Letter From A Concerned Reader Columns

Sir/Madam, can you control my brain?

Respected Sir/Madam,

Yesterday morning I got up as usual and went for brushing teeth. Brushing and brushing. No problem. Looking in mirror and thinking about world news and politics and sports and all. I fully brushed once, then decided to do one final cleaning. In between, suddenly, my brain started to think about superhit English film from the 1960s period called The Ipcress File.

Madam/ Sir, have you seen? It is a thrilling film with Michael Caine.

Anyway, once my brain is thinking about things means no control. For 15 minutes, I am just standing like intellectual statue in the bathroom. First I thought about Michael Caine, then brain started thinking about Michael Jackson, then Michael Madana Kama Rajan, and then I thought what happened to actress Rupini. Long time no news. She was there in superhit Malayalam film Bandhukkal Sathrukkal, do you remember? Where is she?

And then Mrs. Mathrubootham came to the washbasin and said, old man what nonsense, Ambedkar wrote Constitution faster than this. You want to have breakfast or no?

I said ok ok ok, no need to shout, mirror will break. Then suddenly I saw, madam/ sir. There was blood in the washbasin.

Kamalam, I said, there is too much blood in the washbasin. She said if I complain that idli has become cold, there will be blood everywhere in the house. I should have married Charles Sobhraj for more sympathy.

Total tension

After breakfast I tried reading one famous John Buchan novel called The Thirty-Nine Steps. But no chance. Mind was going back again and again to blood in the basin. Total tension.

Sir/ Madam, olden days what tension was there? Maximum you could die from five-six items: heart attack, car accident, cancer, old age, electric shock.

Today, so many different ways to die are there. Thirty-five types of cancer. Fifteen types of heart attack. Twenty types of stroke. Seven flavour of diabetes. Same like pizza. Fifteen years back, you went to bakery and said two veg pizza, paid money and came home. Those golden days all gone. Now if you ask they will say hello sir, we have Siciliano, Milano, Jalapeno, Aalumo, Dolumo, which one you want? You don’t want, because you have already run away in shame.

I thought ok no need to take risk, I will immediately book doctor’s appointment. I called doctor’s phone and receptionist said sorry Mr. Mathrubootham, but he is very busy today, can you come at 7.30 p.m.? I said ok fine. Kamalam said old man why you are worrying so much? A little bleeding from the mouth means sky will fall or what?

Madam/ Sir, that moment my son entered the dining room like typhoid enters human body. Appa, he said, medical science and all full fraud and chicanery. Have you tried mindfulness? It can solve any health problem, I have even stopped using soap, instead I am meditating. Normally, madam/ sir, I ignore everything my son says. But today, due to tension, by mistake I said, please tell me about mindfulness.

He said appa, first of all you must meditate. He gave me mobile phone and earphones and said please listen carefully and follow the instructions. I said ok. Why not?

Lady on the phone had ditto voice like old Doordarshan newsreader. Hello, she said, please find a nice quiet place in your house and sit in comfortable chair. Madam/ Sir, I discovered that in entire Mathrubootham household there is no quiet place and no comfortable chair. I sat on stool in balcony. At that moment children started playing cricket outside like barbarians. So I came to living room. Mrs. Mathrubootham was watching a horror film. I went to bedroom, but there my son was doing video conference call. So I went to dining room and finally found some peace and quiet. At that moment I got call from doctor.

What happened, he asked. I told him about my medical condition. He asked how long did you brush your teeth? I said maybe 20-30 minutes. He said Mr. Mathrubootham, if you rub jackfruit tree with toothbrush for 30 minutes blood will come there also, what nonsense you are doing. Next time, please finish off in 5 minutes. No need for thinking so much.

I said ok. But can you control my brain? Can you ask Usain Bolt to run slowly? Can you ask Suhasini to be less beautiful?

It is impossible.

Yours in relief,

J. Mathrubootham

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 11:48:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/sirmadam-can-you-control-my-brain/article25642376.ece

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