Wednesday, June 18, 2008

.......................Apam and fish:

“The Biblical Feeding of the Multitude:
The disciples were only able to find 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus blessed the food, broke it, and gave it to the disciples, who distributed it to the people present - 5000 not counting women and children - all of them being fed.”

It was eight in the evening. A shrill voice piped up in the busy, noisy street: “Apam faar
Rs. 5. Big Fat Feesh faar Rs. 30.” There were too many foreigners in the place, to visit their Lady of Velankanni, the Mother of Jesus Christ, so the meager Tamil-drenched English helped. The Shrine of Velankanni stood very close to the beach, and millions thronged here to pray to the Mother of Jesus.

The 35 year-old Chellama (aka the Apam and fish lady) sat swathed in a rugged blue and brown stone-washed sari. She looked 50 though; the heat and soot from the four hot stoves right in front of her had inflicted that change. A little girl of around five sat next to her. Her hair was plaited in two and she went about helping her mother serve the Apam and fish in big banana leaves. Mother and daughter had that haggard appearance, but what contrasted their rags and no-pitch ragas that they croaked aloud while making their Apams were the cheer in their voice and the twinkle in their eyes. They were here for making two ends meet and paying the little girl’s school fees- and the ‘Lady of Velankani’ had blessed them abundantly. She was not only their Goddess, but their mother and Protector.
A Phirang lady walked towards the roadside stall in amusement. She wore a pair of khaki shorts teamed with a pink, tank top. A black backpack hugged her sun-tanned back and pink sneakers cushioned her pedicured feet from the sand and stones below. Her blond pony struggled to stay still- the sea-breeze split it in manifold stands and the wayward strands streaked her cute, cherub face.

“I want two Aapems and one big fat fish please (smiles),” said the Phirang woman.
Chellama smiled back at the lady and said, “Welcome Madam. You looking veereey bootifool. Two minutes- haat Apam and big feesh”

After two minutes, her daughter, Arokia Mary flipped two hot Apams and one big fish onto a fresh, green banana leaf and handed it over to the fairy-lady. “One day, I’ll be like you fairy-lady, they tell me stories about fairies like you at school,” Arokia Mary thought with a solemn resolution on her face.

Post-Tsunami, the number of pilgrims thronged in larger numbers at Velankanni. People, after a long day of prayer and adoration entered the busy street that led them from the main shrine of Velankani to the Beach. Chellama’s Apam and fish stall stood at the entrance alongside umpteen other similar stalls, enticing the hungry pilgrims with their steamy stoves and the delicious whiff of red-hot-curry-masala-slotted fish.

A horde of strange trinkets, colorful confetti and unimaginable paraphernalia in the string of small shops brought the place to life. A number of hair-tonsure shops welcomed people who wanted to sacrifice their hair for their beloved Mother of Velankani. When one reached the sea, there was more fried fish, varutha kadalai (fried peanuts) and a lot of horses with people riding their backs.

Sharp at midnight, Chellama and Arokia Mary wrapped up their stall, collected all their earnings and put the notes and coins it into a purple cloth-pouch that rested in Chellama’s bosom.

“1000 Rs. Arokia, after a very long time.”

Chellama hugged Arokia Mary tight and they walked back to their hut with the left-over Apam batter and marinated fish. They reached their sparse, but sufficient one-room house that had been recently built and painted in bright green along with the hundred other similar houses in the same row from the Tsunami Aid. The green paint on the walls seemed a little brighter today. Chellama took the money from the purple pouch, laid it in a bronze box and hid the box in between her saris in the shelf carved in the inner walls. She usually kept the money on her body, but decided against it today.

The small wooden clock kept ticking. The silence of the night formed a think blanket over the sleeping mother and daughter.

“Click. Click.” The wooden door creaked open, the lock having been picked. A dark figure broke into the house. He adjusted his eyes to the dark and spotted a woman and a child sleeping in sound contentment. He smirked and walked to the only furnished part of the house: the shelf. He carefully rummaged through the clothes. He found the bronze box and opened it greedily. He picked all the notes save for the sole 2 hundred rupee notes and replaced the box. He quickly walked out of the house, into the breezy night. He wasn’t smiling.

