Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Im a fan of Suniti

From The Blue Donkey Fables
By Suniti Namjoshi

A Love Story

One day, as you walked outdoors, you found a stone. At first you thought that it might be a toad; but it was not warm, it was not slimy, and it did not quiver as you held it in your hand. You left it in your pocket. it occupied space. It had mass. But it was not abrasive or obtrusive stone. You were not troubled; and the stone, in turn, was probably content. When you came home that night and undressed for bed, you took the stone out and set it on the dresser. It is possible, of course, that the stone watched you all night long. But then it must be remembered that the stone had no eyes. It is much more likely that it merely sat. It was contiguous in space. It was, if you like, a contemporary of yours. The following morning you lost the stone. You may have noticed its absence in your pocket. the stone may have sensed the increased distance from a source of warmth. But that was all. It is not conceivable that naything else could possibly have been felt. I conjecture, ofcourse. The tale is, after all, a fanciful invention, a playful variation, on a species of love.

For those who did not understand the relevence,
Replace the stone with a person and read the story again.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Very few stories ring so true

From The Blue Donkey Fables
By Suniti Namjoshi

Crow and the Starling

Once upon a time there was an idiot crow. She was sensible enough most of the time, but utterly foolish when she fell in love or fancied anybody. Now, it so happened that she met a starling. The starling was charming, the crow was charmed, but she decided that for once she was going to be sensible. She was calm, dispassionate and moderately friendly. At last one day they met again. Crow had pined and repined dreadfully, but in accordance with her decision to do nothing foolish, she had done nothing. Once again Starling and Crow were very sensible and reasonably friendly. Soon they began to meet often. They continued calm, quiet and friendly. It became a habit. They got used to it. So that it was only occasionally that Crow tore her feathers and cursed her wisdom and her folly.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Great Depression Part II?

Prithvi Nagar was a quaint little village. It was a self-sufficient village and hence isolated. They grew everything they wanted and sold the surplus to their neighbours. They had carpenters, blacksmiths, tailors, goldsmiths and everybody had cattle. They even had a school for the children. Uttam Singh Allahabadi was a wealthy moneylender in this village. He was a very jovial man and enjoyed company all the time. There never was a time when Uttam Singh’s huge mansion did not have several guests.

There were other money lenders in the town but Uttam Singh was the most popular. He kept good relations with every one in the village. He was especially good with his debtors. He often advised them on personal matters. Sometimes these debtors were bothered by his interference but being the money lender, they could neither offend him nor ignore his advice. The other money lenders always had a grudge against him, as he took away their debtors but his popularity required them to give him due respect and would only gossip about him behind his back.

Many of the townspeople thought Uttam Singh was loud, arrogant and extravagant, but most admired his strength, wisdom and his general way of life. So much so that many people began to imitate his way of life. Luxurious goods that they could not afford such as silk curtains, ornaments of gold and regular visits to the cinema hall became a necessity. This only increased the number of debtors in Uttam Singh’s directory. One thing he noticed was that the people who borrowed the money were farmers, blacksmiths, and other people with low income and never the landowners or panchayat leaders. He wondered how his debtors were planning to repay him but pushed away the thought; ‘That’s their problem. Why should I worry about it?’ Other moneylenders were more careful about lending money to such people who they called ‘sub-prime loans’. They even warned Uttam Singh but he would hear none of it.

Soon there came a time when Uttam Singh’s debtors could no longer afford to repay him. They sold any thing in the house that they could sell and still they were short of money. Much as he threatened and blackmailed them, they did not have any more money to give. Uttam Singh soon began to lose all his money. He stopped lending. A few years passed in this way. In the beginning the other money lenders of the village gloated at Uttam Singh’s plight. Little did they know that this was soon to affect their lives as well! The farmers were unable to buy fertilizers and gave up using water pumps to save electricity. This led to a shortage of surplus grains to sell; eventually leading to a shortage of food in the village. The landowners no longer profited from their lands. Schools shut down because children stopped going to school so that they could help their parents on the field. Thus, the school teachers were jobless. The carpenters, blacksmiths and others no longer had anything to do. Many lost their jobs and everybody was unhappy.

Uttam Singh went into depression. He could not handle the guilt of having ruined the lives of so many people. Many tried to console him and told him that it would be alright. But he could only hear his own conscience, reminding him of a story his father told him.

