I wonder at life and how maximum scope for confusion and chaos is embedded in minimum intentions (not even actions). It was raining and gloomy and generally the 13-odd gathered family members were convinced that only hot jilebis would make them stop feeling like rats in a Chennai sewer on a rainy day.
“No. Not jilebis. Let us have pakoras and hot tea,” some young voice objected.
“Adenna pakora? (What pakora?) As if you are a North Indian! Say pakoda. And why tea? We will all have coffee only,” snapped Jagga (who had never adjusted to his name Gajendran being shortened to Gajja and eventually
reversed into Jagga. “Kollywood henchman name,” he often bemoaned.)
“What is your problem in life? Pakora or pakoda, it all tastes the same, doesn’t it?”
“Hey! You Kishmu, don’t talk okay? I know why you are interested in pakora. You are trying to catch that block 6 Neena Thadani’s attention. Till yesterday you were saying
pakoda and now suddenly it has become pakora for you, eh?” shouted Jagga.
“Hello, hello! Jagga, stop this. You can’t randomly talk about Kishmu this way. You know how well he paints?” intervened Kishmu’s mother making us all stop for a full minute to wonder and exchange glances on what on earth the connection was!
“Hahahaha,” laughed Nattu, Jagga’s son. “This reminds me of the nouveau riche Iswari aunty. I bumped into her the other day and asked “How are you?” and she replies, “Oh! I removed my jewels just now,” Hahaha! What is the connection?”
“Chee! Why do you speak to the likes of Iswari? Do you know how they became rich? Her husband… forget it. For the wrongs they commit, their daughter should elope with the neighbour’s car driver or some such random guy and hurt their feelings,” snapped Kishmu’s mother.
“Your own son is ready to elope with Neena Thadani… can’t you see how he is calling a pakoda, pakora?” Jagga snapped.
“Kishmu, what the hell is all this? Who is this Neena Thadani girl? Her very name sounds like she has thunder thighs,” Kishmu’s mother boomed at him, sounding a bit like thunder herself.
“Will you people shut up? I met her just once to give her sister Reena Thadani a letter from our Nattu,” protested Kishmu.
“Hear, hear, hear,” clapped the other 10.
“Stupid. Why didn’t you just use email?” snapped Kishmu at Nattu on the aside.
“What the hell? My son is sending letters to some pakora family?” rose Jagga who was now really beginning to look like a Kollywood henchman.
“Peace, peace can we now decide if we are making jilebi or pakora… er sorry pakoda?” my mother the ever affable peacemaker tried to find a footing.
“No, no, let this be. We are already feeling light and much better,” said the remaining 10 members, applauding and encouraging the mindless fight.
“Kishmu and Nattu, come here. What is happening now? Who are these girls?” both parents of the delinquents demanded.
“Ayyo Appa, I said pakoda, didn’t I? Not pakora like Kishmu, did I? Isn’t that proof enough that I have no feelings for Reena, pleaded Nattu.
“Why the hell are YOU saying pakora then? You love Neena, eh?” Kishmu’s mother turned upon her son.
“Ayyo please, she offered to model for my painting free and in return I offered to make a portrait of her without any pimples,” explained Kishmu.
“See?” said Kishmu’s mother, proudly turning to the group feeling completely vindicated and relieved.
“So dumb! He is just reeling something from a pink face cream advertisement of a chap painting pimple-less faces. Beware eh? In the advertisement, the painter finally draws a ring on the girl’s finger…” the mischief-makers threw in their bit.
A huge fight had erupted when thankfully the doorbell rang and everyone (momentarily) sat back like good little children. It was the local confectioner.
“Pakoras and jilebis, for anyone here?” He called affably.
And that’s when the shit hit the fan.