life.
ஆனாலும், முதன் முதலாக, இதணைதளத்தில்,
தமிழ் தட்டச்சு செய்யும் வெதிதை (கூகிள் நிறுவனத்துக்கு
மனமார்ந்த நன்றி!) சபற்ற வபாது, எனக்கு, தற்செைலாக
‘இது முதல் படி தான்!’ என தடப் செய்ை வதான்றிைது.
Google introduced Tamil typing facility in Internet. Thank
you, Google. When I started typing, it inadvertently came to me to
type, ‘this is first step’ in Tamil.
ஆங்கிலம் கலக்காமல் தூை தமிழில் என்னால் தடப்
செய்ை இைலும். I can type in pure Tamil without mixing English.
ஆங்கிலம் கலந்து தமிழில் எழுதுவதத, வபசுவதத வகலி
செய்யும் நதர திதர நுதர கண்ட ‘சபரிசு’கதள
பார்த்திருக்கிவறன்.
I have seen old men with white hairs and white large
moustaches, who ridicule those mix English with Tamil.
Navnit Narayanan

ெரிைான படிப்பு வராததால், தமிழ் பைின்று, உரிை


முைற்ெிைின்றி வாழ்வில் முன்வனறாத அந்த ‘சபரிசு’கதள
மற்றவர்கள் ‘ஐைா, ஐைா!’ என்று அதழப்பதத
கவனித்திருக்கிவறன்.
Unable to study well, they generally chose Tamil, never took
great efforts for development, but others call these old men with
respectful adjectives.
எனக்கு அவர்கதள பற்றி கவதல இல்தல. ‘இது
முதல் படி தான்!’ என்றவுடன் முருகன் எதன
ஆட்சகாண்டான். அவனருளாவல, அவன் தாழ் வணங்கி,
நான் கண்ட கனவிதன எனது நண்பர்களான உங்களுக்கு
ெமர்பிக்கின்வறன்.
I am not bothered at such people. As I typed, ‘This is my first
step!’ in Tamil, Lord Murugan embraced me. With His divine
blessings, worshiping his feet, I submit my dreams you, my dear
friends!

29
First Night in New York

PAPPAD
அப்பளம்
Appalam is a popular side dish in India having various versions. In
north India It is papad. In Kerala it is burnt. In Tamilnadu it is fried
in oil. In traditional lunch it is almost a necessary accompaniment.
ெக ஊழிைர்கவளாடு மதிை உணவகம் சென்வறன்.
ெங்கீ தா உணவகம். நாலு வபருக்கும் ‘ொப்பாடு’ ஆர்டர்
செய்துவிட்டு தககழுவ சென்வறன். திரும்ப வந்த வபாது,
வடபிளில் தட்டு ொப்பாடு தைார்! முதலாவதாக அப்பளம்
எடுத்து கடிக்க சதாடங்கிவனன். ‘கிளுக்’ என மற்ற மூவரும்
ெிரித்தனர்.
I went with my colleagues to Sangita Veg Restaurant. Ordered
lunch for 4 and went for hand wash. Coming back the food was ready
on the table. I took ‘Appalam’ first and started biting it. Other
colleagues started laughing.
‘வாய்துடுக்கு’ யுவராணி அப்வபாதுதான் சொல்லி
இருந்தாளாம், ‘ொர் வந்த உடவன, அப்பளம் தான் முதலில்
கடிப்பார்!’ என்று.
இப்வபாது அதத ஏன் என்று சொல்லவவண்டிை
கட்டாைம் ஏற்பட்டு விட்டது.
It seems the talkative Uvarani, my main staff in those days
informed others just then, ‘Once coming back from hand wash, Sir
will first bite the ‘Appalam’!’. How and why that practice came to me,
it is time to tell the secret.
Navnit Narayanan

“I DON’T WANT SEE ANOTHER INDIAN”

“I DON’T WANT SEE ANOTHER INDIAN”


*Mr. Peter Packianathan said, referring to his Chinese wife
statement. She preferred to stay at hotel room instead of
accompanying him to meet me, just another Indian.
Mr. Peter Packianathan invested in a large commercial space
in Chennai, hoping to get good rental income and increase in his
investment value. He got neither. The high maintenance charges in
that huge commercial plaza were eating away his investment. He was
desperate to sell or let-out that commercial premises. Not much
takers.
I was a reluctant enquirer. I was generally hesitant to deal with
Non-Resident Indians or with people of similar profile. Trying to be
too cautious, they give little room for manoeuvrability in negotiations
and mostly end up getting cheated by some sweet talkers and return
home with bitter memories and a vow not to comeback to India.
It is not that I made a great and irresistible offer to them. I
offered a sale price in which immediate advance was just 10% and
expected him to handover the property to me so that I can work out
some way to conclude the transaction in one-year time, else lose my
money.
Mr. Peter Packianathan elaborated number of his meetings
with several Indians who talk around several issues including ‘Vasthu’,
global and local economic scenario… what not, but not a realistic
approach to conclude a deal for his property. So, his Chinese wife,
who used to come with him for such business meetings lost interest
and hence said, “I DON’T WANT SEE ANOTHER INDIAN!”.
My meeting with Mr. Peter Packianathan ended in expected
lines. We parted with hesitant handshakes.
“I DON’TWANT SEE ANOTHER INDIAN!”. The
statement by his Chinese wife reverberated in my ears for some time.
My visits to Singapore and earlier interactions with Indians
/Tamils living there gave me information. The Chinese women like
31
First Night in New York

Indians /Tamils, and easily accept them for love and marriage. They
feel comfortable that the Indian husband will take care of the family
in a responsible way, remain loyal to them lifelong and will not desert
them easily.
So, this Chinese wife already found an Indian who married
her, taking care of family in a nice and responsible way, ‘need not see
another Indian’.
'We are planning to shift from Malaysia to Australia!', Mr.
Peter Packianathan declared, as his reason for intending to sell his
property in Chennai. "We don’t see much chance of coming back to
India and live here. My mother was great in Tamil. She said, our
ancestral home town is ‘Mannarkudi’. I don’t know, where it is and
how it is. I can read and speak Tamil. My Children can speak Tamil
but not read!" he continued.
As you shift to Australia, you will resemble a lot to the
Aborigines there. I thought.
It may be true, the Zulus of South Africa, The Aborigines of
Australia, The Gondus of Madhya Pradesh all look very similar to
Indians, particularly Tamils. As living evidences of the continent of
Lemuria.
But is this fair?
The first generation moved seeking green pastures. The
second generation remained used to luxuries of that greenery. The
third generation got disillusioned with the ancestors’ main land. The
fourth generation will become international orphans, minorities and
threatened species, margining towards extinction.
Enough is enough. Come back to the roots Non-Resident
Indians. Enjoy the dust, sweat, jealous. And start building a great
future …. Here also… Not just for you, but also to the society…the
society from where your forefathers embarked upon journey towards
success, the success to be brought back to homeland. Not to be left
get evaporated in unknown territories.
*Name changed to protect identity.
Navnit Narayanan

WHY PANDI CUMBUM?

Why Pandi Cumbum?


Sometime in April beginning I received information, my
brother Balakrishnan is abandoned near your home and is in serious
condition.
April 12, I received call from Andal (your wife, my elder
brother daughter) that she needs money to adjust the expenses to take
care of my brother. She asked Rs.2000/- I offered Rs.5000 that I will
pay in next 2 days, that I am visiting Cumbum.
April 14, Tamil New year day. I visited Cumbum. Gave
Rs.3000 to Andal. We all went to nearby temples. I had a look at
Balakrishnan. He was very weak. Unable to talk. With incoherent
words asked me to admit him to a local hospital.
You and me, both went and checked at hospital. Doctor was
not available. I requested you to try the possibility of admitting him in
the hospital and came to Chennai. After that from Chennai, whenever
I called, you never attended my call.
May 7. 2014 around 2 pm I received your call informing that
my brother Balakrishnan is dead. I immediately started to Cumbum. I
told you, I will reach Cumbum in late night. Kindly keep the body in
freezer box.
By a return call, your wife, Andal, emphatically informed that
no ceremony can be done. No Pandals. No freezer boxes. No waiting
for anybody. ----- Why? Because it is matrimonial alliance house. Body
should not be kept there.
By around 7 pm, even before I reached Trichy, on way to
Cumbum, I was told the body was cremated. You sent a Facebook
post. I thanked you. As the cremation is already done, and I was not
well, I overnight stayed in Trichy and came Cumbum morning. Visited
the crematorium came to your house.
As Andal declared previous day itself that her house is not
condolence place, I immediately left for a lodge and stayed there. I
accepted condolences from few relatives who visited me at hotel.
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First Night in New York

Same day night I left for Chennai. I did not inform you as per the
custom that in a condolence place, we don’t say, ‘see you’.
May 22, I called your number. You did not answer. I called
your wife. She went into arguments. I overheard you shouting about
me with rude and abusive language.
Why? Your wife Andal and her mother were also using rude
and abusive language. Understandable. Though not acceptable. May
23. I did ceremonies at Trichy. It seems you placed a Facebook post
and marked copies to Jeeva –Australia.
Your comments were read to me by your brother. In your
comment, you called me ‘scoundrel’. Why?
There is no reason for you to call me scoundrel. No reason to
be angry with me. Then Why?
Navnit Narayanan

BROTHER DIED!
என் அண்ணன் இறந்தான்!
My brother died!
வம 7. பள்ளிக்கல்வி பதிவின்படி என் பிறந்தநாள்.
முந்ததைதினத்தில் இருந்து மனம் வொர்வாக இருந்தது.
அலுவலகம் செல்ல வதான்றாமல் வட்டருகிவலவைதிரிந்து

சகாண்டு இருந்வதன். பகல் 1:56. அதமதிப்பட்ட அதலவபெி.
தற்செைல் கவனிப்பு. அண்ணன் இறந்தான் என்ற செய்தி
வந்தது.
May-7. My date of birth as per school records. It is very
common in those days; the school authorities will put a convenient
date themselves when admitting students. I felt depressed and dull
from previous day for reasons unknown to me. I felt like, not going
to office. Just spending time at home. 1:56 pm. My mobile was in
silence mode as usual. I just had a glance and found it was ringing. I
got the news, my immediate elder brother passed away in native place.
தானாகவவ கண்ணர்ீ வந்தது.
Tears started rolling down my cheeks.
ெில ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன் இவத வம மாதம் இவத
செய்தி. அண்ணன்இறந்தான்! தானாகவவ கண்ணர்ீ வந்தது.
ததலைதண நதனந்தது.
Few years back, same month of May. Same news. Elder
brother dead! In those days also tears rolled down my cheeks
automatically. Pillows became wet with uncontrolled tears pouring
down from my eyes.
தரணி வபாற்றும் தளபதிைாகி,
தமிழரின் முகவரிைாகி,
தன்னிகரில்லா ததலவனான பிரபாகரன்.
அண்ணன் இறந்தான்!
The most adored major general of Tamil Army, the address of
Tamils throughout the world, the leader unparalleled, chief of
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, was dead. My elder brother Dead.
இப்வபாவதா,
Now,

35
First Night in New York

தண்ணிைடித்து, தனித்து விடப்பட்டு,


தறுததல என்றசபைர் சூட்டப்பட்டு
ஆதரவின்றி அனாததைாக விடப்பட்ட
பாலகிருஷ்ணன். அண்ணன்இறந்தான்!
A drunkard, left alone, let alone, declared a scoundrel, left on
the streets as orphan, Balakrishnan, my elder brother became dead!
முன்னவன் இறந்தவபாது ஒரு இனவம
அனாததைான உணர்வு. உடன் பிறந்த அண்ணவன்
இறந்தவபாது அதனத்து உற்றவர் சுற்றவர் பாவங்கதள
அவன் தனிைாளாக, அனாததைாகசுமந்து சென்ற உணர்வு.
In earlier elder brother death, the entire Tamil race felt, left
orphaned. In the later elder brother death, I felt like, he carried the
sins of all immediate relatives and known people all alone, upon his
shoulders, and left this world.
1986 மற்றும் 1999 ஆண்டுகளில் நானும் ஏதிலிைாக
நடுத்சதருவில் அதலந்த நிதனவுகள். ததரிைமும்
ொமர்த்திைமும் ெமாளிக்க தவத்தன. மதுவின் வாதட
அறிைாததால் மூதள வவதல செய்தது. மீ ண்டு வந்வதன்.
மீ ண்டும் வந்வதன். இல்தலவைல் இவத நிதலதான்
எனக்கும் இருந்திருக்கும் என்ற எண்ணம் எழுந்த வபாது,
விம்மலும் விக்கலும் அதிகரித்தது.
In 1986 and 1999 I also wandered on the streets, with nothing
worthful in my possession. My memories went back to that period. I
was bold, intelligent, and managed the tough period. Since I did not
even know the smell of alcohol, I believe, my brain worked well. I
came back in life, like a phoenix. Had I not, I thought, the same
situation would have prevailed for me. The very thought increased my
sobs and sorrow.
சுடுகாட்டுக்கு சென்றவபாது முந்ததை தினவம,
மூன்வற வபர்அருகிருந்து சபண் மகவு சகாள்ளி தவக்க
தீக்கிதரைாகி திருநீறும் ஆகி விட்டான். சகாஞ்ெம் எடுத்து
சநற்றிைில் பூெிக் சகாண்வடன்.
When I went to the burial ground, previous day itself, funeral
pyre lighted by his daughter (a practice unusual in Hindu custom, no
one available to light the pyre at that time), his body was burnt, and
Navnit Narayanan

he became ashes. Holi ash. I took some Holi ash and applied in my
forehead.
அதனத்து உற்றவர் சுற்றவர் பாவங்கதள அவன்
தனிைாளாக, அனாததைாகசுமந்து சென்ற உணர்வு.
I felt again, he carried alone, the sins of near and dear, all alone
upon his shoulders.
தண்ணிைடித்து, தனித்து விடப்பட்டு, தறுததல
என்றசபைர் சூட்டப்பட்டு ஆதரவின்றி அனாததைாக
விடப்பட்ட பாலகிருஷ்ணன், என் அண்ணன் இறந்தான்!
A drunkard, left alone, let alone, declared a scoundrel, left on
the streets as orphan, Balakrishnan, my elder brother became dead!

37
First Night in New York

JAGGI VASUDEV

TiE CHENNAI– Jaggi Vasudev Program– Hotel President


19-06-2013. Today (19-06-2013) it was a program,
CONVERSATION WITH SATHGURU VASUDEV.
It was thinly attended meeting. When the video screening
happened around 7:45 pm, I counted 25 persons in the audience.
Earlier I bought a book from the stall when I was greeted with folded
hands by 2 smiling ladies. I only thought, If in Pro-E (Pro Eelam)
meetings, such a warm reception was given, it could have been lovely.
It appeared to be a simple conversation that took place
between CEO of a successful company (as others and himself
considers) with CEO of another successful spiritual organization (as
others and himself considers).
The business CEO was complimenting the spiritual CEO but
not vice versa. I always consider, simplicity takes the form of
arrogance. The arrogance is of declaring that they alone are correct
and no need for alternative thoughts.
One appreciative thing that I totally agreed with the Sat guru
(what does it mean?) is, Business Leaders and Political Leaders should
support each other and co-exist; Only when business entrepreneurs
are respected, the country will develop. It was a simple meet. Nice
venue. Nice food. Evening spent nicely. I was browsing through the
book that I purchased outside. It was supposed to be an introductory
book before embracing his spiritual guidance in total.
At one place, well within the first few pages, he said, 'Kill your
desires. ...... your wife, .... your children!' I was reading with confused
mind. Beginning from the paragraph again.
Hmm... May be some explanations are available elsewhere. I was not
satisfied with these wordings.
Long-time back I met a Sannyasin in real time. He blessed me
with all smile and love in first meeting. My Triplicane home neighbour
took me to him. When we came back, this neighbour told me, that,
Navnit Narayanan

this Sannyasin has lot of money, having published some book in USA.
Check with him if you need any investments for your business ideas.
I eagerly met the Sannyasin again. Same loving smile. I made
some explanations and elaborations. He became cautious. He
concluded the meeting with parting words, 'I withdraw my blessings!'.
I felt relieved.
I felt relieved, I did not partake in Juggi Vasudev program in
any significant way.

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First Night in New York

PUBLIC MEETING AFTER A LONG TIME


நிதறை நாள் கழித்து ஒரு சபாது கூட்டம்

நிதறை நாள் கழித்து ஒரு சபாது கூட்டம் வபாவனன்.


I went for a public meeting after a long time.
நாடு கடந்த தமிழீ ழ அரெின் சுதந்திர பிரகடன கருத்து
வகட்பு மற்றும் தமிழீ ழ சபண்கள்படும் பாடு பற்றிை ஆவண
படம் சவளிைீடு நிகழ்ச்ெி.
The transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, Declaration
of Independence, opinion seeking; And release of documentary on the
travails of womenfolk in Tamil Eelam. These were declared subjects.
வபராெிரிதை ெரசுவதி, அவர் தம் மகனாக பாவிக்கும்
ொத்தப்பன், வதாழர் திைாகு, ெீ மான், மனித வநை
ஜாபருல்லா, சகாளத்தூர் மணி ஆகிை, ஈழ விடுததல
சபருந்ததலகள்.
Professor Saraswathi, her son like Mr. Sathappan, one Mr.
Thiagu, leader of an emerging political outfit in support of Tamil
Eelam, Mr. Seeman, leader of another political outfit created for the
creation for Tamil Eelam, now successfully deviated from the main
agenda, Mr. Zafarulla, leader of a Muslim dominated political outfit,
Mr. Kolathur Mani, leader of breakaway group of main atheist
movement in Tamilnadu. These are big heads, in organisations
supposedly supporting formation of Tamil Eelam.
ஒரு ெிறிை சதருவிலிருந்த சபரிைகல்ைாண
மண்டபம். ததலகவளாடு வந்த சதாண்டர்- கதளயும்
வதாழர்கதளயும் தவிர சபாது மக்கள் அதிகம் இல்தல.
It was a small street with a relatively big marriage hall in a
congested middle-class area. Apart from these big heads, and folks
accompanying them, I did not find much public.
இந்திை சுதந்திர வபாராட்ட முன் நிகழ்வுகளில்,
வதெத்தந்தத மகாத்மா காந்தி கூட்டம் கூட்டிை வபாது,
நூற்றுக்கும் குதறவானவர்கள்கலந்து சகாண்டதாக படித்த
நிதனவு வந்து வபானது.
Navnit Narayanan

I have read, in India’s independence history, in freedom


struggle, in earliest meeting conducted by Mahatma Gandhi, less than
100 people participated.
உலக வரலாற்றின் முக்கிைமான நிகழ்வாக ஈழ
விடுததல அதமயும். இந்த கூட்டத்தில் பார்தவைாளனாக
இருந்தது பற்றி நான் சபருதம சகாள்வவன்.
When Tamil Eelam is formed, it will be an important occasion
in the history of the world. I may become proud having attended in
this meeting.
நான் தாமதமாகவும் நிதானமாகவும் கூட்டம்
சென்வறன். காண்பிக்க பட்ட ஆவணப் படம்
எதிர்பார்ப்புக்கும் கீ வழ இருந்தது. வபராெிரிதை ெரசுவதி
கூட்டம் நடத்திை விதம் பாங்காக இருந்தது.
Meeting started late and slow. The shown documentary was
less than expected standards. May be like my first book, getting
published now. But Professor Mrs. Saraswathi conducted the meeting
in an organised smart manner.
ெீ மான் வபெினார். வழக்கமான உணர்ச்ெி வெத்வதாடு,
இப்வபாது ஒரு சமருகு காணப்பட்டது. மார்க்கிஸ்ட்
கட்ெிைினருக்கு ரெிைாகாரன் சகாடுத்தால் விஷமும் ரெம்,
அசமரிக்கா சகாடுத்தால் ரெமும் விஷம் என்ற வார்த்தத
பிரவைாகம் நைமாக இருந்தது.
Mr. Seeman delivered his lecture. In usual way, full of
emotions and thrust. I could see some refinement in his public speech.
‘For the Marxist Communist Part in India, what is given by Russians,
even a poison is a health drink. And if given by Americans, even a
health drink is a poison’ was his remark.
ஈழ விடுததலக்கு இந்திைாவின் ஆதரவு
கட்டாைமான ஒன்று என்றநிதலப்பாடு, சுதந்திர தமிழீ ழம்
இந்திைாவுக்கு பலமான ஒன்று, பாரமான ஒன்று அல்ல
என்றநிதலப்பாடு நன்றாக இருந்தது.
Support of India for creation of Eelam is a necessity. The Free
Tamil Eelam will be a strength for India, not a burden.
கதடெிைாக சொதப்பி விட்டார். அன்டன் பாலெிங்கம்
எழுதிை வொஷலிெ தமிழீ ழம் என்ற நூல் வமதகு வதெிை
41
First Night in New York

ததலவரால் ஏற்றுக் சகாள்ளப்பட்டதால், இப்வபாததை


கருத்து வகட்பு அவெிைம்தானா என்ற வகள்வி எழுப்பினார்.
But finally, he confused. He raised the question. The book
‘Socialist Tamil Eelam’ written by ‘Anton Balasingam’ was accepted
by Leader of the nation, Hon’ble Prabhakaran. Then why is
referendum? He asked.
புலம் சபைர்ந்த தமிழீ ழ ததலவர்கள் நம்தம விட
பல மடங்கு ஆழமான, சதளிவான ெிந்ததன உதடைவர்கள்.
ெில ெமைம் முடிவு முக்கிைம். ெில ெமைம் பாதத
முக்கிைம். இது வபான்ற கருத்து வகட்பு, இதில ்தாய்
தமிழர் சபருமளவு கலந்து சகாள்வது, ெர்வவதெ
ெமுதாைத்தில் அவர்கதள ததல நிமிரதவக்கும். இதத
நானா அவருக்கு சொல்ல முடியும்?
How can I tell him, that the leaders of Tamil Eelam, settled
abroad, are more intelligent than us with clear thinking and vision?
Sometime decision is important. Sometime, the way in which the
decision is taken is important. By conducting these kinds of meetings
throughout the world, they get better recognition in the eye of the
world.
திைாகு எங்சகல்ஸ் கருத்து எடுத்துதரத்தார்.
வழதமைான கம்யூனிெ ெித்தாந்தம், தாக்கம் இன்னும்
உள்ளது.
Mr. Thiagu lectured about usual Engels, usual communist
principles. He is yet to come out of his readings from communist
literature that he used to for several years in Prison.
வார்த்ததகளில் சொல்வதாய் இருந்தால்,
இந்திைாவின் எல்லா கட்ெியும் கம்யூனிெம் அல்லது
வொெிைலிெம் தான். செைல்களில் சொல்வதாக இருந்தால்,
இந்திைாவின் மிக ஆழமான முதலாளித்துவ கட்ெி
கம்யூனிஸ்ட்டுகள் தான். அதனால்தான் எங்வகா இருக்கும்
‘வபாலிட்புவரா’ முடிதவ தவத்து, இங்கு இருக்கும்
கம்யூனிஸ்ட்டுகள் கூட ‘ஈழம் வததவ இல்தல’
என்கின்றனர்.
In my opinion, by words, constitution and byelaws, all political
parties in India are Socialist or communist based. By practice, the
Navnit Narayanan

worst capitalists are communists. Capitalists principles are deep rooted


in heart and body of communists. That’s why, the local communists
in Tamilnadu, abide by higher body decision of their party who are in
a faraway place, and declare, ‘Eelam’ is not a necessity.
சகாளத்தூர் மணி சமன்தமைாகவும்
தன்தமைாகவும்ப வபெினார். ஆனால் அவர் ஒருவரின்
பங்வகற்பு வபாதும், சவகு ஜனங்களாகிை ெராெரி இந்துக்கள்
பங்வகற்காமல் ஒதுங்கி விடுவர். ‘ஈழ விடுததல’ என்ற மிக
முக்கிை, அவெிை, அவெர நிதலக்காக வவண்டிைாவது,
அவர், அதத ஆதரிக்கும் இந்து மக்கள் கட்ெி வபான்வறாதர
வமதட ஏற்றி கவுரவிப்பது நல்லது.
Mr. Kolathur Mani, was soft and gentle. But being a face of
hardcore atheism in Tamilnadu, his single participation is enough,
majority public, who are theists will avoid attending these kinds of
meetings. For the sake of Tamil Eelam, he should openly support and
make leaders of parties like ‘Hindu People Party’, a support group for
Eelam, to participate in these meetings.
நான் சபரிதும் மதிக்கும் என் தாய் நாடு இந்திைா.
அதன் பிரதம மந்திரி எந்த கட்ெிைானாலும், என்
மரிைாததக்கு உரிைவர். அவ்வாவற முதல்மந்திரியும்.
ஆனால், ெட்டத்தின் முன்னாலும், சதய்வத்தின்
முன்னாலும் அதனவரும் ெமம். ஆகவவ, தன்னுதடை நட்பு
நாடான இலங்தகக்கு, வபாரின் வபாது பாதுகாப்பிற்காக
ஆயுதங்கள் வழங்கிைதாக சவளிப்பதடைாக ஒத்துக்
சகாண்ட, இந்த என் மரிைாததக்கு உரிை பிரதமரின் வமல
(Dr.Manmohan Singh), வபார்க் குற்ற வழக்கு பதிவு செய்து, அவர்
அளித்த வபட்டிகதள ஆதாரமாக காண்பித்து அவருக்கு
தண்டதன வாங்கிக் சகாடுப்பது பற்றி ஏன் ைாரும்
வபசுவதில்தல??
I respect my motherland, great country India. I respect the
Prime Minister of India, irrespective which political party that he was
from. Same way I respect the Chief Minister of my home state,
Tamilnadu. In front of law and in front of God, all are equal. So, Sri
Lanka, a declared friendly country of India, was supplied by India,
weapons during Eelam War. It was openly declared by former, then,
43
First Night in New York

Hon’ble Prime Minster of our country, Dr. Manmohan Singh. I have


personally seen his admissions to this effect in TV. It was a war
between two nations. One nation (Sri Lanka) was formally recognised
by member countries of United Nations. The other nation (Tamil
Eelam) was yet to be declared independence. War crime was admitted.
Why no one is talking about implicating or proceeding against Dr.
Manmohan Singh who openly declared to have given weapons to
crime committed party? Take the case of former Prime Minister
Hon’ble Rajiv Gandhi Assassination. In that case, Mr. Perarivalan was
sentenced to death, for the act of getting a 12 Volts battery to the
assassins, without even knowing, for what purpose he was asked to
get that battery. In another case, the Prime Minister of one country
had openly admitted having supplied weapons that were used to
exterminate and do mass killings and genocide. I wonder, why no one
is talking about this?
Navnit Narayanan

COW MOTHER, OUR FAMILY DEITY!


வகாமாதா, எங்கள் குல மாதா!

ெந்வதகவம இல்தல. வகாமாதா, எங்கள் குல மாதா


தான். என் வாழ்நாளில் சபரும் பகுதிதை நாத்திகனாக
கழித்த நான், பசுவிதன கண்டால், சதாட்டு வணங்குவவன்
என்று நிதனத்திருக்க மாட்வடன்.
No doubt, Cow is our family deity. Having been an atheist for
several years in my life, I would have never thought, I will touch and
worship Cow when I see.
1999 சதாடங்கி, 2002 வதர எனக்கு கடுதமைான
வொததன மற்றும் வவததன காலம் தான். நான் இஷ்டமாய்
வதடிக்சகாண்ட கஷ்டம். என்தன வழி நடத்தும் கனவுகள்
வந்து வபான கால கட்டமும் அதுதான்.
From 1999 to 2002, it was tough and painful period for me.
Difficulties were mostly sought after and received by me. That is the
period, that I had several surrealistic dreams that guide me.
அதில் ஒன்று என் சநருங்கிை உறவினர்கள் நிதறந்த
கனவு. அவர்தம் தனிமனித சுதந்திரம் பாதிக்கப்படும்
ஆதகைால், எனக்கு அந்த கனவு சதளிவான நிதனவாக
இருந்த வபாதும், தணிக்தக செய்து சவளிைிட வவண்டி
உள்ளது.
சவளியூர் சென்று திரும்புகிவறன், என் வட்தட

வநாக்கி. வபருந்து நிதலைம் அருகில் ெண்தட. என்
உறவினர்களுக்கு இதடவை. பலத்த வாக்குவாதம். என்ன
இவர்கள் இங்வக இருக்கிறார்கள்? என் வட்டுக்கு
ீ சென்று
என் மதனவி மக்களிடம் ஏவதனும் தகராறு
செய்திருப்பார்கவளா எண்ற அச்ெம் என் மனதில். அவர்கள்
கண்ணில் படாமல் தநொக தாண்டி வருகிவறன்.
One of the dream involves several of my close relatives. I
vividly remember the dreams and all characters in it even after several
years. To protect their privacy, I am not identifying them. What you
read is censored version. After visiting some outstation, I am returning
home. I get down at the bus station and start walking towards home.
45
First Night in New York

Near bus stand, I find few people fighting. They all are my relatives.
Big arguments, shouting and fighting. Why they are here? Did they
visit my home and troubled my wife children? I wonder. Carefully,
unseen by any of them, I cross them.
இவதா என் வடு
ீ வந்துவிட்டது.
I have reached my home.
என்ன இது? என் வடு
ீ வாெலில் ஒரு மிக சபரிை பசு.
காமவதனுவவதான். ெராெரிைான சகாழுத்த பசுதவவிட 10
மடங்கு சபரிைதாக, அதமதிைாக படுத்த நிதலைில்
(அல்லது உட்கார்ந்த நிதலைா?). வட்தட
ீ வநாக்கி. வடு

வாெலில் இருந்து சுமார் 20 அடி தள்ளி. வட்டுக்கு
ீ ைாவரனும்
துஷ்டர்கள் வருகிறார்களா என்பதத கவனிப்பதத வபான்று.
சகாம்புக்கு அருகினில் ஒரு ெிறு ரத்தக்காைம்.
What is this? At the entrance to my house, there is a very big
cow. Oh, it is Kamdhenu. It is 10 times bigger than a normal well-built
regular cow. It is very calm and composed. It was in resting position.
I don’t know how to call, is it sitting? Or lying down? It is about 20
feet away from my house entrance. But faces the entrance with a
careful watch. As if to check and be watchful if any miscreants are
trying to enter. There is an injury near the left horn. Dry frozen blood
is visible.
ஆச்ெர்ைம். பைம். ஆர்வம் கலந்த உணர்வுகவளாடு
நான் காமவதனுவின் அருகில் செல்கிவறன். என் கண்கள்
என் மதனவிதை வதடுகின்றன. என் மதனவி என்
வட்டுக்குள்
ீ இருந்து என் அருகில் வருகிறாள்.
Astonished, with fear, and eagerness, I go near this
Kamdhenu. My eyes search my wife. My wife comes out of house and
come nearer to me.
‘பஸ் நிதலைம் அருகில் நம் உறவினர்களின்
ெண்தடைாக உள்ளது. நம் வட்டுக்கு
ீ வந்து ஏவதனும்
தகராறு செய்தார்களா?’ என்று என் மதனவிைிடம்
வகட்கிவறன்.
I ask my wife, ‘Near Bus stand, our relatives are fighting with
each other. Did they come to our house and created any trouble to
you?
Navnit Narayanan

‘ஆம், இங்வக வந்து தகராறு செய்தார்கள்!’.


Yes, they came and started troubling us.
(இப்வபாது காமவதனு பசுதவ தககாட்டிைவாறு)
‘ஆனால், இந்த அம்மா சும்மா விடவில்தல.
அதமதிைாகத்தான் இருந்தாங்க. ஆனால், அவர்கள்
என்னிடம் தகராறு செய்ை ஆரம்பிக்கவும், எங்க
இருந்துதான் வரம்
ீ வந்தவதா சதரிைவில்தல, விரட்டி
விரட்டி அடிக்க ஆரம்பிச்சுட்டாங்க!. எல்வலாரும்
ஓடிப்வபாய்ட்டாங்க! இவங்களுக்குத்தான் சகாஞ்ெம் காைம்
பட்டுவிட்டது!’ என்றாள் சகாம்புக்கு அருகில் இருந்த
காைத்தத காட்டி.
Now, showing her hands towards the Kamdhenu,
‘But this mother, did not allow them. It was calm, but the
moment, they started troubling me, I don’t know, where from she got
the guts and sudden anger, she started attacking them bravely. Unable
to face the onslaught from this mother cow, they all ran away. But, she
got injured.’ She told me, showing the injury of Holy cow near its horn.
அன்புடனும், பரிவுடனும், நன்றி உணர்வவாடும்
கண்ண ீர் மல்க, அந்த காமவதனு பசுவின் காைத்துக்கு
அருகில் தடவி சகாடுக்கிவறன்.
வகாமாதா, எங்கள் குல மாதா! குலமாதர் நலம்
காக்கும் குணமாதா!!
With Love, Affection, Thankful gratitude, tearfully, I approach
the holy cow and place my hands near the injury. Mother cow, Our
family deity. It will protect the welfare and virtues of family women.

47
First Night in New York

DONATION AND VIRTUES


தானம், தர்மம்
Dharma has multiple meanings. Dharma is a key concept with
multiple meanings in the Indian religions — Hinduism, Buddhism,
Sikhism, and Jainism. There is no single word translation
for dharma in Western languages.
A beggar in India, seeking alms, will say, ‘Aiya Dharmam
podunga Sir!’ The beggar will not use the word, ‘Please donate me Sir!’
I may use the word, ‘Virtue’. I accept, there is no single word
translation for dharma in Western languages. Even ‘Donation’ is not
a proper word for ‘Dhaanam’. Its ok. Time being we will use these
words.
தானம், தர்மம்
Dhaan & Dharma!
ெிகாவகா நகரம். ெர்வவதெ மத நம்பிக்தக
பாராளுமன்றம். கூட வகாபுரங்கள் நிதறந்த ஏறத்தாழ நம்
தாஜ்மஹால் வபான்ற கூம்பிை மாடங்களுடன் கூடிை
சவள்தள கட்டிடம்.
ஆங்காங்வக ெில நிழல் மரங்கள். பறந்து விரிந்த
புல்சவளிகள். சவள்தள பளிங்கு பதித்த நதட பாததகள்.
காற்வறாட்டமான பல வாைில்கள் சகாண்ட மண்டபத்தில்
ஒரு இளம் இந்திை துறவி உதரைாற்றுகிறார்.
City of Chicago. Parliament of Universal Religion. Very large
white colour building with domes. Like our Taj Mahal. Very large park
outside the building. Few trees here and there giving shades. White
Marbled foot paths. Green Grass well maintained lawns everywhere.
Bright airy, large hall with multiple entrances. A young Sannyasin from
India is giving lecture.
நிமிர்ந்த சநஞ்சு, வநர்சகாண்ட பார்தவ, அதலபாயும்
காவி வமலங்கி. பல வரிதெகளின் நடுநடுவவ நதடபாதத
விட்டு வகட்பவர் இருக்தககள். கூட்டம் நிரம்பி வழிகிறது!
வகட்பவர் முகங்களில் சபரும் ஆர்வம். அவத ததலப்பாதக.
அவத காவி அங்கி. அவத கண்கள்! வபச்சு சதாடர்கிறது.
Navnit Narayanan

Proudly Raised Chest. Straight look. Wavering saffron clothes.


Several rows of audience seats with proper spacing for walk around.
Full of crowd in the Hall. All in audience are very eager in their face.
Same headgear. Same saffron clothes. Same eyes. The speech
continues.
‘கனவான்கவள, ‘தர்மம்’ என்று எங்கள் சநறிைிவல
தவத்திருக்கிவறாம். இந்திை துதண கண்டத்தில்
ஒவ்சவாருவரும் சதரிந்து தவத்துள்ள மகாபாரதம்
கததைில், கதடெிைாக தர்மம் என்ற கதாபாத்திரம் மட்டுவம
சொர்கத்துக்கு வபாவதாக கதத முடித்வதாம். கடவுளாக
காட்டப்பட்ட கிருஷ்ணன் கூட சொர்க்கம் வபாவதாக
இல்தல’.
Gentlemen, we have what is known as ‘Dharmam’ in our
culture and virtues. In Indian sub-continent, almost everyone had
knowledge about our great epic, ‘Mahabharata’. In that epic, in the
end, only the character, ‘Dharmam’ goes to the heaven. Even
‘Krishna’ who is depicted as ‘God’ will not go to heaven.
‘தர்மம் என்றால் பிச்தெ வபாடுவது என்று எங்கள்
நாட்டிவல கூட பலர் தவறாக புரிந்து தவத்துள்ளனர்.
‘தர்மம்’ என்பது சநறி ஆகும். செைல்கதள செய்யும் முதற
என்றும் சொல்லலாம்.
Even in our country, several people have mistaken belief that
‘Dharmam’ means, giving alms to the poor. ‘Dharmam’ is a set of
principles-based way of life.
‘தான தர்மம், யுத்த தர்மம், விைாபார தர்மம், குடும்ப
தர்மம், ஆளுதம தர்மம், நட்பு தர்மம், விவொை தர்மம், என
தர்ம சநறிகளில் பல பிரிவுகள் உள்ளன.’
‘Dharmam’ in giving donations, alms, gifts. ‘Dharmam’ in way
of fighting and conducting wars. ‘Dharmam’ in doing business and
commercial activity, ‘Dharmam’ in running the family. ‘Dharmam’ in
governance and management. ‘Dharmam’ in friendship, ‘Dharmam’
in doing agriculture. There are several branches and divisions in
principle of ‘Dharmam’.
‘தான தர்மத்திவல நாங்கள் சொல்கிவறாம்,
‘சகாடுப்பவன் தக உைர்ந்திருக்க வவண்டும், வாங்குபவன்
49
First Night in New York

தக தாழ்ந்திருக்க வவண்டும்!’ இதன் சபாருள், தானம்


சகாடுப்பவன், வாங்குபவதன விட சபாருளாதார
முதறைில் முன்வனற்றம் உள்ளவனாக இருக்க வவண்டும்.
In ‘Dharmam’ of gifting or giving alms and donations, the
giver’s hand should be raised above, and receiver’s hand should be
lowly placed. This means, the one giving should be richer than the
receiver in financial aspects.
தானமாக சகாடுத்த சபாருதள திரும்ப வாங்குவது
ஆகாது. ஒருவன் முடிந்த வதர பிச்தெ எடுக்க கூடாது. அது
தாழ்ந்த இழிகுணம். அவ்வாறு ஒருவன் வவறு வழி
இல்லாமல் பிச்தெ வகட்டு வரும் வபாது, மற்றவன்
உண்தமைிவலவை, சகாடுக்க முடிந்தவனாக இருந்து,
‘இல்தல’ என்று சொன்னால், அதுவும் இழிகுணம்.
What is given as ‘Dhaanam’ should not be taken back. One
should not seek alms as for as possible. It is a lowly habit. With no
other go, when someone is seeking alms, if other person can give alms,
but declares ‘no’ it even more lowly habit.
தகப்சபாருள், கருவி வபான்றவற்தற தானம்
சகாடுக்க கூடாது. தனக்கு பார்த்து, கணக்கு பார்த்து, தானம்
சகாடுக்க வவண்டும்.
One should not give as ‘alms’ or ‘Dhaanam’, hand tools used
by them, weapons used by them. They should always retain for
themselves what is required, and with proper calculations, excess
should be given as ‘Dhaanam’.
தானத்திவல மிக உைர்வானது அன்னதானம். பெிைால்
வாடுபவருக்கு இலவெமாக உணவு சகாடுத்தல்.
The greatest of ‘Dhaanam’ is giving free food to the needy and
hungry.
எனவவ தான் நாங்கள் வகுத்திருக்கிவறாம்,
அமாவாதெ மற்றும் நீத்வதார் நிதனவு நாளில், நீத்வதார்
நிதனவாக, வட்டின்
ீ மூத்த ஆண் உறுப்பினர், பெிைால்
வாடும் ஒருவருக்கு உணவளித்து அவர் உண்ட பின் தான்
உண்ண வவண்டும் என்று. அவ்வாறு பெிைால் வாடும்
மானுடர் கிதடக்கவில்தல என்றால், காக்தக, புறா, எறும்பு
வபான்ற ஏவதனும் ஒரு ஜீவ ராெிக்கு உணவு பதடத்தது அது
Navnit Narayanan

உண்டபின் தான் உண்ண வவண்டும் என்று. ஒவ்சவாரு


குடும்பமும் ஒருவருக்வகனும் உணவளிக்கும்
ெமுதாைத்தில், பட்டினி ொவு எப்படி வரும் சொல்லுங்கள்?
So, we have a rule, on day of remembrance, on days of new
moon, in remembrance of departed souls in a house, the elderly male
will feed a hungry person and then only take his own food. If hungry
person is not available, food should be given to Crow, Birds, Ant, and
any other living creature and then only this male member will take
food. In a society, where food is given to someone before consuming
by self, how the death will occur due to hunger, please tell us!
யுத்த தர்மத்திவல, நாங்கள் வகுத்திருக்கிவறாம். பலம்
சபாருந்திை அரென் ஒருவன் அண்தட நாட்தட சவல்ல
நிதனத்தால், உடவன ரகெிைமாக வபார் சதாடுத்தல் ஆகாது.
தன்னுதடை லட்ெிதன தாங்கிை குதிதர ஒன்தற, ொதாரண
ஓரிரு வரர்கள்
ீ வமற்பார்தவைில் அந்த நாட்டுக்கு அனுப்ப
வவண்டும். அந்த நாட்டு மன்னன் அந்த குதிதரக்கு
மரிைாதத சகாடுத்தால், மற்ற அரென் அதிகாரத்தத ஏற்று,
அடங்கி நட்பாக நடக்க ஒத்துக்சகாண்டான் என்று சபாருள்.
மாற்றாக, அந்த குதிதரதை கட்டி தவத்து விட்டால்
(அப்வபாதும் அந்த குதிதர துன்புறுத்த மாட்டார்கள், உரிை
உணவளித்து, பாதுகாப்பார்கள். குதிதரயுடன் வந்த
வரர்கதள
ீ பத்திரமாக அனுப்பி தவப்பார்கள்). வபாருக்கு
தைார் என அர்த்தம்.
In Dharma of war of fighting, we have set rules. A powerful
King if decided to win over adjoining kingdom, will not start a war
secretly. But he will send a horse carrying his flag or emblem freely to
the other Kingdom. One or two soldiers without weapons will
accompany that horse. If the other King give respect to the horse, it
assumed that he accepts that he agrees to the superiority of other king
and they will remain friendly countries. Instead, if the horse is tied to
a pole, (then also the horse will not be tortured, it will be protected
and well fed, and the accompanying soldiers will be sent home). It
means, this King is ready for war. Not accepting the superiority of
another King.

