”Where are you going so early?
– Home, since my internship is over.” ”Now, l’ll come to
the hospital from home.” Good! You’ve at least got freedom
from canteen food! lsn’t your car here to pick you up?
– It came yesterday. ”l only have a suitcase today,
so l’ll go alone.” l’ve sent the ward-boy to fetch an
autorickshaw. He hasn’t come yet. That means you’ll miss out on your
breaMast on the first day itself. Here it is.
You won’t lose your breaMast now. Listen! Convey my
regards to your parents. ”Good-day, Madam.
– Good-day.” Who was here?
– No one. Vey well! You may leave. Always set your watch to HMT time.
They’re always right. HMT time: 8.25 a.m. 8.25?! Goodness! That means
l won’t get breaMast even today. lt’s almost 8.25! Hury up!
Mother must already be downstairs. ”Okay, let’s go. Where’s Munni?
– She’s gone downstairs. Come on.” You are the best child at home;
always punctual. ”Have you finished your studies?
– Yes, Grandmother.” You’re ready prem early today.
– Yes. l’ll leave a_er breaMast. l have a consultation
with barrister Tripathi. ”Will Inder be at home today?
– Yes, his internship is over today.” He’ll now commute from
home to hospital evey day. Good! There’ll be a doctor at
home to take care offather. ”And what’s this? Nobody down here!?
Look, l’ve come right on time.” That’s punctuality. ”lf you’re not punctual, you achieve
nothing in life. Mother’s right!” She also says one shouldn’t
speak vey loudly. Thank God. There’s someone else
to remind you all of good manners. Bless you. You really
talk loudly nowadays. ”You’ve come, have you?
– l’ve just arrived.” Your medicine for cough helped me;
l’ll have to buy some more of it. You are flattering him today! And until recently you made fun
of his inexperience. What?
– Hey! Don’t let out my secret. ”ls eveyone here? You too have come!
You’ll stay here now, won’t you?” ”Yes, father.
– Good. Sit down.” ”Hasn’t Jagan come yet? See what
he’s upto, or he’ll miss breaMast.” There’s no need for that.
He should arrive on time by himself. ”No, mother. He loses breaMast
thrice a week an_ay.” Even then he doesn’t
Iearn a lesson. Why didn’t you wear a vest?
– l was in a hury so… ”And why didn’t you comb your hair?
– l did, but…” Then why are they so unruly?
– Out offear. Sit down now.
– Come and sit down. Let’s start. Wait! ”First tell me, whose
foot-prints are these?” Whose footprints are they?
– Why are you asking them? They’ve all come iust now. l don’t know whose footprints they
are! This spoon is placed wrongly. l really don’t know.
– You’ll know rightaway. Get up. Keep your foot
on the foot-impression. ”No, don’t take o_ your slippers;
these are slipper-prints.” Now bring your foot fo_ard. Got it…
Oh! l remember… you asked me to take
my medicines at Eight. ”l’d forgotten and was in the
garden, so, l hurried back…” ”Why are you glaring at me?
l did it! So, l’ll clear it up.” ”Get me a cloth… l’ll wipe it.
– Please sit down, l’ll do it.” Why should you? The rules of this
house apply equally to eveyone. Whoever makes a mistake has
to pay for it. l’ll do the same. Won’t you sit down now?
– Vey well. l’ll sit down. ”How’s your Blood Pressure
now, daddy?” lt had dropped when l saw the
footprints. It’s normal now. Didn’t you say Jim Reeves is
outdated? Now listen to this one. You play it. l’ll close the door.
Mother may arrive unexpectedly. Where did you get the headphone?
– l bought it with my pocket-money. lt’s study time. Mother shouldn’t
get to hear the music. ”Mother, l’m here!
– God! Put evemhing away quickly!” Hey! What are you doing?
– l’ve got a stomach-ache. ”Do you get it?
– l do! Just a minute, mother.” Why was the door locked?
What’s happened to him? He has a severe stomach ache.
l was examining him. ”Why this sudden pain?
– Don’t wory, mother.” ”He eats too much. Don’t give him
anything today, he’ll be fine.” l’m fine! l was iust testing him.
He’s play-acting as a doctor. You keep failing in your exams
and want to test your elders? l came to ask you to get another
E.C.G. done on your father. Okay. O_to attend a meeting?
– Yes. Have you decided about that girl?
Her people wanted to know. Which girl?
– The one for Chander… my friend’s sister?
She’s a vey bright girl. She’s the university badminton
champion and next… ls she going to play badminton here?
l don’t want a champ for this house. l want a daughter-in-law.
One who can take care of the family. lt’s time for you to study now. Looks like brother
will never get married. Why?
– Mother wants a traditional girl… and where do you find
such a girl these days? ”lf you want to get married,
make your own arrangements.” And how about you?
– l’ve already got married. Married to whom?
– Music. Listen…
– Yes…? l’m going to attend a meeting
– All right. But that doesn’t mean you can
have tea while l’m away. ”Yesterday l iust felt like it, so…
– Don’t you feel ashamed…” ”when you behave like a child?
– Well, l’m a father” Don’t give me those dim looks.
l won’t play any more tricks. ”On your way out, take a look at
the rose plants. See what l’ve done.” Such a lovely rose!
There are simply no thorns! What are roses without thorns? lfthere are roses
there’ll be thorns too. The thorns will pierce and you’ll
have to bear the pain. l understand what you
are tying to say. Good-bye!
– Good-bye! l feel vey happy when
l see you with your wife. lt’s as though Lord Shiva and
His consort are together. Like Lord Ram and Sita.
– Like the rose and the thorn. l mean… you are the rose
and l am the thorn. How’s your daughter?
– Fine. She’s got a good husband. Be seated Our happiness lies in our
children’s happiness. True. Please look out for a
suitable girl for Chander too. You got Sunder married and
forgot about my other sons. l have a girl in
mind for Chander. My friend Ramdayal’s elder daughter.
She’s a good girl from a good family. Over-eating is bad.
And drinking is vey bad. Please be serious!
We’d like to see the girl. Arrange it as soon as you can.
l’ll send some tea in a while. l’ve got to attend a meeting. Ask for some extra tea.
– Excuse me…. Please send some extra tea
in a big glass. He’s not supposed to drink tea.
l’ll send you just one cup. She got it.
– Okay… Give me a cigarette. You’re not supposed to smoke
a_er your heart-attack. One cigarette won’t hurt me.
– Whatever your wife does… is for your own well-being.
It’s her no-nonsense attitude… that is keeping eveyone together. ”Else, your 4 sons would
have gone berserk by now.” True; Don’t forget about
the alliance for Chander. What’s your friend’s name?
– Ramdayal. ”Coming,…
. Where is Manju?” ”Absolutely. Here l am.
– Come, let’s have breaMast.” ”Pour some tea for me, sis.
– This toast is burnt.” Be careful, Ashrafilal!” Oh no! l didn’t expect
this of Y.B. Chavan. Why? What’s happened?
– He’s deserted Mrs. Indira Gandhi. They got together and
split the Congress Pam. Mr. Reddy had a good proposition.
– But they too had a good opposition. ”No, dear. It’s a question of unity.
– Is this how the breaMast is?” Why? What’s the matter?
Has something gone wrong? ls that the way you rhyme?
Come on now… open your mouth. Let’s here you crow. ”Sir, the breaMast has gone cold.
– And your napkin is soiled.” ”lt was yellow, it’s now a…
-… a political pam’s flag.” ”Well said, my boy.