“Have you forgotten how your grandfather lost all his money by interfering in other people’s matters? They had called his depression the Great Depression of teh '30s. Have you not learnt from your ancestors’ mistakes, you fool?”

Monday, August 11, 2008

I Object

“80% is not bad at all. What are you going to do?”
“I want to take up Arts.”
“Arts? Why? You could easily get into a nearby college for science.”

“First year B.A., is it? Good, good. You must study hard. What are your subjects?”
“English Literature, Psychology and Sociology.”
“Oh that is excellent. Psychology has a lot of scope abroad these days. They need it too. Everybody is mad these days. Hahaha”

“You took up Literature? But you were interested in Psychology.”
“I changed my mind.”
“Oh, but Psychology had so much scope. What will you do after your graduation?”
“I want to teach.”
“You are going to be a teacher, huh? That’s nice.”

“M.A. Literature is it? That’s heavy. What are you going to do after this; become a teacher?Hahahaha”
“You want to be a teacher? But you are intelligent? You could easily clear an IAS or something.”

“M.A. in literature must be very difficult, no? I don’t know why you girls like to study so much these days. Well, I guess it’s better than becoming a doctor or an engineer; or the new trend is to get into ‘PR’ or a reporter like that Barkha Dutt, or make advertisements. All such shameless jobs I tell you. You will become a teacher, I suppose. It’s the proper job for girls. No late night working; very light job. Career ka career and you get enough time for your family also, once you are married.”

When Jane Austen began writing novels, she did not consider it a job that will allow her to have a family life.

Aristotle was not just a teacher.

A successful teacher is one who is able to bring about a change in the students perception.

So, I am not just another girl with average intelligence, who did B.A., M.A. Literature and is going to become a teacher.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

One Rainy Day

Some days are tailor-made for your comfort; others, not so much.

“Menaka, its 8:30 already, why are you still in the bathroom?”

The sheer power of her voice made me wonder why she never learnt to sing. My family breeds singers, but none of us have the rich thickness of voice that made the shivers run down my spine. Or may be the shivers were because the heater had given up and I had to bathe in cold water.

The thick sheet of rain outside my window and a sky which looked like blackcurrant and vanilla ice cream confirmed that today will be a repetition of the 26/ 7 deluge. But that wouldn’t stop my mother from going to work or making me go to college. We left late that day because mom couldn’t find her umbrella. And to make things worse the pitiless rickshaw-walas completely ignored our prayers with joint hands to drop us to the railway station. I can’t blame them. S. V. road, Andheri at 9 O’clock is a sea of vehicles inching their way to poverty at a maximum of 20kmph, if you’re lucky. Petrol prices aren’t reducing, you know. One very generous rickshaw-wala agreed to drop us half way, we graciously accepted and thanked him for his kindness. We then trundled our way through puddles, hawkers and other slaves of time with umbrellas in one hand and attaches/ pulled up sarees/ handbags/ other people holding on for dear life, in the other hand.

My mother clinging on to my hand had trouble keeping her sandals on. “I bought them because the vendor said it would work well in the rains. The cheat!” Things like ‘scum of the first order’ and ‘spineless thieving pig’ followed. And in answer to her abuses, her sandal broke. Consequently, the volume in which she said ‘devilish prick’ and ‘may you rot in hell’ were much higher and must have offended fellow commuters around.

It was the scene at the railway station that took my breath away. Every platform was packed with colours. Men and women of every shape and size, wearing every imaginable colour were all sparkling wet. It was only then that I understood the true meaning of the cliché - India is a nation of colours. We are diverse in every aspect. But what unites us all is the single goal of squeezing our way through various obstacles and making our way in to the train. Some are successful; others wait for the next train. But the struggle never ends. Even inside the train, you have to strive to reach the seats, just so you do not get thrown out at the next station. You will not get to sit inside the train. Those seats are reserved for those who have truly attained salvation. And ultimately, when you do reach your destination, you need to have the grit to continue struggling through the day. This is the philosophy of life. Or the philosophy of life in Mumbai.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


January 28, 2007

The blue gates, the front drive-way, the marble step leading onto the porch, were all too familiar. I rang the bell out of curiosity. A beautiful young woman with curly hair flowing down to her waist opened the door. “Good evening.” I said. The woman’s reaction was rather uncanny. Her eyes grew wide and her jaw dropped.

