‘Older you get sharper won’t be your intelligence, but vulgar should not be your tongue ‘, reprimanded my neighbor when I reminded her politely that her body is getting expanded but not her mind. The reason for that was, she knocked my door at dawn, when I was in sound sleep and woke me up- purpose- for borrowing a match box! I searched and found one in my pooja room shelf, which I gave her. It seems there was only one stick in the match box and that too was damp. she therefore came again, Pressed the bell and asked for another match box.

‘I don’t have another match box, sorry madam’, I was trying to shut the door at her face when she stopped me.

‘What house keeping is this! You have just one match and that too with a damp stick!’

‘You didn’t have even that and that was why you knocked at my door in the wee hours. With that one stick, I would have lit one thousand oil lamps around a temple ‘

‘With a damp stick how will you light a thousand lamps? Anyway that reminds me an old popular Malyalam cine song:

‘നാഴിയൂരിപ്പാലുകൊണ്ടു നാടാകെ കല്യാണം
നാലഞ്ചു തൂമ്പകൊണ്ടു മാനത്തൊരു പൊന്നോണം ‘

You watch movies?’

‘ I don’t, but I have heard that song and like it’

‘Shall I sing another song? I’m in a mood to sing’

Hearing the song, Ammalu came to the hall
‘What is happening here ? Won’t you people allow me to sleep peacefully ‘

‘Ammalu, our new friend woke me up for a match box to light her stove. She is habituated to have a hot coffee before the sunrise )

‘She doesn’t have a gas lighter? Or is she using a kerosene stove?’, enquired the lady of the house.

‘Yes, Ammalu, I’m using my kerosene stove. I gave my gas stove to my daughter in law, when she quarreled with me and went away, last night’

‘You gave her willingly or she took forcefully from you?’

‘Shall i sing another cine song?’, asked the lady from the opposite house.

Ammalu’s eyes turned moist. She encouraged , ‘yes, please go ahead. I shall make coffee for us all’

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