letter from a concerned reader | Society

Mr. Mathrubootham has been foolish enough to fall sick

Dear Madam,

Sorry to say, madam, but Mr. Mathrubotham has been foolish enough to fall sick. That too on an important week when one dozen committee meetings are being red circled in my Grihalakshmi calendar given to me by Palli Silks.

I cannot tell you what koothu this old man is capable of. Many times I am telling him to avoid risky Chennai rain but will he listen. No. He is big sab-janta, as my Delhi cousin tells. So he is insisting on walking to Ganga Sweets then petrol pump then xerox shop one dozen times each day.

Errands it seems. Rubbish, madam, as I very well know. He thinks I am simply fool or what. I am running Building Association Ladies Club for donkey’s years. I know how to count the legs of the running rabbits. Many a times I have seen him standing near petrol pump looking up and down as if smelling roses or Madurai malli in air. Then he silently slips into Ganga Sweets for that over-sweet ras malai they are making. Will he bring one masala vadai without asking? Never. I must ask shamelessly, then he will frown and pretend he is doing big favour.

Now he is lying on bed sniffing and coughing and demanding non-stop service like I am running hotel or maybe catering service. Am I Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan that he thinks I will conjure up one milagu rasam one instant and one jeeraga kasayam in another instant? Hot rasam it seems, when I am missing monthly colony Kitchen Garden meeting. I feel like giving him one hot flower pot on the head.

This Chennai rain is not good for gentle health, madam. Maybe you are also experiencing lots of leaves in your office? One light thooral, and it can straightaway descend from head to chest purposefully to give congestion. That is why I took out the brown colour muffler for Mathrubootham (we bought it from Tibetan shop during Kodaikanal holiday) but whether he will use it? It is not stylish, Kamalam, he is saying. As if colony ladies are looking at him only and fainting like cine fan club members.

December concert

I will tell you why he is saying this, madam. Two years ago we are stepping out one December evening for Sanjay Subrahmanyan concert in Mylapore sabha. As you know December is treacherous in Chennai, dew is falling continuously and it is important to cover head and ears always during month of Margazhi. Head and ears, Kamalam, my father used to tell non-stop.

So I gave Mathrubootham brown muffler which he is wearing cosily. Then Mrs. D’Costa came out of building when we are waiting for auto and began laughing hilariously. She pointed finger and daringly asked whether we are living in Kashmir? That day onwards Mathrubootham has become fully shy of muffler wearing.

But let me tell you something madam, many years of wearing short skirt maybe giving immunity for Mrs. D’Costa does not mean we can also take chance with weather in Chennai. If we ignore means we cannot attend Season peacefully. Serves Mathrubootham right to take it lightly the rainfall.

Today, I was wanting to teach ladies how to grow Bangalore tomato in Madras soil but that chance has gone. So only I am doing time-pass writing letter to Hindu newspaper when old man is calling loudly. I thought maybe he has fallen on head and broken it so I went running but it was not to be.

“Why you are shouting?” I asked. “My tongue has died in this fever,” he is telling me. “Please step out to Ganga Sweets and get me one ras-malai.”

Yours exasperatedly,

Mrs. Mathrubootham

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 12:51:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/mr-mathrubotham-has-been-foolish-enough-to-fall-sick/article29360799.ece

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