Letter from a concerned reader by J. Mathrubootham

 thehindu.com  05/22/2020 10:07:02 

Respected Madam/ Sir,

Living in India means what? Means nonstop headache. Suddenly suddenly one new headache will come like East India Company or Corona or something. Then next 10-15 years all peace of mind gone. One Mr. George in Andheri branch used to say, Mathrubootham, sometimes peace of mind is there, sometimes mind is in pieces. It is a very powerful thought.

Where is Mr. George these days? No idea. Last when we met? Maybe 2004 for one marriage in Coimbatore. Madam/ Sir, I will tell one story. Maybe story is from 1980s or 1990s. I had gone to Andheri branch for training purposes. Morning we will do training. Then lunch break. Then more training. Then evening I will do some tourism activities. One day Mr. George and myself is explaining computerisation to employees from Maharashtra rural branches. After lunchtime, we are waiting and waiting but where is Mr. George? Those days no mobile phone also. After one hour I got tension. Maybe some underworld problem? But training manager said, Leave it Mathrubootham. Take solo class.

So we are sitting in first floor and doing training. Suddenly Mr. George is passing by outside window. Whole group of employees looking as if Amitabh Bachchan is passing. But how come he is passing by window on first floor? Whether he is in double decker bus? Never. You will not believe Madam/ Sir, but Mr. George went to nearby one hotel for lunchtime sandwich. Suddenly he saw nearby one park with carnival type atmosphere and one giant wheel. Mr. George decided to go on ride. Wheel is going up. Mr. George is going up. Then giant wheel motor is breaking down.

People are calling fire brigade and police and all. Meanwhile Mr. George is screaming help, help, like anything. Did he finish sandwich? I dont know. Then fire brigade is bringing ladder but door is still not opening. So giant wheel proprietor is telling Mr. George, Sir you please sit inside and relax. I am taking giant wheel to nearby workshop. We will remove door and you can escape. Please no tension. Today onwards lifetime free rides for you. So he put giant wheel behind one jeep and towed it to workshop. On top Mr. George is sitting quietly and seeing the scenery. When he is in passing by Andheri Branch, we said, Hello, Mr. George, hello, hello, what happened. He is just looking blankly with shame and sandwich.

Old time stories. These days possible? No chance. Too much rules and all.

What I was saying before George story? Correct. Latest headache. Latest headache is Zoom calls. Every day Mrs. Mathrubootham is organising Zoom call. Morning call with son in the U.S. Lunch call with family in Nagercoil. Teatime call with brother in Singapore. Night Zoom call with Ladies Club members.

Madam/ Sir, you are thinking maybe why is Mr. Mathrubootham always complaining? I will tell you why. Because every Zoom call means I have to clean the house for background to look beautiful. Mrs. M will say, Old man, Zoom is there in dining room. Please clear the table. Two hours later she will say, Old man, Zoom call is in living room, whether this is living room or Koyambedu market?

Madam/ Sir, right now Zoom call is going on in living room. But I am in the balcony arranging plants and putting showpiece on the table for evening Zoom call. After that Mrs. Mathrubootham has said, please sit quietly in bedroom. Do not disturb.

So I will sit in bedroom and eat potato chips and wait. Like Mr. George in giant wheel.

Yours in exasperation,

J. Mathrubootham

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