Skip to main content

A quick tale 166

Aged 76

Don't listen to what they say. They have no clue how good this makes me feel. Ignore your mother. For what does she know? I know people think it's odd that you should address me by my first name. But what's their problem if I'm fine with it? You see, when you get to my age, there are few people left to call you by name. Just the other day I met a friend of your mother's. And she introduced me to her husband as 'So-&-So's Amma'. I don't think she even knew my name. I'm sure there are a whole lot of others to whom I'm just 'Mrs So-&-So' or 'Such-&-Such Aunty' or 'This-or-That Paati'. Sometimes I long to be just me. I yearn to hear my name called out. Like my mother used to. When she wanted me to come inside because it was getting dark. Like my father would when came home from work and didn't find me rushing to greet him. Like your grandfather did when he wrote all those wonderful letters to me, all those years ago. You, my child, take me back to the time when I too was a young girl. And everybody knew my name.


Shyam said…
I do really really like this one!
Anonymous said…

This makes me feel good everyday. Your writing inspires me a lot to blog. So natural.

Anonymous said…
this is a really nice story! thank you! it is always a pleasure reading ur quick tales!
Srivaths said…
This one is simply brilliant.
prash said…
wonderful - bound to strike a chord in everyone (i am just 30 and i can already relate).
i remember my periappa used to call his mom by name and thapi (long story) loved it!
sakthi said…
I mayn't subscribe to the tag 'tale', but this is really an intresting writing. I really liked it
A4ISMS said…
What a story...My husband and I are Periappa and Periamma to all the kids in our circle, thanks to my nephew and niece. In fact, when one of the kids saw me in the school, she was heard telling her friend, 'this is Periamma aunty, my mama's friend!!'So much for identity!
Raga said…
Very realistic story. This is the same way you feel when kids in your locality stop callling you 'Anna' and begin addressing you as 'Uncle'!. Well no body wants to grow old. Will we?
Varsha said… damn nice and true!
Usha said…
monu said…
i absolutely loved this one..
i think i like this the most among all that you have written
i actually have no words to express how much i like it
Believer said…
A nice write up.Truly strikes a chord to everyone's heart. Keep writing

You May Also Like

Guest blog by Chinna Ammani

Here’s an interesting write-up by Chinna Ammani on stereotypical portrayals in Indian adverts. The opinion expressed is strong and the language uncompromising. Read at your own peril!-a

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".

Though their voice is dubbed later with a Tamil voice-over, I ensure that they pronounce it the non-Mehmood way. Mehmood has done this major damage to us So…


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

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 …