Letter From A Concerned Reader | Columns

Letter From A Concerned Reader: Me and Mrs. Obama, writes J. Mathrubootham

Photo: Getty Images/ iStock  

Respected Madam/ Sir,

This morning I went to nearby supermarket to buy some food items. What was the supermarket name? I don’t remember. Every two months they are changing it and some new muttaal will become manager. He will then try to improve the supermarket by putting potato in tomato place, tomato in karunai kilanku place, agar batthi in talcum powder place and all. First of all too many vegetables in this world.

From outside itself I could hear neighbour Mr. Balaraman shouting. I ran inside immediately. Madam/sir, I thought maybe some emergency is there, retirement lifestyle means you should be prepared for anything.

Two-three months back, upstairs Mrs. Guruprasad, ex-TNMB senior manager, created big comedy scene in the housing colony. She was watching superhit film Agni Natchathiram and by mistake sat on her mobile phone. Few minutes later all members of Seniors Intermediate Yoga Class got one voice message from Mrs. Guruprasad on WhatsApp. We thought oh maybe some song or comedy or something.

Instead message was ditto as if somebody is struggling to breathe and in the background you can hear shouting and screaming and all. All of us are calling her. Again and again. “Stupid woman are you ok? Hello hello.” Whether she will hear? No chance. Madam/ sir, let us not go into details or personal matters, but if Mrs. Guruprasad sits on phone means it is silent mode.

Breaking open

We all ran to her house and knocked on the door. Nothing. Then Mr. Balaraman said, “Step back I am going to break the door.” Before we could say anything he went into nearby flat, took one gas cylinder. Two seconds later, door is kotthu porotta. I thought Guruvayoorappa, what and all I will have to see inside, it will be like American show, with dead body and fingerprints and all.

Inside, Mrs. Guruprasad was making Horlicks in the kitchen with headphones. All of us said, “Oh my god, what happened, we thought you are having heart attacks.” She said, “What nonsense you are talking, I was watching Agni Natchathiram with new wireless headphone. Sounds are so realistic, you can feel as if Amala is standing in front of you.” I said, “Mrs. Guruprasad, this is very irresponsible behaviour, please be more careful with your phone, unnecessary scene why you are creating, can you give brand name and details of headphone?”

She said, “Stupid fellows who broke my door?” Gas cylinder was still there but Mr. Balaraman vanished. Anyway what to do now, door broken means door broken, so we all sat and watched last half hour of Agni Natchathiram and had Horlicks with Mrs. Guruprasad.

Furious Balaraman

Madam/ sir, this is the reason why I ran inside the supermarket. Mr. Balaraman no? Who knows what is happening?

Inside he was shouting and shouting like newsreader. “I will burn your supermarket. I will arrest your proprietor. I will throw all your things in the street. How dare you talk to me like this? I will destroy everything. You are playing with Mr. Balaraman” and all.

I calmly asked: “What is happening? Shouting is not the solution.”

“Mr. Mathrubootham,” he said, “I bought three packets of biscuit. And just when I was leaving I noticed one is expiring tomorrow. I said how dare you sell expiring product? Give me refund immediately. But they are saying no, purchase means purchase, no refund. It is against store policy. Mr Mathrubootham, these fellows will only learn lesson if I destroy everything.”

Madam/ sir, I went back home. Why people are like this? Problem means you should get angry step by step no? Directly if you talk of fire and bomb and all then how things will get solved? Om shanti, I went home.

Mrs. Mathrubootham said, “Old man if I send you to buy something will you buy or just come back empty-handed? You are getting more and more useless each day. One day I am going to put Mortein in your curd rice and then I will live happily ever after.”

Madam/ sir, only Mr. Mathrubootham and Mrs. Obama are calm and gentle people in this world?

Yours in exasperation,

J. Mathrubootham

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 1:54:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/me-and-mrs-obama/article25578382.ece

Next Story