What Did She Like?

This short piece is penned by Anuraadha Jaishankar here in Tamizh. Translated as close as possible. Narrowly missed the deadline of IWD.

Thanks to Vidya for forwarding it.

Here it is:

‘Anna, what are the doctors saying?’ Radhu, her voice unsteady.

‘It’s the same thing. His heart is weak, the pumping is not good enough. Since he has already undergone two surgeries, so there isn’t much they can do at his age. Of course, they are doing what they can – keeping him up with medicines. Anything more aggressive is ruled out. ‘Just keep him happy and comfortable as long as’ is what they’re telling me.’

‘How is he now?’

‘As of now he is alright.’

‘Listen, Anna, I’ll come over there bringing the kids along. Tell Raghu to do likewise. Let’s all be together for a few days with Appa. What do you say?’

‘Sounds good, let me talk to Raghu.’

‘Does Amma know about it?’

‘No. She thinks they have cured him of his ailment in the hospital and sent him home.’

‘Let it be so. Otherwise she’ll worry herself to death, poor soul.’

‘Fine, let me know once you book the tickets. I’ll get the car and come to the (railway) station.’

In the night over dinner Ravi told them about Radhu and Raghu coming over for a few days. Immediately Father relaxed visibly happy with the news. Mother looked a few years taken off her age: ‘You know what? Over the last few days, I had this persistent thought and desire to see the kids and spend a little time with them all and now you’re telling us this…very good, I’ll get some stuff (grains) ready and you please take them to the mill and get them ground. Will prepare some sweets and savories for the kids. Also kanji flour, sambar powder, tamarind paste, sevai noodlesPadma (Raghu’s wife) loves my hand-made murukku…’

‘Amma, Amma, take it easy. Sure, we’ll get all that done. ‘He likes this, she likes this.’ you said of everyone but not Appa – what does he enjoy eating, tell us.’

‘How would you know? You’re hardly at home. And when you are, you are not observant. Your Appa, he likes anything and everything I prepare for him,’ she said bashfully but laced with pride.

‘Okay, okay, now tell us a couple of items he specially relishes.’

Mother got up to clean up the table: ‘You watch me serving his meal, observe what I pile up on his plate with extra helpings and you’ll know.’

Ravi became pensive. How would this lady cope up with the inevitable when it happens?

With Raghu and Radhu landing, it was no longer a home of the sick – Mother busying herself in the kitchen dishing out everyone’s favorites, Father happily chatting away with one and all, the siblings making solicitous inquiries and doing the catching up, the children running all over, falling, dropping thingsand the old couple like kids looking excitedly at the new dresses bought for them – altogether a cheery family reunion, a pleasant chaos, not boisterous, not unruly

It was Saturday. Father suggested they go to the (Marina) beach – the kids can have fun playing in the sand – and followed by dinner at some decent restaurant so Mother got a well-deserved respite from her kitchen duties for the day.

‘Appa, what would you like to have?’ Ravi handed over the menu card.

Ordering for him done, ‘Amma, what can we get?’

One of the kids interjected: ’I dont want this idli-sambar. It’s too hot.’

Radhu: ‘You always do that – order something and then you dont eat,’

Mother: ‘Dont pull him up. Just get him what he wants. It wont be wasted – I’ll have his idli-sambar.’

Ravi waved away: ‘Forget him, Amma. Let’s get whatever you feel like having.’

But she had her way: ‘Not to worry, dear, this is good and enough for me.’

Mother and Radhu took what was left over on the kids’ plates.

Overcome with emotions, before retiring for the night, Father: ‘After a long time, I was very happy todaydid you see how caring our kids were this evening? Not many would be blessed like us. What do you say?’

Mother readily agreed.

‘But, you know, it was strangenormally these fellows would not hesitate to snatch away this that from my plate and hand saying it wasn’t good for my healthand today it was quite the opposite, they were forcing the eats on me.’

She laughed: ‘Oh, that’s was only for this occasion, a couple of days that we are together. Thereafter it would be your regular diet. No remission!’

‘Oh, so that was it, eh? Okaylet’s sleep. Am tired. It’s Sunday tomorrow, sleep well, no need to get up early.’

‘You know Sunday or weekday, the alarm in the body wakes one up more or less at the same time every day. Let’s see.’

