From Alappuzha With Love – Part 2
Continued from Part 1
Pand returns to his hotel room to find Pankajam spread like an eagle on his bed in a very enticing position. She takes it upon herself to personally take Pand out of the way and invites him to spend the night with her saying, “I hope you’re not ready for this“. The gentleman he is, daabal-sevan-woh misinterprets Pankajam and is irked by the casteism in her statement. Much to her despair he proclaims “Sorry madam but I was born Reddy“, and reluctantly trudges to spend the night on the couch in Baby’s room. The next morning Pand meets Ganesan under the guise of Ouseph Chacko, to whom Ganesan was to hand over the artifact. Call it an occupational hazard or force of habit but Pand introduces himself as “Hello my lady. My name is Pand, JMS Pand“. An alarmed Ganesan smells a rat and darts towards the door making her escape being chased by Pand. The two are followed by an unknown man and Parameswaran who had been keeping watch over Ganesan all the while. Pand’s portly stature is unable to keep up with Ganesan while the unknown man catches up and demands her to hand over the artifact. Just as he is about to use force, the unknown man is shot form a distance by Parameswaran.
A badly palpitating Pand reaches the scene to find Ganesan with a dead body at her feet. He yells “Who killed him?”, to which a startled Ganesan replies, “Oh it’s you“. Pand again misinterprets it and orders Baby to search for any Tibetan sweater/jacket seller named “Yu/Yeoh“. Having round up over a dozen hawkers and failing to extract any useful information from them, Pand and Baby once again decide to start afresh by following Ganesan. Information from their sources takes them aboard the Guruvayoor Express where Parameswaran meets Ganesan posing to be Peter Aruldoss. Now Peter Aruldoss was the unknown man who as shot by Parameswaran, he was sent by the Tamil Nadu government to retrieve the stolen artifact and foil P.A.T.T.A.R’s evil plans. With a coach full of Sabarimala pilgrims, Baby moves to the open door to have a smoke so as not to cause any inconvenience. Pand offers him a light only to accidentally pat him on the back later. A startled Kutty falls to his death leaving the bumbling JMS Pand with the pack of Charminar cigarettes he was smoking. Pand goes over to check on Ganesan only to find her drugged by Aruldoss(Chacko) who is now rummaging through her luggage. Pand mistakes him for being the real Aruldoss and proceeds to help him looking for the artifact assuming that he is indirectly helping the TN Govt, and thereby the mission.
Pand notices Peter’s bundle of ‘Malabar beedi‘ and it immediately strikes him that no Tamizhan in his sane mind would pucker up to some mallu tobacco. Parameswaran masquerading as Peter, now realizes that his cover might be blown and Points a gun at Pand. Parameswaran boasts of how P.A.T.T.A.R has been playing so far and tricking the two governments against each other and how the silly Ms.Ganesan thinks she is doing art restoration but instead working for P.A.T.T.A.R! Pand tries to back away, but trips over Ganesan and lands on Parameswaran who suffocates under the weight and passes out. Ayer-No-1 is not happy with the failure of the mission and reminds Pankajam that failure is a word they don’t tolerate at P.A.T.T.A.R. Pankajam requests one last chance. She disguises herself as a pickle seller and boards the train with a bag full of Gongura Pachadi may be revolting to some, but a true Telugu would choose a bottle of Gongura pachadi over his wife as well. This lapse in concentration is enough for Pankajam to snatch the suitcase and hold the duo at gunpoint, while Pand kicks himself in the butt for giving into a woman selling Gongura pachadi in Thrissur!thokku, avakaya and pachadis with a semi-automatic hid under the folds of her saree. She enters the compartment where Pand is getting Ganesan upto speed with the situation and spreads her wares. The aroma of
Inside the suitcase along with the artifact wrapped in plastic is a small plastic box with ‘Do not open’ plastered upon it. Unable to curb her curiosity, Pankajam opens it only for spicy mango-avakaya explode in her face to leave her incapacitated. Little did she realize that no Telugu ever leaves home without a packet of chutney-podi and a bottle of their staple mango-avakaya. It was her bad luck that the tightly sealed box developed a vacuum inside with the oil and the heat of Kerala, and hence exploded in Pankajam’s face. Pand takes the artifact from her and along with ms.Ganesan leaves her with his most famous line to make up for the bedroom mishap. The words ‘Madam, I may be born Reddy, but I am always ready‘ ring in the compartment as Pand dials headquarters to let them know that the package is safe. Ayer-No-1 goes back to sulking and plotting the next move for P.A.T.T.A.R in their bid for statewide domination. With the artifact delivered and the case closed, Pand escorts Ganesan to Chennai not before a stop over at the Madurai Meenakshi temple and some PG-13 stuff that can’t be mentioned. Until next time, JMS Pand will be back!
PS: Might seem like a few characters too many. but with the plot going that way, chalega lite.
PPS: Mallus, Telugus will get most of the references, future adventures in the series will not be this regional
——————Epilogue: Brief Character bios(for the confused)——————
JMS Pand: Secret agent working for the AP Govt special covert ops(APCO)
Vani Ganesan: Silly librarian with access to documents and state archives of TN, brainwashed to steal the artifact
Baby Kutty Naidu: Undercover APCO agent in Kerala, with mallu and telugu roots
Ayer-No-1: Heads the evil organization P.A.T.T.A.R that wants to regin supreme and avenge humiliation by the tamils
Loo Sastry: Chief of APCO
Ouseph Chacko: Special officer of the Kerala police appointed to make the switch.
Parameswaran: IISc graduate and P.A.T.T.A.R agent sent to ensure success of the mission
Pankajam: Erstwhile museum curator and now right-hand to Ayer-No-1 at P.A.T.T.A.R
Peter Aruldoss: CID officer from TN sent to retrieve the stolen artifact.
(Image Courtesy: boston.com)
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