– Come on in.” The man we thought is stupid…
– … that is this Ashrafilal. proved his intelligence
by rhyming so well. ”Keep it up! The question is,
what are you serving today?” Bread and lentil-cury. ”Hey! What’s going on?
– Nothing, just munching.” ”So strange, not even
allowed to munch.” Throw a card. ”You are scolding her, as though
she’s a Jack of spades.” ”l didn’t scold her.
– Of course, you did.” ”All right, don’t argue.
l’m not a Jack of spades.” ”l am a queen of spades.
– Okay, go on now.” What do l do now?
– What’s the matter? ”Your moves should be well
thought out, isn’t it?” You haven’t eaten a betel-leaf;
Please have 4 leaves. ”l am having it right now.
– Not betel-leaf, eat this one.” ”What do you say?
– Don’t force him, let him be.” Here’s a 4… What’s the matter?
– They are fooling us. How is that?
– Didn’t you understand? ”What did she say?…Uncle, you didn’t
have betel-leaf for quite sometime.” Please have 4 betel-leaves and she
dropped a 4 of hearts. Look at that. ”And this: l’m not a Jack of
spades, l’m a queen of spades.” Don’t cheat.
– Please forgive us this once. ”Cheating’s a sin; not to repeat…
– Forget not, kids, l’m your father.” ”lf you want to go out, get ready.
– Oh! l forgot! Let’s go.” At least now stop being childish. You know my wife died when
they were little girls. ”ln order to raise them, l had
to become a child myself.” ”Once they mary, l’ll act my age.
– Please sit down.” That’s what l’m here to discuss.
– What? There’s a good proposal for Aniu;
from a vey nice family. The suitor is a lawyer.
Anju will be happy with him. That’s what l wish for;
she should always be happy. l assure you of that.
The family is a bit di_erent. ”But they are vey decent. She’ll
change, without even knowing it.” Go ahead with it.
– They reside in Poona. ”l’ll ring them up,
so they can come to see her.” ”Listen sis,
there’s a proposal for you””” ”Let me tell you about
the boy’s virtues””” lt hurts, sis” ”Comes from a good stock,
but he stammers a little””” ”D… dear… A… Aniu…
c… come… c… closer””” ”Comes from a good stock,
but he stammers a little””” ”He has some chicken pox scars,
he also chews betel-leaves””” ”And when he chews betel-leaves
he likes to booze””” ”That is, he boozes
when he loses in gambling””” ”Not eveyday,
but he o_en plays cards””” ”He sings,
he also plays Rummy””” ”Not eveyday does the police
cary out a raid””” ”The poor chap spends
half the day in the lock-up””” ”Let me tell you about
the boy’s qualities””” ”Listen sis,
there’s a proposal for you””” ”Listen, sis…
no please””” ”lf he wishes, he can
would even breakjail for you””” ”One whistle from you,
and he’ll come running to you””” ”His mother is hard of hearing,
but she yells””” ”His father has sounds ears
but he is dumb””” Listen to the qualities ofthe boy ”Listen sis,
there’s a proposal for you””” l’m here, mother.” What are you doing on the terrace?
– l was doing my work-out. lt’s good for health.
– We’re going to Bombay tomorrow… ”to take a look at Chander’s bride. l,
Sunder and Chander won’t be able to go” Why can’t Chander go to see
his bride-to-be? He’s not shameless to go and
see a bride for himself. ”Should someone ask about him,
you should tell him that.” Keep an eye on your father.
No sweets or cigarettes for him. Don’t you wory about that. Just check-out the girl properly. ”They are coming to ””see”” you!
How could you agree to such a thing?” l was helpless.
How could l disobey Daddy? ”Why don’t you say, you
are dying to get married!” As soon as you heard about the
proposal you jumped at it. ”Come and take,,a,,,,look…
vey nice. ”This is an old tradition.
– Old tradition, my foot!” Are you an uneducated girl or a
vehicle that they want to inspect? ”All right, let them come;
l’ll be the one to dress you up….” ”l’ll dress you up so traditionally,
you’ll look like a chorus girl!” The lawyer will take one look at you
and run away! Let them come. What is it?
– They’ve arrived. Please come, we are honoured.” Look how punctual they are!
They said they’d be here at 4 p.m… And here they are.
– One should always be punctual… Looks like you have
nothing to do with them. You’re right.
– Please sit down. ”Please sit down. l’ll be back.
– Come, dear. Please sit down.” l’m the girl’s father. Wouldn’t
you have guessed that by now? l’m Dwarkaprasad.
She’s my elder daughter-in-law. ”My elder son couldn’t come along,
but she’s in-charge of my family.” ”ln our family, it’s the
womenfolk who command.” My second son’s name is Chander.
We have brought proposal from him. Why hasn’t he come?
– He’s not shameless… to come and see the girl
for himself. Am l right? Mother asked me to say
this to anyone who asked. That’s okay. And that’s Inder;
he’s become a doctor this year. ”And that is my
youngest son, Joginder.” Why didn’t your wife come?
– She had a meeting to attend… …. for unhappy women.
Her meeting will get over by 9 p.m. We must return home before that.
So please call the girl. Uma Shankar has gone to get her.
She’ll be here in a moment. ”Great! So over-dressed, you look
like a mannequin. Wonde_ul!” l too feel as if l’ve iust
escaped from a museum. ”Don’t wory, they’ll have
one look at you and flee.” ”Are you ready?
Come on, dear.” ”lt’s getting late, if you could…
– Yes, l’ll just see..” What’s taking you so long? C’mon.
They’ve got to return to Poona. They speak so loudly… it’s a good
thing Mummy didn’t come along. She would have reiected the
girl and her entire family. Shut up! ”She’ll be here soon.
Ashrafilal, get some sweets.” Please have some sweets.
– No sweets for Papa. Why not?
– Because mother says so. ”Actually l have diabetes, but
there’s no harm in eating a little.” ”He cries ””mother”” for evemhing!
A spy for his mother, he is!” Come, dear…” ”Bless you, my dear.
Come and sit down.” Great! So traditional even
in this day and age… you remind me of my mother; she
dressed like this for her wedding. ”lsn’t that so?
– l wasn’t even born then, father.” l too was not born then!
Haven’t you seen the photo-album? l like your daughter vey much. ”lf there’s anything you want
to ask her, please go ahead.” Let’s take a look at your garden;
l love gardening. Come here to me, dear.” lt’s my sister who is under trial.
And why are you sweating? ”Well, it’s so hot today…
– Is that the girl’s fault?” When did l say that?
– Ask her whatever you want to ask. You do that.
– l don’t need to ask her anything. You may ask her now. What’s your name? ”You laugh vey loudly.
– Sory, we can’t laugh so_ly.” ”Besides, your question
reminded me of something.” ”Can you tell us what it is?
– Sure! l have a friend, Ramola.” ”On their wedding night, her husband
didn’t know how to start conversation.” ”So he said, ””Ramola…
what is your name, Ramola?””” Well… l’m not the bridegroom;
l’m his younger brother. Then where’s the bridegroom?
– He hasn’t come. Why not? We too could’ve seen him.
– Look at me instead! ”Actually, there’s no need to see him.
He looks vey much like me.” Does he speak like you too?
– What? ”He speaks better than l do,
since he is a lawyer by profession.” How far have you studied?
– She… Please give her a chance to talk. ”How far have you been educated?
– Yes, you answer that…” ”Or else, he’ll
think you’re dumb.” l’ve done my M.A. in Sanskrit.
