Letter From a Concerned Reader Society

‘Lunar eclipse is happening no, Mathrubootham? I will not take risk’

Respected Sir/Madam,

Yesterday afternoon I was standing in the balcony putting water on the plants when suddenly I saw my neighbour, Dr. Shankaramenon, arriving in his Honda City car, and then running quickly into the building. There is an old saying in some Tamil Nadu villages: When police is running in one direction you run in the opposite direction away from danger, but when doctor is running you immediately run after the doctor in same direction because doctor is first person to run away from emergency.

So I left my balcony and went to Dr. Shankaramenon to see if there is any emergency. Just I stepped out of the house, he came out of the lift. “Hello doctor, what is the matter?” I asked. “Nothing nothing, Mathrubootham,” he said. “Just thought I will take half-day leave and relax at home.”

“Ha ha ha. Then I must check the news immediately, doctor?”

“Why,” he asked.

“To see video of the pigs that are flying. What nonsense you are talking doctor. Half-day leave and all no chance. Whether you will just give up consultation fees? Doctor, I have known you for 30 years. You still use same teabag three times or no? Tell me the truth or I will send Mrs. Mathrubootham to investigate.”

“Ok ok.” He suddenly looked in the sky and said, “Mathrubootham you come to my flat immediately, it is about to start.”

I thought ok, maybe cricket match is there. Or maybe if my luck is bad he wants to watch a football match. As soon as he entered his flat he put one sigh. “Now I can breathe again, Mathrubootham. So much tension.”

“What is it doctor? You left oxygen tank inside patient?”

“Lunar eclipse is happening no, Mathru? For even one second I will not take risk and be outside during this inauspicious occasion.”

Sir/ Madam, what can I say about such people? This fellow has five kilos of graduate and post-graduate qualification. His children and grandchildren are all IIT IIM BE MBA MBBS BDS type. If you look at Dr. Shankaramenon’s office, it is floor to ceiling full of books from Shakespeare to Manorama Yearbook.

And yet, look how he is Fellow of Royal College of Stupidity. I told him what you are talking this nonsense Dr. Shankaramenon, if learned people like you are believing in such nonsense means, what hope is there for the other people in this country and society. You should be doing exact opposite, you should spend entire day outside so that people will stop believing all this.

He threw me out of his house and I came back home and continued watering plants. Then I started thinking. Sir/ Madam, maybe I was a bit unfair to Dr. Shankaramenon.

You see this is what happens to people when you grow up in India. You will believe in everything because you do not trust anything. From childhood itself an Indian person is suffering disappointments. Your parents will say study as hard as you can and you will do well in the exams and go to good college. But on exam day, paper will leak and they will postpone the exam and then you will get chicken pox or malaria or something and you will get average marks and you will end up getting B.Sc. in Botany or Zoology or something useless. Then parents will say what to do, it is bad luck next time pray before the exams.

Then when you are working in the bank, your manager will say Mr. Mathrubootham your performance is excellent, definitely promotion is coming. And then next week he will say sorry due to new company policy no promotion this year, also you are transferred to Mayiladuthurai branch where there is no position itself of senior accountant. So like that, promotion is postponed for two years. What will parents say? Maybe it is a bad time, let us go to Kashi or Palani or something.

Like that, like that people start believing in everything. Why to take a chance unnecessarily no? Pray to everything. Believe in everything. Run away from eclipse.

But, did Mr. Mathrubootham run away? No chance. I stood in the balcony the whole afternoon waiting for the eclipse. And then, Mrs. Mathrubootham and I enjoyed it fully. I took 100 photos on my camera. Then afterwards I went to local studio and gave camera for developing. Studio fellow said, “Hello sir, next time why don’t you try putting film inside before taking photo?”

I came back home. Sir/ Madam, whose fault is this? Moon? Pluto? Nothing. My mistake only.

Yours in complete embarrassment,

J. Mathrubootham

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 1:03:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/lunar-eclipse-is-happening-no-mathrubootham-i-will-not-take-risk/article22643873.ece

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