Sunday, July 1, 2012

Spam Luck

Image Courtesy: Google

Our client is looking for 100 English writers; we could pay up to $10,000/month with bonuses for writers who deliver good content on a regular basis. No experience required. Payment via Paypal, Check, or a Bank Wire.

Mithun Vadakkedathu signed out. But he did not forget to mark the mail he just read as spam. He had been signing up in job sites and this has become his day job.

The previous week he had gone to the Parassinikadavu temple and paid for Vellaattam, the worship dance for pleasing Muthappan, the deity of Parassinikkadavu temple, the ancient God of the commoner.

Image Courtesy: Google
He groped in his wallet which had holes inside and threads were coming off from its bottom. The outer layer of rexine was removed from many places by time.

Mithun took out three pieces of paper, three tickets: one red, one grey, one pale white in colour. He murmured; “O God, all my prayers, all the Vellaattam I paid for are gone without purpose. I must have done something terrible that I still do not know myself. Perhaps the beggar I didn’t help, or the old man I hadn’t offered a seat in the bus.”

He was sure, gods were deaf towards him and that his future loomed in the doorstep of a bankrupt hell. But he also had heard of the heart of Muthappan, kind, and quick to rescue in the tears of His followers.

“I have lost my job months ago! My future seems to be in dark. O God, help me!” He prayed.

He worked as a teacher until two months ago in an English medium school in Kannur city. He taught English Literature. The course demanded the course to be taught from Chaucer to Shakespeare. Mithun found it difficult to keep the attention of the students.

When he recited, “Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,” one of the students had asked, “Excuse me sir, why should we study this?”

Students in Twelfth standard are always trouble, he had consoled himself. However, he was not content with the progress he made with his teaching. So he decided to try something else. He gave the students books to read—from out of the syllabus; books that he had thought could lure the kids into reading—by Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Sidney Sheldon, William Blake, Rumi, Whitman.

The experiment had an impressive result; the kids started reading books and wanted more. Some of them even started writing their own stories and poems. The next time he told them about Ian McEwan and Don DeLillo and next T. S Eliot, then Charles Dickens and then Shakespeare. He was entering into the vast body of literary history from the front door. That was not the tradition; it had to be approached from past, from Chaucer, from back door that usually scared people away or caused them take the information in as if it’s science of geography.

In the very next Department staff meeting, Mithun stood as a convict. The Principal asked him to submit a show-cause notice for deviating in such a gross manner from the prescribed pattern of syllabus. His colleagues shot him that expressionless, pitiful look that one can usually observe in the eyes of the dead fish in the fish market.   

As night ascended and the whole family slept, Mithun slowly switched on his computer, this time he did not open his mail. Instead, he checked all his favorite porn sites one by one. When sleep knocked on his eyes, he was all ready to fall deeply into its bosom and forget the dreary day.

As sleep overpowered him he had a dream. He was not sure at first whether it was a dream at all, because it started with an echo. A droning sound hat twisted the membranes of his thoughts, leaving them confused and weary. It was like a wind howling in a distance. Then it started coming close, the voice.  

Then, he heard Bells. It sounded more like small clutter of bells intermittently, as if attached with someone’s feet. It was like someone with an anklet, walking. He was sure he did; even though in sleep, he could clearly make out the sound. This made him think if it was sleep at all.

Then he opened his eyes. There was something strange, he did not open his eyes because he wanted to, but as if someone had asked him to, it was much like an order. He heard it, like a trail of audible silence and opened his eyes.

His eyes were opened to a gleam that was light reflected from the arrows loaded in a quiver. There was a man in front of him, with a turban made of flowers and silver, his eyes covered with a pair of silver shields, and body covered in strange designs and in magnificent colours.

The man was much closer in looks to the deity he worshipped during Vellaattam.

That was Muthappan.

“O, Muthappa!” Mithun cried and joining both his hands fell to the ground in front of the god. “Forgive me my mistakes and bless me,” he said.   
Image Courtesy: Google
“Bless you?” Muthappan asked with a curious tone in his voice, “Why should I bless you any more? I already bestowed upon you what you needed.”
Mithun stood up startled. “What do you mean O, Muthappa?!” he asked hesitantly.

“Oh, yes, how can you! You are so obsessed with misery,” Muthappan said.  

“Me? Obsessed! I do not understand,” Mithun said baffled.
“The email you marked spam and deleted this morning was your key to success. You could have become rich. That was my blessing to you, but you ignored it thinking that such an offer is beyond normal,” Muthappan said. Mithun was saying something, but his words vanished midway as he saw no one around.

Muthappan heeds all. He never resides at one place for long, Mithun thought.

“It’s just a dream,” he said to himself.   


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