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A quick tale 223

Heirloom

She knew from the minute she opened her eyes that morning that today would be the day. Something about the way the sunlight distilled its way through the curtain and met her on her bed, told her that it had to be done then. Not later but now. She raised herself cautiously from bed as if the weight of the day's events were already pressing her down. As she readied herself, she rehearsed her lines. Would she reveal its entire history? However sparse her own knowledge of it was? Or would she simply let her daughter into the secret circle that she had been part of ever since she was a young woman? And let her daughter find out more about it if she wished to?

Her own experience had been all too brief. Shortly after her thirteenth birthday, her mother had called her to her room one day. The look on her mother's face told her that it was something important. Her mother simply handed it to her with no further explanation. She held it in her hands knowing better than to ask questions. She remembers the wrinkly surface and how she smiled when it crinkled in her hands. No, her mother had admonished her as she grabbed it away, someone might hear it. And that will be end of our secret.

Over the years she rarely brought it out. Allowing herself only the occasional glimpse. The only time she ever touched it was the day her mother died. And now it was time to pass it on. Her daughter had none of her reverence. She was curious about it. And wanted to know where it came from. And how long they had had it. She winced as her daughter carelessly waved it about. Be careful, she warned her daughter, it is rather delicate. It belonged to my great-great grandmother. Back in those days they used to hand it to shoppers free of charge for them to put their shopping in. Until the government made it illegal. My great-great grandmother however sneaked a few of them and when she died they found a small pile under her bed. Today barely a few hundred of these survive. Gently, it's quite old, you know. But her daughter was barely listening. She was tossing the plastic bag up in air and watching it cascade down gently.

Comments

PRG said…
brilliant..........
Rajesh said…
Was it really a plastic bag or did u change it at the last moment ...............
Pesto Sauce said…
Been here first time

You surey have an interesting compilation....really found them engrossing
Anonymous said…
quite clever!
simple idea, beautifully written!
Goda Ramkumar said…
I wonder how you can describe even a small thing with so much grasp! Kudos....

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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!

-

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 …