Letter From A Concerned Reader Society

What is real romance? Mr. Mathrubootham has some ideas

Respected Sir/Madam,

When children start giving retired parents marriage advice means Guruvayoorappa! You are wasting time, take me now itself. No more delays please. Things have reached that situation.

This morning after breakfast of idli I went to the living room to read this esteemed newspaper. Suddenly my son came inside and said, “Appa I want to talk something in private.” I said, “No thanks, very busy at the moment, maybe next week.”

Since then I have not seen him in the house. Ha ha! If only such things happened whether I will have forehead that has more lines than notebook? Immediately he came and sat down next to me. “Appa,” he said, “what plans for Valentine’s Day? I hope you have not forgotten again. How will you show your affection for Amma? Last year you did not do anything.”

Sir/ Madam, suddenly I was reminded of my three years meritorious service in Ujjain branch, when I approved loan for one book stall near railway station. After one year, owner came and said, “Sir, thank you for loan, please take this encyclopedia with compliments.” I said, “What nonsense you are talking dear customer? Such unethical behaviour I will not tolerate; it is against my professional and personal beliefs. I will not take it for free, you have to charge money.” He said, “Ok, I will give 85% discount for you, special offer.” I said, “Thanks, I will take three encyclopedia.”

Old is gold

One I gave to my sister, one to my neighbour Dr. Shankaramenon, and one I used to keep in the shelf under the TV. If that was still there today, I would have celebrated Valentine’s Day across my son’s face. Unfortunately, Mrs. Mathrubootham donated my encyclopedia to nearby primary school library. Can you hit someone on the face with internet encyclopedia? Never. Sometimes old things are more useful.

Stupid fellow, I said, you are teaching typing to Alistair MacLean you fool? You have no shame or no brain? You please go back to your bedroom and do work from home and let me read newspaper peacefully. He made face like top of capsicum and departed from living room.

Sir/ Madam, ok maybe I am not romantic hero Shankar in superhit Tamil film Oru Thalai Ragam , but I would like to share some thoughts about romance. First of all, Valentine’s Day and all is meant for young people who have free time and extra money. After marriage and family and all, who has time to gallivant around the city drinking bakkacino and doing adults only activities in cinema theatre?

What you will tell the children? Anamika, Govardhan please look in that direction for 120 seconds, daddy and mummy have to do some urgent discussions here.

Public will say shameless fellow go home and do your romance in private no? Fine. You will come home, then you have to prepare for school, make dinner, put children to bed, iron clothes for office, put irritating children to bed, pack tiffin box, water plants, again put children to bed, bloody nonsense. And after all that, if you go to Mrs. Mathrubootham for romance she will throw balcony cactus in my face. Then by the time you have reached retirement, you have forgotten how to... interact in cinema theatre.

Second point I want to make is about Valentine’s Day gift. Sir/ Madam, gift and all is for couples who know nothing about each other. Then you can say darling I have purchased jeans, churidhar for you. And she will say oh my god I never even expected! Are there any secrets between myself and Mrs. Mathrubootham? Never. Even if I try to surprise her with some romantic gift, she will sense it instantly. So what is the point? Zero.

But still I thought, I should make some effort. How much this woman is working for our family. So I put my newspaper down, got up, and decided to secretly go to Ganga Sweets and buy Ras Malai in gift wrapping. As soon as I got near the door her voice came from inside: “Mr. Mathrubootham, we already have Ras Malai in the fridge; if you want, you get some gulab jamun. And please don’t waste money on gift wrapping.”

Sir/ Madam, this is real romance.

Yours in affection,

J. Mathrubootham


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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 7:20:06 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/society/mr-mathrubootham-please-dont-waste-money-on-gift-wrapping/article22783214.ece