Friday, September 10, 2010

Door Mat

Dawn to Sunrise: Credit: Sayanthan
Its still  not dawn in Jaffna yet! Time is half past five in the morning. Wilson's sudden barking woke up every dog in the neighborhood and neighbors too. Jessie noticed her mother has already woken up.

"Wake up Jessie, I don't know why is this dog howling like seen a ghost, can you go and check, this dog will never listen to me" -- Jessie's mother from kitchen asked Jessie. Jessie's mother never calls Wilson with his name which she found really odd. She was suggesting typical dog names like "Jimmy" or "Zesor".
JK's Jaffna Home Portico
 "Wilson must have seen something ma, lemme checkout", Jessie slowly gets up from the bed, checks herself in the mirror, adjusts her long hair and goes to backyard where Wilson is tied up.

"Good Morning Wilson, what's up with you? Are you ok?" --Wilson turns to happy mood after seen her and barks playfully now. Jessie raised the small Wilson and cuddled him with a delicate touch on his head. Now his bark turns into a little yip. Jessie recalls the namesake of Wilson refreshingly.

Feral Domestic Dog, Zesor
"So you got a little dog, ha? Labrador or something?" Jake asked Jessie.
This is their second meet. Its a canteen of the university where Jessie working as an English literature lecturer.
"Ha ha ha, my salary is not even enough to feed a Labrador. This is a feral domestic dog, just two days old I guess, so cute and lovely"
"So you love dogs... well is it he or she?"
"He of course, Do you have a dog at your LA place?"
"I would love to, but who will dog-sit and clean its poops haa?"
"Oh, they can't just go out on their own? Jaffna dogs can do things on their own.."
"May be you just come and tell that to Americans! haven't told his name yet?"
"Name? I just got him yesterday, ma is calling him Jimmy, but no naming done yet"
"Wilson, you mean the dog name?"
"Yeah, Wilson"
"Never heard such a name for a dog in Jaffna, where does it come from?"
"Its a character in Tom Hanks' latest movie, you watched Cast Away?"
"No, I seldom watch English movies, Who is Tom Han?"
"What's that Hushhh..."
"Forget it, its a long story, there in the movie, Wilson is an interesting character, I have the VCD at home, may be we can watch when you come there"

Jake has been seeing Jessie just less than a week now. Jake moved to Los Angeles fifteen years back, had his schooling there. He came to Jaffna to visit his aging parents for a three months vacation. One of Jessie's colleagues is his distant relative. That's how Jake was introduced to Jessie's father.

Wilson seems to be calmed down now. Jessie goes and makes a coffee and comes to sit at their porch garden. There is still a mild breeze out there. No feel can match having a strong coffee on a Jaffna early morning cold weather. Divine!

"Such a cunning smile ..erghh.. "
"Its fine to call me Jake"
"Why did you smile... Jake, my mum made the coffee!"
"The coffee is nice!"
"But that was more of a grin smile!"
"No, I was just comparing this awkward situation with US"
"Awkward situation? Don't they drink coffee? I heard they drink coffee with no sugar? sooo funny!"
"Yea, I didn't mean it, first day of date at girl's porch garden, her parents and friends hiding behind the window glasses, eavesdropping what we speak .. ha ha ha"
"Of course this is not US, in fact I am surprised my father allowed even to this extent"
"So you are fine moving to LA"
"Los Angeles, that's where I live"
"Oh, Is that a statement or question? I don't have a say anyway right? Do I?"
"Well not really, this is only a meet and its your life after all"
"Yeah its my life after all..."
"Look Jessie, world is much much broader than Jaffna, this war, deaths, fights for nothings, all these hoo haas, you are an English literature lecturer, you can come and work there, may be doing a fellowship at CSU, US is a country of opportunities"
"Me working there? You kidding me? Then who looks after the house? kids and all later?"
"Hey doormat! don't go there right away, too fast for kids haa"
"Na na na, I just telling"
"See this is what our problem is, just let the life loosen up, There are lot to learn from Americans. You hardly see housewives in American families, yet they do everything we managed to do, most of the times with much much betterment. Bottom line is they enjoy their lives!"
"So you called me doormat haa? That's funny... May I ask you a question? Why did you change your name to Jake? Jeyakrishnan sounds far better... Identity crisis?"
"Identity crisis? You dangerous literature people ha, I always felt so embarrassed by my name.... You feel like you're causing someone pain just by being who you are."
"Ha ha ha, That's Lahiri"
"That's from Ms Lahiri, Pulitzer Price Winner this year, what you just said..."
"Damn, so you read her too, finished Intepreter of Maladies?"
"Of course, few times..."
"Cool, My favorite, I can relate myself a lot with those stories in it, loved them.."
"So cute, then I am fine"
"Fine what?"
"Seems, ma is calling, are we done?"
"Hey doormat, you said something... fine with what?"

Jessie got up, collected the empty coffee cups and the tray, took few steps towards the portico, stopped a bit, turned and smiled.
"Hushhh..."-- Jessie told with a little shy and went into the house, or was she running?
Time runs so fast. Three months with Jake had passed like a blink of an eye. Jake and Jessie talked a lot  during this period. Renovating their LA house, history of civil war, Oprah Winfrey, Ilaiyarajah to Back Street Boys, Merchant of Venice, Sengai Aazhiyaan, share market, Sampras, they just wanted a topic to keep talking, spending time with each other. When two different value systems interact, there will be lot to talk, discuss, argue and fight. Jake and Jessie had everything happened in this last three months. They found something common in them, related each other, at least they thought they did!

Its still not dawn yet, Jessy finished her coffee, but still little sleepy to get up. Jake left to US two days back. He must be on his way to LA now. May be he will call her in few hours. Hopefully ma's friends won't call and engage the phone for hours early in the morning. Jessie had a big yawn and then got up just when the phone was ringing.
"Jessie, attend the phone, it may be Krishnan's" -- ma never wanted to call Jake with his nick name. She thinks its odd to call a Jaffna person with a name like Jake.
"It can't be him ma, he must be still flying",  Jessie went and took the phone with a disbelief.
"Hey Doormat!", Jake from other end for her surprise.
"Wow Jake! you already reached LA? I thought you are still flying"
"Yeah still flying...Using in-flight phone "
"What, you are crazy!"
"Can't wait to call ..."
"Hushhh... Big liar, you didn't call me at the transit, seems boring air hostess this time haa?"
"Hey, you caught up with this Hush haa? I woke you up so early?"
"Na na na, you know what, Wilson woke up all of us early, he must have found something wrong" -- There is no reply from Jake for a second
"Jake, are you still there?"
"Hang on Jessie, Something wrong out here"
"What? Didn't hear you"
"Something fishing out here, Captain announces there is a bomb aboard, looks like a hijack"
"Jakeee, tell me you are not kidding, I am scared"
"Jessie, ... Yeah its a joke, don't worry, the line is not clear, sometimes it may get disconnected, don't worry"
"Are you sure Jake, stay with me, you hear me?"
"Yea I do, hey doormat, don't worry... I love you.."
"Jake, are you ok? I can't hear you well"
"I love you doorm..."
 Jessie hears some abrupt noises,  eventually the phone gets disconnected..
Its still  not dawn in Jaffna yet!
On the morning of 11th September 2001, terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners to attack the World Trade Center twin towers. From this four hijacked airliners, two airliners were deliberately crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City that killed everyone on board and many others working in the buildings ....
------------------------------------------------THE END---------------------------------------------------------------------

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