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A quick tale 11

A very brief affair

As love affairs go, hers was a fleeting experience. He was a boy who lived across the street. She was standing at her doorstep waiting for a friend to arrive. He caught her eye and smiled. She smiled back. He asked her for her name. She replied. And the school she went to. She answered. Her aunt appeared on the scene and the following week, she was sent packing away to her grandmother’s house in a nearby town.

Some months later, she was married to an army man who was on vacation. Many years later, she sat listening to the priest who performed her husband’s funeral rites. He was telling her that she had to lead an austere widow’s life from then on. She found herself wondering what it would have been like if she had married the boy from across the street. A boy whose name she never asked.


Oh Boy! I think u must write a book.
u R so good at it.
Sundaresan said…
Harish said…
hmmm.. doesn't quite have the "Ammani" touch. don't know why :(
AF said…
Good One!!
ansh said…
ammani...ore feelingsa pochu!
good one again!
Vidya said…
Reading all your posts, I think you have an excellent style of writing. And btw, your kid is dam cute!
I came here from the comment you left on my blog.
For this particular blog - I think the sad part is she never got a chance to talk to that guy across the street. She did not have the opportunity to decide what she wanted. It's very thought provoking - I am thinking of the possibilities:
1) Her aunt didnt 'catch' her - she met the guy, soon realized he's a jerk, then got married to the army guy, who unfortunately got killed. She would have then accepted this as a part of life and accepted it without having to look back at the other guy.
2) Her aunt didn't catch her, she met the guy, realized he's the one, eloped with him. For arguments sake, let's say something bad happened and they separated. Now she has no one to go back to. Her family is angry with her for eloping, and she has not a single soul to help her. She is alone. She thinks, I wish I had done things differently.

Personally, when it comes to love/marriage, I have read somewhere that it's difficult for some people not to have some small regret. When times are tough, the person looks back, and thinks 'what if...'. Possibilities are endless especially with something as complex as love.
I think the crux of the story is that she didn't have a choice to decide what she wanted, rather she was forced and so, and then things ended badly, so it seems terrible.

Shyam said…
You're one heck of a writer... you should think about compiling and publishing your "quick tales" - although to be honest, this one isnt quite as good as all the others preceding it.
To add:
But then she realised, if she had chosen the "other" option, in every significant step of her life, things could have been far worse too. And with that thought, she decided that the life past was best being what it was and nothing could have made it any better.
PVS said…
Nice one, but missing the Ammani touch
Uma said…
Ammani, PVS & Harish have said what I was thinking, something is missing this time :(
Shyam said…
It's me again, Ammani. Since you dont have a tagboard sort of thing, I'm having to leave this message here.

Anyway, here goes - I've been reading through all your old posts (not just the quick tales) and they're absolutely compelling... very very readable! I'm glad I've linked you on my blog. :) Write, write, write lots more.

Where are you in the UK, btw?
Praveen said…
I have the same thing to say too...Ammani trademark missing on this one :(
mischief editor said…
it is very much in line with mrs.n

running short of ideas...uh?
or not 'overhearing' nowadays:-)
Uma said…
Ammani, re-read this post just now and I have to say it feels different this time around. I liked this time around

How useless as am I, changing my mind so often!!
Morpheus said…
well written....
BridalBeer said…
Weird. Even I liked it on a second read.

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Married for 31 years, 2 months and 17 days
Six cups coffee a day, brewed everyday of marriage
Three meals a day,
At least two dishes cooked, each meal-time
One snack for every Sunday
Big basket of clothes ironed every Tuesday
Average 18 items of clothing washed per day
Three children
1 miscarriage
One mother-in-law suffered
900 sq metre of floor space mopped, once a day
One caesarean endured
3 chicken poxes, 2 measles, 2 fractures, 8 diarrhoeas, depression, conjunctivitis every summer, 1 tonsilitis and countless common colds and flues
1 job held for 29 years
6 hours slept every night
Sex tolerated every 2nd week
Religious rituals everyone of them, carried out
Not one of them, believed in
Lived 52 years and some
Died exhausted

Overheard, “At least she had the satisfaction of having lived for her family”

The Saturday Poem

Found this in yesterday's paper. Again, I wish I'd written it.


Now and Then

"Now that I'm fifty-seven",
My mother used to say,
"Why should I waste a minute?
Why should I waste a day

Doing the things I ought to
Simply because I should?
Now that I'm fifty-seven
I'm done with that for good."

But now and then I'd catch her
Trapped in some thankless chore
Just as she might have been at
Fifty-three or fifty-four

And I would say to her
(And I have to bite my tongue)
That if you mean to learn a skill
It's well worth starting young

And so, to make sure I'm in time
For fifty, I've begun
To do exactly as I please
Now that I'm thirty-one.

-Sophie Hannah

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Jai Ragothaman Iyengar! Jai Padmavathi! Come one, Come all!


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