Letter From A Concerned Reader Society

Listen to the modern Mr. and Mrs. Mathrubootham

Respected Sir/ Madam,

Esteemed employees and readers of your publication may be thinking: Oh, Mr. J. Mathrubootham is relic of bygone era. What this retired man with traditional views and backward ideas will know about the 21st century? Nothing.

Lies, slander, chicanery and more lies. Just because I said children are fools and youth are useless does not mean I am some maharishi of Jambavan period. In fact, if you ask Mrs. Mathrubootham, she will say that I am too much modern in my outlook and behaviour.

Who was the first person in full extended family to get internet in the house? Myself. Who was the first person in the colony to get cable TV connection in the house including Prime Sports channel, which had ladies outdoor adults-only exercise programmes? Again myself. Who was the first retired lady in our family to wear salwar kameez? Mrs. Mathrubootham. Yes, but who gave Mrs. Mathrubootham moral support in the shopping centre? Only one Mr. J. Mathrubootham. I said, “Kamalam, you wear whatever clothing items you want, forget about other people, if you want I will come inside trial room to check your selections.” She said, “No, maybe CCTV camera is there.”

People said many things. Is this the age to wear salwar kameez? Is this the age to watch exercise programmes? Is this the age to buy jeans shirt? Madam, is this old man disturbing you etcetera etcetera. Sir/ Madam, people will say many things. Mathrubootham is the final authority.

All talk only

No? All big talks only? Fine. Let me give one example. I will tell you what happened yesterday. My neighbour Dr. Shankaramenon invited myself and Mrs. Mathrubootham to his house for tea party at around 5 p.m. Seven or eight other guests were also there including one newly married couple. Very sweet couple. Girl’s name is Sandhya, boy’s name is something I don’t remember. They just got married two-three months back.

Sir/ Madam, poor Sandhya and Something were sitting there and surrounded by full collection of retired people giving them advice like cabinet meeting. Buy life insurance. Buy real estate urgently. Will you stay in Chennai or go to some foreign country? Have you tried Art of Living? Like that, like that. And worst of all, old fellows are saying have children immediately, don’t delay, within 12 months you should have one child, within 24 months second child.

Too much advice

Excuse me, they are downloading children from Internet or what? Bloody fools. But I kept quiet. Afterwards, I told the couple to come to my flat for five minutes. Immediately you could see fear in the eyes. Poor people. Since marriage, nothing but non-stop irritation advice.

What did Mr. and Mrs. Mathrubootham tell them? Have children right now? Never. Buy LIC policy? No. Buy flat? Flat is jackfruit or what to just buy?

Sir/ Madam, I told them, my dear children in Indian culture the only happy adult life is between marriage and first child. Before marriage, your parents will treat you like children. Eat your food. Where did you go? Who is this friend? Where is your salary? When will you shave? If you are wearing that jeans then why you are wearing any jeans?

After first child, you have so many responsibilities. Where is the school? Where is the doctor? How much is uniform? Who will pay EMI? Is this our child, are you sure?

But, in between life is wonderful. Parents will not irritate, children will also not irritate. Just you go and enjoy it, my children, I said. Go to Ooty or Bali. Don’t listen to what these old people are saying. Listen to Modern Mr. and Mrs. Mathrubootham. Have children not one second before 2022.

Sir/ Madam, Sandhya and that fellow had tears in their eyes. “Thank you uncle,” he said, “for the first time somebody has said this to us. We are very happy, but Sandhya is already two months pregnant.”

“Congratulations,” I said, “children are the greatest gift in the human life. Only now your real life has begun. But, please, you can go home now, we have already taken too much of your time.”

Yours in embarrassment,

J. Mathrubootham


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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 9:57:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/listen-to-the-modern-mr-and-mrs-mathrubootham/article22529635.ece

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