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A quick tale 143

Lift floor. My eyes follow the lift's descent as it comes to rest with a gentle thud. I wait impatiently for the doors to slide open when I see you scurrying to join me. Damn! Why can't you wait and take the next one? I quickly shuffle inside and look the other way. Which?, I demand. Eighth, you answer. Three floors before I get off. Good. I press the buttons. An awkward silence follows. I busy myself with my bag. Like I'm searching for something important. I find a ball-point pen. From the corner of my eye I see you looking at me. Please don't start talking. I have no interest in you. I'm still looking inside my bag. Sanitary pads, chewing gums, train tickets, spare change, car keys, band-aids, old bills.

Where are we now? Still only on the 4th floor! Why are these lifts always supremely lethargic? You cough. I can feel a question coming. Something inanely pointless. That strangers stuck in a lift together feel compelled to ask. Usually about the weather. Please don't start. I'll ignore you. I promise I will. Look, we're on the 6th floor already. Not long to go. So don't start now. You cough again. Oh dear, don't. Ah, yes, I've just found my mobile phone in my bag. I'll start fiddling with it. That should deter you from trying to make conversation. The lift is slowing. After an eternity, it finally eases to a stop. I can feel my shoulders sag with relief as I see you walking out of the door. And that's when I notice. You stuff your mobile phone into your shirt pocket. As if you had been fiddling with it all along.


Anonymous said…
where do you get your inspiration from? you write so well.... good luck and keep writing.
Anonymous said…
podi podi punnakku podatha thappu kanakku lol
Balaji S Rajan said…
If I happen to see you in a lift, I will not cough, touch my mobile... LOL... Creative thinking... Hmm.. I have always thought what the other person in the lift could be thinking. So, if someone tries to fiddle with their mobile, it is just to avoid talking. Is it....
Anonymous said…
I am surprised and awed in your ability to bring out the quirks in human nature, that are both true and funny. Keep up the good work
The Kid said…
Hi Ammani,

I really like your blog, Ammani.
I just wanted to say that.

I tried to ape your style in my blog,
but cannot really snap the ending.

unfortunately far away,
apu said…
Of late, the stories seem more to do with vignettes from your own daily life (I could be wrong here, just a guess), rather than fiction. Dont know why I've been getting that feeing - But I liked the original QTs style better....
Balaji said…
nice... been a regular QT reader but still didnt see the end coming. made me smile :)
MSK said…
Yet another brilliant QT !
lovemarks said…
I pictured every word!So well-written...Happens to all of us, yet you managed capturing the essence of the situation so well... :)
Siri said…
brilliant...cant tell you the number of times i go through similar thought process + actions. one observation : many ppl in a lift are forever looking at the floor number in the display as the lift moves as if secretly putting all their extra sensory powers at work to move the lift faster!
Always ! said…
:-) I'v always been a big fan of your tales !

and co-incidentally, I just blogged about a lift incident, and came over to yours and totally didn't expect to see this ;)

Really nice one, it's just like you read others minds, or rather you read yours and just scribe :)
Anu said…
Beautifully written..
alpha said…
nice one ammani.
dinesh said…
Pramaadham ! :)
small talk said…
oh i loved this post! i do it all the time - avoid, avoid, avoid.
big mouth said…
I normally don't read other people's blogs, but I just found out today that i can access blogs from work, and it sure as heck beats staring at an empty comupter screen and waiting for the phone to ring. I came across yours while Blog-hopping and I can say without a doubt, I'm going to be a regular visitor :)

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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”

The Saturday Poem

Found this in yesterday's paper. Again, I wish I'd written it.


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

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Annon's story

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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 …