Letter From A Concerned Reader Columns

Mrs. Mathrubootham writes in

Dear Madam,

Whether you are putting any phone call in last 4-5 days and having someone coughing lokku-lokku right inside your ear drums? Corona warning it seems but it is sounding very much as if Corona itself is calling. Like Yamaraja visiting through phone. First time I was so frightened I cut the call thinking maybe some over-eating or something is affecting my hearing.

But as you have printed in your esteemed newspaper somebody is filing PIL explaining to government that such realistic A.K. Hangal in deathbed coughing is not needed for health warning. Simple voice telling dos and don’ts is enough. Let us wait and see what learned judge will say. Some birds are telling he will refer to larger bench.

Meanwhile you must be wondering what happened to lovable rascal Mr. Mathrubootham? Lovable and all I don’t know but rascal I am fully agreeing. Why I am being like this when I should be thinking tender thoughts like Sita you are thinking? Madam, is every man allowing wife to live peacefully? No. Instead he is occupying best armchair in house for many hours and needing to be fed and watered 3-4 times a day. Like pet or plant. Not at all conducive to tender thoughts madam. It is not surprising Sita is preferring underground burrow to surface palace.

Anyway, yesterday evening I was returning from Ladies Club meeting at about 7:00 p.m. — we got delayed because Mrs. Shankaramenon was telling recipe for excellent nei appam contribution that she made for meeting. As I am entering flat I found Mr. M exiting flat in great hurry. ‘Why you are rushing and where you are going,’ I enquired.

‘Nothing, nothing Kamalam, you go inside and rest. I am going for walk,’ he said.

‘What walk?’ I asked. This was shrewd question on my part. Because I am knowing fully well he is doing Senior Yoga until 6 o’clock and then all those useless men from building will get together and talk and talk like no tomorrow. After all that activity Mr. M is always very hungry and then it is time for serving one more meals.

Mr. Mathrubootham is always hating it when I am shrewd. ‘She is shrew when she is shrewd hahaha’ is the unfunny joke he has cracked some 10,566 times. (Yes, I have counted, what it is to you?)

But he had to stop and reply. ‘Why you are always so curious ma? Go inside and keep dosai ready. I am coming in 10-15 minutes after brisk walk.’ As you are well knowing, madam, Mr. Mathrubootham has not taken one brisk walk in entire life so my ears are quivering like antenna on intelligent mosquito.

As soon as he has gone out of sight I rushed into corner bedroom which has one window where if you put head out at 45 degrees angle you can see corner of road and corner of building gate. Immediately I can see reason of rushing. One group of ladies from building are standing and doing haha-hehe over there while 2-3 men like that foolish Shankaramenon are putting jalra. This was urgent evening walk for Mr. Mathrubootham.

‘How was walk? You’re not sweating?’ I asked when he came back. ‘Oh it was so cool outside,’ he said. I served the dosai which was also quite cool and drooping like cloth. Then went off to sleep.

At midnight I was awoken by sound just like telephone cough lokku-lokku. The cool evening air is not agreeing with one retired gentleman in my house. He is now sleeping in guest bedroom. Like Italian quarantine I told him.

Yours with exasperation,

Mrs. Mathrubootham

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 7:05:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/mrs-mathrubootham-writes-in/article31060250.ece

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