51
First Night in New York

உடனடிைாக வபார் துவங்கி விடாது. தான் வபரரென்


என்று நிதனப்பவன், முதலில் தூதுவதன அனுப்புவான்.
அந்த தூதுவன் அறிவு, சபாறுதம, நிதானம், வபச்சு திறதம
உள்ளவனாக இருப்பான். அந்த தூதுவதன உரிை மரிைாதத
அளித்து, வரவவற்று, உணவளித்து, உபெரித்து, இருக்தக
அளித்து, கருத்துக்கதள வகட்பான் மற்ற நாட்டு மன்னன்.
தன் அரெனின் பலம், குதிதர பதட எண்ணிக்தக,
ைாதனப்பதட எண்ணிக்தக, வதர்ப்பதட எண்ணிக்தக,
காலாட்பதட பதட எண்ணிக்தக, பின்புலப்பதட (தண்ண ீர்,
மருத்துவம் உணவளிப்பது வபான்ற வெதவ), முன்புலப்பதட
(ரகெிைமாக, முன்கூட்டிவை வந்திருந்து ஒற்றறிதல், நாெ
வவதல செய்வது அல்லது செய்ை காத்திருப்பது)
வபான்றவற்தற எடுத்து சொல்லி, தன் மன்னனில் அதிகாரம்
ஏற்று, குதிதரதை உரிை மரிைாததயுடன் விடுவிக்க
சொல்வான் அந்த தூதன்.
War will not commence immediately. A messenger will be
sent. The messenger will be knowledgeable, Patient, Steady in thinking
and good at conversation. The messenger will be treated with honour,
dignity, respect. He will be given food, shelter, proper seating and
listened to by the other King. The messenger will inform the strength
of his King. He will elaborate upon number of horses, Elephants,
Soldiers, Logistics, Espionage, and various other capacities. He will
request the other King, to give honour and respect to the horse, accept
the superiority of his King and release the horse.
அந்த தூதனிடம், தன்னுதடை பலத்திதன எடுத்து
சொல்லி, வபாருக்கு தைார் என்பான் இந்த மன்னன். அதன்
பின்னர், இருநாட்டு மன்னர்களும் அதற்சகன பணிக்கப்பட்ட
அதிகாரிகளுடன் சதாடர்பு சகாண்டு, வபாருக்கான வததி
மற்றும் இடம் முடிவு செய்வார்கள் (மக்களுக்கும்,
விவொைம் வபான்ற வாழ்வாதார வவதலகளுக்கும்
இதடயூறு ஏற்பட கூடாதல்லவா?).
To the messenger, this King will elaborate his strength, and
declare that he is ready for war. Then both King designate officials for
contacting each other and decide a date and venue for war. (Because
Navnit Narayanan

the war should not cause inconvenience to public and essential activity
like agriculture).
குறிப்பிட்ட தினத்தில், இடத்தில் இரு நாட்டு
பதடகளும் அணிவகுத்து நிற்கும். அப்வபாதும் ஒரு இறுதி
அறிவிப்பு, வபார் இல்லாமல் இந்த நாட்டு மன்னனின்
அதிகாரத்தத ஏற்க வற்புறுத்தும் முைற்ெி நடக்கும். அதன்
பின்னர் வரீ வாத்திைங்களின் முழக்கம், அதன் பின்னர்,
வபார். அந்த வபாரானது, சூரிைன் உதித்த பின்னர், சூரிை
மதறவு வதர, நல்ல சவளிச்ெத்தில் மட்டுவம நடக்கும்.
அன்தறை தின வபார் முடிந்த பின்னர், ஒருவதர ஒருவர்
தாக்காமல், ஒருவர் பதட அணிக்குள் மற்றவர் வந்து,
காைம் பட்ட மற்றும் உைிர் இழந்த தங்கள் நாட்டு வரர்கதள

எடுத்து செல்வர். அப்வபாது எதிரிக்கும் நட்பான மரிைாதத,
குடிநீர் சகாடுப்பது, உணவு சகாடுப்பது, வழி காட்டுவது
வபான்ற நாகரீக பண்புகள் மிளிரும்.
At designated place and date, both armies will make formation
and face each other. Thereafter a final declaration and opportunity for
peaceful settlement will be offered. Then musical war cry will be made.
Then the fight. You call it a fight, battle, or war. It will happen only in
broad day light. After Sunrise and before sunset. At Sunset, with
trumpets end of the fight for that day will be declared. After that both
army soldiers will mingle with each other. No one will attack anyone.
Wounded will be allowed to be taken. Food and water will be offered
to the enemies at the time of search of dead and wounded. Friendly
respect and guidance will be given to the enemies. The civilised and
cultured behaviour will prevail.
குடிமக்கள் நலம் கருதி, வபார் நடுவிவல ெமாதானம்
ஆகும் மன்னர்கள் உண்டு. கதடெி வதர வபாராடி வரீ
மரணம் அதடயும் விடுததல புலிகளும் உண்டு.
Considering the welfare of common man, some Kings may
stop the war and go for peace. There may be determined army like
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam who will fight to death and valour.
சுருக்கமாக சொல்லப்பட்ட (விரிவாக சொல்வதற்கு
தனி நூல்கள் உண்டு) இந்த செைல் மீ றுவது யுத்த
தர்மத்தத மீ றுவதாகும்.
53
First Night in New York

There are books, elaborating the ‘Dharmam’ of war. Whatever


briefly stated here, if violated, it is violation of ‘Dharma of War’ and
that did not take place in our country.
தான தர்மத்தத மீ றும் வபாது, தனி மனிதன்
சகாச்தெ படுத்த படுகிறான். யுத்த தர்மத்தத மீ றும் வபாது
அந்த நாட்டு மன்னவன் சகாச்தெ படுத்த படுகிறான்.
சகாடுங்வகாலன் என்று வர்ணிக்க படுகிறான்.
When the ‘Dharmam of Dhaanam’ is violated, the individual
is disrespected and ill-treated. When the ‘Dharmam of War’ is violated,
that King is disrespected, ill-treated, and called tyranny that is very
quickly overthrown before it prevails.
இம்மாதிரிவை, விைாபார தர்மத்திவல,
உருவாக்குபவன் (விவொைிகள், தக விதனஞர், சநெவாளர்,
மீ னவர்) நலன் பாதுகாக்கப்பட வவண்டும். சகாடுத்த
வாக்கிதன மீ றக் கூடாது. வாங்கிை கடதன மறுக்க
கூடாது.
Same way, in ‘Dharmam of Business & Trade’, the creators
(Farmers, Craftsman, Weavers, Fishermen) welfare and growth is
considered foremost. A promise made should not be violated. Debt
should not be refused.
குடும்ப தர்மத்திவல, அன்பு சகாடுத்தல் அன்தனைின்
கடதம. அறிவு சகாடுத்தல் அப்பாவின் கடதம. சபற்ற
மக்கதள முன்னிறுத்தி வாய்ப்புக்கள் உருவாக்குதல்
சபற்வறார் கடதம, சவற்றி வாதக சூடி சபற்வறாதர
சபருதம பட செய்தல் பிள்தளகள் கடதம.
குடும்பத்ததயும், காதலர்கதளயும் பிரித்து தவப்பது பாவம்.
வெர்த்து தவப்பது புண்ணிைம்.
In ‘Dharma of Family’, Giving love and affection is duty of
mother. Giving knowledge is duty of Father. Making opportunities
available to children for growth and learning is duty of parents. Being
successful in studies and work and make the parents proud is duty of
children. It is sin to create rift with family or lovers. It is good deed to
do efforts to unite them.
ஆளுதம தர்மத்தில் (management principle), வவதல
ஆட்களின் தற்கால மற்றும் எதிர்கால நலன் காக்க
Navnit Narayanan

வவண்டும். திறதம மற்றும் வநர்தம வொததனக்கு


உட்படுத்தி மரிைாதத அளிக்க வவண்டும்.
வபாட்டிைாளர்கதள பற்றி சதரிை வவண்டும். அதற்கு
ஒற்றறிை வவண்டும். தகப்சபாருள் (capital), கருவி (equipment),
கதலகள் (talent and ability) கவனமாக தகைாள வவண்டும்.
In ‘Dharma of management and ruling’, workers present, and
future welfare should be planned and protected. Talent and Honesty
should be tested, accepted, and respected. Knowledge should be there
about competition. Market research should be made for that purpose.
Capital, Equipment, Talents, and ability should be carefully handled
to use at optimum levels without wasting.
நட்பு என்றாவலா, வகட்பதற்கு முன்னர் உதவ
வவண்டும். தவறு செய்தால் திட்டி, கண்டித்து திருத்த
வவண்டும். குற்றம் மற்றும் குதறகதள சபாறுத்து நட்பு
வபண வவண்டும்.
In ‘Dharmam of friendship’, help should be rendered before
asking. If friend commits mistakes, he should be scolded and
corrected. Friendship should maintain tolerating mistakes and
deficiencies.
விவொை தர்மதிவலா, உழும் நிலத்தத கடவுளுக்கு
இதணைாக கருதுகிவறாம். பாம்புகதளயும், மரங்கதளயும்
சதய்வ அம்ெமாகவும், விவொைத்துக்கு உற்ற துதணைாக
இருக்கும் எருது, பசு வபான்ற விலங்குகதளயும் குடும்ப
உறுப்பினர்கதள வபால பாவித்தும் அன்பு செலுத்துகிவறாம்.
In ‘Dharma of Agriculture’, the agriculture field is considered
on par with God. Snakes and Trees are considered Divine. The Bull
and Cow and other animals that support agriculture activity is treated
like family members and loved.

55
First Night in New York

HUNGRY TIME

இது ஒரு பெி வநரம்!


Hungry time.
மறுநாள். நிதானமாக விடிந்தது. குளிைல்
சதாட்டிைில் சுடு நீர் நிரப்பி நிதானமாக குளித்வதன். சுமார்
48 மணி வநர இதடசவளிைில் ஒரு வநரம்தான்
ொப்பிட்டிருந்வதன்.
Next day, started slowly. I had a leisurely bath in the hot bath
tub. In about 48 hours, I had taken food only once.
பெி இதமாக வைிதற கவ்விைது. அது ஒரு
சுகானுபவம்.
It was a nice feeling of hunger catching up in stomach.
என் வாழ்நாளில் சபரும் பகுதிதை கடவுள்
நம்பிக்தக இன்றி கழித்திருக்கிவறன். ‘நான் வகாைிலுக்கு
வபாவதில்தல! பூதஜகள் செய்வதில்தல! நான் ஒரு இந்து,
இந்திைன்!” என்று பாரதிை ஜனதா கட்ெி ததலவர் ‘நிதின்
கட்காரி’சொன்னாராம். நானும் அந்த ரகம்தான்.
In major part of my life I had been an atheist. ‘I don’t go to
temple. I don’t do Poojas. I am a Hindu. I am an Indian!’ I read
somewhere about Nitin Katgari, a leader of Bhartiya Janata Party,
popularly considered as den of Hindu fundamentalists, declaring.
Maybe I am also like that.
‘ஐைா சபரிைார் அவர்கவள! எப்வபாதும் கடவுள்
இல்தல என்று உரக்க முழக்கம் செய்கிறீர்கள். ஒரு நாள்
கடவுள் வநரில் வந்து, தான் இருப்பதத நிரூபித்து விட்டால்
என்ன செய்வர்கள்?’
ீ என்று நண்பர் வகட்டாராம்.
Once Periyar, the leader of staunch atheist movement in
Tamilnadu was asked by his friend, ‘Respected Sir, you are always
shouting, ‘there is no God!’, if the God proves his existence, by
coming in person before you, what you will do?’.
‘அட வபாைா! ‘கடவுள் இருக்கிறார்!’ என்று
சொன்னால் வபாைிற்று!’ என்று சபரிைார் சொன்னாராம்.
‘OH, easy, I will just declare, ‘God is there!’’. Replied Periyar.
Navnit Narayanan

நூற்றாண்டின் முக்கிைமான ெந்திர கிரஹனம்


நிகழ்ந்த அந்த நாள் (July 16, 2000) நான் கட்ெி மாறிவனன்.
பாவம் சபரிைாருக்கு அந்த வாய்ப்பு கிதடக்காமவலவை
ஆனது.
In this century, the important and significant Lunar eclipse
took place on 16 July 2000. That day I changed from being an atheist
to believer of God, the super power. Poor, Periyar, never had such a
wonderful opportunity.
1982 வம மாதம். அப்வபாதுதான் எனக்சகன ஒரு
இடத்தத பிடித்து உருவாக்கி இருந்வதன். மந்ததசவளி
வபருந்து நிதலைம் ஒட்டிை குடிதெ பகுதி மாற்று வாரிை
தனி நபர் குடிைிருப்பு. தகைில் இருந்த காசெல்லாம்
தீர்ந்துவிட்டது. கடன் வகட்பதற்கு ைாரும் சதரிைாது.
May 1982. Just then I created a space for me in city of Chennai.
It was next to Mandaiveli Bus stand. Single person quarters meant of
slim dwellers. I exhausted all my money in hand. No known person in
that new pace, to try to borrow some money.
முதல் நாள் மதிைம் ொப்பிட்டிருந்வதன். என்னுதடை
இதளை வைதுகளில் ெரிைாக மூன்று வநரம் ொப்பிட்ட
அனுபவம் என்றும் இல்தல. சபரும்பாலும் ஒரு வநரம்
அல்லது இரு வநரம் தான். அது பண பற்றாக்குதறைால்
அல்ல. ஆழ்ந்த ெிந்ததன, வவதல அல்லது படிப்பு வபான்ற
காரணத்தால்.
I had taken food previous day lunch. In my young ages, I never
had food 3 times a day. Mostly one time or two time. Not due to
poverty. Mostly due to reasons such as deep thinking, work, or study.
முதல் நாள் மதிைம் ொப்பிட்டிருந்வதன். இரவு
ொப்பிடாதது வழக்கமானது. மறுநாள் காதல ொப்பிடாதது
அபூர்வம் அல்ல. மதிைம் பெி வைிற்தற கிள்ளிைது. மாதல
மணி நாலு. தகைில் காெில்தல. கடன் சகாடுக்க
ஆளில்தல. சதரிந்த ஒவர உறவாக பிச்தெ அண்ணன் வடு.

அங்வக சென்று ொப்பிட தன் மானம், என் மானம் இடம்
சகாடுக்கவில்தல.

57
First Night in New York

I had taken food previous day lunch. Normally I don’t take


food before bed, those days. Next day morning, not eating is not
unusual. But Next day lunch time, I became hungry. It became 4 pm.
No money in hand. No one to lend money. Only known person living
in Chennai at that time was Mr. Pitchai whom I fondly called and
treated as my own brother. But my self-respect did not allow me to go
there and ask for food.
மண் குடுதவைில் சகாஞ்ெம் தண்ண ீர் குடித்வதன்.
ஒன்றும் புரிைாத நம்பிக்தகைில் ஒரு சபாறிைிைல்
வதரபடம் வதரை ஆரம்பித்வதன். அப்வபாது அதுதான் என்
சதாழில்.
I had some water in mud pot. Drank some. With some
mysterious self-confidence, I started doing some technical drawing. At
that time that was my profession, business.
திடீசரன இரண்டாம் மாடிைில் இருந்த என் அலுவல்
அதற (இரவு வநர ரகெிை வெிப்பிடம் அதுதான்) இருவர்
வவகமாக வந்தனர். ஒருவருக்கு ஒல்லிைான வதகம்.
தைக்கம். மற்றவர் சகாஞ்ெம் பருமன். தாடி. கதலந்த வகெம்.
சகாஞ்ெம் அவெரம். படபடப்பு. ‘நீங்கள்தான்
‘நவநீதனா?’’என்றார். ‘ஆம், என்ன விஷைம்?’ என்வறன்.
‘நீங்கள்தான் சபாறிைிைல் வதரபடம் வதரபவரா?’ என்றார்.
‘ஆம், என்ன விஷைம்?’ என்வறன்.
Suddenly two people barged into my office room cum secret
residence. One was lean. He was somewhat hesitant. Another was well
built. Bearded. Not properly combed hairs. Somewhat in an urgency
and visibly tensed. He asked me, “Are you Mr. ……?” I said, “Yes!
What matter?”. “Do you do technical drawing?”. “Yes! What matter?”
ெட்தட தபக்குள் தக விட்டு சகாஞ்ெம் பணம்
எடுத்தார். ‘இதத பிடியுங்கள்!’ என்று என் தகைில்
திணித்தார். எனக்வகா பெி. ொப்பிட காெில்தல. ஆனால்
நான் பணம் வாங்க மறுத்வதன். ‘என்ன விஷைம்? ஏன்
பணம் சகாடுக்கிறீர்கள்?’ என்வறன். ‘முதலில் பணத்தத
பிடியுங்கள்!’ என்று மீ ண்டும் தகைில் திணித்தார். நாதள
காதல வருகிவறன். ஒரு வதரபடம் வவண்டும். மீ தி பணம்
Navnit Narayanan

நாதள தருகிவறன் என்று சொல்லி விதரவாக


சென்றுவிட்டார்.
He inserted his hand into his pocket and took some money
out. ‘Take it!’, He thrust the money into my pocket. I was hungry. No
money to buy food. But I refused to accept money. I asked him. ‘What
matter, why you are giving me money?’. ‘First accept the money!’ He
thrust that money into my hand. ‘We need some drawings. Balance
money, I will give tomorrow!’ He left hurriedly.
‘நீங்கள் வராவிட்டால், நான் எங்வக வர வவண்டும்?’
என்று வகட்வடன். ‘32, நவடென் சதரு. ஐஸ் ஹவுஸ்’ என்று
சொன்னவாவற சென்று விட்டார். அந்த மனிததர நான்
அதற்குப் பின் என் வாழ்க்தகைில் ெந்திக்கவவ இல்தல.
அதற்கு முன்பும் பார்த்ததில்தல. ஓரிரு நாட்கள் கழித்து
அந்த முகவரி வதடி சென்ற வபாது அப்படி ைாரும் இல்தல
என்ற பதில் வந்தது. எனக்கு அந்த கால கட்டத்திவல,
கடவுள் நம்பிக்தக இல்தலதான்.
‘If you don’t come, where should I come?’ I asked. ’32,
Natesan Street, Ice House.’ He left as he was uttering these words.
After that I never met that man in my life. Not before as well. One or
Two days later, I searched that address and located. I was told, there
is no body resembling what I described. In those period, I did not
believe in God.
அப்வபாததக்கு இரு ஆண்டுகள் முன் நடந்த நிகழ்வு
மனதில் நிழல் ஆடிைது. மதுதர நகரம். 1980 ஆண்டு.
வஹாட்டல்களில் ொப்பிட்டு, ஹாஸ்டலில் தங்கி
சதாழில்நுட்ப கல்லூரி இரண்டாம் ஆண்டு படித்த நாட்கள்.
வகுப்பதறைில் பக்கத்துக்கு இருக்தக நண்பன். வட்டில்

கஷ்டம் என, ஓரிரு நாட்கள் முன்பு என்னிடம் இருந்த
சகாஞ்ெம் பணத்தத கடன் வாங்கி இருந்தான். திரும்ப
சகாடுப்பதாக சொன்னது நடக்கவில்தல. என்னிடம் சவறும்
50 காசு இருந்தது. அவன் வடு
ீ வதர செல்ல பஸ் டிக்சகட்
செலவுக்கு வபாதும்.
What happened two years earlier came to my mind. Madurai
city. 1980. I was eating in hotels. Stayed in hostels or in rooms. In my
class, next seat friend. Whatever little money, I had, he borrowed few
59
First Night in New York

days earlier, stating, his house was poverty and no money to buy
essentials. He promised to return very quickly but did not. I had just
50 Paisa in my pocket. It was enough to go up to his house by city bus.
பஸ் பிடித்து அவன் வட்டுக்கு
ீ சென்வறன். ஓரிரு
நாட்கள் முன்பு கடன் சகாடுத்ததத நிதனவு படுத்தி,
தைக்கத்துடன் திரும்ப வகட்வடன். தைக்கம் ெிறிதும் இன்றி
பதில் வந்தது, ‘பணம் இல்தல!’ என்று.
I took bus and went to his home. I made him to recollect that
I gave him some money few days earlier as loan. With lot of hesitation
I asked him to return that money. Without any hesitation he replied,
‘Sorry we don’t have money!
’என்னிடம் ொப்பிட காசு இல்தல’ என்வறன். ‘நீைாவது
தனி ஆள். எங்கள் வட்டிவலவை
ீ காசு இல்தல! சராம்ப
கஷ்டத்தில் உள்வளாம்!’ என்றான்.
’I don’t have money to buy food!’ I told him. ‘You are
individual living alone. We as a family, don’t have any money. We are
in very difficult times!’ He told.
பெி. சதரிைாத நகரம். பஸ் டிக்சகட் காசும் இல்தல.
வபருந்து வழித்தடத்தில் நடக்க ஆரம்பித்வதன். கீ ழ வாெல்
தாண்டி, மிஷன் ஆஸ்பத்திரி தாண்டி, சதற்கு வாெல்
வநாக்கி நடந்வதன். நல்ல சவைில் வநரம். குனிந்த ததல.
தீவிர ெிந்ததன. பிளாட்பாரம் பதித்த சபரும் கற்கள். ஆள்
நடமாட்டம் குதறவு. என்ன இது? கெங்கிை தாள். ரூபாய்
வநாட்டு வபால இருக்கிறவத? ததரைில் கிடந்தது. எடுத்து
பார்த்வதன். ரூபாய் வநாட்டு தான். 50 ரூபாய்.
Hungry. Unknown city. No money to buy bus ticket for return
journey. I started walking in the bus route. Crossed ‘East Gate’
Mission Hospital, towards South Gate, all popular areas of Madurai
city. It was hot sunny midday. I hung my head and walked slowly. I
was lost in thoughts and was in pensive mood. The platform was large
sized stones paved. Very few people on the road. What is this? A
crumbled paper, on the plat form. Appears like a currency note? I
slowly bent myself and took that paper. Correct. It is currency note.
Rs.50 value.
Navnit Narayanan

முன் தினம் தான். என் சநருங்கிை உறவினர். அக்கா


புருென் வந்திருந்தார். நலம் விொரித்தார். அண்ணா வபருந்து
நிதலைம் சென்று அவதர அனுப்பி தவத்வதன். அவரிடம்
கடன் வகட்க தைக்கமாக இருந்தது. ைாதர பார்த்தாலும்
முன் கூட்டிவை புலம்பி தவக்கும் புத்திொலி அவர்.
Just previous day, my close relative, my sister’s husband came
to meet me. Enquired my wellbeing. I went few places with him and
sent him off at ‘Anna Bust stand’. I was very hesitant to ask him some
loan funds. He is very clever. Whoever he sees, beforehand he will
declare that he has no money a passing through tough time.
கால்ெட்தட தபைில் இருந்து பணம் எடுத்து எண்ணி,
வபருந்து கட்டண பணத்தத வமற்தபைில் தவக்கும்வபாது
வகட்வடன், தைக்கமுடன்,
‘அத்தான், என்னிடம் காசு இல்தல!’.
‘அதனால் என்னடா?’ என்றார்.
‘ொப்பிட கூட காசு இல்தல!’ என்வறன்.
‘அதனால் என்னடா?’ என்றார்.
‘சகாஞ்ெம் கடன் சகாடுங்கள்! திரும்ப சகாடுத்து
விடுவவன்!’ என்வறன்.
‘உன் முன்னால் காசு எண்ணிைது தப்பாகி விட்டது!
திரும்ப சகாடுக்க நீ ெம்பாதிக்கிறாைா? பிரச்ெதனதை
ெமாளி!’ என்று சொன்னவாவற, கிளம்ப தைாராக இருந்த
பஸ்ைில் ஏறி சென்வற விட்டார்.
He took some money from trouser pocket, removed smaller
amount, and kept in bus pocket for bus ticket. I asked him with lot of
hesitation,
‘I don’t have any money for expenses!’
‘So, what?’ He asked.
‘I don’t have money even for my food!’ I told him.
‘So, what?’ He repeated.
‘Give me some money, as loan. I will return to you!’
‘Counting money in front of you was my mistake. Are you
getting income, to return a loan? Manage yourself!’ Making these
utterances, he left in the ready to move bus.

61
First Night in New York

அவர் எண்ணி பார்த்த, அவத 50 ரூபாய் வபான்வற


(எல்லா 50 ரூபாயும் ஒவர மாதிரி தாவன இருக்கும்!) ஒரு
தாள் என் முன்வன ததரைில் கெங்கி கிடந்தது. தைக்கமுடன்
தகைில் எடுத்து ஓரிரு நிமிடம் அங்வகவை நின்வறன்.
ைாரும் வந்து வகட்கவில்தல.
The similar 50 Rupee currency that he was counting, is lying
in front of me in the platform. Of course, all 50 Rupees currency notes
are similar. I took the money in hand and stood there for two minutes.
No one asked.
சுமார் 100 அடி தாண்டி இருப்வபன். ஒரு ஓட்டல்
வந்தது. உள்வள நுதழந்து ொப்பிட்வடன். ரூபாய் 2 இருந்த
ொப்பாடு, மளமளசவன்று விதல உைர்ந்து ரூபாய் 5 ஆகி
விட்டிருந்தது. (ெமீ ப காலம் வதர ரூபாய் 20 இருந்த
ொப்பாடு இப்வபாது ரூபாய் 50 ஆனது வபால).
About 100 feet away, there was a hotel. I entered and took
some food. The lunch that used to be Rs.2 the previous year, had
suddenly increased price repeatedly and was priced Rs.5 at that time.
அந்த ஓட்டலில் ொப்பாடு இல்தல. டிபன்
ொப்பிட்வடன். 50 ரூபாய் நீட்டிை வபாது, ெில்லதற இல்தல,
50 ரூபாய் என்றால் முதலில் சொல்லிைிருக்க வவண்டும்
என்றார்கள். ‘ெிறிை கதட என்றால் சொல்லி இருப்வபன்.
உங்கள் ஓட்டல் சபரிை வஹாட்டல். நீங்கவள இல்தல
என்றால் எப்படி?’ என்று ஒரு ெமவைாெித பதில் சொன்வனன்.
That hotel did not have regular meals for lunch. I took some
tiffin. When I gave Rs.50, they told, ‘No change. For Rs.50, you should
have informed in advance.’ ‘If it is small shop, I would have told. But,
yours is a big hotel.’ I gave an intelligent timely reply.
கதட ஆதள அனுப்பி ெில்லதற மாற்றி சகாடுத்தார்.
கீ வழ கண்டு எடுத்த பணம், உருமாறி ெில்லதற ஆன பின்
எனக்கு அது என் பணம் என்ற நம்பிக்தக வந்தது.
He sent the hotel worker to get change. The Rs.50 currency, I
took from platform, changed its appearance, became small currencies
and coins. Only now, I became confident that it was my money.
இதுவதர என் வாழ்நாளில் இந்த இரு தினம்
மட்டுவம, ொப்பிட வழி இன்றி பெிவைாடு இருந்த காலம்.
Navnit Narayanan

நான் எவ்வளவவா பணக்கஷ்டம் இருந்தாலும், ொப்பாட்டு


கஷ்டம் இல்லாமல் மட்டும் அல்ல, சபரும்பாலும்,
என்னுதடை பணத்தில் மற்றவர்களுக்கு ொப்பாடு வாங்கி
சகாடுக்கும் விதத்தில் என்தன ஆண்டவன்
தவத்திருக்கிறான் என்றால், அது, முற்பிறவிைில் நான்
செய்த புண்ணிைம்தான். நன்றி கடவுவள!
In my entire life, only these two days, I was hungry without
money to buy food. I had gone through financial difficulties many a
time. But it was never bad enough that I could not buy food. Not only
that, in most of the occasions, I have always bought food for others.
God had always kept me like that. I would have done some good deeds
in my previous birth. Thank God! Thank you very much!!

63
First Night in New York

BLOSSOMING MEMORIES!
மலரும் நிதனவுகள்!

நியூ ைார்க் நகரில் காலடி தவத்து ெரிைாக 24 மணி


வநரம். புதிை வானம். புதிை பூமி. எங்கும் பனிமதழ
சபாழிைவில்தல. நான் வருதகைிவல என்தன வரவவற்க
காத்திருந்த கருப்பொமி நிதனவு மதறைவில்தல.
It is exactly 24 hours, since I stepped into New York City. New
Sky, new world! There was no snow fall. The popular old cinema song,
‘New Sky, New Earth, Happy snow fall everywhere!’ acted by popular
actor cum politician of my home state was reverberating in my ears.
பல பல மலரும் நிதனவுகள் என்தன தாலாட்ட
ெரிைாக நியூ ைார்க் வநரம் மதிைம் 3 மணிக்சகல்லாம்
சொக்கி தூங்க சதாடங்கிவனன்.
With several blossoming thoughts, it was a lullaby, and as per
New York time 3 pm, I started sleeping soundly.
எழுந்து பார்த்தால் மணி ஏழு. கீ ழ் தளம் சென்வறன்.
ஏழாவது அசவன்யு ொதலைில் சகாஞ்ெ தூரம் நடந்வதன்.
திரும்ப வந்வதன். ஆங்காங்வக சபட்டி கதடகள். ெகல
வெதிகளுடன். வலுவான கட்டதமப்புடன். நிதறை
வங்கவதெ மக்கள் இருப்பார்கள் வபான்று வதான்றிைது. நான்
தங்கிைிருந்த அதற சதாதலகாட்ெிைிலும் ஒவர ஒரு
வங்காள சமாழி வெனல் இருந்தது. இத்ததகை சபட்டி கதட
நடத்துபவர்கள் இந்திைர் வபாலவவ இருந்த சபரும்பாலும்
வங்கவதெ ஆட்கள் என புரிந்து சகாண்வடன்.
When I woke up, it was 7 pm. I went to the ground floor.
Walked in the 7th Avenue of Manhattan. I came back. Here and there
I found few petty shops. Petty shops with all facilities. Strong and well-
built petty shops. It appeared, there are several people from
Bangladesh in that area. In my hotel room, the only Indian language
channel was in Bengali language. Soon I realised, these petty shops are
run mostly by Bangladeshis who look very similar to Indians.
ஒரு சபட்டி கதடைில் ‘இந்திை காலிங் கார்டு’
வவண்டும் என்வறன். என்னிடமிருந்த இருபது டாலர்
Navnit Narayanan

வநாட்தட நீட்டிவனன். ‘மளமள’சவன ஒரு அட்தடயும்,


பாக்கி ெில்லதறைாக பதிதனந்து ஒரு டாலர்
வநாட்டுகதளயும் சகாடுத்தார்.
In one petty shop, I asked for Indian Calling Card. I gave him
my $20 bill. He very quickly gave me the calling card and 15 numbers
of $1 bills.
வைாெித்து பார்த்வதன். அவர் பத்து மற்றும் ஐந்து
டாலர் சகாடுத்திருந்தால், ைாவரனும் ஒரு கருப்பொமி கண்
கட்டி வித்தத செய்து, ஒரு ஐந்து டாலர் மற்றும் ஒரு ஒரு
டாலர் சகாடுத்ததாக காண்பித்து காணிக்தக செலுத்த
தவத்திருப்பார் வபாலும்.
I thought. Had he given $10 or $5 bills, some ‘Karupa Sami’
(black colour God in our local language), would have made some trick
and make it appear as single $1 bill and another single $5 bill and made
someone to give charity to him.
புதிதாக அசமரிக்கா வந்த எனக்கு அதனத்து டாலர்
வநாட்டுகதளயும் ஒவர அளவில், ஒவர கலரில் அச்ெடித்தது
முட்டாள் தனமாகவவ பட்டது.
For me, who entered America very first time, printing all
denominations at same size, appeared idiotic.
அந்த ‘கால்லிங் கார்டு’ எப்படி பைன் படுத்துவது
என்று புரிைவில்தல. மிக ெிறிை எழுத்துகளில் அச்ெிட்ட
நதடமுதற விளக்கம் புரிைவில்தல. முைற்ெிதை
தகவிட்டு அதறக்கு வந்து தூங்கிவனன்.
How to use that calling card, I could not understand. The find
printed guide was not useful. I left my attempt to use that card. Came
to my room and started sleeping.
இது இரண்டாம் நாள். கனவு வதெத்தில் இரண்டாம்
நாள். ‘தவற விட்ட ரைில் பைண கனவின் நிதனவு என்தன
மாற்றிைது. வருவது வரட்டும். முன்கூட்டிவை பைண
திட்டப்படி ஒரு வாரம் முழுவதும் நியூைார்க் நகரில் இருந்து
விடுவது என்று முடிசவடுத்வதன்.
It was second day. Second day in the dream destination for
millions of people in the world. The thought about ‘Missed Train

65
First Night in New York

Dream’ changed me. Come what happen. I decided to stay in New


York for one full week as per original schedule.
வஹாட்டல் அதற சதாதலக்காட்ெி அதனத்து
வெனல்கள் ‘ஐரீன்’ புைல் பற்றிவை இருந்தது. மறுநாள்
கத்தார் விமான அலுவலகம் சென்று இந்திைா விதரவில்
திரும்ப டிக்சகட் இருக்கிறதா என்று வகட்க வவண்டும்
என்று நிதனத்துக் சகாண்வடன். ‘சும்மா’ தான். ஏவதனும்
அலுவலகம் செல்ல இது ஒரு வாய்ப்பு அல்லவா!
In hotel room television, in all channels, the news was about
hurricane ‘Irene’. I thought of visiting Qatar Airways office next day
and check if earlier ticket available for returning to India. Not with a
serious change of journey date plan. Just an excuse to visit some office
and make some enquiries.
1982 ஆண்டு வம மாதம் சதன்வமற்கு பருவக்காற்று
வதனிபக்கம் வசும்
ீ வபாது கிளம்பி தனிைாக சென்தன
வந்தவன்.
In May 1982 when the South west monsoon was set in Theni
region of Tamilnadu, I started alone and came to the city of Chennai.
பலவருடங்கள் கழித்து என்னிடம் வவதல பார்த்த
சபண் வகட்டாள், ‘உங்கதள சென்தன வர தூண்டிைது எது?’
என்று. ‘ராபிைா வபகம்’ என்ற, ‘உருது’ தாய் சமாழிைான
அந்த சபண் என் அன்புக்கும் நம்பிக்தகக்கும்
பாத்திரமானவர்.
Several years later, the girl working for me as employee, asked
me, ‘What made you to come to Chennai?’ Rafiya Begum, that girl had
‘Urdu’ as mother tongue. She was trustworthy. I was affectionate and
caring towards her. She was trustworthy.
‘சபான்னிைின் செல்வன்’என்ற கதத. ெிறு வைதில்
திரும்ப திரும்ப படித்தது. பின்னாளில் ‘ராஜராஜ
வொழன்’என்று அறிைப்பட்ட, ‘அருள்சமாழிவர்மன்’இதளை
வைது கதத. ஈழம் சென்றான், இமைம் சென்றான், தூர
கிழக்கு நாடுகளுக்கு சென்றான். பதக சவன்றான். புகழ்
சகாண்டான். ொததன செய்தான் என்சறல்லாம் படித்து,
என்னுள்ளும் ொதிக்க வவண்டுசமன்ற எண்ணம் புகுந்து
அதனால் வந்வதன்.’ என்று நான் சொல்லுவது உண்டு.
Navnit Narayanan

’Ponniyin Selvan’ was a Tamil historical classic very popular in


my childhood days. Now also it is reasonably popular. It was about
‘Arul Mozhi Varman’, the child hood name of great king ‘Raja Rajan’
of Chola Dynasty. This great king, according to legends, conquered
‘Eelam’ and entire present-day Sri Lanka. He conquered the nations
up to the Himalayas. He had a powerful navy. Conquered several
countries in Far East Asia. He won all enemies and attained great name
and fame throughout the world. I wanted to achieve like him. I used
to tell.
ஆனால் அது உண்தம அல்ல.
But the truth is not that.
சுமார் 18 வைது சநருங்கும்வபாது, ‘பாலிசடக்னிக்’
டிப்வளாமா’. பத்தாம் வகுப்பு முடிந்து மூன்றாண்டு படிப்பு.
அன்தறக்கு மிகப்சபரிை நகரம் என்று நான் கருதிை, மதுதர
நகரில் முதல் வருடம் அதற எடுத்து தங்கிவனன். மதுதர
மீ னாட்ெி மில் எதிரில் கழிவதற இல்லாத அதற.
பிரபாகரன், பாலசுப்ரமணிைன், முகுந்தன் மற்றும் நான்
தங்கி இருந்வதாம். இரண்டாம் ஆண்டு ஹாஸ்டல் வாெம்.
மூன்றாம் ஆண்டு, புஷ்பா அக்கா என்று அறிைப்பட்ட,
வொழவந்தான் சுதந்திர வபாராட்ட வரர்
ீ ‘ெின்னொமி பிள்தள’
மருமகள், எனக்கு தந்தத வழி உறவு, அவர்கள் வட்டில்

தங்கி, ரைில் பைணங்கள் மூலம் மதுதர வந்து படித்வதன்.
When I was nearing 18 years of age, I had completed my
‘Diploma in Mechanical Engineering’ studies. It was just 3 years after
and 10-year schooling. In those time, I considered Madurai as the
largest city. First year of my study I stayed in a room without toilet. It
was opposite to ‘Meenakshi Mills’. My room mates were Prabhakaran,
Balasubramanian, Mukunthan. In second year of my studies, I stayed
in Hostel. In my third and final year of studies I stayed with a distant
relative, known as ‘Pushpa Akka’ (Akka means elder sister). She was
daughter in law of freedom fighter ‘Chinnasami Pillai’. They ware
distant relatives through my father. I stayed with them in
‘Sholavandan’ and commuted by train to come Madurai and study.

67
First Night in New York

கதடெி வதர்வு சநருங்கும்வபாது, புஷ்பா அக்கா


என்னிடம் தைங்கி தைங்கி சதரிவித்தார்கள். நான் வவறு
இடம் பார்த்துக்சகாள்ள வவண்டும் என்று.
As final exam was nearing, Pushpa sister reluctantly
approached me and asked me to find some other place after the exams.
என்னுதடை மூத்த சபரிை அண்ணன் அப்வபாது தான்
மதுதர வந்து காலூன ஆரம்பித்திருந்தார். வரிதெைாக
நாலு சபண்கள். அங்வகயும் தங்க முடிைாது என்பதத
சதளிவாக சொன்னார்.
My eldest brother had just settled down in Madurai. He had 4
daughters. He told me very clearly, I cannot stay with him.
என்னுதடை தந்தத ஒரு நாவடாடி வபால இருந்தார்.
My father was wandering with no proper address or place.
என்னுதடை இரண்டாவது அண்ணன் தன்னுதடை
இருக்குமிடம் முகவரி கூட எங்களுக்கு சதரிந்து விட
கூடாது என்பதாக இருந்தார்.
My second elder brother was very careful. Even his address
was not known to me.
அக்கா வட்டில்
ீ அதடக்கலம் வதடி அதிக நாள்
இருக்க என் தன்மானம் இடம் சகாடுக்கவில்தல.
My self-respect did not allow me to go and stay with my
married sister.
எனக்கு இரு வைது வநர் மூத்த அண்ணன் அப்வபாவத
மதுவுக்கு அடிதம ஆகி சதருவாெம் லட்ெிைவாதி ஆனார்.
My immediate elder brother, 2 years elder to me, was already
an alcoholic and became a roadside philosopher.
எனக்கு வபாக்கிடம் இல்தல. ஆனால் அன்றிலிருந்து
இன்று வதர குதறவில்லாத நம்பிக்தக இருந்தது.
இப்வபாது நிதனத்து பார்த்தால், அதனவரும் இருந்த
அனாதத என்று சொல்லலாம். எனவவ சென்தன வந்வதன்.
I had no place to go and stay rightfully. From those days, and
even today, my self-confidence was enormous. If I think about those
days now, I think, I was an orphan with several relatives. So, I came
to Chennai.
Navnit Narayanan

சமரீனா கடற்கதரைில் பைந்தும், தைங்கியும் கால்


நதனக்கும் வபாது, இப்வபாதும் எனக்கு அந்த மாசபரும்
மணற்பரப்பில் தன்னந்தனிைாக வற்றிருந்த
ீ காலகட்டம்
நிதனவுக்கு வரும். அப்வபாது நான் நிதனத்துக்
சகாள்வவன். நகரம் என்பது ஒரு மாசபரும் காடு.
சநருக்கமான மரங்கள் எல்லாம் மனிதர்கள். நான்
எனக்சகன வவறூன்ற துடிக்கும் ஒரு தனி மரம்.
In marina beach, with fear and hesitation, when I met my feet,
even now I used to think those days. Sitting alone in that large sandy
beach. It is second largest in the world. In those days, I used to think.
A city is a large forest. The dense trees are human beings. I am another
tree trying to find my own space and grow taller.
1982 ஆண்டு வம மாதம் சதன்வமற்கு பருவக்காற்று
வதனிபக்கம் வசும்
ீ வபாது கிளம்பி தனிைாக சென்தன
வந்தவன். சென்தனைில் என் முதல் பைணம் நகரப்
வபருந்து தடம் 23. எழும்பூர்-அதடைாறு. அந்நாளில் குடும்ப
நண்பராய் இருந்து எந்நாளும் உறவினர் வபாலவவ பழகிை
டாக்டர் பிச்தெ அவர்கள் வடு
ீ வதடி பைணம்.
In May 1982, when the South west monsoon was blowing
across my Theni region, I came alone to the city of Chennai. My first
travel was in city bus route number 23. The bus plied between Egmore
to Adyar. In those Mr. Pitchai who had a doctorate in Tamil, used to
be called by all our known circle as Mr. Pitchai. He was like a family
member and relative. I was travelling to his address.
இறங்க வவண்டிை அபிராமபுரம் விொலாட்ெி நகர்
நிறுத்தம். எப்வபாது வரும் என்று சதரிைவில்தல.
I am to get down at ‘Abhiramapuram Bus Stop’. And find
Vishalakshi Nagar. I had no idea about when that bus stop will come.
பஸ் கிளம்பிை ஓரிரு நிறுத்தத்தில் இருந்து
அபிராமபுரம் விொலாட்ெி நகர் நிறுத்தம் எப்வபாது வரும்
என்று வகட்க ஆரம்பித்வதன்.
Within one or two stops of bus having started, I started asking
everyone, ‘When Abhiramapuram, Vishalakshi Nagar Bus stop’ will
come.

69
First Night in New York

அப்வபாது சுமார் 60 வைதிருக்கும் கனவான் என்தன


ஆங்கிலத்தில் வகட்டார்,
‘முதல் முதற சென்தன வருகிறாைா?’ ‘ஆம்!’
என்வறன்.
‘கிராமத்தில் இருந்து வருகிறாைா?’ ‘ஆம்!’ என்வறன்.
‘நீங்கள் எல்லாரும் கிராமத்திவலவை இருந்து
விவொைம் பார்த்தால் என்ன?’ என்றார்.
Then a gentleman, may be around 60 years of age, asked me
in English;
‘Are you coming first time to this city?’
‘Yes!’ I told.
‘Are you coming from Village?’ He asked.
‘Yes!’ I told.
‘Why don’t you stay back in Village and do agriculture?’ He
asked me. Now I asked him;
‘When did you come Chennai?’
’30 years back!’ He proudly declared.
‘You go village, I come after 30 years!’ I told him.
‘நீங்கள் எப்வபாது சென்தன வந்தீர்கள்?’ என்வறன்.
’30 வருடம் முன்!’ என்றார்.
‘You go village. I come after 30 years!’ என்வறன்.
அததன அப்வபாது நான் மிகவும் இைல்பாக
ொதாரணமாக சொன்வனன். பல வருடம் கழித்து நிதனத்து
பார்க்கும் வபாது, சென்தனைில் முதல் வெனவம, ெரிைான
வெனமாக வபெி இருக்கிவறன் என்று வதான்றுகிறது.
At that time, I told that sentence, in a very ordinary manner.
My English was not proper. As I recollect it after several years, I think,
I made the very first dialogue very first time, correctly, in this city.
Navnit Narayanan

PUFFED RICE & ELEPHANT

Puffed Rice & Elephant - US VISA INTERVIEW. My


appointment time was 9:45 am. Chennai was soaked in overnight
Diwali rain (It was always believed during Diwali there will be rain,
and we call it Diwali rain). Leaving the cell phone at home, I reached
US consulate by auto and was there at the gates by around 9:03 am.
After brief frisking, I was ushered into chamber with number
of waiting chairs. As I had already been there, things appeared familiar
to me. I took almost the very same seat where I was waiting for the
very first time few months earlier for my first visa interview. And was
looking at the very same TV display to check my token number and
counter. I used the rest room to check my tie. This time I realized that,
during my previous visit, I did use ladies’ toilet by mistake. I was
assigned to counter No.2 and after brief checking of documents, asked
to go counter No.6 for finger printing. After finger printing, I was
waiting to be directed to the interview block.
It was not lot of time but appeared so due to patient waiting.
Then my turn came to counter no.21. I was not serious or nervous.
The interviewing officer appeared, young, bespectacled, curt
gentleman who knows his business. I watched him grilling a middle-
aged couple. Then a young lady who was very casual and appeared
somewhat over confident. She was talking about her biotechnology
background. Then came my turn.
I greeted with normal ‘Good Morning’ that was reciprocated
with a smile. He checked my previous visit and Visa. Without he is
making any questions, I started talking about my previous visit to New
York and where I stayed and what I intend to do this time.
Fearing that I will not stop my lecture, he intervened, asked
name of my company. When I gave my company name, he started
laughing, first time ever probably on that day. I explained him, it is
name of an Afro-American who sent my very first US dollar payment
about 10 years back.
I offered my business card that he accepted with willingness
and had a look and returned it. Then came the unexpected question.
71
First Night in New York

What was your last purchase?”


