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A quick tale 210

Concerns

My son says that his friend would look after Jimmy. Which friend? I ask. A college friend, you don't know him, he replies. That's true. I don't know many of his college friends. But my son has promised me that Jimmy will be well cared for by the friend. I hope the friend – what is his name? I enquire. Ramanathan, he says. But I thought he mentioned Srinivasan early on. My memory must be playing tricks on me. Anyway, I hope the friend remembers to take Jimmy for walks every day. Once in the morning and once in the evening. The vet said that apart from a slight liver engorgement, Jimmy is in good condition for a dog his age. He is coming up to 78 in human years, would you believe it! We're about the same age and he is in a much better shape than I am. My diabetes and arthritis are worse than ever.

After my husband passed away in 2004, I became even more reliant on Jimmy for company. I didn't want to move in with my son but my fall last month has left with no choice but to pack my bags. My younger grandchild is asthmatic and her mother reckons dog hair might aggravate her condition. That's why I couldn't take Jimmy with me when I moved.

Where does Ramanathan live? I ask. Who? my son wonders. Ramanathan, you know your friend who now has Jimmy…where does he live? Ah, him, very far away. About 3 hours' drive from here. Are there vets nearby? Jimmy is due for his monthly check up on the 25th, I remind him. It's not a village, you know, he sighs. There are supermarkets and restaurants and internet cafes and schools and hospitals and I'm sure, vets where he lives. But how would I know about it? I've no clue where his friend lives. I wonder if I should ask him if Ramanathan is a vegetarian. Because Jimmy eats meat three times a week and I don't want him to miss his treats. But I'm sure my son would have told his friend that. Does Ramanathan live in a flat? I ask. Because Jimmy needs some space to run around. He's never been a dog to sit still or sleep all day. My son doesn't answer. His back is turned to me. So I ask him once again. No, he replies. Ramanathan lives in a large, towering bungalow with a 50 feet garden at the back. Jimmy would like that.

Comments

PIN said…
That's definitely a sad story to start my day. But u've shown the truth. Can't help it. I hope I won't turn into either of them - the son nor the grandparent
Anonymous said…
...or the dog.

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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".

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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 …