– M.A.! And that too in Sanskrit?! Hadn’t you failed
in Sanskrit once? ”Have some sweets, sir.
The alliance is sealed.” ”Who told you that?
– Whoever did, just take the sweets.” ”Please have some ice-cream, sir.
– No, l don’t want it.” Have a little at least.
– l really don’t like it. That doesn’t seem to be true.
– How do you know that? My experience. The guests are waiting there and you
are busy rhyming sentences in here! Serve the ice-cream to eveyone.
And wait a minute… ”Here, you must have _o.
. Two?” ”You are the groom’s brother.
– That’s right, but…” why did you touch it?
l would have taken it on my own. Am l an untouchable then?
– Not untouchable… a-touch-me-not. The ice-cream must have
melted at your touch. And why is that?
– Because you are hot-tempered. lt must have melted in a minute. You could hold it for 2 minutes then.
It’ll freeze again. You’re really an ice-berg. A melted ice-cream frozen again
doesn’t taste vey good. You seem to be vey knowledgeable
about ice-creams. My friend owns an ice-cream factoy.
– And he’s my partner in it. ”So, you also sell ice-creams, do you!
But l was told you are a doctor.” ”Doesn’t practicing yield much?
– No, not much.” He’s only iust started practicing.
– l understand. ”That’s why you have started
selling ice-cream, too.” ”You serve ice-cream to eveyone,
so that when they fall ill…” they can come to you
for the treatment too. A quick-wit!
– l told you she’s vey great. ls your sister as great as you are?
– Yes!… what do you mean? ”l mean, if she’s like you,
l’ll have to pray for my brother.” Hey! At least give me the ice-cream!
– You unnecessarily teased her. Why not? l have a right to tease her.
She’s my brother’s sister-in-law. ”Brother’s sister-in-law…
meaning, a part-wife.” There’s no beating you! Why are you so sad these days?
– Now what can l say? ”Ever since Aniu got married,
there’s no joy le_ in life.” lt’s three months now since we even
played a simple game of rhyming. ”What’s the matter, dear?
Why are you so quiet?” lt’s nothing.
– There must be something. You’re never so quiet. Why can’t l get used to
living without sister? Why doesn’t the green vegetable
rot in a single day? Come, make some soup and get busy.” Don’t bore me. ”l can’t cary on like this, sir.
– He says he won’t work here anymore.” l won’t fill the pot with
a mouthful of water. ”Say something now; if that was
di_icult, l’ll say something easy.” ”Why don’t you understand… l can’t
find rhymes, without sister around.” The three of us are finding it
so di_icult here. ”Don’t you think of poor Aniu,
who is all alone?” Let’s all of us go and
visit Anju then! ”Yes, that’s a good idea.
– No, dear. How can l go?” You go on by yourself
– l can’t leave you alone here. You have to go one day;
besides there’s Ashrafilal here. We’ll rhyme our sentences…
What do you say? Yes. l think so, too.” ”Okay, l’ll land up there unexpectedly.
Anju will be overjoyed to see me.” ”Great! Come here, Gopinath!
Here’s a reward of Rs. 101- for you.” The pancakes are fabulous!
– Anju should get the reward. What for?
– Because she prepared them. Return that money to me.
….and you take it. ”Make such pancakes eveyday and
you’ll be rewarded each day, too!” l really enioyed myselftoday! Uma Shankar must have come. What has gone wrong
with Uncle’s voice? ”Maniu’s here!
– Sit down, daughter-in-law.” ”Greetings, aunty.
– Bless you.” How did you turn up unexpectedly
and unannounced? l wanted to give folks a surprise.
– You have actually shocked us. l see. Are you capable
of being shocked too? Well! l’ll talk to you all later.
First let me have breaMast. ”Take a plate, dear, and
sit down and eat properly.” The pancakes aren’t running away.
– l don’t have the patience. You should’ve washed your hands.
– My mouth is clean. Take your sister upstairs;
l’ll send the breaMast to your room. l think that’s a good idea.
And how’s your father? ”He’s fine. He sends you all his love.
You see, l’m eating, and so…” l’ll pay my respects later
and take your blessings now! Where is your luggage?
– It’s in the cab. ”Go and get her baggage.
– Please, also get back the change.” l have paid him 20 rupees.
– Come along now. ”Just a minute… one shouldn’t
Ieave halves in a plate, right?” Do you think this is Dad’s house to
go around behaving wildly like that? So what?
– The life-style here is di_erent. You can’t move about as you please;
There are rules for evemhing. ”Rules to laugh and talk?!
– Yes, they speak vey so_ly.” ”Speak less… and if not necessay,
they don’t speak at all.” Goodness! It wasn’t like this
even during the Emergency! lt’s like the Martial Law!
How do you live here? ”When you get plenty of love,
you don’t mind the restrictions.” My husband’s a nice man. Take care ofthese boulders!
– Were they too heavy? Heavy! You’d need _o guys
to cary these rocks! Here’s the change.
– Keep it. What for?
– You carried the load of 2 guys. Consider it to be your wages.
– Started joking already? ”No, l am serious.
– Look, l…” ls that the way to talk?
– It’s written in our epics.. never to trust an evil-eyed person.
You still don’t know… how he ragged me before all
his friends at your wedding. l’ll set this gentleman
right before l leave. What are you making?
– Foo_ear is forbidden in kitchen. Leave your slippers outside. But what are you making?
– Apple pudding. ”Oh, lovely!
– Do you like it?” Only a fool wouldn’t like it.
– l don’t like it. ”Make some extra pudding,
Manju will have it, too.” ”lsn’t it being made for eveyone?
– No, it’s only for my husband.” l don’t want it then. l’ll have
it when it’s made for eveyone. ”ln the meantime,
l’ll have an apple.” You never wash your hands before
eating; but at least wash the apple. Never mind;
l never fall sick. Can l have a cup oftea? Tea? At this time?
– Is there a fixed time for tea? ”Tea is considered holy in China.
– This is not China, it’s India.” ”ln our house, we have tea
whenever we feel like it.” ”Does whatever happen in our house
happen in your house, too?” ”So, why do you think, whatever
happens in your house…” should happen here in our house? Dr. Joshi is coming tomorrow
for the check-up. Who’s getting a check-up done?
– Eveyone. Eveybody here gets a
check-up done evey month. ”But when there’s a doctor at home,
why call an outsider?” He’s an old doctor.
– You did the right thing. Never trust a new doctor.
They cheat to pass exams. And they call themselves doctors. lt’s pe_ectly normal now. ”You mean now there’s no ””pressure”
in my blood pressure?” ”Yes, neither high nor low.
It’s the desired pressure…” ”Hers, you mean?
– Yes, if it wasn’t…” ”for her discipline, you wouldn’t
have recovered so fast.” ”You’re absolutely right.
– Do the remaining checks, Inder.” ”Okay then, l’ll make a move now.
Please remain seated.” ”Come, sister-in-law.
l’ll start with you.” You all get the check-up done. ”Show me your hand, Chander.
Why do you have these yellow spots?” ”You’ve started smoking again.
– No, mother…” Then did you get these
yellow-stained spots? You know how harmful
smoking is for health. Even the Government has a warning
published on evey pack. And yet… What’s the matter?
– l want to ask you a question. Go ahead.
– Alcohol is bad for health too.. And the government has
imposed prohibition. ”lf smoking is also so harmful,
why doesn’t they forbid smoking?” Are you aware of the revenue the
Government gets from cigarettes? Billions of Rupees.
– Strange! To earn crores…. the Government deliberately
allows people to inhale poison? The Government too seek profits!
