Pots, Kettles And…

‘Viji, speed up. You can’t afford to be late on the very first day, making a wrong impression.’

‘Amma, how do you know about all this without ever working in an office?’

‘Do not forget, young lady, I’m a graduate of those years when getting 50% marks was an achievement unlike now when even blank answer-sheets score 70% marks.’

‘Amma, in your times, all the marks belonged to the examiner and he gave it to you grudgingly on your answers. Now, all the marks belong to us to begin with and the examiner has to work hard to make any deductions. Understood? My question remains ….’

‘Well, I read, I hear, I know what goes on. Now get on with it – it’s already half past eight. And you saw what Varun had to go through on his first day at his office.’

‘You know it, Amma. It was not his doing. What do you do if your taxi blows a tire and then gets hauled up by a cop for driving through amber? ’

‘That was not the only reason.’

‘Now, I get it. I need to move out without running into Kamu Patti.’

‘Yes, by about nine, she comes out to pick flowers for her pooja. You have to be clear off the coast by then. She wished Varun on that day as he stepped out. The rest is history as they say. And this was not the first time it had happened. Some people have eyes like that, my mother used to tell me. All the antidote spells – I’ve tried many, believe me – are ineffective. Mind you, I’ve nothing against her otherwise – you should know this.’

‘Amma, there you go again. Leave it for now, this is not the time to revisit our well-worn stands. I’ll go as you wish.’

Kamu Patti heard the neighbor’s door shut close and footsteps receding away towards the main gate. She gingerly opened the door a crack and peered out to check if any specimen of humanity was still lurking out there. Sensing there was none, she opened the door wide, stepped out closing it softly behind her; in the aspect of an errant child escaping from parent’s unfavorable attention she hurried towards the bed of flowering plants at the back of the building with the flower basket in hand, genuine relief writ large on her wrinkled face and muttering words of thanks: ‘Goodness Lord, there was no one from there I had to face this morning. The day will go well for me, I’m sure.’



5 Responses to Pots, Kettles And…

  1. Sushila Krishnamurthi says:

    Reminds me of the unlucky Barber story from Birbal. Even in these days and times, we still believe in such things.
    Cool story.


  2. tskraghu says:

    This was triggered by an experience, a liitle different from this, only a couple of days ago with an young auto driver blaming his ‘naseeb’ at length after he was pulled up for driving on the wrong side of the road! That I goaded him into it is another story! Of course, I paid up the fine and more for him.


  3. Sanjay says:

    Nice story, short and sweet. Ending was unexpected.


  4. Trisha says:

    very touching story.


  5. Buvana Dwarakanathan says:



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