My Book Has Been Published.

My book of short stories  named  Talk A Little, has been published.

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Posted in Children say the darndest things, College Capers, Indian Newly Married, News, Posts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Boy Who Was Not Afraid Of Snakes.

My friend Kavitha had two sons, Raju and Premu.(All names changed.)

Raju was getting into so many “situations” as a boy, that Kavitha  wonders how he grew up to manhood, without getting maimed or killed, by all his atrocious activities.

One incident which still gives her the jitters is the one concerning snakes.

When Raju was in the sixth standard, Kavitha’s family had gone to stay at an estate of a relative in Kodai, for the summer vacation.

The relative had warned them that they might spot a snake or two in the garden and the gardener would deal with them and asked the boys to keep away from all things creepy and crawly in the estate

Now Raju’s interest was kindled and his greatest desire was to spot a snake. His wish was granted soon enough, when he saw a snake albeit a very small one. The gardener was summoned and he immediately hit the snake with a stout stick saying it was a poisonous one.

The snake appeared dead. The gardener went to gather some twigs to make a fire and burn the  presumably dead snake.

Kavitha who had gone into the house, heard loud screams from the watchman and other staff in the estate,

” Thambeeee!! Put that down.”

“Throw it away. Throw it away.”

“Don’t do thaaaattt!!”

Rushing out, she saw her eldest son, holding the still snake by its tail and twirling it round and round high above his head and laughing like a killer with his spoils.

Kavitha says that her heart stopped beating for a second or two on beholding such a sight.

The gardener rushed out and made him throw the snake on the ground.

“It might not be dead. Never pick up a snake like that, even if you think it is really gone.”

Sure enough, when the gardener attempted to burn its body, the snake came to life and rushed hissing viciously out of the fire. It was beaten to death one more time and burnt till it turned black.

On coming back to Chennai after the holidays, Kavitha opened her son’s suitcase to put away his clothes.

There, on top of all his clothes was a plastic bag containing a souvenir from his estate holiday

It was the remains of the DEAD snake.

P.S: Kavitha’s mother was a woman steeped in religious beliefs and tradition. She asked Kavitha to offer milk at the snake hill in their temple to atone for her son handling a snake.

Much to Kavitha’s surprise, Raju accompanied her to the temple and went through the ceremonies diligently.

Later she heard him boasting to his class-mate on the phone.

“I went with mummy, to save her if a snake came out of the hill”

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

 

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A cute tale of a grandma and her grand daughter.

This is a story, one of my cousins told me.

It is not even a story. More like an anecdote or a reminiscence. 

She said:

My grand daughter came running to me one day.

“Grandma, draw a dog,” she said. I drew one.

“It looks like a monster.” She laughed.

“OK, then, tell me a story, about a bad boy and a good girl.” She asked.

I blinked and said, ” Darling, I am not good at telling stories. Can I read one for you from a book?”

“No grandma, your voice is very soft. I can’t hear you well. Then bake me some cookies.” she said.

“Shall I bake a cake instead. ”

“No. I wan’t only cookies.”

Something hit me hard on my head.

I can’t draw. I can’t read well. I cant tell stories and I can’t bake cookies.

Absolutely no credentials to be a good grand mother.

Then I did what I should have done long ago. Headed to art class, tailoring class and baking class.

At the age of fifty, I learnt crochet, fabric painting, tailoring, doll making and also baking.

The things we do for the people we love!

Yesterday, I heard my grand daughter whisper to her friend who had come over to play with her, “my grandma stitches skirts, makes hair bands, purses and she can also bake cookies.”

I don’t need any other testimonial than this.

I gave myself 100/100.

Very good grand-ma!

Image by GraphicMama-team from Pixabay

Image by Cliker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay.

 

 

 

Posted in Children say the darndest things, Darndest Things Children Say, Uncategorized, We Indians! | 5 Comments

Can You Steal From Your Teacher?

Can you steal from your teacher?

How despicable is that.

My cousin lived in an apartment complex. There were about 45 apartments there. In one of the apartments there was a lady who was good at crochet, knitting, embroidery and different types of art work.

Every afternoon when most of the home-makers were free, she would conduct classes for them in a small room in her apartment. Many eager ladies joined her class, as did my cousin. Everyone called her madam out of respect while in class.

On the teacher’s house dining table there was an exquisite piece of crochet work. It had four swans standing on a doily. It was simply breathtakingly lovely.