– It’s not like that… What is it then? Please answer me.
You’ll have to answer this one. lt’s di_icult to answer that.
Only the Government can answer you. ”All right, l’ll write a letter
to the Prime Minister today.” Let the Prime minister do her iob;
Just concentrate on your studies. What a lovely question you’ve asked.
No one could give you reply. Eveyone sidestepped the
issue like politicians. ”Come on, it’s yourturn now.
. Who? Me?” ”Yes.
– l’m fine, nothing’s wrong with me.” ”We are all fine, but it’s a
routine to get a check-up done.” ”Come on, dear.
Get it over with.” Let’s see how much pressure
you have in your blood. ”Did you feel bad, that your mother
scolded you before eveyone?” No.
– But she’s right. ”lf possible, stop smoking.
– All right, Daddy.” You got a cigarette…? Just one!
– No Daddy. Terrible!
– What happened? How did it happen?
– Now l understand… why she’s bad-tempered.
But not to wory… l’ll give you an iniection;
you’ll be fine a_er that. ”Such a big syringe?
– Yes. Your disease is serious, too.” ”C’mon, Jagan. hold her hand.
One, _o, …” Don’t scream! Screaming is
not allowed in this house. ”ls her pressure really so high?
– No, your sister always acts smart.” l was only teaching her a lesson. l understood as soon
as l saw the needle. lt’s used to iniect horses!
You scared the wits out of her. Excuse me…
– Yes? What!?
– l… l can’t figure out…
– l said… l can’t understand anything.
Please speak a bit loudly. ”Don’t you know, you’re not supposed
to speak loudly in this house?” ”Whispering is also not allowed!
So, speak properly.” Why are you talking so loudly?
Talk so_ly. What’s up with you nowadays?
– That’s what l was telling him… But he doesn’t pay attention. ”On the 4th of April, all of
you will leave for Allahabad.” l’ve received a letter from my sister;
Sunita’s getting married. Apply for leave and make railway
reservations for eveyone. But travelling is not advisable
for father; his condition… l know that. We both won’t be going.
You all get ready to go. You talk to your sister or else…
– What has she done now? She made mother scold me.
– Oh! she keeps ragging eveyone. What can l do?
You deal with her. All right! What are you doing here?
– Nothing. Whose sandals are those? Those? They’re Maniu’s. Why ask?
– Aren’t they rather odd? She makes odd choices. Where have you been?
– For a morning stroll. lt’s good for health.
– You look tough an_ay. Why do you need morning strolls?
Come on and sit down. ”Gopinath, call your
Master from the garden.” Mother…!
What’s that?! Whose footprints can they be?
– Looks like an animal’s footprint. What?!
– Exactly! Like that of a fox! But they could also belong to
a lady’s high-heeled sandals. But no one wears
high-heels in this house. ”Maniu, please come here.
– Who? Me?” Let’s see your sandals.
– Here you are! They’re stains from your sandals. But my sandals are clean;
there is no slush on them. You must’ve come in from
the garden this morning. ”No, this is the first time
l have come downstairs.” Then your shoe must have gone
for a walk and got dim! What do you mean?
– You’ll have to clean the stain. Yes Mother? That’s the rule here.
– That’s a strange rule. ”Okay, if that’s the rule of
this house, then l’ll clean it.” Get me a duster. ”Give it to me, l’ll clean it up.
– Why will you?” Why are you being so generous?
And what about the rules here? lt was l who made these marks.
To get you into trouble. ”Give it to me, l’ll clean it up.
– No, let Inder do the cleaning.” l hate such iokes.
– Give it to me. How come you’re sitting here?
– Just like that. You seem to be in a foul mood. Can you a_ord to be in
any other mood around here? l can’t sit with a long face. ”l’ll go away in a day or _o.
– Please don’t do that, else l…” ”Else, what?
– l’ll feel vey bad.” l’ll feel you are going
away because of me. Honestly. l see. Why are you being so
sympathetic and chivalrous? You lost a good chance of
insulting me yesterday. l didn’t intend to insult you.
l just wanted to get even with you. ”When l saw things getting serious,
l intervened.” ”Tell me, is it bad to ioke?
– That’s what l…” So_ly.
– That’s what l want to ask. ls it bad to ioke?
How can you live like this? ”No iokes, no pranks! Don’t you feel
stifled, tied down like that?” Discipline is not restriction.
– But so much of it is not good. ”lt isn’t, but we have got used
to it since childhood.” Eveybody seems to be used to it.
Ifyou’ll lend support… Can l tell you of a plan?
– What plan? ”You won’t tell anyone, will you?
– No.” lnder was telling me you
like modern music vey much? ”Don’t wory, l like it too.
But you can’t hear it openly.” Enioying music on the sly; all this
discipline… do you like it here? Like it! l’m a bird that’s
trapped in this cage. Sometimes l feel like breaking
Ioose and flying away. ”Mr Jagan, if you’ll help me, l’ll
bring about a change in this house.” l’m game. What have l to do?
– Tell me the hobbies of each person. ”Just as we both love music, and aunty
Ioves discipline and social service.” Like uncle loves gardening. l feel father is more interested
in fertilizers than gardening. What do you mean?
– He lectures eveyone on it. Like how di_erent plants grow
with di_erent fertilizers. ”What about the eldest brother?
– The eldest? No, please!” ”lf he gets to know of this, l’ll
Iose out on the pocket money he gives.” l promise not to tell anyone
about it. Now speak up. Sunder loves to play cards. Play cards in this house?
– He doesn’t play at home. ”He plays in the o_ice with
his friends, a_er o_ice hours.” ”Even Chander ioins them.
– Chander, too?” They are both partners in bridge.
– But how did you find out? One day l needed some money. Getting
money from Mom is out of question. l decided to ask Sunder. ”ls my brother in?
– Yes, he is.” What’s the matter?
Why did you come here? ”l need 2 rupees.
– l see! Here, take 10 rupees.” But l need only 2 rupees.
– So what? Keep the 10 rupees. Here’s 5 rupees from me too.
Just don’t tell mother about it. ”You can’t expect me to kill the goose
that lays the golden eggs, do you?” ”Whenever l need money, l go there.
l get much more than l ask for.” Now why would l tell mother?
– You shouldn’t do that. You shouldn’t
take more than you need. ”Else it’ll be blackmail.
– Yes, l too feel the same.” ”Okay, now tell me, what interests
your eldest sister-in-law?” ”Evey woman is interested in that.
l’m sure you’re interested, too.” And what is that?
– Watching yourself in the mirror. O_en straightening
your orderly clothes. l even saw her standing before
the mirror in a dance pose. ”The problem is, you have to fulfill
your desires secretly in this house.” ”Evemhing is tied down
to rules, you see.” What are you thinking about?
– Rules! Rules for evemhing. What’s the use of such rules.
Discard the rules for once. ”Not discard. ””Break”” is the word.
– That’s what l mean.” What ifthe moon were to break its
rules and rise from underneath… and you found it placed
on the playground. ”lmagine. What if breaking
all the rules…””” ”the moon rises from underground
and stays on the ground?””” ”How sweet would be its soil,
how sweet its fruits””” ”lmagine a river of milk flowing
in the moon””” White bears and white ants Huge cones of ice-creams ”And a special a sweet so_ drink…
oh what fun it would be””” ”Scooping out the moon-dish,
all night all day…””” and sharing it To hell with the rules lmagine… ”a blue sun…
– Okay””” ”red trees…
– Red””” ”birds living in the ocean…
– Wonde_ul””” ”and fish in the vast skies.