It was unexpected. I asked him, “in USA?”
“No, in India”
“I bought a property a week back”
“What property?”
“Shop, a commercial Property!”
“Thank you! Your Visa is approved!”
It was not really a great property. It was a 28.4 Sft shop in
basement floor of a dilapidated business complex. I bought it by
chance and by mistake, by just one look. Any how a property is a
property. A respected product to buy. I remembered my father. He
was smaller than a small agriculturist in a smaller than a small interior
country town. I was a boy. “Son, a man who sold puffed rice, will buy
again puffed rice. A man who sold an elephant, will buy again an
elephant!
Think big, do big business, if at all doing a business!”
Navnit Narayanan

SEVENTH KNOWLEDGE – CINEMA CRITICISM!


ஏழாம் அறிவு – திதரப்பட விமரிெனம்!
இரு நாள் முன்னர் ொதலவைாரம் நடந்தவபாது ‘காெி-
A/C’ திதர அரங்கில் இந்த திதரப்படத்துக்கு டிக்சகட் பதிவு
செய்வதன். வாெலில் நின்றவர் திதர அரங்க உரிதமைாளர்
அல்லது விநிவைாகஸ்தர் வபாலும். 62 லட்ெம் சகாடுத்து
இந்த படத்தத வாங்கியுள்வளன். சவற்றிைா, வதால்விைா
என்பது முதல் காட்ெிைில் சதரிந்து விடும். என்றார்.
I booked the ticket the previous day in Kasi A/c theatre. The
man standing at the entrance, may be theatre owner or distributor. ‘I
bought this film paying Rs.62 Lakh. Whether it will be successful or
not, we will know in the first show!’. He was telling. வழக்கத்துக்கு
மாறாக சுமார் 10 நிமிடம் முன்னாடிவை திதர அரங்கில்
அமர்ந்வதாம். Unusually we were seated 10 minutes earlier before the
movie commences.
சுருக்கமாக சொன்னால், படம் முதலும் முடிவும்
பிரமாதம்! நடுவில் சகாஞ்ெம் சதாங்கல்! சுருதி
கமல்ஹாென் ெற்வற முரட்டு குரல், சகாஞ்ெலாகவும்,
இனிதமைாகவும் இருந்தது.
In brief, the movie was good at the beginning and at the end.
In between it was stretching. Shruthi Kamal Hassan, the heroine had
a muscular, attractive voice that was sweet and melodious.
படம் முடிந்து வந்து, இதணைதளம் வதடிவனன்.
வபாதிதர்மர் உண்தமைிவலவை காஞ்ெிபுரம் சதாடங்கி, ெீ னா
சென்று, ‘வஷாவலின்’ வகாைில் நிறுவிைவர் என்று சதரிை
வந்தது. ஈழ வபாரில் வதால்வி கண்டு, சுணங்கி இருக்கும்
தமிழர்கதள ததல நிமிர தவக்கும் படம் என்று விளம்பரம்
செய்வது ெரி தான்!
After the movie, I searched in the Internet, about, ‘Bodhi
Dharman’ the historical character of a Tamil Prince who sent to China,
settled there, and taught the Chinese the martial arts and medicine. It
was just then; the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were defeated in
Sri Lanka and the entire Tamil speaking masses of the world were in a
mood of sorrow and grief. May be this movie gave some solace.

73
First Night in New York

TODAY DEEPAVALI!?

இன்று தீபாவளிைாம்!

தீப ஒளி திருநாள் என்று வபாற்றப்படும் இன்று தீை


ெக்திகதள ஒழித்து நல்ல ெக்திகள் சவற்றி சபற்றதத
சகாண்டாடுகிவறாம் என்று சபரும்பாலும் சொல்கிறார்கள்.
Today ‘Deepavali’. Festival of lights. Most people say, this is
day of divine and righteous powers having won over Demons and
Satanic powers.
நரகாசுரதன நாராைணன் வதம் செய்த நாளாம்!
Today, the day of Lord Vishnu, also known as ‘Narayanan’,
killing, ‘Narakasuran’.
புத்தாதடகள், பட்டாசுகள், இனிப்புகள்,
நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்! நன்றாகத்தான் இருக்கிறது!
New clothes, Fire Crackers, Sweets, Greetings. Hmm, looks
good!
இன்தறை கள்ளு, ொராைம் வபால, அன்று
வொமபானம் மற்றும் சுராபானம் என்று இருந்திருக்கிறது.
அததன அருந்துபவர்கள் ‘சுரன்’என்றும், அருந்தாதவர்கள்
‘அசுரன்’ என்றும் அதழக்கப்பட்டனர்.
Today popular rural alcoholic drinks in rural area are, ‘Kallu
and Saaraayam’. In same way, it seems, ‘Somapaanam, and
Surapaanam’ was consumed in ancient time.
ெராெரி இந்திை வம்ொவளி மக்கள் ‘நரன்’ என்றும்,
இன்தறை ‘ரஷ்ைா’ மற்றும் ‘கிழக்கு ஐவராப்பிை’ மக்கள்
‘வதவர்’ என்றும், ‘ெீ னா’ மற்றும் அதத ொர்ந்த மக்கள் ‘நாகர்’,
‘வராமானிை மற்றும் கிவரக்க’மக்கள் ‘கந்தர்வர்கள்’ மற்றும்
‘ைவனர்கள் என்றும் அதழக்கப்பட்டனர்.
Ordinary Indians were called ‘Naran’, meaning ‘ordinary
human being’. Present day Russia and Eastern Europe based people
were called ‘Devas’. The Chinese and there look alike were known as
‘Naagas’. The Roman were known as ‘Kandharvas’ and the Greeks
were known as ‘Yavanas’.
Navnit Narayanan

இன்தறை ரஷ்ை நாட்டு ததலவர் சபைர் கூட ‘வதவ்’


என்று முடிவதத கவனிக்கவும். ‘ரம்பா, ஊர்வெி, வமனகா’
என்று நம்மால் தமிழ் படுத்தப்பட்ட சபைர்கள், வதவவலாக
கன்னிதககள் என்று சொல்லப்பட்டவர்கள், அதற்கு ெரிைான
‘ரஷ்ை’ சபைர்கள் இருப்பதத கவனிக்கவும். நாம் ‘வமனகா’
என்று சொல்வதத, வட இந்திைாவில் ‘மவனக்கா’ என்று
சொல்கிறார்கள்.
We can observe, present day Russia leader name ends with
‘dev’. The popular Tamil names, ‘Ramba, Urvasi, Menaga’ though
considered Tamil names for beautiful females, we can see, have similar
Russian names. The name ‘Menaga’ in Tamil, is pronounced as
‘Manekka’ in North India.
குளிர் பிரவதெ ரஷ்ைர்கள், வதவர்கள், அங்வக நிதறை
காய் கனி கிதடக்காததால், சபரும்பாலும் சூடான
சநருப்பில் சுடப்பட்ட ‘மாமிெத்தத’ (Barbecue) சுற்றி
உட்கார்ந்து ொப்பிட்டனர். வநரடிைான மாமிெ உணவு,
குதறவாக ொப்பிட்டாலும், அதிக வநரத்துக்கான ெக்தி
சகாடுத்தது. சதாந்தியும் பருக்கவில்தல. வமனி நிறவமா,
வமற்கு ஐவராப்பிை சவள்தள நிறம் மற்றும், கிழக்கில்
இருந்த ெீ னர்களின் மஞ்ெள் நிறம் மற்றும் சதற்கில் இருந்த
இந்திைர்களின் ‘மிளிர் கறுப்பு (brown)’ கலந்த ‘சபான் நிறம்’.
The freezing cold land, Russians, to get energy, ate Meat. They
did not get Fruits and Vegetables in plenty. The roasted the meat in
open bonfire, sat around, and ate in a ‘Barbecue’. The direct
consumption of meat, though taken comparatively (to fruits and
vegetables) in less quantity gave them more energy and their stomach
did not become potbellied. Their colour was combination of White
skin of west Europe, yellow skin of Chinese and brown skin of Indian.
Indian considered that as a Golden Colour.
எனவவ, ெராெரி இந்திைர்களுக்கு, நரர்களுக்கு, இந்த
‘வதவர்கள்’ சராம்ப, சராம்ப நல்லவர்களாக சதரிந்தார்கள்.
அவர்தம் சபண்டிவரா வபரழகிைாக சதரிந்தனர்.
So, for average Indians, the ‘Naran’, these ‘Devas’ appeared
very good and virtuous people. Their females appeared the most
beautiful.
75
First Night in New York

கள்ளு, ொராைம் வபால, அன்று வொமபானம் மற்றும்


சுராபானம் அருந்தி எப்வபாதும் வபாததைில் இருந்த
வதவர்களுக்கு, மிகப்சபரிை குடும்ப பற்வறா, அவர்தம்
சபண்டிரின் கற்பு மற்றும் ஒழுக்க சநறி பற்றிை சபரும்
கவதலவைா இல்தல. பாலுணர்வு கவர்ச்ெி காட்டி தனக்கு
பைனுள்ளதாக மாற்றுவது அவர்களுக்கு அனுமதிக்கப்பட்ட
தர்மமாகும்.
The alcoholic drinks, Somapaanam and Surapaanam
consuming Devas, were mostly drunk. They did not have great value
for family life or their females being very orthodox and virtuous. To
show glamour through their females and get things done more easily
was an acceptable practice for them.
அரெர்கள், ெராெரி மனிதர்கள் அல்ல. அது எந்த மனித
இன அரெனாக இருந்தாலும், அவர்களுக்கு எதிர்காலம்
பற்றிை திட்டமிடல் இருந்தது.
Kings are not ordinary human beings. Whoever be the Kind
for whichever be the race, they all had a planning for future.
எனவவ, சூடான சநருப்பில் சுடப்பட்ட ‘மாமிெத்தத’
(Barbecue) சுற்றி உட்கார்ந்து ொப்பிடும் பழக்கம் இந்திை
மண்ணில் வரக்கூடாது என்பதற்காக, ெராெரி இந்திைர்களின்
குடும்ப பற்று ெிதறி ஒழுக்கமற்ற ெமுதாைம் உருவாகிவிட
கூடாது என்பதற்காக, அந்த வதவர்கள் வவள்வி என்ற
Barbecue நடத்தும்வபாது அவற்தற எப்வபாதும் கதலக்க
முற்பட்டனர்.
So, the Indian kings, ‘Naras’ who did not consume alcohol and
hence came to be known as ‘Narakasuran’ were very careful. They did
not like the meat eating ‘barbecue’ culture getting into India. They
were also careful to protect the dignified family-oriented life of Indian
society. So, whenever the ‘Devas’ conducted ‘Barbecue’, the Indian
Kings took every effort to disturb that.
இந்திை இதிகாெ மற்றும் புராண கததகள்
அதனத்திலும், வதவ அசுர யுத்தம் முக்கிைமானதாகும்.
அந்த யுத்தத்தின் ஆரம்ப காரணம் எப்வபாதும், வதவர்கள்
நடத்தும் வவள்விதை, அசுரர்கள் கதலத்தனர், தடுத்தனர்
அல்லது அழித்தனர் என்று இருக்கும்.
Navnit Narayanan

In all the epics and classics of Indian literature, the war


between ‘Devas’ and ‘Asuras’ were important. In all those wars, the
beginning reason will be, the ‘Asuras’ disturbing and preventing and
destroying the conduct of ‘Barbecue’ style ‘Velvis’ of ‘Devas’.
அந்த மாசபரும் அசுர மன்னர்கதள அழிக்க,
அவர்களுக்குள்வளவை வதவர்கள் ெில துவராகிகதள
நைவஞ்ெகமாக உருவாக்கி தவத்திருந்தனர் என்றும்
இருக்கும்.
To eliminate the Indian Kings, (Asura Kings), the devas
successfully created, traitors around these kings. The traitors,
invariably blood relatives, who fell for the beauty of females of these
‘Devas’.
உலகம் சதாடங்கிை காலத்திலிருந்து ‘வரலாறு’
என்பது சவன்றவர்கள் எழுவது. எனவவ, வதவாசுர
வபார்களில், தன் இன துவராகிகள், மற்றும் தான் பின்பற்றிை
உைரிை சநறிகளால் வதால்வியுற்ற அசுர இனம்,
சவன்றவர்களால் எழுதப்பட்ட இதிகாெம் மற்றும்
புராணங்களில், சகட்டவர்களாக, தீை ெக்திைாக
ெித்தரிக்கபட்டது இைல்பானவத!
From the very beginning the history was started written, it was
always written by those who won. So, the Indian Kings, who lost the
wars due to treacherous acts by traitors amongst them, invariably lost
those wars due to the high idealistic principles followed by them, in
the history written by the winners, the ‘Devas’, were depicted as bad
elements in Indian classics and epics.
நீத்தார் வழிபாடு என்பது இந்திை மண்ணின் புராதன
குணம்.
Worshipping the departed souls on a specific day is an ancient
practice in India.
தன் இனத்துக்காக வபாராடி இன்னுைிர் தந்த
மாவர்கதள
ீ நிதனத்து அவர்தம் நிதனவு நாளில், புத்தாதட
அணிந்து, பதடைலிட்டு, அவர்தம் நிதனவிதன வபாற்றி
நாங்கள் இப்வபாதும் வபாருக்கு தைார் என்று ெவால் விடும்
இந்த இந்திை திருநாள், சதன்னிந்திைாவிவல ‘கரிநாள்’
மற்றும் ‘துக்க நாள்’ என்றும், ரஷ்ை நாட்டு வதவரினம்
77
First Night in New York

அதிகம் கலந்த வட இந்திைாவில் மகிழ்ச்ெி சபாங்கும்


ெந்வதாெ நாள் என்றும் சகாண்டாடப்படுவதில் ஆச்ெர்ைம்
இல்தல.
The day, the braves and great leaders of India martyred, is
observed as day of remembrance with new clothes, offerings of food
to departed souls and to declare that ‘we are ready for war’ in a
challenging way, is considered in South India an ‘inauspicious day’,
‘sad day’ but in north India, due to more proximity to lands of devas,
is considered as a festival and celebrated with happiness. It is not great
mystery to wonder about.
ராமனும், கிருஷ்ணனும், ராவணனும் ெிவனும்
இந்திை மண்ணின் வபார்க்குணம் மிகுந்த மன்னர்களாக
இருந்த வபாதும், அவர்களில் குறிப்பாக ராமனும்
கிருஷ்ணனும் வதவர்களின் சவற்றிக்கு துதண வபான
காரணத்தால், அவர்கள் பிறந்த எட்டாம் நாள் (அஷ்டமி)
மற்றும் ஒன்பதாம் நாள் (நவமி) சதன்னிந்திைாவில்,
குறிப்பாக தமிழகத்தில் சகட்ட நாளாக
கதடப்பிடிக்கப்படுவது கவனிக்கவும்.
The great kings of India, Ram, Knish, Ravana, Sivan were big
time warriors. Amongst them, particularly Krishna and Rama went to
the aid of ‘Devas’. Hence their birth days, eighth day (Ashtami) and
Ninth day (Navami) is considered inauspicious days in South India,
especially in Tamilnadu.
எது எப்படிவைா, நான் பிறந்த மண்ணின், எனக்கு
நிதனவு சதரிந்த காலம் முதல் முன்வனார்களால் ‘கரிநாள்’
என்று கருதப்பட்ட தீபாவளி, இப்வபாது வாழ்த்துக்கள்
பரிமாறும் புண்ணிை திருநாள் ஆகி விட்டது.
Anyhow, from my small age, elders taught me, ‘Diwali’ is day
of remembrance, inauspicious day to start good things. But now, it has
become an auspicious day in which greetings and sweets are
exchanged.
‘உலகத்வதாடு ஒட்ட ஒழுக கல்லாதான், பல கற்றும்
அறிவிலாதான்!’ என்று திருக்குறள் உள்ளது.
Navnit Narayanan

’If you don’t learn, to adhere to widely accepted practices and


beliefs of the world, it is as if, you learnt nothing!’ declares,
‘Thirukural’, popular Tamil literature.
எனவவ, நானும் சொல்கிவறன்! “தீபாவளி
நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்!!”
So, I also say, ‘Diwali Greetings!’

79
First Night in New York

MISSED TRAIN DREAM!


தவறவிட்ட ரைில் பைணம்!

இது சென்தனதான்! தூக்கம் சதாதலந்த ராத்திரிகள்.


என் சபைதர நாவன வலிை வபாய் சகடுத்துக்சகாண்ட
காலகட்டம். எனக்கு திடீசரன்று சகட்ட சபைரின் வமவல
நம்பிக்தகயும், விசுவாெமும் வந்துவிட்டது.
It is Madras. Nights without sleep. On my wife, with intent, I
spoiled my name. Suddenly I started believing in bad name and
became confident that bad name is important.
நான் ஒரு சபரும் சவற்றிதை அதடைவபாகிவறன்.
மிகவும் நல்ல மனிதன் ஒருவன், மிகவும் நல்ல வழிைில்
ெம்பாதித்த சொத்தத காப்பாற்ற சகட்ட வழிகதளயும்
சதரிந்து தவத்திருக்க வவண்டும் என்று நம்ப ஆரம்பித்வதன்
(இப்வபாதும்தான்).
I will have a huge success. A very good person who made
money in very good way, to protect his hard-earned wealth, will need
to know all bad deeds, methods and means. I started believing this.
Now also I believe in it.
நிதனவு சதரிந்த நாளின் இருந்து என் வாைில்
வாராத அெிங்கமான வார்த்ததகள் ெற்வற உச்ெரிக்க
பழகிைது நாக்கு.
From very young age, I never used bad words. Now I started
practicing such words.
விைாபாரம் நன்றாக வபாய் சகாண்டிருந்ததா,
இல்தலைா என்று சொல்ல சதரிைவில்தல. அது ஒரு
பைணம் வபால இருந்தது.
I could not guess, if my business and career was going good
or not. It was more like a journey.
மிகவும் அதிெைமாக கருதப்பட்ட 2000 ஆண்டு வநாக்கி
மாதங்கள் விதரந்து சகாண்டிருந்தன. ஏவதா ஒரு நாள்.
ஏவதா ஒரு இரவவா, பகவலா சதரிைவில்தல. உறக்கம்.
கனவு.
Navnit Narayanan

Year 2000 was considered a great miracle. Months were


towards that. One day. Day or Night, I don’t know. I was sleeping.
Dream in the sleep.
நான் ரைிலில் பைணம் செய்து சகாண்டிருக்கிவறன்.
சடல்லிதை வநாக்கி.
I am travelling in a train. Journey to Delhi.
இலக்தக வநாக்கிை பைணம். பைணத்திவலை ஒரு
அவெரம், பதட்டம். நடுவழிைில் ஏவதா ஒரு ெிறிை ரைில்
நிதலைத்தில், நுதழவதற்கு முன்பாகவவ ரைில் நிற்கிறது.
எதிரில் வரும் வண்டிக்காக வழி விட்டு காத்திருப்பதாக
சதரிகிறது.
Journey towards the destination. Urgency, palpitation in the
travel. On the way, the train stops at a small station, well before
entering the station. It appears waiting for opposite direction train to
cross.
நான் பைணிக்கும் ரைிலில் சபரிை கூட்டம் ஏதும்
இல்தல. ொதாரண ரைில் சபட்டி. ொவகாெமான நடுத்தர
வர்க்க பைணிகள். தடதடசவன விதரந்து வந்த ரைில்
சவட்டசவளி ெிற்றூரில் நிற்பதால், பலர் ஜன்னல் வழிவை
சவளிவை பார்க்கிறார்கள்.
There is no big crowd in the train that I travel. Ordinary coach.
Leisurely middle calls passengers. The train, that was running fast,
suddenly stopped in a small village. So, everyone was looking out of
the window.
சதாதலதூரத்தில் முன்னால் இருக்கும் ரைில்
என்ஜின். ரைிலும் காலிைாக இருப்பதால், தகைில் சுதம
ஏதும் இல்லாததால், புதுதில்லி சென்றவுடன், விதரவில்
ரைில் நிதலைத்தத விட்டு சவளிவைறுவதற்கு வெதிைாக,
நான் பைணிக்கும் ரைில் சபட்டிதை விட்டிறங்கி, முன்னால்
என்ஜின் அருகில் இருக்கும் சபட்டிைில் ஏறலாம் என
தீர்மானிக்கிவறன்.
At the far end I can see my train engine. Train is almost empty.
I don’t have any luggage. So, I think, if I get down from this coach
and take a seat in one of the nearer to engine coach, when the train

81
First Night in New York

reaches, New Delhi, I can more quickly get out of railway station. I
decide accordingly.
என்தன வபாலவவ வமலும் ஓரிருவர் இறங்கி
முன்செல்வதத அறிந்து, விதரவாக இறங்கி விதரவாக
முன்சென்று, ஒரு சபட்டிைில் ஏறி அமர்கிவறன். இந்த
சபட்டி மிகவும் காலிைாக இருக்கிறது.
As I see, few more people are getting down and going towards
engine, I also get down and walk very fast and board a coach very near
to engine. This coach is fully vacant.
என்தன வபாலவவ, என் சபட்டிைில் பைணித்த
இன்னும் ெிலரும் இவத சபட்டிைில் அமர்கிறார்கள். எனவவ
ெரிைான முடிதவதான் எடுத்திருக்கிவறாம் என்சறண்ணி
அமர்கிவறன்.
Like me, some passengers who travelled in my coach, are
seated in this empty coach near the engine. So, I decide, I have taken
a correct decision. I am comfortably seated.
நதடபாததைில் வதநீர் விற்று முடித்துவிட்டு
தெக்கிள் டீ வகனுடன் சவளிவை செல்லும் ஒரு கிராமத்து
இதளஞன் ஏன் எங்கதள ஒரு மாதிரி அதிெைமாக
பார்க்கிறான் என்று சதரிைவில்தல.
Outside, there is a young boy selling tea in a can carried in a
bicycle. This village lad was strangely looking at us. We don’t know
why?
‘காலிைாக இருக்கும் ஒரு ரைிலில், காலிைாக
இருக்கும் முன் சபட்டிைில், மிகவும் பின்னால் இருக்கும்
சபட்டிைில் இருந்து ெிலர் வந்து அமர்வதில் என்ன அதிெைம்
இருக்கிறது? கிராமத்து மக்களுக்கு இதுகூட சதரிவதில்தல’
என நிதனக்கிறன்.
In a near empty train, in a near empty coach at the front, what
is wrong in some people who travelled by rear coaches coming and
sitting? These village people don’t know even this. I was thinking.
எதிர்பார்த்த மாதிரிவை, தடதடசவன ெத்தமுடன் எதிர்
திதெைில் ஒரு விதரவு ரைில் எங்கள் ரைிதல கடந்து
செல்கிறது. எதிர்திதெ ரைில் சென்றுவிட்டதால், எங்கள்
ரைில் கிளம்ப ஆர்வமுடன் காத்திருக்கிவறாம்.
Navnit Narayanan

As we all expected, in opposite direction, an express train


crosses us with huge sound. Now the train in opposite direction has
crossed, we are eager that our train will start and proceed our journey.
கிராமத்து ரைில் நிதலைங்களில் ரைில்
கிளம்புவதற்கு ஒலிக்கும் ‘கினிகினி’ என்ற மணிவைாதெ.
கிளம்பலாம் என்பற்கான ‘கார்டு’ சகாடுத்த விெில் ெத்தம்.
தனக்வக உரிை நீண்ட விெிலுடன் கிளம்பிைது ரைில்
என்ஜின்.
In the village side railway stations, the station master rang the
bell. It is like a school bell. We could listen to the whistle of guard at
the far end. With a long whistle, the train engine starts.
நானும் என்னுடன் சபட்டி மாறி ஏறிை ெில
பைணிகளும் அதிெைமாக பார்த்வதாம்.
Me and the people who changed the coach started looking out
with puzzle.
ஏசனன்றால், எங்கள் சபட்டிதை இழுத்து சென்ற
ரைில் என்ஜின், வநராக செல்வதற்கு பதிலாக, வலதுபுரம்
ஐந்தாறு தண்டவாளங்கதள கடந்து, ஒதுக்குபுறமாக
சென்று, நின்வற விட்டது.
Because, the rail engine, instead of going straight, crossed few
rails on the right side, and after crossing about 5 or 6 tracks, reached
the last track and stopped, once for all.
அப்வபாதுதான் எங்கள் மர மண்தடகளுக்கு புரிந்தது.
முன்னால் இருந்த சபட்டிகள் ஏன் காலிைாக இருந்தன,
தெக்கிள் டீக்காரன் ஏன் எங்கதள அதிெைமாக பார்த்தான்.
Now only, the idiotic we people realised, why that village lad
with a tea can and bicycle, was looking at us repeatedly when we
changed coach and got seated in coach nearer to the engine.
ஏசனன்றால் நாங்கள் வந்த ரைில் இந்த ரைில்
நிதலைத்தில் இரண்டாக பிரிந்து, ரைிலின் முன் பகுதி
இங்வகவை நின்றுவிடுகிறது.
Because, the train that we travelled, at this railway station, gets
split and the front portion stops in this station.
சபட்டிதை விட்டிறங்கி, பிளாட்பாரம் நின்ற
எங்களுக்கு, மீ ண்டுன் ஒரு ஆச்ெர்ைம். நாங்கள் பைணித்த
83
First Night in New York

பின்னால் இருந்த சபட்டிகளுடன் புது என்ஜின்


இதணக்கப்பட்டு, மணிவைாதெ வகட்டு, விெிவலாதெ
வகட்டு, நீண்ட விெில் என்ஜின் ெத்தமுடன் கிளம்ப
ஆரம்பிக்கிறது. பதட்டத்தில் நான் செய்வதறிைாது
நிற்கிவறன்.
We few get down from the coach and stand at the platform.
Again, a surprise. The rear coaches, in which we were travelling, got
engaged with a new engine. Station master rings the bell. Guard
whistles. Long whistle from engine. The train starts. With tension and
palpitation, I stand timidly, not knowing what to do.
எனக்கு ஓடும் வண்டிைில் ஏறும் பழக்கம் கிதடைாது.
என்னுடன் சபட்டி மாறி இறங்கிைவர்கவளா, சபரும்பாலும்
ஓடி சென்று கிளம்பிை ரைிலில் ஏறி விட்டார்கள். என்னுடன்
பைணித்த, நீண்ட சுருட்தட முடியும், அடர்ந்த குட்தட
தாடியும், நீல ஜீன்ஸ் வபண்ட், முழுக்தக சவள்தள ெட்தட
அணிந்த இதளஞர் ஓடிசகாண்டிருக்கும் வபாவத என்தன
திரும்ப திரும்ப (இவன் ஏன் ஓடி ஏறவில்தல என்று)
அதிெைமாக பார்த்தபடி, அவரும் ஓடிசென்று கிளம்பிை
ரைிலில் ஏறி விட்டார்.
I don’t have the habit of boarding a running vehicle. All the
people who changed coach and travelled with me, ran fast, and
boarded the moving train. A young man with blue jeans, white shirt,
long curly hairs, thick French beard, was looking back at me repeatedly
as he was running towards the train. May be, he was wondering, why
I am just standing, not taking efforts to run.
சவட்டசவளிைில், நாட்டுப்புறத்தில், ஆளில்லாத
ரைில் நிதலைத்தில், தன்னந் தனிைனாக நிற்கிவறன்.
எங்கும் அதமதி. என்ன செய்வசதன்று புரிைவில்தல.
Vast empty land in village side. No one seem to be around. I
am standing all alone in that lonely railway station. Everywhere total
silence. I have no idea what to do.
சவள்தள ெீ ருதடயும், சதாப்பியும் அணிந்த
ஸ்வடஷன் மாஸ்டர் என்தன வநாக்கி வருகிறார்.
The white uniform cap class station master walks towards me.
Navnit Narayanan

‘என்ன? ரைிதல விட்டாச்ொ? ஒன்னு, ஓடிப்வபாய்


ஓடும் ரைிலில் ஏறும் ததரிைம் இருக்கனும். இல்ல,
ஒழுங்கா, இருந்த சபட்டிைிவலவை உட்கார்ந்து இருக்கனும்.
அடுத்த ரைில் எப்வபா வருவமா?’ என்று ததலைில்
அடித்தவாறு சென்றுவிட்டார்!
‘So, you missed the train? Either you should have the courage
to run and board the running train. Or you should have simple seated
in usual coach with discipline without changing the coach. When the
next train will come, even I don’t know!’ He hits his forehead with his
hand and walks away!
உறக்கம் கதலந்தது. கனவும் மதறந்தது.
Sleep over. I woke up. The dream vanished.
நியூ ைார்க் நகதர விட்டு உடனடிைாக கிளம்பி
விடலாம் என்று முடிசவடுத்த வபாது, நல்ல வவதளைில்
பல ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன் எனக்கு வந்த இந்த கனவின்
நிதனவு வந்தது.
I took a decision to leave New York city immediately. Now,
this dream, I had several years back, came to my mind.

85
First Night in New York

INCREDIBLE, BUT TRUE!


அதிெைம், ஆனால் உண்தம!

அவத கதடைில் இருந்த இன்சனாருவர், ‘உன்தன


எங்வகவைா பார்த்திருக்கிவறன்!’ என்றார். ‘இல்தல, முதல்
முதறைாக நியூ ைார்க் வருகிவறன்’ என்வறன். ‘இப்வபாது
ஞாபகம் வந்து விட்டது, நீ எங்கள் ஊர் ெினிமா நடிகன்
வபால இருக்கிறாய்!’ என்றார். என்னடா வம்பாக வபாய்
விட்டது என்று அதறக்கு திரும்பிவனன்.
The man in the shop told me, ‘I have seen you somewhere!’.
‘No, I am coming New York very first time!’ I told him.
‘Now I remember. You resemble a lot, an actor of our place!’
he said.
‘What is this new trouble? I wondered!’ and I came back to my
room.
வகாபால வமனன் ராமெந்திரன் நிதனவு வந்தது. ஈழ
நாட்டு கண்டி நகரில் பிறந்த இந்த ராமச்ெந்திர வமனன் ெக
தமிழர் வபால (இந்திைாவுக்கு சவளிவை, தமிழர் மற்றும்
மதலைாளிகதள ஒன்றாகத்தான் கருதவவண்டும்)
சநருக்கப்பட்டு, நசுக்கப்பட்டு, பிழிந்சதடுத்த பழத்தின்
உதிர்ந்த விதத வபால தமிழகம் வந்தார்.
I thought about ‘Gopala Menon Ramachandran’. This man
who was born in a town ‘Kandi’ in ‘Eelam’, (Some version states, he
was born in Palacode in Kerala, and migrated to Eelam in small age),
was subjugated, flushed out as a seed from a fruit being juiced,
dehydrated, and entered Tamilnadu, as several other Tamils in those
periods.
அன்பான அன்தன, அருதமைான அண்ணன்
அரவதணப்பில் ெிறு விததசைன தமிழ் ெினிமா புகுந்து,
காலத்ததயும், வநரத்ததயும் கச்ெிதமாக புரிந்து சகாண்டு,
சபருமரசமன வளர்ந்தார்.
A loving mother, wonderful elder brother took care of him
even in his adult age. He entered Tamil cinema as a small seed, acting
Navnit Narayanan

in small roles. He used time and circumstances very carefully and grew
like a big tree.
கட்டிளம் சபண்கதள கவர்ச்ெிைாக காட்டி, கட்டி
பிடித்து, காதல் செய்து, கண்ணிைம் மிக்க கனவானாகவும்
புண்ணிைம் செய்த புனிதனாகவும், கடதம செய்யும்
காவலனாகவும், ஏமாளிைான ஏதழைாகவும்
திதரப்படங்களில் தன்தன காட்டி பாமர மக்களின்
அனுதாபத்தத சபற்றிருந்தார்.
In his films, he showed young beautiful girls in very glamour
roles. Scenes were created in such a way that these girls envy with each
other to love this hero and acted very close and intimate in scenes.
Showing these girls in just bra and panties was normal in is films. But
his character was like a great noble man. A duty-bound Police officer.
An innocent poor village man. Someone who always helps others.
With such acts, he created sympathy with rural folks.
அவர் நடித்த திதரப்படங்களில், அவர் சபரும்
கவனமுடன், மிக உைரிை கருத்துக்கள் உள்ள கதத மற்றும்
பாடல் காட்ெிகதள உருவாக்கிைதால், உடனிருந்த
வவதலைாட்களுக்கு தான் ொப்பிடுவதற்கு ெமமான நல்ல
உணவும், பணமும் வழங்கிைதால், அவ்வாறு வழங்குவதாக
செய்தி சவளிைிட்டவர்களுக்கும் நல்ல உணவும், பணமும்
வழங்கிைதால், அவருக்கு செல்வாக்கு சபருகிைவபாது,
அவதர சகாதல முைற்ெி செய்ததால் அனுதாபமும்
சபருகி, பின்னாளில் தமிழக முதல் அதமச்ெரும் ஆனார்.
இந்திை நாட்டின் மிக உைரிை விருதான ‘பாரதரத்னா’
விருதும் சபற்றார்.
In his films, he carefully created great idealistic thoughts,
screen play and songs. He offered food equal to what he used to eat,
to others who worked for him. He gave good money to them. He took
care to get publicity for these things. For such good publicity, he gave
money to the journalists. His popularity was growing. At that time,
another popular actor, attempted to murder him and fired at him from
his pistol. It became a very popular news in those days and people
became fanatically adoring him with love and respect. He entered
politics and became a Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, my home state in
87
First Night in New York

India. He also got the highest civilian honour in India, ‘Bharath


Rathna’.
அதிெைம், ஆனால் உண்தம!
Difficult to believe, but true!
இலங்தக தமிழர் இந்திைா வந்து படங்களில் நடித்து,
முதலதமச்ெராக, இந்திை தமிழர், முத்துராஜா, கர்நாடக
மாநிலம் சென்று, கன்னட சமாழி உணர்தவ தூண்டிவிடும்
படங்களில் நடித்து, அந்த மாநில முதல்வதர நிர்ணைிக்கும்
மாசபரும் ெக்திைாக மாற, பக்கத்துக்கு ஆந்திராவில்
திதரப்படங்களில் கிருஷ்ணனாகவும், ராமனாகவும் நடித்த
ராமராவ், மாசபரும் ெக்திைாக மாறி மாநில முதல்வராக, ‘நீ
எங்கள் ஊர் ெினிமா நடிகன் வபால இருக்கிறாய்!’ என்று
சொல்லப்பட்ட நான், அசமரிக்காவுக்கு ஜனாதிபதி
ஆகிவிடுவவவனா என்று பைந்து வபாய் விட்வடன்.
The Sri Lankan Tamil, Malayalee, Ramachandran Menon,
came India, acted in films, and became chief minister of Tamilnadu.
The Indian Tamil, Muthuraj, took a cinema name ‘Rajkumar’, acted in
Kannada films and became a force to determine the chief minister of
that state, Karnataka. In adjoining Andhra Pradesh, the man who
acted as Lord Rama and Krishna, N.T. Ramarao, entered politics and
became chief minister of that state. So, I became afraid and panicky,
when someone told me, ‘I look like a cinema actor in his New York
city’. I became afraid and panicky because, I may become President of
United States of America.
உலகத்தின் ததல எழுத்தத நிர்ணைிக்கும்
அசமரிக்காவின் ததல எழுத்தத நிர்ணைிக்கும் ெராெரி
அசமரிக்கர்களின் ததல எழுத்தத என் ததல எழுத்து
மாற்றிவிட கூடாது என்பதற்காகவும் நியூ ைார்க் நகதர
விட்டு உடனடிைாக கிளம்பி விடலாம் என்று
முடிசவடுத்வதன்.
The fate of the world is in the hands of United States of
America. The fate of the Americans is determined by its President. I
decided, my fate, should not change their fate. Hence, I decided to
leave New York immediately.
Navnit Narayanan

SUBRAMANYA BHARATHI –A MILITANT!


சுப்ரமணிை பாரதி ஒரு தீவிரவாதிதான்

‘நிர்வாணா’ உணவகம் நன்றாக இருந்தது. சுமார் 15


டாலருக்கு நாவம நம் தட்தட திரும்ப திரும்ப நிரப்பி
சகாள்ளும் உணவு. இந்திை முதறப்படி, திரும்ப திரும்ப
குடிக்க தண்ண ீர் நிரப்பினார்கள்.
‘Nirvana’ restaurant was good in Lexington Avenue. For about
$15, food was self-serving unlimited. As per Indian customs, water
was refilled repeatedly.
இந்திைாவின் பல்வவறு நகரங்களில்
உணவருந்திைவன் நான். அதவ எல்லாவற்தறயும் விட,
இந்த உணவக ‘சராட்டி’ மிகவும் மிருதுவாகவும்,
சுதவைாகவும் இருந்தது. திருப்திைாக ொப்பிட்டு திரும்ப
வந்வதன்.
I had taken food in several cities of India. The ‘roti’ served
here was much softer than all these cities. It was very delicious. I had
a sumptuous meal and came out.
பார்க் அவன்யு தாண்டும் வபாது, வபங்க் ஆப் பவராடா
நிதனவு வந்தது. ப்ளாக் சபர்ரி வமப் துதணைில்,
சதாதலவபெி எண் கிதடத்தது. அதன் வமலாளர்
திரு.ராமொமி அவர்கதள ெந்தித்து ெிறுவநரம்
உதரைாடிவனன். அவர் மிகுந்த எச்ெரிக்தகயுடன் வபசுவதாக
எனக்கு பட்டது. அவருக்கு என் ெிரமம் சகாடுக்க வவண்டும்
என்று விதரவில் சவளி வந்வதன்.
As I crossed Park Avenue, I went to Bank of Baroda. I had a
brief conversation with its Manager Ramasamy. It appeared to me, he
was talking very carefully. Why to give him trouble? I came out
quickly.
நியூைார்க் வநரம் பகல் மூன்று மணி. கதளப்பாக
இருந்தது. தூக்கம் வந்தது. முதல் நாள் விமான பைணத்தில்
உணவருந்திைது. சுமார் 24 மணி வநரம் கழித்து
ொப்பிட்டதால் தூக்கம் கண்தண சுழற்றிைது. சவளிவை
எங்வகயும் செல்ல மனம் வரவில்தல.

89
First Night in New York

New York time 3 pm. I was tired. Became sleepy. Previous day
I had food at the flight. Now, I took food after 24 hours. So, I became
very sleepy. No mood to go out anywhere.
வஹாட்டல் அதற கட்டில் தாலாட்டுவது வபால
ஆடிைது. வஹாட்டல் சதாதலகாட்ெி சபட்டிதை
முதல்முதறைாக ‘ஆன்’ செய்வதன். எங்கும் தமிழ், எதிலும்
தமிழ் என்று கூறும் கனவான்கவள, ‘ஆன்’ செய்வது
என்பதற்கு சகாஞ்ெம் ெரிைான தமிழ் பதம் கூறுங்கள். அவத
வபால, ‘தெக்கிள்’ பாகங்களுக்கும் தமிழ் படுத்துங்கள்.
The hotel bed was rocking as if a lullaby. I switched ‘ON’ the
Television. The ones, who wants, Tamil in anything and everything,
please translate and tell how to say ‘On’. Same way translates in Tamil
various parts of Bicycle.
சதாதலகாட்ெிைில் ‘ஐரீன்’ புைல் பற்றிை எச்ெரிக்தக
வந்தது. இது என்னடா வம்பாக வபாய்விட்டது. நான்
அசமரிக்காவில் கால் தவப்பதற்கு முன் நிலநடுக்கம்
ஏற்பட்டது. கால் தவத்த மறு நாவளா புைல் அடிக்கும்
என்கிறார்கவள! வபொமல் இந்திைா திரும்ப வபாய் விடலாம்.
In Television, the warning about cyclone ‘Irene’ was made.
What is this, just before landing, there was earthquake in New York.
Now, next day after landing, cyclone warning. May be, I should return
to India?
‘தனி ஒரு மனிதனுக்கு உணவில்தல என்றால்
ஜகத்திதன அழித்திடலாம்’ என்ற ‘சுப்ரமணிை பாரதி ஒரு
தீவிரவாதிதான். ஆனால், நான் ஒருவன் வருவதற்காக,
அசமரிக்காவில் நிலநடுக்கம் மற்றும் புைல் அடிக்குமானால்,
பாவம் அசமரிக்க நாடு. தப்பித்து வபாகட்டும் என்று
நிதனத்வதன்.
’If a single individual not getting food, let us destroy the
world!’ wrote the Tamil Poet, Subramanya Bharathi. I am sure, he was
a militant. For me, a single individual, if United States of America got
earth quake and hurricane, I decided, let that country be safe and I get
out of that country.
எனக்கு தஹதராபாத் நிதனவு வந்தது. 2001ஆம்
ஆண்டு துவக்கத்தில், நான் தஹதராபாத் நகரில் கால்
Navnit Narayanan

தவத்த வபாது, நான் தங்கிை இடத்தின் இருபுறமும் நடந்த


எதிர்பாராத விபத்துகள் நிதனவு வந்தது. தஹதராபாத்தில்
உள்ளடங்கிை நகரமான செகந்தராபாத் தமை பகுதி
‘பாரதடஸ்’, அந்த சபைரில் இருந்த ெினிமா திவைட்டர்
சபைரிலானது. நான் அங்வக ஒரு ததரத்தளம் வாடதகக்கு
எடுத்திருந்வதன்.
I remembered my stay in Indian city, Hyderabad. In 2001,
when I stepped into Hyderabad, on both sides of my place of stay,
two accidents took place. Secunderabad was part of Hyderabad. The
central part of Secunderabad had a movie theatre named ‘Paradise’.
Hence that area became known as Paradise. There I had a ground floor
place on rental.
அப்வபாதுதான் கததவ பூட்டிவிட்டு சமைின்
வராடுக்கு வந்வதன். இந்திை நகரங்கள் எல்லாவற்றிலும்
பிரதான ொதல சபைர் மகாத்மா காந்தி ொதல. வாகன
சநரிச்ெல் அதிகமாகி சகாண்டிருந்தது. எதிர்புறம் ‘பர்வன்

ட்ராவல்ஸ்’ சொகுசு வபருந்து ததல நிதறை உைர
உைரமான ெரக்குகதள ஏற்றி, சமதுவாக வந்தது.
ொதலைின் இருபுறம் இதணக்கும் சதாதலவபெி,
இன்டர்சநட், மற்றும் சதாதலகாட்ெி வகபிள்கள். அதில்
ஒன்று எதிர்புறம் ‘பர்வன்
ீ ட்ராவல்ஸ்’ சொகுசு வபருந்து
ததல நிதறை உைர உைரமான ெரக்குகளில்
மாட்டிசகாண்டது.
Just after locking the door, I came to the main road. All-
important roads India are named ‘Mahatma Gandhi Road’. This is also
same MG Road. Traffic was getting congested. Other side of the road,
there was a tall ‘Parveen Travels’ Bus. Telephone cable, internet cable,
TV cables were crisscrossing both sides of road. One of the cable got
tangled with the luggage kept on the roof of the tall bus.
வபருந்து நகர, நகர, மக்களின் குரல். வபருந்து
ஓட்டுனர் கவனிக்கவில்தல. அப்வபாதுதான் என்தன
கடந்து என் குடிைிருப்பில் இருந்து ஒரு தகசநடிக்
வஹாண்டா வண்டி சென்றது. அவதர மதனவியும்
குழந்ததகளும் ‘டாட்டா’ சொல்லி வழி அனுப்பிதவத்தனர்.

