Skip to main content

A quick tale 201


And so, I find myself closeted inside the toilet of a running train. With a rare moment to speculate. All around me, graffiti has been scratched out on the walls. There is quite a lot of female anatomy with the parts helpfully marked out. There are some male organs scratched out as well. I was also informed that S loves BC, that K is a whore and that GH is a homo. Someone calling himself J had advertised for ‘performance enhancing medicines’ adding his mobile number for anyone interested in his offer. I finish my business, wash my hands and somehow feel compelled to add my own thoughts to this myriad of beliefs, opinions and statements. I find a ball point pen in my handbag and stand there wondering what to say. I cannot recall any witty limericks or riddles. I have few secrets that I’d like to share with my fellow passengers who may use this toilet. As for drawing the female anatomy, my own reference doesn’t serve me very well. Finally, I settle for a single word. I mark out 'STRIFE' in an empty corner. I lean back to admire my work. Oddly satisfied and feeling decidedly better, I dust my hands and deposit the pen back in my bag. As I settle down next to the husband, he looks up at me as if to wonder what took me so long. I sigh gently and look outside at the passing landscape.


Feminazi said…
That is an awfully nosy husband!!!

good one ammani!
ahiri said…
When little boys have learned a new bad word they
are never happy till they have chalked it up on a door.
And this also is Literature.

--- your post reminded me of this from THE PHANTOM 'RICKSHAW :)
sinusoidally said…
I always wanted to do something like that! Maybe next time :-)
Jam said…
He he he,

I might have just written "If you can read this, you are peeing on your leg, you fool!!" right at the top of the door.

Vinod Khare said…
Strife? I didn't get it. :|
Blue Bike said…
I remember my hostel urinal ... there were two adjacent booths...
On one there was written "Baju mein mat dekhna"
on the next one ...
"Aakhir dekh hi liya na m@#%c&0$"

Everyone used to have a smile on their faces while coming out.
Feminazi said…
well ... i remembered this one..
Went for this movie 'Gupt' and during the intermission visited nature only to find this scrawled ...
"Kajol is the murderer"

Saadist Saala!!!
thelifemaster said…
I think you could have avoided this post. Dirtying the public places is not good. But leading that you posted your achievement here. This will wrongly guide the people who are reading your blog, By making them to do the same.Since it is personal to dirtying or not, don make it public.

ALWAYS wanted to write something about the grafiti in the toilets of our Indian trains!

and you did a greatjob! :) LOVE your quick-tales! I've read the first 10-odd! not been here for a loong time!I promise a marathon-sitting soon! :D
Nimmy said…
enjoyed reading this....made me chuckle loudly... :)
Very nice moment that most people have probably lived.

But what does 'STRIFE' expand to ? If it does...

..and if it doesn't, I didn't understand :(
rambhai said…
haha jam i lik your sense of humour. neways that is indeed the most amusing part of being in a urinal. you get to see young budding "writters". its funny how people get creative in urinals

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 …