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A quick tale 31

Process

It was her father’s favourite time of the week - Sunday mornings. He would open the paper, skim through the news and skip straight to the matrimonial columns. He’d sit in the front verandah, sifting through every single advertisement, circling suitable ones for future reference. Once he’d read all the ads, he would retreat to his room to write letters to the earmarked advertisers. He would place a carbon sheet under a paper, draw a tiny ‘2’ on top – a salutation to Lord Ganesha and begin writing. All his letters began the same way - ‘Dear Sir, With reference to your advertisement in the Hindu dated…’

Once finished, he would remove his copy and place it in a file marked ‘Marriage correspondence’. He would then dab turmeric stains on all four corners of the original, fold it in two, attach his daughter’s horoscope and place both sheets of paper on the altar where his mother’s photo would be hanging. Later, he would take the envelopes to the city main post office – the only one open on a Sunday, weigh them, check all the details once more, say a prayer invoking Lord Rama before pushing it down the postal chute. And the interminable wait would begin.

Comments

thennavan said…
Let the first comment be mine. Nothing about this but you are prominent on ChennaiCentral today :-)
wookie said…
I like the way you have explained this sunday ritual. I liked the flow. The other stories seem too hasty.
thennavan said…
BTW, your son looks very cute :-)
wookie said…
hey thennavan I think I beat ya or did we post at the same time?
Balakumar said…
This would have to be the longest QT by you! :) Very "visual" description.

Non-related - it is amazing how ubiquitous "The Hindu" is in Tamil households.
Shyam said…
Yup, a much more leisurely tale, this :)
Anonymous said…
Is that story for 1990's?
A little out of touch with this and not sure if it is still the same

- Morpheus
PVS said…
Its still the same. Only difference is that the Internet and email has also been included in the search.
F e r r a r i said…
I can relate this to many of my uncles. Good one. As Shyam said, a very nice leisurely read :-)
Anjali said…
No idea about this ritual.They may have tried this out fro my mum and mama.As usual Ammani shines .
Very accurate description, with the pullayar suzhi and applying manjal on the four corners!!! Lovely tale.:)
Anonymous said…
A truly good one! A typical middle-class father ..
srini said…
only a father (in that situation) can understand what he is going through. indeed sometimes interminably long waits!!!
kaaju katli said…
So evocative! I could actually see this in my mind's eye. Beautifully told di!
hari said…
Hi Ammani,

I have seen many father of guys doing these rounds as well. So there are demanding females as well as males in today's world. That is fine proposition.
Balaji said…
Ammani,

This was the case for my aunt.

But nowadays its Tamilmatrimony.com; shaadi.com; kalyanamalai.net and so on and its not the fathers but the prospective brides and grooms
trv said…
i like it. the relaxed movements of the father, the prayers, the veranda..i can't find any of these now.
AF said…
Very nice one Ammani.
Its very true..

AF
Tangent said…
A slice of life.

Shrinkwrapped. And frozen.
For a future recollection.
Chakra Sampath said…
you hav painted the scene in words.. accurate description!!
None said…
* QT template * activated.
Version QT1 sequenced! :)

cheers!
RS said…
Hmm...Nice :)...thought your last line would be something like:

"He did the very same thing for six months before his daughter came back holding hands with her American fiance'".
divya said…
a picture, a post-card!! a precise description.....my thatha flashed in my eyes as this was his routine!!...been arnd here a liitle bit.....liked it!! loved the cookery blog too......cya!!
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
This, when my folks are "hunting" for me !!!! Maan , do I feel helpless @ times!
keerthi said…
"And the wait began. The wait for a separation, that he couldnt stand."

Ammani - Im Keerthi, here thru Thennavan. Very interesting blog yours.
Eroteme said…
A tale told as it is...
Very simply captured. Nice. All that rigmarole taking various forms at different stages...
Random Access said…
Very articulate..I can definitely relate this to what my father went through for my sis! And as Bala said, by far the longest of ur posts! Simple yet capturing the essence perfectly as always...

Random Access
The search has just begun !!!
Random Access said…
And RS, u do always dream about stories, dont u? ;)

Random Access
The search has just begun !!!
Anni said…
You are right.But the time is changing now.Girls are no more scapegoats in the nuptial market.Boys are !!!
vandhiya thevan said…
I know it's a story. Still I want the father's wait to come to a happy end.
Pardeshi said…
Ammani,
your story sounds so real with the "tiny 2".Perhaps now it is the turn of the groom's father to go for such a hunt , as I read in a recent french edition of National Geographic that the female/male ratio in India is going down
Very insightful and so true. As already suggested, one small addition to this post. Having www.tamilmatrimony.com as your homepage and checking it every morning to see that one profile that would make your day and maybe your life, not to mention your daughter's.

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Bio-data

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”


http://jikku.blogspot.com/2005/02/quick-tale-3.html#c111042815438237631

The Saturday Poem

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

-a

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.

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