91
First Night in New York

As the bus started moving, people were shouting. The driver


of the bus did not notice. Just then, from my apartment, a middle-aged
man went out in his ‘Kinetic Honda’ two-wheeler. His wife and
children bade farewell to him.
எதிர்புறம் ‘பர்வன்
ீ ட்ராவல்ஸ்’ சொகுசு வபருந்து நகர,
நகர, மக்களின் குரல். வபருந்து ஓட்டுனர் கவனிக்கவில்தல.
வபருந்தில் மாட்டிசகாண்ட வகபிள் மறுமுதனைில்
சதருவிளக்கு கம்பத்தில் கட்டி தவக்கப்பட்டிருந்ததால்
சதருவிளக்கு கம்பம் ெரிந்து ொதலைில்
சென்றுசகாண்டிருந்த வாகனங்கள் வமல் விழுந்தது.
‘குய்வைா, முதறவைா’ என்று கூக்குரல். ஒவர கவளபரம்.
தாமதமாக வந்த ஆம்புலன்ஸ். நிறுத்தப்பட்ட
வபாக்குவரத்து.
As the opposite side ‘Parveen Travels’ bus started moving,
people were shouting. The bus driver did not notice. The cable that
got tangled in the roof top luggage of the bus, other end was tied to a
street lamp post. The lamp post fell on the vehicles. Everyone was
shouting. Total confusion. An ambulance came late. The traffic was
halted.
வருத்தமுடன் வட்டுக்கு
ீ வந்து ஓய்சவடுத்வதன்.
ெிலமணிவநரம் கழித்து. சவளிவை அழுகுரல். இறுதி
ெடங்குகள். மதனவியும் குழந்ததகளும் ‘டாட்டா’ சொல்லி
வழி அனுப்பிதவத்த, என் குடிைிருப்பில் இருந்து தகசநடிக்
வஹாண்டா வண்டிைில் சென்றவர்தான் அந்த எதிர்பாராத
விபத்தில் பலிைானார்.
Sadly, I came back to my residence and took rest. Few hours
later, people were crying outside. Funeral procedure was taking place.
The man, who went in the morning in Kinetic Honda two-wheeler, it
seems, became a victim in that accident and got killed.
அந்த குடிைிருப்பின் நுதழவாைிலில் இந்த விபத்து
நடந்தசதன்றால், அவத வவதளைில், குடிைிருப்பின் பின்புற
சதருவில் ஒரு ெிறிை ஓய்வான உணவு விடுதி இருந்தது.
அதிவல அமர்ந்து வதநீர் அருந்திைவர் வமல், அந்த பதழை
கட்டட வமல்கூதர விழுந்து ஒருவர் உைிரிழப்பு, மற்றவர்
படுகாைம் என்ற செய்தியும் வந்தது.
Navnit Narayanan

If this happened on the south side of the apartment that I


lived, at around the same time, another accident took place on the
north side. This I came to know later. It seems roof came down on a
man taking tea in a small eatery in that back street.
ெற்று வநரம் முன்தான் நான் அந்த இடத்தத கடந்து
வந்திருந்வதன். அகலமான, ஆள் நடமாட்டம் இல்லாத அந்த
சதருவில், இரண்டு வபர் மட்டும் உட்கார்ந்திருந்த அந்த
கதடைில் 'டீ ' ொப்பிடலாம் என எனக்கும் வதான்றிைது. ெிறு
கதடைில் சமாழி சதரிைாமல் என்ன செய்வது என்று வந்து
விட்வடன்.
In fact, just then I had also crossed that back street. I saw that
tea stall in an old building. Just two people were seated in that isolated
tea stall. It was a short but wide connecting road. I wanted to have a
tea there. Due to language problem I did not enter that tea stall at that
time.
நிலநடுக்கம், புைல் வபான்ற செய்தி எனக்கு பைம்
சகாடுத்தது. ஏறத்தாழ தகைில் இருந்த பணமும் கதரந்து
விட்டது. நியூ ைார்க் நகதர விட்டு உடனடிைாக கிளம்பி
விடலாம் என்று முடிசவடுத்வதன்.
The news about Earth quake and Hurricane gave fear to me.
Almost all my money is also lost. I decided to leave the New York city
immediately.

93
First Night in New York

SMILING LIPS, WONDERFUL CATWALK!


உதட்டில் புன்னதக. ஒய்ைார நதட

Smiling lips, wonderful catwalk!


என் வாழ்வின் மறக்க முடிைாத, நான் செய்த ஒட்டு
சமாத்த புண்ணிைம் மற்றும் தவத்தின் பரிொன கனவு அது.
The day I can never forget in my life. Maybe it is the biggest
award for my life time of penance and good deeds.
2000 ஆண்டு. Y2K OK! என்று வங்கிகளும் சபரும்
விைாபார நிறுவனங்களும் பதற ொற்றி முடித்திருந்தன.
2000 ஆண்டு முன்வதர சமன்சபாருள் சதாழில் நுட்பத்தில்
2000 ஆண்டு வரும் என்பததவை வல்லுனர்கள் மறந்து
விட்டதாகவும், எனவவ, அதற்கு முன் ெரி செய்ைாவிட்டால்,
கப்பல்கள் ஓடாது, விமானம் பறக்காது, ரைில்கள்
தண்டவாளத்தத விட்டிறங்கி வராட்டில் ஓடும், பசு மாடு
கூட பால் கறக்க மறந்து விடும் என்பது வபால புரளிதை
கிளப்பி உலக நாடுகள் அதனத்ததயும் புரட்டி வபாட்டு,
அசமரிக்கர்கள் காசு பார்த்து முடித்து விட்டார்கள்.
Year 2000. Many banks and commercial institutions declared
in advertisements, ‘Y2K OK!’. Till year 2000, it seems, people in
software development industry had forgotten that year 2000 will
come. So, suddenly it dawned upon them that, in year 2000, unless all
software were corrected, they declared, the ships will not sail, the
aeroplanes cannot fly, the trains will start running on the roads instead
of railway tracks. Even the cows will forget how to give milk. With
such atrocious propaganda, the entire world was pushed to an edge
and Americans made money.
சபங்களூர் நகரம், அசவன்யு வராட்டில் பிரிவான ஒரு
ெந்தில், ெிவகுமாருக்கு சொந்தமான கட்டடத்தில், மூன்றாம்
மாடிைில், இடதுபுறம் கதடெி அதறைில் தங்கி இருந்வதன்.
ெில வாரங்களுக்கு முன் தான், திருவாளர் திருப்பதி பாலாஜி
என் கனவில் வந்து என்தன தன் கட்ெிக்கு மாற்றிைிருந்தார்.
நூற்றாண்டின் முக்கிைமான ெந்திர கிரஹனம் நிகழ்ந்த
அந்த நாள் (July 16?) வதர நான் கடவுள் மறுப்பாளன்.
Navnit Narayanan

தற்வபாவதா, பக்தி என்தன ஆட்சகாண்டிருந்தது. அது


நவராத்திரி காலம்.
Bangalore city. A small lane branching from Avenue Road.
One Mr. Shivkumar owned a three-storeyed building. I stayed in the
3rd floor, in last room, left side. Just few weeks earlier, I had changed
into a theist, due to successful political efforts and propaganda by
Lord Balaji of Tirupati. It was the day the biggest of lunar eclipse of
the century took place. Till that day I was atheist. Now I am devoted.
It was period of Navratri.
‘ஆைிரம் ஆைிரம் காலம் உன் ஞாபகம் பூமதழ
தூவும். ..... நீ வரும் பாததைில், பூக்களாய் நான் இருப்வபன்!’
என்ற பாடல் நிதனவுகதள தாலாட்டும். ெில
ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன் ொதல விபத்தில் அகால
மரணமதடந்த என் சபரிை அண்ணன் மகள்
அங்கைற்கண்ணி நிதனவுகள். விரக்தியும், சவறுப்பும்
கலந்த தன்னம்பிக்தக காலம். ஒற்தற படுக்தக.
விட்டத்தில் சதாதலகாட்ெி சபட்டி.
’For thousands of years, I will reverberate in your memories!
By the sides of your passage, I will remain as flowers…!’ This cinema
lyrics played lullaby in my mind. Few years earlier, my eldest brother’s
eldest daughter, ‘Angayar Kanni’ passed away in a road accident. I
always remembered her. This song was playing repeatedly, in the car
that I travelled to accident spot and then to funeral place. It was a
period of self-confidence mixed with hatred, loathing and remorse.
சகாஞ்ெம் உடதல ெிலிர்த்து சகாண்வடன். உதட்டில்
புன்னதக, ஒய்ைார நதட. உடதல புல்லரிக்க தவக்கும்
அந்த விெைத்தத பின்னர் பார்வபாம்!
Goosebumps in the body. Smiling lips, wonderful beauty
catwalk. We will see that another time.

95
First Night in New York

FIRST NIGHT IN NEW YORK


நியூ ைார்க் நகர முதலிரவு

நியூ ைார்க் நகர முதலிரவு. இந்திை வநரப்படி


இரண்டாம் நாள். நிதனவு, கனவு, கனவிதன பற்றிை
நிதனவு, நிதனவிதன பற்றிை கனவாக இருந்தது. ஒரு
வழிைாக காதல சுமார் ஒன்பது மணிக்கு எழுந்வதன்.
First Night in New York. Night in India and day in New York.
It was next day or night as per Indian time. Memories, dreams,
Memories about dreams, dreams about memories. Time passed by. I
got up around 9 am.
புதிை ெிம் கார்டு வவதல செய்கிறதா என்று பார்க்க
பிடிக்கவில்தல. எல்லாருவம என்தன ஏமாற்றிவிட்டார்கள்
என்று வதான்றிைது. உடனடிைாக அடுத்த விமானத்தில்
இந்திைா கிளம்பலாம் என்று நிதனத்வதன்.
I did not like to check, if the new sim card was working. I felt,
everyone cheated me. I wanted to leave by next flight to India.
நிதானமாக குளித்வதன். சுமார் ஒரு மணி வநரம்.
சுடுநீர் நன்றாக வந்தது. நிதானமாக உதட
அணிந்துசகாண்வடன். குளிைலதற கண்ணாடிைில் என்தன
நாவன பாடம் எடுத்வதன். அததத்தான் இப்வபாது facebook
படமாக, அட்தட படமாக, பார்க்கிறீர்கள்.
I had a leisurely bath. For nearly one hour. Hot water came
well. I dressed up slowly. In the bathroom mirror, I took a self-picture
in my blackberry phone. Selfie camera were not very popular at that
time. I had to see the mirror and photo myself. This is the photo you
people are seeing in the Facebook and wrapper of this publication.
நம்பிக்தக இல்லாமல், வஹாட்டல் அதற
சதாதலவபெிைில் என்னுதடை அசமரிக்க எண் வபாட்டு
பார்த்வதன். வவதல செய்தது. புன்னதக வந்தது. ஏதாவது
ொப்பிட்டாக வவண்டுவம, சவளிவை வந்வதன்.
Without confidence, I dialled my number in the hotel
telephone. It worked. I smiled. Something I need to eat. I came out.
Navnit Narayanan

முதறப்படி ஒழுங்காக ஆதட அணிவதாக நிதனத்து


வகாட், சூட், தட அணிந்து சகாண்வடன். பின்னர்தான்
சதரிந்தது, அவ்வாறாக உதட அணிந்தவர்கள் சபரும்பாலும்
‘வாட்ச்வமன்’ வவதல பார்க்கிறார்கள் என்று.
Thinking that I should dress properly, I got dressed up in Coat,
suit, and tie. Only later I came to know, all such dressed up people
were mostly watchmen and security guards in the buildings and
commercial establishments.
‘சலக்ைின்டன் அசவன்யூ’ எப்படி செல்ல வவண்டும்
என்று வகாட், சூட், தட ‘வாட்ச்வமன்’ வகட்வடன். ொதலைில்
நடக்கும்வபாது என் ப்ளாக்சபர்ரி வபானில், வதரபடமும்,
நான் இருக்கும் இடமும் காண்பிப்பது சதரிந்தது.
‘How to go to Lexington Avenue?’ I asked the coat, suit, tie
watchman of my hotel. My blackberry started working. In the map I
could see my location and direction to the place.
அசமரிக்கா பிடிக்க ஆரம்பித்து விட்டது.
I started liking America.
‘சலக்ைின்டன் அசவன்யூ’வில் ‘ெரவண பவன்’
வஹாட்டல் இருக்கும் இடம் வதடி, அதற்கு வநர் எதிரான
திதெைில் சென்வறன். ‘நடந்தது, நடப்பது, நடக்கவபாவது’
அதனத்தும் சொல்வவாம்!’ என்ற விளம்பர பலதக கூடிை
வஹஷ்ைகார அலுவலகம் தாண்டி, ‘நிர்வாணா’ என்ற
இந்திை வஹாட்டல் பார்த்து, தாண்டி சவகுதூரம் சென்வறன்.
பெி அதிகமானது.
I was searching for ‘Saravana Bhavan’ a local restaurant
popular in my native city, in Lexington avenue. It seems I was walking
in opposite direction. There was an advertisement declaring, ‘We will
tell the past, present and future!’, an astrology business place. I
crossed. I had look at ‘Nirvana’ Indian restaurant. I went far. I became
hungrier.
மீ ண்டும் என் ப்ளாக் சபர்ரி வபான் பார்த்து, நான்
நடந்து வந்த பாததக்கு வநர் மாறான பாததைில்
‘ெரவணபவன்’ வஹாட்டல் இருப்பதத அறிந்வதன். நான்
முன்னர் பார்த்த, ‘நிர்வாணா’ வஹாட்டல் சென்வறன்.

97
First Night in New York

Again, I checked my blackberry phone. Realised that the Hotel


Saravana Bhavan is in opposite direction of my waling. I entered the
‘Nirvana’ restaurant that I crossed few minutes earlier.
அது பதழை கட்டிடம். ததரதளம் ொதலதை விட
தாழ்வாக இருந்தது. தைங்கி, தைங்கி நுதழந்வதன். ெீ ரான
ஒப்பதனயுடன் கூடிை, வமற்கத்திை உதட அணிந்த, இந்திை
உருவம் சகாண்ட நங்தக என்தன வரவவற்றார்.
It was an old building. Ground floor was lower than the road
level. With lot of hesitation, I entered the restaurant. A girl, who
appeared Indian, with western costume, proper makeup, received me.
உதட்டில் புன்னதக. ஒய்ைார நதட.
Smiling lips, wonderful beauty catwalk …….
Navnit Narayanan

MY FIRST DREAM!
என் முதல் கனவு!

பம்பாய் நகரம். பல ஆண்டுகள் கழித்து மீ ண்டும்


வந்திருக்கிவறன். சென்தனைில் சதாடங்கி சகாடி கட்டி
பறக்குசமன்று எதிர்பார்த்த (நான் இல்தல, மற்றவர்கள்)
கம்ப்யூட்டர் சதாழில், இன்சனாரு சகாடி கட்டலாசமன்று
இங்கு வந்திருக்கிவறன்.
City of Bombay. I have come after several years. In Chennai I
have started a computer business. Many people expected (not me) that
it will flourish very well. I have come to Bombay to raise another flag.
Whether flag will fly, or the flag post will hit a roadblock, I did not
know.
சகாடி பறக்குமா அல்லது இடிக்குமா என்று அன்று
சதரிைாது. ஜுஹு பீச் ஏரிைா. அடுக்குமாடி குடிைிருப்பு. ஒரு
இஸ்லாமிை சபண்மணிைின் வட்டில்
ீ பணம் கட்டும்
விருந்தினராக (paying guest) தங்கி இருந்வதன்.
Without knowing if the flag will raise and fly or the flag post
will hit a road block, I stayed in Juhu beach area. I stayed as a paying
guest with a Muslim lady.
அந்த சபண்ணின் கணவர் அப்வபாது அசமரிக்காவில்
இருந்தார். என்னுடன் ஒருமுதற வபானில் வபெிைதாக
ஞாபகம். இம்ரான் என்ற அன்பும் அறிவும் நிரம்பிை மகனும்,
அந்த இம்ரானுக்கு அழகும், அறிவும் தளும்பிை ஒரு
தங்தகயும் இருந்தார்கள்.
At that time, the husband of that lady was in USA. I think, he
spoke to me once over phone. They had a lovely knowledgeable son,
Imran. Imran had a beautiful intelligent sister.
இம்ரானுக்கு வானவிைல் ஆராய்ச்ெிைில் (astronomy)
ஆர்வம் அதிகம். விண்சவளி படங்கள், ஆராய்ச்ெி
கட்டுதரகதள எனக்கு காண்பிப்பார். இந்த பிரபஞ்ெம்
எவ்வளவு பரந்து விரிந்தது, அதில் நாம், நம் வடு,
ீ நம் நகரம்,
நம் நாடு எவ்வளவு ெிறிைது என்று காண்பிப்பார். நானும்
ெரிக்கு ெரிைாக வபசுவதால், அதிகம் அன்பு காண்பித்தார்.

99
First Night in New York

Imran was interested in astronomy. He showed me space


research related photos and articles. How large is this universe? How
small we are in this universe. How small our country, our city, our
house is? I used to engage him in useful knowledgeable conversation.
So, he was very friendly with me.
வானவிைல் ஆராய்ச்ெி வநர் மாறான நுண்ணுைிர்
ஆராய்ச்ெி பற்றி நான் சொல்வவன். உைிர், உடல், உடலின்
ஒரு ெிறு பகுதி, அதனிலும் உைிர், அணு, செல்,
அதனுள்ளும் உைிர், அததன பற்றிை ஆராய்ச்ெி, அதன்
விதளவாக வநாய்கதள கண்டுபிடித்தது, மருந்துகதள
கண்டு பிடித்தது, உலக அதமதிக்கு ஒட்டு சமாத்த பக்க
பலமாக இருக்கும் அணு குண்டு (அடுத்தவனும் அணு
குண்டு வபாட்டுவிடுவான் என்று பைந்து தாவன, அவனவன்
சும்மா அதமதிைாக இருக்கிறான்!) கண்டு பிடித்தது, நான்
சொல்வது இம்ரானுக்கு விைப்பான மாறுபட்ட கருத்தாக
இருக்கும்.
I tell him, what is opposite astronomy, the micro biology. The
life, the body, the smallest part of body, a cell, life within cell. Research
about these. Finding medicines due to these researches. Atom, Atomic
bombs, World peace prevailing due to atomic bombs (world is
peaceful because one fears that the other country also drop atomic
bombs). What I said used to be contradictory interesting thoughts to
Imran.
உைர் அடுக்கு மாடிைில், ததடைற்ற ஜன்னல். ஜிலு
ஜிலு காற்று. சுகமான தூக்கம். கனவு.
High raise building. Higher floor apartment. Window without
barriers. Chill breeze. Pleasurable sleep. Dream.
நான். என் மதனவி. என் அம்மா. தகக்குழந்ததைாக
என் மதனவிைிடம் என் அன்பு மகள்.
Me, my wife, and my mother. My darling daughter as infant,
carried by my wife.
என் அம்மாவின் விருப்பப்படி, ஏவதா ஒரு
வகாவிலுக்கு வந்திருக்கிவறாம்.
As per my mother’s wishes, we have come to some temple.
Navnit Narayanan

ெற்வற மதல மற்றும் வதாட்டம் சூழ்ந்த ஒரு


நகருக்கு சவளிவை உள்ள இடம். இது கனவுக்குள்ளும்,
கனவுக்கு சவளிவையும் நான் கடவுள் நம்பிக்தக இல்லாத
காலம். என் அம்மாவின் விருப்பத்துக்காக நான்
சவறுப்புடன் படி ஏறுகிவறன். கல்படிகள். ஈர வாதட. மரம்,
செடி, சகாடிகள். ஓரிரு குரங்குகள்.
Some hilly and mountainous area with gardens. Away from
city. It was period, I was an atheist, in real life and in that dream. Just
because my mother wanted, I climb the stairs with a kind of hatred.
Stone sculptured stairs. Smell of wet vegetation. Trees, Plants,
Monkeys.
சநருக்கும் ஜனக்கூட்டம் இல்தல. ஆள் அரவமற்றும்
இல்தல. ஆங்காங்வக மனிதர்கள். கிளி வஜாெிைம்.
Not a big crowd. Not silent or isolated as well. Here and there
few people. Parrot astrology.
வாதழ பழ தள்ளு வண்டி பாட்டி கதட. என் அம்மா
முன் செல்ல, நான், என் பின்வன குழந்ததயுடன் என்
மதனவி. நான் சவறுப்புடன் படி ஏறுகிவறன். கடவுள்
மறுப்பாளன் எப்படி விருப்புடன் வகாைில் படி ஏறுவானாம்?
An old lady with push cart selling bananas. My mother
marching forward ahead of us. I follow her. Behind me my wife with
my kid. I climb the stairs without much enthusiasm. How else an
atheist will climb the stairs of a temple?
செங்குத்தான சுமார் 30 படிகள். நான் திடீர்
சுறுசுறுப்புடன் என் அம்மாதவ தாண்டி, இரு படிகளாக
தாவி செல்கிவறன். இன்னும் சுமார் 40 படிகள். வநர் எதிரில்,
மதல பாதத குதடந்து ெிறு வகாைில். அதன் வமல்
‘மடப்பள்ளி’ என்று எழுதி இருக்கிறது.
Steep stairs, may be about thirty in numbers. Suddenly I
become brisk. Jump two stairs at a time and over take my mother. Left
side there about 40 more stairs. As I stand in a landing, I face a small
rock cut cave. A small temple carved in it. ‘Temple Kitchen’ is written
atop.
அதிவல, முழுவதும் விபூதி காப்புடன் வள்ளி
சதய்வாதன ெவமதராக முருகன். தகைில் வவல். ெற்வற
101
First Night in New York

சவளிறிை கருங்கல் ெிதல. கல்லால் செதுக்கப்பட்ட கிரீடம்.


முகத்தில் புன்னதக. இருபுறமும் செப்பிை மார்பும், செய்து
தவத்த இடுப்புமான வள்ளி மற்றும் சதய்வாதன.
In this small rock cut carved temple, idol of Lord Murugan
with his two wives, ‘Valli’ and ‘Deivanai’. Holy spear in the hands of
Lord Murugan. All the idols are fully covered with Holy Ash
(Viboothi). The idol is carved out of granite stone. The stone is not
black. It was somewhat grey white. The Lord Murugan is with stone
carved crown. He is smiling. Neatly carved breasts and carefully
designed small hips for ‘Valli and Deivanai’.
மனிதர்களுக்கு காதல் செய்ை கற்று சகாடுத்த
கடவுள் அல்லவா. அவத வாலிப குறுகுறுப்பு. மினு மினுப்பு.
Lord Murugan is God, who taught human beings, how to
make Love. Same youthful mischief and glamour in his face.
எனக்கு ஆச்ெர்ைம். மடப்பள்ளிைில் ஏன் சதய்வ
உருவ ெிதல? அது ஒரு அதற வபாலும் இல்தல. கல்லில்
குதடந்த பாதத வகாைில். கான்க்ரீட் முகப்பு எண்தண
படிந்து கருப்பாக இருக்க, அதில் சவள்தள சபைிண்டில்
‘மடப்பள்ளி’ என்ற ததலப்பு. இருப்பவதா குறுகுறுப்பு,
மினுமினுப்பு, புன்ெிரிப்பு, காதல் மதனவி மற்றும் கட்டிை
மதனவியுடன் முருகன்.
I am surprised. How come in ‘Temple Kitchen’, the idol of
God & Goddess? It was not a kind of conventional ‘Karpa graham’
(Main deity room of temple). It was just wayside temple in rock cut
carving. The façade was in concrete. Lot of oil deposits showing it
black in colour. In that at the top, someone had written in white paint,
‘Temple Kitchen’ as title heading. But what is inside is Mischievous,
glamourous Lord Murugan with a smile together with his two wives.
One wife through arranged marriage and another wife through Love
marriage.
நான் வநராக முன் நின்று, இரு தக கூப்பி
வணங்குகிவறன். ஓரிரு நிமிடத்தில் எதன அதடந்த
மதனவியும் தகைில் குழந்ததயுடன் ொமி கும்பிடுகிறாள்.
Navnit Narayanan

I stand in front straight. I join both my hands and worship the


idol of Lord Murugan. In one or two minutes, my wife joins me
carrying the kid. She also offers prayers and worship Lord Murugan.
வைதானதால் ெற்று பின் வந்த என் அம்மா,
இப்வபாது எங்கதள அதடந்தார். ‘அவட, இது முக்கிைமான
ொமி இல்தல. வமவல இருக்கிறது, வா!’ என இடது புறம்
திரும்பி வமல் செல்லும் படிக்கட்டுகள் வழி அதழத்து
செல்கிறார்.
Due to age, my mother reaches us late. She says, ‘This is not
important God. It their uphill. Come!’. She leads us left side in the
nearly 40 steep stair cases.
இது முன் வந்ததத விட ெற்வற வமலும்
செங்குத்தான படிகள். சுமார் 40 இருக்கும். ஒரு மண்டபத்தத
அதடகிவறாம். சபரும்பாலும் இருட்டான மண்டபம்.
கான்க்ரீட் முகப்பு மற்றும் வமற்கூதர. நுதழவாைில்
இருந்து ததர சுமார் 3 அடி தாழ உள்ளது. படிைிறங்கி ததர
நின்றால், இருட்வடாடு இருட்டாக ததர அமர்ந்திருக்கும்
ஒரு கரிை உருவம். பூதம் அல்லது வபய் என்று
சொல்லலாம். உடசலங்கும் முடி. இருட்டில் ெரிைாக
சதரிைவில்தல. உதட ஏதும் இல்லாது இருப்பதுவபால
தான் வதான்றுகிறது. ‘இதுதான் உண்தமைான ொமிடா,
கும்பிடு!’ என்று என் அம்மா சொல்ல, எனக்கு எரிச்ெல்
ததலக்வகறிைது.
Steps are even steeper. We reach a stone pillar Mandap (Open
hall). It was mostly dark. It had a concrete entrance and ceiling. From
the entrance, the floor level was about 3 feet low. We all climb down
and stand in that hall. In the dark with no proper lighting, after the
eyes got used to darkness, we could identify a dark figure. It was seated
in the floor. It appeared like a demon or satanic spirit. Thick over
grown hairs in entire body. Not clearly visible in the dark. It appears
to be nude. ‘This is true God! worship!’ my mother states, and I get
annoyed.
நான் கும்பிடுகிவறனா, என அந்த பூதம் அல்லது வபய்
ஆர்வமாக பார்க்கிறது. எனக்கு எரிச்ெல். அப்வபாது, என்
மதனவி இடுப்பில் இருந்த என் மகள், தகக்குழந்தத,
103
First Night in New York

நழுவி இறங்கி, ததரைில் மற்சறாரு வகாடிக்கு விதரவாக


தவழ்ந்து செல்கிறாள். ‘பிடி, பிடி’ என்கிவறன்.
That demon like creature was very eager to know if I worship
him and offer prayers. I am irritated. Then my kid, slips from the hip
of my wife and crawls fast, in the floor to another end. ‘Catch her,
catch her!’ I shout at my wife.
குழந்தத சென்ற இடம் ஒரு பாதாள நீர்த்சதாட்டி.
‘வல்’
ீ என்ற அலறல். குழந்ததைிடமிருந்து. நான்
ஓடிச்சென்று குழந்தததை தூக்குகிவறன். ‘அப்பா, அப்பா,
அந்த சதாட்டிகுள்ள ‘வபய்’ இருக்கு!’ என்றவாறு
மைக்கமுறும் நிதலைில் உள்ள குழந்தததை, தக
கால்கதள நீவி சகாடுத்து, ெரி செய்து, இடுப்பில் தூக்கி
தவத்து சகாள்கிவறன்.
Where the kid went, was a water sump at deep levels. My kid
suddenly cries. I run and lift the child. ‘Dad, Dad, there is demon in
that tank!’ says my child and is about to faint. I fondly rub her hands
and legs and make her all right and carry her in my hip.
‘மடப்பள்ளிைில் ொமிதை தவத்துவிட்டு,
மூலஸ்தானத்தில் வபதை தவத்து வணங்குகிறீர்கவள,
முட்டாள்கவள!’ என்று என் அம்மாதவ திட்டிவிட்டு, முகம்
வாடி ஏமாந்து வபான அந்த வபதை கண்டுசகாள்ளாமல், என்
மதனவி பின் சதாடர, ‘மள,மள’ என படி இறங்கிவறன்.
’You keep the God in Public Kitchen and the Demon in
Karpagraham (proper place for main deity) and worship. You idiots!’.
I scolded my mother. The demon is visibly disappointed. Without
looking at the demon, I come out fast and my wife follows.
கனவு கதலந்தது. தூக்கமும் கதலந்தது. நீண்ட
கனவு. சதளிவான கனவு. ஒவ்சவாரு காட்ெியும்
திதரப்படம் வபால பதிவானது. ‘மடப்பள்ளி’ என்ற ததலப்பு.
குறுகுறுப்பு, மினுமினுப்பு, புன்ெிரிப்பு, காதல் மதனவி
மற்றும் கட்டிை மதனவியுடன் முழு விபூதி காப்புடன்
முருகன்! நிதனவு மாறவில்தல.
The dream is over. The sleep also. It was a long dream. Very
clear. Every scene was like a cinema, very clear and vivid. The title
‘temple kitchen’, Mischievous, glamourous, smiling Lord Murugan
Navnit Narayanan

with arranged marriage wife and love marriage wife, full of holy ash
coat. The thought and dream sequences are permanently etched in my
memory.

105
First Night in New York

NO REST FOR OCEAN CROSSING BIRDS


கடல் தாண்டும் பறதவக்சகல்லாம் இதளப்பாற
இடவம இல்தல...

No resting place for ocean crossing birds …

எனக்கு சபாட்டில் அதறந்தது வபால இருந்தது. அதிக


அறிமுகம் இல்லாத எனக்கு, பணம் சகாடுத்து உதவிை
வராதக் நகர செௌத்ரி, நான் அவதர வதடி சென்று கடன்
அதடக்க முடிைாது. அவத வபால, அதிக அறிமுகம்
இல்லாத வவறு ஒருவருக்கு அத்ததகை உதவிகள் செய்து
நான் கடன் அதடக்க முடியும். நான் அத்ததகை உதவிகள்
செய்திருக்கிவறனா என்று எண்ணி பார்த்வதன்.
I felt like someone slapped at my face. When I was not very
well known, one-man Mr. Choudhry of Rohtak city gave money and
helped me. I cannot search for him and repay my debt. I can only help
some other lesser known people and clear that debt. Had I done such
helps? I try to recollect.
நியூ ைார்க் நகரம் உறங்கும் வநரம், என் நிதனவுகள்
சுழன்றது. ஸ்டாண்டர்ட் ொர்டர்ட் வங்கி கனக துர்கா வதவி,
கும்பவகாணம் ொமிநாதன், ெிந்தாதிரிப்வபட்தட நாராைணன்,
இன்னும் ெிலர் ஞாபகம் வந்தது. பரவாைில்தல, நானும்
ெிலருக்கு நம்பி கடன் சகாடுத்து, வாங்காமல் விட்டு
புண்ணிைம் வதடி தவத்திருக்கிவறன் என்று நிதனத்து
ஆறுதல் அதடந்வதன்.
By the time New York city sleeps, my memories went back.
Standard Chartered Bank Kanaga Durga Devi, Kumbakonam
Swaminathan, Chindadripet Narayanan, few others came in my mind.
I had also given loans to few people and did not collect back. So, I
have also done some good deeds. I felt solace.
“கடல் தாண்டும் பறதவக்சகல்லாம் இதளப்பாற
இடவம இல்தல, கலங்காமல் கண்டம் தாண்டுவம..
முற்றுபுள்ளி அருகில் நீயும் மீ ண்டும் ெில புள்ளிகள்
தவத்தால் முடிசவன்பவத... சதாடராகுவம...” என்ற பாடல்
Navnit Narayanan

ஞாபகம் வந்தது. ‘என்னடா இது, அவ்வப்வபாது திதர


பாடல்கதள பற்றி, ரம்பம் வபாடுகிறாவன..’ என்று
வதான்றலாம்.
“No resting place for ocean crossing birds… they will cross
the continents without worries.... If there is a full stop or period, place
few more periods, the ‘end’ will become ‘continue’…” was lyrics from
a cinema song. One may wonder, now and then I annoy people with
cinema songs.
உண்தமதான். ெில ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன் நான்
ெிங்கப்பூர் சென்றவபாது இந்த பாடல் என் நிதனவில்
அதிகம் நின்றது. அது என் முதல் சவளி நாட்டு பைணம்.
மனம் பாரமாக இருந்தது. ஏசனன்றால் வாழ்க்தக படிைில்
பல சுழல்கள், ெில சூறாவளிகள். மீ ண்டு வருவவனா என
உற்றார் உறவினர்கள் தகதை பிதெந்து, நான் ெிக்கிை
சுழல்கள் மற்றும் சூறாவளிகள் தங்கதள தாக்காமல் தூர
நின்று வவடிக்தக பார்த்த கால கட்டம்.
True. Few years earlier, I went to Singapore. At that time, this
song was popular. That was my first foreign travel. I felt heavy and
burdened in thoughts. Because, there were many whirlpools and
cyclones in my life journey. My known people were wondering, if I
will come again crossing all those whirlpools and cyclones. They were
safely standing away, so that, they are not affected by such whirlpools
and cyclones.
அததன தாண்டி, ஜனவரி 2008. முதல் கடல்
தாண்டிை பைணம். இந்த பாடல் எனக்கு மிக சபாருத்தமாக
வதான்றிைது.
Crossing those period, in January 2008, it was my first sea
crossing journey. These lyrics appeared apt for me.
ெிங்கப்பூர் என்றாவல, எனக்கு ெிங்கப்பூர் ெீ மான்
ஞாபகம் தான். ஒருமுதற என்னுதடை சென்தன
திைாகராைநகர் அபார்ட்சமன்ட் வாங்க நிதனத்து சதாடர்பு
சகாண்டவர். எப்வபாதாவது திடீசரன்று வபசுவார்.
When I think about Singapore, I always remember a
gentleman from Singapore. Once he came to buy my apartment in T.
Nagar, Chennai. He will talk suddenly, now, and then.
107
First Night in New York

என் ெிங்கப்பூர் விொ மற்றும் டிக்சகட் தைாராக


இருந்தவபாது திடீசரன்று சதாடர்பு சகாண்டார். விமான
நிதலைத்தில் என்தன வரவவற்று, என் விருப்பப்படி
முருகன் வகாைிலுக்கு அதழத்து சென்று, பின் ஓட்டல்
அதறைில் விட்டார்.
When my visa and ticket was ready to visit Singapore, he
suddenly contacted me. He received me at the airport. Took me to a
Lord Murugan temple directly, as per my wish. Then he dropped me
at the hotel room.
அதன் பின்னர் நாள் வதாறும் என்தன காரில்
அதழத்து சென்று ெிங்கப்பூர் நகதர காண்பித்தார். வட்டில்

விருந்து உபெரித்தார். திக்கு முக்காட தவக்கும் உபெரிப்பு.
Then every day he came to my hotel in car. Took me to various
places and showed me around. He gave me a traditional Tamil Hindu
feast at his home. I was overwhelmed by his hospitality.
எப்படி அந்த கடதன அதடக்க வபாகிவறன்.
எவ்வளவு நாள் அந்த கடதன சுமக்க வபாகிவறன், இதறவா,
இந்த கடதன விதரவில் அதடக்க வழி செய் என்று
வவண்டிக் சகாண்வடன்.
How will I repay that debt? How long I am going to carry that
debt? God, show me a way, to clear this debt as early as possible, I
prayed to the God.
நான் சபாதுவாக கடவுதள அதிகம் சதாந்தரவு
செய்வதில்தல. மிக மிக அபூர்வமாக ஏதாவது
வவண்டுவவன். அபூர்வமாக வவண்டுவதால், உடனடிைாக
‘இந்தா பிடி’ என்று எரிச்ெலுடன் சகாடுத்துவிடுவார்.
Normally I do not make prayers or demands with God. Very
rarely I ask something. Since, I ask very rarely, feeling irritated, God
will oblige me very quickly.
ெிங்கப்பூர் ெீ மான் அடுத்த ஒரு வாரத்திவலவை
சென்தன வந்தார். அவதர என் வட்டில்
ீ தங்க தவத்து
உபொரம் செய்து கடதன ெீ க்கிரவம அதடக்கும் பாக்கிைம்
எனக்கு கிதடத்தது.
Navnit Narayanan

The gentleman from Singapore, visited Chennai very next


week. I made him to stay at my home and did all hospitality and repaid
my debt.
ெிங்கப்பூர் பைணத்தில் நான் ஒருவருக்கு கடன்
பட்டிருந்வதன். நியூ ைார்க் நகரில் அந்த ெிக்கல் இல்தல.
காலூன்றிைவுடன் கருப்பொமிக்கு காணிக்தக வபாட்வடன்!
இந்த மண் எனக்கு சவற்றி தரும் என்ற நம்பிக்தகயுடன்
புன்னதகத்வதன்! மீ ண்டும் உறக்கம் வந்தது.
In my foreign travel to Singapore, I was indebted to someone.
I cleared that debt. In this New York city, no such problem. As soon
as I landed in New York, I paid my divinely donation (Kaanikkai) to
‘Black God’ (Karupa Sami). This place will give me success. I smiled
with confidence. Started sleeping again.

109
First Night in New York

WITH SHYNESS AND LOVE,


நாணத்தாவல கால்கள் பின்ன பின்ன, நடத்தும் நாடகம்
என்ன?..... நாணத்தாவல........
With shyness and love, the legs are twisted… how
dramatic …, shyness and love …

நள்ளிரவில் எழுந்து உட்கார்ந்வதன். விவவகானந்தர்


ெிகாவகா நகரில் வபெிைது என்னுதடை கனவு என்று
உணர்ந்வதன்.
Midnight, I suddenly awoke and sat on the bed. I realised that,
Saint Vivekananda delivering a lecture in Chicago was my dream.
“மனிதர்கள் ‘வலா, வலா’ என்று அதலகிறார்கள்!”
என்று ஒரு வார்த்தத சொற்சதாடர் உண்டு. நான் பிரஞ்சு
சமாழி கற்றுக்சகாள்ளும் வபாது சதரிந்தது, ‘வலா’ என்றால்,
The Water, தண்ணர்ீ என்று. ைாவரா ஒரு பிரஞ்சுக்காரர்
‘தண்ண ீர், தண்ண ீர்’ என்று அதலந்தது, “‘வலா, வலா’ என்று
அதலகிறார்கள்” என்பதற்கு காரணமாக இருக்கலாம்.
‘People wander ‘lo, lo’ here and there!’ is a popular idiom in
my local language. When I learned French language, I came to know,
water is “l’eau” in French. May be some French man was searching
for drinking water here and there uttering the words, l’eau and it
became to be known as ‘wandering lo, lo’.
ஏறத்தாழ அவத நிதலதமைில் நான் இருந்வதன்.
I was in similar circumstances.
“நாணத்தாவல கால்கள் பின்ன பின்ன, நடத்தும்
நாடகம் என்ன?..... நாணத்தாவல........” என்ற பாடல்
நிதனவுக்கு வந்தது.
“With shyness and love, the legs are twisted, how dramatic,
the drama unfolds, with shyness and love… “was a very old cinema
lyric. May be in the 1960s.
ஒருமுதற புதுதில்லி ரைில் நிதலைம் சவளிவை,
பாகர்கஞ்ச் பகுதிைில் நான் தாகத்வதாடு அதலந்து
சகாண்டிருந்வதன். நல்ல சவைில். இந்த பழங்கால தமிழ்
Navnit Narayanan

பாட்டின் சமட்டில் ஏவதா ஒரு கதடைில் இருந்து ஹிந்தி


பாட்டு வகட்டது.
Once I was outside of New Delhi Railway station. The area
name is ‘Pahargunj’. Later I came to know, ‘Pahar’ means, outside.
‘Gunj’ is equivalent to ‘Village’. When real ‘Delhi’ became ‘Old Delhi’,
the outside village of old Delhi should have come to be known as
‘Pahargunj’, ‘outside village, where the New Delhi railway station came
into existence. I was thirsty and wandering here and there for water.
Hot summer. Blazing heat. From some shop, this song, ‘with shyness
and love …’ with Hindi lyrics was being played out.
அது குளிர்பான கதட. ஏவதா ஒரு குளிர்பானம், வகாக்
என்று நிதனக்கிறன், வாங்கிவனன்.
That was a cool drink shop. I bought some cold drink, may be
‘Coke’.
பதின்மூன்று ரூபாய், மூன்று ரூபாய் ெில்லதற
வவண்டும் என்றார். என்னிடம் மூன்று ரூபாய் ெில்லதற
இல்தல. பத்து அல்லது நூறு தான் இருக்கிறது என்வறன்.
ஆங்கில உதரைாடல்.
‘Thirteen rupees, give me change for three rupees!’ said the
shop owner. ‘I don’t have change, I do have only Ten and Hundred!’
I told him. Conversation was in English.
‘ெரி பத்து ரூபாய் சகாடு, மீ தி பின்னர் சகாடு’என்றார்.
‘Ok, give me Ten Rupees. Give balance Rs.3 later!’ he told.
நான் திரும்ப வர வாய்ப்பு இல்தல என்வறன்.
’No chance, that I will travel again in this street!’ I told him.
திரும்ப வரும்வபாது சகாடு, என்றார். நான் அந்த
வழிைில் திரும்ப வர வாய்ப்வப இல்தல என்வறன்.
’Ok, when you come, you give!’ said the shop keeper. ’No
chance, that I will travel again in this street!’ I repeated.
ததலைில் அடித்து சகாண்டார். ‘ெரிைான மதராைி’
என்றவாறு, உன்தன பார்க்க தாகமாக அதலகிறாய் வபால
இருக்கிறது. பாக்கி சகாடுக்கவவண்டாம். குடி, என்று
சவறுப்புடன் சொன்னார்.
That shop keeper placed his hands in his forehead. ‘A proper
Madhrasi...!’ he murmured. Anyone from South India used to be called
111
First Night in New York

‘Madhrasi’ in North India, named after the city of ‘Madras’, capital of


southern province in British period. ‘It seems, you are very thirsty. No
need to give change. Drink!’ He gave me the cool drink with loathing
smile.
சவறுப்பு என் மீ து அல்ல. அவ்வளவு தாகத்திலும்,
உடவன குடிக்காமல், நான் சபரிை நிைாைத்துடன் நடக்க
முைல்கிவறன் என்று.
His loathing feeling was not towards me. With such a thirst,
instead of drinking, I was talking and behaving in a moral way, he
thought.
தண்ணர்ீ தாக நிதனவுகள் எல்லாம் ஒன்வறாடு
ஒன்று புரள, விவவகானந்தர் தண்ணர்ீ பற்றி வபசுவதாக
கனவு கண்டது ெிரிப்பாக இருந்தது.
With thoughts about thirst, and many other thoughts crossing
my mind, I started laughing at the dream in which Saint Vivekananda
was talking about water.
ெிங்கப்பூரில், எல்லா குழாய்களில் வரும் நீரும்
குடிக்க உகந்தது என்று ஒரு நண்பர் சொன்னது ஞாபகம்
வந்தது. குளிைலதற சென்று, குழாைில், அதற டம்ளர்
தண்ணர்ீ பிடித்து குடித்வதன். அவ்வளவு ெிறப்பாக இல்தல.
விட்டத்தத பார்த்து மல்லாக்க படுத்தால், மீ ண்டும்
நிதனவுகள். மலரும் நிதனவுகள்.
In Singapore, all taps give water, that is fit enough to drink. I
recollected some friend informing. I went to the bath room, filled
some water in the hotel room glass. Water was not that good to drink.
I was lying flat, staring at the ceiling. Again thoughts. Blossoming
thoughts.
வராத்தக் நகரத்து ெவுத்ரி நிதனவு வந்தது. நான் ஒரு
இக்கட்டான நிதலைில் இருந்த வபாது, அவரும் இக்கட்டான
நிதலைில் இருந்தார். அப்வபாதுதான் ஓரிரு நாள் பழக்கம்.
I remembered, Mr. Choudhri of Rohtak City. When I was in a
critical situation, he was also in similar situation. We knew each other
for just a day or two.
என் நிதல அறிந்து, தன் தம்பி மூலம் என் வட்டுக்கு

சுமார் நான்காைிரம் ரூபாய் சகாடுத்தனுப்பினார். அததன
Navnit Narayanan

திரும்ப சகாடுக்க வவண்டும் என்று பலமுதற நிதனத்வதன்.