“Where have you been? We were worried sick about you. Vikas has gone out searching for you, right now” Thus saying she pulled me into the house. I didn’t resist. The house looked nice and cozy. I’ve been to this place before.

“Your sandals look like they have been through muck. Did you go to the fields again, papa?”

“No. I was on my way back home from the court, actually.” I replied to her question. “It has been quite a tiring day. You couldn’t make a cup of tea, could you?”

The woman sighed, closed the door behind me and went into the kitchen. I heard clattering vessels, running water and the gas stove turned on. But the cup of tea never came.

A man opened the front door and entered the house looking very worried. But as soon as he saw me, he relaxed. He took a few steps towards me, as if to ask a question, but instead he sighed, shook his head and settled himself on the sofa next to me, rubbing his eyes in exhaustion.

“How was court today?” he asked.

“Criminal law is very tiring, young man. This Kurian case is a tricky one too. And these bloody journalists! They are capable of sucking the blood out of you, I tell you. They will do anything for a juicy story.”

March 4, 2007

She keeps feeding me. She only wants to feed me all the time. Sometimes it’s good food. I like sambar and rice with mango pickle. I don’t like fancy food, unhealthy food. My mother made the best sambar. I still remember the taste.

“Can I have some tea? I’m really thirsty… It was the closing today. That man must learn how to curb his anger in court… So that settles it. That is how we come to the conclusion that… is that tea I can smell?”

Next case begins day after. The court has finally announced the dates. Mr. Kurian will finally be happy. The papers are all ready. But I’m feeling a little uncomfortable. I’m an old man now. My memory is failing me. I’m not sure I will be as sharp as I used to be. This case is big. I must not lose it.

May 25, 2008

Little Tarini is quite a handful. She never wants me to get out of the house. I myself am quite attached to her. She loves coming to my office and playing around with my associates. After all it’s just the other room that she needs to crawl into. It’s quite a relief for Lalita. She feels the burden of becoming a mother at 35, sometimes.

“Papa, it’s time for your medicine. Come, get up.” This lady is quite a nuisance. “You can continue writing after you have had your medicine. Now come on, papa. Besides you should not be lying on your stomach and writing.”

“Amma, please don’t bother me. I’m studying now. I will have my medicine later. Just keep it on my study table.”

“Tarini, what is all that noise?” It’s that man again. He keeps calling me papa. But I have no son. Only one daughter, isn’t it? I do have a daughter, don’t I? I wonder where she is.

“You go tend to Appu. He says he has finished studying. Come, papa. I brought you some tea.”

“I may not be as old as you, sir. But I’m old enough to know that what you have in your hand is not tea but the medicine the other lady wants me to have.”

He is laughing. But the laughter sounds sad.

“So, now you’re not as old as me, is it? There was a time when you were against my marrying your daughter because I was too young.”

“My daughter is barely one year old. You can’t get married to my daughter.”

August 30, 2008

“Papa, what are you doing? You will catch a cold. Please, come in. All that dirty water will have insects that will bite you. No, no, don’t do that you will fall.”

“Rain is so beautiful, isn’t it? I like getting drenched in the rain. Ho! Hahaha!”

I don’t like this woman. I was having so much fun in the rain. Amma never stopped me from playing.

“Amma! This woman won’t let me play in the rain.”

Amma is too busy. She won’t hear me in all the bustling inside. The preparation for Onam has begun. My distant relatives have all poured in to my house. Now there is no chance I am going to be able to study. The last room on the left of the floor above used to be my only respite, during the festival, for any privacy. But now that is filled with big wooden boxes. And my foolish cousins will not let go of me.

August 30, 2009

I have a beevy hed. Think me sick. Want slip. Newspaper say I be wrong.

“Papa, come have lunch.”

“I object. That was completely uncalled for. What do we gulp?”

“Papa, what are you saying? I can’t hear you. Speak up.”

“That’s that... I shall bring the flowers for you to examine.”

“Papa, do you remember Vikas’s parents? They are here to see you. Yes, come shake their hand. Now come, lets all have lunch.”

“It has bing good doing bigness with you, sir. Very happy. This table is gigantic. All can sit on it and eat. All very happy and gay. Very nice.”

