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Feelings per room

He didn't know the shit had hit and smeared itself lovingly all over the fan till he heard it. Or, more correctly, did not hear it. Anything. Which was terrifying when it was buzzing with the sound of lilting greetings, jokes rehashed year after year, tinkling bells and the clash of silver/copper vessels on plates just a minute before. Taking his own stuff out of the bag, he turned around quickly.

Everyone was silent. Everyone was staring. At him.

From the slowly purpling face and bulging eyes of the vaadiyar (priest) to the disgusted glares lashing waves from 50 uncle-types who mentally crossed him off their list of potential maapilays (sons-in-law) on the bloody spot, he caught an invisible punch of disapproval and outrage that made him flinch.

Surely he hadn't done anything so scandalous. Heck, he'd just got there! No time for an accidental, ill-timed fart or an involuntary cuss to escape. He'd definitely taken a bath this year. The clean lemony smells of Lifebuoy and Cinthol powder were wafting pleasantly off him too. He'd got all the right implements, was wearing the veshti (ceremonial cloth) correctly, washed his feet, removed his shirt and was taking the plate out... oh. Oh fuck.

Removed his shirt.
To change the poonal (thread).
He'd completely forgotten. 

His eyes first met Balu's. His neighbour and best friend since school. And that bastard, belying his 33 years, was giggling silently, his mouth sealed desperately by one hand while the other ran a finger across his own throat in mime. His gaze then fanned slowly through the room till they met his Appa's (Father's). And the old man was shocked. There were some hajaar generations of purity, culture and sheer rage behind his look. It was excoriating. It was scorching. It was in 'all-consuming Shiva's Third Eye opening' territory.

He'd fucked up twice over. He'd got them. And he'd not told Appa. Told, forewarned, whatever. His father was caught unawares and that meant at least 10 years of questions, comments, throwaway remarks and awkward hints. Aandava! The questions. What is that? Is that what I think it is? Why did he get them? Where did he get them? How? What need did he have to get it? Is he okay? Is something wrong? What do they mean? What do you mean? Why did you let him? Why did you not know? What else do you not know? What do you know?

For the first time in his life, he actually felt sorry for Appa. No one deserved what he was about to go through.

He'd got the tattoos.
But it was his father who was about to feel the needles.   

Song for the moment: The Path - Teenage Mutants & Purple Disco Machine

*Fixion of course. 

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