– Great””” Blue sun and red trees… ”birds in the ocean,
and fish in the vast skies””” Almighty, You are amazing” The vast skies lmagine, iust imagine…” fields yielding to_ees… trees bearing sweetballs… and taps running co_ee Why doesn’t it happen for real? ”And why does it happen
the way it is?””” lt’s because ofthe rules Rules and rules and more rules ”Do you know what needs to be done?
– Of course, let’s go.” What is it?
Come on inside. What’s the meaning ofthis? l can’t understand this.
The English is too di_icult. ”This is a book on palmisty.
– Yes, it belongs to Manju.” Maniu reads the palm vey well.
l was vey impressed. l’m here, please come over.” Hey! l was looking for this book.
if you want to learn palmisty… first read some elementay books.
– It seems you read palms vey well. ”Just a little bit.
– Read my palm, too.” So ear_y in the morning?
– _ hope to get a contract. Let’s see if l land it.
– One shouldn’t do it before others. What happened?
– With such a fabulous sun-line! You got into business! You could
be internationally famous at sports. You’re exposed! l played only
small time games as a kid. Let me see…Oh yes!
The double line of Mars is severed. That’s how you could have been
a world champ at indoor games. Do you play billiards?
– No. ”Then it is chess, perhaps?
– No.” Let me see. Oh…cards! l don’t mean gambling.
Say something like bridge. You’re really great.
Eveyone at the club says that… Chander and l could easily
become National Champions. ”Really? Didn’t l tell you?
Let’s have a competition, then.” ”You and Chander. Aniu and l.
– Do you too bridge, too?” We too are the local Champions.
Do you accept the challenge. ”Cards in this house?! If mother gets
to know of it, we’d be finished.” Do you really think playing a
healthy game like bridge is bad? ”lf aunty doesn’t like it,
she shouldn’t know about it.” We won’t play to insult her.
We’ll play it for our pleasure. ”And now if you refuse to play,
l’ll think…” ”you’re scared of losing.
– All right, tomorrow is a Sunday.” Mother will leave for the women’s
association and we’ll play a game. ”But no one, expect the 4 of us,
should get to know of it.” ”Can l sit here?
– Why, of course.” What are you doing?
– Digging it to put some fertilizers. ”Why does eveyone praise only
the flowers, and never the manure?” ”lt blends itselfwith the soil and
feeds the plants, doesn’t it?” Great!
You’ve said such a wonde_ul thing. Wasn’t l right?
– Yes. We think alike. And that is exactly why
l have come to you. Can l have a rose? ”No, l never give these
flowers to anyone.” Let him take it; perhaps he wants
to give it to a girlfriend. All right, take it.” What’s the matter? You shouldn’t talk so freely about
boyFriends and girlfriends. Why not?
Is it bad to have a girlfriend? ”Not bad, but…
– But what? Am l an enemy?” Who said so?
– l say so. ”lf l’m not an enemy, then
l’m a friend. Isn’t it?” ”Yes.
– In English, what is a pal called?” ”A friend.
. I’m a girl, so I am your…?” And you are my…?
– BoyFriend. ”Henceforth, l’ll call you boyFriend
and you call me girlfriend.” ”Do you agree?
– Right, but only when we’re alone.” Where are you going?
– To get my daiy. ”l want your signature
on the contract, my boyFriend.” ”Did you call me?
– Yes, come and sit down.” You seem to be a good palm reader.
– Has brother told you about it? Please tell me about my future. Make the right predictions. Show me your le_ hand. ”Before l tell you about the future,
l’ll ask you something about the past.” Go ahead. ”lt would have been better,
had you not shown me your palm.” Why not?
– Because you’re caught now! What do you mean?
– First promise not to lie. ”l promise not to tell anyone, too.
– All right, l promise. Now tell me.” Venus is vey strong for you.
– So? Weren’t many guys crazy about you
before you got married? The lines on your palm don’t lie;
yours is a love marriage. Not at all! ”lf you want to know about the
future, answer me honestly.” ”l told you, l won’t tell anyone.
And answer me honestly now.” Hadn’t Sunder seen
you before marriage? At least shut the door first.
– Right away. Now tell me.
– He had indeed seen me. Where was that?
– At the college annual function. What were you doing there?
– l was pe_orming a dance. ”No one knows about it.
– And no one shall know, either.” ”What happened, then?
– He likes it vey much.” ”What? The dance, or the dancer?
– Both.” And then?
– Then we both met. ”He told Uncle Uma Shankar evemhing,
and then we got married.” ”Which means, no one, except them,
knows you can dance?” Not a soul!
– Such a strange household. From whom did you learn dance?
– From Shambhu Maharaj. l too am learning Kathak;
please teach me a few steps. l’ve forgotten it long ago.
– No one forgets these things. Come to the terrace.
– Have you gone crazy? Why?
– If mother gets to know of it… she’ll send me packing
to my parents’ house. We won’t be dancing to
disobey or to insult her. We’ll dance for the sheer pleasure.
Aunty doesn’t like it… ”so we’ll learn it when she’s out.
Now tell me,…” ”if dancing was evil, would our
folks have allowed us to learn it?” ”That’s true, there’s no other
art form as good as dance.” Who’s that?
– You? What are you doing here? l’m writing a letter to my father.
– Is this a place to write a letter? ”lt’s a bit of a private matter.
But please, do come…” ”You were inconvenienced because
I came here, weren’t you?” You were le_ without a room
because l occupied it. That’s all right. Had l come
to your house and if there… ”wasn’t an extra room, wouldn’t
you have lent me your room?” l don’t allow anyone to
even step in my room. What did your girlfriend
think about the rose? l couldn’t meet her.
– What’ve you done with the rose? l le_ the rose in a glass
….on her dressing table. That’s a nice way of conveying your
Iove. She’ll be happy to see it. She could be angy too.
– Why? ”You can’t be sure of her temper.
But, she’s one in a million.” ”She’s vey good at her studies, and
at the arts too, she’s excellent.” ”You shouldn’t speak highly of a girl,
in the presence of another.” Why don’t you mary her? ”To tell you the truth,
l do intend to.” But l don’t know how
she feels about me. Will you help me out?
– Me? How? Find out how she feels and tell me;
l’ll be grateful to you. ”All right, first introduce me to her.
– l’ll introduce you later.” First take a look at her photo on
the dressing table in your room. There’s a red coloured book…
it has her picture in it. ”lf you like her, l’ll
go ahead with my plans.” l’ll see right now and cancel… Come on.
Walk slowly. Bless you.
– l was thinking of visiting you. __s _ong since _ saw you.
– _e_ore you became a doctor… it seems you made the rounds of the
film institute to become an actor. But you disappeared altogether
a_er your marriage. l haven’t seen you for 3 months.
– l’m vey busy at the hospital. Please come to my quarters.
My wife will be pleased to see you. Next time.
Convey my love to Farida. ”Where is Inder?
– In his cabin, l’ll take you there.” ”No, cary on with your work;
l’ll go by myself.” ”Hey, listen! How’s your
ice-cream business doing?” ”You have misunderstood…
Hey, it’s you!” ”The same ””halfwife””.
. But what are you doing here?” l’ve come to meet him.
l mean… a friend of mine works here;
l came to meet her. Of course! But right now aunty is
sitting in your friend’s room. ”l mean, in Inder’s room.
– Goodness! When will she leave?” Why?