தவறிவிட்டது.
Knowing my situation, through his brother, he sent my home
about Rs. 4,000/-. I wanted to give back. I could not.
என்னுதடை நிதனவும் தவறி, தூக்கத்தில்
ஆழ்ந்வதன்.
I lost in thoughts and slept again.
அடடா, மீ ண்டும் விவவகானந்தர் ... சொற்சபாழிவு
சதாடர்ந்து நடந்து சகாண்டிருக்கிறது. இப்வபாது, சவளிவை
சென்றவர்கள் திரும்ப வந்தது வபால, சகாஞ்ெம் கூட்டம்
அதிகமாக இருக்கிறது!
Oh, again, Saint Vivekananda. The lecture continues. Now, as
if those people who went out came back, there was more crowd in the
auditorium.
“கனவான்கவள, இது ெர்வமத பாராளுமன்றம். நாம்
பல்வவறு மத கருத்துக்கதள இங்வக பரிமாறிக்சகாள்ள
வந்திருக்கிவறாம். “நீ ஒருவனிடம் கடன் வாங்கி இருந்தால்,
அததன திரும்ப சகாடுத்வத ஆகவவண்டும். திரும்ப
சகாடுத்த பின்னர் தான் சொர்கத்துக்குள் நுதழை முடியும்.
நீ வாங்கிை கடதன தள்ளுபடி செய்ை, ‘அல்லாஹ் ஆகிை
எனக்வக அதிகாரம் இல்தல!” என்று இதறதூதரிடம்
அல்லாஹ் சொல்வதாக என் இஸ்லாமிை நண்பர் ஒருவர்
கூறினார்.
“Gentleman, this is Parliament of Universal religions!’. We are
here, to exchange thoughts and philosophy of various religions. ‘If you
have taken a loan from someone, you have to necessarily give back
that money to him. Only after repayment, you can enter the Heaven.
Even ‘Allah’ the creator of universe, has no power to waive the
liability’ is the sayings as per Islamic teaching, some Muslim friend told
me”.
இங்வக, இந்துக்களாகிை நாங்கள் ெற்வற
மாறுபடுகிவறாம்.
Here, we Hindus, differ somewhat.

113
First Night in New York

“எதத நீ சகாண்டு வந்தாய்? அதத நீ இழப்பதற்கு!”


என்று சொல்லும் பகவத்கீ தத, “வநற்று ஒருவரிடம்
இருந்தது, இன்று உன்னிடம் இருக்கிறது. நாதள
வவசறாருவரிடம் வெரும்!” என்றும் சொல்கிறது.
‘What you brought into this world, to lose that?’ the Bhagavath
Gita states and continues, ‘What someone had yesterday, is today with
you. Tomorrow it may be with some other person!’.
இது செல்வமாக இருக்கலாம். ஞானமாக
இருக்கலாம். ஆட்ெி அதிகாரமாக இருக்கலாம். செல்வவமா,
ஞானவமா, ஆட்ெி அதிகாரவமா, உங்களிடம் இருக்கும்
வபாது, நீங்கள் அதன் உரிதமைாளர் அல்ல. சபாறுப்பாளர்
மட்டுவம.
You are not owning them, you are only responsible for them!
It may be wealth. Wisdom. Power of Governance and ruling. When
wealth, wisdom, power of governance and ruling is with you, you are
not owning them. You are only given a temporary in charge.
எனவவ, செல்வந்தர்கவள, ஞான வமதாவிகவள, ஆட்ெி
அதிகாரிகவள, உங்களுதடை செல்வமும், அறிவும்,
அதிகாரமும், மற்றவர்களின் ொர்பில், உங்களுக்கு சகாடுக்க
பட்டவத தவிர, உங்களுக்காக மட்டுவம அல்ல.
So, listen, rich men, intellectuals, politicians and authorities,
your wealth, wisdom, power is given to you on behalf of others, for
the welfare of others. Not for you, yourselves.
நீங்கள் ஒருவரிடம், கடவனா, உதவிவைா
வாங்கிைிருந்தால், முடிந்தவதர, அவர்களுக்கு திரும்ப
செலுத்துங்கள். இல்லாவிடின், அவத வபான்ற கடவனா,
உதவிவைா, வவசறாருவருக்கு செய்யுங்கள்!”
If you have taken a loan, as far as possible, repay to them. If
not, do such a gesture to some other person.
Navnit Narayanan

OBLATION TO BLACK GOD


கருப்பொமிக்கு காணிக்தக

எப்வபாது விடியும் என்றிருந்தது.


Eagerly waited for the morning lights.
வநரம் மதிைம் மணி இரண்டு. அதணத்து
ஜன்னல்களும் மூடப்பட்டு இருந்தன. அவனகமாக
எல்லாருவம தூங்கிக் சகாண்டிருந்வதாம்.
It was daytime, 2 pm. All windows were closed. Almost all of
us were sleeping.
ஒலிசபருக்கிைில் விமானிைின் குரல். “பைணிகவள,
அசமரிக்காவில் தற்வபாது நிலநடுக்கம் ஏற்பட்டுள்ளது.
விமான நிதலைம் அதர மணி வநரம் மூடப்பட்டுள்ளது.
சபரும் வெதம் ஏற்பட்டதாக சதரிைவில்தல. விமானம் ததர
இறங்க தாமதமாகலாம்”.
The flight captain announced in the public-address system.
‘Dear Passengers, an earthquake had taken place in New York now.
The airport is shut for past 30 minutes. No report of major damage.
Your flight landing may be delayed!’
விமானிக்கு சதரிைாது. ஆகாைத்தில் இருக்கும் சபாது
ததர பற்றியும் ததரைில் இருக்கும் சபாது ஆகாைம்
பற்றியும் கவதலப்படுபவன் நான் இல்தல என்று.
The flight captain was not knowing. When I fly in the sky, I
don’t bother about the land and when I am in the land I am bothered
about the sky.
அதர மணி வநரம். மீ ண்டும் குரல். “நாம் ததர
இறங்கும் வநரம் சநருங்குகின்றது. விமான ெிப்பந்திகள்
உங்களுக்கு சுங்க வெதவ படிவங்கதள சகாடுப்பார்கள்.
ததரைில் சுங்க வொததன கடுதமைாக இருக்கும்.
படிவங்கதள கவனமாக பூர்த்தி செய்ைவும். வவறு விமான
நிதலைத்துக்கு செல்லும் பைணிகள் கூட, தங்கள்
உடதமகதள வெகரித்து அதனத்து சபட்டிகதளயும்
வொததனக்கு உட்படுத்திை பின் வவறு விமானம்
செல்லவும்.”

115
First Night in New York

After half an hour, another announcement. “It is time for us


to land. The flight crews will give you customs forms. You will be
subjected checking and investigation by ground staff. Fill the form
carefully. Transit passengers, collect your luggage, re check-in before
boarding another flight”.
“ெரிைான படிவத்தத பூர்த்தி செய்யுங்கள்.
திருத்தங்கள் இருக்கக் கூடாது. திருத்த வவண்டி வந்தால்
வவறு படிவம் சபறவும்.”
” Please fill correct forms. Don’t make corrections. If you need
to correct, get another form!”.
சகாஞ்ெம் எரிச்ெலாக வந்தது. விமானம் முழுவதும்
இருட்டு. படிப்பு விளக்தக வபாட்டு பூர்த்தி செய்ை
ஆரம்பித்வதன். பக்கத்துக்கு இருக்தகைில் அதுவதர
நாலாவது முதற பிராந்தி இறக்கி சகாண்டிருந்தவன்
என்தன பார்த்து காப்பி அடிக்க ஆரம்பித்தான். அவனுக்கு
அருகில் இருந்தவன் அவதன பார்த்து காப்பி அடிக்க
ஆரம்பித்தான்.
I was irritated. The entire area was dark. I switched on the
reading light and started filling the form. My adjoining seat passenger,
who was taking brandy for 4th time, started copying me. His adjoining
passenger started copying him.
நான் வமதாவி வபால மடமடசவன்று பூர்த்தி செய்ை
ஆரம்பித்வதன். பாஸ்வபார்ட் காலாவதி வததி
வபாடவவண்டிை இடத்தில் விமான எண்தண வபாட்டு
சதாதலத்வதன். வலதுபுறம் ெற்று தள்ளி இருக்தகைில்
உள்ளவரும் என்தனவை பார்த்தார் வபாலும், ஆனாலும் என்
தவதற எடுத்து சொன்னார். நான் அடித்து திருத்த
மற்றவர்களும் அததவை செய்தனர். அதனவரும்
பணிப்சபண்ணிடம் வவறு படிவங்கள் வகட்வடாம்.
As if with great knowledge and intelligence, I started filling the
form fast. In the place where passport expiry to be mentioned, I
entered the flight number by mistake. The man at the right side, it
seems, saw me. He informed me my mistake. I stroked and made
correction. All others did the same. We all asked the flight attendant a
new form.
Navnit Narayanan

திருத்தம் மிக ெிரிைதானதால் வவறு படிவம் வததவ


இல்தல என்றாள்.
’Since the correction is small, no need for new form’ said flight
attendant.
எதிர்பார்ததற்கு மாறாக விமானம் ெரிைான வநரத்தில்
ததர இறங்கிைது. வபாப் ஆண்டவர் வபால எனக்கும் மாற்று
நாட்டில் ததர இறங்கிைவுடன் அந்த ததரதை சதாட்டு
வணங்கவவண்டும் அல்லது முத்தமிடவவண்டும் என்று
ஆதெ தான்.
Unexpectedly the flight landed at right time. Like His Holiness
Pope, I am also interested to kiss the earth upon landing in a new
country.
அதத எப்படிவைா சதரிந்துசகாண்ட விமான நிதலை
அதிகாரிகள் என்னுதடை விமானத்தத மட்டுமல்ல
அதனத்து விமானங்கதளயும் இரும்பு கரம் சகாண்டு
அதணத்து மணிக்கட்டு நாளங்கள் மூலம் எங்கதள நடக்க
தவத்தனர்.
Somehow, the customs and immigration people knew that.
They closed not only my flight but also all other flights and made all
us to walk through a mechanical arm.
1982 ஆண்டு வம மாதம் சதன்வமற்கு பருவக்காற்று
வதனிபக்கம் வசும்
ீ வபாது கிளம்பி தனிைாக சென்தன
வந்தவன். எழும்பூர் ரைில் நிதலைத்தில் என்தன வரவவற்க
ைாரும் இல்தல. அன்று முதல் அதிக மக்கள் எந்த
திதெைில் செல்கிறார்கவளா அந்த திதெைிவலவை செல்
என்று எனக்கு உள்ளுணர்வு சொல்லும். அப்படிவை
சென்வறன். ஒரு சபண் என்னுதடை பைண அட்தடதை
வொதித்துவிட்டு “வரிதெ 12” என்றாள். சபாருந்தாத
லிப்ஸ்டிக் கருப்பின சபண்மணி எனக்கு வரிதெ காண்பித்து
நிற்க தவத்தாள்.
May 1982, I came from south west monsoon blowing Theni
region of Tamilnadu, all alone to Chennai. No one was there to receive
me at Chennai Egmore Railway station. From that date, instinct tell
me to follow majority of the people, when not knowing the direction.

117
First Night in New York

I did the same. A lady checked my boarding pass and said, ‘Queue 12’.
A black lady with not a matching lipstick made me stand in correct
queue.
விமான நிதலை ெிப்பந்திகள் பலர் எங்கும் கருப்பு
எதற்கும் கருப்பு என கருப்பு உதட அணிந்த
கருப்பர்களாகவவ இருந்தனர். எனக்கு முன்னால் சென்றவர்
ஒரு சவள்தளைர். ெற்வற முதிைவர். அவருதடை இரண்டு
தக அதனத்து விரல்கதளயும் பதிவவடுத்தனர். வநவர நிற்க
தவத்து படம் எடுத்தனர்.
Most of the ground staff at the airport were black with black
dress. A white man went before me. He was elderly. They took finger
print of all fingers of both hands for him. They took a photo making
him to stand straight.
என் முதற வந்தது. படபடப்புடன் சென்வறன்.
“விைாபாரபணி நிமித்தமாக வருகிறீர்களா?” என்று
வகட்டார்.
‘ஆம்’ என்பதா, ‘இல்தல’ என்பதா என குழப்பமாக
இருந்தது.
‘ஆம்’ என்றால் ‘என்ன பிெினஸ்’ என்று பல
வகள்விகள் வகட்பார்கவளா ‘இல்தல’ என்றால் ‘பிறகு ஏன்
வருகிறாய்’ என்று வகட்பார்கவளா என்று குழப்பம்.
உடனடிைாக வவறு பதில் சொல்லவவண்டும்.
“இந்த முதற இல்தல” என்று சொல்லி தவத்வதன்.
My turn came. I went, somewhat tensed. ‘Are you coming on
some business?’ I was asked. I was confused. To say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If I
say ‘Yes’ they may ask what business. If I say ‘no’ they may say, then
why you are coming. I need to answer immediately. ‘Not this time’ I
told.
எனது வலது தக விரல்கள் பதிவவடுத்தனர். ‘வநராக
நில்’ என்று சொல்லி படம் எடுத்தனர். ‘வபா’ என
சொன்னனர். இதற்கு முன் இருந்த பைணிைிடம் வபால
இடது தக விரல்கள் வரதக பதிக்கவில்தல. கட்தட
விரல்களும் பதிக்கவில்தல.
Navnit Narayanan

They took finger prints of my right hand. Took a photo and


told me to go. Like the previous passenger, they did not obtain finger
prints of all fingers or thumps.
‘ெரி, சபட்டிகதள வெகரித்த பின் வொததன
சதாடரும்’ என நிதனத்வதன்.
’May be, after collecting luggage, the check may continue’ I
thought.
கன்வவைர் சபல்டில் சபட்டிகள்
வந்துசகாண்டிருந்தன. சென்தன வபாலவவ ஏராளமான
தள்ளுவண்டிகள் அடுக்கி இருந்தது. ‘இங்வக அழுத்தி,
வண்டிதை எடுக்கவும்’ என முன்னால் இருந்த வண்டிைின்
தகப்பிடி அருகில் வபாட்டிருந்தது. நானும் அமுக்கி அமுக்கி
பார்த்வதன். வண்டிதை எடுக்க முடிைவில்தல.
Luggage were coming in conveyor belt. Lot of trolleys were
available. ‘Press and take the trolley’ button was there. I pressed but
could not take the trolley.
எனக்கு பின்னால் வரிதெ நீண்டது. உதவி வததவ
பட்டது. எனக்கு பின் நின்றிருந்த ெீ ன சபண்ணிடம் ‘சஹல்ப்
மீ ’ என்வறன். ‘வண்டிதை எடுக்க ஐந்து டாலர்
வபாடவவண்டும்’ என்று சொல்லி இைந்திரத்தில் பணத்தத
வபாட்டு எளிதாக அந்த சபண் ஒரு வண்டிதை எடுத்து
சென்றார்.
Queue became longer behind me. I needed help. I asked the
Chinese lady standing behind me for help. She dropped a $5 bill in a
slot and took the cart easily.
விதரவாக கணக்கு வபாட்வடன். 5x50=250 ரூபாைா?
என மீ ண்டும் கன்வவைர் சபல்ட் பக்கம் வந்வதன். நிதறை
சபட்டிகள் ஊர்வலம் வந்தன.
I made a quick calculation. 5 x 50 =250 Rupees? I did not have
change too. Again, I came to conveyor belt carrying luggage. Many
came in a procession.
என்னுதடை ெிவப்பு நிறத்தில் நிதறை இருந்தன.
குழப்பமாக இருந்தது. ‘அவெர சபட்டி மாற்றம்’ என
தகபிடிைில் சுற்றிைிருந்த சபட்டிகதள ஒரு ஆள் எடுத்து

119
First Night in New York

வெகரித்து தவத்துசகாண்டிருந்தார். அதிவல ஒன்று


என்னுதடைது வபாலவவ இருந்தது. எனக்கு தக வலி
வவறு. விதரவாக பளு தூக்க முடிைாது. வநரம் சென்றது.
அந்த ஆள் வெகரித்த சபட்டிகளின் வரிதெ நீண்டது.
கன்வவைர் சபல்டில் சபட்டிகளின் எண்ணிக்தக குதறை
ஆரம்பித்தது. ஒரு கத்தார் விமான பணிப்சபண் வந்தார்.
‘வாஷிங்டன் விமானத்துக்கு இவ்வளவு சபட்டிகளா?’ என
ஆச்ெர்ை பட்டார்.
There was several luggage like my red colour. It was confusing
to identify. Luggage staged with ‘Transfer – Urgent’ were removed by
a man and kept at a place. One of that was very similar to my luggage.
Those days I had some severe pain in hands. I could not lift heavy
luggage. Time was running. Number of luggage travelling in conveyor
belt became very less. A Qatar airways ground staff lady approached.
She exclaimed, ‘this many luggage to Washington?’.
எனக்கும் ஆச்ெர்ைமாக இருந்தது. ஏசனன்றால்,
‘வாஷிங்டன் பைணிகள், இந்த பக்கம் வரவும்!’ என்று
அதற்கு முன்பாக சொன்ன வபாது, சுமார் நான்கு அல்லது
ஐந்து வபர் மட்டும் இருந்தனர். சபட்டிகவளா ஐம்பதுக்கும்
வமவல!.
Even I was surprised. Because, when announcement made in
the flight asking Washington passengers to assemble separately, hardly
5 were there. The luggage kept for transfer are more than 50!
ெந்வதகம் வந்து என்னுதடை சபட்டி வபாலவவ
இருந்த சபட்டிதை சநருங்கி பார்த்வதன்.
என்னுதடைதுதான். எல்லா சபட்டிகதளயும் ெிரத்ததைாக
எடுத்து தவத்த ஆளிடம் சென்று, ‘இது என்னுதடை சபட்டி,
எடுக்கட்டுமா?’ என்வறன்.
With doubt, I checked the suitcase like mine. It was mine. I
went to the man collecting luggage and asked, ‘This is mine. Shall I
take?’.
‘உன்னுதடைது என்றால் எடுத்து சதாதலை
வவண்டிைது தாவன, சதாந்தரவு செய்ைாவத!’ என்றான்.
என்னுதடை தகைில் இருந்த சபட்டி எண் மற்றும்
சபட்டிைில் சுற்றிைிருந்த சபட்டி எண் மீ ண்டும் ஒப்பிட்டு
Navnit Narayanan

பார்த்துவிட்டு, சபட்டிதை இழுத்துக் சகாண்டு, அடுத்த


வொததன எங்வக என தைங்கி தைங்கி நடந்வதன்.
’If it is yours, take it. Why you are asking? Don’t disturb me!’.
I checked the luggage number, pulled, and proceeded to next check
point.
ெற்று சதாதலவில் இருந்த ஒரு ஆள் என்தன
பார்த்து, ‘ஏவதா விழுந்து விட்டது’என்றான். திரும்ப
பார்த்வதன். நான் விமானம் முழுவதும் மூக்கு உறிஞ்ெிை
ெிவப்பு தக துண்டு விழுந்து கிடந்தது. அவ்வளவு
அவெரத்திலும் அதனவரும் லாவகமாக அதத தவிர்த்து
சென்றனர். அந்த துண்தட சதாடவவ எனக்கு எரிச்ெலாக
இருந்தது. அருசவறுப்புடன் அததன எடுத்து சகாண்டு என்
நதடதை சதாடர்ந்வதன்.
At a distance, one man told me, ‘Something has fallen’. I
looked back. The maroon colour hand towel, wet with my saliva in the
flight. I was not pleased to touch. I took it and proceeded further.
எதிரிவல ஒரு ஆொமி நின்றிருந்தார். கறுப்பர்.
என்தன விட நல்ல உைரம். மீ தெ மழிக்கப்பட்டு
திகுதிகுசவன தாடி நீண்டு இருந்தது. கண்களில் கனிவு.
பட்டு வபான்ற சமதுவான சவள்தள ெட்தட.
In front of me a tall man stood. Black. No moustache. Long
beard. Affectionate eyes. Soft silky white shirt.
‘டாக்ைி வவண்டுமா?’ என கனிவுடன் வகட்டார்.
‘ஆம்!’ என்வறன். வாருங்கள் என அதழத்து சென்றார்.
‘Do you want taxi?’ he asked with care and affection. ‘Yes!’ I
said. ‘Come!’ He took me with him.
‘கழிவதற பைன்படுத்த வவண்டுமா? என மீ ண்டும்
அன்புடன் வகட்டார்.
‘பரவாைில்தல’ என்வறன். ‘எங்வக செல்லவவண்டும்’
என வகட்டார்.
‘Do you want to use toilet?’ he asked again with love, care, and
affection.
‘No need!’ I told him. ‘Where do you want to go?’ he asked.

121
First Night in New York

நான் புத்திொலி ஆைிற்வற, ஒரு அட்தடைில் ெரிைாக


வஹாட்டல் முகவரி குறித்து தவத்திருந்ததத
காண்பித்வதன். நல்லது என என்தன ெிறிது தூரம் நடக்க
தவத்தார்.
I am intelligent, is it not? I already had a slip written with the
hotel address. I showed him. ‘Good’ he said and made me to walk
some distance.
இங்வக நின்றிருங்கள்! டாக்ைி எடுத்து வருகிவறன்
என சென்றார். ெிறிது வநரத்தில் மிக சபரிை கருப்பு கார்
வந்தது. அவவர ஓட்டி வந்தார்.
’Please wait here. I will bring taxi!’. In some time, he brought
a big limousine.
‘அது சொகுசு கார், கட்டணம் அதிகம், எனக்கு ொதா
கார் வவண்டும்!’ என்வறன். ‘கவதல படாவத, அவத கட்டணம்
வாங்கி சகாள்கிவறன் என்றார்.
’This is limousine. I want ordinary taxi’ I told him. ‘Don’t
worry, I will take ordinary fare!’ he declared.
என்னுதடை சபட்டிதை எடுத்து டிக்கிைில் தவத்தார்.
பின் கததவ திறந்து பணிவுடன் அமர சொன்னார். முதல்
முதற அசமரிக்கா வருகிவறன். முதல் பைணம். சகாஞ்ெம்
அதிக செலவானால் பரவாைில்தல என நிதனத்து,
இருக்தகைில் அமர்ந்வதன்.
He placed my luggage in the trunk. Opened the rear door
respectfully and requested me to sit. First time coming to America.
First travel. It’s OK if it costs slightly more expensive. I thought and
got seated.
கார் சொகுொக ஊர்ந்தது. விமான நிதலை எல்தல
தாண்டும் வபாது ஒரு ஆள் இந்த காதர உற்று கவனித்து
அதடைாளம் குறித்துக்சகாண்டவுடன் கார் பறந்தது.
The limousine gracefully moved. Near the exit someone
carefully noted down this car details.
‘எந்த நாடு என்றான்? இந்திைா என்வறன்.
‘ெச்ெின் சடண்டுல்கர் – கிரிக்கட்!’ என்றார்.
‘ஆமாம்', என்வறன்.
’இங்வக, ெற்று வநரத்துக்கு முன் நிலநடுக்கம்
Navnit Narayanan

ஏற்பட்டது’ என்றார். ‘விமானத்தில் சொன்னார்கள்’


என்வறன்.
’Which country?’ He asked. ‘India’, I said.
‘Sachin Tendulkar – Cricket!’ He said. ‘Yes’ I said.
‘Some time back, there was an earth quake here!’
‘Yes, they announced in the aircraft!’.
வழிைில் கட்டண ொவடி வந்தது. ஏற்கனவவ
படித்திருந்வதன். அவவர பணம் சகாடுத்து டிக்சகட்
வாங்கினார். சென்தனைாய் இருந்தால், நம்மிடம் பணம்
வகட்டிருப்பார்கள் என நிதனத்வதன்.
Toll gate on the way. I already studied in the route map. He
paid money and took the ticket. In our Chennai city, the taxi driver
would have asked money from us. I thought.
வண்டி ெிறிது வநரம் மின்சனாளி பாய்ந்த சுரங்க
பாததைில் சென்றது. அவ்வப்வபாது ஒரு தக ஏட்தட
எடுத்து பார்த்துசகாண்டார்.
The vehicle passed a brightly lit underground pass for some
time. He was frequently seeing a handbook.
‘நியூ ைார்க் நகரம் உறங்கும் வநரம் இனிதம
தனிதமவைா?’ என்ற பாட்டு என் மனதில் நிழலாடிைது.
’When the city of New York sleeps, being lonely is nice?’ The
cinema lyrics was playing in my mind.
நகரில் தமைமான மன்ஹட்டன் வந்து விட்வடாம்
என உணர்ந்வதன். இவதா வலது புறம உன் வஹாட்டல்
இருக்கிறது, ஆனால் நாம் சுற்றி செல்லவவண்டுசமன
காண்பித்தார். ‘நான் கிசரடிட் கார்டு பைன்படுத்தலாம்
இல்தலைா?’ என்வறன்.
I realised, we had come to main area of city, Manhattan. ‘See,
your hotel is on the right side. We need to go around!’ he said. ‘I can
use credit card, is it not?’ I asked.
‘இல்தல எனக்கு பணம் வவண்டும்’ என்றார்.
’No, I need money!’ he said.
வாகன சநரிச்ெல் அதிகமானது. ‘மாடிென் ெதுக்கம்’
காண்பித்து, இங்வக தான் சபரும் வபாட்டிகள் நடக்கும்
என்றார். ‘ெரி’ என்வறன்.
123
First Night in New York

இந்த ொதலைில் வலதுபுறம் திரும்ப முைற்ெித்தார்.


எங்கள் காருக்கு முன் கார் வதர அனுமதித்த வபாலீஸ்காரர்
இந்த காதர அடுத்த சதருவில் சுற்றி வர சொன்னார். ‘ஓ,
ஜீெஸ்!, நான் அந்த வஹாட்டல் செல்ல வவண்டும், வநராக
செல்லவில்தல’ என இவர் சொல்ல, வபாலீஸ்காரர் கண்டு
சகாள்ளவில்தல.
The traffic became heavy. He showed me ‘Madison Square’
and said, big competitions happen there. I said ‘OK’. He attempted to
take right. The police woman who allowed the previous car, did not
allow our car. She asked him to take next turn. ‘Oh, Jesus, I need to
go to that Hotel. Not straight!’ He said. Police woman refused.
அதுவதர நான் அவதர இஸ்லாமிைர் என்று
நிதனத்திருந்வதன். மீ தெ இல்தல. நீண்ட தாடி. நீள் சவளிர்
அங்கி. நான் என் வாழ்வில் திக்கற்று நின்ற கால
கட்டங்களில் எல்லாம் தக சகாடுத்த மகானுபாவர்கள்
அவர்கள். எனவவ, எனக்கு அவர்கள் வமல் அன்பு உண்டு.
Till then, I thought, he was a Muslim. He had no moustache.
He had long beard. Long white robes. Muslims had helped me when
I was stranded in my life at many times. So, I have a special affection
towards them.
ஒரு வழிைாக வஹாட்டல் வந்தது. வஹாட்டல்
முன்னால் கார் நிறுத்த இடம் இல்தல. பக்கத்து சதருவில்
அவெரமாக ஓரமாக நிப்பாட்டினார். 350 டாலர் சகாடு
என்றார். எனக்கு தூக்கி வாரி வபாட்டது. சமாத்தவம 1000
டாலர்தான் சகாண்டுவந்திருந்வதன். சென்தனைில் கிளம்பும்
வபாது, 100 x 10 =1000 டாலர்கள் என் நண்பர் வடவிட் வஜம்ஸ்
சகாடுத்தது உதவிைாைிருந்தது.
Somehow, we reached my hotel. No place to park in front of
Hotel. He parked in the side lane urgently. Give me $350, he asked. I
got surprised and shocked. Totally I had $1000 only. When I left my
city in India, David James, my friend gave me $100 x 10 = $1000. It
was helpful.
பாக்சகட்டில் தக விட்டு, 4 டாலர் தாள்கதள எடுத்து
அவரிடம் நீட்டிவனன். ஏமாந்து விட்வடன் என புரிந்தது.
Navnit Narayanan

சதரு பக்கம் பார்த்வதன். ‘இந்த தாள்கள் எனக்கு வவண்டாம்,


செல்லாது! என, 3 தாள்கதள பிரித்து என்னிடம் நீட்டினார்.
I dipped my hand into pocket and took out 4 bills and
extended to him. I understood, I am cheated. I was looking outside. ‘I
don’t need these bills. They are fake!’ he returned me 3 bills.
அந்த தாள்களில் ஒரு டாலர் என அச்ெிட்டு இருந்தது.
They were printed $1.
மீ ண்டும் தாள்கதள பிரித்து காண்பித்தார் அந்த
நல்லவர். ஒரு தாளிவல 100 டாலர் எனவும், மீ தி மூன்றில்,
ஒரு டாலர் எனவும் அச்ெிட்டு இருந்தது.
Again, that nice gentleman spread all currencies and showed
me. As he showed, one bill appeared printed $100 and remaining 3
printed $1.
எனக்கு பைமாகவும், குழப்பமாகவும் இருந்தது.
‘செல்லாத தாள்’ என்று வவறு சொல்கிறார். சென்தனைில்
கள்ள வநாட்டு சகாடுத்து விட்டார்கவளா என பைந்வதன்.
I was afraid and confused. He was telling fake currency also. I
was afraid if in my city in India they gave me fake currencies.
நிதனவு எங்சகங்வகா சுழன்றது. ஒரு டாலர் என
அச்ெிட்ட தாள்கதள வாங்கிக் சகாண்டு, வவறு மூன்று நூறு
டாலர் தாள்கதள சகாடுத்வதன்.
Thoughts went haywire. I took the bills printed $1 and gave
me 3 other $100 bills.
‘நன்றி’ என்று வாங்கி சகாண்டார் அந்த நல்லவர்.
பண்புதடைவர்.
‘Thank you!’ He took the money with respect and obedience.
Nice gentleman.
என்னுதடை தக வலிதை அறிந்தவர் வபால, கார்
டிக்கிைில் இருந்து சபட்டி எடுத்து பிளாட்வபார்ம் மீ து
தவத்தார். நானும் நன்றி சொல்லி வஹாட்டல் வநாக்கி
நடந்வதன். கார் பறந்தது.
As if aware of my pains in hands, he removed luggage from
trunk and kept on the platform. I said, ‘Thank you!’. The car flew away.
நியூ ைார்க் வநரம் மாதல 6 மணி. நீண்ட வரிதெைில்
காத்திருந்து, வஹாட்டல் அதற உறுதி செய்வதன். 835 அதற
125
First Night in New York

ொவி பிளாஸ்டிக் அட்தடைாக தரப்பட்டது. சபரிை சபரிை


லிப்ட்கள். ஒவ்சவான்றும் 15 வபர் சகாள்ளும். இருபுறம்
சுமார் 6 லிப்ட்கள்.
It was 6 pm in New York. I waited in long queue and
confirmed my Hotel room. Room No.835, non-smoking. I was given
key as a plastic card. Large sized Lifts. Each may accommodate about
15 persons. Both side 6 lifts.
சபாத்தாதன அழுத்தி அதறக்கு சென்வறன்.
அதறைின் கதவு மிகவும் பலமாக இருந்தது. ‘இந்த அதற
கதவு 1917 வருட பழம்சபரும் சபருதமயுதடைது’ என
கதவில் ஒட்ட பட்டு இருந்தது. கிசரடிட் கார்டு வபால
இருந்த ொவிதை ஒற்றி எடுத்து கததவ திறந்வதன்.
கனமான கதவுதான். உள்வள தள்ளுவதற்கு என் முழு
பலமும் உபவைாகிக்க வவண்டி இருந்தது. நான் சகாஞ்ெம்
பலஹீனமானவன் தான் என்று எனக்கு சதரியும். உள்ளத்து
உறுதியும், உடல் உறுதியும் வவறு வவறு தாவன? ஒரு
இந்திைன் எனக்கு அதற நன்றாக இருந்தது. கட்டில்
ஆடிைது தாலாட்டுவது வபால இருந்தது. விட்டத்தத
பார்த்து அப்படிவை படுத்வதன்.
I pressed lift button and reached my room. The room door
was very strong. ‘This door is original since 1917’ was printed on the
door. I affixed the credit card sized plastic card and opened the door.
It was heavy. I needed to use my full strength. I know, I am weak in
body. Strength in the mind and strength in the body are different. Is it
not? For an average Indian, that is me, the room appeared good. The
rocking bed making sound, made me to feel, I am at mother’s lap. I
laid down, facing the ceiling.
பாக்சகட்டில் இருந்த டாலர் தாள்கதள பார்க்க
பைமாக இருந்தது. அந்த மூன்று ஒரு டாலர் தாள்களும்
உண்தமைிவல கள்ள வநாட்டுகவளா? நல்ல வவதல. அந்த
நல்ல கறுப்பர் கூக்குரல் சகாடுத்து என்தன மாட்டி
விடவில்தல என நிதனத்து சகாண்வடன். எவ்வாறு
வொததன செய்வது என்று புரிைவில்தல. பார்க்க 100 டாலர்
வபாலவவ இருக்கிறது. அனால், ஒரு டாலர் என்று அச்ெிட்டு
இருக்கிறது. ஆனால், நண்பர் வடவிட் வஜம்ஸ் மூலம்
Navnit Narayanan

சகாடுத்த ஆள் ஏமாற்ற மாட்டாவர, அவவர, ஏமாந்து


விட்டாவரா? என குழம்பிவனன்.
I was afraid to see the dollar bills in my pocket. May be the 3
bills of $1 each are fake? Good time. That black man did not shout
and handed over me to Police, I thought. I was not knowing how to
check. It appeared exactly like $100 bill. But printed as $1. The man
introduced by my friend Mr. David James may not cheat me. May be,
he himself got cheated? I was confused.
திடீசரன மனது பாரமாக இருந்தது. உடனடிைாக
சென்தன திரும்பி விடலாமா என நிதனத்வதன்.
செலவானால் பரவாைில்தல என்று, என் ப்ளாக்சபர்ரி
வபாதன எடுத்வதன். எதுவுவம வவதல செய்ைவில்தல.
சென்தனைில் ெந்தித்த நண்பர் பிரவன்
ீ ஞாபகம் வந்தது.
வஹாட்டல் அதற சதாதலவபெிைில் அவதர சதாடர்பு
சகாண்வடன். எங்கிருந்வதா ஒரு தமிழ் குரல் வகட்டது
சகாஞ்ெம் ஆறுதலாக இருந்தது.
I felt very heavy. Maybe I should return my native city
immediately? Its ok, if it is expensive. I took out my blackberry phone.
Nothing worked. I remembered a friend who met me at Chennai.
From hotel room, I called him. Listening to a Tamil voice in faraway
land, gave me some comfort.
சுமார் 36 மணி வநரம், என் மதனவிைிடம் வபெ
வில்தல. பிரவனுக்கு
ீ சென்தன சதாதலவபெி எண்
சகாடுத்து, பத்திரமாக வந்துவிட்வடன், வஹாட்டல் தங்கி
இருக்கிவறன் என்று சதரிவிக்க சொன்வனன்.
Nearly 36 hours. I did not speak to my wife. I gave Praveen
my Chennai Number and asked him to inform that I have reached
USA and staying in hotel.
ஆவடாமாடிக் கதவு, எவலக்ட்வரானிக் தாழ்பாள்.
அட்தட ொவி. ஒரு முதறக்கு இரு முதற, இருமுதறக்கு
மும்முதற ொவிதை வபாட்டு, கதவு திறப்பதத சதரிந்து
சகாண்வடன். ொவி பாக்சகட்டில் இருப்பதத பலமுதற
உறுதி செய்தபின் லிப்டிறங்கி ததர வந்வதன்.
சமதுவாகவும், தைக்கமாகவும் வஹாட்டல் சதருதவ வலம்

127
First Night in New York

வந்வதன். உடனடிைாக என்னுதடை ப்ளாக்சபர்ரி வபாதன


வவதல செய்ை தவக்க வவண்டும்.
Automatic door. Electronic Lock. Plastic card kay. Once,
twice, thrice, I checked the system of how to open and lock the door.
I checked the key to be in my pocket several times. I came down
through lift. Very slowly and very hesitantly I came around the hotel
located street. I should make my phone to work. First job.
சதருவில், ஆஜானுபாகுவான ஒரு கறுப்பர், தன
உடம்பில் முன்னும், பின்னும் அட்தட கட்டி
தவத்திருந்தார். செல் வபான் ரிப்வபர், ப்ளாக்சபர்ரி ரிப்வபர்,
எவலக்ட்வரானிக் ரிப்வபர் என அட்தடைில்
எழுதபட்டிருந்தது. வபாவவார் வருவவாரிடம் வநாட்டீஸ்
சகாடுத்து சகாண்டிருந்தார். என்னிடமும் ஒன்று நீட்டினார்.
பைபக்தியுடன் வாங்கிக்சகாண்வடன்.
On the street, a tall and hefty black, had paper board display
tied to his front and back. It read ‘Cell phone repair, Blackberry repair,
Electronic repair’. He was giving notices to passer-by. Extended one
to me. I accepted with devotion and respect.
‘எங்வக?’ என்வறன். ‘இங்வக!’ என்று, அவவர, கதட
வாெலில்தான் இருந்தார், கதடதை காண்பித்தார். உள்வள
சென்வறன். ைாரும் என்தன கண்டு சகாள்ளவில்தல.
’Where?’ I asked. ‘Here!’ he showed the shop. He was standing
in front of the shop. I entered the shop. No one took notice of me.
ெிம் கார்டு இருக்கிறதா? என்னுதடை ப்ளாக் சபர்ரி
ைில் இன்டர்சநட் வவண்டும் என்வறன். முகவரி ெீ ட்டு
இருக்கிறதா? என்றார். நான் இந்திைாவில் இருந்து
வந்திருக்கிவறன். ப்ரீசபய்ட் வவண்டும் என்வறன். ப்ரீசபய்ட்
இன்டர்சநட் வராது. சவறும் வபான்கால் செய்ைலாம்
என்றான்.
’Do you have sim card? I need internet in my blackberry!’ I
said. ‘Do you have address proof?’. ‘I am from India. No local address
proof, I need prepaid!’. ‘In prepaid, internet will not come. Only
phone calls!’.
குழம்பிவபாய் சவளிவை வந்வதன். நான் இருந்த
வஹாட்டல் எனக்கு வகாைில் வபால வதான்றிைது. மீ ண்டும்
Navnit Narayanan

வலம் வந்வதன். பின்னர் வநராக ஏழாவது அசவன்யு நடந்து


இன்சனாரு எவலக்ட்வரானிக் கதடக்கு சென்வறன். கதட
வாெலில், வபான்கள், கம்ப்யூட்டர்கள், எவலக்ட்வரானிக்
ொதனங்களின் மாதிரி மற்றும் விதல வபாடபட்டிருந்தது.
சபரும்பாலும் இந்திை விதல அல்லது ெற்வற அதிகம்
வபால வதான்றிைது. தைங்கி தைங்கி உள்வள நுதழந்து
‘என்னுதடை ப்ளாக் சபர்ரிைில் இன்டர்சநட் வவண்டும்’
என்வறன்.
I was confused and came out. The hotel where I stay, appeared
to me as if a temple. I went around in outer periphery as if in devotion.
Then I walked straight in 7th avenue and went to another electronic
shop. Shop entrance displayed dummies of phones, laptops,
electronics and displayed the price. Most prices appeared what was in
India or slightly more. I entered with lot of hesitation and said, ‘I need
internet in my blackberry!’.
தைக்கமின்றி, 30 டாலர் ெிம் கார்டு மற்றும் 60 டாலர்
ஒரு மாத கட்டணம். 90 டாலர் சகாடு என்றான். முகவரி
ெீ ட்டு இல்தல. பாஸ்வபார்ட் மட்டும் இருக்கிறது. என்வறன்.
‘எனக்கு கவதல இல்தல, பச்தெ (டாலர் என
புரிந்துசகாண்வடன்) காண்பி’ என்றான். திரும்ப வருகிவறன்
என்று சொல்லிவிட்டு தப்பித்து வந்வதன்.
’Sim card $30. One-month fee $60. Give me $90’ he replied. ‘I
don’t have address proof. Just my Indian Passport’ I said. ‘I don’t
bother. Just show me the green’. I understood, he means dollar bills
by word ‘green’. I will come again. I said and came out.
அதறைில் குழம்பிவபாய் சமளனமாக இருந்வதன்.
‘நியூ ைார்க் நகரம் உறங்கும் வநரம் இனிதம தனிதமவைா?’
என்ற பாட்டு என் மனதில் நிழலாடிைது.
In the hotel room I was confused and remained silent. ‘When
the city of New York sleeps, being lonely is nice and sweet?’ the
cinema lyrics played in my mind.
பம்பாய் சதருக்களில் தன்னந்தனிைாய் சுற்றிை
வபாது, ‘சதன்பாண்டி ெீ தமைில, ............ , ைாரடிச்ொவரா?
ைாரடிச்ொவரா?’ என்ற பாட்டு எனக்கு அடிக்கடி வதான்றும்.

129
First Night in New York

பாட்டின் வரிகள் ெரிைாக சதரிைாத வபாது, என்னுதடை


வெதிக்கு மாற்றி பாடும் பழக்கம் எனக்கு உண்டு.
When I used to wander the streets of Bombay, I used to
recollect the song, ‘In the Pandian King region of south, … who
slapped you, who slapped you?’. When I don’t know exact lyrics, I
modify it so suit my convenience.
பிரவனுக்கு
ீ வபான் வபாட்வடன். இந்தமுதற அவர்
எடுக்கவில்தல. என் மதனவிைிடம் வபெினாரா இல்தலைா
என்று சதரிைவில்தல. சென்தனைில் இருந்தவபாவத,
சதாதலவபெி, ஈசமைில் பதிலளிக்காத மற்றவர் ஞாபகம்
வந்தது. வஹாட்டல் சதாதலவபெிைில், அதிக
கட்டனமானால் பரவாைில்தல என்று சென்தனக்கு
வபெிவனன். சகாஞ்ெம் சதம்பு வந்தது. பாக்சகட்டில் பணம்
கம்மிைாக இருந்தது. ரிஸ்க் எடுத்துதான் ஆகவவண்டும்
என்று, ெிம் கார்டு வாங்க கதடக்கு சென்வறன்.
I called again Praveen. He did not respond this time. Whether
he spoke to my wife or not, I was not sure. I was given a contact when
I was in Chennai. He did not respond to my email. Hotel phone call
may be costly. It’s all right. I spoke to Chennai. We need to take risk.
Money was less in pocket. I went out to buy sim card.
இந்தமுதற கதடக்காரரிடம் சதளிவாக எடுத்து
சொன்வனன். என்னுதடை தகைில் உள்ள ப்ளாக் சபர்ரி
சதாதலவபெி ெரிைாய் வவதல செய்ை வவண்டும்,
இன்டர்சநட் வவண்டும், வலாக்கல் நம்பர் வவண்டும்
என்வறன். வமலும் ொர்ஜ் செய்வதற்கு அடாப்டர் வவண்டும்
என்வறன்.
This time, I told clearly to shop keeper. ‘My blackberry should
work fine. Internet should work, I should be able to make local calls
and I need a local number!’. ‘I also need an adaptor for charging’.
ஒரு சவள்தள அடாப்டர் காண்பித்து, 20 டாலர்
என்றான். சுமார் 1000 ரூபாய். என்னுதடை சென்தன
அலுவலகத்தில் அது குப்தப வபால கிடப்பது ஞாபகம்
வந்தது. ெிம் கார்டு வாங்க கிசரடிட் கார்டு தருகிவறன்
என்வறன். இல்தல, பணம்தான் வவண்டும் என்றான். வரிகள்
உட்பட 98 டாலர். என்னுதடை 100 டாலர் தாதள கவனமாக
Navnit Narayanan

சகாடுத்வதன். ெவரசலன வபாட்டுசகாண்டு, விருட்சடன இரு


ஒரு டாலர் தாள் சகாடுத்தான். அதுவும் நூறு டாலர்
அளவிவல இருந்தது. நூறு டாலர் மற்றும் இது ஒவர
அளவா? என்வறன். ஆம், அதில் என்ன ெந்வதகம் என்றான்.
ஆனாலும் இவன் சகாடுத்த டாலர் சகாஞ்ெம் பதழைதாக
இருந்தது. டாக்ைி காரன் சகாடுத்தது புதிைதாக இருந்தது.
He showed a white adaptor and said $20. Approximately
Rs.1000. In my Chennai office, it remained discarded, I remembered.
‘I will give credit card’, I told him. ‘No, I need money!’ he said.
Including tax, it was $98. I carefully gave my $100 bill. He took that
fast, dropped in his drawer and gave me back 2 bills of $1 each. ‘$100
and $1, same size?’ I asked him. ‘Yes, what doubt in it?’. He said. What
this man gave was old. What was given by that taximan was crisp and
new.
ஒரு சபாருதள வாங்கிை உரிதமவைாடு கதடைின்
உட்புறம் சென்வறன். இந்திைதன வபால ஒரு ஆள்
இருந்தார்.
‘இந்திைரா?’ என்வறன். ‘பங்களாவதெி’ என்றார்.
‘இந்திைர் வபால தான்’ என்வறன். ‘ஆமாம்’ என்றார்.
’கன்னடி விமான நிதலைத்தில் இருந்து இங்வக வர
எவ்வளவு ஆகும்’ என்வறன். ‘30, 40 டாலர்?’ என்றார்.
என்னிடம் ஒருவர் 350 டாலர் வாங்கி விட்டார்
என்வறன்.
‘அப்படிைா?’ என்று, மற்றவர்களிடம் சொல்லி
ெிரித்தார்.
With the right of having purchased a product, I entered inside
the shop. A man looking like Indian was in a counter.
‘Are you Indian?’ I asked. ‘No, Bangladeshi’. He said.
‘Like Indians only!’ I said. ‘Yes, he replied!’.
‘How much it will cost to come from Kennedy airport to
here?’ I asked. ‘$30 or $40?’ he replied.
‘Someone took from me $350’. ‘Oh, is it?’ he told others in the
shop and all were laughing.
டாலர் வாங்கிக்சகாண்டு ஒரு மலிவான அடாப்டர்
சகாடுத்தார். அப்பாடா, என்னிடம் இருந்தது கள்ள வநாட்டு
131
First Night in New York

இல்தல என்ற நிம்மதி வந்தது.


