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A quick tale 119

A lift home

It is one of those rare occasions when he is in a car with someone he barely knows. She had offered to drop him home because it was on her way. And he accepted. Now there's 45 minutes of journey time to be filled with conversation. He starts off by thanking her very much for the offer. Oh it's nothing, she dismisses. And that's the end of that. So he sits trying to think of another conversation starter. Her work. How long has she been at the job, he asks. 18 months. And before that? She used to be in a different job. Oh, ok. And what was that, he wonders. Same thing, she says. Oh, ok. And why did she leave her earlier job? The boss harrassed me. He is sorry to hear that. More silence follows.

Should he ask her about her family? May be something less personal. Perhaps cricket. Or politics. Or reality tv. He looks up and remarks how terrible the weather is. Yes, she nods, terrible weather indeed. Nice shoes, he says. Yeah, thanks. I've always liked good shoes, he says, god, I love a pair of good legs. He does not know how the last bit slipped out. Awkward pause. I didn't mean it that way, he stumbles. You have nice legs. And I like a woman with good legs. But I don't fancy you. Not that you are not fancyable. But you're not my kind. He rambles uncontrollably. Do I take a right here? she asks. He can sense the iciness in her tone. Yes, please. The next house on the left. He gets out, thanks her, runs inside and shuts himself into a closet. He doesn't want to see another human for the next ten years.

Comments

Newton said…
Hahaha.. I was squirming in my chair :D
Anonymous said…
Looks like he is Jeff Murdock from Coupling
R S said…
Hi Ammani,

I have been a regular reader of your blog. After the initial few wonderful articles, I got the feeling that you were writing to merely get better at the exercise than to convey a point. Don't take me amiss: the pieces were still very very good, only they lacked the sting of the initial gems. But here, you are really back to your best! This piece really affected me more than any of the previous many. Maybe you should write more about issues that really affect you as a person. As is with most writers, they bring out the best in you.

In order that my feedback remains strictly what I feel, untempered by political correctness,

I remain,

Anon

I agree with anon's comment. Jikku, cricketers take rest.

To all "whatever-jikku-writes-is-my sustenance@ commentators, please dont make her blog boring (which anyway is).

regards,
ravi
Anonymous said…
Ravi, thank you. I was wondering if there was something wrong with me feeling that way!!
I feel exactly the same way about her writings. Although they're still good, it seems like she's making such an effort to write, while her earlier ones were pure talent
Anonymous said…
Is this a repetition? I remember reading this earlier.

karthik
Reshma said…
I loved this one!
this was hilarious. a freudian slip, n then the struggle! brought me a smile!
dogmatix said…
LOL!! Funny , i have been forced to eat crow many times coz of these 'gems' that just fly out of my mouth!!
Aside
Arent we glad to be living in the times of Anon and Ravi!! Crusaders of quality blogging and quality commenting!!

Ill tell u what is boring and repetitive... people saying that 'its not good as the original'. Well! that is totally subjective, every commentator is entitled to his/her opinion . What u find 'boring' might be the most original idea according to someone else.

so while u are free to convey your thoughts, saying that others are somehow 'lesser mortals' just because they happen to like jikku's blogs is not too right.
The story from the other end:

She had offered him a ride home. Something she had never done before. But he looked like the right guy to give a lift to. Tall, handsome. Well! Not really. But he had a nice smile. And seemed like someone who wasn't the everyday guy you meet at work. In the car she liked his blabbering nervousness. His discomfiture. A change from the suave and smooth James Bondian guys she had met before. Terrible weather, he discovered and she nodded. What a lame piece of cliched conversation. Terrible weather indeed. Then he burst, nice shoes, pair of good legs and blah! Then he made the cardinal sin - I don't fancy you, he declared, you are not my kind. Her face fell, a deflated balloon. Do I take a right here? Iciness in tone. He got out mumbled some thanks and ran indoors. She drove to her own lonely apartment. Why can't I have a decent relationship with someone nice? Am I a nice-guy repellant, she cried to herself. I don't want to see another human for the next ten years.
Bubby said…
Good one - Ammani and Speech is golden :)

Happy Star(Tamizh) birthday to you Ammani tomorrow! Atleast nalaikkavadu un kayyala samayal (sweet) panni kozhandaikku kudumma!
Anonymous said…
jeff frm coupling .... :)

- hurry.
I said…
I hope that woman doesn't go on Blanknoise and talk about sexual harrassment.
That was a real good one Ammani and what Arignar Annavin Thambi said was hilarious :-)
Deepa said…
That was funny Ammani. Ravi, I am looking forward to your starting a blog and writing interesting stuff.:-)
Rubic_Cube said…
LOL @ speech is golden. That was classy!

Ammani - another beautiful one. Somebody already mentioned the word "freudian slip". An "uh-oh" moment that downslides. Happens all the time, doesnt it?

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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.

-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 …