Do you want to meet him alone? ”No, l mean…
– It’s okay, l understand.” Come and wait in my quarter.
l’ll call Inder there. ”You’ll get to meet Farida.
Yes, my full-time wife!” Tell Inder that Mrs. Abbas
has called him over. And to come to my quarter
as soon as he’s free. ”l hope evemhing is all right?
– Don’t wory, it”ll all be fine.” ”Sir, Mrs. Abbas has
called you at her quarters.” She asked you to come as
soon as you’re free. lt will be great fun!
– But evemhing depends on you. ”Will you be able to act?
A_er all, l am your wife.” At least l’ll be able to act
half as well as you do. That will be su_icient for Inder. How do you find our plan?
– But why should we do all this? ”We knew how Inder felt about you.
And now we know how you feel, too.” Now both of you get to know
each other’s feelings too. But there’s still the
Great Wall of China be_een them. What’s that?
– Inder’s mother. We’ll have to make her approve. ”When the lovers are willing,
what can his mother do?” ”We did the same thing,
didn’t we?” ”l don’t know what your folks did,
but you are indeed vey lucm.” You’ve got such a nice wife.
– Inder says the same thing. He says my wife is like a necklace of
pearls and l’m the monkey wearing it! lt’s only 3 months since
we were married. Let’s see… whether the pearls
are genuine or fake. ”Even if the pearls are fake,
at least the monkey is genuine.” Oh Great! Shake hands on that!
No. We’d rather embrace over that! Please come on in.
– What’s the matter? Why did you call me all of a sudden?
– First sit down. What’s the matter?
– It’s… ”Look, l’m telling you again;
don’t involve him in this.” Keep quiet. A sister can only
ask a brother for help. ”lsn’t that so?
– Yes, don’t bother about him.” What’s the matter?
– Did you attend our marriage? My best friend Suiata saw you
there and fell in love with you. Her father arranged her wedding.
But she le_ the house to come here. l didn’t know she was
so serious about you. l scolded her for disregarding
the honour of her family. ”She said, she has already
accepted you as her husband.” ”And being a Hindu girl, couldn’t
think of marying again.” ”She said that if you didn’t mary her,
she would commit suicide.” Now the honour of the girl
and her family depends on you. Please save her. Please mary her!
– Bravo! ”l mean, her friend is so great.
– Hey! You know how l feel.” ”Yes, that’s why l was stopping her.
Inder loves Manju.” Allah! She must’ve overheard that.
What will happen now? You’ll have to do something now.
– But what can l do? She’s crazy about you.
Maybe she’ll listen to you. C’mon! Please think it over.
– There she is. Don’t get into this madness…
you must have overheard that… l am deeply in
Iove with someone else. Who’s that? Answer me. Who is she?
– She’s a beautiful girl. ”Earlier, l thought she
was slightly crazy…” ”but now l’m convinced,
she’s absolutely insane!” ”You’re not iust a genuine pearl,
you’re a genuine diamond, too.” l’m your husband. ”And whereas acting is concerned,
l’m a kid in comparison to you!” Brother!
May we come in? l’m explaining a few things
to your friend. That was a great step.
Please show me another. Now wait, let me think.” l’ve iust remembered a stanza.
Listen to this… What happened? ”You…!
– Forgive me, father.” ”l’ve made a grave mistake.
– Actually, l forced her to dance.” ”lt’s my fault.
– No, dear. It’s actually my fault.” ”There’s such a great artist at home,
and l’ve been ignorant about it.” ”Such a lovely stanza,
excellent poetic values…” How do you know all this?
– What? Have you heard of the
Master Allah Rakha? He’s a close friend of mine. l’ve
Iearnt ‘tabla’ from him for 10 years. Do you know how to play the tabla? Please come and sit down. ”Please tell me…
– Let me ask; come here, dear.” From whom did you learn ‘Kathak’?
– From Shambhu Maharaj. And you didn’t tell me about it!
– How could she tell you? Think ofthe restrictions here.
Have you told anyone… that you’ve learnt the tabla?
– Your aunty doesn’t like all this. So let’s have it tomorrow.
– What? A competition be_een
_o great masters. All right. But where will we?
– Right here. lf your aunty gets to know…
– We’ll come here when she’s out. lt’s not good to do anything
on the sly. ”Now look, if singing was bad
would you have learnt the tabla?” Would our parents have
taught us dancing? Answer me. ”You’re right, but…
– No buts.” ”lf aunty doesn’t like this,
she shouldn’t know about it.” We won’t dance and
sing to insult her… we’ll do it for
our own pleasure. Just imagine the heavenly sight;
Father-in-law playing the tabla… ”the daughter-in-law dancing, and
the Gods showering flowers on us.” l’ll manage to get the anklets
and a tabla. Really? That’ll be fun.
This happens in our family eveyday. Poety and music… all day long;
We even talk in rhyming sentences. How’s that?
– You say something… anything. ”You say something.
– Yes, pave the way for rhyming.” Now what’s that?
– It’s a form of poety. This is great fun.
– There’s a penalty ifyou fail. This is a vey nice game.
– Isn’t it so? l have taught this game to
eveyone except you and aunty. Shall we play it at the
dining-table tomorrow? This lentil-cury has been fried!
– For the first time it’s been tried. lt’s not good for blood pressure.
– Lentil-cury is no fish in measure. You are iust great! What’s breaMast without Kebabs? lfthe Kebab had a bone…
– Manju would have cried. She would not cy.
– Because her house wouldn’t… ”with the discipline
of this house, run dy.” You have surpassed us. Too much of thinking has
worn out the brain. ”ls this a poety session?
– No, merely rhyming sentences.” That’s enough!
Finish your breaMast now. We’ll continue later.
Let’s talk less for the time being. l’m madly in love My love, where are you?” The flowers… the colour… make me pine for my love l’m crazy l’m madly in love Dark monsoon clouds… ”spreading like th,,,e,,,kohl
in my eyes… make me pine for my lover l’m madly in love Where are you, my love?” ”Your name is all l have
on my lips””” l’m madly in love What happened?
– l’m clearing my throat. Why? Are you going to sing now?
– That’s the problem. ”Whatever you had to say,
you conveyed it through your song.” ”The poet proved helpful, but
how should l convey my feelings?” ”Can l say it, without singing?
– Go ahead.” l want to mary you. ”l want a straight forward answer to
a direct question. ””_es”” or ””No””.” ”My ””yes”” or ””no”” makes no di_erence.
It all depends on what aunty wants.” You are a magician. Cast your spell
on her as you have on the others. Okay, l’ll give it a ty…” l’m sory to have called out
when you are leaving. ”That’s all right, what is it?
– l want to know….” How do you manage all this work?
Looking a_er the house… ”maintaining discipline, taking
care of uncle’s health, social…” ”service, women’s associations,…
where do you get so much of energy?” lt’s because l talk less. What happened?
– One should talk less for energy. Found it! A crooked hair!
– Let me see… ”But boyFriend, l never got this
pleasure from my Daddy.” And why is that?
– My wish was le_ unfulfilled… of keeping his head in my lap
and plucking out all crooked hair. ”Doesn’t he allow you to?
– No, he is helpless, too.” ”He too says, his wish of
keeping head on my lap…” and getting crooked hair
plucked by me remains unfulfilled. l don’t understand his problem…
Oh yes! He’s bald! That’s exactly why!
– Goodness! You laugh vey loudly? ”lf you must laugh like that,
come to my house.” What’s happened to Bhasmasur?
– Bhasmasur? Who? l’ll tell you the stoy later on.
l want to talk to your aunty now. lsn’t Maniu a veyiolly girl?
