Letter From A Concerned Reader Columns

Mr. and Mrs. Mathrubootham are enjoying in Andamans

Respected Sir/Madam,

What and all drama has happened last two three days. Just thinking about it is giving me headache and blood pressure.

Three days back after morning yoga class I told my dear friend Mohammad Usman, “Hello Usman, come to my house. We can have breakfast and watch some TV or DVD or something.”

Sir/ Madam, usually Usman is first person to accept house invitation. But for some reason he said, “No, no, Mathrubootham. You please proceed. I am not feeling well.”

“What happened,” I asked. “Some viral fever type?”

These days everything is viral fever. You go to doctor with any problem, he will tell you to sit on round stool, look inside your mouth, do pish-pish to find blood pressure, then take ₹400 and say congratulations it is only viral fever. Take some Crocin and rest for three or four days. “Thank you doctor, but what about the fracture in my arm, bone in 34 pieces.”

He will say, “Oh sorry, I did not see it due to clerical mistake; for this you have to meet my colleague Dr. Ganesan, bone specialist. Appointment is available in September 2019.”

“No thanks, doctor, I will use cello tape and apply Tiger balm.”

Usman said it was not fever. “But something is not right somewhere. Let me see doctor.”

I said, “Fine, no need to worry. We are all getting old. Must be usual issues only. Don’t take tension.”

Sir/ Madam, actually I was feeling little upset. At least if Usman visits me means timepass for some time. Now I had to sit alone. Mrs. Mathrubootham has gone with ladies association members for one week trip to Andaman & Nicobar Islands. I told her why you are spending time with these horrible ladies when you can relax with loving husband.

She laughed in my face, ha-ha-ha-ha, like machine that corporation uses for spraying DDT. “Loving husband it seems. Old man, I am trying to run away from you. Andaman is the most far away I can get from you without needing visa.”

“Ha ha ha. Kamalam, your comedy is so excellent,” I said, and went to pooja room and promised ₹200 donation to nearby Murugan temple if he can arrange non-stop air-pocket from Madras to Port Blair.

Next day I got a call from Usman’s son. “Uncle my father is getting emergency triple bypass surgery tomorrow. He went for check-up and doctor said heart is blocked badly, risk is very high. Please pray for him, operation is risky.”

Sir/ Madam, I was in total shock. What did I say on the phone? No memory at all. Something I said and then cut the phone. Then I came and sat in the living room for a long time.

If this can happen to Usman means what will happen to rest of us? Sir/ Madam, have you seen Usman? Exactly like Dara Singh. Six feet tall and three feet wide. Healthy means super-healthy. In college we used to call him Godrej because he is like almirah. And now Usman’s heart is having problems. After sometime I thought I should talk to Usman before surgery. His son said I cannot meet, but can phone.

“Hello, Usman,” I said. “Is it viral fever?” (Just one joke to create light atmosphere.) Usman laughed and said, “Please make all jokes now only, afterwards it will put strain on heart if I laugh too much.”

Sir/ Madam, at this point I lost all my self-control on the phone. Usman said, “What nonsense is this Mathrubootham, you are making me give you confidence? When I am lying in ICU? Hopeless fellow.”

After the call I thought for two minutes. And then immediately called up Mrs. Mathrubootham on mobile phone. “I am taking earliest flight to Andaman,” I said. “After you finish with ladies association, you spend some time with husband ok?”

She said, “Oh my god, old man, tickets will be very expensive.”

I said, “It is fine. We will manage.”

This morning I got a call saying operation is a success. Usman will come back home within one week. Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Mathrubootham are enjoying in Andamans. So maybe for a few weeks I will not be able to send any letters.

You will understand, Sir/ Madam? Of course.

Yours in excursion,

J. Mathrubootham


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Printable version | Aug 6, 2021 5:09:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/mr-and-mrs-mathrubootham-are-enjoying-in-andamans/article24532354.ece

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