Monday, October 09, 2006

Ready, Steady, Charity - 26

Kamla's words - Goldilocks, teen taal, mamanaar

Neha's take

He’s dying in his sleep,
or maybe the afternoon
has become so hot that
each limb breathes, exists

On its own. He wonders if
Goldilocks talked to her hair,
Like he murmurs to and
scolds his arthritic knee

The ceiling fan, its cap
loose, goes Dha Dhin Dhin
Dha, Dha Dhin Dhin Dha, Na
Tin Tin Na, Tete Dhin Dhin

Dha. His dead wife,
draped in indigo appears. Teen
Taal she says, he nods and
she vanishes. Fat air of

The afternoon gobbled her. He
looks at the stern photograph
of his mamanaar, asking “Why
did you not teach her to

Live for longer, as well you
taught her to annoy me with
the names of taals and leaves?”.
Frustrated, the afternoon dies.

Neha's take two

He’s obsessed with the growing baldness. Everyday he holds the smaller mirror over his head, standing in front of the bathroom mirror to monitor the perceived hair loss. On the street, he constantly compares his own crop of hair to the ones of people walking by. His mother fears that if he balds anymore, he cannot be married to anyone. Any self-respecting mamanaar would refuse to accept a more bald man than himself as the husband for his daughter.

Kuppuswamy gave him a bottle of mystic green oil that promises a puzzling hair growth rate. Teen Taal: For your Baal. Three strands of hair a day. If they can send a man to the moon, why couldn’t they make an instrument to count the hair on his head. Maybe if he went to Google Earth, it could zoom in on his pate and he could compare the image from a week before.

That night, the grown man crawled onto his mother’s lap and cried. His mother says, “Don’t cry da. Don’t you know, all the hair that’s fallen off bald men runs to join Goldilocks’s hair. How else will they keep fairy tales alive, but for brave men like you.”. Satisfied, he sleeps. Unmarried and slightly bald.

1 comment:

Mahadevan said...

'Like he murmurs to and
scolds his arthritic knee'

that is a beautiful imagery.

Bald head, easy chair, Hindu, artheritic knee, and vegetable bag, aren't they identified with mamanars ?