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Letter From A Concerned Reader: Politics in this country is too much entertainment, says Mathrubootham

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Respected Madam/Sir,

People will say how you can live in India, Mathrubootham? Pollution in the air, poison in the water, traffic in the road, news on TV, inflation, Mrs. Mathrubootham, confusion, corruption, nepotism and all.

Fine, all this and all ok. But you tell me madam/sir, which other country you will get so much entertainment without spending one naya paisa. Why you need any Alistair Maclean novel or Gregory peck film in this country when politics is there? This is why there is no public library and all in India. Full drama is happening in real life only. Also with home delivery.

One week back, I went to Dr. Shankaramenon’s house for tea party. When I went he was still sitting in T-shirt and banian doing some housework. I said, oh my god, you said come at 3 p.m. and I came at 3 p.m., and you are like Disco Shanti, shame is not coming? He said, hahaha Mathrubootham, what formality between us? You please come and sit down.

I said ok. But inside I was thinking rascal, I put ironed Double Bull shirt for tea party and you are wearing Ramraj, how this is fair. Useless man, wasting my ironing charges.

As I was sitting and drinking tea, he was cleaning all the showpiece items in his showcase. Biggest item of all was what? Framed photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Dr. Shankaramenon took photo out of the shelf like Queen Elizabeth takes Kohinoor out of almirah in the morning.

I said Doctor, this is new photo?

He said what nonsense you are talking, Mathrubootham, photo has been sitting on this very same shelf for years and years. He took one cloth and gently cleaned the Modi photo like how in old TV advertisement they are putting Vicco turmeric ayurvedic cream on leg of Sangeeta Bijlani.

No no no, I said. You had one other photo of Gandhi going for salt or something.

Hahahahaha, he laughed. Such duplicate laughter, maybe he purchased from Burma Bazaar. Don’t say such things in this house, he said. When new leader is there, what you are talking about old leaders. That India and all is gone. You sit quietly and drink tea no? If you want to put showpiece, put in your own house, Mathrubootham.

Ok, ok, no need to shout, you have Bourbon biscuit?

Anyway, yesterday I went to one nearby shop to buy Christmas gift for Mr. F.S. D’Costa, retired General Manager of Steel Authority of India. He is living on 11th floor. Mrs. Mathrubootham said you please be careful this year and buy something proper. I said what nonsense, last year I purchased beautiful sandalwood Jesus for D’Costa. You don’t teach me.

Stupid old man, she said, beautiful sandalwood Jesus was hanging on the cross. Will anybody buy such a thing for Christmas? You have any general knowledge? Get some baby, Santa Claus, angel, candle-type jolly item.

So I was standing in the showpiece shop looking at jolly items. Suddenly I heard the voice of Dr. Shankaramenon. He was asking manager, hello you have any nice showpiece of Nehru, Gandhi, Kamaraj or something?

I turned around and said hello Doctor! Immediately, he tried to hide behind one plaster-of-Paris elephant. Hello, hello, why you are purchasing old leaders and all? What happened to Prime Minister photo? You saw the State election results, is it?

He said shut up, Mathrubootham, spreading rumours without shame, how dare you. State election and all today-tomorrow news, we should never forget timeless leaders of our country. What photo you are talking about? Please do memory check-up in hospital.

Madam/ Sir, when I went back home and gave gift to Mrs. Mathrubootham for wrapping, I was smiling so much she was looking at me with full suspicion.

I said, ayyo Kamalam, Kamalam. Politics in this country is too much entertainment. You have heard of old proverb: victory has many fathers, defeat means swaha. She said if you don’t bring masking tape in five minutes, you will become swaha.

Yours in enjoyment,

J. Mathrubootham

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 2:41:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/madamsir-this-country-is-full-entertainment-without-spending-naya-paisa/article25743506.ece

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