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Updated: September 15, 2013 01:55 IST

Never argue with the obstinate

Sivamani Vasudevan
Comment (7)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Illustration: Satwik Gade
Illustration: Satwik Gade

I realise the value of my father’s advice

“Never ever argue with an obstinate person,” was the wise counsel (or dying declaration?) of my father. As was Rama to Dasaratha, a loyal son, I imbibed my dad’s sermon, and would never argue with any one — especially at home. (Now, there are only two at home. I need not mention who the other is.)

Destiny spares none. One day, on my way home from office, I bought bright, violet-coloured brinjals. One stare at them and my wife declared, “Violet ones? Even cattle won’t sniff at them. Apple-green coloured varieties taste great. They are organic also.” I didn’t reply. How come the same violet ones her brother brought from her native place last month were praised by her to the hilt? Were we not then quadrupeds when we consumed them?

This summer, I brought home golden-hued, mouth-watering “Bangenapalli” mangoes. Shrinking her face like a coiling millipede when provoked, she screamed, “Who said these are Bangenapalli? These are a moth-bored inferior variety. Even a kid would distinguish them intelligently. My father did not seem to have made proper inquiries before my marriage about the street-smartness of the groom.” I kept mum. Was mango-picking the ultimate test of merit for selection of a son-in-law?

Last month, I visited Tirumala, quite unexpectedly as my car had to take diversion, on my return journey while on office work, due to the Telangana agitation. I brought home the famous “Tirupati laddu, the holy “prasad” that landed in my hands after Sheeghra Darshan (quick darshan) at Lord Balaji’s temple.” Putting a little of the laddu into her mouth half-suspiciously, she queried, “Did you buy them from the bona fide counter?” I asserted, “There is only one Tirupati on our planet and they sell only one variety of original laddus across the counter.” She quipped: “I too know it. But the TTD cautions against fake laddus being marketed by fraudsters, tricking the ignorant and the gullible.” (Am I a muff to be duped into buying the fake laddus?)

I did not take it lying down. I retorted: “Look! I am an ex-banker with over three decades of unblemished service. No bank would promote a stuff-less clown as a responsible executive, vesting him with wide administrative powers.” She was quick to reply: “Any one with such a length of “donkey’s service” would obviously be promoted. My uncle who never went beyond the secondary school level retired as the seniormost GM in a government-owned bank two decades ago. What is gained through wisdom is different from what comes to us anyway after spending event-less years.” Burning inside, yet, I remembered my dad’s advice (Never argue ...) and I remained tightlipped.

Finally, one Sunday, I asked her, upon my putting on a new T-shirt, “Does the shirt sit a bit loose on me?” “Looks like a “loose,” she punned. I cut her down to size: “How about my choice when I married you?” Pat came the reply: “My choice was average and yours brilliant.”

(The writer’s email:

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Though reads humorous, there is a great message to the readers.

from:  N V Subbaraman
Posted on: Sep 17, 2013 at 15:25 IST

Hope the author understands the position of a female also.

I stopped reacting to any sarcastic comments of people around (whoever
it is). I learnt to handle my emotions in a lighter way. After all, we
are not great and renowned soul on earth!!!

No good can be rival to the other good - so is human!

from:  Hema
Posted on: Sep 16, 2013 at 18:26 IST

Such a nice humour you have followed to complete this article however, i find the title to be very thought provoking and that everybody who has cross with obstinate's should follow - WISE COUNCIL

from:  Saravana Shan
Posted on: Sep 16, 2013 at 18:01 IST

Excellent humour, Sir...Hearty greetings.
But it is an oft-repeated style to be comically critical of one's
wife. I hope to read a variety of subject matters in your fluent
satirical style. Please keep writing more.

from:  s v venugopalan
Posted on: Sep 15, 2013 at 13:26 IST

an obstinate person may be a he or she
How it will look like if she is telling about him?

from:  kiruthika balaji
Posted on: Sep 15, 2013 at 08:53 IST

Every other person probably has this experience, but only one had the courage to vent his feelings in a nice manner. The words donkeys service further improves upon the satire.

from:  v p balaji
Posted on: Sep 15, 2013 at 08:05 IST

Yes, the last word should always be that of hers, and it's better to keep 'mum'. This article reminds me of my late father's advice that argument is exchange of audibility and contestment is exchange of stupidity!

from:  D. Chandramouli
Posted on: Sep 15, 2013 at 04:36 IST
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