Chellama woke up in the morning, stretched a little and woke up Arokia Mary. After getting Mary dressed in her blue and white uniform, she went over to the Bronze box to collect the 200 rupee annual school fee.

The money was missing. Only two hundred rupee notes flapped in the box, as if offering an apology.

Chellama smiled!

“He’d left the two hundred rupees. He really loved his daughter. Instead of beating her black and blue and taking all the money she usually had had on her bosom, he had silently taken away all but his daughter’s school fees without a fuss. She had trusted him with the bronze box in the shelf and he had reciprocated that trust in the way he knew best. Even her fisherman- husband had a heart, and she knew ‘The Mother of Velankanni’ had begun answering her prayers.”

“Very soon, he’d stop stealing the money altogether, cease beating her for good, quit alcohol forever and love her for a lifetime.”

Faith moveth mighty mountains. Trust never rusts. Love is always a boomerang, however late the strike-back.


1.this is my tribut eto my Velankanni trip.

2.My birthday falls tomorrow, and I'm not here with family/friends- sudden, unavoidable training in B'lore :(:(

3. L0ve you all. Will be back soon.


The Maverick Blog said...

I m the first to comment... Yippee!

First of all Wish u many more happy returns of tomorrow :).. Have a wonderful year ahead and let God wish u with more creative thoughts! :)

Coming to the post,
//Love is always a boomerang, however late the strike-back//
Awesomely said.. And your narration was simpy excellent... Way to go... Rock on...

The Smokin' WDM2 said...

Loved the serious tone after that side splitting muskajeers :)
And advance B'day wishes!

--xh-- said...

nice twist.. never thought teh guy will be her hubbie...

advance happy b'day wishes... u r cmming to blr? wow.. shall v throw a party for ur b'day here? :-D

rantravereflect said...

the mav blog-->
first to comment.. yupppppppppppppppppperz!!:):)
heeee thank ya for ya wishes :):):)
thanks ya agin mannn!!

the smoking' wdm2-->
heeee, yeh i'm gemini- born with two faces- after all the fun, got a lil' serious :)

heeeee, yehh n this really happens out there man.. heard out a lady n her woes there, n the immense faith people have..

n parttyyyyyyyyyyyyyy- howwwwwww i wish, but i'm reachin the new airport only at 8 or so :( n i assume it takes two hours to reach the city :(

waaah- vaaaat a b'day!!:(

rantravereflect said...

the smoking wdm2-->
n thank ya for ya wishes :):)

Preeti said...

Bitch! Fuck u!Diiii stay di plzzzz...dont go...ONE birthday and u not here :( :( :( Wish we really could do the flyin to blore and zara-ing at the airport!

Gonna miss u di :( :( :(

LOVEEE uuu...will wish u thr...but anyway words would express what u mean to me...and u know that so... :) muah!

And GREAT read is great huh? :)

rantravereflect said...

gonna mitch ya bumzzzzzzzzzzzz :(soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo frikkkkin too muchh.. reallly :(
n all aloneeeeeeeeeeeee :(
it's depressing..
jus leaving office.. dun even feel liek it :(
neways, yehh lov is grttt..
n i'm hopin saturday is tooo :(:(:(

n ya guys mean the worlddddddddddddddd to me :( each of ya..
n i'll misssya :(:(:(:(
love ya tonzzzz..

rantravereflect said...

n deee, booze for sure.. sooon. neeed it.. serious!!!

vishesh said...

i knew where this one was going...let the light shine the brightest :)

Macadamia The Nut said...

HAPPY B'DAY GIRLFRIENDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Beautiful story! Just beautiful! How differently each of us think, hmmm. How some small things are so significant for others. And yet in the end, its faith that binds everything together. Sigh!!!

