Letter From A Concerned Reader Columns

Sir/Madam, why people are approaching retired people for advice?

Respected Madam/Sir,

These days, morning itself I wake up prepared for stupidity. You never know where it is coming from. Will it come from family? Will it come from friends? Will it come from yoga class? So much suspense. I think this is why retired people in this country are always angry and upset.

During my Bank of India days, where is the time for nonstop stupidity? Morning you go to office, you do your work, maybe some accountant will do some nonsense, or some customer will try to get fraud loan, maybe cashier will get stuck inside cage and then we have to call locksmith, and in between, during lunch break, we have to push curd rice on teaspoon through the bars because cashier is diabetic. But this and all is normal. There is no tension. Part of life.

But these days sitting at home? Non-stop tension. Tata Sky tension. Mobile phone tension. Politics tension. Health tension. Neighbour tension. Society tension.

Yesterday after lunch I was sitting and reading one old Lee Child novel. Then I looked on the wall clock. Oh my god it is 3:30 p.m., till now not one person has come to eat my brain, shall I call up and inform All India Radio Chennai office? I went to the balcony where Mrs. Mathrubootham was sitting and drinking coffee. I said, “Kamalam, whole day you have not said anything to me, what is the secret?” She said, “Everything is fine, just be quiet and enjoy the peace.”

Then I went to bedroom to find son who does “work from home”. I said, “Kanna, if you want to irritate me today please do so now; don’t come later and try to surprise. He said, “Old man, when you will stop complaining about family? Please go and read your book.”

Irritating ringtone

I came back and sat on the sofa. I was thinking, this is very suspicious. I picked up the book.

And just at that moment, Sir/ Madam, telephone started ringing. How many times I have told Mrs. Mathrubootham please can we put some relaxing phone bell in our house?

Madam/ Sir, current phone bell sounds like this: LALALALALALALA.

Every time the phone rings I get 2-3% heart attack. After 30-40 calls, I will get 100% heart attack.

I said, “Kamalam, so many phones are there with relaxing phone bell. Sounds of small flutes or birds and all.” Will she listen? Ha ha ha. Madam/ Sir, better to throw one packet ginger and chilli at the coconut tree, and wait for chutney to fall down. I picked up the phone. “Hello Mathrubootham, this is Mohammad Usman, I need urgent help, can I come in 20 minutes?”

I said, “Ok Usman, no problem. I looked at Guruvayoorappan photo on the wall. Thank you for giving peace of mind till 4 p.m.

Usman came with son. He said, “Mathru, this buffoon is thinking of resigning from MNC company, can you please give some advice?”

Why me?

Madam/ Sir, why in this country people are approaching retired people for advice? I don’t understand. Just because I managed to stay alive till 65 means suddenly I can give advice on everything?

I said, “Young man what is the problem? Job and all is not like underwear you can change every day.” He said, “Uncle, you won’t understand, full and full politics inside the company. They are not recognising talent, just doing favouritism.”

I asked, “What happened?” He said, “One manager has left, so they should promote the right people no?” Instead of promoting Usman’s son, it seems they promoted some buffoon executive just because he has more experience.

I said, “Young man, experience is very important. Experience teaches you many things. How much experience he has?” He said, “Four years.” I said, “Ok, that is not too much. How much experience you have?” He said, “I joined the company last Wednesday, uncle.”

Madam/ Sir, I wanted to throw them out of the house. But Kamalam said, “Please we cannot throw guests out; if you want, you leave the house.”

So I left.

Yours in exasperation,

J. Mathrubootham


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 1:25:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/sirmadam-why-people-are-approaching-retired-people-for-advice/article25453401.ece

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