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Ammalu is always right

 
“Is there any relation between us, other than you are my wife an I’m your husband, Ammalu?”
“I think so. For our children, you are their father and me, their mother”
“How do you answer my questions so spontaneously?”
“Not spontaneously. I have prepared an answer book for all such stupid questions expected from you, since long”
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“After prolonged research, I have discovered that age adds charm to some women and wrinkles to others, Why so, Ammalu?”
“With no efforts, I can tell you: if the woman is one’s own wife, age rusts and wrinkles her face and if she belongs to someone else, it adds charm and charisma to her face”
“Sorry, I chose a wrong time to ask you the question. You seems to be angry”
“Time was OK. Question was wrong”
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“Husband is a man. Men err; men can err. Once in a blue moon, if a husband commits some mistakes, wife should close her eyes. That is the practice in all families”
“Erring once in a blue moon, is understandable. But, if he errs in every moon night, how will the wife remain her eyes shut? She has to do her cooking, washing and attend to other chores, which she can’t complete before sunset or wait for AmAvAsya or other nights when moon is not visible”
“Ammalu, I’m talking figuratively and you are taking it literally. Ok . I will explain in a simple language you will understand. I see a charming girl, when we go together for shopping. I tap her back just for fun. At that time what you should do?”
“Close my eyes”
“Exactly”
“Why should you close your eyes? It is your Dharmam, as an obedient wife”
“No, I close my eyes as I can’t stand that girl’s slap for your tap”
“‘Slap for tap’ rhymes. It is a figurative usage ?”
“No, literal”
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“Hadn’t I married you Ammalu, would you have jumped into the well behind your kitchen, in utter disappointment and uncontrollable grief?”
“I would have jumped into the pond behind the temple as I enjoyed swimming”
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“Ammalu, could you tell me the approximate bank balance of your mom ?
A rough estimate will do”
“May be 10/ 20 lacs. Could be more, could be less”
“So much!. Even I don’t have that much money”
“How much do you have ?”
“Hardly 5 lacs. Why?”
“Mom wanted me to find out”
“Why should she? Is she going to ask for a loan?”
“How do I know?”
“Ammalu, please don’t pass on the information”
“Shall I tell her that you wanted to know her bank balance?’
“No, please. In what way I’m interested. We didn’t discuss this issue at all”
“We will not, in the future too?”
“We will not in the future too”
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“Any old people in your group interested in marrying again?”
“Why Ammalu? Any incentive scheme in the new budget?”
“Yes, if the marriage takes place before March 31, this year.
From April 1 onwards, wife one gets 50 % of husband’s pension, wife two, 25 % and wife three 15%”
“So, a man with three wives is left with only 10% of his pension, for himself? What will he do with that paltry sum?”
“He can buy inji muttai. Ginger toffee.. Anyway, give some thought. I think, you too were nourishing the idea of having additional wives, if I remember correct?’
“Abandoned that unworthy idea, Ammalu. Between us, tell me: if a husband has only one wife and if he divorces her, will it affect his pension? What does the new budget say?”
“The new budget has everything for every body. If he divorces his only wife, after April 1, he will forfeit the whole pension in favor of his erstwhile wife”
“A clever guy can discard her before the end of this month? What does he gets, then?”
“Imprisonment for the rest of his life”
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My mother, never used to sit before my father, out of respect. Always she used to keep standing”
“Your father used to apply pindathailam and massage mother’s legs for an hour every evening. So her legs had sufficient strength”
“Really? Who told you, Ammalu?”
“Your mom”
“Mom didn’t tell me”
“Certain things are to be told only daughter in law”
“What else did she tell you?”
“What she told me, has already been passed on to our daughters in law”
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“Ammalu, there is some relationship between us, though I’m unable to recall what it is.
Worried that my memory is failing me”
“It is a worry for me too. You would have forgotten the phone numbers of your old friends, Ammini, PAttu, Parukutty, Kalyani, KArthyAyani–? ”
“No, I remember all the numbers. Ammini’s landline is — and mobile—-”
“That is Ok. I don’t want any number. You remember all the numbers. That was what I wanted to verify. My worry is gone now”
“You are not worried about my forgetting our relationship”
“Not at all. That ship is safe. It is in the shore, not in water. Why worry, then?”
———————-
“Are you moving away from me, Ammalu, I’m worried. I placed you on my lap soon after you became my wife. You got down and moved when the children were born. When I stopped earning, you moved still further—”
“Before you complete your emotional elegy on motion, let me clarify that it would have been impossible for me to deliver your kids, seated on your lap. This was the reason for that particular movement. I’m sorry for the other movements and if you have no objection, shall occupy my seat on your lap again. But just one warning. At the time of our wedding, my body weight was 42 kilo. Now it has gone up to 62 kilos.
The decision is yours”
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Ammalu, there is enormous pressure on me from your mother not to tell you something, but I will tell you, as you are my wife and I love you”
“Why did she pressure you at all? Had she just reminded you one or two of your pre- marital dialogues you would have instantly obeyed her commands”
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Ammalu, when age advances, couple come closer to each other. Why?”
“As they are out of the danger zone”
“Exactly. Then, why are you not coming closer to me?”
“As you are still very much within the danger zone”
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“Ammalu, look at that picture of Lord Sree Rama’s Pattabhisheakam, coronation ceremony, in our pooja room. Anjaneya at the feet of the Lord eagerly gazing at the Lord’s eyes, seeking devours of blessings. Why don’t we have a picture like that, you at my feet, seeking my favors, which I can circulate to my friends?”
“If you are Sree Rama, I’m Seethadevi. I should be next to you, not at your feet”
“That is not fair. You should be at my feet only”
“Ok. Call the photographer. We will have two pictures. One, for you and one me”
“In the second picture you want me to sit at your feet?”
“No, on my shoulders. Remember Anjaneya carrying Sree Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulders in the war front?”
“You will circulate that picture to your friends?’
“No. Frame and place on our front wall, near your name- board”
“Idea dropped, Ammalu”
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“Why are shivering SP? Running temperature or ran away after doing some mischief?”
“Ammalu, met a woman resembling Ammini in the market and touched her hand, rolled the glass bangles and exclaimed, ‘nalla chantham – beauty!”
“She kicked you or yelled at you?”
“Neither. She hugged me and said, ‘Apooppa, Entaea appooppanaekkalum pathu vayassu koodum- grandpa, you look much older than my grandpa”
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