Ammalu is always right

‘Ammalu, I’m less angry with your idiotic illiteracy, irritating orthodoxy and irredeemable ignorance than with your illegitimate proud’

‘SP, talk in English, please!’

‘Dear? You call me dear? Am I your boy friend? What do you think about yourself, Ammalu?’

‘I never said ‘dear’. I said, ‘wear’ your shirt. Then, I asked, ‘ can you hear me?’. Why should I call you ‘dear’?’

‘Yes, I remember now. Why did you say, ‘hear, hear’ twice?’

‘That was when you called me ‘dear!’


‘How is your nine yards Naradar, Ammalu?’

‘Evaru, Pathideva? Who is that, my Lord?’

‘Who else? Your mom, who goes around and tell everyone in the colony that I’m your new chef’

‘What is wrong in that SP? When situation demands a husband should become a nurse, doctor, mother and master, cook and cooli to his wife?’

‘Wife too’

‘Wife is always’

‘For the past one week, I have been toiling in the kitchen and realize how difficult a task you have been carrying on, for so many years, Ammalu. Had I known this earlier, I would have married not one more but a dozen women to ease your work’ .

‘Even now it is not late. Marry a dozen or two and cook for all of us now that you have gained experience and knowledge’


Ammalu is always right

‘Ammalu, I’m not ashamed to reveal a few top secrets of my young days’

‘I thought that you have already revealed every secret to me of your young as well as old days. If still some are left, keep those for tomorrow. Go to sleep now’

‘You are afraid that your sleep will be spoiled?’

‘Not at all. I’m worried that I may be tempted to tell you some top secrets of my young days😇’

‘Wise husbands should keep a reasonably fair distance from their wives after a certain age. What say Ammalu?’

‘Yes, except when they are hungry’

‘Hungry of what?’

‘I expect you to know that better?’

‘Why, Ammalu?’

‘Because you are a wise husband!’

‘Ammalu, imagine a situation where a woman comes and claims that she was my wife before I married you. Will you fight with her or file a suit or call your mother for help?’

‘None of the above. ‘I will address her as ‘akka! ( elder sister) and ask her, ‘shall we three pack off to your house?’.

You have any objection Ammalu, if I’m elected as the Secretary of the Harassed husbands’ Association?’

‘Why should I? I will be proud of you’

‘Will you object if we organize a darna and fasting before our house?’

‘Why should I? I will supply all volunteers with hot tea r cold sambaram as per their choice’

‘Oh, Ammalu, if all women are like you, why should we, husbands work against you. We are not harassed husbands; we are blessed ones. I’m withdrawing my candidature’

‘Don’t do that. We have already formed an association for, ‘Blessed wives’. You should feel the heat of Streesakthi’, as the leader of our opposite group’

‘Ammalu, heat? Am I not already suffering from that?’


My pooja room- it’s bright and dark days




My pooja room is an integral part of the springs and winters of
my life. I have seen its golden as well as its dark days. My Moorthis dwelling in that tiny room reflected my waxing and waning!

For my Appa of usually advanced thinking, there were a few conservative ideas such as Sakunam, to which he struck religiously. The braking coconut exactly into two haves for the Vishukani was an indication for him that things would move smooth for the ensuing year.

After placing a handful of Bilwa leaves which my Mohanasister had brought, on the idol of Mahadeva in my almost abandoned home shrine and seeing the coconut breaking into identical halves, I felt that the Moorthis in my shrine have pardoned me for neglecting them for months and years and were assuring me an easy walk through.

After all, this small abode was once a center of serious spiritual activities. Melodious metal bell sound could be heard in the mornings and at times in the evenings too, from this holy place, following my rhythmic recitation of Vedic humans. The early morning Sun rays used to reverently reach, through the big ventilators on the front wall, to tough the feet of the Moorthis here. The big brass lamps, in rows, used to shine with multiple wicks on special occasions and on other days one or two moderate lamps but always spreading brightness.

My children used to get up from their cradles hearing my Rudrajapam or other hymns and their cries never hampered the flow of the recitation of my Stotrams nor the sound of my singing stopped their cries. Absolute symphony was there in the main living hall which expanded to this small shrine.
Though my children may not now remember a single line from my recitation, the essence of our culture, though not the rituals, got embedded into their system. That was a big victory for me. They became spiritual in the real sense and live a honest life without the interpolations or interference of religious restrictions and regulations. They mean what they say. They say what they feel. They are free birds now but their wings derived velocity from my Vedic hymns. I believe so; they may not.