P.S. I've tagged you.. consider it a b'day present ;)

The Techno Maniac said...

Hi Bunny,

First: Happy Birthday!!
Second: The important thin g is to be with the people you love, whether your bday or not, it does not matter. As long as we are together, its the best.. right sweetie??

Third: Irrespective of the fights betwwen an man and his wife, they always make sure that their child does not suffer.. It happens both ways. These are times, where women are advancing, and yet, the love for their children is undying. The parents make sure that their child has everything before their needs, even if they have to cut some of their needs.

Thats something I always admire and I hope to be a good parent too!

Its a very touching story, rather real life scenarios. Nevertheless,. Too good!!

I really loved this on the serious side after the muskajeers.. Just proves that you can write stuff that excites the mind... as well as the heart.. hats off sweetie.. i like this font, more readable.. atta girl.. keep rocking!!!

Your Teddy!!

Emaan said...

uve been tagged

gunj said...

dat was a great story...i loved d end!
n last but not d least...happy birthday!! >:D< hugs!

vishvsambyal said...





vishvsambyal said...


Kaavya said...

Happy Birthday Gal :)
Great story to start this year !!!

Nitu said...

Beautifully articulated.
Love is always a boomerang...

Happy birthday girl.
BTW, I am a two-faced gemini too :)

AaYuShI said...


That was SOME twist.

And Ranz,there is *something specially for you* up my blog.!

do do do check it out

Crimson Feet said...

wtf!!... i mean.. what a freakin sappy hopelessly sarcastic appreciation of love, hope and faith!!!
i don't disagree with the sarcasm but i am not sure if you intended it that way!!...

this was just too awesome... the irony is awesome!!! and you know what, chellamma's hope is depressing because one knows that he won't stop stealing, drinking or beating!!...

eitherway... i think this was truly wonderfully written!

and hope u had a blast on your birthday!! cheers

upecmustang said...

belated yappy burfday!

and i am a huge fan of parents leaving aside al for their kids u kno. I've seen loads of it. And it never ceases to amaze me.

made me all serious this one.
awesome writing. Keep it high then!

maverick said...

ummm....very touching story..

well belated happy bday..hope u have a great time ..rock on...and enjoy urself in bangalore :)

rantravereflect said...

yehh man may the light shine on :)

mac the nut-->
heee thanks a ton gurlllll.. jus got bak..
yehhh faith doth keep us todether.. i'll do ya tag this weekend girlfren!!!
mwuahhhh :*:*

the techhnomaniac-->
heyyyyy dahlinnn!!!
yehhh,. ya're awayzzzz in my heart wherever ya are.. realllllly missed ya yesterday on my budday.. we all had one shooter each at the end of it: reallllllly wished even more that ya were there.. heeeeeeee..
n yehhhhh, abt the story, this really touched me when i went down to velankanni; hence got it here..
i'm realllllly glad ya liked the font..:):)

rantravereflect said...

heeee, i'll see if i can do ya tag. thanks a ton!

hey thanks a ton chica!!
loadsa hugs to ya too :*:*:*

heeeee.. soooooo *what's teh big present??***
heeee thanks a ton mannnnn..
n yehhhh, after the 'masturbate horn' i needed to get outta all the kinkiness ;) sooo i got a lil' serious!! geeeeee..
love ya man :*:*

rantravereflect said...

that was really nice.. yehh a good way to start the year-->love, hope n faith!:)

welcome 2 my world woman; n yehhh we gemini are as 2 faced as 2 faced cud get! n tatz wat makes us wat we are.. sooo lezz keep rockinggggg that way!! awayzzzzz n forever!!
n thank ya for ya wishes.. :)

thanks lil' sugar-bun!! tat was darneddd sweet :)
i will check ya blog soooon

rantravereflect said...

crimson feet-->
i crave ya appreciation, n i love it when i satiate ya :):)
tat was a bitter mix of hope n despair, faith n falsity.. n i'm soooo glad ya caught onto tat.. i wonder sometimes- isn't life soooo much like tat.. sooo much not wat we want it 2 be?

n yehhhh, i had a BLAST, last night,ma friends were all there, to surprise me at 10.30 in teh night.. noooo better feeling ever!!!

i'mmm a biggg fan of wat parents can do for their children as well, isn't it sooooo darn touching? all the love n sacrifice?
:)yehhh i got a lil' tipsy n morose, hense teh seriousness;)

heyy tahnks.. n b'lore was great as usual, but i'd been stuck in training :) nw back to chennai n bloggin :)

crasiezt said...

