A MINOR MISTAKE IN DIALLING
——I am sorry. This is not the way to treat a long-time husband. She cannot blot her mouth like a mini pumpkin and turn around when I look at her. The steaming coffee I placed before her, is getting cold as well as the hot water for her bath.
“Ammalu, you know that my character is as spot-less as the stainless-steel vessels I have just washed and my moral as white and bright as the hair on your empty head” I yell at her. “What then, makes you to sit like a marooned mouse on a house top surrounded by rising flood waters?”
‘Yes, I am an old owl with white hairs or a mini mouse with a long nose” She retorts although in a low voice, “My only prayer is that God should lift me up before the flood waters swallows me”. She prays half-halfheartedly turning towards the pooja room and suddenly withdraws her eyes to tell Lord Krishna that she did not mean it.
Wisely, however, she pours a few drops of coffee into her mouth, apparently enjoys the taste and then continues. ” But don’t expect me to hide behind the cow- shed and play hide and seek with you”.
‘”Say again” I plead.
She halts in a corner, after pacing for a moment and looks at me as if I am an object not worth looking at.
“And I will also not allow you to lift me up from the bath tub and rotate above your head”
“What nonsense are you talking, Ammalu?”
I am in total loss to understand her romantic poetry. I peer like a frog from a pool while she opens the table drawer and throws a bunch of paper at my face.
“I will read it for you” She looks at me scornfully, while I search for my reading glass and continues, ” don’t claim that this is not written in your hand”
Again wisely, she enjoys few more drops of coffee, shuts the front door and windows and reads the contents of one of the sheets in her hand.
” My lovely Belgium chocolate! My shining, dark Kozhikkode alwa! As I told you yesterday, the ideal place for you to hide is the small area behind the well and the narrow lane behind the cowshed. Remember to hide behind the doors if some one enters without notice”
She crumbles that paper and picks up the second one. After a deep look into my eyes, and tasting a few more drops of coffee, she reads the second page too.
“And my cone ice cream! I want to pick you up from the bath tub and rotate above my head.”.
” Ha, ha, ha” I roll on the ground like a child unable to control my laughter. Suddenly, the side door opens through which enters Mandooka Reddy, my ex-colleague Parvatha vardhanam’s husband who lives a few houses away.
“Eamaiah, neeku budhi undha?” Are you sane? You want to lift my wife from the bath tub and roll her around your head ? “
This is serious. Not something is wrong somewhere but every thing is wrong everywhere. How many can I carry from the bath tub and rotate above the head?
Ammalu, who was pushing her clothes into her steel trunk which she brought as a dowry, ready to leave the house, closes the box and laughs loudly . ”phooh, it is Parvatham, your cone ice iceream and Calicut alwa, whom you are after ?” She picks the coffee tumbler empties the contents in one gulp, throws a lavish look at me and declares , triumphantly: ” I am relieved; she is so bulky that neither you can lift her nor can she can run around the cowshed”
The telephone rings. She picks up the receiver. It is obvious from her body movements and facial expressions that our grand children are on the other end. “Why always, ‘thatha, thatha’?” She asks the kids with a mock anger, “am I not a human being? Do I exist in the word or not, for you ?”
“Relax Ammalu!” I collect the phone and console her.” The children were asking how I would be entertaining them when they come here shortly for vacation. You know I forget things. I had , therefore, prepared a short note so that I can convey my program over phone with out mistakes. You mistook that for a love letter and created a scene. And how do you expect me to be after a bulky woman like Parvatham, when you are there , right in front of me , so sleek, so tiny and so lovely, though a bit noisy sometime?
Anyway, I realize now that you really love me; other wise why should you be angry, illiah? isn’t it?”
“Too late a recovery” she commends , a hidden smile peering from her eyes, as if that was ur first night after wedding..
‘Avunaih, but why did you convey that message to my wife? “Asks Mr.Parvatham. He has a valid point there.
‘Oh, a minor mistake” I assure him. ” A small confusion in dialing the phone number”.
” Be cautious, my friend” He warns while leaving “ Parvathaam was pushing her clothes into the steel trunk which she brought as a dowry. She will land in this house anytime. That box is really spacious, strong and useful. I do not want to loose it. Do return it, please.
‘How lucky my friend is , to have a husband like you!” Ammalu comments now smiling sarcastically, while I close the side door behind the visitor to prevent the entry of another husband scared of loosing another spacious, strong trunk box.
A minor mistake in dialing numbers can result in major mishaps, you see.