– Yes. l was wondering if Inder….
– Why? Did Inder say something? He didn’t say anything.
It was my idea. She’s more iolly than necessay.
Such girls are selfish. She’s hardly suitable
for our family. Can l say something?
l hope you won’t mind it. Go on. What’s the matter?
Why are you faltering? You are the only intelligent
person in this house. How can you say that?
– Eveyone knows…. ”that on the 1st of April,
you can fool anyone.” ”lf l ask you to come to the terrace
tomorrow, i.e. on April 1,…” ”on the pretext of a programme,
will you believe me?” Certainly not;
Not when you say it. But eveyone else believed me.
– Really? ”And they’ll be there, so come over
and see how they all are fooled.” ”l’ll definitely come.
– You will, won’t you?” ”Do come, we’ll have great fun…
Sheer fun.” ”Eveyone believed that on April 1…
– That’s why l say, except you…” eveyone else is stupid.
– It appears to be so. ”But l knew,
l couldn’t fool you.” ”lf you want to have some fun,
quietly come to the terrace.” And see how eveyone is fooled. l’ll come to the terrace tomorrow;
but that you’ve invited eveyone… Why did you tell me about that?
– Would you have believed me then? ”l knew you wouldn’t believe me;
Now look, l’m not flattering you.” But you are the only
intelligent chap in this house. A vey rare commodity these days.
That’s why l fell for you. So, the terrace tomorrow then.” Strange! l can’t believe
my sons are so stupid. Did all of them believe you?
– Come and see for yourself. Now l’ll have to come.
– Hadn’t l told you…? You’re the only wise man in
this house; We’ll have great fun. There is no need to thank me.
l knew it as soon as l saw you. That you are the only
intelligent person in this house. Come to the terrace
tomorrow at sharp 10 a.m. Do come!
– What are you doing here? l come here for the heck of it!
But what are you doing here? lt feels good to be out on the
terrace early in the morning. Both of you on the terrace?
– How come you are here? Hadn’t come up for several days.
l was making sure all’s fine. Sure. Check it out! ”What are you guys doing here?
– Nothing, but why are you here?” l heard your loud laughter
and came over. This seems to be a family gathering;
we’ll have great fun today. Sheer pleasure! What did you say?
Sheer pleasure? Did Maniu tell you
something yesterday? Why doesn’t anybody say something?
l’ll tell you what she told me. ”She said, l was the most intelligent
person and she’d fool all of you.” She told me the same.
– Me too. Me too. She even congratulated me.
– She has conned us! There are still 4 minutes to 10.
Let’s leave before we are fooled. Stop!
And do come here! Today you shall indeed
derive great pleasure. l never fool anyone who trusts me. ”Come over, please. We’ll show you
a musical programme today.” lt’s called ””Break all the rules.””” Please be seated. Now, l’ll tell you all a stoy.” lt’s a true stoy for whoever
wants to believe it. We don’t care if they
don’t believe it. The King in our stoy is a squint. ”What’s his crime?
What’s his name?””” What has he done? ”He was enioying the rains,
sneezing without permission””” Awful! Sneezing? ”Such a sordid crime?
Despite being a citizen…””” ”of the county where
the sacred river Ganges flows?””” ”Run a straw into his nose.
Let him learn a lesson””” Take him away Who goes there? So early in the morning? He’s a damn fool, Your Maiesty” ”Damn fool?.
– Yes, a damn fool””” But he seems so lost ”He’s a poet…
prays, even gives curses’ He does nothing right, Sire” ”Stays awake at nights,
sleeps during daytime””” He laughs away his misfortune He cries over others’ misfortune ”l get it. Let not even his shadow
fall on you” Buy him. Make him histoy Break all rules Stop abiding the rules Break all rules Stop following the rules Long live revolution Long live revolution Say it ”Revolution…
– Long live””” Eat, drink and enioy” Laugh your heart out ”Let’s not wory about tomorrow,
Iet’s live it up today””” ”So, break all rules,
stop following the rules””” Long live the revolution ”Say it.
– Long live the revolution””” Bad! Awful ”Of the _enty-four hours,
eight are spent sleeping…””” ”four on eating
and _o hours on lamenting””” ”Few hours are spent in dressing up.
That leaves us with three hours””” ”For all the work during the day,
should one play or rest?””” ”So, break all rules,
stop abiding by the rules””” Long live the revolution ”Eveyone!
– Long live the revolution””” Long live the revolution What’s going on upstairs? Something that gives pleasure… there’s nothing wrong in doing it lnflation is on the rise ”Higher the building,
higher the rent””” Something that gives pleasure… there’s nothing wrong in doing it lnflation is on the rise ”But you don’t have
to spend on laughing””” ”So, break all the rules,
stop obeying the rules””” Long live the revolution ”Eveyone!
– Long live the revolution””” You are making a mountain
out of a mole-hill. So what ifthey had some fun? Where am l stopping them?
Let them do as they please. Let them enioy themselves.
Let them make their home a club. Or a club their home. Why should
l tie them to rules and regulations? l’ve called them all over here
to tell them this. Please give it another thought.
– l’ve thought about evemhing. You may do as you please.
l’m going away from here. You all definitely know why
l have called you all here. ”This house was being run according
to my code of rules, till now.” ”But l’ve got to know today, that
you don’t appreciate my discipline.” l’m pained that none of you
had the courage to tell me this. ”Can l ask you, why?
Because l would have been hurt?” Because you didn’t
want to hurt me? And this is what has
hurt me the most. You have been doing
evemhing behind my back. ”Had you done it in front of me,
l would have told all of you…” why l had laid so many
restrictions on eveyone. Why and how l held such a
big family together. Or else… You’re a doctor. Had l not laid
restrictions on your father… ”would his indulgence in tea, co_ee
and neglect of health, let him live?” ”Hadn’t l been firm with Jagan, he’d
have discontinued studies long back.” Because of his craze for music. ”And you both would have played cards,
until late in the night.” And your wives would have
been getting bored at home… had it not been for the caveat
that we all dine together. Eveyone likes freedom. But how many people understand the
responsibility that freedom entails? No freedom is complete
without it’s obligations. And that is called discipline.
– Whatever we did… l don’t want any explanations.
l only want to convey my decision. A_er giving you
all freedom today…. l too want to be free
of my responsibilities. When you have all returned
from Allahabad … Oh yes! l had asked you people to go to
Allahabad. But there is no constraint ”Those wishing to go, may go.
The rest may do as they please.” ”Please forgive us,
if you have felt hurt.” ”You didn’t do it with the intention
of making me happy, did you?” Don’t cy like this;
evemhing will be all right. Why don’t you understand?
What we want can never happen. ”l can never come here again.
– If that is the case, l’ll get….” a transfer to another city.
We’ll live there a_er marriage. ”No, that can never be.
l have made aunty vey unhappy.” l don’t want to add
to her misey. Bless you. Send a telegram
when you reach there. ”By the time we return,
you will paci_ mother, won’t you?” Don’t wory; you’re going to a
wedding. Don’t spoil your mood. Go on, it’s getting late.” ”What’s wrong with you?
Look, l don’t like tears.” l’ve committed a grave mistake.
l shouldn’t have done it. Aunty didn’t even
come to see them o_. Why are you worried? Evemhing
will be all right. Look here. l’ll go up and make small talk.
A_er a while you too come over. Talk sweetly to her.
A_er that l’ll manage. Okay? ”Busy working, are you?
