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A quick tale 185

When her knees buckled and she sat down on the pavement

Finally, all it took was a jar of mango pickle. Let me take you back eight months. To when she first received news of her admission to that university abroad. Boy, was she thrilled! To be rid of this claustrophobic society. And its insanely archaic rules for women. She was no longer answerable to anyone. She could do as she pleased. Wear what she wanted. Go where she wished. And if she was lucky, she would even find a man. Fall in love. Kiss him in public. No more worrying about her dad finding out. No more lying about 'combined studies' at her best friend's house. A vision of paradise rolled out in front of her. And she could barely wait to get started.

She cheerfully waved them goodbye. Sentimental fools. Look at them waving back while wiping their noses on their sleeves. And just like that, she was away. The new country was everything she had dreamed of. The stubbornly huge cars, the aching tall buildings, the painfully polite people. Would she wake up one day and find the whole thing a dream? she often wondered. Until one day, as she walked back from class, when she saw displayed on the shelf of a grocery store, a jar of mango pickle. Her knees gave away. She sat down on the pavement and started to weep quietly

Comments

s said…
that hits home! well written as always.
venky said…
hey well written . every1 learn lessons the hard way
InTeGeR said…
Few words but you conveyed a big message. Nice one... :)
Shyam said…
Loved this, A!
Rupa said…
that went straight into the heart! :)Lovely!
Oh my God! For one, it was highly articulate, and two, I could have well been the protagonist!

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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!

-

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What happened that made young Meenakshi change her mind about the parrot green saree she had originally chosen and go for a …