That such a beautiful and intricate design could be crocheted out of simple yarn surprised my cousin.

The teacher was very proud of her hand work and showed it off to everyone who came to her class. Madam would keep telling about it to someone or the other almost everyday which showed how much she loved and cherished that piece of work.

Many young ladies would voice their desire to become as proficient as her and be able to turn out such a magnificent piece of work.

One day when my cousin went to her class, madam told her that someone had stolen the doily the previous day.

She was very upset. She had had that doily for 15 years. Her students were all her neighbours coming from upper middle class families. If that person had coveted  that doily she could have commissioned the teacher to do one for her for a small fee as madam sometimes did.

What my cousin found very sad was that madam was a teacher and the thief one of  her students.

Theiving from a teacher, that too in a land, where we revere the teacher before God.

Matha, Pitha, Guru, Theivam .

That is mother, father, teacher, God.

Image by clker-free-vector- from Pixabay

Image by Annalise Batista from Pixabay

Image by Elaina Morgan from Pixabay

Story by MB. Written by Gulsum Basheer @ Talkalittledo.

 

 

 

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Man Proposes And God Disposes

This is a true story of Hajarma, which makes you wonder at the vagaries of life.

Hajarma’s husband had abandoned her when she was very young. She was not a rich woman. In fact she had no wealth except a small house which her mother had left her. She worked in a nearby businessman’s house and helped to bring up her two daughters with dignity. She educated them up to 12 standard and also sent them to the religious coaching classes. These two privileges had been denied to her when she was growing up.

When they came of marriageable age, she started looking out for suitable grooms, for both of them at the same time.

Her only wish was that they should marry two brothers. She wanted the sisters to support each other through thick and thin always.

She found two brothers through a marriage broker and got her daughters married. The sisters and their husbands lived together in her house and Hajarma was very happy to see their bonhomie and bonding. A daughter was born to both of them at around the same time.

But MAN PROPOSES and GOD DISPOSES.

A quote we often use randomly for very stupid reasons. It happened in Hajarma’s life in a horrible way.

Her youngest daughter’s husband died in a road accident, two years later.

Hajarma’s only wish in life was crashed even before it began.

But wait. The story does not end there. Though poor and uneducated, Hajarma came of a proud and resilient family. She never gave up on her daughters.

She determinedly chased away relatives who suggested this or that older widower in  his late fifties or sixties with grown up children as husbands for her widowed daughter.

“My daughter is only twenty two years old. Should she live a miserable life because fate snatched her husband away?” She would tell people who asked her about the bereaved girl.

Her determination paid off.

Hajarma once happened to go in a hired auto-rickshaw driven by a young man who belonged to a sect, whose members had all vowed to marry only widows or divorcees. Giving a honorable life to down trodden young women was their motto.

Hearing her story, the driver came forward to marry Hajarma’s widowed daughter with a young child, even though he had not been married before. After much cajoling, the reluctant widow agreed to marry the young man four years after her first husband had died.

Now the two sisters live peacefully just as Hajarma had longed for, in adjacent houses.

Not with two brothers but with two friendly and loving CO-BROTHERS.

Image by Sibani Das , ManojRauta from Pixabay.

Posted in Tributes and Triumphs, Uncategorized, Vintage, We Indians! | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

How She Became Literally Speechless

 

When you ask people in their sixties or seventies for some unforgettable event that happened in their lives or in their families, they don’t think for a long time. They always have a plethora of stories to tell you. Sometimes, these stories are so mind boggling, you wonder if it really happened.

Modern kids will have countless arguments as to how such a situation could have been possible or how it could have been mitigated.

But the elders quell them with the words, “In the 50’s and 60’s, everything was different.”

Recently I heard this story that affected me a lot. But the youngsters in my family are still arguing over how unbelievable the story was.

This is the story of Damodharan (name changed)

Damodharan lived with his wife and two young children, six and nine years old. His wife had a sister of marriageable age. His wife’s parents were very old and having no sons, the onus of getting the sister married fell on Damodharan’s shoulders. He took up the responsibility in good spirit.

He went about the job of selecting the groom with a lot of thought. His wife and he worked together doing all the work that makes a wedding ceremony a happy occasion. They bought the wedding sarees, selected the wedding invites, went inviting to all their relatives houses, booked the wedding hall and contacted the wedding caterers and the priest to do the religious rites. In everything  husband and wife worked together. The old parents in law were happy. The niece and nephew were happy. The bride herself was glowing with joy.

