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Ready, Steady, Charity - 21

Words: Baby, Cigarette, Kamal Haasan, Burp, Goddess, Disposable.

Neha says, "Decided to combine three words from 2 requests. Six words now. Just like that!"

She wondered if the Goddess had written Mylapore Maami on her forehead the minute she was born. At the age of sixty-four, she was too old to change her habits. Orthodox by default . In the years following the birth of their first child, she had become involved in housekeeping. The baby took much of the time. Her MA in Mathematics had landed her a good husband. The nice rational man wrote regular letters to The Hindu apropos of this and that, while she was pushed to the corner to become more traditional to balance the entire household.

Her husband however had become more religious since his retirement. It was this that annoyed her the most. Would their karmic equations be the same? What use of observing rituals from the age of twenty three onward, if a retired man was going to gather as many brownie points to enter heaven. He had decided to go on a sudden trip to Rameshwaram. Religion was so much fun for retired men she thought. She wanted to retire too. She took care of their grandchild instead. Everyone kept yapping about how much easier it was with disposable nappies and what not. You still have to wipe the shit off their bums she thought. She wanted to shave off her husband's moustache without his knowledge she thought, the only man who looks good with facial hair is Kamal Haasan.

She goes to the Pooja Room. She strikes a match and lights an incense stick. Nobody else was at home. She then took a cigarette out from behind the picture of Ganesha. The Lord of Good Beginnings. She lit the cigarette with the same match. The smell of incense would overpower nicotine. Besides, the heat in Madras burnt all odours. This strange habit had brought out all the skills of connivance wired into a Mylapore Maami. Going all the way to Pondy Bazaar, and demanding a pack of Wills Navy Cut every week from an always-puzzled shopkeeper.

That night, while serving her son and his wife Pepper Rasam, a burp found its way through her mouth. Her son looked at her with some sternness. She would have cried, but with every burp, she tasted a bit more of her afternoon cigarette. And grinned.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Now what was that
SIMBLY MIND-BLOWING

Fire eater
Anonymous said…
THIS WAS A TRUE MASTER-PIECE !!!
The Visitor said…
LOL... does it really happen?
S said…
brilliant!!
Mahadevan said…
Marked Mylapore Mami, orthodox by default, M.A. Mathematics with a 'mama' for husband who writes letters to "The Hindu" - what a fine portrayal. Mylapore on anyday can lend itself to the charms of a "Malgudi" in capabale hands, as is evident now.

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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

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-

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