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Voicing Silence 7

Friday, December 01, 2006

I ask, you write 13

Lucky for some. Here's the 13th question in search of a story.

When you walked in through their door, you found them both on their hands and knees searching the floor for something. I guess you know what had happened.

As always, please keep your stories short and post them in the comment box. Thank you.


A4ISMS said...

A stranger would think that they have lost their marbles. Only I know the real story. You see, after my retirement, they both became unbearably interfering.They have always been bossy, my sisters, but this was too much. To divert them and to keep them away, I suggested that they pursue some hobby. Funny as they are -- I don't mean 'funny- Haha' I mean 'funny- peculiar' -- they took up painting on grains of rice. Anything to keep them off my hair, I thought and encouraged them. That's how this project started. Two years and 3 months back -- they have been calligraphically writing the 1000 names of Lord Vishnu on individual rice grains -- they'd finished the project yesterday. I was happy for them.I have contacted the Guinness Record people to acknowledge their work. Tuesday evening they'll be here. But 10 minutes back, I got a call from them. Catastrophe! They sobbed. Come immediately. As I walked through their door, I found them on their hands and knees, searching for something. I looked at their sad faces... and the scattered rice grains on the floor... I hope we can find all the thousand grains...

Anonymous said...

his contacts.

Shyam said...

A4isms - nice story! :)

Shyam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shyam said...

I was the only one who thought that Pattabhi mama was not crazy. Eccentric, perhaps, but not crazy. Nobody who had made that much money, and was continuing to rake it in even at his advanced age, was crazy – certainly not enough to be dysfunctional or merit admission in a home for the mentally deranged... although his loving children would have it otherwise.

Actually I had the sneaky feeling that Pattabhi mama indulged his somewhat strange sense of humour and exaggerated his eccentricities just to maintain his reputation among his family and acquaintances.

I found him rather amusing, to be frank, but then I was a spectator - not a family member, just a neighbour who quietly kept tabs on the well-being of an elderly but still sprightly man, to ease her own conscience. We got on well, Pattabhi mama and I. And of course the kids in the apartment block adored him.

Pattabhi mama collected things – that was one of his hobbies. He had drawers and cupboards full of stamps, buttons, marbles, used bus tickets, pencil stubs, oddly-shaped cigarette lighters (although he didn't smoke)… all sorts of junk - some possibly valuable, most of it not. I'm not sure he cared what he collected, as long as he had lots of it. It drove his family nearly crazy that he wouldn't throw out what they considered junk and wouldn't sell what they considered valuable.

Yesterday I dropped in on the old man unexpectedly and arrived there at the same time as one of his daughters, the one with what I term a "drill" voice – shrill and penetrating. When we walked in through the door, we found Pattabhi mama and one of the kids from next door, both on hands and knees on the carpeted floor, scrabbling madly behind the sofa for something we couldnt see.

"Appa, what on earth are you two doing?" the dutiful daughter shrilled in dismay.

Pattabhi mama emerged from behind the sofa, white cobwebby hair dishevelled and his eyes twinkling. "Oh hello there, dont worry, it's nothing serious. I've lost my marbles, you see, and young Abhishek here is helping me look for them."

What can you do but laugh.

Suze said...

I have the same worries as any mother of a teenager. Kids these days, they are different from when I was growing up.

We used to scan the weekly magazines for pictures of our favorite actors. We'd imagine Amma finally bringing us a picture of a boy and it was always exactly like our hero of the month. We'd giggle with our girlfriends during recess at school.

But these days, they play basketball with boys. She's always coming home one hour, two hours after school ends and I worry about her. She's a good girl, but I'm scared after reading all these stories in 'Junior Vikatan'.

The other day I had to run to the bank urgently. She told me Abhi would be dropping by to pick up the maths notes. But what to do, her Appa needed the documents urgently and someone from the office was to come in half an hour to pick them up. I rushed out and came back very quickly.

To find them in the hall on their hands and knees searching for something.. What had they been doing that they could not even look up for a minute? "Shreya!" I boomed. "What are you looking for?".

"Abhi's lost his lenses Amma.."

Vidya said...

Here's the link to mine.