Them, You Cannot Wish Away

They join you not so much ‘by your leave’ every time you sit at a table in a restaurant and you pay!

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The reason for their levity in the face of adversity, I suspect, must be: their meal is on some business account, a facility not given to us?

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This Too Shall Pass (Short Story)

Based on a mushy story in Tamizh making rounds in WhatsApp, running its course quite predictably, here’s my effort, muddying up the waters a wee bit along the way:

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‘Last month itself I had warned you when you sent hundred rupees. Now this letter. This will not end here, I’m telling you again. Once it’s falling roof, this time it’s hospital charges…who knows your dear sister may be behind all this.’

She paused to regain her breath.

‘Don’t forget we have two children of our own growing up. There’s fees to pay once the school reopens, new uniforms…’

‘All right, all right. I’ll write to them. Will you please stop now?’

‘Please do that first thing…One thing you do well is to shut my mouth.’

Silence.

It became the lot of utensils in kitchen sink to bear the brunt.

Normalcy returned over next couple of days helped by the week-end outing with the children – it was the last before the close of summer vacation.

A week later, one evening when he returned from his office,

It was all quiet in the house. The children were heads-down into their books – quite unusual so early in their term. No usual greetings and hugs. He could see through the open door her feet on the bed.   It wasn’t time yet. At the end of a long day he was in no rush to find reasons for the calm. He peeled off his pants and shirt to wear a comfortable dhoti and banyan. There was no coffee on the table. So be it. As he looked around for morning newspaper before settling down in his easy-chair, his gaze fell up on an opened envelope sticking out from under a magazine on the table, quite unsuccessful in its attempt to be elsewhere aided by the draft of the ceiling fan.

As he picked it up, he knew it was his mother. It was always so ever since his father’s fingers had turned stiff some years ago. Schooled up to sixth grade before going off to her in-laws’ house, she could write though not tidily.

He sat on the straight-backed chair never designed to suffer its occupant for long, and read:

Dear Son,

We’re sorry and concerned to hear about the sickness of our dear grandson. The young lad still has a long way to go. Tell bahu (daughter-in-law) to give him lots of vegetables and fruits and milk…of course she knows.

Don’t spare any expense in getting him treated. Along with this letter there’s a check for five thousand rupees. Hope it helps. If you need more let us know.

Do not worry yourself, this money is legit. You know we had this small patch of land at the back of our house, the one we had willed to you? Luckily for us, we could sell it at short notice to be able to send you this check and keep some for treating your father. Our neighbor had his eyes on this land for long. He was good enough to pay all of ten thousand readily across the table.

Your father was very much against it. He doesn’t understand. You needed the money right now and we needed it too. He maintained it was worth many times more – it could even fetch as much as a couple of lakhs, if we wait a little longer. But, how could we? You sounded so helpless. Of course, he could be right – these days freehold land prices are suddenly shooting up unbelievably.  He says our neighbor unfairly knocked us down for a pittance knowing our urgency.  I had to press on him very hard to go ahead with the deal. Last couple of days, he isn’t even talking to me. Don’t worry, he’ll come around. I hope you too don’t think I’ve erred.

And don’t lose sleep over his health. Now we the money to pay the doctors.

Once again, take good care of the child. We’re sure you’ll. Do keep us informed. And tell us if you need more, we’ll manage.

Yours affly,

Amma.

The letter slipped gently onto the floor from where it took off to the far corner, greatly relieved, its job done.

Feeling like a loser, though he wasn’t sure what was it about, he got up to make some coffee for himself. He needed it.

He’ll come around.

 

End        

 

 

 

Image: oratechsolve.com

A Love Story

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” A piece of glass shatters, sighing

it was the promise of a stone to be its protector.”

 

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Source: Pinterest

 

 

Monks Tell No Lies

Time again to turn to the artist adept at ‘sewing coats give the mere buttons’ – no two alike – that leave you wondering at the cut and the fit and wanting more!

Here he walks you down a don’t-know-where-it’s-headed path until in a flash it’s all laid bare, only some 100+ words later!

Momus News

The Spaniards arrived at the temple first, looking for gold. New to Cambodia, their translations were incomplete. All the Spanish got from the monks was, “Beware the Nangalang.”

Fearless leader Diaz merely scoffed, “A monster?” He stepped inside the entrance, screamed, and disappeared. The remaining Spaniards fled, telling stories of the horrific monster guarding the temple. Rumors spread across Europe.

In the 1930s, fearless treasure hunter Idaho Johnson braved the temple. He disappeared in an instant.

During the Vietnam War, fearless war hero Colonel Davidson heard about the terrifying monster guarding gold. “Beware the Nangalang!” warned the monks. He ignored the “superstitious” natives…and screamed as he disappeared.

In the 90s, High Priest Dong-Hue introduced his son to the temple. At the entrance he said, “Beware the Nangalang!”

“Right, Dad,” said Quok, obviously fluent in the local language. “I’ll watch out for the hole in the stairs leading to a bottomless…

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Gotcha!

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A Known Story And A Hither-To Unknown Moral Or A Super-Dad!

The mother read from a picture book a story for her 6-year old at bed time, along the way explaining words that were new. The story – quite familiar to us from days we were knee-high or even before – goes like this:

A farmer in the village had four sons who always quarreled over one thing or the other. All attempts by the man to bring them together were to no avail.

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The matter assumed greater urgency in view of the man’s failing health. He decided he would make one last try before leaving them to their fate.

He called them to his bed. When they had assembled he bade the eldest to bring some dry sticks and a piece of rope from the back of the house.

The sticks were tied together in a bundle. The eldest who was also the heaviest was asked by the farmer to break the bundle into two. He tried hard exerting himself to the limits, but he couldn’t.  His brothers too tried one by one and failed like he did. They gave the bundle back to the father, crest fallen.

Thereupon the farmer asked them to untie the bundle and gave them a stick each. This time they could break the sticks rather effortlessly, all of them.

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At this point the mother paused, as she always did in these story-telling sessions, put the book away to quiz the girl on parts of the story including questions like what-would-do-you-do-if-you-were, inevitably ending with what-is-the-moral-of-the-story.

The girl thought for a moment screwing up her eyes and then broke into a smile:

‘Mom, this is exactly what I do. If ever you’ve a difficult problem to solve, take it to your dad. He’ll find a way out.’

Just then dad walked in and seeing the mother holding her head in her hands, silent, searching for a response, inquired: ‘Why, what’s the problem?’

End

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS: Based on a real experience at my daughter’s place.

Source: Images from kutties.in, kidsultimatezone.blogspot.com

Rule 1 + Rule 2 = Viola!

Cancellation

 

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