Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mere Sapno Ki Rani Kab Aayegi Thu- Part 3

This is the third part to a story that I started sometime last year. I think I have apologized enough for my inaction all these days :). Many of you would not even remember the first 2 parts, so here are the links to them, part 1 & part 2


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Appan put the stand on his Hercules and was walking towards the door when he heard the gate violently creak open. A livid Appan turned around to see the postman’s son precariously perched on his dad’s cycle gasping for breath. Appan had told the boy a million times to not open the gate door by banging his cycle into it, but, to no avail.

Postman's Son: “Anna! You got a trunk call from Madras, come to the post office”

Appan: “I will be there in a minute!”

Chandru usually had the habit of calling up Appan at unearthly hours. It was easy for him as he had a phone at his home. Appan on the other hand, had to embark on a 15 minute journey to the postman’s house (which also doubled up as the post office) to receive the call. Moreover, the postman usually gave Appan cold stares. And, quite rightly so, no self respecting government employee receives calls for others at 10 in the night. But, anyway the frown usually turned into a smile when Appan gave him the customary 1 rupee at the end of the call.

However, on this occasion Appan didn’t mind the late call from Chandru. Appan walked into the post office and sat on the chair next to the phone. The normally agitated postman looked excitedly towards the phone and told him that the call was from a lady who identified herself as Visalakshi. Appan found that strange, because it was the first time Chandru’s wife was calling him. It definitely must be something important he thought. The postman pulled up another chair and sat opposite to Appan.

Postman: “Love-aa?”

Appan: "WHAT???"

The postman’s eye brows arched and he looked at the phone questioningly. Appan, understood that look, and then realized why the agitation gave way to excitement. This occurrence really had the potential to be a major talking point in the 36 houses that dotted the village tomorrow. He still vividly remembered the animated discussions and heated arguments in the village surrounding the mating of the milk man's dog with the temple priest's dog. Though the issue eventually got resolved in the panchayat, the rumour mills in the village went so overboard that the two factions resorted in spreading wild rumours about their personal lives. Appan found it particulary amusing when the holy priest accused the milkman of being too pre-occupied with the grocer's wife that he forgot to tie-up his dog. Anyway, Appan knew that he had to stamp out the issue then and there before it reached monstorous proportions. Just as Appan wanted to clear the air, the phone rang.

Appan (alarmed look, on seeing the Postman still sitting in front of him with a wicked smile): “Hello, Appan here.”

Visalakshi: “Hello Thambi, how are you?”

Appan: “ I am fine! How is Chandru?”

Appan (covers the receiver, and looks angrily at the postman who was still sitting in front of him): “ Chandru is her husband, she is married for God’s sake, can I have some privacy please!”

Visalakshi: “He is busy as always.”

Postman (with a sly look on his face, gets up from the chair): “Oh she is married, interesting, then you need all the privacy in the world!”

Appan (red-faced, removing his hand from the receiver): “So, ANNI (stressing on the word and searching for the postman who by then left the room), what’s the matter? “

Visalakshi (Surprised on being addressed Anni, that was a first!): “Oh nothing!”

Appan: “Nothing??”

Appan looked skywards and was thinking of the tales of his lecherous pursuits that will be doing the rounds in the village for a long time to come for a nothing-phone call.

Visalakshi: “Uh, actually, will it be possible for you to come to Madras tomorrow?”

Appan: “Is there any occasion?”

Visalakshi: “Yeah, sort of, Kathiresan chettiar’s daughter is a distant cousin of mine.”

Appan (in rapt attention): “Oh!”

Visalakshi: “I am sure you are aware of your impending engagement”

Appan: “Yeah I got to know about it today.”

Visalakshi: “Do you know her name?”

Appan (sheepishly): “Uh, actually no, that would have been my next question.”

Visalakshi: “You see that’s the problem. We are still old fashioned.”

Appan was waiting expectantly to hear the name…

Visalakshi: “You both are young and I thought it was important that you people get to know each other a little more before the engagement. By the way, let me tell you she is a really smart and talented girl. She can sing really well. She also paints. In fact she recently stood second in the singing competition organized by the Rotary club of Karaikudi.”

Visalakshi: “So, she is in Madras tomorrow visiting her uncle and maybe you can take her out to the Kabaleeshwarar temple. By the way, they have painted the temple you know, very tastefuly done actually.”