Ooooooh happy bday!! It's over right? How did it go? And you in Bangalore? So we're in the same pin code then:P

Yes, the's good, really good..The time when Chellema kept the money in the box I had an ominous feeling that it was gonna go..but very touching end..and she's got some high hopes man..the bastard will never stop stealing..will he? Nicely written, though I liked the previous story better:D

Keshi said...

ur a June baby just like me? :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ya Rantra HUGZ!

U write from ur heart, with so much emtion involved that ur writing here moved me!



Keshi said...


maverick said... how was the bday celebration????n what kinda training??

Divkiran said...

Woho...pretty impressive and shows how you are a typical gemini

Like the other side of yu as well :)
Happy Birthday Dear Girl!!!
May god bless you with more ideas and more time to keep writing such amazin stories

Especially loved the ending...Muah!!!

rantravereflect said...

yehhh, thanks a ton babee.. n yeh, we were in teh same pincode :) heeeeeee..
weather had been awesum!
n yehh, the bastard would neva stop, but for hope n faith.. :)
n yehhh, i'll be back with the muskajeers soon enough!

thanks a ton bebo:)
n yehhh ya're a june babeee?? heee, dun we rock????
heee, n yehh, sometime the emotion in me too wired-up ;)

rantravereflect said...

the b'day celeb last night waskickarse.. ma friends were at the airport- tehy received me with a cake-- heeeeeee, was realllllly on top of the world, wentt o zaza's at th airport, n had a shooter each, n left :) heeee.. the treat from my side will go out tomorrow :)
n my training was on 'pipeline management' heee;)
borinnn ryte!:(

thank ya soooooooo much bebo.. your wishes are deepset in my heart sweetheart :)

maverick said...

hmmm...zozo's havent seen that at the chennai havent really been to any bar/pubs in chennai...maybe one day if u treat me there??n pipeline mgmt..umm...which organization btw??

rantravereflect said...

heeee :)
i work for Hp, n chennai has more discs than pubz, with the exception of pubz liek zaraz, geoffreys, 10D, blahhh blahhhh :) heeee cum down sumtime :) i'll surely give the treat a thought :)

maverick said...

lol..u really would give it a thot??ha ha ha ....

well i havent been to either of them...prefer the ones in delhi n pune tho...

n HP...laptops/printers/desktops??which one..huge portfolio to choose from :)

rantravereflect said...

heee :) laptops, desktops,workstations,PDAz,thin clients :)heeeeee :0

cum down to chennai- it's a darnnn sexceeeeeeeeeeeee place :)yipppppppppppeeeeeeeeeee!!!!
i love the place! n i have my beshtest frenz here.. sooo it's gotta be even betta!!!

maverick said...

ha ha ha ,,,been there a lot of times...i was in trichy for 2 yrs doing my chennai was my way to trichy from delhi :)

well i was there for another 2 weeks in may starting during my training :)

rantravereflect said...

wowww mann..ya were in BIM? n wat trainin for ya? what do ya do

maverick said... i was in BIM..passed out this yr only...

working with HUL now..joined as an ASM (Area sales manager)...was in chennai for a 2 week familiarization in hyd for operational training :)

CHRIS/JANE said...

awesum man-->
getting all geared up.. asm n al.. wowieee!!!!
enjoy y atraining doode!!
n check out my other blog!!

maverick said...

lol..ya gearing up....tryin to achieve the sales is the last day of sales..had just dropped into say that i was leaving office for the day..n that my email is there on my shoutbox on mah blog.....

will check out ur blog tomorrow or later at night(if i go online)...

g-man said...

that was a pretty good one. the part about the hubby is so true, at least it is in south india. like the way you write, just putting it out there, no nonsense

g-man said...

a belated happy birthday to you :)

vishvsambyal said...

big gift is "wish a horn "....nooo dnt get a wrong idea....u can wish anything..but it has to be a horn LOL!!!

d SINNER!!! said...

