”Your heart is made of unpolished granite stone . I expected you to say that you would have waited for another seven births, to become my wife”
”I would have waited no doubt, had you not picked up the coin which fell accidenly from my father’s pocket”
“But I gave that coin to you; I didn’t pocket it”
”You did so because on the previous day, you went to see another girl in our street and pocketed the ten rupee note which again accidentally fell from her father’s pocket; Bhavani collected it forcibly from you and went inside, saying ‘bye, bye’ to you”.
” So, you knew everything about that incident including Bhavani’s ‘bye, bye’ leave taking ?”
”Yes, I did. That was why I asked my father to keep a small coin in his shirt pocket and not a big note”
“ He did, but for what? Not with a request for marrying me, but to request you not to talk to us in German or French. He did so, to plead with you to behave like other youngsters of the day and not to stare at me as if you were seeing a girl for the first time in life. He did so, to make you understand that when a girl was asked to sing, no prospective bride groom would sit near her and sing along with her. And also to laugh at your claim that you had played violin for the great Thyagarajaswamy. ”
“Everyone in this town, except you, talk high about me, Ammalu ”
” That shows that I am the only one who think high about you ”
“For every good person, there are a hundred bad persons in the world, Ammalu ”
” Within every good person live a hundred bad persons. What say, my dear husband ?”
“Thalli, eami cheppalae ? Nee matta Deva vaakyam ”
” Haven’t I told you, not once but more than a hundred and odd times , that I don’t need your help in cooking ? In my absence from the kitchen for a short while, you cut the entire stock of green beans in the fridge, lengthwise !”
“Ammalu, you know that I believe doing things in a different way. I stand aloof from the crowd and above them. You simply swim with the flow; I swim against the current.
And madam, may I know why you are turning your face away from mine ? When someone speaks to you, you should face him . I know that you don’t have enough materials for an intelligent debate with me, but wish, had at least the courtesy of not showing me your back Poor grasping power; poorer manners.”
“Just trying to do things in a different way.”
Ravanan kidnapped Sita and kept her in his garden for months together. If I just peep into Ammin’s house, innocently, on my way back from the temple and say hello to her in a most decent way, why are you whistling like an overheated prestige pressure cooker, Ammalu?”
”Reason is simple. I am worried about your health. Ravana had ten Strong heads , twenty mighty hands which could play football with a huge mountain, immeasurable wealth and innumerable warriors to fight for him and many other strong points. You will fly away like an autumn leaf, if Ammini just stares at you .
And another important point: I am Ammalu and not Mandodari, who stopped with just a rebuke.
” Pattabhi is a decent man; Ammini is a very decent lady; Nair is—-”
”Why do you tell me all these?”
”Just to bring to your notice that all my friends are decent gentlemen and ladies”
“In what way I am concerned about them, my dear husband. As long as they behave decently with me,
I am OK with them . They know me well and they know how to behave with me. My concern, my dear husband, is only about you and I know you are a decent man, though at times, your mind wanders through narrow lanes, what they they call here ‘exits’, for a very short time and quickly returns to the highway.”
” Oh, what a shame Ammalu! You are admitting that you have control only over my body and money movements and not on the movement of my mind, right?”
”Even you have no control over the movement of your own mind; my husband! Then where am I ?”