He took dollar bill from me and gave me a cheaper adaptor
for charging. ‘What I have is not a fake currency’ I felt relieved.
அவத கதடைில் இருந்த இன்சனாருவர், ‘உன்தன
எங்வகவைா பார்த்திருக்கிவறன்!’ என்றார். ‘இல்தல, முதல்
முதறைாக நியூ ைார்க் வருகிவறன்’என்வறன்.
Another man in the shop tole me, ‘I have seen you
somewhere!’. ‘No, I am coming first time to New York!’ I said.
‘இப்வபாது ஞாபகம் வந்து விட்டது, நீ எங்கள் ஊர்
ெினிமா நடிகன் வபால இருக்கிறாய்!’ என்றார். என்னடா
வம்பாக வபாய் விட்டது என்று அதறக்கு திரும்பிவனன்.
‘Now I remember. You look like our cinema actor!’ he said.
‘What is this, another trouble!’ I came back to room.
தாகமாக இருந்தது. தண்ணர்ீ இல்தல. நடந்தவற்தற
நிதனத்து பார்த்வதன். சதாதலதூர பைணம் வபாகும் வபாது
கருப்பொமிக்கு காணிக்தக வபாட வவண்டும் என்று
என்னுதடை அம்மா சொன்னது ஞாபகம் வந்தது.
I was thirsty. No water in room. I recollected everything.
‘When we travel long distance, we should place offerings to ‘Karupa
Sami’ (black God)’ I recollected my mother sayings.
இந்த அசமரிக்க நாடு ஒரு காலத்தில் முழுக்க
முழுக்க கருப்பர்களால் ஆனது. இது அவர்களின் புராதன
வடு
ீ என்ற நிதனவு வந்தது.
This American land was at one time full of blacks. I thought.
It is their ancestral home.
அவர்கள் அடிதம படுத்தப்பட்டு அந்நிை படுத்தப்பட்டு
அழிக்கப்பட்ட ெரித்திரம் நிதனவுக்கு வந்தது. ‘எதத நீ
இழக்கிறாய்? அது இங்கிருந்து தாவன வந்தது. எதத நீ
சகாண்டு வந்தாய் அதத நீ இழப்பதற்கு?” என்ற பகவத்கீ தத
வரிகள் நிதனவுக்கு வந்தது.
The blacks were enslaved and destroyed. I remembered
history. ‘What you lose? That was taken from here! What you brought?
To lose?’ I remembered the verses of Bhagavath Gita, holy book of
Hindus.
Navnit Narayanan

கறுப்பர் மண்ணில் காலடி பதித்த அசமரிக்கர்கள்,


கால் சென்டர் வவதலகதள சென்தனக்கு சகாடுக்க,
அதனால் உைர்ந்த நிலபுலன் விதலைில் நானும்
பைனதடந்வதன் என நிதனத்து பார்த்வதன்.
‘The Americans entered the land of blacks, gave call centre
jobs to India, the real estate prices went high in India, and I am also
one who benefited out of that’. I recollected.
காலூன்றிைவுடன் கருப்பொமிக்கு காணிக்தக
வபாட்வடன்! இந்த மண் எனக்கு சவற்றி தரும் என்ற
நம்பிக்தகயுடன் புன்னதகத்வதன்!
As soon as I landed in USA, I made offerings to ‘Black God!’.
This place will give me success. I confidently smiled.
அப்பாடா, ஏமாந்து வபானதத எப்படிசைல்லாம்
ெமாளித்து, புத்திொலி வபால கதத சொல்ல வவண்டி
இருக்கிறது.
See, how intelligently I need to tell a story of how I got fooled?

குறிப்பு: நான் எவ்வளவு ஏமாந்வதன் என்பதத ெரிைாக


சொல்லும் நூறு நபர்களில் ஒருவருக்கு, என்தன வநரில்
வதடி வந்தால், நான் ஒவர ஒரு, ஒரு ரூபாய் மிட்டாய்
சகாடுப்வபன்! விதரந்து செைல் படுங்கள்!
Note: Calculate exactly how much I was cheated. One out of hundred,
if they come in person searching for me, I will give, just one, only one,
one-rupee chocolate. Act fast!

133
First Night in New York

SURESH KUMAR MISSING!

Yes! This Gentleman whom I considered as my best friend at


the time of studies is Missing.
Born: 29-January-1965 to Mr. Srinivasan & Kamala.
Lived most of his early days in Jaihindpuram, Behind
Tamilnadu Polytechnic, Madurai. Lived most of his adult life in
Ambattur, Chennai is missing since 07-March-2002. Had a small
factory close to Ambattur Industrial Estate Bus Stand manufacturing
rivets and mostly supplied to his erstwhile employer M/s Southern
Switchgears, a company in Ambattur Industrial Estate.
Preliminary enquiries confirm he visited a customer in
Choolaimedu area that day in morning. Possibly made a last known
telephone call to his unit around 12:00 noon asking the worker not to
plan a late-night shift.
Hello Gentlemen; It is mid July 2010 I met my distant relative
after a long gap. He asked what is the news about Suresh Kumar?
Surprised I asked what, he should be doing some business with
moderate success. Then I was told he is missing for last few years.
Two days later, I located the phone number of his friend cum
sister husband Mr. Eswar in phone book listing. Three days later
(Sunday 17-7-2010) I met the family in person. Gathered some
information and sharing here.
Every bit of additional information is appreciated from
anybody and everybody.
SURESH KUMAR as I know him is an intelligent, self-
confident man. Since knowing him from boyhood, I might refer him
'boy' at times. By community, he is 'Marathi Brahmin'. They suppose
speak Marathi at home. But not the one that is spoken in Maharashtra.
Like all such groups, all his official documents will mention 'Tamil' as
mother tongue. He is a good Chess Player. I would say as good as me.
He could have said, he is better than me.
Suresh Kumar as I know is teetotaller (the one who does not
drink alcohol, no smoking, no habits that are considered weakness).
Navnit Narayanan

Typical to such people, he could be adamant, stick to his point without


relenting at times.
He is very friendly and jovial. Easily mixes with people of all
kind. He is broad minded. Did inter caste love marriage for himself
(with full participation of both families) and allowed his sister to do
the same (with his classmate, co-habitant friend).
Born in a middle class, government servant family, his father
took good care of Suresh Kumar. When felt confident, he overlooked
his father's advice. Leaving job and starting business is one such act.
In May 1982 we all completed our Mechanical Engineering in
Tamilnadu Polytechnic, Madurai. At that time, it was a premier
technical education institution. At that time, it was the most sought-
after course. He and few friends selected in TI Group companies and
relocated themselves in Ambattur, Chennai.
I used to be occasional friendly visitor. Due to my own
downfall in my selected business career, I lived with them for one full
year in 1986. It took me one year to realize that I am not compatible
to them. I felt wasting time commuting in electric trains late hours and
early hours. Took a change of path and started living in main city areas.
The contact became occasional again. In 1999 my business
career nosedived again. 3 years 3 cities. When I restarted my business
career again in Chennai, I was a transformed man. I was not keen to
renew any old friendship and contacts. But not now, after learning my
best friend at Student days went missing, I could not sleep peacefully.
As the story unfolding, I am trying to take every possible step within
my reach.
What his friend cum close relative Mr. Eswar said?
ESWAR like me, studied with Suresh Kumar. He stayed
together for longer period than me with Suresh Kumar. He married
younger sister of Suresh Kumar in both family participated marriage.
He was my first choice to locate and ask about. I found him
in BSNL online phone directory and established the first contact after
several years.
It appears they took full dedicated efforts for about 18
months. When Suresh Kumar father passed away in August 2003, the
135
First Night in New York

search activities seem to have slowed down. As most people took


solace in Horoscope and astrological predictions, they comforted
themselves with the prediction that Suresh Kumar is living a life with
some other lady as family and would one day come back on his own.
Based on my conversation, Suresh Kumar as ESWAR knows
is emotional, honest, simple, budgeted man. He restricted his expenses
within income. Promptly repaid rare small borrowings. He was at
financial low at time of missing and started applying for jobs.
ESWAR says, some of the business contacts of Suresh Kumar
informed the possibility of female weakness. This to me is not very
convincing. I would like to hear directly from mouth of any such
person. I would like to verify.
ESWAR took me to the street where Suresh Kumar last
operated his business. It is street opposite Ambattur Industrial Estate
Bus Station and building opposite GATI courier and cargo. ESWAR
informed me of dispute between people working in GATI and Suresh
Kumar and quickly dismissed the possibility of they (GATI) involving
in his disappearance as the dispute appeared small. Seeing the location,
I guess, it could be vehicle parking dispute. However, I would like to
verify how small or big the dispute was.
ESWAR said, they all were desperately trying to know my
where about and were hoping that I would throw light. According to
them even I was almost missing for years. Probably they were
disappointed and frustrated after learning that I am very much in
Chennai leading normal life and career but did not bother to renew
any old contacts.
I informed ESWAR that, we should try to locate one Mr.D.
Saravanan, who also stayed with them in bachelor days. He later took
software career. His mail ID I could guess, I remember to have chat
with him in early 2000. I guess his nature is to establish contact and
keep in touch with old friends. I particularly remember him locating
me online and visiting me in person in April 2002. If my remembrance
is correct, it is this man who enquired me about if I know anything
about Suresh Kumar. I would like to talk to him.
What his younger sister said?
Navnit Narayanan

Younger sister of Suresh Kumar feels in private that he could


be no more. A case of possible un-reported matter. She feels that
Suresh Kumar cares for his wife and son so much so that, it is
impossible to think that he would be living with some other female (a
prediction by many astrologers and soothsayers) completely forgetting
his family. However, she feels, it is comfortable to assume that he is
living with some other lady and might turn up one day. So, they feel it
that way.
What his mother said?
SURESHKUMAR's Mother, when I met is composed,
matured and non-committal. She appears to have suppressed
emotions. It appears that she was very eager to meet me hoping I am
going to give clue about whereabouts of Suresh Kumar. There is
calmness in her approach taking the life as it comes and hoping that
her son will one day come back. She specifically questioned me about
why I never bothered to stay in touch with them for the nearly 10
years. She appeared disappointed when I replied that I lost belief in
friendship and never felt like meeting any of old friends.
What his spouse said?
SURESHKUMAR's Spouse, appeared dull, depressed, feeble
in her voice and approach. It appears that she is leading a life of dignity
in scarcity. Their son was brought up well and I felt elated learning
that he is first ranker in a top and tough school. Though Suresh Kumar
was my good friend at time of studies, the distance became more at
time of his marriage and near no contact after that. Probably eating
less, talking less, and sleeping less, she appeared blissfully simple.
Surrounded by all relatives and her son, I threw a valley of
questions at her. She confirmed that Suresh Kumar treated her very
well, never scolded her or called her in singular, always affectionate,
and truly cared for her.
I asked a specific question; is there anyone who were very
friendly and in regular contact earlier and now stopped contacts. The
reply was instantaneous. She threw the name of one Mr. Prakash of
supposedly LV Springs or Exports from Bangalore. To my sustained
probes following additional info received.
137
First Night in New York

1. The said Prakash (Prakasam referred by her but by


additional question corrected by Suresh Kumar’s mother as Prakash)
was a vendor supplying springs to the company where Suresh Kumar
worked (Southern Switch Gears that later took over by and known
now as Snider Electricals).
2. The said Prakash is the man who motivated Suresh Kumar
to resign the job and start business on his own.
3. Whenever Suresh Kumar visits Bangalore, he might eat at
the house of Prakash.
4. Whenever Prakash comes Chennai, he will eat at the house
of Suresh Kumar. Prakash could have eaten at the house of Suresh
about 10 times (reply to specific questions by me whether it could be
around 5 times or 50 times)
5. When business of Suresh Kumar became less, he also acted
as agent for Prakash and used to follow up orders, collect payments.
For this Prakash was making regular payment as commission that was
by a Bangalore based outstation cheque and drawn in the name of
spouse of Suresh Kumar.
6. It is about a year before disappearance that the regular
cheques stopped.
7. Prakash did not speak Tamil or Good English. He was non-
vegetarian. He and his wife worked hard in initial phases and lived in
rented house at beginning. Now they live in good independent house
in Rajaji Nagar.
8. About 6 weeks after disappearance, Suresh Kumar's father
Mr. Srinivasan accompanied by Suresh Kumar's friends Mr. Dhanraj,
Mr. Gokul and Mr. Gokul’s wife visited the house of Mr. Prakash at
Rajaji Nagar, Bangalore. They even went room by room if Suresh
Kumar is hiding in one of the room (pity though.) and spent about 90
minutes. At that time, Prakash, his wife, and another lady with a baby
in arm was present. Faced with reply that they don't know, these
people came back.
9. That Prakash never bothered to call back and enquire in the
last 8 years and more about the fate of his onetime associate and friend
Mr. Suresh Kumar.
Navnit Narayanan

It is at this time, I had strange palpitation. I had a sense that


Mr. Prakash is the possible key to disappearance. I was afraid to visibly
show my uneasiness. I made a general remark that this Prakash should
be taken into custody and enquired by Police.
This is my first Sunday (20-06-2010) at Ambattur after more
than decade. I took leave of them and came back leaving my phone
number and request, that any additional information may be given to
me at any time.
First web information made!
After that first Sunday (20-06-2010) at Ambattur after more
than decade. I took leave and came back leaving my phone number
and request that any additional info may be given to me at any time.
On my way back, I met my current friend. I made a narration of
everything and asked his opinion. He shared my views about
Bangalore (I consider it as crime ridden city that outwardly appears
calm and charming).
Being a believer of things beyond human control, he wanted date of
birth, date of missing and parent name. He offered to consult some
soothsayers with Islamic Dargah background and let me know. He
offered to make discreet enquires at Bangalore and to check if Suresh
Kumar could be traced. He wanted photo of Suresh Kumar.
I made quick conversation with ESWAR and asked for photo
and other details. To my repeated phone calls, ESWAR gave the
number of Spouse of Suresh Kumar. Over phone I offered to speak
to Suresh Kumar's Mother. But she gave phone to her daughter in law.
When I insisted to speak to his mother, Suresh wife told that it is
enough if I speak to her or to any sister of Suresh because they all
mean the same and will say the same thing. Well said.
While leaving Ambattur earlier, I suggested ESWAR that we
all (ESWAR, me, GOKUL, DHANRAJ) may contribute about Rs.
10,000 each and keep the money for specific purposes in tracing
Suresh Kumar. A suggestion he appeared agreed. Later that day, he
appeared reluctant. Mainly because, he is being, relative (wedded to
Suresh Kumar younger sister), he cannot ask GOKUL and
DHANRAJ to contribute money.
139
First Night in New York

Agreed, I just asked him to provide photos of Suresh Kumar.


Later I sent my E-Mail ID to cell numbers of ESWAR and Spouse of
Suresh requesting photos be forwarded. Photos of Suresh Kumar, that
you see by side of these pages, I received by E-Mail on Friday, 25-6-
2010. Next day morning I quickly created a simple website and
forwarded the web address to ESWAR and Suresh's wife suggesting
them to visit. I sent a simple SMS, 'Kindly visit www.luz.cc/s and
inform me'.
And that is the first two pages I created. I created to let his
known persons visit and exchange information. Not necessarily for
public to view.
What his elder sister said?
Next Sunday (27-06-2010) as I was leaving my home, I
received a call from elder sister of Suresh. She enquired my wellbeing
and told me that she felt elated seeing the web page about her brother.
She wanted to meet me in person. After adjusting my scheduled
works, I met her at her house by around 11 am.
The talk with JAYA was very useful. She was affectionate,
fondly remembering the good old days. I made pointed queries and
references. In this meeting additional information received by me
were;
1. Suresh Kumar with his wife and parent, lived at a flat in
Collector Nagar, Mogappair near his son school. (All along I was
thinking that he lived always at Ambattur as I reported in very first
pages).
2. Suresh Kumar's father Mr. Srinivasan did not like the
friendship of Mr. Prakash, the man from Bangalore. Due to that,
Suresh Kumar took care to meet Prakash when he visits Chennai,
without the knowledge of his father Mr. Srinivasan.
3. Suresh Kumar was desperate to make money. But always
used judicial simple ways like trying to get a buyer for a property if
someone is selling, bringing people to MILT personality development
training program, willing to do any sundry work if that will fetch some
money.
Navnit Narayanan

4. On the day of missing, he was normal in morning. Resigned


to the reality that he needs to join some job, he prepared his resume,
and gave the floppy disk to a neighbour flat for printouts to be kept
ready and to collect in evening.
5. He withdrew Rs. 1,000/- from his Canara Bank account and
appeared normal and jovial at bank counter (did the usual 'Hello, how
are you?' with the counter staff).
6. He visited some 'United Engineering' in Choolaimedu.
According to the version of this United Engineering people, as
narrated to JAYA, IT IS HERE THAT he was not normal. He
appeared unusually tense. Did not collect signature in delivery note
(unusual); Used the toilet (unusual); (That he used the toilet info I
gathered in next Sunday meeting, but mentioning here).
7. It is either before or after visiting this United Engineering,
Suresh Kumar made his last known phone call to a PP number near
his unit, asking the workers not to plan second shift and leave early as
he himself could be late. No one knew it could be this many years late.
According to her, Suresh Kumar's wife had shared some more
information that she did not share with me in my first meeting. She
requested me not to mistake, after all I met them after nearly a decade.
According to her, their son is getting depressed whenever talks are
made about his missing father. According to her, we should avoid
discussing the subject in the presence of their son.
END.
Further.
That is first batch of information. One Sunday at Ambattur,
next Sunday at Choolaimedu.
Now I am desperate to find whatever available information
about one Mr. Prakash of Rajaji Nagar who is supposed to be a
manufacturer of springs and running a business name by either 'LV
SPRINGS' OR 'LV EXPORTS'. I was searching the web for whatever
info I could lay hands in web. I was not successful. I asked my business
contacts who were camping at that time in Bangalore to look at local
yellow pages and find entry for that name. No success. If some address
is there my friend at Chennai Mr. Zafarulla was willing to go Bangalore
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and make local enquiries. No big success. I was hesitant to make


frequent calls to spouse of Suresh Kumar.
Then the call from GOKUL came.
What Mr. GOKUL said?
After going through initial web pages (only first 2 pages),
before or after I visited JAYA (I don't remember accurately) GOKUL
called me. He appreciated my efforts to host a website. Thanked me
that it never appeared to them to host in internet and do the search.
He shared various information with me. There was nothing very new.
He offered his co-operation fully possible. He shared his
apprehensions with me about said LV Springs /Prakash. As the
person who visited Bangalore in about 6 weeks of Suresh
disappearance I requested him to recollect and the following more
info took shape.
1) GOKUL, his wife, Srinivasan (Suresh Dad), DHANRAJ
(Old time friend of Suresh) visited Bangalore.
2) According to GOKUL, the said Mr. Prakash was a lousy
fellow. Did not give a proper and caring response for a team that came
all along from Chennai and anxious to locate a disappeared person
who is supposed to be well known to him.
3) It is ridiculous that for a personality development program
(MILT), while Suresh Kumar paid fee for himself, this fellow
(Prakash) paid fee for spouse of Suresh Kumar.
4) It might be possible to locate address through Mr.
DHANRAJ.
Next day GOKUL said,
Next day, GOKUL returned my call sometime around lunch
time. I was in thick traffic in NSC Bose Road, Parry’s Corner. This
time, GOKUL's approach appeared different to me.
He acknowledged my missed call previous day late hours. He
informed that his wife and Suresh wife were dear and close friends. As
much close as GOKUL and Suresh were or may be more. He
informed that, that day morning there was long phone conversation
between both ladies. In this next day conversation GOKUL approach
was different. He told me bluntly that if that fellow Suresh has
Navnit Narayanan

abandoned family and living with some other lady (a notion, many of
them were believing based on astrological predictions), let him regret
and come on his own. Why should we search?
He further told that he had conversation with DHANRAJ
also, and DHANRAJ feels that the reaction of Prakash of LV Springs
when they visited Rajaji Nagar, Bangalore was normal. Nothing very
suspicious. There is no point in pursuing Bangalore angle.
Initial Logics.
At this stage I needed following information...
1. Address and contact of one Mr. Prakash of Rajaji Nagar
supposed to run business in name LV Springs or LV Exports. As
direct address was not available from anyone and I could not locate in
internet, I expected bank from spouse of Suresh. In very first meeting
she told that it should be possible to locate the details amongst left
over documents in the loft.
2. I needed more photos of Suresh Kumar. Especially the
photos in which he is amongst group and preferably not close
relatives.
3. Any E-Mail ID or passport number or Cell number. It
appeared not logical for me that he did not have any of these.
According to ESWAR, Internet and Cellular phone did not penetrate
much at that time.
4. Where is SARAVANAN? The one who stayed with them
at Ambattur in bachelor days. Who met me in April 2002 when I
briefly stayed in a monthly lodge. Who enquired me if I know
whereabouts of Suresh Kumar and others.
5. Who is the person supposedly called from USA, hearing the
news of demise of Mr. Srinivasan (Father of Suresh), the call attended
by elder sister of Suresh.
6. Any information about anyone who did MILT course with
Suresh Kumar, his spouse, and with Bangalore Prakash.
7. Specific information about who portrayed Suresh Kumar as
a person who was either weak towards female or he had another side
and possibly dirty side.

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First Night in New York

8. Exact address about where Suresh Kumar and family stayed


(Collector Nagar, Mogappair).
9. Exact address of person (co-habitant in Collector Nagar)
who took floppy from Suresh and suppose to keep few of his resumes
ready by that day evening.
10. When day before disappearance, when Suresh Kumar
proposed his spouse that they need to close business, start taking up
job both and possible job could be only at Pondicherry, what was her
reaction? Detail of conversation around that time.
11. Again and again repeating question. Why Prakash of LV
Springs, did not attempt even once to enquiry the wellbeing of family
and whereabouts of his onetime business associate, close friend, MILT
Co trainee, family level friend, that is this missing Suresh Kumar?
12. When I clearly tell them that no need to spend money, no
need to spend efforts, all that I need is sharing information, whatever
available information that too at the comfort of their own home, why
the opportunity is not grabbed at once and me being encouraged and
helped?
Next meet.
Welcome back!
I created those pages in normal chronological order.
You might find some matters that I created first could
contradict with later. For example, in first page, I reported that Suresh
Kumar was living most part of his adult life in Ambattur, Chennai. It
is what I was knowing. Later I corrected, (after visiting his elder sister)
that he was living in Collector Nagar, Mogappair at the time of
missing.
I did not change the initial page, because, let it be that way.
The way that I came to know.
So, earlier I was looking for one LV Springs or Exports from
Bangalore. One day I decided to locate all springs manufacturers of
Bangalore and made an internet listing. Then I stumbled upon the
name 'Elvee Springs'. Now with correct spelling, that I found on my
own, I located available address at Bangalore. And confirmed the
name Mr. Prakash as main contact person.
Navnit Narayanan

I wanted to confirm if Mrs. Suresh Kumar is willing to help


me with correct spelling. So, I sent her an SMS, asking for clarification;
"Is it LB Springs or LB Exports?". I expected a reply, it is not "LB"
but "Elvee". But she called back and told me that she does not know
anything. It could be LB or LV, proprietor or Private Limited,
NOTHING IS KNOWN.
So, without revealing that I have located the address of
ELVEE SPRINGS, I insisted for one more meeting by next Sunday.
Read more...
Hello Gentlemen; It is mid July 2010 I met my distant relative
after a long gap. He asked what is the news about Suresh Kumar?
Surprised I asked what, he should be doing some business with
moderate success. Then I was told he is missing for last few years.
Two days later, I located the phone number of his friend cum
sister husband Mr. Eswar in phone book listing. Three days later
(Sunday 17-7-2010) I met the family in person. Gathered some
information and started sharing here.
I was looking for every bit of additional information from
anybody and everybody. After initial round of talks, I started looking
for one Prakash of LV Springs, that I later came to know to be 'Elvee
Springs'. According to me it does not fall in place, that someone who
motivated Suresh Kumar to start a business on his own, who enrolled
him and his wife to a personality development program 'MILT', was a
current favourite friend at that time of missing, who used to take food
at each other’s residence, who used to send money on monthly basis
for services rendered, ...... having known that the person is missing,
how come, he made no contact or enquiry???? Particularly that, Mr.
Srinivasan, father of Suresh, did not like that friendship.
So, it is probably the first place to be visited and certified
normal, to proceed further. No useful information forth came from
Suresh Kumar family. But I located the possible address through
Internet search. Got to know the corrected spelling also.
In the next meeting at Ambattur, my second visit there, I met
ESWAR, accompanied by him, (I always made it a point not to visit
alone, as after such long gap of more than 10 years, I am practically
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'outsider' to them) I visited house of Suresh and met there, Spouse of


Suresh, elder sister, mother, and son. This time I made my
conversation brief and insisted their co-operation to find the Prakash
of Bangalore.
This time, the family of Suresh wanted me not to proceed
further. They apprehended that life of son of Suresh Kumar is very
important and they don't want him to be mentally depressed. They
also apprehended fear at the hands of Prakash or for that reason
anybody who were behind the disappearance. Suresh Kumar's wife
appeared not willing to co-operate much.
So, I quickly finished my conversation and came to house of
ESWAR. There I requested elder sister of Suresh Kumar also to come.
We made few more round of talks there. I informed that, the approach
of Suresh Kumar wife was different and hesitant this time. They
justified that it is natural and fear, nothing to mistake. Suresh Kumar's
nephew (elder sister's son) was present. He almost warned me that he
will not tolerate anything that will harm the mindset of Suresh's son.
What Then?
I felt dejected. When the family is not cooperating what can I
do further? I started leaving. They offered me food. I told direct. 'How
can I take food in a place when whereabouts of my first contact is not
known?' I know all the family only through this Suresh Kumar.
While leaving, I made my final remark. That, I have address of
Elvee Springs. And I just wanted to know, if they are willing to help
me to locate the address. It probably startled them. At this time
ESWAR told me that the spelling is 'Elvee' not 'LV'.
If ESWAR, despite being close relative, not very frequent to
home of Suresh Kumar, ... was knowing that the correct spelling is
'Elvee', I am almost sure that Mrs. Suresh is always knowing the
correct spelling and was not willing to help me by giving that
important information. Why, why, why???
I left Ambattur with remarks to ESWAR that 'Fire is missing
in Mrs. Suresh to locate her husband!'.
Navnit Narayanan

Remember the film 'Roja', what valiant efforts that newly


married lady takes to locate her husband abducted by Kashmir
extremists! OK, leave it!
Then?
I decided to leave the matter cool and still for few days.
Meanwhile I met my friend to whom I used to talk all these issues. He
told me that his friend at Bangalore made a visit to said Elvee Springs
and collected some leaflets. He told me that there is someone by name
'Suresh' working in that company and that man is married and has a
female child.
Now this info needs to be checked. We need to rule out the
possibility that very same Suresh that we are searching is leading a
normal life in Elvee springs.
I contacted GOKUL, Hosur. After long conversation, he told
me that, he is willing to cooperate and take the leads further in locating
Suresh Kumar. I shared all my thoughts and views. I suggested either
him or DHANRAJ who knew Suresh Kumar well, to make a visit to
Bangalore and rule out the possibility of the person named Suresh
working in Elvee Springs is not the same 'Suresh Kumar' that we
consider disappeared.
My calls to other family members of Suresh Kumar did not
evoke response or return calls.
End.
Gokul = Kannan; Easwar = Somasundaram, Saravanan =
Karthik; Jaya=Vijaya alias Viji;
Again
Few months rolled by. Thoughts about Missing Suresh Kumar
was frequently haunting me. My wife gave me solace with reasoning.
According to her rightful thinking, Suresh Kumar was always living
with and guided by all his friends and family members. Whereas, I was
almost like an orphan. My achievement of having setup a family
successfully all on my own is big enough and we should be thankful
to God!
May be. By now I was owing a small independent building at
643, Anna Salai, Chennai-6. The adjoining building came for sale. The
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title deeds of that property were mortgaged to City Union Bank,


Kumbakonam at its Main Branch in the Kumbakonam Town. Now
believing it to be a town, the people there call it a city. So, they named
their bank as 'Kumbakonam City Union Bank' and after few years, the
name of the city was discarded, and it became 'City Union Bank'.
By now, I can authentically state that this City Union Bank is
deep rooted in corruption. Elsewhere, I will write about how I was
systematically cheated by corrupt practices in this bank with close
connivance with all top, senior, junior, auditing, managing, vigilance
department of this bank and as well few other banks with my first
hand vivid and undeniable proof and explanations.
Cholan express leaving Chennai Egmore at around 8 am and
reaching Kumbakonam at around 3 pm was great and enjoyable. It
was mostly empty. We can sleep in the lower berth with no one
bothering you. After Vilupuram, the train will pass through Paddy
fields and greeneries of Cauvery Delta area. The wonderful dry air with
powerful green smell will sing a lullaby, you want to sleep almost
instantly.
The man sleeping in the opposite berth was bearded. He
appeared to be in my age. I had a sudden intuition that it could be my
missing friend Suresh Kumar. I made a brief friendly conversation.
The Vilupuram Railway junction was known for supply of good
quality milk at its Milk sale counter. See, how people remember quality
at affordable price for decades. I bought 2 cups of Milk and offered
one to him. He politely refused. Accepting his gesture, I consumed
both cups. I told him, I was aware that he might not accept and hence
had the alternative plan of consuming both cups myself. He
appreciated that.
As the train began its journey at Chennai Egmore, I found a
man fighting with food vendors. He appeared a decent man with over
grown hairs and beard. He bought a food pocket and thrust few coins
to the food vendor. The food vendor counted the money and refused
to part with food packet. That man, very hungry, immediately opened
the food packet and attempted to eat. The vendor overpowered him,
snatched the food packet, and threw back the few coins. I felt sad.
Navnit Narayanan

Here is a well grown man in his prime age. Not having money to buy
food. I called the food vendor, gave him money, and asked him to
supply food packet to that hungry stranger. The food vendor
approached the hungry man again. This time he started running. The
food vendor caught hold of him and thrust the food packet. He
showed me and told that I gave money for the food. The hungry man
snatched the food packet and ran away. Fearing that the food may be
snatched again? After about 10 minutes, the train started moving. In
the empty train, I was in the window seat looking outside. At the far
end of the platform I saw this man, eagerly waiting to look at me. As
he saw me, he waved his hands at me with a feeling of gratitude and
satisfaction in his face. I felt sad, I could not give him any money. A
drop of tear rolled by my cheeks.
I was not aware, this man sleeping in opposite berth noticed
entire sequence. After refusing to accept the cup of milk offered by
me, he informed me, that he saw my helpful gesture to a hungry
stranger.
It is not that I had always been fortunate enough to buy food
for hungry people. Few years earlier, when I lived in Secunderabad,
Paradise area, a poor family was crossing by me. The lady and man
were in around 30 years of age. They had 2 or 3 children one carried
by the lady. With shabby clothes, uncombed hair, they appeared
emancipated. As I was curiously looking at them, the lady showed her
husband to me.
The man asked me, ‘Are you Tamil?’.
I said, ‘Yes!’.
He told, “We are also Tamils. From Madurai. I am a painter.
Came for work here. The concerned person not available. They have
not taken food since previous day. Now going back to railway station.
They are hungry. He can bear hunger. But for children and wife,
whether I can buy food?”.
I Instantly said no. In a city where I was stranger, safeguarding
myself appeared important for me. Few minutes later, I felt guilty. I
almost wanted to run towards them and call them to come and eat
food at the opposite eatery. But hesitation prevailed. An opportunity
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First Night in New York

to feed a hungry family was gone forever to me. When I write about
feeding a hungry stranger in Chennai, I should write about this too,
that I missed an earlier opportunity and regret that forever.
Friends, readers, if you see a hungry human being, offer food
them at once. Else, you regret forever.
So, this man opposite, engaged me in good conversation. We
exchanged our purpose of visits to Kumbakonam.
He said, is uncle is spending nearly Rs.3 Lakh to organise
‘pulling golden chariot’ in a temple in Kumbakonam to celebrate his
60 years (Sashtiaptha poorthi). Many people advised his uncle to do
other form of charity as Anna Dhaanam (offering food to several
poor), regular ceremony in popular temple for Sashtiaptha poorthi,
but he is going ahead with ‘Golden Chariot Pulling’. He asked my
opinion.
I told him. ‘Temples are great places for social harmony. Our
Hindu/Indian culture provides for survival of everyone including
enemies and rivals. When someone donates to temple, in the prasad
offered in the temple, everyone partakes, including the enemies and
rivals. The money spent on pulling the golden chariot or any such
rituals does not go to the metallic idols, the chariot, or any non-living
creatures. The money finds its way to artisans, metal crafters,
labourers, cleaning staff, priest, and everyone. So, it is not wrong!’.
The man opposite was overwhelmed at my response. He informed me
that, he did expect a different kind of reply, but not so clear and
satisfactory.
With the new-found friendship, I narrated him the entire
episode about missing Suresh Kumar. He listened very carefully. By
the end of long talk by me, what he said startled me.
He informed me that he knows that ‘United Engineering’ of
Choolaimedu personally. Now they have shifted to Ambal Nagar in
Ekkaduthangal. He can easily get me to them, if required. I was
excited. I thought God is showing me a way, to solve the mystery of
missing Suresh Kumar. I collected his phone number and promised to
meet him again in Chennai.
Navnit Narayanan

Back in Chennai, a day or two later, around 7 pm, I contacted


Jaya, elder sister of missing Suresh Kumar over phone. I made calls to
Easwar and Gokul. I did not say, I must know the whereabouts of
people in United Engineering, the last place and contact point of
missing Suresh Kumar.
By this period, from being a staunch atheist from very small
age, I had transformed into a believer of existence of God the Super
Power, communication from God in strange and known only few
methods.
I asked Jaya, if there had been any unnatural but noteworthy
happenings, after Suresh Kumar went missing. Any specific dreams,
soothsaying, etc.?
She said, one day amidst her search for her missing brother,
she had a dream. It was small and powerful dream. A powerful
invisible voice demanded loudly (Asareeree), ‘Unakku Thambi
Venuma, illai Paiyan venuma? Unakku Thambi Venuma, illai, Paiyan
venuma?’ (You want brother or your son?). In the dream she replied,
‘Enakku Paiyan thaan venum!’ (I need my son!). Then the Asareeree
replied, ‘Unakku thambi kidaikka mattan, vittudu’ (You will not get
your brother, leave it!).
As she narrated this sentence, and even as I am typing this
sentence, a strange and difficult to describe feeling enters my body and
mind. I feel shaky. I disconnected the call.
After I disconnected the call, I found several missed calls in
my mobile phone. When I called back, my wife was frantic. She
informed me that my son, who boarded the city bus to return home,
missed the stop and the bus took another route due to traffic snarls,
and now he is in some unknown place not able recollect anything and
not knowing way home.
I became panicky. I immediately contacted my son who had
very less battery charge in his mobile phone. I asked him to go to
nearby auto stand and give phone to an auto driver. I told the auto
driver to bring my son home safely and he does not know the route.
An hour later, after seeing my son, I decided, message to me, by God
is, I should not try to do too much to locate missing Suresh Kumar.
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First Night in New York

I also support the auto stand culture of Chennai City, where


the auto drivers refuse to ply on meters, demand extra fair, wait
endlessly at their respective auto stand. Because, at the hour of crisis
they are the most trustworthy and dependable. They all are friends to
each other.
Few months earlier to this incident, I had a strange dream too.
In the dream, I had collected large volume of papers that can lead me
to missing Suresh Kumar. I wanted to keep them safely and in a secret
place. I was wondering where to keep them. As I entered the bed
room, to locate a shelf to keep the papers, I find Suresh Kumar
emerging from the room. He says, ‘these papers about me? Give to
me, I will keep them safe!’. With confused mind, I give the papers.
With the surreal happenings, I abandoned my efforts to locate
missing Suresh Kumar. I wish his family does a proper ritual that befits
departed soul and other rituals carried on.
LESSON: Me, an abandoned rural Indian boy, led a life of my own,
not surrounded by close family, friends or relatives or elders to guide me. Suresh, an
urban Brahmin boy, always surrounded by immediate family, relatives, and long
list of friends. Destiny differs.
Navnit Narayanan

PART-II
SECOND DAY IN NEW
YORK

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First Night in New York

SECOND DAY IN NEW YORK


PREFACE

My Earlier title was named ‘First Night in New York’. The


‘night’ was as per Indian time. It was in ‘Day’ I arrived in New York.
In this ‘Second Day in New York’ I continue with my thoughts,
memories, dreams, experiences.
In ‘First Night in New York’ I left few chapters abruptly,
making people to wonder, is that worth of a chapter? When thoughts
are confounded too much, better to let them settle down, before
kindling again.
My book may not be a huge success, in its present form. But
these are merely first 2 of nearly 12 volumes I am planning to publish.
Some of them are sure to kindle the minds of people.
What I titled as ‘Second Day in New York’ for my next book,
I decided to merge with the first book itself, as ‘Part-II’. After having
a look and read at Printed paperback of earlier version of ‘First Night
in New York’, I thought, I should give more value for money for
readers. So, I decided to combine.
The sequences are not in order of ‘First Night’ or ‘Second
Day’. I was confounded with too many thoughts during my lonely stay
in New York, half the world away. No known face to look at me or
smile.
As I make the book in order, I get the feeling, my coming
volumes may be mind blowing. I too have very interesting narrations
in real life and sharing them could be useful to someone.
Navnit Narayanan

APPALAM

‘Appalam’ was briefest of my chapter in earlier title. It is just


my habit, when served food in Hotel, I eat ‘Appalam’ first and finish
that before proceeding further. Why?
That is life of bachelor who seek value for money. Before
getting married on 01-09-1989, most of my food was taken from
hotels, restaurants, and mess (small eateries serving regular local
communities). We went to the eateries where even Re.1 can be saved,
even if that eatery is 1 or 2 kilometres away. The custom in many such
places was, the rice will be of limited quantity, but the vegetables needs
to be refilled. So, we bachelors made it a point to visit those eateries
where they serve vegetable refilled repeatedly without hesitation. The
eateries had a trick. They will place a large Appalam to cover the leaf.
So, the vegetable emptied will not be noticed by servers. So, it was my
counter trick, I will finish the Appalam at once and make my leaf
appear empty so that servers will refill vegetables. See, one trick leads
to another.
Ever since I settled down in an unknown large city, Chennai
at the age of 18, there was no place to call as native for me. But festival
days, people asked me, ‘Don’t you go native place?’. By that time, all
members of my family migrated from my native place Cumbum. My
eldest brother lived with his 4 daughters in Madurai. My second elder
brother lived in Coimbatore or some place and they took care never
to reveal their location or address to me. Their children grew unseen
by me. My sister got married and settled in Trichy as school teacher.
My immediate elder brother became roadside wanderer. My mother
was visiting everyone and living with them for few days or weeks. My
father was living a married bachelor life and sometime spent time at
my eldest brother home in Madurai. Me, away from everyone, in an
office cum secret residence of one room allocated for slum dwellers
in the capital city.
Once I visited Madurai. My eldest brother had just then
purchased a half finished building opposite to Milk Dairy away from
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First Night in New York

city. The building had small unfinished shops in ground floor and
thatched roof at the terrace. 2 shops were let out. A small eatery was
created in ground floor shops where the entire family worked serving
cheap food and making a livelihood.
Whenever I see this eldest brother, he will remind me that he
helped me, at time of studies and without his support, I would not
have had my education. He will also remind me that, he has 4
daughters to get married. Whether he comes to meet me at Chennai
or I go to Madurai to meet him, it became a practice and unwritten
rule, I need to give money. Whatever possible money. Those days I
was a fool believing, ‘whatever given by right hand as a help, should
not be known to left hand’. So, I always gave money, un noticed by
others and never made a mention of it in front of others.
One such occasion, as soon as I landed at Madurai, he asked
me money, stating, if he does not clear bills of suppliers, fresh supply
will not be made, and he needs to shut the shop. Shocked, I gave
whatever money I had in my pocket.
Knowing that I had given money, that day, my brother’s wife
gave me enough food with some smile and laughter. Next day the
hospitality vanished as usual. Third day, they did not care if I had my
food or not. And I was without money. I politely reminded my brother
that he had taken all the money on first day promising to repay upon
sales from shop. He replied in a stern face, ‘Don’t talk about taking
back the money. I spent enough on your studies. I am shouldering the
entire family. Manage on your own!’.
‘I don’t have money to buy bus ticket to go back to Chennai!’
I told him. ‘That is your problem!’ he replied. I was shocked. I had left
some money in my cash drawer at Chennai. That was a distant dream.
I was desperate to buy a bus ticket and get back to my city, ‘Chennai’,
where my office and my money is available.
That day no one called me to join lunch. I found everyone
finished their lunch without calling me. I was standing on the street,
wondering what to do. Then I saw ‘Rajaram’. He was walking in the
road along with another. He was not my close friend or in the list of
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friends at the time of my study. He was known and just another


classmate.
I approached him with hesitation. He was happy to see me.
‘Hey, folks told that, you are settled in Madras. What are you doing
here?’ he asked. ‘I came to my brother’s house. Need to go back to
Madras tonight!’ I told him.
‘ok, ok, take care!’ he started moving along with his
accomplice.
‘Rajaram, one minute!’ I stopped him with hesitation.
‘What?’
‘I need money to buy bus ticket! If you lend, I will return as
soon as I reach Madras. Give your address, I will send money order!’.
‘What? You told, you are staying with brother? Why don’t you
ask him?
‘They say, they don’t have money!’.
Rajaram looked at me with surprise. ‘You are a good student
studying well, you will not tell lies, I know!’ he said. He took money
from his pocket. Not enough, he asked money from his accomplice,
and he gave to me.
I asked his address to send back money order. He started
leaving and uttered his address on the move. I made a mental note of
it and wrote it down immediately in a piece of paper.
Those days, the bus fare from Madurai to Chennai was Rs.50,
I think. I just had enough money to travel and reach my Chennai
address. Post office was nearby. As soon as the post office opened, I
sent Money order to Rajaram.
3 days later, Rajaram visited me at my Chennai address. I was
not expecting. He told me, ‘I did not expect, you will very promptly
send Money order to return my money. I found your address in the
money order slip’.
‘I came for an urgent visit to Madras. Need to go now. What
kind of family or brother you have? They took money from you and
did not give back even for bus fare?’ He left soon.

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First Night in New York

This incident made an indelible remark in my mind.