The following morning she overslept. In fact she had gone even farther into an eternal sleep.

Her children were shocked beyond belief.

Inconsolable. In their preoccupation with Father’s illness, had they failed to notice Mother’s indisposition? But she had not complained of any ailment at all.

It was the tenth day. The day of special rituals for the departed soul.

It was a practice – on that day dishes were prepared that were particularly favored by the diseased. The cook sought out Radhu and inquired about the menu.

Radhu: ‘Well, what did Mother like? Raghu Anna, you would know? Whenever I came here, she would rather prepare whatever I liked.’

Raghu: ‘Same here. She always fed me with kothamalli saadham, adai with vellam, uppu kozhakattaiitems she knew I loved. Let’s ask Ravi.’

Ravi: ‘Amma always took her food alone and last. I’ve no idea what she ate with relish and what she didn’t care for. Appa should know.’

Father: ‘Now that you ask what did she like? Well, what did she like? It never occurred to me to…’


A Fisherman’s Net And Wit – A (Very) Short Story For Children

King Khusro of Persia was very fond of fish. One morning he was sitting on a terrace with his wife Shirin when a fisherman came in and presented a fish to him. It was large and of a rare kind. The king was quite pleased. He summoned his servants and ordered them to pay a hundred silver pieces to the fisherman.

Shirin was annoyed that the king was gifting away so lavishly. As soon as the man went out of sight and hearing, she said, ‘Look, a hundred silver coins for a fish? Ridiculous. You’re setting up a precedent – you’ll be expected to pay on this scale for all time to come. Now call this man and return the fish to him on some pretext and take the money back.’

‘But dear, it doesn’t become of a king to ask for the money back. Let this pass for now.’

‘This shall not pass. There’s a way to deal with it without appearing to be mean. Call him and ask if this fish is a male or a female. If he says it’s a male, ask for a female and if it’s a female, ask for a male, and cancel the payment.’

Not wanting to displease his dear lady, the king acting upon her counsel called the fisherman back and asked him the question.

The fisherman bowed before the king and said, ‘This fish, my lord, is both male and female, lays eggs all by itself.’

The king burst out laughing. And quite instinctively ordered another hundred silver coins to be given to the fisherman.

As he walked out with the bounty, the man dropped a silver coin that fell and rolled out of sight.

The man stooped down searching high and low for the missing coin. Quite a while later, he managed to find it which he put away safely with great care.

All this happened in full view of the royalty reposing on the terrace.

‘What a mean guy? See how he goes down looking for one measly coin instead of letting it go for some poor man to find it!’ Shirin observed.

The king called the fisherman back and berated him for his meanness:’…with all those coins from me, yet you were not generous enough to let some miserable chap find one…’

The man bowed before the king: ’My lord, if my king picks up from dust a fisherman like me worth nothing, is it any wonder I pick up a coin fallen to the ground? Also, the coin on one side has my king’s image engraved and his name inscribed on another.  How could I abandon the coin to be found god know when if ever. And what is to prevent someone carelessly step on it?’

Amused by his cleverness and wit, the king offered him another hundred silver coins!

The lady had no further counsel to offer in the matter.


Source: A story in Chandamama, August, 1955, lightly edited. Image from financialexpress.com

‘I Hate It When My Brother Charlie Has To Go Away’

A horror Flash. Too good – oops, actually evil – to miss by horrorinpureform

I hate it when my brother Charlie has to go away.

My parents constantly try to explain to me how sick he is. That I am lucky for having a brain where all the chemicals flow properly to their destinations like undammed rivers. When I complain about how bored I am without a little brother to play with, they try to make me feel bad by pointing out that his boredom likely far surpasses mine, considering his confine to a dark room in an institution.

I always beg for them to give him one last chance. Of course, they did at first. Charlie has been back home several times, each shorter in duration than the last. Every time without fail, it all starts again. The neighborhood cats with gouged out eyes showing up in his toy chest, my dad’s razors found dropped on the baby slide in the park across the street, mom’s vitamins replaced by bits of dishwasher tablets.

My parents are hesitant now, using “last chances” sparingly. They say his disorder makes him charming, makes it easy for him to fake normalcy, and to trick the doctors who care for him into thinking he is ready for rehabilitation. That I will just have to put up with my boredom if it means staying safe from him.

I hate it when Charlie has to go away. It makes me have to pretend to be good until he is back.