“That’s the best papa can do to express his happiness at seeing you. The doctor says this is the beginning of moderate dementia. It’s the second stage of Alzheimer’s. Speech and writing skills are slowly being forgotten. It’s only a matter of time that he will lose all ability to communicate. He can still speak. But what he says can be barely understood. They say he was the most articulate among other lawyers at the high court. He earned such reputation for his precision and aggression in court. Now, all you see of it are these writings. He writes all day long. He will never go anywhere without his little diary and that pen. We have never had the heart to see what he writes. But slowly he is even losing his ability to grip the pen in his hand. He is losing everything day by day.”

Women cry lots of tim. Quietness is silent when peeple talk not. Case closed in due tim. Woman stop crying.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

'Thats Hardly Surprising.'

Tanur Station is one of the smaller stations in the state. It wakes up a little before 6 am and sleeps by 11 pm. Shops open, commuters begin to mill in, coolies have their day’s first cup of tea, hawkers set up; all around the same time. Office-goers and business men and mothers going to meet their ever-busy sons in the city and old women in brand new sarees with their purses tucked in their armpits on their way to a far-off temple. It is not because they are afraid of the rush-hour crowd that they start so early. They are the rush-hour crowd. They simply have the habit of getting an early start. There is all the time in the world for them to reach their destination and even if the next train to their destination is half an hour after the one on the platform leaves, there is no hurry at all. Life goes on in slow-motion here. Time seems to go on forever. Here, people do not sit idle to while away their time. It is as if time sits idle instead to give people a unique sense of freedom.

Shekharan is a misfit here. He is hefty and of average height. He is dark and his lips are black. He is partially bald and has a well-trimmed mustache. The scanty salt-pepper hair on his head and his thin line of salt-pepper mustache are the only indications of his middle age. He begins his day at the railway station; like every other rickshawwala in the town. He was the most enthusiastic of the lot when we approached, to take us to our destination. So we got in and off we went, leaving the wind behind. The panoramic view of gods own country swooshed past us like a blur. The wind beat against our ears so that we couldn’t hear anything else. Suddenly, without a warning, Shekharan pulled the rickshaw to a stop, right in the middle of a newly tarred road. It was only then that I heard a strange polyphonic version of Beethoven’s Fur Elise somewhere in the vicinity. Shekharan apologized profusely as he reached into his pocket and took out the source of the unearthly music. As he answered the call, he took out a small notepad from his pocket. Shekharan jotted down a date and time while he mumbled something about not being able to make it for the wedding because he was busy with election work. He hurriedly cut the call and started the engine again. He apologized again and zoomed on.

“You see, I’ve been waiting for this call since last night.” He said in Malayalam. “I need to look into the registration of this marriage. It’s a long story.” He turned to see if he had any audience. My father look intrigued, so he went on.

“I also teach at the local school. I’m a physical trainer. Children around here have enough exercise walking miles from their homes to school as it is. But they have no stamina. No food, no proper supply of water, you see. This little village is quite lucky though. It comes under the municipality of the city near-by. You people look like you yourself have come from a big city. What business brings you here?”

“We have family here” replied my father.

“I see. Who is it may I know? I might know them. I’ve been to almost every house in the area because of the election campaign.”

“They live in the large house next to the river.”

“Oh. Then I might not know them. I still haven’t covered that part. You see, I’m the Municipal Advisor. Any problem people have around here, they come to me to get it solved. Usually, they do not rely on the municipality, but sometimes when there are legal matters involved, then I have to look into it. That is how I know almost everybody around here.

“I’m also part of a local political organization. I garner the votes for my party in this area. That is why with the elections coming, I’ve been having a very hectic month. I start out with my rickshaw at 6 in the morning. School starts at about 8 am, but I go there only by 11 am. I get free from there by 3 pm. That is when I go to the party office. If there is much work then there is no chance of earning anymore money driving the rickshaw for that day. But, with only a wife and a child to look after, I get by quite comfortably.”

We had reached a little grocer’s shop, where we halted so my father could buy some snacks to give to our relatives. An old man in checkered lungi and a long white beard passed us by. Shekharan called out to him and the old man looked back.

“How are the preparations for the wedding, Mommad kaka?”

“Everything is going fine, Inshallah. How is little, Aadirakutti? And, son, I still haven’t received word from them about the water supply to my land. I’m giving that place as Chandni’s dowry. You know how important it is to me.”

