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Letter From A Concerned Reader: the one where Mr. Mathrubootham is accused of being a Soviet spy

Respected Sir/Madam,

When one Mr. Mathrubootham urgently requires some help means not a single member of the public will come.

Excuse me, do you have extra IPL ticket? Sorry, Mr. Mathrubootham what to do so much demand.

Excuse me, local LIC agent Rajagopalan is coming in 10 minutes to sell some Bheema Udyog Suzuki Adyar Anand Bhavan Policy, can I please hide in your bedroom till dinner time? Sorry Mr. Mathrubootham, phone signal is weak, I cannot hear you, hello hello hello.

Excuse me Mrs. Jesudasan, timeless classic film Die Hard is coming on TV, kindly can you please invite Kamalam for tea party urgently this evening so I can watch with peace of mind? Sorry Mr. Mathrubootham, she just called five minutes back itself for tea party in your house. Ok thanks, one more request, any cyanide? I can come immediately.

But if other people want some help? Long line outside my door, as if my house is hospital in Andhra where they solve all life problems of fish by inserting into asthma patient.

Same thing happened few days ago when three-four families in the colony sent children to my flat for emergency tuition in accountancy and maths and all. I said fine. What else is there to do in retirement lifestyle? If children are the future of our country, then at least they should not be buffoons.

Good for nothing

Tuition was going on as usual. Children were sitting around dining table doing exercise, while I was supervising and giving guidance. In between, Mrs. Mathrubootham will serve snacks and drinks. I told her, “Kamalam Kamalam Kamalam, already we are giving free tuition, why you are also giving free glucose biscuit and free Rasna and free kuzhipaniyaram? As if these fellows are going to become Prime Minister. Second floor Selvaraj’s son does not know difference between polynomial and thenga poli.”

But whether she will listen? Ha ha ha. Nice joke. Better to put cow in fridge and expect ice cream in the morning.

Then suddenly front door opened and dear friend and neighbour Mr. Balaraman came just for social visit. “Oh my god, Mr. Mathrubootham,” he said, “why you are feeding propaganda to these innocent children?”

“Excuse me, what you are talking, this is algebra and accounting.”

“Lies, lies, all communist lies,” said Mr. Balaraman. “Stop this immediately.”

Ok, I thought, his internet is working again. I told him to come with me to balcony for tea and biscuit, let the children concentrate on their studies. After sitting down in balcony chairs, I asked him, “What all nonsense you are talking Mr. Balaraman, please explain.”

“Mr. Mathrubootham, do you know in India school textbooks and all full of communist propaganda. Since independence all these Marxist fellows are non-stop inserting secret communist ideas into our children’s minds.”

“Oh my god, and then what will happen,” I asked.

“Country will be full of communists and Marxists, Mathrubootham. It will become Soviet Russia.”

“And this has been going on since Independence?”

“One hundred percent. It must be stopped immediately. Instead, respectable fellows like you are feeding this propaganda to the future of our country. You are Soviet spy.”

“Thank you for this, Balaraman,” I said. “Is this why across the country communists are winning election after election and all young people are voting full and full leftists? And every other party is sitting at home doing Poikkal Kuthirai practice?”

Mr. Balaraman sat quietly in his chair and sipped his tea. We enjoyed the scenery. In between, children came and asked various questions, their mouth full of my Hide and Seek biscuits.

After sometime, he got up and left. “Bye, Mathrubootham,” he said. “Lal salaam,” I said.

Yours in revolution,

Mr. J. Mathrubootham

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 8:49:26 am | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/you-are-soviet-spy-mr-mathrubootham/article23528047.ece