Letter from A Concerned Reader Columns

Too much googly sir

Dear Sir/Madam,

Do you know what is the difference between Pongal and Eid?

Simple. You can eat Pongal to celebrate Eid. But you cannot eat Eid to celebrate Pongal.

I hope you enjoyed my joke. It is a very versatile one that you can modify to include any festival of any religion. What is different between Pongal and Christmas? What is different between Pongal and Pravasi Bharatiya Divas etcetera etcetera?

Second of all, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the readers of this esteemed newspaper a very happy and very belated Eid Mubarak.

Today I have written this letter to inform you that there has been a new addition to my notebook in which I write down all the things that irritate me. I have written to you before about this. It includes irritating items such as calorie on hotel menu, airport bus that takes 45 minutes to reach the plane as if it is some Mettupalayam Black Thunder trip, and all retired cricketers.

What is the latest item? Let me tell the story from the beginning.

Few days ago, I received a phone call from my dearest classmate Mohammad Usman. (We both spent many happy years together going to the same driving school.) Usman called and said Mathrubootham Eid party is ready you please come this evening without fail. I said ok and immediately cancelled breakfast and lunch plans to prepare mentally and physically for Eid party.

My wife immediately asked, “Who was it on the phone?” I said, “Phone? What phone I am reading Force 10 from Navarone novel, who has time for phone, I hate phone.”

“Mister, just now you spoke to somebody.”

“Oh that was a wrong number,” I said.

“You are meeting wrong number for dinner tonight?”

Oh my god! Why did I marry Sunny Deol in Damini? So I told her.

And that is why Mrs. Mathrubootham also came to Usman’s house. Otherwise I would have eaten like anything without any control. Each time Mrs. Usman would come with one bucket full of Kerala parotta, and then Mrs. Mathrubootham will look like that thing you paint on the front of lorry to avoid evil spirit.

While this was going on, Mr. Usman and I were sharing family developments and many such things. I told him that my son has gone to Switzerland for some work. He was very impressed and asked me which city. I said Geneva, it is the capital of Switzerland.

Suddenly, Mr. Usman’s son who was quietly sitting nearby like crocodile jumped and said excuse me uncle are you sure Geneva is capital?

I said I am not sure maybe it is Zurich, we are just casually talking. Again this fellow says, Zurich? I don’t think so. Fine, it is ok, said Mr. Usman, wherever it is.

But whether this fellow will stop? Never. And then he did one of the most irritating things in the world. He took his phone, opened Google and searched. And then 10 seconds later, with a face like he has got first rank in IAS, this fellow comes and shows me full details of Switzerland capital on his phone.

Sir/madam, what is this new irritating trend? I am seeing it more and more. You will be casually talking with somebody, saying this and that for entertainment, and one Isaac Newton will come with mobile phone to check everything. Whether retired elderly people can no longer just talk nonsense to each other anymore? Then why did I retire?

When you ask what is the solution for world peace nobody knows. If you ask for recipe for low-calorie rose milk, then pin-drop silence. But just pronounce Aung San Suu Kyi a little bit wrong and 35 fellows with Google on phone will jump on your head.

I am totally fed up.

Yours in exasperation,

J. Mathrubootham

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 12:39:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/too-much-googly-sir/article19192870.ece

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