“Don’t worry, Mommad kaka, I’ll make sure you receive it in time. I shall leave now, I have passengers. But don’t worry, it will be done.” He touched the old man’s feet, returned to his seat and sped on, once again.

After my father had paid him off, he handed my father his visiting-card, in case we ever needed his services again. The card read:

Shekharan Thampi

B.A., L.L.B

Municipal Advisor, Physical trainer, Rickshaw driver, Member of Communist Party of Kerala – Thrissur chapter.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


The noise was tremendous. In a split second everything was shattered. It was done. She looked at the destruction she had caused and felt her stomach turn. She ran backwards until her back touched the wall. She spread her palm on the wall and slowly slid away from the wreck. They had warned her. They threatened her. But she didn’t listen. She had her chance of playing safe but she didn’t. Repercussions were inevitable. Now she stood in the corner of the room with her hands to her side, unable to move anymore. She pulled her eyes down to her feet and let the stray strands of hair partially hide her vision. She didn’t realize her mouth was slightly open. The noise brought the maid into the room. Looking at the mess the maid shot a flaming glare towards the little pink bundle now sitting in the corner quietly sobbing. Two teary eyes and a tiny voice came out of the bundle, “I broke mama’s pretty plates.”

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Bench

At the very top of the hill sat a little bench for lovers, alone among trees with thick branches and dense leaves. The wooden bench was a little rickety and sat hidden from sight. Its ancient brown paint was almost hidden with the yellow dead leaves from the trees. But at its feet were little bushes that bore little flowers sometimes. The purple flowers were vibrant and always livened up the place. They would wither off only to be replaced by another set of wild delights.

The breeze is light today but the leaves are excited. They gossip about the much anticipated arrival. The breeze carries the gossip on to the little stream that was playing with its pebbles. The stream delivers it at the banks of the river. The scorching sun hides behind stray wisps of cloud and peeps once in a while. But all that can be heard are footsteps.

Monday, March 24, 2008

In my mind

Lacking my love, I go from place to place,
Like a young fawn that late hath lost the hind;
And seek eachwhere, where last I saw her face,
Whose image yet I carry fresh in mind.

I seek the fields with her late footing signed;
I seek her bower with her late presence decked;
Yet nor in field nor bower I her can find,
Yet field and bower are full of her aspect.

But when mine eyes I thereunto direct,
They idly back return to me again;
And when I hope to see their true object;
I find myself but fed with fancies vain.

Cease then, mine eyes, to seek herself to see;
And let my thoughts behold herself in me.
- Edmund Spencer

They tied her on to the makeshift stretcher of bamboos, so that she didn’t fall off while they carry her to the crematorium. But what they tied up on to the stretcher wasn’t a person. She had long gone, leaving just the body. Gone to look at us from above and silently hope we would get on with our lives instead of wasting time moaning for her.

I could see her now, sitting on her easy-chair, with her legs stretched in front of her, looking at me and waiting impatiently. I looked at her, then looked at the body, and then again at her. I could feel the tears forming in my eyes. But I was afraid of my grandmother seeing it. She would become uneasy, shift around in her chair and say, ‘What nonsense is this? No need for those unnecessary tears. There are so many people in your house, go and make some tea or something for them. Be a good host.’ But I couldn’t move; I just stared at her. By this time, they had lifted the body on to their shoulders and begun walking out. There was no reason for me to stand there any longer so I ran back in to the house. I locked myself and cried my heart out.

Where is she? Is she already taking another shape to enter in to this world again? Or is she waiting for us to live out our lives, so that she can look over us?

‘You let me go.’ She said.

‘What do you mean?’ I replied.

‘I was waiting for you, to come and smile at me once before I went. You hadn’t come to see me in a while and I was beginning to miss you.’ She paused. ‘I hated not being able to speak. I wanted to say so many things. It took me almost a year and a half to accept that I will no longer be able to tell all of you, what to do and how, anymore.' She grinned and then went on, 'I had decided its time I leave and take the burden off you all. I had become quite a liability by the end.’

‘No!’ I yelled, ‘Nobody ever said you were a liability. We never complained. How could you think we didn’t want you any longer?’

‘There will never be a time that you wouldn’t want me. Even when you had to care for me like an infant, you never complained. But I had to take the decision because I realized just how much you did for me, and I was thankful for it.’

