Skip to main content

A quick tale 86

Moral of the story

Your shirt is creased badly. Again. Whoever ironed it hasn’t bothered to do it properly and you now have three crease lines running parallel to each other from shoulder to wrist. Today is also the day when your socks decide to lose their elasticity and slump listlessly around your ankles. And I hate to add this, just this morning you discovered a small bald patch on your crown.

In short, it has been a miserable start to the day and while sitting in your car, waiting for the traffic lights to turn green, you remember that you’ve left some important papers behind at home and you’re already running late. So you curse some more. Precisely at that moment, a little boy comes up to your car window and points to his mouth and stomach and begs for your kindness. A few coins please, saab. I haven’t had food in three days, saab, he pleads. He’s not lying, you can tell. The caved-in stomach and sunken eyes and scrawny legs and the strong smell of poverty he reeks support his claim.

You know this the point in the story when you’re supposed to feel grateful for the shirt on your back and the coins that jangle in your pocket and quit moaning and make peace with your life and be misty-eyed and remorseful and all that. But no. You don’t feel anything. And to be honest, you’re still pissed off about your shirt.

Comments

meghna said…
u r the classiest!
Phoenix said…
Feeling happy for you having shirt, money and food by looking at someone who is not having all of them. I dont know how to categorize that "Happiness", if at all it exists. But I dont blame someone for not feeling happy by comparing him to a person who doesnt have food.

Maybe i am missing your point too I dont know
post said…
i know i am lucky to have all that i have, but all these material things do not equal happiness.

but that doesn't stop me from giving to the poor.

oh wait, why am i talking about me?

great story. :)
monu said…
great story!
i love the way u describe them all.......narration, rather..
:)

that was something i was thinking about too...the other day i was carrying a huge luggage(laptops can be heavy) and hesitating to take an auto to save up some bucks and wishing that i had an unending source of money......

and saw this little girl balancing herself on her knees on a plate on a rope tied high between two poles...and my unhappiness disappeared..but there was a guilt of finding happiness at the thought that someone is less blessed than i am......

your story reminded me of that....
apu said…
Ungrateful soul :-) But nice story...(i liked the content more than the style this time btw)
The Muse said…
Woah! You are good! I just came across your blog meandering in from Praveen's and was totally..um...totalled!!!

Excellent job! I am gonna blogroll you! And make sure I read all your archives as well! 85 quick tales eyt to be read...I better get started!
Shyam said…
Regrettably true to life...
i'd lamented wen my flite to india was delayed coz of the mumbai floods.was more worried abt that than the thousands who suffered.can totally empathize :(
hi, you have been tagged..Please visit my blog..
Jeevan said…
Very nice. all beg for ther life.
Nachiketas said…
So true, so very true....u simply rock!!!!
Jyothi said…
Not fair!!
You took up all my time when I went through those 85 quick tales - and what's more, you manage to do it again!!
Your quick tales give me so much to think about.
Just too good...
U are really good and original...

I admire the practical feel...

Hats off

Ram
Kika Gops said…
I hope, that each one of us who read the quick tale 86 of Ammani, to spend few minutes thinking of those unpreviliged people in India and hope we can all swear that we will atleast Rs.5 when we come across any poor soul. Its very small compared to what we earn these days, or adopt for a child's education. After all we have all reached heights only due to the education we were given.
Prakash said…
Long time reader, first time post-er.

Most stories would've ended with the person forgetting about his shirt, bald patch etc. Your story is more real life!
keerthi said…
whoa !!i thought the milk train stopped. Great.. good you are back, and looks like missed a lot of QTs..

BTW, irritation/frustration on the beginning of the day is a great feeling. Seriously..

ammani, unga inspirationoda i wrote this.. can you feedback ? :)
Anonymous said…
"Just another day for you, you 'n me in paradise"! Good piece.

SAUMYA
Sookraj said…
Wow, it's amazing how reading a Phil Collins quote can put a downer on your day ;)

A nice tale, the middle paragraph feels a little too sledgehammer like. Maybe it's a personal thing though, but I kind of feel that the mediocre, day-to-day frustrations of the first page were enough of a set up.
King Kong said…
my first time on your blog. You blog is one of the best blogs I have come around recently.
Anonymous said…
A comment on "A quick tale 84"...
This might be a late comment on that story..
Yes Ammani,I agree with you that certain rules and certain customs that we follow are baseless and meaning less..But in the real sense,we need some rules to have a control on oneself...Control of mind and body...Human mind likes to roam freely without any bondages...Only that the rules that we are made to follow against our wish make them to be thought as bonds that bind us forever into the mesh...But its not so...sometimes naama murandu pidikkum kuzhanthaiyidam poochaandi kaati nam vazhikku kondu varugirom allava athu pol thaan...koncham kooda kattupadu illatha vaazhkkaiyil onrum illai...The control on one's self is very important and a few rule/regulations---considered as part of our culture may seem stupid and reasonless..But they have a greater meaning..as to keep ourselves in a better state and high above others....


Saranya

You May Also Like

Guest blog by Chinna Ammani

Here’s an interesting write-up by Chinna Ammani on stereotypical portrayals in Indian adverts. The opinion expressed is strong and the language uncompromising. Read at your own peril!-a

The Aiyaiyo Syndrome

These days I do what is called as a shooting supervision. When ads are filmed (with lip sync) in Tamizh, my job is to teach models their lines and rehearse with them. Most of them are from Mumbai and are non-Tamilians. So when they have to do a line in Tamil, for example "Adanaaladan Dettol ubayogikaren" (And that's why I use Dettol) , they invariably say "Aadanaladaanu naanu Detttaalu ubayogikkareanu" (Something hideous). Their exaggerated delivery of our supposed accent is all thanks to Hindi actor Mehmood. My blood pressure rises and I yell "DO NOT DO A MEHMOOD HERE. WE DO NOT SPEAK LIKE THAT".

Though their voice is dubbed later with a Tamil voice-over, I ensure that they pronounce it the non-Mehmood way. Mehmood has done this major damage to us So…

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.

-Sophie Hannah

Lost in Post

To a little boy

It cannot be easy being you. A follow-up act to your more devilishly charming, flamboyant older brother. Before you were born, I was convinced that no child could ever take the special place your brother had come to occupy in my life. I used to argue with your father you would always be a second-born. A runner-up. A bridesmaid (or a best-man, as you turned out to be). That you could never be the prized, cherished, celebrated apple of my eye that my firstborn child was. But how easily you tore down my flimsy little conviction. The minute I saw you, I knew I was gone. What was worse, I succumbed willingly.

My fears that you would be overshadowed by your brother have proven unfounded. Over the past year, you have come into your own as a person. Your brother demands and challenges our love and attention. You, on the other hand, are much more accepting of our distractions with him. It is almost as if you understand that he is used to being the star of the show for much of his…

I ask, you write

Okay, here's the idea. I ask you a question and you write a short story explaining it. Let me give you an example.

What happened when young Padmavathi was drawing water from the well to wash her clothes, early one Margazhi morning?

Annon's story

One morning when Padmavathi was drawing water from the well, she found Pettai Rowdy # 1 Govindarajulu inside the bucket! She dropped it at once and Govindarajulu went down and down and hit the bottom of the well with a Nung sound. His upper and lower teeth fused together and since then he has been fed intravenously. Pettai Rowdy # 2, Ragothaman Iyengar, who suggested this to Govindarajulu, now rules the roost.

After marrying Padmavathi, he is inviting all of you to a water drawing ceremony at the new well they dug in their house.

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

-

Here's a question for you.

What happened that made young Meenakshi change her mind about the parrot green saree she had originally chosen and go for a …