Source: Reddit

Friendly Neighborhood

A story from by gomathiji lightly edited.


It was a Sunday morning and so everyone got up late, took the phone and indulged in a bit of idle talk or came out to watch the traffic lazily; and this Sunday started with a promise – a promise of some fresh fat to chew on.

It was Sumit who first saw Prakash bringing two large suitcases and placing them in the boot of his car. His wife Sarala joined him now in the balcony, watching. Prakash got into the driver’s seat and waited. His father walked out with his customary tripod and then his mother. They got into the car. The noise of the car door brought out some of the others. Prakash’s wife did not come out. Where were the three going out?

Some in the colony especially the elderly were watching from behind curtained windows and some others had opened their doors and stood at the doorway on the pretext of trying to get some fresh air.

Here’s where they relied on the mastery of Kailesh. He was everyone’s man Friday in that colony, paying their electricity bills, delivering milk sachets at their doorsteps, buying vegetables for them, lending a hand in rolling out roti’s…On Sundays too he worked overtime running errands for them.

So it was not a surprise that he knew considerable details in the family matters of everyone there.

Kailesh had just then come from the market; he pulled the cycle’s stand with his leg, simultaneously got down and climbed the fourth floor bounding up two steps at a time. He found the inmates of the house for whom he had brought milk sachets, dekho’ing from their balcony.

“Kailesh! Where are they going?” asked Sarala.

“Mmm… not sure. In fact I don’t know” Kailesh said.

Sarala and Sumit looked at him incredulously, “Really! We thought you would have known. Yesterday you had been there to take a huge number of their clothes to the drycleaners, hadn’t you?”

Kailesh: ”Yes, I don’t know if Prakash saab’s phone call has something to do with this. While I was collecting and counting the clothes, he asked someone for the address of a home – a home for the aged, you see.”


“Prakash saab’s father, when I was leaving, was muttering that Punitha was making a too much of a fuss for nothing,” he added.

It was a while before the car had started moving as Prakash had to help the old couple get in.

By now Parbathi, the house help working in most of the homes there, had arrived and she could supply them a few missing pieces in the puzzle. She enlightened the assembly with: Prakash’s wife Punitha’s parents were arriving that evening.

So it was obvious that Prakash was taking them to the most probable place, as Prakash was their only son, a home for the aged.

“And to think, only a few weeks back Punitha advised us all to care for the elders of our household well,” observed Sarala.

By now, Rita and Kumar had joined. Their flat did not have a view of the front.

Rita remarked, ”Punitha has always been reserved and secretive. I knew something would happen like this.”

Kailesh ventured, ”Punitha didi is the only daughter for her parents. So where will her parents go?”

Kumar retorted, ”That does not mean Prakash has to send his parents to a home!”

“Kailesh, do you remember the name of the place Prakash was mentioning?” Sumit asked.

Kailesh, his forehead creased with an effort to remember. “Something like anda – dhal

Anda – dhal? What in the world was that?” they wondered.

All of a sudden it struck Kumar – a friend of his had been on the lookout for a home, to deposit his own parents.

Amanda Dale! That’s it. But it is well out of the city limits!” He exclaimed

It was the prime story of the day to cook, spice, chew, swallow and spit for the colony.

Evening came and a taxi pulled up in front of Prakash’s house. A middle aged couple alighted welcomed and hugged by a beaming Punitha, witnessed by many pairs of eyes.

Almost at once they heard another car. They could guess whose it was. They were right. Prakash was getting down andWhy? His parents were also getting down slowly. Punitha’s parents walked out to greet them. Then they all went inside the house, laughing.

Such a let-down it was. A drama that was not to be. Some even shook their heads in disapproval behind curtained windows.

Yet, soon afterwards, many of them happily received a word from Punitha and Prakash telling them not to cook for the night as a sumptuous packed dinner was on the way!

It was in celebration of his Pitaji’s eightieth birthday! And that they had been to the home for the aged earlier in the day to distribute clothes and sweets – Punitha could not go with them as her parents were to arrive.

So the neighborhood went to bed that night looking forward to another interesting day ahead – with so many families residing how could it be otherwise!



Source: Images from architexturez.net

The Sparrow Knew – A Parable

Once in a village there was this farmer tilling his land from dawn to dusk.

