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THE PAINTED VASE



Returning home from work that day, the first thing that grabbed my attention was the painted vase sitting prettily on a side table in the hall.

“Mynah!” shouted I, addressing my eleven year old daughter, “How did this come here?”

“Som bought it for me,” said she, quite simply, leaving me dumbfounded.

“Som!”

“But you hate him!” I said, referring to my new boyfriend whom she detested.

Som had come into my life recently, two years after Mynah’s dad died in a freak accident. He was only 40 then- I was 38.

Mynah shrugged and said, “But he likes me, it appears. That’s why he got it when I told him you refused to get it for me.”

I was left still wondering at the turn of events as her tantrums on seeing him were still fresh in my memory.

Two days later, Som came home during the weekend. He too merely shrugged when I complimented him on winning over Mynah. “Girls like things. You can keep them happy by indulging in these simple things.”

I really hope it stays that way, I thought, hoping to marry Som soon if Mynah agreed.
***
A couple of days later, I decided to come early from office as it was a holiday for Mynah. I was puzzled and more than a bit disturbed to see Som’s bike parked at our entrance.

How did he know it’s a holiday for her? Even so, what business does he have here? Surely he wouldn’t know about my plans for early return from office!

Suddenly I decided to have a peekie-lookie into my own house through one of the less noticeable windows. What I saw made me want to scream aloud. With great effort, I calmed myself down.

Mynah,wearing a short skirt as usual, was seated on the triple seater sofa in the hall. Som, the fiend from hell whom I trusted so much was seated next to her-his hand groping her thighs!

I thanked God that I had come in time to save my little girl.

There was a confused and lost expression on my poor little Mynah’s face.

I took a few seconds to control my ferocious anger, knowing I should walk in calmly first before confronting him.

After what seemed an eternity, I was sufficiently composed to go and ring the bell, and spoil his evil fun for ever.
***
When the inevitable confrontation started, Som was initially on the backfoot, trying to defend the indefensible. When I told him what I saw, he blanched and then turned aggressive.

The war of words led to his physically attacking me. Pulling my hair, he started dragging me about, abusing me with vile words. I was trying to free myself from his clutches when it happened.

There was a sickening, thudding sound and a crash. Som was on the floor bleeding profusely from the head. He was unconscious.

Mynah stood over him with a piece of the broken vase in her hand.
***
  Next day,Mynah was sobbing.

“There, there!” I said, comforting her, “He isn’t dead-we didn’t kill him dear." 

"Raju chacha,the Inspector, has promised to see he gets maximum punishment.”

“Who cares about that horrible Som? I want another vase immediately!” she cried and then smiled happily as I asked her to get ready to go out and buy another one.


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LINGUA-WOES

A Tamil gentleman nearly got clobbered when he appreciated the food served for lunch at his Telugu friend’s place.

The poor guy innocently said ‘Pramadham’ which means ‘Excellent’ in Tamil, but unfortunately means ‘Danger’ in Telugu!

‘Tamasha’ means ‘light stuff’, ‘Comedy’ etc in Malayalam, but beware if you use it flippantly with the Hindi speaking people.

Indiscreet use of this word- which means a street dance or something in Hindi- is not received kindly by them.

The simple word ‘Avasar’- which also is a Sanskrit root word- means ‘Occasion’ in Hindi; ‘Avasaram’ means ‘Requirement’ in Telugu; ‘Opportunity’ in Malayalam and ‘Hurry’ in Tamil!

There must of course be several such examples in the various languages ‘spooken’ in our delightful India.




RIGHT WRONG

Seeing her eyes glow in excitement,
Obviously though she has it all wrong,
I rush to grab the correction opportunity,

Till I have another look at the gleam in her eyes.

Hell, I think, let me be wrong a hundred times over,
If only to preserve that glorious joy,

Rather than prove her wrong
And watch her enthusiasm wither.

THULABARAM

There is, in the Lord's Abode in Guruvayoor,
A common balance for weighment of offerings.

It's called Thulabaram.

Only, it is anything but common.

A priest there is entrusted the task
Of weighing the offerings you committed
To Lord Krishna.

It may be a few kilos of some vegetable
Or fruit, grains or sugar or what you will.


But it got to be necessarily what you committed!

For,

Have seen with my own eyes
The priest struggling to weigh
A couple of kilos or maybe three
Of a certain vegetable, think it was yam.

But it simply wouldn't balance, though he
Kept on heaping the yam on it!

Then, on the priest's asking,
The devotee said he had thought
Of a different vegetable, maybe raw banana,

But had settled for yam since he couldn't
Get the banana.

The priest quickly removed the yam
Asked the devotee to be back
With the vegetable committed!

Only then, the priest said with conviction,

The weighment would happen.