Letter from a Concerned Reader Columns

Black ops with Mr. Mathrubootham

Respected Madam/ Sir,

Two-three days back I made one masterplan like hero New Zealand mountain climber Keith Mallory in world-famous Alistair MacLean novel The Guns of Navarone. In the novel he is trying to defeat German army on Greek island. I am trying to defeat Mrs. Mathrubootham in Anna Nagar flat.

I did very careful calculations including map.

Tuesday morning 0900 hours we will have breakfast. Then at approximately 0945 hours myself, codename ‘Steel Falcon’, will proceed in north-east direction to living room from dining room to read newspaper, enjoy some novels etcetera. Meanwhile, Mrs. M, codename ‘Torture Party’, will take bath and at approximately 1030 hours she will proceed from dining room through front door and take staircase to go upstairs to Mrs. D’Costa flat.

There from 1045 hours to 1145 hours she will attend working committee meeting of Ladies Association. At 1145 hours approximately half the members of working committee will go back home. Then from 1145 hours to 1200 hours remaining members, codename ‘Nonstop Jealousy’, will put gossip about members who have just left meeting.

At 1200 hours, Torture Party will take staircase to flat and then she will have lunch with Steel Falcon. This means there will be 90 minute gap between 1030 hours and 1200 hours for Steel Falcon to ensure that delivery of online purchase item takes place during absence of Torture Party. This will avoid unnecessary questioning and investigation. Previous day itself Steel Falcon has called courier fellows to give detailed instructions.

Courier fellow said, “Uncle, what do you want?” By mistake, I said, “Listen carefully I will explain how to avoid my wife Torture Party.” Courier fellow laughed like Corporation’s malaria spray machine, and then he said, “Uncle, your wife’s name is Torture Party, whether she is Malayali? We have one boy in our office, name is Bonanza, from Palakkad. His name is mix of father’s name Bonvoyage and mother’s name Extravaganza.”

I said, “At 1045 hours your boy will arrive. He will call on mobile phone and ask, shall I come upstairs? I will say yes. Then and only then he will come upstairs. He will give item, I will sign, he will immediately vanish.”

Madam/ Sir, what you are thinking about my masterplan? Did it work? One hundred per cent total and utter failure.

Everyday somebody will ask me, what Mathrubootham why you are reading old novel like The Guns of Navarone. Is it colonial hangover? Why you are not reading Indian novels. I will say whether a single person will write similar novel in India? Never, thousand times never. Madam/ Sir, imagine one Guns of Nagercoil. Team leader will say, friends we will meet at exactly 10:00 hours and do attack on enemy. What will happen? Nothing. Because everyone will only reach by 1045.

Madam/ Sir, what really happened? Courier boy came at 1115 hours. He called me on mobile phone. I said, “Come to flat immediately.” What did he do? He took lift and went directly to flat on top. He went inside and said, “Hello aunties, any idea of one Mr. Mathrubootham?”

At 1200 hours, Torture Party came and said, “Old man, what is this?” She gave courier box to me. I said, “It is online item I have purchased.” She said, “How many times I have told you not to buy things from internet without asking. What is inside? Where will we keep this? Is there any space in this house?”

Anyway, you open and tell me what is inside. If it is some useless item like showpiece or wall hanging immediately this marriage is cancelled, don’t forget flat is in my name.

I carefully opened the box and took out one latest model mobile phone. I said, “Kamalam, this is for your next week birthday, your old phone is in very low dilapidated condition. I thought it will be surprise. But stupid courier fellow spoiled everything.”

Madam/ Sir, next 10-15 minutes, some romantic moments happened. Then she said, “Old man thank you, how can I give you reward?” I said, “Can you please call courier company and give one shouting?”

Madam/ Sir, plan was 100% failure, but also 100% success.

Yours in conspiracy,

J. Mathrubootham


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 8:35:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/black-ops-with-mr-mathrubootham/article28201742.ece

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