His hard work was amply rewarded as the crops thrived and in time, laden with grains, ready for harvesting.

In the middle of the field a sparrow had built its nest. And by now with its brood of two little chicks.

One day when their mother was away, the little sparrows overheard the farmer telling his son: ‘We’ll begin the harvest from tomorrow early morning. I’ve called in our neighbours.’

When the mother returned in the evening, the alarmed chicks related the conversation and said they should move right away.

The mother becalmed the chicks: ‘Yes, we must move, but not yet, there’s time, I assure you.’

Next day morning,

Like the mother sparrow said the harvest did not begin.

During the day, once again, the little sparrows overheard the farmer telling his son: ‘Son, get ready, we’ll commence harvesting from tomorrow early morning. Our relatives have promised to help.’

In the evening when the mother heard from its chicks, she was unperturbed. ‘Not yet,’ she said.

The following morning,

There was no move to towards beginning the harvesting.

On this day, the farmer told his son: ‘Tomorrow, keep yourself free and ready. You and I – we’ll do it ourselves.’

In the evening, the mother and her chicks flew away to find a new home.


Source: moral stories and image from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Paws)

When The Gold Went On A Trip – A Children’s Story

Part 1

In a village off Ujjain, there lived a merchant Sukhdev. He had a shop in the town selling fabric and garments. He did brisk business and built up his wealth over the years.

Presently, a spate of robberies took place in his and neighbouring villages targeting the community of merchants and traders. When the King’s soldiers were brought in, the robbers would lie low; and resume their nefarious activities once the soldiers withdrew.

It made Sukhdev nervous; he knew for sure sooner or later he would be visited too.  A mitigating factor in his favour was: being a miser by nature, his Spartan household and life-style gave no hint of his affluence or the gold he had hoarded.  Nevertheless he decided to act.

One day, his son and he loaded the casks with his gold on a couple of donkeys, threw some clothes over to make it appear he was taking merchandise to the market. They marched off to a jungle just beyond the village. Keeping their eyes peeled for any observer or follower, they reached an abandoned temple inside the jungle, a place no one ventured to. Holes were dug in the ground with the help of the tools they carried. Carefully, without making noise, they carried the casks and lowered them one by one into the hole. Half-way through the job, the son paused.

‘Father, I think there’s someone out there. Let me go and look,’ he said, pointing to a thicket at some distance.

‘Take these with you, there could be some wild creatures,’ the father gave him some small tools.

After a while the son returned: ‘Just as I suspected, there’s a man lying there. Looks to be a beggar. Not to worry, he’s dead. Probably starved without food. Just to be sure, I nicked his ear. No sound or motion, dead as stone.’

They moved more casks.

This time it was the father: ‘Let me also go and check. It’s better to be doubly certain – this is my life-savings.’

He too returned in a few minutes, ‘You’re right, Son, the poor guy is gone. Like you did, just to be sure, I nicked his other ear. He won’t be needing them anymore.’

They finished their job, all the casks lowered into the hole. The hole was filled back with the dug-out earth, the surface flattened, dead leaves spread over, all to leave no signs of the spot having been dug up.

That night and the following, they slept peacefully.

Part 2

The man was not dead yet. A destitute who had hit the end of road and did not even have the energy to carry out what he contemplated – suicide. Starving for several days, he had fainted near the bush.

The sharp pain on his ear-lobe woke him up to see someone attack him with a sharp tool. Fearing worse, he simply played dead biting the pain somehow.

His attacker withdrew to a spot ahead where an elderly man was burying in the ground some urns.

Ignoring the pain he watched the proceedings.

After a while he saw the elderly man heading in his direction.

Quickly he resumed his posture.

He felt being kicked a couple of times and then a sharp pain this time on his other ear.

With great difficulty, he once again played dead.

Luckily for him, the elderly man went back to the spot without inflicting anymore damage.

And in a short while he saw them both leave all the time looking around for any prying eyes.

He waited. They could come back looking for something they had forgotten.

Once the coast was clear, he mustered his last ounce of energy, not minding the throbbing pain, made it to the spot, clawed away the soil with bare hands to reveal close to the surface the lid of a cask.

He took the lid off and peered into the cask. Thrust his hand in and grabbed a fist full of coins in gold and silver. That would set him up nicely to begin with, he thought.