For the women’s association?” Eveybody has le_.
The house is looking empty. lt feels strange without
the children. l don’t like it. Get into the habit of liking it. All will take care oftheir own
houses; we’ll have to live like this. What are you saying? What’s
a home without the children? ”They mean the world to us.
– Yes, you’re right.” They mean the world to us.
But do we mean the world to them? ”Look, you shouldn’t
sulk for too long.” Please ty to forget
whatever happened. ”Aunty…
– Come on in, dear” May l leave by tonight’s train?
– Why tonight? l’m missing Daddy vey much.
He’s all alone over there. ”That’s okay, but let eveyone
return from Allahabad…” l’ll send the driver
for your tickets. My husband will drop you
at the station. l’m responsible for
whatever happened yesterday. The responsibility of my house lies
either in me or in my family. l don’t hold guests responsible
for my home. Please forgive me. You have done nothing wrong;
So what do l forgive you for? Say you’ve forgiven her! Saying it
once won’t make you feel small. ”Don’t ty to tell me that,
l know what l am.” ”lf you don’t forgive me, l will
never come to this house again.” ”That is your decision, my dear.
Go and rest now.” Your departure tonight
will be arranged. You’ve made that poor child cy.
She had come here to have a good time. You aren’t ashamed to pick up
quarrels with the children? They’re not so small not to realise
what’s good or bad for them. Then why do you want to
force your ideas on them? Why do you want them all
to follow you blindly? l never asked anyone
to follow me blindly. What else! Your word is the law!
The holy gospel! ”Don’t shout.
– Yes, l will shout!” ”For 40 years, l’ve been quiet only
to maintain peace in this house.” ”For 40 years, you have
been giving the orders.” ”And if the children have enioyed
themselves for a day, you’re…” bent on ruining this house!
– What are you getting at? Your discipline is like that
of prison or a hospital! You’ve turned this
house into a hospital. And do you know who’s ill
in this house? It’s you! l think, l have got a heart attack.” Get up and sit here…
l’ll call the doctor. Gopinath has gone to Allahabad
with the others. What’s wrong? He’s got a heart attack. Please ring
Dr Joshi. Ask him to come at once. His phone number?
– It’s in the daiy. ls the pain vey severe?
The doctor will be here soon. What?!
Is Dr. Joshi out of town? Who’s the best heart-specialist
in town? Doctor Gokhale?
Please give me his number. l’m speaking from boat-club quarters.
Please come over urgently. lt’s a case of a heart-attack.
– It’s di_icult to come now. ”l’m going to the Chamber,
l have many appointments.” ”Look, if those appointments
are delayed for a while…” ”nothing will happen, but the
patient’s condition here is vey bad.” Please call someone else. l had
given this appointment long ago. This is a question of a
man’s life and death! What?
What sort of a person are you? l understand. Too many appointments
means a lot of money. ls money evemhing to you, then?” ”lf you have any humanity le_,
please come immediately.” The doctor is here. Please sit down.
l’ll go and bring him in. lt was a good thing that
l reached on time. Don’t allow the patient
to get out of the bed. ”Start the medicines today itself.
l think you must hire a nurse, too.” Who’s your family physician?
– Doctor Joshi. ”But, he’s out of town right now.
– My son is a doctor, too…” at the government hospital.
But he has also gone to Allahabad. At the government hospital?
What is your son’s name? ”lnder is my subordinate!
So, you are his mother!” ”l’m sory, l didn’t speak
properly to you over the phone.” You spoke to her over the phone. ”So, it was you who scolded me?
– Please forgive me, l was upset.” ”What happened?
– Nothing, l’ll tell you later.” ”While returning from the Chamber,
l’ll pay a visit again.” ”Call me, if necessay.
– Okay. What about your fees?” Oh yes! l had forgotten it.
But what’s the hury? We should send a message
to the family. l’ve already done that. l got the
address from the invitation card. ”Please sit inside, l’ll arrange
for the nurse and the medicines.” ”Eat a little.
– No, dear.” l don’t have a right
to say this but… ”if you don’t eat,
uncle is not going to get well.” Oh yes, it’s time for the medicines.” Please come, doctor.” ”Does Maniu iust give you medicines
or does she scold you, too?” She seems to have scolded you
over the phone the other day. l had apologised on the same day. And that’s why l’ve raised the
topic again. Please sit down. ”Do you know, your rebuke that day,
saved not only him, but me too.” How’s that?
– Do you know? We have to take an oath on becoming
doctors. Which is called the… We pledge to help the
poor and the needy. But this attitude to serve is soon
replaced by professionalism. And this professionalism unwittingly
forces us to sell our conscience. Your admonishment the other day
reminded me of my oath. ”Whenever you find the time, feel free
to scold me over the phone!” May l leave now?
– You have just arrived. Won’t you examine uncle?
– l had not come for him. l came to meet you. l’ll come in
the a_ernoon to take his cardiogram. ”Okay then, l’ll leave now.
– Please give that to me.” lt’s okay.
– l’ll scold you again! Sit. Why hasn’t eveyone arrived yet? ”Maniu was saying, they
would all be back today.” ”Do you remember, one day
l had said, such a girl…” ”can only look a_er herself,
and not others? How wrong l was.” ”Whatever she did in the past three
days, l too couldn’t have done.” l’ve never admitted defeat
from anyone before. ”Today, l admit before you…
…. this girl has defeated me.” How are you now?
– l’m fine. How did this happen suddenly?
– You are a doctor. You know such things
happen unexpectedly. ”A_er you had le_, your mother,
Manju and l were joking.” She made me laugh so
Ioudly that l… Please allow him to rest.
Take your medicine. You’ve brought the medicine?
Where is Manju? ”l don’t know, it’s time for
the medicine. Please take it.” ”lf l don’t take the medicine from
Manju, she’ll be o_ended.” See where Maniu is. The heart attack took
place at a wrong time. You had gone to a wedding and your
aunty there must have been upset? ”Aunty, now that all have returned,
l am going back to my father.””” You might have stopped me,…” ”so l’m being rude enough
to leave without informing you””” ”My regards to all the elders,
and lots of love to the kids.””” Yours, Maniu.” Where is she? Ever since
l’ve had a heart-attack… the poor girl hasn’t slept
one single night. She looked a_er me vey well. l wish eveyone has such
daughters and daughters-in-law. Mother… Maniu has le_ this letter for you. ”What do you mean ‘le_’? Has she gone?
– Yes, father.” What has she written?
Please read it aloud. Come with me. We’re in a hury. Is it okay
if we buy the tickets later? All right. You can buy it later. ”Come, mother, let’s
Iook somewhere else.” You have once again broken
the rule of my house? You le_ without informing me. ”Do you think l’d forgive all your
mistakes, because you’ve le_ a note?” l’ll give you a severe punishment now.
Come back home. l’ll talk to your father. l’ll arrest you and
keep in my house forever. ”Come, dear.
Let’s go home.” A_er that l went to the army
selection board interview. ”An o_icer there told me in a vey
powe_ul voice, ””You have got…””” a distinction in Mathematics.
Why do you want to join the army? l too wanted to reply
in Chaste Urdu. l was confused whether to use Destiny
or Faith. l said my closeness. ”What happened then, girlfriend?
– No. father…” ”Call me ””daughter-in-law”” now.
. What’s wrong with girlfriend?” ”You’re not my enemy, but a buddy
and a buddy means a friend.” ”And since you are a girl, so…
– l know evemhing.” But call me daughter-in-law. It
sounds vey nice when you say it.