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A quick tale 204

Two of a kind

“And how did you lose him?”, asked the officer. She was stunned in grief and barely heard his question. After about a minute, he prompted her once again. This time she let out a long sigh, kept her eyes lowered and began telling him how.

“We went in together for our weekly wash. It was a Monday and we recognised several other regulars. The mood was upbeat as always and we quite looked forward to a warm, swirling good time. No sooner had we settled down than the door was shut. Soon the water started seeping in and everyone went quiet with excitement. Gradually, the water level started to rise. Any minute now, I heard him say and in an instant, we were being tossed about in a deafening whoosh. The water seemed cooler than the usual 40 degrees. I was later informed by someone that it’s all part of the new eco-drive which recommended lowering water temperatures. As we tumbled about gaily in the company of other couples, I had little idea that this would be our last few minutes together.

Before we knew it, the water had drained and I shut my eyes in anticipation of what was to come. I clung to him like my life depended on it. I could tell he was smiling at me even though my eyes were closed. And in a flash we were off. Hurtling down the curves and roaring up the arches, we spun about at a dizzying speed. I felt as if every last drop of water was being squeezed out of me. We careened round and round before finally coming to a rest. It took me forever to open my eyes. And even when I did, I could only see squiggles and wriggles of floating colours. It was only after a few minutes that I realised that he wasn’t by my side.

At first I assumed he’d gotten tangled with someone else. But as I sifted through the gathering, I realised with mounting panic that he was gone. I’d heard of stories of those that had disappeared through the black hole. But never once thought it could happen to me. I pushed past and prod through huge tumbling masses in the hope of finding him. I kept calling out his name but deep down, I knew I’d lost him forever. There was nothing to do now except wait for the doors to be opened and for us to be let out…”

As she paused in her narration, the officer seized the opportunity to get cracking with the paperwork. “If you could fill in his name and description over here”, he said tapping his pen on a pink application form, “we’ll see what we can do.” “Will he…?”, she started enquiring when he cut her short. “We can promise you nothing, madam”, he replied in a voice that was intended to snuff out any hope she may have had.

She picked herself up and with heavy steps started making her way to the door. When she turned around to see if she could squeeze in one last question with the officer, he had already moved on to his next client – an elderly red glove. I will come back on Friday, she promised herself. We are a pair and that’s the way we will always be, she mumbled shuffling quietly out of the Dept of Lost Personnel, Ministry of Laundry.


Anonymous said…
rads said…
Very clever. :)
Nice post! I was practically racing through to get to the twist at the end, but was afraid I'd miss something so vital. Very well written!
Karthik Sriram said…
Fantastic!! Awesome!!! Suepr duper!!! I would rate this as one of the best pieces I have read recently!

Kamini said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kamini said…
This is one of your best ones. I read it, got a huge kick out of the ending, and then read it over again with my new-found knowledge, smiling all the while.
shakuni said…
quite nice, actually.
Manjari said…
cool yaar...
u r a natural! and I agree with kamini, i re-read it with new insigth!
swarna said…
loved it.. absolutely fantastic...

i thought it was socks...i admit i'll never look at gloves the same way again....
radhika said…
ha ha :-D very clever indeed! well written, as usual :-)
ashok said…
excellent as usual :)
zeno said…
chanceless so cool. not to mention i too was lost in amazement :)
Inba's Corner said…
Beautiful. Very very touching
PIN said…
Great work! Plz carry on with your excellent work. Looking forward for more such posts
A4ISMS said…
What a delightful piece... Am happy the sabbatical between these gems are getting reduced... Quite a cache you have found, eh? looking forward to such lovely treats... ! ;-)
BrainWaves said…
Spinning the often-wondered-but-never-investigated losses in a sci-fi way and still maintain ur quick tale form with emotions intermixed - Very well done.
Saumya said…
Absolutely brilliant!

Keep them coming Ammani :)

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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.

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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

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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 …