‘But I don’t want you to go. I don’t want to live without seeing you everyday.’

‘Then why did you sing?’

I could not answer that. Tears ran down my cheek, unnoticed, as I stared at the floor. My heart felt like a heavy lump that was stuck in the middle of a tornado. I felt the walls pressing against my ears. Before I could comprehend what was happening to me, I fell on to my bed, scarcely breathing. The voice wasn’t mine when it spoke, ‘I sang because I wanted your pain to go away. So that you stopped struggling for air and feel calm.’ I sat up and felt my senses coming back. ‘You used to say that singing made your headache go away. So I thought if I sang, your suffering would go away.’ This made sense. ‘So that you would stop struggling,’ I realized what had happened, ‘so that you go in peace.’

I tried to recollect what I had sung to her. But I couldn’t remember. I remembered my uncle trying to find her vein so that he can give her saline. I remembered wiping her forehead as she heaved again and again trying to breathe in some air. I remembered holding her hand, kissing her forehead, trying to look brave and strong. I remembered the tension and fear I saw in the others’ eyes. It was then that I realized there was nothing anybody could do to make her any more comfortable. I noticed my uncle giving up hope with the saline. Then I looked at her and a tune burst out of my mouth. I do not know where it came from or how I could sing at such a time. There was nothing I could do to stop it, so I continued humming the tune. It wasn’t a song or anything I knew but I saw the change on her face almost immediately. I saw her relaxing a little. She stopped trying as hard as she was before. I felt a strange kind of relief. I saw my uncle shaking his head, I knew what that meant. But it did not bother me so much. I looked at her again. She was still trying to breathe but it was as if she had lost interest. I did not stop singing; not until I thought she had stopped trying. I thought it was over then. But I saw her move again. And I felt a little balloon blow up inside me when I saw her breathe her last. The balloon seemed to float inside me, it made me relax but I felt uneasy. Someone in the room said into their phone, ‘It’s over.’ The words echoed in my mind and the balloon burst so suddenly, that for a moment I was disoriented. When I did get a grip on myself, I saw all around me a lot of disoriented minds, pretending to be calm and composed. I joined in.

‘You let me go.’ The voice shook me out of my reverie. ‘I didn’t want you to suffer.’ I replied.

‘Well, you succeeded in pulling me out of my miseries.’ She said. 'Don’t ever stop singing.’

Just as she said that, something cold hit my face. ‘Will I ever see you again?’ I asked, but there was no reply. I didn’t need a reply. The tears kept coming but the grief had passed. The tornado inside me that held my heart captive was calming down. It was only then that I heard the knocking on the door. When I opened the door, my mother stood outside, looking at me with concern dripping down her eyes. ‘Are you ok?’ she asked. ‘Almost.’ I said and hugged her tight.

‘I will be soon.’

A month later, I sat at my desk staring at the stack of books, diaries and papers in front of me. I picked a diary up and flipped through its pages. Everything was written in Malayalam and I could barely understand it. But I knew what was written. I knew what every page contained. I knew the story that each page could tell. I stopped at one page, in which I found my hand-writing. It was a Malayalam song that I had written in Hindi.

“I met this man at the Narayaneeyam yesterday; very chatty and rather irritating. But he had so many songs and poems and he sang pretty well.” She just couldn’t stop, could she?

“What song did he give you?”

She laughed as she stretched herself on the easy-chair. “It’s a beautiful song. I want you to sing it at the temple for the Onam celebrations.” She noticed I was going to protest. “Don’t worry it is very easy. It won’t even take you a day to learn it. I wont ask you to come practice or anything either. Just learn the tune and practice it at home. That’s all. It’s a really nice song and I really want it sung in the temple.”

I looked at her and her eyes confirmed that she does not mean to take a ‘no’ for an answer. There was no way I could conquer her determination. “What song is it?”

And she began singing the song and describing every word and making sure I understood it perfectly well. I spent two hours learning the song and singing it along with her. By the time she was done with me, I was exhausted and she was satisfied.

Suddenly, something struck her. “Have you eaten anything?” She asked. “You just came from your tuitions. You must not have had anything.” Before I could say anything, she was already on her way to the kitchen. “Let me make some dosas. I made a different kind of chutney in the morning. Taste it and tell me how it is. Do you want tea? I haven’t had any tea since morning. I’ll make some for you as well.”