Monday, November 30, 2009

Mother at Seventeen

It was a moonless night. The time was about 8 p.m. The baby was due anytime. It was raining outside. The pains were coming intermittently. The long labour was proving difficult. Then one push and the baby was out. But the mother was spent. She had breathing problems.The vet was called in, the drip started. He did not have much hope. The calf lay beside the mama cow which was licking her clean. But she was weak and soon she put her head down on the shed floor, her muzzle near the calf. We kept vigil till 11 pm.

First thing in the morning, we were at the shed, and could see the cow breathing labouriously. The vet was there and shouting at the assistant that he should not have administered the drip so fast the night before. And soon, she breathed her last. The calf was orphaned.

We tried to suckle her at other cows in the farm. But she wasn’t accepted. One of the cows even kicked her. Poor calf, she was on her own. Since everyone else in the family had something more important to do, I was given the job of taking care of the calf.

Rummaging through the old bottles, I found one the right size for the calf, tried to fit a nipple from one of young nephew’s bottle. I sterilized the bottle and filled it up with 70% milk and 30 % water, added a spoon of sugar and walked to the barn where she was kept. I knelt beside her. Her legs were not completely steady yet. And I tried to push the bottle into her mouth. She licked once and looked away. I coaxed her to drink and again the same. I tried many times through the day but with little success. She seemed distracted and insecure. That evening I put a sack around her before I crept into the bed and hoped that here won’t be any snakes in the barn. Through the night, I tossed and turned thinking of ways to feed my baby.
I was a mother at seventeen.

By morning I had an idea. I filled up the sterilized bottle and went to the barn and brought her out in the open. Then I astrode her and pushed the bottle against her mouth. She opened and drank a little. It took some time for her to learn to suckle. She would tug at the bottle and I was afraid that the nipple will come off. I think the comfort of legs was soothing to her inborn instinct.

From that day onwards, she thought I was her mom. She would rush to me whenever I ventured. She looked scrawny still with a pot belly as the nutrition wasn’t really right for her. I slowly lessened the amount of water and even gave some mango juice. She was growing and so was my pride.

But it is kind of difficult to play mother to a calf. The moment I stepped out of the houses for anything, the calf came running to me baawing happily. Once when I was putting the clothes out to dry, she came out of nowhere and hit me from the back once, twice and thrice. I lost my balance and fell down. I mouthed some foul words at her and went in limping. The next morning, I went to pluck a papaya and again got rammed in the butt. The calf was doing it by instinct, run to mama and hit at the udders between the legs expecting milk will flow.

I asked my aunt to keep the calf on a tether and she declined to do it, saying that it’s the only period of their life when they can run around. Let it play.

The situation put me in a spot. The milk I gave her in a bottle was not sufficient. She wanted more and she thought she can get it if she rammed me. I could not step out of the house. Seeing my plight, aunt took over. She slowly weaned her off the milk only diet.

And about three weeks later, I ventured out. I saw her coming towards and I retraced my steps. But aunt stood in the doorway. The calf just came and stood beside me expecting me to cuddle her, which I did.

To me, till this date, that calf is the one who taught me what being a mother was.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mallus Hindi model 1969

Mr. Pillai at the supermarket, “Chaddi hai?”
Sales girl nods shocked
“Dikha do”
Salesgirl double shocked
Pillai corrects, “ Nikal Do”

Mr Kurien to cobbler, “kitna?”
“Sawa Do”
“Adhai mein karo”
Cobbler nods surprised
Mr. Kurien gives him Re 1.50 after the job

Mrs Nair gets a oriya boy to pluck papaya
Pointing to fruit,” Yeh thodo”
“Panch rupaya”
“Teen mein karo”
Boy climbs up. Mrs Nair is afraid that boy will fall as the tree sways from side to side
“Gir, gir, gir”
Boy looks down questioningly
“Gir, gir, gir”
Boy comes down without plucking
“Woh thodo”
Up goes boy
“Gir, gir, gir”

Mrs Mathew had gone to Kerala suddenly.
On her return, neighbour Mrs Sinha asks,” kya hua?”
“Relative beemar”
Pause. Mrs Mathew thinks for a while and then replies, “Sasur ka uterus nikal diya”

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Who is a worse miser

And the first prize goes to…

  1. Marimuthu who lifts his dhoti while sitting on the tattered rear seat of a TN Govt transport bus saying, “ Skin if torn will come on again but torn clothes won’t!”
  2. Mathukutty who divides a matchstick to two to light a borrowed beedi.
  3. Local rich man Ouseph who fools invitees to son’s wedding with more sliced chemmeen puli(a kind of sour fruit which when sliced looks the same as chemmmeen or prawns in curry) and less of prawns.
  4. Grocer Nathumal who writes bills only with first letter of goods sold to save ink in pen.Eg: Cha can be chaval or chai.
  5. Devout Ishwarchand who puts off the agarbatti soon after lighting it so that he can use it tomorrow.
  6. Chamanlal, the gas agent who never buys a cylinder and uses the empty cylinders tilting or lying them sideways.
  7. Shiv Sahu who has his dinner everyday at the fruit stalls, tasting one of this fruit and one of that.
  8. Shankar Chaubey who uses a drop of ghee to massage on fingers to show that he had a rich lunch or dinner.
  9. Or the next door neighbour who buys oversized clothes for his kids so that they will grow into it.
  10. Or Mr. Bhatt who is suddenly devout because they are offering free lunch with the Gita discourse

    Please grade them on a 10 point scale.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Paycheck

Naveen Kishore was angry. He just got his first payslip which showed the lumpsum as Rs. 3500/- . Where is the last zero? How can the HR department make such a hopeless mistake? He fumed and made a beeline to HR department.

After completing his BBM from a new management college somewhere near Gurgaon, he had opted for this job over many others. Why? Because the offer was much higher. The company ambience also appealed to him. The offices were in glass and steel high rise building and had centralised AC. There was a test followed by interview. There were about 50 applicants who got through the test. The interview was covered on video as the panel said that the real bosses were in Mumbai and that they will be sent a CD to assess the candidates.

Knock, knock, he knocked at the door of the HR Manager.
“Come in”, said a voice
Mr. Gupta was a well dressed executive and always had a greeting smile on.
“What is it, Naveen?”, said Mr. Gupta gesturing him to sit down
“Sir, Just look at this gross mistake!”, said Naveen showing him the payslip.
“What is wrong?”
“The figure, it lacks one zero”
Mr. Gupta pores over it and smilingly replies, “It is alright, isn’t it? That was offer, you remember?”


“But the panel offered me thirty five thousand”.
“Come on, Naveen. The offer was Thirty five hundred”
“ Look”, he put a CD in the laptop and showed him.
And there was Naveen, looking smart in a light blue shirt and a tie facing a panel which offered him thiry five hundred and he is nodding affirmation like a fool.

Naveen was so carried away by the way the interview was conducted that he never ever thought twice about the offer.

Now he was in a spot and had to take loan form the personal loan department of the bank where he was a junior executive to pay his dues for the month.