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I ask, you write 4

Thank you all for your wonderful response so far. Here's the next question to which you write a story in explanation.

You haven't spoken to your best friend Jalajasri for nearly two years. Do you remember what caused the rift between the two of you?

Like always, please keep your stories short and post them in the comment box. Thank you.

Please scroll down for earlier questions


Jasmine said…
How can you even ask that, Vaishali? Of course I remember why I don't speak to her anymore! She stole my eggs! That's right, she did! She said that they were her eggs, but I know! How do I know? How could I not have known? No, one egg does not look like another! I know what kind of eggs my precious Kalyani used to lay! As big as eagle's eggs they were! I used to charge an extra twenty paisa for them, and nobody ever complained! People used to ask for Kalyani's eggs, you know. And then one day she stopped laying eggs! Day after day - no eggs! People started going to Jalajasri's store after that, because her eggs had suddenly become bigger! If my husband hadn't sold my Kalyani to Hakim that Id, I would have found out the truth, too. That daughter of a so-and-so, pretending to be my friend! No, I'm not going to talk to her again, no matter what you say, Vaishali, no.
A4ISMS said…
Yes, we had been the best of friends, yes, we had been inseparables....yes, I had trusted the woman with all my secrets. She had known that I was suffering from Spondylosis and that I was snowed down by 5 bundles of the Half yearly papers to correct. So when it was my turn to entertain the ladies of the kitty, I naturally ordered food from outside. Only Jalajasri, that asp that I had kept close to my bosom knew about it.She knew I'd be ostracized by those snooty matrons if they came to know that I hadn't cooked anything at home. In fact, she had helped me empty all the tell-tale packets from the caterers and get rid of them without leaving any trace behind.
And just when Mrs. Bakshi congratulated me on my Muttar paneer, she had the cheek to quip, 'We should tell the maharaj about it, he'll be delighted no swarna? And while we are at it we should also compliment him on these malai koftas....they are juuussst divine!'
My kitty group hasn't spoken to me eversince, nor have I to that snake in the grass.
Shyam said…
Do I remember, you ask? I wish I could forget that back stabbing, self-serving b*tch! After all that I did for her when they moved to this city on a transfer - helping with admission for her snivelling daughter in the prestigious school that my Sreeja attended (actually getting her into the same class!), introducing her to the headmistress to whom I was very close, arranging for her to meet the other mothers and my kitty party friends, putting in a good word for her husband at our club… oh, the list is endless! She was my friend, my best friend, and I couldn’t do enough for her. When my friends praised her to the skies, I was happy. When she became head of the parent-teacher association, I was thrilled. When she was asked to be the compere at the school function, I was pleased for her. All this wasn’t enough – she just had to get it all!

How, you ask? Our esteemed Education Minister was going to give away the prizes at the function and the headmistress had actually told me that Sreeja might be asked to present him a bouquet at the beginning and make a pretty little welcome speech. How I slaved away at the speech! I even showed it to Jalajasri to get her opinion. I could see my little Sreeja so clearly on the stage, being photographed by the press and getting her photo with our esteemed Education Minister in all the papers. I made Sreeja practise the speech over and over until she had it word perfect.

On the day of the function, even as my Sreeja got ready to go on stage, my so-called friend coolly announced her own daughter’s name to present the bouquet to the waiting Minister. To add insult to injury, the speech that the girl gave was the same one that I’D prepared for MY daughter!

And you ask me if I remember what caused the rift???
Shyam said…
oh bother it, I cant seem to keep 'em short :(
Annon said…
Jalajasri and I were both expert marksmen. We had even gone together to an Asiad long ago, but the Chinese shooters were better. Now we were older, married and lived in nearby blocks. Once in a while when the husbands had gone off to work, we would take up cigarette packets and shoot at them, just for fun.

Two years ago, I was washing clothes, when I found holes in Raghuvarans underwear. I said, he is being careless again, but they were in each one, and I realized they were bullet holes. There are only two people in this block who could do this, and I wasn’t the one. It must have been Jalajasri. I didn’t want to break up a 20 year friendship because of some holes in my husband´s underwear, but it made me very angry she was shooting at it, so I confronted her.

