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Haircut in the time of coronavirus

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Respected Madam/ Sir,

How is the quarantine news? Whether everything is ok in the esteemed newspaper? One day rumour is coming that one newspaper is terminating employees. Next day rumour is coming that one TV channel is terminating employees. Everyday rumours only. Kali Yuga. What else one can say?

Before Corona days, I used to think oho, it will be so nice to work in office. Full computer and AC and all. Decades ago, during probation time, maybe I have told this story. Bank of India branch used to be next to one cowshed. Smell is very bad. But after two-three weeks, brain is adjusting for smell. But we are noticing one thing, deposit slip is being used like anything. Every day, one or two slip books are disappearing. During morning meeting manager said, “Hello, what nonsense. Whole day seven customers are coming. But evening 70 slips are missing.”

Mrs. Chacko, is it you? Mrs. Chacko face is turning red. She said, “Sir, just because by mistake one person tried to take new ceiling fan from the branch to one person’s house means every time one person will be treated like Charles Sobhraj?”

Then two-three days later, when we are returning from lunch break, mystery is solved. Everyday lunch time we are locking branch but leaving window open so that post or messages can be put inside. But what is actually happening? Madam/ Sir, nearby cow is coming, putting head into the window and eating all paper items. When we came back, she is casually enjoying deposit slip as if ras malai. We laughed and laughed like anything but whether head office will believe? Never. They said if you want new deposit slip book, please ask cow owner. Whether we are Bank of India or Gold Mohur Cattle Feed Company?

But these days any cows coming inside office? Zero. Full AC and kitchen and sofa set and all. That’s why I sometimes think what enjoyment it will be to work in modern office.

But after Corona, no need. At least those days stable jobs was there. Today? Monday you are manager. Tuesday you are in the dustbin.

What story I was going to tell? No no. Not cow story. One other story. OHO. YES. Story of housewarming.

Friday morning Mrs. M came and said, “Please get ready today, tomorrow one housewarming is there.” I said, “Kamalam, did I sleep for two months by mistake? Corona is over?” She said, “What nonsense you are talking. My cousin in Bhopal is doing housewarming in video conference. All are attending. Please get ready.”

I said, “What is there to get ready? Video conference means put one shirt and look at camera no? Even trouser not needed.” Kamalam looked like M.R. Radha seeing first day first show of Aayirathil Oruvan. She said, “Your hair is growing like banyan tree in Theosophical Society. Please do one haircut.” I said, “Kamalam, how I will get haircut? Whether police will allow barber shop?” She thought for two minutes then said, “I will cut your hair.” I said no no no no no.

Madam/ Sir, what happened? She cut my hair. Nowadays, from morning to evening I am wearing one Deccan Chargers cap. Under cap, hair is like old toothbrush Kamalam is using for jewellery cleaning. Total humiliation. During housewarming people are saying, excuse me, why Mr. Mathrubootham is wearing cap? That too of old team? Mrs. M is saying oho that is because he is lifelong fan of Deccan Chargers.

What did I say? Nothing. Because Mrs. Mathrubootham said, during housewarming pin-drop silence. Only smiling.

Yours in humiliation,

J. Mathrubootham

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 11:41:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/fully-cowfefe-only/article31423117.ece

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