Letter from a Concerned Reader | Columns

Mr. Mathrubootham brings foreign lady home

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Respected Madam/Sir,

It is with greatest pleasure that I am informing you of latest addition to the Mathrubootham household. It is a very small fellow, and it is sitting near the mixie in the kitchen.

What is it you are thinking? Confusion is there in your face? I can see, I can see through computer screen itself.

I will explain full story. Yesterday I went for Seniors Intermediate Yoga in the morning. During return journey I was walking with usual friends group of Dr. Shankaramenon, Mohammed Usman and all. And Usman suddenly said, “Hey JMB you are always asking nonstop questions everyday, no? I have one idea for you.”

I said, “First of all please don’t call me JMB in public places, people will think I am tractor or some vaccination for small children. Second of all Usman what do you mean nonstop questions? Curiosity is a crime in India now? Should I not ask questions? Should I just keep quiet every time?”

Usman said, “My dear JMB you have already asked seven questions in two seconds. Even Derek O'Brien is not asking so many questions. Now you are seeing my point?”

I was about to open my mouth but it was also a question so I immediately closed my mouth and made insulting movement with my hands.

Then Usman said “JMB, my son has purchased one new device from Amazon website. It is the latest model of old product I am already having. My son said, ‘Papa, shall we sell it in secondhand market?’ I said, ‘What dhuddu-moneys we will get for this. I will give it to my friends. Maybe they can use.’”

So we went to Usman’s shop. He took out one box and said, “Take it, Mathrubootham. Now you ask whatever questions you want at home only, please stop eating heads of friends. It is like new, only some masala stains on the box, apologies for this.”

Madam/sir this device is called Amazon Alexa. Have you seen? I took Alexa out of the box. Then I carefully read the manual and then connected to internet and then kept it on dining table. And then I said, “Alexa, tell me names of novels by Alistair MacLean.” Suddenly in full volume one lady like Margaret Thatcher started saying one after one the names.

Immediately Mrs. M came running out and said “Who is that lady? Where is the lady? You have brought foreign lady home? I have been waiting for this day for many years. Long time back itself members of Ladies Association said be careful Mrs. Mathrubootham, these days old men are sitting on internet and doing antisocial activities….”

Madam/Sir, after 30-40 minutes she stopped. Then I said, “It is Alexa. Ask any question.” Mrs. M started asking one question after another. Then she took manual and connected to one music station. She said, “Thank you, I am keeping it in kitchen to listen to music during daily work.”

I said, “Kamalam, please let me also use? How can I use Alexa if I am in living room and Alexa is in kitchen?” Finally, after 2-3 hours frank discussions it is now in the kitchen. Whenever I have any questions I go to the kitchen to ask.

But unfortunately, madam/sir, for some reason it is now only listening to Mrs. M’s voice. If I ask any question, Mrs. Thatcher is shouting like anything. “I did not understand. Please repeat. Hello you are man or muttaal please speak properly.” Like that.

But Mrs. Mathrubootham is happy. She is saying, “Look, I can finally do long talks with someone who is not irritating.”

Yours in exasperation,

J. Mathrubootham

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 12:33:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/mr-mathrubootham-brings-foreign-lady-home/article29595576.ece

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