Happy bdddddddddddddddday...

and hmmm liked the way u begin this...



rantravereflect/ jane said...

i hat month-ends in the sales cycle!! so much pressure.. n yehh, get here soon enough..

\yeahh, no-nonsense.. it amkes sense to me tat way :)
n thanks for ya wishes.. yiooooooooooooooooooooopeeeeeeeee :)

heeeee.. ya are too politically right ;);)now let's forget the horn, shalln't we?

the sinner-->
thanks woman!! yaay, i liked the beggining tooo. love tat biblical parable!

JollyRoger said...

Just came by ur blog! Birthday wishes! Great posts!

AaYuShI said...

You're tagged.!

Happy b'day in advance!

maverick said...

@rantra...hey... :)

quarterpastseven said...

Happy Birthday! :) Hope you had a great one!

PS you are tagged. Visit my blog!

Preeti said...

That was a great story Jane:)
And belated birthday wishes to you :)

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Belated Happy Birthday! :)

gunj said...

hey sexy new pic :D

Keshi said...

aha we do rock our socks off! ;-)

HOT new profile pic of u!


Cinderella. said...

**Love is always a boomerang, however late the strike-back**

This was just awesome girl !!!! Loved it !!!

And your narration is always very tactful you know. You know how o meander the words and the sequences to give the right effect.

Have a happy happy b'day and a nice training.

Beauty and the BEast said...

that was beautiful!!

Quite unlike what I have been reading here before..

Its real and alive and painted with colours of life, not imagination..

Its simple and evident!

I loved it!

Its a very touching tribute...

maverick said...


AaYuShI said...

Hey Rantra,

Update yr blog.and pay mines a visit :)

rantravereflect/ jane said...

thansk a ton.. keep cuming in.. n ya blog is one fine one out there..

i will def be there, n see if i can do teh tag :)n thannk ya for ya wishes bebo :)

heyyyy :)

hey thanks a ton.. will visit ya blog for sure!:)

welcometo blogging.. n tons of love gurll... kep writin in!!mwuah

rantravereflect/ jane said...

hey babeeeee. thanksss a ton!!!

thank ya sweetheart.. ya n keshi are hot chicas. so gettin the compiment is flooring indded..

rock our sock!! yehhh tat rhymes as well:)
n ya're way too hot woman.. jus like our samby-wamby boyo!

thanks ya sooo much sweeheart.. i love meandering n getting teh reader to meander as well..

beauty n the beast-->
hey thanks.. n i llurvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv ya stories.. they're friggyn good!

rantravereflect/ jane said...

doooo check out my other blog...
i'm doing pretty good man.. wat abt ya???

i'll be there at ya blog sooooon sweet lil' un.. n ya chek out my blog awryteeee

Mama - Mia said...

belated appy budday!! :D

lovely lovely post!! a dash of everything life is!! :)

you came o bengaluru and not said heylo!! and come to flity with my l'il cubby!! :p

have a wunnerful year ahead!!



maverick said... have u been??will chk out the blog for sure

Mishra said...

Many happy returns of the day- though belated but still..
You are a wonderful storyteller.Keep it up :)

Shruti said...

Belated happy birthday to u.. I missed it waaahhh =((
This story is.. luhhhvvleeee ummmm...

Ashu said...

hey rantra, many belated bday wishes...thnx for droppin bi my blog....adding u up...


1. Read my latest post 'wear and tear' ON MY BLOG here:PJ4u-----