Yesterday our house was full of relations who had come to Bangalore for a wedding. Among them was an ungle called JK. JK is a favorite uncle of ours as he is very sporting unlike the usual conservative mallu ungles who frown on everything non mallu the moment they cross the Kerala border.
Oh look! The milestone says Bangalore is 200 kms away.
Look! A river!
That looks like a Kerala State Transport Bus that has toppled off. Must have been speeding.
See what I mean?
I started pulling uncle’s legs asking him what he had in store for his wife all of 52 years, for Valentine’s Day. Uncle sighed, pulled a sad face and said that he had lost interest in V Day a long time ago. I was intrigued. Uncle was by no means a shy guy and had a reputation for being a ladies’ man in his youth. I queried him gently about the tragedy. Uncle sighed again and reluctantly told me about an incident in his youth that had scarred him forever off V Day.
Uncle had done his schooling in Africa and his parents sent him to Kerala for his higher studies. He stayed with his father’s brother and his neighbors were social workers who ran some kind of an NGO. The family consisted of a father who was Malayalee, a mother who was Irish and a daughter who was a pretty combination of the two. Irish girl (IG) had many admirers, suitors and stalkers. Her reputation as very ‘liberal’ did not make things easier either. Amongst the many people in love with her was my Uncle. Uncle had noble intentions unlike the others who were mostly hoping that they would be recipients of her ahem… ‘liberal largess’. I mean can you imagine a mallu guy of the 60’s walking into his house with a white girl?
Achcha, Amma, this is IG. We are getting married.
*sock* *slap* *biff* *choke* *kick* followed by a hastily arranged marriage to Thresiakutty Varkey from Poovathingal veedu, Kadnadu at the nearest available church.
Uncle did manage to speak to IG whenever he got the chance to catch her attention from the crowd that seemed to hang around her perennially. Then one day IG’s parents decided to move to Delhi. Uncle was heartbroken. The crowd around IG’s house cleared and he and his aunt and uncle saw the facade of the house for the first time! It was blue with pretty flowers flanked by a hedge painstakingly grown by IG’s mom. Ok…that was a bit off topic.
Back to our story again! Valentine Day approached and Uncle decided to send IG a letter or a handmade card. The rest of the fan crowd had no clue what Valentine’s Day was. He was told that the Indian postal system may or may not deliver the letter and delivery, if it happens might be on Christmas Day if he did not post the card on January 1st. Uncle was in a dilemma when someone suggested the Indian Telegraph service, a formidable service that delivers urgent messages in 72 hours and very urgent messages in 71 hours.
So uncle paid for a telegram and being shy decided to choose a subtle message template thoughtfully provided by the Dept. of Posts and Telegraphs. He prayed that it would reach her in time. The telegram did reach her, but instead of the subtle message, the telegram read “Hearty congratulations on the new arrival". To cut a long story short, Uncle did get a reply that left his ears burning, skin peeling and with a vastly enhanced vocabulary in Irish epithets.
Wishing you all a very happy Valentine’s Day!