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A quick tale 181

One cloudy Tuesday afternoon on the motorway

The car splutters, wheezes, coughs and despite fervent prayers to your favourite gods, dies on you. You were lucky enough to be on the outside lane and you somehow manoeuvre your way to the hard shoulder. What’s the instruction in such instances? Stay in car? Or get out as quickly as you can? Where’s the AA card? Oh yes, you never renewed the breakdown cover after it expired unused last January. Damn. At least the kids are not crying. Not yet anyway. Should you call the police? Where’s the mobile? Thank god, there’s plenty of battery left in it. But is there enough credit to make a call? Why does it have to happen today? Why can’t you crawl back to being a kid? And not be in charge of everything?

Like that time when the train broke down and they said that it would take a whole day to resume the journey. You were stranded in the middle of nowhere. And there was only enough food and water left for a couple of hours. There were rumours about bandits attacking the train at night. You saw your father close to tears for the first time ever. But all that mattered to you was playing Antakshari with your sister and fighting over comic books. Your parents would sort troubles out. That’s what adults were there for. Presently, you hear a fight breaking out in the back seat. And you hear yourself mutter, ‘Now, now, don’t start, the two of you. Amma’s gonna take care of everything’.

Comments

Chakra said…
> Where’s the AA card? Oh yes, you never renewed the breakdown cover after it expired unused last January.

- Thats scary!

Well written as usual.
Vi said…
I hope she was able to.
Balaji S Rajan said…
Superbly written. Crisp and punchy..
Aim said…
Hmmm............
Luckily Not yet reached there.... am still in the are we there yet?? stage
Ha ha ha.... hope not to reach at all....
Or am i just deluding myself??? in that case who am i kidding???
Anonymous said…
Great work!
I got here thro aarbalaji's blog.. Very nice play of words. Looking forward to reading more.
Shankari said…
Reminds me of something similar I had read a few years ago.

Amazing how similar thoughts float around the universe of thoughts!

:D

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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

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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…

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