She said, “Oh no, I thought it was yours” and that only made me angry. I only wore Lois Panties. She knew that. I would never wear something with Singam, Puli, Arnie on it.

I havent spoken to her since.

(works for Arnie, Puli, Lois of Ready, Steady, Charity as well)
Annon said…
markswomen, my bad, many apologies
deepa said…
People often mistook us for twins, the nonidentical variety, of course. If only they knew. Jalajasri, my friend, philosopher, guide and in my mind, my love. It was my secret, the only one I kept from her. What was the hurry in voicing my feelings when our whole life was ahead.

And then it happened.

She came running to me that fateful day and asked me to extend my hand. She tied a rakhi around it. I haven't spoken to her since. My best friend indeed, what a joke.
Maya Reiss said…
"New School!" they told me. "English medium!","ICSE!","Quality","Standard".. I heard them say.."New friends" They tried to convince me.. I would love it.. They were sure.. And I did not. I hated it. A class of 23 snotty 12 year olds who gave me one look and collectively dismissed me.. for wearing two plaits folded up with dark blue ribbon, for wearing my anklets over my socks, for smelling like coconut oil, and for bringing curd rice for lunch instead of cheese sandwiches. Being ignored.. For a whole month. They wouldn't look at me if I stood in their path, not that I dared to. I hated it. I hated the school. I hated them and I had begun to hate myself.
Until Jalajasri talked to me.
After a week in that horrible class, she smiled at me, and we walked home together that day, holding hands. She was kind. She didn't care what the other girls thought. She liked me the way I was, not that I knew very well.. We could talk about anything.. We had nicknames for all the snotty girls in class.. We rolled our eyes imitating them and burst out laughing.. I was finally happy. She was my best friend, my confidante, my sister almost, the best thing that had happened to me. I didn't feel miserable anymore.
Then they caught us whispering in class. I remember how the teacher stared at us, and the whole class turned to look at the two of us.. in the back bench.. "Atleast they were looking at me, finally!", I whispered to her once class resumed. I don't know whether they heard me again, coz they all stopped and stared again. The teacher looked upset when I refused to tell her who I was talking to.. As if I would betray my best friend!
Then Papa took me to the doctor. I think they thought I was mad. They said she was imaginary! Jalajasri! As if I was stupid! I don't know when I stopped talking to her.. I think it was the night Amma held me to her chest and sobbed. I didn't want her to cry. She made me promise I wouldn't talk to Jalajasri. Ever.
Anonymous said…
Ammani, a question for you. Why not imagine people's names to be something other than ones that bring to mind typical mamis or mamis-to-be?

As for Jals,
who said anything about a rift? Yes, we haven't spoken in 2 whole years now. Just because of circumstances. Ones which life throws at us suddenly, inexplicably, on the cliched 'quiet tuesday afternoons'. Circumstances which I can't talk about and not ones you'd care to know about.
ammani said…
Anon, there's no particular reason why I choose those names. Let not the images the name conjures up in your mind stop you from spinning a tale. Whoever said Kamakshi had to wear diamond earrings and make vadams in the mottai madi? You could well have her talking aeronautics. As a writer you have the choice. What's stopping you?
Anonymous said…
Yes, names don't make a person. But imagine how it is for the reader (ok, A reader) who comes to your blog and sees yet another 'akshi' or 'sri' in the center of today's action? Don't get me wrong, I love the names, the stories, tamizh and tambrams. Its just that..

Why can't Josephine be doing something trivial enough for the world to write about?

-'Lalitha', a proud and certified mami in the making.
Anonymous said…
Yes, 2 years and counting.
2 years since the riots happened. 2 years since Jallu lost her dad.

It was around 8pm that Friday evening when the police lifted the curfew. Abbajan and Ammi were mighty disappointed at not having been able to go for namaaz. We heard a knock on the door and Abbajan looked through the peephole before opening. It was Jallu. Her face was streaked with tears and blood. When Abba and Ammi asked her to come in and explain what happened, she pushed them away, walked straight up to me and said "I dont ever want to talk to you again! Amma tells me that your people are bad, they are the ones that came and attacked appa and killed him. We are all moving to nana's house soon, but I hate you!" and stormed out.

