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A quick tale 226

The alternative is unthinkable

This is not the sort of dilemma you have in mind when you are filling in a job application. My application pack asked me questions about where I studied and what marks I got in my graduation. There was nothing about how I would handle a situation like this. But then of course, you cannot always prepare for every eventuality. Each day I come to work, I come in the secure knowledge that so many hundreds of lives depend on me. That if I mess up even the slightest, not carry out my checks thoroughly, not probe that little bit extra, there could be trouble ahead. But you don't always think about all this when you are at your job. Like when I'm on duty, checking passengers before they board, running the metal detector across their body, dabbing my hands all over their person (strictly for reasons of security) and poking suspicious bulges, just to be sure. I rarely make eye contact with the passengers as I go about my work. I just ask them to head this way, guiding them to a curtained area where I carry out my checks. I try to get it over and done with as quickly and as efficiently as possible. We both know why we are there and I try not to prolong the awkwardness. But at the same time I don't rush things and leave room for error.

But this morning, I was caught offguard when I saw my father-in-law standing in the queue for the security check. Why didn't she tell me about it? What do I do now? Quick! WHAT DO I DO? And before I knew it, he had moved up the queue and was standing right in front of me . Oh hello, how are you? Yes, the flight has been delayed. It should be leaving shortly. Yes, you are looking well too. No, no, I don't want to check you. Don't worry I won't be running my hands down your legs and poking it up your crotch. You may rest assured. I trust you packed your suitcase yourself. Great! Have a safe journey!

Comments

L'Etranger said…
I thought they required you to check everyone irrespective of who they are! Weren't you supposed to ask a colleague to check if you felt awkward instead of letting him go unchecked? Just wondering what the guidelines are for such situations!
Saumya said…
Nice one....I was beginning to miss those quick tales!

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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 …