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Voicing Silence 7

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ready, Steady, Charity - 8

Chandru's words - Knit, x-rays, Brylcreem

Ammani's take

Last Thursday, Ambujam mami was told by her doctor that she needed an x-ray. You see, recently she had been knitting a lot and had developed a common ailment called knitters' wrist (similar to the tennis elbow). Now, Ambujam mami had a fear of x-rays and secretly believed that photographs reduced longevity. And for years had guarded herself against the devilish influence of the flash bulb. But this morning, there was no escaping the electromagnetic radiation. She removed the three gold bangles from her right hand and lay her bare wrist against the cool metal plate.

The radiographer did his best to allay her fears. This is not a photograph, he told the eighty year old, X-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths of around 10 -10 meter. So well educated, thought Ambujam mami, he must be the same age as my Ambi, but what a difference! With his hair parted and combed in place, the young man reminded mami of her own late husband in his younger years. He even smells like him, she thought, taking a deep breathe of the hair gel the young man favoured. Brylcreem probably, she guessed. As she closed her eyes, visions of her old man dipping his fingers into the jar and digging out a smooth mountain of the cool pomade swam before her eyes. He would run the gel through his hair before combing it in place. I've never seen anyone with such finely combed hair until today...Mami's eyes flew open in a blind panic. She looked at the radiologist at work across the glass panel. She saw his mild stoop, knitted brows, flared nostrils and a faint smile that she knew so well. He looked up at her and the smile grew wider. The bastard!