Letter from a Concerned Reader | Columns

Mr. Mathrubootham asks, where is real friendship these days?

Image: Getty Images/ iStock

Image: Getty Images/ iStock

Respected madam/sir,

Good morning. How are you? Some tensions are going through my mind these days. Shall I share? Maybe you are thinking, “What, this old man is giving new tension on top of already so much newspaper tension?”

Friendship means only sharing good news? Never. Tension also must be shared. Good news you can share with muttaikos also.

So yesterday morning I was reading newspaper in living room. And mind went to Prime Minister Modi, then I thought of previous Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, then I started thinking about lassi and then suddenly I thought what happened to Dal Roti — old famous restaurant of Anna Nagar.

Madam/sir, have you been? You order one lassi means they will give one bucket full. Two–three people can share easily but Mrs. M will say, “What, you are sharing drinks in hotel like uncultured people, order one per person.”

So I ordered four lassi. For two months if you are poking Mrs. Mathrubootham stomach means lassi coming out of ears.

I said, “Kamalam, what happened to Dal Roti?” She said, “What jambuvan era things you are asking? Next you will ask where is Mr. Mahatma Gandhi, long time no update, still making salt?”

“Kamalam, never mind. Can you make one lassi for me?” She said, “I have to remove skin of 3 kg seppankizhangu . If you can remove I will make lassi.” I quietly escaped to Ganga Sweets. Maybe they are having lassi.

Reaching there I decided what lassi, I will have ras malai only. I am eating quietly and enjoying when I saw one fellow sitting next to me. He is wearing nice shirt and tie and all. But looking very upset. As if tears are coming.

First of all I thought better to avoid. Maybe drugs or thanni party. Why to put nose in other people issues. But 10 minutes later he is still sitting with sad face. I said, “Thambi, any problem?”

He said, “Uncle, nothing, no problem. It is OK, I will manage.”

I said, “Thambi, one more time you call uncle I will manage your moonji with tumbler. But tell me what is problem? Family problem? Health problem? I will listen.”

He said, “Uncle, seven years I am working in real estate company in sales team. Working very hard. Blood and sweat and all. Doing sales like anything. Manager saying excellent employee. GM giving award five–six times. Other companies saying, you come, we will give 30% increment. Did I leave? Never!”

“Super, thambi. Then what is the problem?”

“Uncle, yesterday I got phone call. Job is gone. Full and final settlement is in the bank account. Today is last day.”

“Oho,” I said. “It is bad news but don’t be sad. Sit with friends. Make biodata and again try. Demand is high for hard working fellows like you. Shall I buy you some tiffin item?”

He said, “Uncle, what friends? Whether I can tell friends that job is gone? It is cutting of nose. I am very upset.”

Madam/sir, what is happening these days? If some problem means I can share with Shankaramenon, Mohammad Usman, Prathapan, Mr. F.N. Costa. So many people are there. If friend is there means what nose, what cutting?

But these days where is real friendship? People sitting alone and suffering like anything. Enough is enough. I said, “Young man, today onwards I am your friend. I will order one ras malai for you also. You eat and go home. Make new bio data. OK? OK.”

He said, “Uncle, thank you. You are most kind. I don’t like ras malai, maybe I will have Mysore Pak.”I thought what barbarian this is not liking ras malai. But friendship means you have to ignore such things.

Madam/sir please put some articles about friendship and support and all. Otherwise people are living in country with 100 crore people and zero friends. It is very bad.

Yours in sadness,

J. Mathrubootham

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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 8:17:11 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/mr-mathrubootham-will-manage-your-face-with-tumbler/article29233395.ece