We live on hopes and trusts . The belief that I will see the sunrise tomorrow gives me good sleep this night. The belief that my mouth will open again gives me courage to shut it after eating food or shouting at Ammalu . But for trust and belief , we will be living a life of fear and uncertainty.!
I used to teach a song to little Shasta, who is now with her maternal grandfather in Chennai
‘കാക്കെ, കാക്കെ, കൂടെവിടെ —-
‘KAkkae kAkkae koodevidae?! The same song I was teaching Ananu, 15 years ago
Imagine my agony if I can’t close my mouth to say ‘kae‘ after ‘Ka’ !
Imagine my agony if I can’t close my mouth to say ‘lu’ after ‘Amma ‘ while romancing with Ammalu.. you know what will be the consequence.?
She will yell : ‘even now Amma! Amma , Amma, always Amma!
Go to your Amma; she will bottle feed you’
Is this the age for me to be bottle-fed?
God is great ! After ‘kA’ I can say ‘kae ‘ !
Not a small matter! After ‘Amma’, I can say ‘lu’. Not a small matter!
You’re not unconvinced ?
Read this story :
Anantha Jyothi, my Habsiguda home. Sometime last year before my leaving for USA.
Soon after getting up from the bed, I open the main door to look at the rising Sun and pray ‘jayathu, jayathu Soorya ‘, as usual.
There stands in the opposite gate an angel wearing a Kerala sari, apparently the new tenant . I stand awe struck, my mouth wide opened at her charm , without noticing the fat man with a harsh look, obviously her husband, beside her. I try to shut my mouth realising that it is ungentlemanly to stay long in that position but alas, my mouth refuses to close!
‘Don’t turn your face,’ warns my intellect,’ Ammalu is watching you from the hall’
I become nervous as I can’t either stand at my door, mouth opened , like a ‘cheenganni’ or alligator when a newly married couple was watching from their house front, right opposite ; nor could I turn and face Ammalu!
Ammalu commands ‘get a salt packet, please’
‘Why salt in the morning ? Are you going to add salt instead of sugar in my morning coffee?, I wanted to ask her but my mouth refuses to move ! That was the first time in life I learned the fact that mouth has to close and open to perform its task and it can’t remain either opened or closed.
I walk down to the Kirana store, ignoring the surprised staring of the neighbors on both sides of the street at me, walking mouth wide opened, (like a cheenkanni.)
The agony was not over. To express my need to the shop owner, I had to open my mouth! My mouth was in the open state but I can’t say a word !
(Later, I learned that the husband of the damsel had used a Malayala mantravadam to keep my mouth motionless. Later , having learned from the neighbors that I’m a gentleman, he released the bondage using an antidote mantram)
We don’t bother to understand what a great system we are provided by God while sending us to this world ! Our mouth opens and closes; our eyes too, at our will ! Our hands and legs fold and unfold at our will! Our eyes move horizontally and vertically, our neck turns to our right and left, up and down. Our hand turns to scratch our back or leg moves to the front to kick a ball. These are great gifts by God and we won’t realize their importance till they protest.
Baghavan ! Keep my organs in tact, in working condition, well fabricated so that I can see what I like to , eat what I want to and close when I don’t want to see or eat or talk . Other than these, I have no activities in this world now !
Cartoon courtesy – my cousin Ramki Kumar, the popular wedding cartoonist of Chennai,