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Narmada is a lively fictional character.

Here’s a three-part episode from her journal.


Part 1

This tv-viewing has caused my husband a lot of trouble.

Well, not actually trouble.

More like embarrassment.

I was to blame but then he should have paid more attention to what's going around.

It all happened like this.

There was this film award presentation program on TV.

As all such programs go, there was plenty of entertainment. - songs, dances, what have you.

Mohanlal, (my husband's favorite), Mammooty (also my husband's favorite), Prithviraj (also his favorite), Fahadh Faasil (also you-know-what), Kunchako Boban (also for God's sake) and other 'also's were there.

Of course this meant our kids could fight and break their heads, I could drop dead right in front of him, the house could catch fire, Biden could start doing Bharatanatyam, Indira Gandhi could reincarnate and do the hip hop - any or all of these things could happen but my husband would be totally oblivious, fully engrossed in the program.

While he was watching TV, I had been sitting next to him, doing my manicure.

Then it occurred to me that a bit of color on my husband's nails would look good.

So I got down on the floor and painted the nail on his big toe.

It looked great!

Just fabulous!

A bright cheery merry rollicking red!

He did not notice what was going on.

He did stop though to ask me what I was doing sitting on the floor.

Told him I was touching his feet to get his blessings!

Since by now he was accustomed to my impishness, he thought I was just being naughty (which I was, but he didn't know to what extent) and continued watching TV.

I happily waited for that to happen and painted his other big toe as well.

They looked cute!

Two bright red snap-happy toes!

That done, I put everything away and watched TV with him.

He pulled me closer to him and started paying attention to me at which point I said that since there were such important earth-shattering things going on on TV, he shouldn't be concerning himself with an insignificant chota chota urumbu (tiny ant) as a wife.

Big mistake that!

It made him more amorous.

Something told me this was trouble in big letters.

Looking after him was a full-time job. - 24/7

To add to that, we have two kids who demand full attention as well.

So, declaring there was NOT going to be another addition to the family, I went straight off to bed.

Two seconds later, I found him lying next to me.

"What happened to your Mohanlal?" I asked.

"That's ok. I've seen him so many times before."

"What about your Mammooty?"

"I can always watch his movies. Don't need to watch this program."

"What about your Prithviraj?"

"I recently saw him in Ayyappanum Koshiyum. So what's the big deal"

Now I knew my husband was coming on BIG time! If he was willing to forgo Prithviraj, it was a BIG sacrifice.

"Your Fahadh Faasil?"

"M.m.m.m.m, nothing special."

"Your Kunchako Boban?"

"Shadaa!! What is this 'your this and your that' ?" he said as he reached out to hold me.

"No, no, no, no, no! Don't trouble me now! I have a full-time job! I have to catch up on my sleep!"

"What full-time job?"

"Looking after you!" I said.

Before I could turn over he had grabbed me.

Well .......... you've heard of the line of least resistance?

I took that.

So what happened in the dark is best left in the dark!


Part 2

The next morning was crazy, just like every other weekday morning.

I woke up early.

Tried to wake the counterpart of Rip Van Winkle and Kumbhakarna.

You know who that counterpart is.

Now there are three people vying for the title "The Man With The Longest Sleeping Record".

Without an iota of doubt my husband would break all records and walk off with the trophy.

And go promptly back to bed of course - to continue sleeping!

I performed the heroic task of trying to wake him up.

After I had awakened the whole neighborhood as a result, there was some stir in our bedroom.

He opened his eyes lazily and asked, "What time is it?"

"Eight, " I answered wearily.

"EIGHT?" he boomed and sat right up.

Then, like a shot, he was off.

He sprinted off to the bathroom with a hurt, " Why didn't you wake me up earlier?" floating behind him.

Everything happened in fast forward mode after that.

He rushed from bathroom to bedroom, to the kitchen for breakfast, then to the living room to put on his socks and shoes hurriedly in double quick time.

"Make sure you have a proper lunch. Not an apple and two biscuits!" he advised as he dashed out.

I smiled as I stood at the doorway while he started the car.

My dear husband .......... always loving, always caring……


Part 3

It had to happen.

Murphy's law had to prevail.

My husband tripped and hurt himself.

And at his office of all places!

And that too on a stone step that had been there all the eighteen years he had worked there!

It was not as if it had appeared from thin air.


A series of questions arose in my mind.

Just like the old Tamil song sung by K B Sundarambal.

"Venneer anindhathu enna enna enna?

Velai pidithathu enna enna enna?

Kann moodi nindrathu enna enna enna?

Kaavi uduthathu enna enna enna? "

"Enna" meaning 'why?' in this context, I had plenty of 'enna enna enna' s on my mind…..

Why did my husband have to trip on that stone that particular day?

Why could it not have happened the day before, if it really had to happen that is.

Why did my husband have to sprain his foot?

Why did his foot have to swell, in his office, of all places?

Why, oh why, did he have to take off his shoes and socks to look at his swollen foot?

Why did his colleagues, the busybodies, have to gather around him to look at his foot and naturally, the big toe and the cheery, merry, snap-happy red toenail that came with it?

Those were questions nobody can answer.

What Brahma has written on the forehead cannot be erased by man or beast.

I had to answer my husband's questions though.

"Why did you paint my nails?"

"Nothing. No reason. Just felt like it! They looked so bare and sad. Thought some color would perk them up!"

"Well, why didn't you tell me? At least then I would not have removed my socks in front of those blooming idiots!"

"You mean your colleagues?" I asked innocently.

"Who else?"

"You were so busy watching TV.

How was I to know you'd hurt your foot the very next day?

But actually I think your toes look cute!

Red suits you!" I said, ducking in time to avoid a flying pillow!



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