Appan(ears trained hard at the receiver to catch that name): “I will be there tomorrow, so what did you say her name was?”

Visalakshi (laughing): “Oh I am sorry! Silly me, I always have this habit…. “

Appan (irritated): “The name please?”

Visalakshi: “Valliammai.”

Appan: “Hmmm Valliammai”

Visalakshi: “Yeah Valliammai, so come to our house directly once you get down from the bus tomorrow thambi.”

Appan couldn't believe his luck, he was actually going to get a chance to talk to the girl he was going to get engaged to before the engagement. Through this one single act Chandru's wife has liberated the chettiar community from the time-warp that it was stuck to. She epitomized the progressive broad-mindedness of the Chettiar woman of the seventies. A smiling Appan placed the receiver and turned around to face the postman. The postman gave Appan an ugly leer.

Appan (raising his voice): “It's not what you are thinking, she is my Anni, didn’t you overhear the conversation!”

Postman (with an offended look): “Me, Overhear! Chi chi chi….moreover, you needed the privacy!”

Appan (taking out a 1 rupee coin from his pocket): “Oh please! I am going to get engaged next month to a girl called Valliammai”

Postman (shocked): “Oh the poor thing! Does Valliammai know about this?”

Appan (stuffing the 1 rupee coin in the postman’s pocket): “That’s it! I don’t have to explain all this to you .”

Postman: “You don’t have to pay me sir, your secret is safe with me, not a word I promise!”

Appan (livid): “What secret? This is the usual....Ah, nevermind !”

Appan looked at his watch, it was 10:20. He could probably make the 11 o’clock bus to Madras. Appan walked hurriedly out of the postman’s house.

Postman (walking into his bedroom): “Hey Santha, do you want to know something interesting!”

Santha (postman’s wife who is half asleep): “What could possibly be interesting in the middle of the night?”

Postman: “You know our engineer Appan na…but promise me you will not tell anyone else!”

To be continued...(two more parts)

15 Comments:

Blogger Parthasarathy Ramanujam said...

good that u r back da.. :) waiting for the other two parts...

'story that I started sometime last year'.. dog.. you started it more than a year ago... Jan 07, 2006... this looks like the legendary sindubad story in some tamil news paper thats been coming for about 30 years.. please dont take that long

9:02 PM  
Blogger Anand said...

don't take another year ffor the next instalment

4:15 PM  
Anonymous ratnavinnakota said...

good good. all agog to read the next

3:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

liked the way u set the time period (way back).brought back the memories and scents of yesteryears. would love to see how u r going to finish off (paying authenticity to the times)

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did appan have to walk 15 mins to the postman's when he could have used his hercules?

10:46 AM  
Blogger pagala'k' said...

@Anand-Partha: Yes da, a year is too long,the last 2 wont take that long, thanks for being patient

@ratna: thank you

@anon 1: will try my best to be authentic :)

@anon 2: A tired and slightly stupid author :)...lets say Appan usually doesn't use his cycle for shorter distances...he takes it only to his office...

12:10 PM  
Anonymous JAKS said...

doggie dog... funky stuff... may you live long and add more bits and bytes to cyber space...

12:16 PM  
Blogger pagala'k' said...

@JAKS: The longer I live, I will cause you more PAIN and SUFFERING....think about it ;)

11:55 AM  
Blogger Anand said...

grrrrrrrr

8:36 PM  
Blogger Kumari said...

Aiyyo! i am orey the late. I gave up on Appan n u :(

Now be a good man, n write the rest of the story quick :D

I can't wait to know how Valliammai will look n how the postman is gonna complicate matters :)

12:35 AM  
Blogger pagala'k' said...

:( I can't believe you gave up on Appan ...and I will try to be a good man

10:35 AM  
Blogger Kumari said...

When Appan behaves like a stubborn Ex who disappears off the face of earth after a breakup, then yes, one shall give up on him :p

1:09 PM  
Blogger karthik durvasula said...

where is the stupid part 4??????????????????????????????????????????

10:07 AM  
Blogger raja said...

you wont get yr money back until you finish with this. The wait has been quite loooooooooooong

4:16 AM  
Blogger pbzeppelin said...

amazingly funny! waiting for other instalments... btw isnt Sapno ki rani sung by Kishore not Rafi?

2:25 PM  

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