Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Perfect Gift

Binu is lying prostrate on his sofa in his apartment in Dubai. As always fiddling with the mobile phone and clearly depicts something is running in his mind vigorously. Some times he just loses it all thinking all over the problem to miss the soul of it.

May 19, 2009 :
Two days to go for my mom’s 50th birthday and I can’t think of any good gifts for her. As always I tried using my triumph card which is my sister Sajju’s brain. But even she couldn’t think of anything good and refreshingly new. This year it’s very important for 2 reasons, one being it’s mama’s 50th birthday and two being the reason I forgot wish her last year the same day. Well being drunk and high fever aren’t the exact excuse for such an important day being missed. And that too for my Mama, as she is above average on a melodrama scale. But yes that’s the best part in her we all totally agree and nod in unison. So me over the phone with Sajju planning this big time with cake and party etc. But somewhere our minds knew, for all she has been for us it’s not good enough given we both are at distant places from our parents. Mama is our best friend, our teacher and the least demanding wife. Yeah then it strikes for us, Why don’t we check with Dad? Papa as every other father in the world was strict and sometimes a tad abrasive. And asking him about any gift is a lose-lose case as it always has been that way. Either he is gonna dismiss the whole idea of gift or else he will strike his best shot ‘ a Sari’. Yeah that’s absolutely true he either gifts a Sari which my mom would have wished to exchange but she won’t. Or else he will find a cheap excuse to forget it. Maybe that’s why I am always excuse driven as it runs in the blood. Anyway I assigned Sajju the task of talking to Papa as she has better patience to speak to him. I am going to bed now with only one thing in mind. Gift for Mama, Gift, Gift…..

May 20, 2009 :
The day before and early morning I get this SMS from Sajju. ‘Call me. Pronto’…I was like Duh?? Pronto?? Anyway I call her immediately to find that Papa has promised Sajju that Gift to Mama is all taken care of. What?? Of all people my dad has planned my mom’s birthday already?? The 28 years I know him of he was always been failing in that department. He was always there for us whenever we needed him though in a silent mode. But towards Mama I had this notion that he took her for granted. Well Well times do have to change I wondered. “Way to go Papa I love you” my mind said.

May 21, 2009 : ‘D’ day

Papa walks up to Mama and asks her “Ammu get ready , oh also pack up a few stuff for 2 days” . She asks “Where are we going, Nandetta?”. He replies “Chennai” . She queries back “Chennai?? You mean our Madras?”. With a smile he says “Yes Ammu!”. As always with too many questions in her mind but none to ask she gets herself busy packing her and Nandettan’s clothes. “Train is at 3 pm and we reach Chennai tomorrow morning 6 am there” he yells out from the verandah. Which in turn is a warning for her and which exactly means ‘we don’t have all day! speed up will you?’. Imitating him mockingly with a chuckle she continues her packing. At the Railway Platform waiting for the train she asks “Is Baby Ettan alrite? Was that the phone call in the morning?”. And he replies dismissively ‘No’ to continue reading his Newspaper. So sitting next to him she picks up her favorite magazine ‘Vanitha’ and glances for some article. But somewhere its bothering her big time ‘What the heck is going on?’. Poor thing has forgotten tomorrow is her birthday. She is now more worried about her apparent cousin brother ‘Baby Ettan’ who is in Chennai since ages and had a kidney failure last year. Morning 6 am train reached Chennai Station. As they get out to a huge crowd and finding a way through it Mama’s eyes were scourging for some familiar face to receive them. As they walked out of the station Papa called for a taxi. He asked the driver "Thambaram pokuma?". Mama was still in awe and had no clue what is in Thambaram? One good thing is, it has nothing to do with Baby Ettan as he is in Anna Nagar. Thank God he is healthy muttered Mama. As the Taxi sped past the city lanes Mama wondered how the city has changed. 30 years ago when she was here this city was entirely different. Madras those days was the dream city in all her college going days. After she got married to Nandettan it’s the first city they came to. This is much much before Binu and Sajju were born. My newly married city has changed drastically she continued wondering. As she continued reminiscing those days they reached the destination. Some 3 star lodging with smell of incense stick all over the reception lounge. Papa got the keys from the reception and they walked to their room. Papa said “C’mon get ready fast. We need to go somewhere from here”. Mama’s impatience grew over her “Can you tell me at least now what is going on?” . he smiled and replied “ You have waited for so long can’t you wait for some more time?” “Just trust me it’s going to be fine”. After some assuring words Papa gifted her yet another Sari and wished “Happy Birthday Ammu”. Mama meanwhile somehow maintains the same child like enthusiasm after all those Saris. She opened the cover and took the Sari out to checked herself out in front of the mirror. “Suits me” she said with a giggle. As soon as they got themselves ready they went to the restaurant located opposite to the lodge. Summoning for the waiter he ordered “2 Upma and 2 bru coffee’s please”. Mama was taken aback “Upma and you?” she laughed. He replied “You like Upma don’t you? And I thought I will give you a company” . “Ohh is that it??” Mama continued laughing. In her 30 years with this man of the many things he hates ‘Upma’ must come somewhere in Top 5. After breakfast they walked out and Papa fared another Taxi and this time he asked “Mahabalipuram pokuma?”. Mahabalipuram temple, first place they went out as couples together. That’s way back August of 1980. Wow!!! Then she got it, Mama just came to know the fact that all along her loving husband was planning the perfect gift on her Birthday. Yes, not those diamond earrings Binu sent late last year and not those paintings Sajju sent. But her husband nailed it this time with some quality time to spend with her. With the reminiscent thoughts and memories to flavor it this was the best birthday gift she could ever ask for. On the back seat of the taxi with moist eyes and a glistened tear drop she said “Thank you Nandetta”.

As this memorable journey continues in Chennai meanwhile Binu and Sajju are checking out all those gift to India websites for their dead brain cells to invoke some ideas for their loving Mama.


Sreejit said...

Wow.. that was a gr8 post... wish we can b that romantic when we r old..(not callin yr father old)..:):)

dispassionate_observer said...

how nice!

Mullai said...


Hungry-In-Life said...

great one da..

Arun George said...

sweet.. feel good post!!! :)

Dhanya Pranab said...


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