Thereafter, I always had a secret pocket. I always took care to keep
some money in that secret pocket, unseen and separated.
At another occasion, I arrived at Madurai Railway Station. By
train. It was a comfortable overnight sleeper coach journey. Smiling
all the way, I was coming out of railway station. Almost everyone
outside, the autorickshaw and cycle rickshaw folks wanted me to ride
in their vehicle. Everyone was asking, ‘Where do you want to go?’. It
was impossible for anyone to come out without declaring to others,
where they are going.
‘I am going nearby, no need for vehicle!’ smiling, I avoided all
and reached the main road. As I was walking towards the bus stand, a
young man asked me, ‘What is the time now?’.
I turned my wrist watch, saw time, and started telling him the
time. ‘Don’t have money to go by auto, why you need wrist watch?’
He almost snatched my wrist watch. I had very light luggage. In those
days, my entire set of dress was just 2 pairs. One for wearing and
another was spare. Both were my polytechnic uniform of White shirt
and grey trouser. Keeping the spare dress in a bag, served me as a
pillow, if I am travelling by train or staying at my office cum secret
residence.
I did not allow him to snatch my wrist watch. I caught hold of
it by another hand and started running towards ‘Regal Cinema’ in front
of which a Police man was standing. Seeing the police man, the
youngster, who attempted to snatch the watch from me, stood,
fuming.
I crossed the road. Started walking towards the bus stand
nearby. There was a by lane full of defecation and urine smell. That
made me feel vomiting. This side is not regular choice for pedestrians.
Maintained that way. But I had no other go. I had just escaped from a
waylaying robber and did not like to take the risk of walking same side
of the road. What if he runs and attempts robbery when I am away
from Policeman?
Two men approached me from urine and defecation filled side
street. ‘Do you want girl? Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati, all are
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available!’ said one man. ‘Come with me, we have place available!’
Another man showed me the lane, full of urine and defecation. ‘I don’t
have money, even for food!’ I said, now, with newfound maturity. ‘If
you don’t have money, don’t come this side!’ they warned me and let
me go.
The Madurai city, that appeared my native and home place just
few minutes earlier, changed in mind instantly. I decided, for a man,
walking on the roads, no city is home city or native city. He should
remain guarded at all the time. From that day, whenever I come out
of bus station or railway station, I artificially sport a grim or angry face
full of disappointment. That used to save me. As I came out of JFK
airport in New York, had I sported that angry and grim face, may be,
I would not have been cheated by that taxi driver.
So, whether it is a matter of eating a Appalam, have some spare
money in secret pocket or sport an angry grim face upon landing in a
new place, … all a matter of experience that shapes, ‘an average,
aspiring, Indian Business Man!’

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First Night in New York

STROLL IN THE CENTRAL PARK

‘Central Park’ I came to know, probing internet, is the green


lung space of Manhattan. Heart of the Heart. If Manhattan is the heart
of New York, ‘Central Park’ is heart of Manhattan. Having lost, nearly
$650 right immediately alighting from taxi, I was left with very less
money. For those who did not bother to calculate, based on my
previous book, the Karupa Sami (Black God), took four $100 bills
from me first (declaring fare as $350) and then returned three bills of
$1 and again took three $100 bills from me. So total of seven $100
bills went from me and returned as one $50 bill and three $1 bills.
The haste with which I was duped made me mesmerised and
lost ability to calculate actual loss. It took me 3 days for me to realise
that I paid above $600 for that first taxi trip from airport to my hotel.
First thing I decided after losing money is, to spend for
nothing, except survival. With less than $250 (after getting local sim
card), I need to pass 7 full days. Every day I got up late, had a leisurely
bath, waited the time to become 12 noon, and headed towards ‘Hotel
Nirvana’ where unlimited Indian food was available. After eating full,
I walked back to my hotel, I used to feel sleepy (if you take food once
in 24 hours, this is what will happen, no need for drugs), and start
sleeping. By about 7 pm I get up, make a customary call to my office
and residence in Chennai. Then I take a stroll to nearby areas, look at
tall buildings, feel happy and content, come back to my hotel and sleep
again, after spending some time in Internet.
‘Hotel Pennsylvania’, where I stayed, was the tallest building
in New York nearly a century ago. I was popularly called ‘Hotel Penn’.
‘Pen station’ was built just underneath of this Hotel. Having read
somewhere, long time back, that one should be very careful while
using New York subways, with first day incident of having been
duped, I decided, not to go even nearer to a subway leading entrance.
When I walk on the platform, suddenly, it will appear as if the ground
is shaking and an earthquake happening. It took some time for me to
realise that, an underground train was passing.
Navnit Narayanan

Manhattan had a clean and simple layout for new comers to


understand. It was large rectangular downtown. The avenues, from 1st
to 8th were wide and ran parallel to the longer side of rectangle. My
hotel was in 7th avenue, otherwise known as ‘Fashion street’. The 5th
avenue, also known as ‘Park Avenue’ had high class stores. It was
considered costliest in the world.
‘Kapoor’s art Museum’ was in 5th avenue. Few time I stood at
the entrance and had a look at various Indian handicrafts and antiques
highlighted there. Few years later, the owner of that art museum was
arrested by Indian police for dealing in stolen antiques. I think, he is
serving a prison term in India now. At around lunch time or holidays,
the store was closed.
‘If tomorrow comes’ is a popular novel by ‘Sidney Sheldon’ I
used to read several times. ‘Tracey Whitney’ the heroine of that novel,
transformed into a con-woman and thief, after attempt to dupe by an
art dealer in ‘Fifth Avenue’. That novel continued. ‘Kapoor’s Art
Museum’ resembled the description in that novel. I was wondering, if
I knock at the closed doors 3 times, the owner will come, open, and
get me inside for a ‘deal’. It was just fascination. I took no attempt.
One of the days, I walked towards Central Park. After about
20 minutes of walk, I reached. Entrance had large vacant space. I
found few blacks or white men. Most of the people were Indian
looking fair people. Later I realised most of them are from Mexico
and many are Hispanic. Hispanics were Spanish origin mixed with
local race and hence their colour for was white. It was ‘fair’ as we see
in rich and good looking (?) Indians. It is important for me to mention
here itself, that, ‘fair’ has no standard of good looks. But most of the
Indians, ironically, believe that way.
One girl in her early teens, with stylish outfit, approached me
and asked, ‘Do you want a bi-cycle?’. An Indian cinema director,
would have immediately asked her to act in Indian movies. ‘How
much?’ I asked. ‘$25, for an hour’. ‘Wait, the bicycle will come’. She
said. I made an immediate calculation. It is almost the cost of buying
a new bicycle in India, I thought. ‘I will come later!’. I left that place.

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First Night in New York

Staircase was leading down to the Central Park. It was calm


and green. Water channels flowing and crisscrossing. After walking for
few hundred feet, I sat in a Park bench. Far from me, a white couple
were kissing each other affectionately. The map in my ‘blackberry’
showed, I am just at the entrance and there is a long way to go. I did
not dare to walk further. Some Karupa Sami may be standing
somewhere to knock me out. I wanted to return to India in one piece.
As I sat and watching, ‘Indira Park’ and ‘Sanjeevaiah Park’ of
Hyderabad came to my mind. Unlike any other parks in India, the
Lovers in these parks, were least disturbed by Police. I found the
lovers, in these park, indulging in bold acts, often crossing decency
and public show of vulgarity. They were in all age groups. I
remembered in ‘Indira Park’ a middle-aged couple of fair complexion
were love making. As I walked past them, the man, suddenly exposed
the full breast of her lover, may be wife, to me and told me in English,
‘Do you want to come close and see?’. I simply said ‘no’ and walked
away. With my fair body complexion, maybe he took for a foreigner.
In ‘Sanjeevaiah Park’ the scene was even more shocking. At
the far end, not the far end, actually I was sitting at the far end and
this man in his early 40s was in the middle of entire park. He was
standing amidst large lush green lawn and was visible to everyone in
the Park. He was bald headed. He wore proper dress of formal shoes,
Full sleeve shirt, tie and was carrying a leather attaché case. The park
was full of either lovers of loners. I was wondering, what this formally
dressed senior executive doing at the centre of entire park. This man
stood alone. Kept the leather attaché case in the ground. He opened
his trouser zip, took out his manhood tool, started stroking it in full
public display. As he started stroking, it became long, longer and
longest. From the far distance I could say, it became incredible one
feet long. He rotated his body all around and showed his massive tool
to everyone in the park as if in a public display. After that he simply
inserted his massive tool into his trouser, zipped again, took the
suitcase, and started walking back to the exit. There was no reaction
in his face. The policemen at the entrance did nothing. Maybe he is a
regular visitor and the Policemen knew him.
Navnit Narayanan

Maybe such scenes are taking place somewhere in the central


area of central park, I thought. I dared not to venture inside. I came
out of the other exit. Maybe in the way that I entered, that beautiful
girl is waiting with a bicycle to lend me and take money?
Waiting for the signal, to cross the road, I found, ‘Paying
Guest Accommodation available’ in one of the apartment building.
Normal time, I would have walked in and made an enquiry, just to get
to know. This time, I was too careful. With very less money in my
pocket, getting to India was very important for me.
Most of the avenues with broad platforms had mobile eateries.
Some thing akin to petty shops in India, but with lot of sophistication
and modern facilities and strongly built with superior body structure.
In one of the eatery, I found a long queue. People were waiting to buy
food. With a close look, I found the prices to be very cheap and the
servings were of large quantity. Three tall and hefty black men were
very busy preparing and handing out food.
Few years earlier, I found in New Delhi, many well dressed
rich people, having parked their expensive cars, queuing up in such a
mobile small eatery. Some old man was serving delicious ‘Pani Poori
and chats’. The price was low. The hygiene was good. He was giving
a liberal refill of top-ups and addons.
So, what not matter? Either in front of central park of
Manhattan, the top of the world, or in New Delhi, the rich and elite,
or other class of people, form a queue for a delicious food, prepared
with hygiene and sold at low price. World is the same, people are the
same, I thought.
Walking back, I neared the ‘Times Square’. In a mobile van, I
found blacks and white men alike, dressed minimal, coated their body
with metallic paint and stood still in various postures as if metallic
statues. Some stood near and played musical instruments loudly. The
onlookers were asked to put alms or were driven out. A proper and
assigned space for begging, I thought.
Earlier in the day, as I was walking towards Central Park, I
found a fat pregnant woman near a shopping mall. A fair and affluent
looking Indian, a Mexican, I learnt. She appeared to be in advanced
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First Night in New York

pregnancy about to deliver a child right at the platform. ‘Divorced, let


alone by male partner, advanced pregnancy, no money to eat, please
help!’ she was wearing a placard.
My legs were very tired. I found it difficult to walk back to
hotel. I hailed a taxi. This time, a proper old taxi, driven by a weak,
sick man. Earlier I avoided a Sikh turbaned driver, remembering
somewhere having read, ‘be careful with turbaned Sardarji Sikh drivers
in New York’. I have lot of respects of Sikhs, Sardarjis and I am
grateful to them. About that I will write somewhere else. Here in New
York, with least money, I can not take any chances.
My hotel was very near, I knew. As I was about to get down,
a convoy of cars crossed us. Armed escorts were in front and rear. The
middle car bore the sign, ‘Mayor of New York’. As my taximan halted
the taxi too close to the crossing convoy, a policeman menacingly got
out. Very quickly he pointed his gun at my driver. ‘Don’t you have
eyes? Can’t you see, we are crossing?’ he shouted. My taxi driver
started shivering and I can watch his legs shaking. ‘Sorry Sir, excuse
me!’ he pleaded. Someone called from the police car. The policeman
with pointed gun in his hand entered his car again and they left. ‘Fear
the Police, India or New York’, I thought. ‘Arrogant!’, my driver was
murmuring. ‘Loath the Police, India or New York!’ I thought again.
It was around 7 pm. Evening was giving way to night fall.
Lights were fading. At my hotel entrance, nearby, I found 2 typical
south Indians, very much looking Tamils, standing. They were wearing
white silk full sleeve shirts and silk dhothies. One was playing
‘Nathaswaram’ a typical Tamil musical instrument. Other was playing
‘Tavil’ a regular accomplishment for this instrument making drums
music. With a complete Tamil culture, they were earnestly playing their
musical instruments, normally played at the time of formal Hindu
weddings, with a towel spread in front of them. Alms were there, in
the towel. Three different kind of begging. One traditional south
Indian with Tamil culture, as my native is. Another, a middle aged
advanced pregnancy married woman with placard. A group of white
and black body painted artist beggars. The world is full of beggars and
seekers of cheap and hygienic food. I thought and entered my hotel..
Navnit Narayanan

EMPTY STATE BUILDING

‘Empire State Building’, I came to know, was called ‘Empty


State Building’ for several years, as it was not fully occupied and mostly
vacant. My internet browsing informed me that it is just 2 blocks away
from my hotel and I have indeed crossed that several times already.
Having decided not to visit ‘Statue of Liberty’ another New
York monument, as I was not having enough money and did not want
to take a chance, I decided to have a look around this nearby building.
As I started walking towards Empire State Building, I found a
police woman briskly walking towards me and smiled at me as she
crossed me. Gun was visibly ready. I smiled back. From the side
entrance of Empire state building, I found a young black man, full
body, metallic painted and stood like a statue in a dancing posture. A
towel spread in front of him, alms were seen in the towel. As I neared
this statue man, this police woman had made a brisk round of entire
building and was coming nearer in opposite direction. ‘When I come
again, I should not see you!’ the police woman made a stern warning
to the Statue man. The black statue man became panicky. ‘Am I
allowed to take these?’ he showed the alms in the spread towel in front
of him. ‘Get lost immediately!’ The Police woman warned. Hurriedly
the statue man collected his alms and ran out and vanished. ‘Fear the
Police, Man or Woman!’ I thought. This time, I avoided eye contact
with her and started walking further.
I stood in front of Empire State Building for some time.
Tickets were being sold to take tourists to the top floor of the building
in express lifts and allow a look around New York City. I did not
venture, to buy ticket and have a look around the city from top floor.
I already had frequent vertigo. Even trying to look at the top of the
building made by head to spin. ‘One day, I will try to have an office
here. And I will enter this building rightfully as an occupant. Not an
amazed tourist’. I thought.
Earlier I have read in internet. At the time of the building
being constructed, in 1930s the country went through deep recession.
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First Night in New York

Prices were falling alarmingly. Most people became jobless and


desperate to make a living. With fall in labour cost and material prices,
this building was constructed ahead of time with huge savings in cost.
In India, it would have been otherwise, I thought. If in recession, the
project would have been delayed and cost should have escalated.
‘The Empire State Building was structurally completed on April 11,
1931, twelve days ahead of schedule and 410 days after construction commenced’.
I was shocked to read in the internet. In the year, 1931, amidst a deep
recession and financial meltdown that lasted nearly 10 years, a 102-
storeyed building, built in just 14 months. But in my country, in India,
a 10-storeyed building, if built within 2 years, will be considered a
wonder and people will speculate that the building will collapse
anytime because it is constructed in a hurry.
As I stood in front of Empire State Building, I remembered
my early days of trying to get a foothold in Chennai.
‘You go back to the village, I will join after 30 years!’ I dared
an old man in my first bus journey in Madras. Being irritated that at
every stop I was asking people, if my bus stop had come, this old man,
after asking if I am coming first time from village, advised me to
remain back in village and do agriculture. In a counter, I asked him,
when he did come from village. He declared, he came before 30 years.
So, I told him, ‘You go back to the village, I will join after 30 years!’
My entry was to Dr. Pitchai house. He became doctor by doing
some Ph.D. in Tamil language. He was very particular to designate and
make everyone call him ‘Doctor’. It is in a train journey, he was asked
to give first aid and urgent treatment to a patient. Upon learning, he is
not a medical doctor, he was chided, and then he minimised using the
Title Prefix.
I called Dr. Pitchai, as ‘Annan’, elder brother. He was
vegetarian. Traditional priest in a local temple in my native place. He
was considered the most learnt person among all known persons in
my place. With a failed love, the other one committing suicide, he
offered and married younger sister of his sweet heart. A man of
generosity, wisdom, and kind heart, being righteous too, we all
Navnit Narayanan

decided. In very few days, I cannot recollect, 10 days or less, Dr.


Pitchai took me to a bachelors living building.
He took me to a Tamil Teacher working in nearby school and
staying in a bachelor accommodation. Later I came to know, these
were ‘Single Person Quarters’, built by ‘Slum Clearance Board’ for
urban slum dwellers. Wherever thatched roof makeshift structure
slum was located, the then DMK government, headed by Dr.M.
Karunanidhi, most respected regional politician in my country, created
a welfare program, to build fire resistant concrete structures and give
free to the poor. While the families were allotted apartments inside,
the roadside buildings were constructed with shops in ground floor
and single person living rooms in higher floors.
This Tamil teacher, whose name I guess as ‘Natarajan’, lived
in a second-floor room with others. ‘Teacher Natarajan’ expressed his
inability to accommodate me in his room. He suggested me to stay in
another room in nearby building along with others. He declared, he
has control of the room and I should pay rent and advance very
promptly, He quoted a rent of about Rs.50 per month and advance of
3 months, Rs.150/-. I was to share the room with 3 other persons. I
had very little money. A Rs.180 given by my, … I am confused, how
to describe. She was elder sister of my classmate, from orthodox
brahmin family. Reading my lyrics and poetry, seeing my drawing and
paintings, listening to how I helped other students including his
brother to quickly understand study subjects, she had an infatuated
feeling of love towards me. She gave this money to me with lot of
affection, love, care and promise that I will come up in life in a big
way.
On the spot I gave advance to teacher Rajendran and took a
spare key to that room where I am to share with 3 others. With hardly
anything as luggage, (remember, my entire wardrobe was just 2 pair of
polytechnic uniform, one for wearing and other for let washed and
hanging for drying). Inner wears were also the same, just 2 sets, one I
was wearing, and another left washed and was drying). Room No.23
in the second floor of No.57, Venkata Krishna Road, Mandaiveli,
Madras-28 was my address for few years to come. When I entered the
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First Night in New York

room at around 8 pm, no one was there. I opened with spare key and
entered the room and kept my luggage of single bag with minimal
clothes.
The adjoining room was common toilet. It was pitch dark with
no light. The bad smell of urine and defecation spread beyond my
room. It was a vomiting sensation. I quickly closed the doors and sat
on the floor. At around 9:30 pm, the door was knocked. Two young
man entered and asked me, who I was. I greeted them with smile and
extended my hands. I told them, I am their new roommate having
given advance to Teacher Rajendran and having a spare key.
They looked at me strangely. They told me that, the room was
under eviction notice by authorities of Slum clearance board for non-
payment of rent dues for few months and original allotted person not
living there. One Paul Arockia Das, a teacher was original allotted
person who lived. As he got teacher job in a good school, he gave the
room keys to his friend, Teacher Rajendran to let job seekers stay
temporarily with not profit motive. But Rajendran is collecting rent
and advance and not paying to Slum Board. Eviction notice already
pasted in the door. One of the three persons already vacated in the
morning. These remaining two persons are vacating next day morning.
I should find another place and get moving. They advised me not to
keep any item inside the room, because, if the room is sealed, I cannot
enter and retrieve.
Surprisingly I was not shocked. I decided, no matter what
happens, I will face. Next day morning around 7 am, they were in a
frenzied hurry. They told me that water will come only for 5 minutes
and I need to finish all my morning duties. ‘5 minutes for each person?’
I asked. ‘Nonsense! 5 minutes for entire floor of 12 rooms with nearly
30 persons. 3 or 4 people will stand together and take bath. Sometime
2 people using the same lavatory at a time. We already finished. Go,
stand with some stranger and take a quick bath!’ they shouted. Many
men with minimal clothing were seen running in the narrow corridor
in front of my room. They were all in a hurry to make use of 5-minute
running water to finish their morning chores.
Navnit Narayanan

As I was thinking, what to do, someone outside already


announced, ‘water is over’. A very large beastly man with near naked
body passed my room saying, ‘today also, after I applied soap, water
stopped. I have to just swipe the soap foam with a cloth’.
The two men, who were my roommates for just a night,
started leaving. I took the key from them stating, I will handover to
Teacher Rajendran. They both left the room forever, with a warning,
I should not remain inside, nor keep anything inside, as the room may
be sealed anytime that day.
I bolted the door inside. ‘This room is mine, for me only!’ I
decided. Being a room adjoining to the toilet, it had a small wash basin
water tap. I opened the tap without hope. I found water gushing out.
I quickly decided, it may be the residual water in pipe line. It may be
just 1 tumbler or 1 mug at the maximum. With just less than a mug of
water, I completed my tooth brushing and washed my face with
already practiced expertise to use minimum water for maximum usage.
I was an atheist in those days. But I had a strange habit of
applying ‘Viboothi’, Holi ash in my forehead. With a moustache that
was refusing to grow, I was clean shaven. I always took care to
properly comb my hair with straight line partition. Being a strict
vegetarian those days, I was often mistaken as a brahmin boy in first
meet.
Other boys having left, now the room is all my own. I was
warned not to remain inside. Nor to keep any item inside. I put my
own lock, a very small lock of cheap price, outside the door. I Went
down, to take food in opposite Restaurant, ‘Hotel Prakash’.
I came back, spending time in looking around the Mandaiveli
bus stand that was next wall. Some loitering in nearby streets. When I
came back, I found my room sealed. A notice was pasted on the door
declaring the room is taken possession by Slum clearance board. My
lock was covered with cloth and an arrack seal was fixed.
I was very clear in my mind. I waited for nobody and had no
hesitation. I simply tore that possession notice and cleared all the
markings. I had key for my lock. I pushed the clothe covering to
expose the key hole. I inserted my key and opened the lock. Once lock
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First Night in New York

open, I can easily remove the seal and wrapped cloth. I threw the torn
notice, seal, cloth wrappings away. Leaving no sign of the room having
sealed, I entered ‘my room’ as if nothing happened.
The exact sequence of what happened in next 3 days, I don’t
remember. Next day morning, I was in front of common toilet before
anyone was. In both bathroom, and passage, people had used as open
lavatory, previous day and night. The moment, water started pouring
down, I entered the toilet, cleaned the floor of stool and defecation
with running water and broom stick. Others saw me in awe. I took my
bath very quickly and came out.
Others eagerly entered my bathroom as I had already kept it
clean. Next several days, it became a routine. Other occupants just
waited for me to enter first, clean the toilet of stool and defecation,
take my bath and come out. They were happy to take bath in a clean
toilet after I finish very quickly. Entering my room that was adjoining
the toilet, I quickly close the door and bolt from inside.
I collect a bucket of water from wash basin. I skilfully washed
my pant, shirt, inner wear, all within the washbasin making use of just
1 bucket of water, and I let them hang for drying in the lower shelf,
covered with a cloth curtain. A torn bamboo mat and torn pillow was
leftover by previous occupants. I preserved and used them for several
weeks. The cloths that I left to dry became dry invariably by night
time. I folded them neatly, covered in newspaper, and kept under the
pillow while sleeping. Next day, pressed cloths are ready for me to
wear. Being same pair of uniforms, people always saw me in same
cloth. Some of them asked, ‘am I wearing the same clothes unchanged
for many days?’. ‘No, I use fresh cloths every day’. I proudly declare.
‘I just have same size and colour of Pant and shirt!’. I tell them. ‘Why?’
if they ask, ‘I don’t want to waste time, to think and decide which cloth
to wear for the day’, I reply.
Having sealed the room and pasted possession notice, the
slum clearance board people did not come near my room for next 3
or 4 days. Then a bill collector came. He looked at me with surprise.
‘This room was sealed, I was told. How come you are staying here?’
He asked me. ‘I don’t know anything. I have taken it on rent by paying
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advance and rent to ‘Teacher Rajendran’’, I told him. ‘Where is


Teacher Rajendran?’. I told his whereabouts. ‘This room has rent due
for past 4 months’, the bill collector told me. ‘I will pay!’ I said. The
bill collector was happy. He could show to his superiors that he had
collected rent in a ‘rent long due’ premises. He happily accepted past
rent dues from me including for current month. The receipt was issued
in the name of original allotted, ‘Paul Arockia Das’ but he made me to
sign in the column, ‘rent paid by’. Those days I used to sign in Tamil
and it was readable.
Next day battery of people came from Slum Clearance Board
office. It included an estate officer, a Muslim lady, a revenue inspector
and the bill collector and assistants. They were angry. They asked me,
how come I stay in a sealed premise. I told them, ‘I knew nothing. The
place was given to me by Teacher Rajendran, who took advance and
rent. Previous day when bill collector came, I cleared all past dues and
current month due and receipt is with me’. They had a look at the
receipt in which my signature was readable and visible. The revenue
inspector was shouting, ‘that day I told the peon to bring our own
lock. But he used same lock. They had a key and opened it! No use of
sealing!’. ‘We should report Teacher Rajendran to the police. People
like him illegally collect rent and do not pay us’ someone was telling.
‘Now the rent is paid with no pending arrears. No evidence of
we are having sealed the premises. The adjoining toilet is smelling very
bad. I cannot use this room for my office!’ declared the estate officer
lady.
‘We will come again with proper notice and seals. Be prepared
to vacate the place’ Revenue inspector told me, and all people left.
I became feverish. I need to locate the original allotted person
Mr. Paul Arockia Das, a teacher in one of the Christian schools. I
decided. All that I had was, his name, and he is working in a Christian
boys’ school. No further clues. I decided to visit all the Christian Boys’
Schools in the Madras City. Why not?
My first stop was to St. John school near Mandaiveli Bus
depot. Not having completed 18 years of age by then, with small frame
of body, 47 kg, any school took me easily as a student. First question
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First Night in New York

was, ‘Why I was not in school uniform?’. I told patiently, ‘I am not a


student. I am a business owner. I came to look for one Paul Arockia
Das, a teacher!’. I was suggested to check with ‘Don Bosco School’ in
Egmore, Chennai.
Next day, with great difficulty, I located the ‘Don Bosco
School’ in Egmore. Here also the watchmen refused entry to me,
because I am not in school uniform. After listening to my narration,
he made me to wait and went inside. After nearly 40 minutes, a man
with French beard came to me and asked again, ‘Why you are not in
school uniform?’. This time the watchman told him that I was not a
student.
I explained Mr. Paul Arockia Das that the place allotted to him
was let out to me by Teacher Rajendran taking rent and advance. Since
he did not pay rent to slum clearance board, the people came to seal
the premises. I paid past arrears and current rent, now, the Slum
clearance board authorities want a letter from him (Paul Arockia Das)
authorising me to use the place’. I went with a already typed letter and
requested him to sign and authorise me to stay.
Paul Arockia Das was surprised at the happenings. He told me
that he gave possession to Teacher Rajendran with trust and belief that
he will help job seeking youths to stay without profit motive. But he
did not sign the letter prepared and brought by me. He kept that with
him. He directed me to ask Teacher Rajendran to speak to him over
phone or visit him in person. He suggested me to come and meet him
after few days.
I came back. Not disheartened, but with some confidence.
Now, I know the original allotted person of the room. Others can not
disturb me.
When I came back, I was even more surprised. Over and
above my lock, some person had put a much bigger lock. I went down,
purchased a hacksaw blade and came back. Without second thought,
I started cutting the newly placed lock. The building watchman, an
employee of slum clearance board came. He was in charge for water
supply to all blocks. Seeing me trying to cut open a lock, he came near
and asked me, what happening?
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‘Someone had placed a lock over my lock’, I told him. I had in


my pocket original of rent paid receipt. I also told him that just then I
had met original allotted person Paul Arockia Das in his school and
he had allowed me to stay. Seeing the receipt, the watchman believed
me. He took the hacksaw blade from me and helped me to cut open
the lock.
First thing, I purchased a much larger lock and placed double
lock to my door. I ensured that locks are in place even when I am
inside. Now, there is no space for one more lock to be placed by any
other person. This hard lesson, I practiced in all my life. I always lock
in such a way that; any other person cannot place any more locks. No
extra space.
Next day, around 10 am, a tall and hefty man came shouting
to my room. ‘I am Paul Arockia Das. This is my room. Who are you?’
he shouted at me. I told him cool, ‘Welcome Sir. Please be seated.
What happened to your beard Sir? Have you shaved it?’. That man got
confused. ‘I do not grow beard. What are you talking?’.
‘Sir, I met you in Don Bosco School yesterday. You told me
that you will come and meet me soon. But you have come today itself.
Yesterday you had a beard Sir, today you not having!’ I told.
‘So, you met Teacher Paul Arockia Das already?’ he asked.
‘Yes Sir, you are not that person?’ I asked with surprise. He hastily left
the premises. He came back after some time.
‘Teacher Rajendran sent me, asking me to threaten you and
vacate. You say, you have a letter from Paul Arockia Das allowing you
to stay?’
‘Yes, but I gave that letter already to slum clearance board
people!’ I told him. ‘Oh, I see. I will speak to Teacher Rajendran’ he
went.
Next day I met Dr. Pitchai, my brother like figure who took
me to Teacher Rajendran very first time. He told me that Teacher
Rajendran is very angry and upset with me. I told him that Slum
clearance board people are already searching for him to lodge a police
complaint for removing seal and evidences, and Teacher Paul Arockia
Das is also looking for him to question, whey he did sublet activity
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First Night in New York

that too without paying to slum clearance board the rental payment
and furthermore, local rowdy came in the morning and went away.
Dr. Pitchai was smiling slyly. He was satisfied, I had the knack
of handling things systematically at very young age. I will go and
inform Teacher Rajendran. He went away.
Two days later, Teacher Rajendran confronted me in the road.
He asked me, who cut open his lock? He wanted to give a police
complaint. I told him the truth. It was watchman of the building, an
employee of Slum clearance board. He got visibly confused. ‘Ok, give
me back the lock, I will use it with spare key’ he told. ‘The lock is of
no use. I am using it as a paper weight!’ I told him. He came up to my
room. I did not allow him inside. I went inside, took the lock, came
back, and handed to him. He had a look at it. He realised that we did
not make a key to open. We had just cut it with hacksaw blade. The
lock cannot be used.
‘I lost Rs.140, cost of lock’ he fumed. ‘I already gave you
Rs.150 as advance. And further I cleared old rental arrears!’. I told him.
‘Do not come this side. Slum board people are looking for you. Maybe
they will make you vacate from existing place also’. I counselled him.
He left me forever.
Few months thereafter I promptly paid all rent. Often in
advance. One day, the bill collector came to me.
‘You are paying all rent in advance and very promptly.
Originally, we planned have this room for our estate officer. Seeing
the adjoining toilet condition, she refused. You see, this is a
government place. No one can vacate you when you pay rent
promptly. The electricity is free. People are willing to pay up to
Rs.4500 in bribe to have this kind of place. I see, you are signing in
‘Tamil’. Are you a DMK man?’ he asked.
‘I have no affiliation or hatred to any political party’, I told
him. ‘Well, I am a DMK man. Most of us in Slum Clearance Board are
DMK. After all, this is original brain child of our leader Dr. Kalaignar,
to have a slum less society. The present government (at that time it
was MGR) is projecting all DMK people as corrupt. To prove that
wrong, we are going to allot this premises to you, in your name. When
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you are grown up and well settled, come and see me. If possible, at
that time, you give me some money, whatever you feel like’. He took
some signatures with me in some forms and gave letter of allotment,
in my name for that Room No,23 at Door No.57, Venkata Krishna
Road, Mandaiveli, Madras-28.
With various incidents and accidents in my life, I lost track of
him. I do not even remember his name. In 1982-83, he served in Slum
Clearance Board, in the office at Kamarajar Salai (Marina Beach). If I
happen to meet, I will honour him.

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First Night in New York

HURRICANE IRENE

‘Hurricane Irene’ was a large and destructive tropical


cyclone which affected much of the Caribbean and East Coast of the
United States during late August 2011. (This first sentence, as taken from
Wikipedia on 30-01-2018).
I was confined to the Hotel Penn, Room 835 in 7th Avenue,
Manhattan, New York.
My home city, Chennai (Madras) in India experiences storms,
cyclones and hurricanes sometime in November, December months
every year. Rarely we get tropical summer cyclones in the month of
May also.
‘Irene’ is name of a young Muslim girl worked for me briefly.
A short and beautiful girl of hardly 16 years. When she was in
adjoining shop, I used to see her fixing a sticker thilak in her forehead,
an unusual hobby for Muslim girls and admire her beauty in cloth store
mirror. She had a boyfriend buying her expensive chocolates. She used
to share with all, including me. One day a small amount of money was
missing. Few days later she stopped coming for work. She absented
for 4 days in month end. Whatever money missing was equal to her 4
days salary. Had she come full month, I would have paid her full salary.
So, I deducted 4 days salary and paid her without questioning about
missing money.
Just 3 days later, the shop corridor was abuzz with
conversation that ‘Irene’ got married in a Police Station. What was the
interest? Even previous day, she sat close with her Muslim boyfriend
in car parking area, but next day morning she married another man
who used to drop her to work place when requested. A bold decision
at very young age, I thought.
‘Hurricane Irene’ was expected to target, centre of New York
city, Manhattan. It appeared, as if targeting exactly the hotel, where I
was staying and may be the room where I slept. I was imagining a
large, ferocious, glamourous lady, with flying ash grey coverall dress,
free flowing jet-black hairs, warmly embracing me and sucking me into
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her oblivion. The busy JFK airport was kept closed. Every TV channel
was beaming news about hurricane.
As advised in TV, I filled water in Bath tub and became ready
for emergencies. The Hotel became overcrowded overnight, full of
local families vacating their homes and come to stay in the Hotel. My
room did not have any road view. It was a non-smoking room tucked
away.
I decided to come out and have a look outside. As I closed my
door and turned around, I found 2 females walking towards me. Being
unusual hurricane time, I expected, they come to meet me to give
some notice or announcement. So, waited near the door.
The girl in front was lean, very small frame. May be 42 kg
weight and 4’8” tall. She was followed by? Rather pushed by a large
female from behind. The female behind was tall and hefty. May be 140
kg weight and 5’8” tall. Both were black in western costumes. They
both had well combed pony tailed hair. As they neared me, I saw fear
and excitement in the eyes of small girl. The larger girl appeared
arrogant, dominating, pushing the small girl as if a shepherd is
directing a sheep. Both were standard black American female with
thick lips coated with lipstick, large pointed chests, bright black eyes
with eyeliners and other paraphernalia of makeup.
Based on my readings of porn books, I quickly decided they
are lesbians. May be trying to conduct an act of dyke and slave in the
privacy of hotel room. Previous day, in the reception I found a young
teen boy with a teen girl trying to book room. The receptionist was
denying him a room asking for proof of minimum age. A female
couple asking for a room I was sure, would not have been denied.
Initially I had a small excitement. Maybe, I should smile and
befriend them? Maybe, I should offer to join and get an unforgettable
experience of my life time. I quickly contained my feelings and stared
straight at the face of large dominating lady. One look at me, I found
fear in the eyes of that large lady. Due to a skin condition, I appear
like a standard white American or European. Fear of the white, still
haunting the memories of Blacks, I thought and walked away. I did
not bother to know which room they are entering.
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First Night in New York

Road was empty. All shops closed. Very few people crossing
hurriedly. No visible transportation of any kind. No sound or
vibrations of subway metro trains. I attempted to use my credit card
to get some potato chips from vending machine. Without success, I
inserted my paper currency and got the product of my choice within
seconds. Vending machines were everywhere. At least 4 or 5 in one
floor in my hotel. Now I could realise, why the American currency is
of same size for all denomination. It is for these omni present vending
machines and service delivery systems to accept and throw out change.
TV stopped working. The hum of air conditioner stopped. No
noises on the road. The whistle sound of blowing wind before the
hurricane. I had no fear. I was used to that. I laid on the bed and
remembered the past.
November 1985. Deepavali time. By now I had completed 3
years of bachelor life with business in City of Chennai. The city
became reasonably known to me. I had crossed my teen age and
entered 21st year of my life. It was unwritten rule that everyone spends
Deepavali time with family. Already some people were thinking that I
have family and may be an orphan. I think, by that time, Dr. Pitchai
family migrated. It was raining everywhere in Tamilnadu. I reached
Madurai. Stayed in a small lodge. Next 3 days the rain was heaviest.
”1985 November Cyclone - Chennai got 650 mm in just 3 days and
900 mm in total. It was one of the greatest flood event in Chennai's history. The
cyclone crossed near Nellore and the maximum wind was 80-90 km/hr.” –
somewhere someone in internet.
I was trapped in Madurai. Chennai was cut-off from rest of
Tamilnadu. No train routes. No bus route to reach Chennai. Flight? I
could not imagine those days. It was travel mode for super rich.
Sometime after 5 days, KP Travels, a popular, very reliable
omni bus travel those days for Madurai-Chennai journey, informed
me that, they may operate a service that may take a detour through
Erode, Salem, Chennai-Bangalore highway. They informed in advance
that the journey may even be cancelled midway. I was longing to get
back to my office cum secret residence. I took the bus ride. For 11
hours travel of 440 km those days, the bus took nearly 28 hours.
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Sometime around 10:20 pm I reached my place. The place, at 57/23


Venkata Krishna Road, Mandaiveli, Madras-28. That was my office.
That was my residence. That was where everything of mine was kept.
Enough money with lot of small coins to spend next few days in a
locked table drawer.
By now, I have made double lock to the double door that
swung open outside. I altered it to open outside so that I have more
space inside. Every inch was counting for me.
I had a folding sofa that I never flattened and slept in the 18’
wide. An ammonia printing machine to take print out of engineering
drawings. A typewriter to do my job typing activity. A duplicating
machine to make multiple copies from typed ‘stencils’. A photo copier
of ‘Advani Oerlikon’ make, considered latest at that period. A large
drawing board mounted on a slotted angle frame with fixed slope. I
was making engineering drawings up to A0 size those days. Lot of
books I used to read repeatedly. About 5 pairs of cloths. My wardrobe
improved from just 2 set of uniform since 1982 you see? Extra pair of
leather shoe that I used to buy second hand from a known cobbler at
Mount road. Small vanity mirror. Comfortable pair of bedsheets, one
to spread and other to cover me. A tea poi I bought in old furniture
store for Rs.40. A helmet. I never owned a two-wheeler. But suddenly
helmet became compulsory for pillion riders. A helmet in hand, could
get me free ride if some visitors came in two-wheeler. Dozens of
empty Ponds vanishing cream containers I used to keep filled with
Re.1 large coins. I thought that Re.1 large coins of those days, will one
day become more value for its weight and saving them may help me
make more money.
I vividly recall, anything and everything I had in that room that
was my office cum residence even after 33 years.
I easily opened the small lock that hung outside. But when
inserted the long iron key into the Wooden door key hole and
attempted to turn, it was difficult. With just a 2 feet wide corridor
facing the open bus stand, even small rain easily washed my doors.
Nearly 6 days away and not opened, with heaviest rain lashing the city

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First Night in New York

that disrupted normal life, I was not surprised that I could not open
the lock.
The 28 hours bus ride made me long to lay flat and sleep. I
went to the room where some rowdy like elements lived and used to
spend late hours. By now they are not a threat to me and treated me
with dignity. I found them playing cards betting money, a usual
everyday act. I requested ‘Mani’ a tall and hefty man to help me open
my lock. To my surprise, he stopped card game and came to my help
immediately. He inserted the long metallic key into the key hole and
did one turn with force. The lock opened. The strength of muscle
power, I thought. After opening the lock, without attempting to open
the door, he hurriedly left. It was unusual of him. He always attempted
to peep inside whenever I opened the door or kept the door open.
I opened the door, and my hands went to the switch that I can
operate closing my eyes. No lights. It was pitch dark. I carefully
entered inside. I had kept things here and there. No one can make a
free walk. They will step on some items of hit some items. I was
surprised. There was no obstacle. I found a strange thing. I could see
light from the rear wide window. Now, eyes used to less light, I could
see.
There was nothing in that room. The partition was removed
so I could see the window. Just nothing. Not even the bulbs and old
footwear. Not even a broomstick. At the far end lay, the old torn mat
and even older dirty pillow that were the only items I inherited when
I inherited the premises in May 1982. I did not discard them. Rather I
used them.
There was no overpowering feeling of grief. I felt composed.
Calm. Before leaving the city, I gave spare key to my ‘partner’ who
invested some money with me. I wanted him to feel assured that I will
come back, yet, he could access the office and business in which he
was a partner. No doubt. To recover his money, he had removed every
bit of items in my custody and left me with nothing.
I closed the door and went to the people playing cards. I told
them, I want to join the game. All knew, I never play betting money.
The compulsory gamblers who do not play without bet, surprisingly
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accepted me. I played a few games. It became well past midnight. No


one asked me anything. I told nothing. I felt sleepy. I told them, I am
going to my room to sleep.
‘If you want, you can sleep here!’ an elderly person with an
extra-large pot belly offered. ‘No, I go to my room and sleep!’. I
opened my door, this time it was not that difficult. I went for the old
torn mat, and dirty pillow and started sleeping.
Morning lights came. I suddenly remembered, my staff and
workers will come. Having started business at age less than 18, for
several years, whoever worked for me were elder to me. My moustache
was refusing to grow and showed me young. So, I got rid of that and
declared my age 25 for anyone asking.
The door was banging suddenly. Someone was shouting my
name. I quickly opened the door. I did not want anyone to see, the
place was empty. With the narrow opening, I saw Mr.P.C. Palaniyandi,
a failed politician, journalist, actor with extra-large pot belly who used
to oblige me in playing cards without betting. ‘Oh, you got wake up?’
He asked and went away. Few days later he told me, he got afraid that
I could have committed suicide. To check that he banged the door in
the morning.
Two ladies, one Karpagam and another, Easwari(?) worked for
me. Both elder to me. Unmarried. A boy slightly elder to me worked.
I took care, none of them know, I stayed in the very same place that
maintained as office in day time. Much later, I came to know, all of
them know the truth pretty well but feigned ignorance to suit me.
Popularly known ‘Xerox’ at that time, photo copiers were
latest innovation at that time. With great difficulty, that itself will
unfold into a story, I acquired a ‘Xerox’ machine and did ‘photo
copying’ as part of my business. Being latest technology, very visible
sign board facing bus stand, many people came to me for getting
documents copied. Few of them became my friends. All of them were
invariably brahmins living in nearby area. Mr.Ramakrishnan, working
in Madras Fertilisers Ltd, wanted a job for his relative girl who was
staying with his family. That was ‘Karpagam’. Mr.Sundaram, a retired
Tahsildar of Sriperumpudur, who created a layout as ‘Maruthi Nagar’
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First Night in New York

at Mannur, in Sevvapet Road, near Sriperumpudur, introduced the


other lady for job.
It is time for my employees to come office. I panicked. With
no office, nothing to see, sit or work, what they will do? I quickly came
out, locked the door from outside. The houses of Mr.Ramakrishnan
and Mr.Sundaram were nearby. I went to their houses quickly and told
them, I will keep office closed and it was enough for the lady staff to
come after I inform them. In both places, knowingly they accepted
and offered me breakfast. I refused with typical style and went to
‘Hotel Prakash’ for morning tiffin. I went to nearby circulating lending
library, called ‘The Spot’. A known place. I was reading some novels
and spent time. Wandering in the day time, coming late night and
sleeping in torn mate and dirty pillow, next 3 days passed.
Fourth day, night, I was playing cards with Mr.P.C. Palaniyandi
with a grim face.
‘We all watching you for last 3 days! You lost everything. But,
you are behaving as if nothing happened. Next day morning I came
and banged your door, to ensure, you have not attempted suicide. At
that time also, you told nothing. Now also. What kind of man you are?’
He asked.
Foolishly I was thinking, no one was aware. Mani, the local
rowdy joined. ‘Your friend, Mr. Aiyasami, had taken everything. When
they were removing items, I confronted them. But he produced the
keys and told me that he is your partner and you have allowed him to
take away everything for some debt.’ He told.
‘I gave him a set of keys in good belief and trust because I am
going out of station and he was my partner’
‘I have obtained his address’, Mani produced a slip. ‘Let us go
and fight with him’, he declared. ‘Let me manage!’ I took the address.
In my lone baggage, I had a set of dress, essentials and a nail
cutter with knife. This I was carrying while travelling. My basic
belongings became less than what I carried at the time of my first
arrival into the city. With rage and anger, carrying the nail cutter with
attached knife as if a great weapon, next day morning I went searching
for the address of Mr. Aiyasami.
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Virugambakkam, Elango Nagar was at that time, a just


upcoming layout. I remember it to be a newly constructed corner
house with vacant land all around. Typical of contractors Mr. Aiyasami
used Enfield bullet two-wheeler. I could locate from distance. Mr.
Aiyasami was about to leave in his two-wheeler, when he saw me.
He alighted, put stand to the two-wheeler and received me
with a handshake. It was not compound wall, just fenced all around. I
crossed the fence, refused to enter the building.
‘I am sorry. I thought, you will not come back from native
place after nearly a week!’ Aiyasami told me.
‘I gave you the key in trust, you betrayed me!’.
‘My money is invested. You did not come back nearly a week.
I did what I need to do to protect my investment!’ He told.
‘Entire world knows, Madras was cut off due to heavy rains in
all directions. I have come by the earliest possible time with a 28-hour
journey. You even took away my personal belongings, education
certificates, petty cash and coins left for my emergency expenses’.
He brought a suitcase, an old familiar suitcase, from inside.
‘Here is your personal belongings and certificates. Check and take!’ He
told.
‘Where is my petty cash money and coins?’
He called his wife or mother to bring the money. They were
standing with blank expression in the faces. ‘So, you spent the money?’
he asked them. ‘There was no change for expenses. So, we used’, they
replied.
Aiyasami took out a small paper, from his pocket, and read.
‘Rs.281 and Paisa 25’, he read and started giving money from his
pocket.
‘I don’t want your money! I want only want, what I kept’ I
refused to accept the currency he offered.
‘When I met you first time, I gave you Rs.50 as advance for
my investment for partnership. Next day when I changed the mind
and asked for return of money, you gave me the very same currency
note, I remember. It is due to that, I invested immediately Rs.1750
next day and increased my investment to nearly Rs.5000 subsequently.
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First Night in New York

I also wanted to return the very same money you kept in drawer. But
my family members expended it. I am sorry!’ He offered explanation
and gave his money again.
‘Sorry, keep with you!’ I started leaving, carrying the suitcase
of my personal belongings. He thrust a visiting card to me. ‘This is my
office at West Mambalam. Come, meet me tomorrow. I will give you
some proposals’.
As I started walking on the road, he crossed me in his two-
wheeler and offered to drop me at the main road. I refused and started
walking further.
Next day I visited him at the given address. I wanted to check,
what his real offer was. In West Mambalam, in bus plying road, he had
an office in first floor. It was bigger than my place in Mandaiveli. He
offered to create all facilities and wanted me to work for him, on
monthly salary. I refused. He extended a chocolate, knowing, I used
to keep in my pocket and eat. I accepted the chocolate and came out.
Though never expressed outwardly, rage was fuming in me for
several years. I wanted to overtake him financially, as a business man.
Even after 20 years, I was imagining newspaper headlines, “Man held,
took revenge on a business partner who cheated him 20 years back!”.
I was tracking his whereabouts and business movements for several
years.
He continued his civil contract business in Chennai Port Trust
in the name, ‘Amudha Construction’, a name he inherited from a
previous partnership. ‘Astrologer told me to have a name, if written in
Tamil, without periods. ‘Amudha’ is daughter of my partner. So, what?
When the partnership broke, I retained the name.’ He had told me
earlier. He created office in Spencer Plaza, and ran additional business
creating study centre and guidance for Manipal University and similar
academic activities too.
I am not sure, if I had overtaken him in financial and business
terms by now. I don’t care either. But ‘avoid any kind of partnership’,
got etched in my mind permanently.
I also got to know, the girl, ‘Karpagam’, always scolded by me,
for slow in work and performance, was befriended by this man, and
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she helped him in packing and removing all the items. ‘If I have a
female employee, however ordinary and dull headed they are, I will try
to befriend them. If not, I should not allow any other person
associated with my business, to befriend them!’ I decided forever.