Part 3

Monsoon arrived with a bang in Ujjain and the surrounding villages. Torrential rain caused streams of water to wash away anything in their way.

Sukhdev was worried. It would be calamitous if the top soil was carried away and the casks were exposed.

At the first instance of the rains letting up he son and he went back to check if the casks were safe in their place.

To their shock they found the hole uncovered and the casks missing. They looked around for any clues and found none.

They returned home devastated.

His son gathered his wits and said: ‘Father, we’ll find him and recover our treasure.’

‘How? We don’t know who took it.’

‘Did you notice one thing – we never got any news at any time of a dead-body being found in these parts? Because he was not dead. He saw us burying the casks…took them away after we were gone. That’s him, the guy we saw.’

’‘Be it so, how do we find him? We know nothing about him.’

‘Nothing? Father, don’t forget we nicked his both ears.’

‘How do we still find him in the multitude? Do we go around entire Avanti looking at people’s ears? You’re forgetting one more thing. Even if this guy walks right past us, we won’t figure out.’

‘Why so?’

‘Simple, because he is head would be encased in a turban. Notched ears are no badge of heroism to flaunt about.’

The old man had a point…in fact, several points, the son thought.

Part 4

Days, months passed. The son was no nearer to figuring out a way.

Two years later,

It was a Sunday. It was a once-a-month ritual: The old man was sitting there in the back-yard getting his hair cut by a barber. To be followed by an oil bath.

The man was not his usual self looking woebegone.

Sensing it, the barber tried to perk him up by engaging him in small talk and some village gossip: ‘I shouldn’t be saying this…but you know your neighbour’s son is losing hair at his young age…’

Suddenly an ‘Ah’ moment. Who would know but the personal barber?

He checked if the barbers networked among their kind.

They did, it turned out, directly or indirectly.

That’s it – he tasked the barber to find out through his network, for a handsome fee, the whereabouts of a man in thirties, possibly quite rich, with both his ears nicked.

Part 5

It was about one long month before they struck pay dirt.

On the far side of the city, he was spotted. His ex-barber whom he had dismissed recently spilled the beans. The man was a top jeweller in the city claiming several royal families among his clients.

The father and son rushed to meet the dismissed barber. They assured themselves the jeweller was indeed their man. It was easy to find out where he lived. It was a huge mansion guarded like a fortress by armed staff.  All their attempts to gain an entry or even get a message through to him failed.

They thought enough about the options and decided to approach the King. Though the King himself could be one of the clients for the jeweller.

The King holding a public court was easier to reach; he heard them out and summoned the jeweller to appear before him.

When he arrived, the father and son recognized him despite his opulence. But he could not; for, he had only seen them from a distance and when they stood close on that occasion his eyes were shut playing dead.

The King briefed him on why he was summoned to the court.

The jeweller looked at the complainants for a few moments. And then he readily admitted:

‘Yes, I did take those casks away from where you had buried. I used part of the gold in one of the casks as capital to start and build my business in gems and jewels. And whatever I’m today, it is the fruit of my labour. The remaining stuff, in fact, remains in a safe room even today untouched. Was planning to…’

The father and son breathed a sigh of relief. At least good part of their hoard still remained intact.

The jeweller further offered: ‘…it is okay by me for you to cart away your stuff anytime you wish as long as I’m adequately compensated for what you did to me.’

The son countered: ‘What you took from one of our casks – wasn’t that already an adequate compensation? We thought you were dead – why didn’t you scream when you were hurt?’

’I feared for my life. You were two, ready with tools and here I was sprawled on the ground…’

The wrangle was cut short by the King.

‘Listen, folks, here’s what I think,’ the King turned to the jeweller: ‘Thankfully you admitted to it without any run-around. Knowing you to be an upright person of ethical practices, I want to be fair to you. There’s a choice for you: Either you similarly nick the ears of these two and return all the casks, making good what you took from them or simply let them go with their casks as they are now.’  

The jeweller thought for a moment like a businessman he was. Was notching the two worth the gold he had taken? He decided against and opted to return the casks as-was.

When they received the casks, the father and son checked: five carried their original seals.  The sixth with its seal opened…

…too was full to its brim.

It was his ‘Thank You’ for starting him off to a meteoric success.