All those became old stories when an year-long tempest lambasted my family in 1999 and blew off its roof in the early days of the current Millenium. The year 2000 started with a thunderous thrash. The lady of the house left us for ever. Atchuth was 16 and Srikanth 14, then.

Then on, for many days a solitary lamp silently glowed with no accompaniment of hymns or metallic sounds, inside my pooja room. I had abandoned all routine religious activities.

The house did wake up again in joy with the preparations for the weddings of my eldest son and daughter, which took place in August 2001.

The arrival of Meghana and Vuday changed the whole scenario of dullness into delightful vibrations and their cheerful parents and other relatives wiped off every tinge of black ink from our lives. No going back since then. God opened two big doors after closing the main door.

During my absence of four years Vicha Anna did what he could best.

My Moorthies stand by me and tolerate everything I do and that is their keerthi.

I can’t close this write up without sharing with you some light- weight stuff.

‘Neivedyam’, me from the pooja room, turning head towards the kitchen.

‘See to your right’. Response from inside

After some time, ‘karpooram’. My demand.

‘See to your left’

‘I don’t see any of those here.’

‘Surprising! What do you see then?’

‘Only your face’

‘Enough of your worship. Get up and rock the cradle’

Not always, occasionally, did such dialogue took place between us.

Pooja is for what after all?

You know the answer.

Anja is a baby and she has a baby


imageAnja is a baby and she has a baby!

‘Can she make kAppy?’
I asked her mammi

‘My pearl plays with puppy’
She said, all were happy!.

My tongue never in locker
And I’m always talker.
‘Teach her to make sambar
Idli, Dosai, chutney
Love comes from food
Atchu loves all good’

Anja rushed to kitchen
Leaving behind kitten,
In lightning speed she learned
Appa’s praise, she earned!

Anja is a baby and she has a baby.

She can make now Olan,
Sambar, thoran Kalan!
Anja has now won
Appa and his son!

Anja is a baby and she has a baby.

you’re a Sundarakuttan



Almost all oldies, except me and including my brother Vicha, feel that they have all the problems under the sky but unrecognized or underestimated by others.

Early morning today, he neighed from his bed, ‘Anna, odivaa, come rushing!’

‘Enna aatchu Vicha! Are you still on the plain or flying up?,’ I enquired and went to him.

‘Press, press, here, one inch above, not there -two inches
below, just to the right, no to the left, a bit below’

I massaged applying the balm Megh had brought.

‘Chukku vellam !’ Medicated water, he wanted.

I gave him that.

‘Kaapi!,’ he ordered. I made him hot coffee.

He enjoyed the coffee and remarked:.

‘You don’t realize my struggles. You have a habit of taking everything light!😔’

‘Fool! I take everything light, that is why I’m here to press your back, foregoing my luxurious of living with my children’

He couldn’t have heard. Still he laughed! I love this old man born two years after me. He is a SudhAtma. A pure soul.

Real fun enjoying his company. What do the children know about my exciting life here? They feel Appa is struggling. ‘Don’t go near the stove’, warns Sarath. How can I avoid that, though there is a part time cook.
‘Appa, don’t walk to Habsiguda,’ warns Megh. How can I avoid that. Aparna, Atchu and through face time, whether my eyes, ears, hands and legs are safe in their respective places. They are my children. I’m fit like a fiddle.

Vicha’s back pain will vanish soon. Then, he will start singing Pattanathar and KalyAnasouganthikam kathakali songs. I too will join him. That will be real fun, for both. Not for our neighbors as they are not deaf, partially or fully, like us!

I sang for him an instant multilingual composition:

‘You’re a Sundarakuttan ( handsome boy)
Don’t trouble this ‘chettan’ (elder brother)
You are a Sundarakuttan!

Vicha, no more are you a ‘batcha'(child)
Though your health not ‘atcha'(good)
See how the world is ‘patcha’ ( green)!

You’re a Sundarakuttan!
Your shirt shines, but no button!
‘Athee!’ ( my god!) goes down your dothi,
Man you’re mind, not a kothi( monkey)

You’re a Sundarakuttan!
Don’t trouble this chettan
Vicha, you ‘re a sunderakuttan!

In the picture below Vicha Anna, soon after getting up, enjoying the beauty of his face, before the mirror!


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