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Visramam Ellathe Veeranmar!

July 8, 2011

It was one such evening at the kallu-shaap where alcohol was the only thing that flowed more freely than free speech and the quintessential mallu liked both, on his own terms.

Chandranna, give us another bottle of the best kallu that you’ve got,” said Devassy and quietly slipped a 20 rupee note into Chandran’s pocket with a wink only to be greeted by a seedy smile.

The logistics in a kallu-shaap worked slightly different than in a normal bar. As the blokes knew, that in a kallu-shaap, one tips the waiter even before getting the stuff, because kallu unlike other forms of alcohol tasted best when had fresh! And in a kallu-shaap, the best kallu went to the highest tipper (bidder?).

It was a hot Friday afternoon, and they had come to celebrate after what they deemed had been a particularly efficient and successful strike at theKerala University Senate hall campus that morning. As they sat there in the dilapidated hut situated on the Trivandrum bypass road near Technopark, they could see vehicles whiz past them; everyone in some form of hurry or the other.

We’ve dealt a crushing blow to the university chancellor’s hopes today,” said Devassy. He was a left leaning student leader and he was proud of it. He belonged to a rare breed; people who were always busy even when they had absolutely nothing to do.

Even though he had passed out of college three years back, he remained back as a member of the politburo because he had nothing better to do. He was happy; merely living in his comfort zone.

Jithesh; enthuvadey! Are you even listening to me?” Devassy asked, mildly irritated that his friend did not seem to share his enthusiasm.

At that moment, Jithesh looked up. All that while, he had been paying particular attention to his karimeen polichathu.

I heard you but it hurts when I see you without a regular job.”

Jithesh was quite the opposite. A simple man from a humble middle-class family, he had found a job right after college and was living a content life. And for a vacation, he had come back to Trivandrum to meet his friend and drill some sense into him.

Devassy was angered, “Regular job? What is wrong with you? I am happy now and you want me to find a boring desk job like you in a company full of the bourgeoisie? Capitalism is messing with your brains, my dear friend!”  

But Jithesh was persistent; “But can you atleast quit the politburo. Aren’t you too old for this petty post?

On hearing that, Devassy picked up his glass and emptied it in a single gulp and he said, “Cant you get it? We are fighters; always ready to serve a worthwhile cause. There is not a single person who can touch me as long as I have this post.”

He filled his glass once again, raised it haughtily; looked Jithesh in the eye and said it once again very slowly, “We are merely warriors; warriors without rest.”

Jithesh let you a sigh and said, “You, my friend, are suffering from an addiction. An addiction of a comfortable lifestyle corrupted with power. Let us drop this topic for now.

And they both went back to what they both loved! More kallu!

Pretty soon the afternoon became evening but still they were not done; not done in reliving those tales from college. They were living in the past; in pleasant memories that they both cherished.

Finally, at around 6 PM, it was time for them to leave as it was time for Jithesh to get back to the railway station. As they rode back to the city through Kazhakootam, they were stopped by the police.

Kalippu aliyaa; it is the month end and they will not let us go without money,” said Devassy quickly to Jithesh as they pulled over.
And soon, they were surrounded by the cops.

A formidable looking cop with a big moustache and an oversized paunch said, “Drunken driving eh? Ok guys, you know the routine! Pay up 300 rupees or get into the police jeep.” And he quickly turned off the ignition and pocketed the bike key.

The cops left them alone to corner more people. There was no escape for them; not without the bike.

How much money do you have on you now?” Devassy asked quietly after a while.

Jithesh said, “Just 80 bucks and what about you?

When have I ever had any money with me? Endae Karthavae! We are in deep shit!” Devassy replied and said, “What the hell do we do now?

And they stood there, unsure; uncertain about what was going to happen.

Finally, after some time, Jithesh asked with a mocking grin, “Devassy, I thought you were one of those warriors; warriors without rest!!

So?” Devassy asked with a blank expression.

With as much contempt as he could possibly muster, Jithesh replied, “Nindae vandi alle? Poyi police-inde kaalu pidi” (It is your bike right? Beg the cops to let us go)

PS: Story inspired by an old incident which involved a couple of friends.

 PPS: The title in Malayalam means “Warriors without rest!”

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 20, 2011 8:47 am

    This is so much you! loved it! this is a la kalippu style. I tell you send a collection of this to a publisher!

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