It was one joyful family that got ready on the day of the wedding.

The relatives had assembled, the holy fire was lit and the bride dressed in her finery was brought to the stage and seated before the priest who intoned the religious verses.

It was time to bring the groom to sit beside the girl and the wedding to proceed.

But the groom was nowhere to be found. He was absconding.

There was pandemonium in the wedding hall. The groom had left a letter behind saying that he was eloping with his girlfriend.

The bride had been seated at the manavarai or the seat before the wedding fire. It was ominous to even get up before the scared wedding thread was round her neck. Now they had to find another groom immediately.

Such a thing had happened before in some families, when the groom or bride refuses to the wedding at the last moment. On such occasions, they hurriedly find some relative’s son or daughter to step in and marry the jilted party. All with the elders blessings of course.

Even as they were debating whom they could find to marry their girl at the last moment someone stepped up to marry her.

It was her brother in law, Damodharan himself.

Everyone watched aghast as Dhamodharan, tied the thaali or wedding thread round her neck and made her his wife.

His first wife was not even able to comprehend, what was happening. Her husband did not ask her permission. He did not consult her or her parents. He just seized the opportunity and got himself a new young pretty wife. More pandemonium broke out at his audacity. There was a lot of shouting and name calling. But his wife did not utter a word.

She was dumbstruck. Speechless. Literally.

The shock was too much for her. She did not say anything. She just walked out of the wedding hall.

She stopped talking after that.

She refused to speak to anyone. Not even her children. She moved in with her parents and not all their cajoling would make her change her stance. No one knows if she really became dumb with shock, because she never spoke a word after that horrific moment when she watched her husband wed her little sister.

Also she never ever set eyes on her husband or her sister again and the grieving woman died a few years later.

As for Damodharan, he settled in a far off town with his new wife, two children and got himself two more daughters from the new wife. His life went on well and he lived to a ripe old age. Only the poor first wife died, young, humiliated and mute.

When people relate this story, they wonder if it was a ploy of Damodharan that the original groom ran away at the last minute. Maybe the older man had coveted the young prettier sister for a long time.

Could a man be so callous?

How about the sister? Was she in the know?

Maybe, she too reciprocated her brother in law’s love and was a conniving girl. In her youthful ardor, she may have thought that her sister could be consoled and within a few months she would back down and come to terms with the situation and all would be well. A man marrying two sisters had happened in our society before. But the older sister, being a strong proud woman, did not relent. She would rather die than accept this treachery.

Was the younger sister a wicked cunning person too? People wonder.

All these are conjunctures only.

Like they say in the Tamil, “Who knows, which viper resides in which hole.”

 

Story by S. Written by Gulsum Basheer@talkalittledo.

Image by  Prawny from Pixabay

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

 

 

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You Should Learn How To Be Safe.

My father called me in an agitated mood one evening. He had been reading the evening newspaper. A man had been found murdered in his house. The house was in Madavaram, in Chennai, which happens to be my area also.

The reason for my father’s agitation was that the murder had taken place in my locality, during the day when the man was alone at home. I was also often alone at home during the day.

He gave me a long lecture about employing a security for my house. My father was insistent that I employ an old man from our village to work in our house as a gardener, utility man and a security person, and to be around the house all day especially when my kids and husband were away at their work place and school. The maid who came home everyday to help me with the cooking and cleaning left by 2 PM.

I promised him that I would think about it.

When my husband came home, I told him about my father’s call. He was also worried about a man being murdered in our locality and we discussed about finding some one to work in our house so that I was never alone and lonely at home.

My husband also me gave a long lecture about how careless I was about locking up and being safe.

“You should learn how to be safe…You have to know how to protect yourself.”

I do not buy an evening newspaper. I waited for the morning paper to be delivered  the next day to know the details of the crime. I hurriedly skimmed through the morning  paper to see if there was any news about the murder in my locality.

There was!

The mystery had been solved and the murderer apprehended. I laughed to myself remembering all the advice my dad had given me.

I gave the news paper in to my husband’s hands and started to tease him.

“How many watchmen do you want for yourself?”

“You really should learn how to be safe…You have to know how to protect yourself.”

My husband read the news and did not know how to react.

Yes, indeed a man had been murdered in broad daylight in our area, when he was alone.

The murderer was not any intruder.

It was his very own WIFE!!

Story By M. Written by Gulsum Basheer @ talkalittledo

Image By Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay

Image By GraphicMama-team from Pixabay

 

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