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An index finger

An index finger and Ammalu’s lucky number 

The advent of ATMs has  appreciably reduced the time we stand before the bank clerks. But I had an urgent work and stood before a clerk and asked him how my bank credit stayed stable for the past three months at Rs.1111.11.  He didn’t bother to explain. Instead, he got up from his seat, saying, ‘will be back in just 5 minutes’.  Perhaps fearing I wouldn’t have heard what he said, he raised his index finger towards me and disappeared. 

I went to the next counter as I knew how long would be that ‘just  5 minutes’.  He too got up saying, ‘ippudu osthanu’ –  He was apparently in a hurry going by the speed he left, showing his index finger! 

I went inside the chamber of the manager and told him the index finger incidents and asked, ‘what is happening in your bank?’

He didn’t answer but looked at me and said, 

‘Wait here for just five minutes, please ‘

‘To the restroom?’

‘To the toilet. Where is time to rest during office?’, 

hardly completed the sentence but was gone, showing his index finger, right before my eyes. 

I went home and shouted at Ammalu as I do when I get angry and explained to her what happened in the bank

She was cool. 

‘Your blood sugar level has shot up and the moment you went near the bank staff, they felt an urge to empty their bladder’

 ‘Ammalu, that is your play to avoid giving me sweets’

I threw the passbook at her face ( not exactly ) and asked, ‘tell me, where disappeared my monthly pension amount?’

‘ I have spent for home expenses , the major portion for your ‘murukkan’ ( betel leaves-supari- chew) but have left Rs.1111.11, safely and respectfully. 

Pushing towards me, my inherited chewing pan – storing silver casket, she said, ‘ One (1) is my lucky number. I have only one husband and you’re that. I have only one god and you’re that! I draw money from only one bank account and that is yours’

I was overwhelmed by happiness. To be more accurate, I was excited and wanted to hug her, but resisted my temptation anticipating her reaction, which could be violent. But, I had the courage to tell her,

‘Ammalu, utilize the balance amount too. I know how costly things are these days’, 

‘No, SP. The minimum balance has to be Rs.1000 in the bank. That is mandatory’

‘You’ll be still left with Rs. 111.11. Withdraw that and enjoy ‘

She didn’t answer, but raised her index finger towards me.

‘To restroom?’, I enquired.

‘No, SP. To show you my lucky number’

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