I hope she is doing well now, wherever she is. I dont know if this is a rift, but its true........its been 2 years since I talked to Jalajasri.
Anonymous said…
I started working. Started ignoring her, ignoring other friendships. First came the quick, stilted and compulsory phone calls, and then communication stopped at a few awkward words spoken across the hallway. Then she moved, and a day later I left for India. She was four hours away, but she might as well have crossed the ocean. Started corresponding through letters, and things became a bit better. Then she moved again, this tme to Canada. Haven't talked to her in three weeks now. It hurts.

It was my fault.
Anonymous said…
that bitch!!! she stole my $250 dildo and my girlfriend... now you want me to talk to her??
Caffeinism said…
So much of laughter over ridiculous things, growing at each others places, sharing secrets and clothes, thinking of her as a sister especially since I was a lonley only child...seemed like a dream come close to perfection...then I fell in love with her brother...

The words have dried up since then...
I see her take the morning bus, in the kovil on Saturday evenings, when she comes home to drop goodies that her mom has made...But we remain two strangers caught in the past...

A friend lost over a relationship which anyway never meant to be...
monu said…
Oh, We weren't farsighted,We couldn't see that somewhere along the horizon, our difference would nerge into nothingness.....
Boskoe said…
Jalajasri - so thats what "she" is called now; I remember - our long walks in the rain, the secrets that we shared, our list of things-to-do-before-we-died that we used to discuss with each other,...

somehow, did not realize that "sex change" was one of the things in your list! two years ago, srikumar decided that he is actually a woman trapped in a man's body and decided to "cross-over". i did not agree with him, called him a eunuch, called him confused,... eventually - we stopped speaking to each other.

I wonder why? Probably - I was too embarassed...I did not want to be associated with him / her. or probably, guilt - that inspite of being his / her best friend, I did not understand him!
B o o said…
We both got married one after the other and time just flew. May be I should give her a call now and surprise her. Or may be not. Shes the one who did nt come to my wedding. Let her call!
ranganathan said…
கொஞ்சம் யோசிச்சுப் பாருங்க...

நான் வந்தா போறும்...உடனே என்கிட்ட வருவா...பக்கத்துல உக்காருவா...மோந்து பாப்பா...
ஒரு நாள், தப்பா அவளோட பிஸ்கட்ட சாப்டுட்டேன்...கடிக்க வந்துட்டா..அதுலேந்து ப்ரச்னைதான்!

ஜலஜாஸ்ரீக்கு வாய் விட்டு பேசத் தெரியாது. இப்பவும் என்னைப் பாத்தா 'வள் வள்' தான்!
ammani said…
Aha! So you too thought we were best friends? I don't blame you. After all, we spent much of our waking moments together. Poor Jillu with her puppy dog expression! How she would cling to to me like her life depended on it. And how she craved for my approval in everything she did. And to be fair, I needed Jillu nearly as much as she needed me. You see, her dad was a film producer and if you remember, he was the one who cast me as Haribabu-sir's sister in the super hit Nuvvula Mudda. Of course, my next films weren't that big commercially. But another small role in Errani Korrathani Gopala got me noticed by Sivasamudram-sir and he has already signed me for four movies. I heard Jillu is now married to a businessman and is expecting her first child. I'm so busy these days I barely have time for my mother. Let alone some old friend from the past. But send her my wishes the next time you meet her, will you?
Irsa Jalajasri, was the best palindrome a poet like me can meet. We saw each other for a while. I saw him in all ways from all sides. He was the same. Letters landed on him and thousands of ideas took of every day to far off unknown rhymes. Its been two years.

Its high time I get operated and wipe that tatto from my back and put it on my forearm again. Just like the old times. So that I can talk to it for hours, as I sit alone here in dungeon.
Sachin R K said…
You haven't spoken to your best friend Jalajasri for nearly two years. Do you remember what caused the rift between the two of you?

Sure I do...She said I looked fat in that new salwar kameez. That was rich coming from her, who weighed 80 kilos if she weighed one. God rot her fat soul in hell.

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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
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900 sq metre of floor space mopped, once a day
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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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Annon's story

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

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