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First Night in New York

JALLIKATTU
18-Jan-2017 – Face book note at the height of ‘Jallikattu Struggle’ in Marina
beach by Tamil Youths
புதிை ததலமுதறைில் பலர் அறிைாதது. இரண்டாம்
உலகப் வபாரின் இறுதி நாட்களில் பம்பாய் நகதர விட்டு
மராட்டிைர்கள் அதனவரும் ஓடிவிட்டனர். சதற்வகைிருந்து
திருசநல்வவலி தமிழரும் வடக்வக இருந்து குஜராத்திைரும்
வந்து, இருந்து, பம்பாய் நகதர வளம் சகாழிக்க தவத்தனர்.
Many in young generation may not know. By the end of second
world war, all locals left Bombay. The city was deserted. From south, the
Tamils of Tirunelveli, in south Tamilnadu and from the north, the Gujaratis
came, stayed and made the Bombay city, rich and prosperous.
பல ஆண்டுகள் பம்பாய் நகரில் மூன்றில் ஒரு பகுதி
தமிழரும், மூன்றில் ஒரு பகுதி குஜராத்திைரும் மீ தம் உள்ள
மூன்றில் ஒரு பகுதி மராட்டிை, மதலைாள, பஞ்ொபி, பார்ெி,
ஹிந்தி மக்கள் இருந்தார்கள். நாடு நலம் சபற்று நல்லது
நடக்கும் வபாது தைங்கி தைங்கி வந்த மராட்டிை மக்கள்,
முதலில் விரட்டிைது தமிழர்கதள.
For several years, in Bombay city, one third of population was
Tamils. Another one third Gujaratis. In the balance one third, comprised
Maratis, Keralites, Pubjabis, Parsis, Hindi speaking people. When the place
became prosperous and good time happening, the locals came with
hesitation, and then they first drove out the Tamils.
1960களில் சபங்களூர், தமிழ் நாட்டின் மதுதர
முதலிை நகரங்கதள விட ெின்ன ஊராக இருந்தது.
திருவண்ணாமதல தமிழர்கள் அங்வக சென்று உதழத்து
அதத சபரு நகரமாக மாற்றினார். நாடு நலம் சபற்று
நல்லது நடக்கும் வபாது தைங்கி தைங்கி வந்த கன்னட
மக்கள், முதலில் விரட்டிைது தமிழர்கதள.
In the 1960s, Bangalore was much smaller town than Madurai of
Tamilnadu. Tamils from Thiruvannamalai and other places went to
Bangalore, worked hard, and made the place a large wealthy city. When the
place became prosperous and good time happening, the locals came with
hesitation, and then, they first drove out the Tamils.
1860களில் தஹதராபாத் உருப்சபற்று வரும்வபாது,
அப்வபாததை நிொம் மன்னரால் ெிறப்பாக அதழக்கப்பட்டு
Navnit Narayanan

அததன ஒரு மாநகரமாக உருவாக்கிைர் வவலூர் தமிழர்கள்.


இப்வபாததை புகழ் சபட்ரா ஒஸ்மானிைா பல்கதல கழகம்,
மஹபூப் கல்லூரி, ெிக்கந்தராபாத் நகரம் தமிழர்
உருவாக்கிைவத. இங்வக தமிழர்கள் விரட்டப் படவில்தல
என்பதத ஒப்புக்சகாள்ளலாம்.
In 1860s when Hyderabad was taking shape, then Nizam of
Hyderabad invited Tamils from Arcot and with their help Hyderabad
became a large city. The famous Osmania University, Mahboob College,
Secunderabad city were established by Tamils., Tamils were not driven out
here.
நாடு வபாற்றிை ததலவர் வநதாஜி உருவாக்கிை
இந்திை வதெிை பதட 80% தமிழரின் பண அன்பளிப்பு
(ெிங்கபூர் , விைட்நாம், மவலெிைா தமிழர்கள்), 60% தமிழரின்
உடல் மற்றும் உைிர் அன்பளிப்பு (உெிலம்பட்டி தமிழர்கள்)
மூலம் உருவானது.
If ‘Gandhi’ was father of the nation, ‘Nethaji’ was leader of the
nation. His Indian National Army was created, with 80% financial support
of Tamils from Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia. This army had 60% Tamils
from Usilampatti in Madurai region who gave their body and soul and many
of them died in the war. We created Netaji.
தமிழரின் பங்களிப்பு இல்லாமல் ெிங்கப்பூர்,
மவலஷிைா, பர்மா, பிலிப்தபன் நாடுகள் ஒரு வதெமாக கூட
அதடைாளம் காண முடிைாது. Without the contribution of Tamils,
it could not be possible to identify Singapore, Malaysia, Burma (Myanmar),
Phillipines, Vietnam, Thailand as countries.
இலங்தக பற்றி சொல்லவவ வவண்டாம்.
காட்டுமிராண்டிைாகவும் காதடைர்களாகவும் இருந்த
பிறவிகதள ஒரு மனித இனமாக, ெிங்களர்களாக
உருவாக்கிைவத தமிழர்கள்தான்.
No need to tell about Sri Lanka. The barbaric country bruits,
descendants of condemned prisoners, let to live in interior mountainous area
and forests, by the broad minded, noble Tamils, became identified as a
decent race, only by the protection and cultural interaction with Tamils.

187
First Night in New York

ஒரு ொதாரண பணக்கார சவளிநாட்டு


வழக்கறிஞராக இருந்த 'வமாகன்தாஸ் கரம் ெந்த்' என்பவர்
சதன் ஆப்பிரிக்க ரைிலில் தாக்கப்பட்டு, ெமூக நீதிக்காக
குரல் சகாடுத்த வபாது , உடன் இருந்து, உற்ற துதண ஆகி,
குரல் சகாடுத்து, சகாள்தக வகுத்து, ஒரு ததலவனாக
காட்டிைது, 'தில்தலைாடி வள்ளிைம்தம' முதலிை சதன்
ஆப்பிரிக்க தமிழர்கள். அவதர நாங்கள் தான் மகாத்மா
ஆக்கிவனாம். பின்னாளில், மகாத்மா தமிழ் எழுத வபெ கற்று
சபருதம அதடந்தார்.
An ordinary rich foreign barrister of law, Mr.Mohandas
Karamchand, when attacked in a train in South Africa, and he voiced for
social justice and equality, the Tamils there, led by Tamil lady, ‘Thillaiyadi
Valliyammai’ stood with him, fought for him and identified him as a leader.
Yes, we created, ‘Mahatma Gandhi’. Later ‘Mahatma’ learned Tamil and was
proud to speak and write in Tamil.
வங்காள மாநில இளந்துறவி, பரமஹம்ெ
ராமகிருஷ்ணர் ெீ டர், அசமரிக்கா, ெிகாவகா நகர் சென்று,
இந்து மத சபருதமகதள எடுத்து சொல்லி, மிகப்சபரிை
புகழ் சபற்றார் என்றால், அவருதடை வபாக்குவரத்து
செலவுக்கு பணம் சகாடுத்தது வங்காளிகள் அல்ல. எங்கள்
மறத்தமிழ் மன்னன் ராமநாதபுரம் வெதுபதி தான்.

The young saint of Bengal, disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa,


Saint Vivekananda gave a century famous lecture in Chicago and upheld the
tenets of Hinduism in high esteem. Not the Bengalis, it were Tamils, the king
of Ramanathapuram funded his travel and caused him to attain name and
fame not only for himself but for entire India.
எல்லா இன மக்களும் உைர்ந்தவர்கள் தான்.
தமிழர்கள் சகாம்பு முதளத்தவர்கள் அல்ல. ஆனா, ஒரு
இனவமா, நாவடா, தாழ்வுற்று வறுதம மிஞ்ெி, விடுததல
தவறி வகட்டு, பாழ் பட்டு இருக்கும்வபாது, அங்வக முதலில்
சென்று பாடு பட்டு, கருவாக்கி, உருவாக்கி, உைர்த்தி
சகாடுக்கும் உன்னத இனம் தமிழ் இனவம. நாங்கள் சகாம்பு
முதளத்தவர்கள் அல்ல. எனவவ சகாம்பு முதளத்த
Navnit Narayanan

காதளகள் எங்கதள துள்ளி குதித்து அதடைாளம் காட்ட


வந்துள்ளன!
All human races are great. Tamils are not born with two horns. But,
when a country or place attained its lowest form, poverty struck, lost
freedom, annihilated, at such time, Tamils go there first, work hard,
conceive, create, develop, and make the land great. Only Tamils do that. We
are not with horns. Hence, the bulls with horms have jumped forward to
identify us to the outside world!
ஏறு தழுவி எம் இன மானம் காப்வபாம்!

189
First Night in New York

ARE YOU ALL HOLY?

15-Feb-2017
நீங்கள் அத்ததன சபரும் உத்தமர்தானா
சொல்லுங்கள்!
Are you all holy? Tell the world.
ெெிகலா ெிதற சென்றார். நீதி சவன்று விட்டதாக
அதனவரும் பிதற்றிக் சகாள்கிறார்கள்.
Sasikala went to jail. Justice won. All are blabbering.
லஞ்ெம், அதிகார துஷ்பிரவைாகம், வவண்டிைர்
கவனிப்புக்கு தக்க, நீதிதை, கண்தண மூடிக்சகாண்டு
தராசுவில் எதடவபாட்டு சகாடுக்கும் நீதித்துதற, அதன்
அங்கங்களாக இருக்கும் வழக்காடிகள், குமாஸ்தாக்கள்,
பதிவாளர்கள், வவண்டிைவர்களுக்கு தக்க செய்தி
சவளிைிடும் ஊடகங்கள், அவற்தற நம்பி இதணைதள
பதிவிடும் அதரகுதற அறிவு ஜீவிகள் என, உள
மகிழ்ந்வதார் பட்டிைல் நீள்கிறது.
Corruption, misuse of official position, nepotism based Indian
justice system, closes its eyes, weigh the judgement in a weighing scale, and
delivers. Its organs, the advocates, advocate clerks, registrars, the media that
high lights and publish convenient news to favour known people, the half-
baked intellectuals who believe the media and propagate in social media, …
The list of gleeful are long.
அரெிைல் வாதிகதள விட அதிகம் ஊழல்
செய்பவர்கள் அரசு அதிகாரிகள். இவர்கவள ஊழல்
உதறவிடம். இவர்கதள விட அதிகள் ஊழல் செய்பவர்கள்
தனிைார்துதற அதிகாரிகள். இவர்கள் வமல் நடவடிக்தக
எடுக்க எந்த அதமப்பும் இல்தல. அததனவிட சபரிை
குற்றவாளிகள், சதரிந்தவர்கதள தவத்து இைன்றதத
ொதிக்க நிதனக்கும் நாம், இந்திை மக்கள்.

The bureaucrats are more corrupt than politicians. They are the
birth place of corruption. More corrupt than government bureaucrats are in
the private departments, companies, associations, and businesses. No proper
Navnit Narayanan

setup to act against these elements in private sector. Bigger criminals are, we,
the people, who want to get things done illegally through known people
using corrupt means.
கள்ள பணம், பினாமி சொத்துக்கதள தவிர, உதழத்த
பணத்தத பத்திரமாக தவத்திருக்க வழிைில்தல. லஞ்ெ
பணத்தத தவிர, நீதிதை சவன்சறடுக்க வழிைில்தல.
நீதித்துதற வபால சவண்ெட்தட குற்றவாளிகள் எங்கும்
இல்தல. பல மாதம் பதுங்கி இருந்த நீதி, பண மதிப்பு
இழந்ததனால், பலவனம்
ீ பைன்படுத்தி, பல்துதற வணடித்து,

பம்மாத்து பாய்ச்ெலிடும். பைப்பட வவண்டாம்!

Black money, benami properties, (Benami is a South Asian word that


means "without name" or "no name")… No other way, to safely keep hard earned
money. Except through black money and corruption, there are no other go
to win justice in this country. No parallels for white collar criminals of justice
delivery system. The justice, that was lying low for several months, due to
demonetisation, at the weakest moment, wasting several departmental
efforts, is jumping fake. Do not worry.
உண்தம உறங்கும். உன்மத்தம் ஆட்ெி செய்யும்.
கடதம செய்பவர்கள் கைவர்கள் எனப்படுவர். காலம்
மாறும். காட்ெியும் மாறும். கடவுளும் மாறுவார். கட்ெி
தாவுவார். 'ெரி எது, தவறு எது' என்பதத காலம் மட்டுவம
நிர்ணைிக்கும்.

191
First Night in New York

JUSTICE WON, VIRTUES LOST


18-Feb-2017

நீதி சவன்றது, தர்மம் வதாற்றது!


லஞ்ெம், அதிகார துஷ்பிரவைாகம், வவண்டிைர் கவனிப்புக்கு
தக்க, நீதிதை, கண்தண மூடிக்சகாண்டு தராசுவில்
எதடவபாட்டு சகாடுக்கும் நீதித்துதற, இதன் வடிவமான,
ெட்டெதப நாைகர், தன்னுதடை கண்தண மூடிக்சகாண்டு,
ெட்தடதை கிழித்துக்சகாண்டு, தராசுவில் எதடவபாட்டு,
நாட்டு நலன், தன்னுதடை நலன், உடனடி பலன், எதிர்கால
பலன், ஆகிைவற்தற ெீ ர்தூக்கி ஆராய்ந்து, மாண்புமிகு
முதல்வர் எடப்பாடி பழனிொமி அவர்கள் நம்பிக்தக
வாக்சகடுப்பில் சவற்றி சபற்றதாக நீதி வாங்கிவிட்டார்.
நீதிபதி சவன்று விட்டார்.
Corruption, misuse of official position, nepotism based Indian
justice system, the assembly speaker who represents justice and neutrality,
tore his shirt, closed his eyes, weighed the decision in a weighing scale, based
on what is good for the state, for himself, immediate benefit, long term
benefit and then declared, and delivered judgement that the Hon’ble Chief
Minister of Tamilnadu won the confidence motion. The Justice and the
Judge have won
நிராயுதபாணிதை தாக்கக் கூடாது, எதிரிக்கும்
உணவளிக்க வவண்டும், மாற்றுக் கருத்தாைினும், மாற்றார்
கருத்தாைினும் மதிப்பளிக்க வவண்டும், வபான்ற தர்மம்
மிகுந்த நாட்டில், பிரச்தன ஆரம்பித்த நாள் முதல்,
வாக்களிப்பு நிமிடம் வதர, தனி மனித சுதந்திரம்
பறிக்கப்பட்ட, ெட்ட ெதப உறுப்பினர்கள், ரகெிை
வாக்களிக்கவவா, அவகாெவமா சகாடுத்திருக்கப்பட
வவண்டும் என்ற தர்மம் வதாற்றது.
Do not attack unarmed man, give proper food even to the enemy,
give respect to opposing opinions and opinions of opponents, are the
declared virtues of this country. From the day the problem started, till the
time of voting, personal liberty was restricted legislatures, were not allowed
to vote in secrecy not given a day or two free time. That virtue is lost.
Navnit Narayanan

சபைரிவல புரட்ெி சகாண்ட நடிப்பாற்றல் மிக்க


ததலவர்களின் கட்ெி, ஒரு புதிை ஜனநாைக புரட்ெி
சகாண்டுவரும். இனி வரும் வதர்தல்களில், வாக்காளர்கள்,
வதர்தல் அறிவித்த நாள் முதல், வாக்களிப்பு நிமிடம் வதர,
ெகல வெதிவைாடு அதடத்து தவக்கப்பட்டு, ஒரு குறிப்பிட்ட
வவட்பாளருக்கு, சவளிப்பதடைாக, எல்வலாரும் பார்க்கும்
படி வாக்களித்த பின்னவர, சவளிவை விடப்படுவர். சவளிவை
வந்தவர்கள், தாம் சுதந்திரமாக, வெதிைாக, கூட்டாக, நாட்டு
நலனுக்காக வாக்களித்ததாக வபட்டி சகாடுப்பார்கள்.
இதுவவ, அட்தட கத்தி ெண்தடைிட்டு, அதெயும் வாதை
பாட்டாக்கி, அதனவதரயும் முட்டாளாக்கிை புரட்ெி
வார்த்தத ஜால ஜனநாைகம்.
The political party headed by namesake revolutionaries who were
good in cinema acting, may bring a new revolution in democracy. In coming
elections, all voters will be locked in a place, from the date the elections were
announced and till the time of voting. They will be given all benefits. They
will be openly watched and ensured that they vote for a specific candidate
and after that only they will be set free. After voting, those who come out,
will declare that they were free, comfortable, united, and voted for the
benefit of the country and common man. This is democracy as lip service,
by those who fought with paper board knives, sang with fake lip movements,
and fooled everybody.

193
First Night in New York

JJ SHINED LIKE A GOLD


20-Dec-2016
வஜ வஜ சஜாலித்த தங்கம்
ெிதற சென்ற ஆதங்கம்
ெில காலம் சென்ற பின்னால்
காலத்தின் பின்னால் சென்றார்.
JJ, Madam Jayalalitha, shined like a gold. After sometime having
gone to the jail ironically, she went with the time.
தவதக கதர சபாழுதில்
தவகதறதை கழித்த என்னால்
வதெ பாட பட்டிருந்த
தவரமணி மதறந்ததம்மா.
I passed my mornings in the banks of river Vaigai. You the one
scolded by me, glistering like diamonds, passed away.
ஆதிக்க சவறி பிடித்த அரசு ஊழிைதர
அதற விட்டு அடக்கி தவத்த
அறிவு சதய்வம் நீ
You, the Goddess of knowledge, slapped at the faces of arrogant
government servants and made them disciplined.
மதுதவ ஒழித்து விட்டு
மற்றவதர மதித்திருந்தால்,
மாதுவவ உன்தன நான்
மார்பினிவல சுமந்திருப்வபன்.
Had you eradicated drunkenness in the society and respected others,
great lady, I would have cherished you in my hearts.
தமிழீ ழ சகாடிைிதன நீ
தாமதமாய் பிடித்திருந்தாய்
தக்க தருணத்தில்
தைவிதன நீ செய்திருந்தால்
தமிழன்தன உன் வடிவில்
தாய் நாடு பார்த்திருக்கும்
You took the flag of Tamil Eelam late. Had you helped at
opportune time, our motherland would have seen you as ‘Tamil Mother’.
நடிப்புக்கு வடிவம் நீ,
நட்பிற்கு இலக்கணம் நீ
You are symbol of acting. Grammar of friendship.
ஆடவரின் ஆட்டத்தத
Navnit Narayanan

அடக்கி தவத்த அபிராமி


கணவசனனும் பரமதனவை
கழுத்தில் மிதித்த காள ீஸ்வரி
ெிவனின் சகாட்டத்தத
ெீ ற்றமுடன் அடக்க வந்த ெிவகாமி
Like Goddess ‘Abirami’ you controlled the menfolk. You, like
Goddess ‘Kali’ who put her legs at the neck of her husband, Lord
‘Parameshwar’. You, like Goddess ‘Sivakami’ who angrily controlled her
husband, Lord ‘Shiva’.
இந்து சபண் இனத்தின்
இதணைற்ற வபார்குணத்தத
ஈழத்தில் நான் பார்த்வதன்
இதடஇதடவை உதன பார்த்வதன்
The great valour of Hindu females, who fought war in un-parallel
way, I saw in ‘Eelam’, in between, in you.
சநற்றிைிவல திருநாமம்
தீட்டிை திலகவதி
கண்ணகிக்வக சவடி தவத்த
தீவிரவாதி
You had holy sacred mark in your forehead, like the elder sister of
great Tamil saint ‘Thirunavukkarasar’, verable ‘Thilakavathi’. You are a
militant who blasted, the myth of epic character, ‘Kannagi’.
சபண்ணினத்தின் சபருதம நீ..
சபற்றவருக்கு அருதம நீ
You are proud symbol of femininity. Dearer to any parents.
உற்றவருக்கு உதவி
மற்றதவ மருக தவத்த
உத்தமிவை, உைர் விளக்வக
உன்தன நான் வணங்குகிவறன்
You helped the one who supported you and made the others to long
for that. Venerable pious lady, a high mast lamp, I pray you and pray for you!

195
First Night in New York

VINAYAK CHATURTHI
Monday, September 5, 2016
Happy Vinayak Chaturthi!
To newly joined employees, especially if they are not Hindus, I used
to tell a self-created Story.
Mankind feared forces beyond their control. So, worshipped Sun,
Moon, Heavy Rain, Storm, Earth, Fire. As the mankind started evolving, it
created symbols for fellow human beings to understand that more easily.
For further easy reading, they were created in line and resemblance
to human beings. Goddess Lakshmi for Material Wealth, Goddess
Saraswathi for knowledge and fine arts, Goddess Sakthi for Power, Bravery
and fighting spirit.
In the process, they created God Vinayak, as a large elephantine
symbol with human body. What is interesting is, they symbolized, mouse
(shrew - Moonchuru), as its Vehicle.
After a break I used to ask, newly joined employees, especially if
they are not Hindus, ‘Is it logical that such a large animal, elephant can travel
riding a mouse? Several Thousands time, smaller in Size? Is this not idiotic?
Can it be logical and scientific? Is this not foolish belief?
Mostly, they will say, ‘YES!’.
I will further provoke; this is what the self-declared rationalists
amongst Hindus propagate.
These rationalists consider one atheist as great soul. They denounce
all practices of local Hindus and its custom as irrational, without science,
peak of stupidity.
How an elephant can travel riding on Mouse? No Chance!
‘Yes, very correct!’ will be chorus reply.
Now let us get back to the reality. Current scenario.
Whether ones like or not, present Chief Minister introduced
elephant camps. Elephants in various places of worship including temple,
church and dargah were given a break for 2 months in a special camp and
nourished at Government Expense.
How these elephants travel? By Lorry. How the Lorry works? What
is the most important factor for a Lorry to move, carrying an elephant?
Driver, Engine, Wheels, Technology, Diesel, Coolant, Steering,
Axles, differential gears, …. Many factors. Everyone will say.
But many people will miss to mention the ‘wheel bearings’.
Navnit Narayanan

Almost as small to the size of Lorry as that of Mouse to an Elephant,


this Wheel bearing is the most important and crucial factor that causes the
motion.
All other aspects give energy and guidance. The energy can be
transmitted even by fellow elephants and human beings, giving a push and
pull. But it is the unseen wheel bearing that creates motion.
And in our philosophy, an elephant riding on mouse is symbolized
for, ‘Vinai’, means ‘Action’.
So, what is logically impossible, that Elephant riding on Mouse,
become possible, when ‘Vinai – Action’ is planned perfectly. Several people
involved in it, proper guidance created, systematically implemented.
So, a lorry is developed, and a wheel bearing does the most
important task of moving the elephant.
So, a just joined employee, with proper motivation, team work,
systematic planning, aided and guided by others, can create wonders, achieve
great things in life.
When we start a work, think about, ‘Vinayak’, not just the symbol,
but the guidance and philosophy behind that.
Believe, we all are born to do great miracle, as that of Mother Teresa,
Napoleon the Great, and several minions who became great in their own life
time.
So, symbol of elephant God or Vinayak (remember 'vinai' is work,
action), is, to symbolise and believe that, with systematic planning, pooling
of resources, practical approach, even small people can achieve great thing
(like a elephant travelling on mouse).
Some, when they begin a work, remember Lord Ganesha, in a true
sense. Believe, you can do. Work systematically, associating and adjusting
with several others. That's what Lord Ganesha is.... all about.... a sure winner.

197
First Night in New York

YOU DESERTED, IT BECAME DESERT

The return flight was in Qatar Airways. As a standard practice,


I booked everything in Check-in baggage and travelled very light. I
was in aisle seat. By now I had lost interest to sit near windows and
watch out the clouds and cityscape.
The man next to me was fat, bald headed. May be in his early
60s. His wife sat near window. She was also overweight.
‘Don’t hesitate to disturb me, if you want to come out, again
and again!’ I told him as a matter of courtesy. ‘OK, no problems!’ He
told.
‘You from India?’
‘Yes’ I told him.
‘I am Pakistani!’ He told.
‘Oh, you are like my brother!’ I told him. He was happily
surprised. ‘Yes, we are!’ He reciprocated.
‘The governments fight wars for various reasons. But for
average citizens, we are brothers!’. ‘Sure, very correct!’ He affirmed.
‘Every Pakistani is a brother or sister’ I told again.
The flight was smooth. Very rarely they came out of seats. No
disturbance. He was not very fluent in English. My English is self-
learnt on my own. So, it had variation with standard English used by
Indians who studied in convents or in English Medium. Major
contributor for my English was ‘The Hindu’ newspaper. And various
novels I read with keen interest. Mostly that of ‘James Hadley Chase’
in my early 20s and ‘Sidney Sheldon’ in my 30s and ‘Dan Brown’ in
my 40s. Various ‘adults only’ porn books also, I should shyly admit.
While I used words of powers that I self-learnt, such as
‘obliteration, debilitating, repudiation’ in my conversation, I lacked
knowledge of common words and pronunciation that are thought in
LKG, UKG, elementary levels in School. Even now, I find it difficult
to pronounce the difference between, ‘Snack, Snag, Snake’.
When I wanted to improve my spoken English, I did the
unusual thing. I went to the local ‘Alliance Francaise’ and started
learning French. I believed, sophisticated English is nothing but
Navnit Narayanan

mixing other foreign European languages in it. It seems true. I also


came to know, many of the words, that are considered proper ‘Tamil’
words are, in reality, French words, altered to suit native Tamil
pronunciation. The very word, ‘English’ is called ‘Anglais(e)’ in French
and the Tamils adopted ‘Angilam’ and consider it as Tamil word. Some
other time, I will write about various words, Tamils consider as pure
Tamil words, but, they are not.
The flight was descending into Doha airport. Desert, sand
dunes, sand everywhere. No greenery. Suddenly tall buildings,
cityscape, few trees in between buildings, carefully crafted lawns.
Sadiq was a two-wheeler mechanic. His wife worked for me
for few weeks when I ran a tele calling business marketing credit cards.
He used to attend to my two-wheeler. One day he told me that lot of
people are very jealous of me and I should do some rituals through
servants or others. He offered to do. Several years of having remained
an atheist made me to laugh. I told him, ‘We Hindus believe in such
ritual. What you Muslim talking about it?’.
‘No, Sir, we do believe in rituals. Only the method varies. We
invite a Muslim cleric to home who will do ‘Pathia’ recital. I can do in
Muslim method or in Hindu method, breaking a pumpkin!’ He gold.
Laughingly I negated him.
Hindus, …. they worship snake, trees, water, fire, air, female,
sculpture, books, papers, pens, some markings, some symbols, …
They pour water, milk, curd, fruits, food, sandal paste, cow dung ash,
on stones and pillars and flat posts and solid rocks, metallic idols,
stone idols, ….. Whatnot on whatnot! Very difficult to conceive,
understand and appreciate. Rich and poor, illiterate of highly literate,
rural, or urban, everywhere, everyone does such acts.
The tree under which Prophet Mohammed sat and discussed
with others, some people started considering sacred. The Caliph,
coming to know of it, ordered that tree to be cut and removed
immediately so that idolatry is not practiced again. Some Muslim
preacher was lecturing in a TV channel, I recollected.
As the flight was descending, I found a lone tree amidst sandy
area. Had it been India, someone would have placed a stone, applied
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First Night in New York

Sandal paste, cow dung ash, marked religious symbols and started
worshiping it, I thought. Some other would have carved a snake or
kept another stone with snake carving. Our females, would have
believed, snake God is living there and will start offering milk and egg.
What will happen then? An act of absurdity or stupidity
according to all others?
My imagination spread.
‘Thiruvasagam’ ancient Tamil literature praising Lord Shiva,
and the versus came to mind and I started reciting within myself.
‘புல்லாகிப் பூடாய்ப் புழுவாய் மரமாகி
பல் விருகமாகி பறதவைாய் பாம்பாகி
கல்லாய் மனிதராய்ப் வபைாய் கணங்களாய்
வல் அசுரர் ஆகி முனிவராய் வதவராய்
செல்லா நின்ற இத்தாவர ெங்கமத்துள்
எல்லாப் பிறப்பும் பிறந்து இதளத்வதன்
எம்சபருமான்….’
“I was a grass, small plants, became a worm, vegetation, tree, then became
many animals, birds, snake, … I became stone, human, demon, holy spirits, …
I also became superhuman, saint, demigod, … In this cellular theory vegetation
world, I took birth in all forms, and I am tired, Oh, My Lord….”
What would have happened? If under that single tree in the
desert, some Hindus started practicing stone worship, snake worship,
offer milk, honey, curd, fruits to those stones?
As I used to go around a main temple, there will be a pit. All
the offerings poured on the idols, milk, honey, curd, fruits, … will
accumulate. Temple architecture is such that, sunlight will fall on this
pit. As we go past this pit, bad smell or a strange smell will emanate.
If it is dripping fresh, some people will catch those drops and apply
over their head and eyes. If we look at the pit, we may find live worms.
Small and big.
What would have happened? If under that single tree in the
desert, some Hindus started practicing stone worship, snake worship,
offer milk, honey, curd, fruits to those stones? As in the temple, the
mixture of all offerings will run and settle in earth. Biological reaction
will take place. It will create worms, their extracts will supply nutrients
to the sandy area, grass will come up, small plants will come up. The
Navnit Narayanan

tree will become healthy. The tree will give fruits and seeds. The birds
will come and go. The droppings of birds will create more variety of
plants and trees. The area may become green. Water springs will form.
Channel of waters, canals, green fields, agriculture, … The small oasis
will become a large one. Forest, wild animals, …
Oh… the desert had transformed.
When the people desert, the habits of worshiping mother
nature, and stop following the principles of ‘divinity in creativity and
creativity in divinity’, the ‘desert’ forms. I thought.

201
First Night in New York

SURESH KUMAR – MY FRIEND

As I wrote about ‘Missing Suresh Kumar’, I stated somewhere,


‘I lost belief in friendship. So, I did not contact you for years’. This made the
face of Kumar’s mother small and disappointed.
From the day of first meet in their small living portion and at
all time, I called her ‘Amma’. Most of us. We also called his father,
‘Appa’. Almost all of us. The practice continued even after Suresh
Kumar and his sister Latha getting married. When I met them all again,
‘Eswar’, class mate of Suresh Kumar, who married, Latha, was calling
‘Amma’ only referring to Kumar’s mother. Even Sureshkumar’s wife
was calling ‘Amma’ referring to her mother in law. A culturally
superior practice, maybe.
‘You are my best friend, you will always remain first best friend
in my entire life!’ I once told Suresh Kumar. ‘I may be your best friend.
But I may have several other friends. I cannot call you my best friend
of all!’ Suresh Kumar replied. I accepted. Reciprocation is not a
necessity at all time.
In my entire school life, I was first ranker. I studied sincerely,
deeply, with complete understanding. I had no other hobby except
studying, my study curriculum books, or any books that I come across.
When I scored 398 out of 500 marks in my 10th standard, I was
proud. I remained first ranker in school. My home town had only 2
schools. The other school topper, ‘Aiyappa Nagarajan’ scored 441. I
took a vow to beat him in studies, as I learnt he is also joining the same
‘Tamilnad Polytechnic, Madurai’. During the peak of Dravidian
movement, it was created as ‘Dravidanad Polytechnic’ then became
‘Tamilnad Polytechnic’ I came to know several years later. They
retained the spelling ‘Tamilnad’ instead of ‘Tamilnadu’ as the state is
officially known.
Became a school topper, I was very confident of getting
admission. But the reality was surprising. We all aspirants were made
to stand in a queue. As per the marks scored. I was far behind
hundreds of others. ‘Aiyappa Nagarajan’ accompanied by his father,
mother, elder sister, walked past me. There was smile of simplicity,
Navnit Narayanan

obedience, gentleness in him. He was completely devoid of arrogance.


Properly dressed and well mannered, the kind of boys I did not
encounter those days. Then a bunch of local boys from Madurai city
walked past. Better footwear, better dress, neatly combed hair, air of
arrogance. ‘மாடு வமய்க்க வவண்டிை பெங்க, மதுதரக்கு படிக்க
வராங்க... பாரு!’ (See, supposed to grow goats and animals, these village boys had
come to study in Madurai!’) one bespectacled tall boy was commenting at us. I
made a note of him.
After the queue was formed, about 140 aspirants who stood
ahead of me were directed to a place to complete admission
formalities. Many in the queue started walking out. Few of us stood,
confused. As I remember, I was not accompanied by any family
member. Earlier, with great difficulty I had located the institution and
joined the queue just in time.
‘All BC students come here. All SC students go there!’ a lady
lecturer was directing. Someone in the queue told me, (maybe, he had
a look at my certificate already), you are BC, go and join that queue.
Though a vehement opponent for caste system and believed only in
merit, I reluctantly joined the queue meant for my community or caste.
Only the reservation system based on community or caste, got
me admission into that technical education, beyond my school.
First few days, the large class room spun my head. Everything
was strange. The teachers were calling the students with respect, in
plural. Most of the teaching was in English with out Tamil translation.
When a question was asked at me, and at several BC or SC students,
we were perplexed. Not even able to stand and look at the lecturer.
‘Baskaran’ the lecturer for Physics and ‘Manjula’ were fresh
and smiling. They took pity on students like us and repeated English
sentence in Tamil. They were encouraging. The bald head above
middle age man, who taught ‘Technical English’ was horrible. He took
a vow or may be told to, not to utter a single word in Tamil.
See, even after several decades, when teachers are nice, we
remember their name and faces. ‘Mayilu’ teacher in my second
standard, ‘Gnanasambandam, Elangovan, Jeyaprakash,

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First Night in New York

Narayanasamy, Subbaiah Headmaster’ in my high school, … see how


we remember names, if the teachers are considered good.
No friend, no lunch. Lunch hours were difficult to pass. I
carried a small pocket dictionary. I remained in my seat and trying to
find meaning for English words of text book. Almost every word was
strange. Mostly all go out for lunch. Those who quickly finish lunch,
used to play. Some local boys threw raw fruits at each other and
playing. One of that landed at my desk. I looked angrily at the direction
where a bespectacled boy stood. I quickly recollected him as the boy
who said, ‘மாடு மமய் க்க மேண்டிய பசங் க, மதுரைக்கு படிக்க
ேைாங் க... பாரு!’ (See, supposed to grow goats and animals, these village boys had
come to study in Madurai!’) and walked past me on admission day.
‘இன்சனாரு முதற என்வமல் பட்டது, சதாதலத்து
விடுவவன்!’ (If I am hit another time, I will get you lost!). I warned
the bespectacled boy. With fear, he went out quickly. Few minutes
later, he came with another boy. This boy was taller, bigger. He
showed me to him and said something. The other boy looked at me
in a threatening way. I looked back with equal force and hostility. They
both went away quickly.
Next day around lunch time, a father like smiling man
approached me. ‘Good morning! Not going for lunch, come with me,
let us have lunch!’ he invited me. He was addressing me with respect,
in plural form as used in Tamil, French languages. I was confused.
Such elderly person addressing me with respect took me off-guard.
‘He is Suresh Kumar, my son. Your friend. You should take care of
him!’ he introduced his son and made me do a forced handshake. ‘Not
only that, tomorrow is half day. You should come to our home for food!’ he invited.
‘I don’t know any place in Madurai’ I told. ‘Don’t worry, my
son will come with you and again come back with you up to your place.
He suggested and went away. Lunch hours over, the afternoon session
started. I forgot all.
Next day, Suresh Kumar came to me. With him was
Thangaraj, the tall big boy. They took me home. Thangaraj left soon.
Mr. Srinivasan, father of Suresh Kumar knew the art of talking and
making friends quickly. So was his son, later days I recognised. Latha
Navnit Narayanan

younger sister, Viji elder sister, his mother, grand mother all encircled
me and made friendly talks.
‘How do you spend time?’ Srinivasan asked. ‘I read books, play
chess’ I replied. ‘Is it?’ Srinivasan was surprised. ‘See, Suresh, he plays
Chess. Why don’t you both play!’ He suggested to him.
As I recollect today, it was a small portion. There was no
proper place to keep chess board and play. We sat right at the entrance,
blocking the entrance. Chess board was spread, and coins were
poured. Suresh Kumar briefly went out upon called by some other
boy. I set the pieces in the chess board and waited for him. He looked
at me with surprise. Maybe he did not expect me to set the pieces in
proper order.
‘See, he properly set the pieces. You play with him’ said
Srinivasan to his son. ‘You want to play white or black?’ I asked Suresh
Kumar. He was surprised again. He did not expect me to have the
manner of asking the other person the preference. ‘Ok, you play white!’
He told me, and I began with usual queen pawn move.
Every now and then his friends were calling out to him. They
all expected the game to finish very quickly. May be hardly 5 minutes?
For them Suresh Kumar was a champion in Chess. The game went
beyond 30 minutes and then 40 minutes. Everyone in the vicinity and
family got surprised. A village boy had come and holding to Suresh
Kumar for more than 40 minutes. The news went viral. Now Suresh
Kumar played with full concentration. He made one bad move. I told
him and allowed him to retract. Few minutes later I made one wrong
move. I quickly realised and wanted to withdraw. He also allowed.
Beyond 45th minute, his position became weak. Sometime around 50th
minute, he became very weak. ‘You are expecting me to commit a mistake. I
don’t think, I will do. Let us close the game!’ I told him. ‘No, I will win!’ he
declared. Next few minutes I checkmated him and extended my hand
of appreciation.
He shook my hand and quickly went back into the backyard,
away from my eyesight. Few minutes later, he came back, wiping tears.
‘I allowed you to take back a move. So, you won! Let us play again’.

205
First Night in New York

He declared. ‘I also allowed you to take back a move. Ok. Let us play again!’
I accepted and sat down.
‘No, no, today one game is enough!’ his father pacified. He forced
his son to hand shake with me. Many people surrounded us. They
were all surprised to know the result. Two boys accompanied me to
show the way back. ‘You are a villager. Because you won in Chess, don’t think
you are great!’ one of them warned me before leaving. ‘Suresh Kumar is
my friend. His father is like my father!’ I said and left.
In the first semester, the results came. 65% students failed.
Thankfully I was in pass list. Maths teacher came. ‘Who all scored 40
marks in Mathematics, stand!’ She ordered. Among those in pass list,
except for 3 or 4, remaining, including me stood. ‘You are all actually in
fail list! But you scored above 30 marks. So, we added marks to make you feel
pass. Don’t feel proud. Study well as if you have failed!’ she declared and
continued the lesson.
I immediately send few post cards to my friends in home town.
‘I passed in first semester. But ‘Aiyappa Nagarajan’ from rival school failed!’ I
spread the news. It is in the final semester, final exam, I became the
top ranker in that institution again. I believe and advocate, ‘only when
opportunity given, the rural boys can also excel in studies and compete with others’.
Navnit Narayanan

CONTENTS
Sl.No. Sub-Title Page
1 Tie Chennai 4
2 Ramayanam – As It Should Be! 6
3 Relatives Behaviour 15
4 Periyarist And Me 19
5 This Is Just First Step... 24
6 Pappad 30
7 “I Don’t Want See Another Indian” 31
8 Why Pandi Cumbum? 33
9 Brother Died! 35
10 Jaggi Vasudev 38
11 Public Meeting After A Long Time 40
12 Cow Mother, Our Family Deity! 45
13 Donation and Virtues 48
14 Hungry Time 56
15 Blossoming Memories! 64
16 Puffed Rice & Elephant 71
17 Seventh Knowledge 73
18 Today Deepavali!? 74
19 Missed Train Dream! 80
20 Incredible, But True! 86
21 Subramanya Bharathi –A Militant! 89
22 Smiling Lips, Wonderful Catwalk! 94
23 First Night In New York 96
24 My First Dream! 99
25 No Rest for Ocean Crossing Birds 106
26 With Shyness and Love, 110
27 Oblation to Black God 115
28 Suresh Kumar Missing! 134
29 Appalam – Continued 155
30 Stroll in The Central Park 160
31 Empty State Building 165
32 Hurricane Irene 176
33 Jallikattu 186
34 Are You All Holy? 190
35 Justice Won, Virtues Lost 192
36 JJ Shined Like A Gold 194
37 Vinayak Chaturthi 196
38 You Deserted, It Became Desert 198
39 Suresh Kumar – My Friend 202

207
First Night in New York

40 Lost Belief in Friendship Await


41 Bombay Days – City of Action Await
42 Bangalore Days – City of Deceit Await
43 Hyderabad Days – Adorable City Await
44 Delhi Days – City of Ambition. Await
45 Jaipur, Patna, Kolkata Await
46 First Gas, First Car, First Phone Await
47 Private Corruption Eating India Await
48 Clubs, Society and Social Await
49 All Helped Me in Life Await
50 Encounters with Corrupt Bankers Await
51 Encounters with Indian Police Await
52 Encounters with Parted Souls Await
53 Encounters with Film Stars Await
54 Fake Currency Racket Await
55 Outwit the Smart Ones Await
56 Kidnapped and Detained Await
57 Biscuit Rajan, Silver Rajan, TV Rajan, Await
Usury Rajan, Ranga Rajan, Govinda
Rajan
58 Rape at arms length Await
59 Held at Gun Point Await
60 Trying to save Vajpayee Govt. Await