Anna, namaskar’, I greeted my friend, entering his house. He had retired from Service that day and was opening the gift packet from his office while his wife was enjoying the flower garland’s fragrance.
‘They gave you such a big garland?’, she enquired eagerly her eyes brightening with surprise.
‘Of course. That was why I asked you to come, but you didn’t’, complained the husband.
Instead of answering her husband, the shrewd lady, turned to me, when I was about to occupy a chair close to my friend,
‘While entering, you addressed my husband as ‘Anna?’
‘Did he?’, the retired officer almost jumped from his seat, turned his angry looks towards me, raising his eye brows wondering how I could commit such a heinous crime.
‘In which year did you retire from Service?’ He enquired
I told him the year.
‘And you had the audacity to call me ‘Anna?’
‘Your status I had in my mind, not age’, I clarified
‘What status? You retired as what ?’ He enquired
I told him the last post I held. He was not very pleased as he knew that the difference was only one step, but she was happy as she had no idea about it.
‘More over, your wife has a running account in Kalyan jewelers’, I supplemented my reason,
‘Ammalu mami doesn’t have?’. That was first time, she was mentioning my wife as ‘mami’ and not ‘manni’
‘No. She doesn’t have account in Nalli silk shop too’ ‘
‘Enna?, She addressed her husband affection and respect oozing from her words. ‘Why do you get angry unnecessarily?’
‘Unnecessarily?! Now, my friend really jumped from his seat and shouted at his wife. ‘Madasiromani, the crown jewel of ignorant! He retired 23 years before and you want me to tolerate his addressing me as ‘Anna