Monday, October 30, 2006



It was a rainy day at the BWI airport, where Lenin's plane landed, surprisingly ontime from
London. Lenin was finally happy to be here after those slogging hours at Madras, accepting every
piece of shitty work that his onsite manager gives him. He was given a tearful sendoff by his
parents and a "vaitherichal" one from his colleagues, who were still struck with the offshore

Lenin hails from lower middle class family, with his father working in the slum control division
and his mother managing the house. They could barely meet the family needs until he was out of
college, and it was breather when Lenin found himself a position with TCS, Madras. The solid 35k
per month, made their living a little better, and now they call themselves a middle middle class. They had now moved out of 'Kasimedu' and found their new home, in a relatively decent
'Kottivakkam'. Out of all three, this move particularly made Lenin's mom happy, as he would now stay away from his so called "friends". Doesn't make sense, does it?
His friends were 'Bottle subbu', 'Kuilthoppu kumar', 'villivakkam Gaja', 'weightu vijay' and 'Acid
I hear you saying...AAhhhh....Now it makes a lot of sense.

Lenin moving from Madras to Maryland was the next step in his career, when the 'Onsite Athirshtam'
struck him. He was already calculating and predicting the Income to savings on his flight.
According to Lenin's overdone savings plan, he should practically be a millionaire in a year. Well, unless he starves to death or stays on the sidewalk, that was not going to happen.
He was greeted by his future roommate, Mayilvahanam, outside the airport, and was taken to the
apartment in his 96 Toyota Corolla, with the CD singing "Theepidkka Theepidikka Mutham
Koduda....". Lenin was all smiles seeing spectacular (?!! in Baltimore?) roads and lush greens on
either side of the highway, with the fall colors clearly visible in the month of November. The
happiness continued, when he found his new apartment to be a 20 floor building, located right at
the heart of the city. The smiles got a speed bump, when he realized that the rent for that
apartment was 1450 per month, and heat and gas extra. This suddenly reduced his planned saving by 20,000 dollars(over the long time).

"enna kannu..poi senthutiya ma..Kuliru eppadi irruku....anga yaru kooda thangiirruka....soru
kadaikutha illa bread thaana? odambu paathuko pa..eppo pa inga vara mudiyum?" the usual telephonic conversation with his mother, kannathaal, continued again and again for the first week. She had nothing to ask but to make sure he got food...good food and good health. The usual Mothery stuff.
His father, Pakkirisami, usually kept things short by saying "nalla irrupa...intha...amma kitta pesu". There are two kinds of parents. The first kind does not make his son being in US a big deal, as a plethora of their family branches live over there, and there is the other one, for whom their son would be the first in 5 generations. Pakkirisami's family was the second kind.

Lenin was slowly getting used to his new place and friends. He now manages his own team in the
offshore, and 'assigns' them work. He definitely had a very thick Indian accent and had to come
across several embarrassment and sarcastic smiles. It was a Saturday, and Lenin does not eat
meat on that day. He got the advice from one of his friends on how order this in their cafe.
This is how the final order ended up
"Can I get a Hamburger with NO Ham in it?" that's it Lebron (the big brother who is incharge of
the grill) laughed it out so loud, that the entire cafe joined the fun. Pretty awkward moment for
Lenin...but had to smile it off, and had to explain it to him again.

Five years have passed by. Now Lenin moved out separately, owns an 2007 Aura TL, has
girlfriend(s) (Latanya and Latisha from Bethesda, Maryland), smokes Marlboro ultra lights, owns a
three bedroom flat in Adyar, uses money transfer quite frequently and overall enjoys staying in
this country.

Everything has changed in LeninBabu M Pakkirisami's life, except ONE. When he rings up India, he still hears......"enna kannu..Kuliru eppadi irruku....anga yaru kooda thangiirruka....soru
saaptiya.. illa bread thaana? odambu paathuko pa....saliku kashayam vachi kudi pa....Epo pa inga
vara?" the voice of his innocent mother Kannathal.
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