Source: Inspired by a story in Chandamama (1955), Images from Saddle Ridge Hoard discoverers via Kagin’s, Inc. and shutterstock.com

The Story Of Lost Gold, Wild-Cucumber And A Wise King – For Children

Part 1

He was a marginal farmer tilling a small piece of land, never getting enough for living off it. One day he decided enough was enough, he must try something else. So he set out on the road to the capital city of the kingdom.  

In the city he picked up the job of a helper with an old grocer. Over the years he impressed the owner with his hard work, honesty and helpful disposition. So much so, the childless grocer was happy to will the shop to him on his death.

Before long he took over as the shop, expanded his business and made more money.

With the money he had, he would buy gold. He thought it was unsafe to keep the gold at home. From time to time he would go to a near-by forest. Ensuring no one followed him or watched him, he would go to a certain spot amidst the trees, dig up a pot. He would carefully check if the contents were intact and then top it with the newly brought gold, put the pot back in its place and cover it with earth and dried leaves above so well no one would ever give the spot a second look.

He followed the practice for years without any hitch adding more pots over time.

And then

On one of his visits, the unexpected happenedhe found the ground disturbed at that spot. Frantically he dug up; and as he had feared there were no pots and no gold.

At one shot he had lost all his life’s earnings. And there was little he could do. He was absolutely positive no one ever followed him to this place or watched him dig up. It left him with no suspects to chase down.

He sank to the depths of despair. The only course now available to him, he thought, was to end his life.

He went up to the near-by river, waded to its deeper parts and then jumped head-long into its waters, looking neither to the right nor to the left.

It so happened the king of the land was also taking his bath at the same place. He observed what had happened and signalled his men to rescue the man immediately and bring him up.

The king asked him why did he want to end his life.

The man between his sobs narrated the story to the king.

The king was pensive for a while and then asked him how did he mark the place where the pots were hidden.

He said a lone wild-cucumber plant grew on the soil over the pots – he always dug out the pots taking care the plant was not harmed. He added the plant also went missing along with the gold.

A hint of a smile appeared on the king’s face. He assured the grocer he would try his utmost to recover his lost gold. If he did not succeed in his efforts, he would give him some gold from his treasury!

The king’s assurance did not do much to lift up his spirits. How in the world was the king going to find out who took the gold? There were no clues at all. Did the king have some magic mirror that revealed whereabouts of missing things? What would it amount to – the gold to be given by the king, if he did? Would it cover all that he had lost?

He returned home feeling not too sanguine about what was in store for him.

Kids, pause here before you read further. Would you believe if I tell you, all the facts are with you at this point to crack the case open! So think…what would be your tip to the king?

Part 2

Next day, the king complained to his minister about a certain vague tummy ache he felt. And asked him to get all the medical practioners (doctors) in the city to meet up with him. He would like to personally verify if they had treated anyone with symptoms like his.

The doctors were quickly rounded up and sent one by one to meet the king.

To each, the king would ask about the patients they had treated recently, what were their ailments and what were the medicines given as part of the treatment.

After several hours with numerous doctors, the king finally hit pay dirt. This doctor had a patient recently suffering from stomach related problems accompanied by general weakness, just like the king claimed to be going through. And how did he treat him? With the juice made from wild-cucumber, a vine/weed rarely seen in the land. So how did he get it? Well, his servant brought it for him from somewhere.

The servant was summoned. Upon questioning, he admitted to finding pots of gold in the forest. He defended himself – he did not think he was thieving someone else’s gold. It was not in anyone’s possession. He just found it and he took it.

He was persuaded to return the gold to its rightful owner. And was compensated adequately by the king.

Everyone was impressed with the king’s smart sleuthing.

What made the king follow this line of investigation, the minister asked him privately.

The king explained: Since the victim was very confident no one had ever seen him go to the spot or watched him dig, it was clear finder of the gold had not gone to the spot specifically in search for gold. He had no way of knowing gold being hidden there. So the only reason that brought him to the spot was the wild-cucumber plant. The plant is often used by medical practioners to treat stomach related ailments. While fetching the plant, by sheer chance the servant discovered the pots! And you know how he found the servant!

The grocer gave part of the gold to the king’s treasury and some to the servant as a gesture of appreciation.

Did you see it coming?


Source: Adapted from a story in Chandamama (July, 1955)

Images: Daily Mail, Toutube, Free Press Journal, facebook and eBay