Skip to main content

A quick tale 162

Sun TV is on Channel 56

Your daughter is sleeping in her cot at the moment. She has had a difficult morning. She was very tetchy and wouldn’t let me put her down. I had to carry her around in my arms as I went about the chores. I think she is teething. The reason I’m telling you all this is because I don’t want you to worry about her after I’ve gone back.

How funny that I should be the one reassuring you now. Do you remember how it was when I first came here? You had to teach me everything and would call me from work almost half a dozen times a day! Don’t put the metal spoon in the microwave oven. Don’t burn your incense inside the house (that will set off the smoke alarm, I now know). This is for hot water and this for cold. Sun TV on channel 56. Dial 911 for emergencies. It was like being a child again. You even had to teach me how to use the bathroom without getting the whole place wet.

At first I was worried about being left alone in your large house while the two of you were away at work. The silence was unfamiliar and overwhelming. I found myself frequently in tears. But with every passing week and with the arrival of the new born, I’ve grown accustomed to the surroundings. Days slip by quickly and I look forward to the weekends when you take me out. I get a chance to look at the country I’ve heard so much about. I’m proud of how far you’ve come my child and I love you dearly. Soon I will have to leave you. I will miss you. But I will also be happy to be back home.


p.s. Don’t put off having a second child. Your mother is getting old. And the winter here is very painful on her knees.


Anonymous said…
That was absolutely an amazing post. Liked it a lot for I have seen my mom take care of my sisters'.

Am a fan of your blog. You write very well about everyday stuff.

Looking out for more everyday.

- Meena
A4ISMS said…
Just imagine what we daughters would be without our mothers! Nice to have you back...
Shobgg said…
Wow Ammani.., so true. You have written a mom's feeling so beautifully. This is exactly what I have heard from parents returning back to India after taking care of their grand kids.
Oracle said…
Occupational hazards...

both for mom and the daughter! :)
karrvakarela said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kalthoon tilakji said…
Should have been signed Amma alais Ayah!Anda velaikkagathaane ponaanga.
Mahadevan said…
True reflections of a grandmother's feelings. Excellently conceived post.
monu said…
reminds me of my mom who kind of says the same thing
get married soon , have kids getting will i be able to look after u and ur child?
what would anyone do without mothers.

very nice post
Deepa said…
Gotta confess, this post made me feel good about quitting work.:-)
muse said…
Beautifully written!!

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…


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”

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

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 …