Three Couples

A quiet train journey from home back to Bangalore is always something I relish. Even though not as much as the stay at home, but still to a good extent, as it gives me sometime for retrospection, a quiet time for me and my thoughts, at times it shows me some interesting people, sometimes some interesting incidents too…:)

I couldn’t help thinking about 3 different couple who captured my thoughts in 3 very different ways in this home trip.

On Friday, the best couple of my life captured one of the most scenes I have ever witnessed. In the midst of our shopping spree, in a crowded Kalyan Silks showroom, Achan forced a reluctant Amma onto the escalator. Amma is very scared of escalators. I had a tough time convincing her that it is one of the easiest things to do. But ultimately her man had to firmly catch her hand and force her onto those moving steps. He must have been really worried about her health for she gets those nasty aches and pains after she climbs steps. She was panicky as expected. But he held her with the kind of firmness that gave her a sudden spurge of "guts". No one assures her like Achan, and no one ever will/can. And people around watched them with an amused and happy curve on their faces. I could just look on and think of how lucky they were to find each and on how luckier we were (I and sis) to have them as the best couple in our lives…

On Saturday, I had one of those small outings with Amma. Well its something I relish. When on shopping with Achan, we have to take into account his impatience. He hates spending time on selection. For him its always pick up the first one you liked, bill it and walk out. For Amma and me, its having a look at everything, even the ones we have no intention of picking up and the ones which we know is not within our budget, and then make a few selections, then some reselection and rejection, before the process of finalization. Well Achan cannot stand it most of the time. Even though Amma gives her certificate that he has changed a lot and often remarks how much patient he has become in these 25 years…:)

So Amma and I walk around the crowded Thripunithura roads. Well we have a couple of shops in mind. But at last we enter Leela Stores. Like all women will say, “Just like that”. I could feel the suffocation instantly. Well a very old textile showroom. The lack of modernization in terms of AC and lighting were glaringly visible. Also the lack of those young mallu faces, hair tied in the much seen kulipinnal and a chandana kuri adorning the forehead, and a “May I help you?” smile. Well there was a regal looking lady, old and stooping. A Tamil chap who didn’t even know to measure cloth and an imposing old man, the owner probably who sat behind the cash counter with a fan circling above his bald head. It took only a moment for me to sink in that the old man and the regal lady were husband and wife. She was probably Leela after whom the shop was named. The Tamil guy soon displayed his ignorance with the whole shop stuff. So we moved on to our old regal lady who showed us the cloth, measured, cut, and provided some expert answers to Amma’s questions. I moved ahead to help her pull the huge bundle of cloth from the shelves above. She was so exhausted and weak, a big bandage on her feet for some diabetes-related-injury.

The shop suddenly sees a rush of visitors. The old man starts yelling from the cash counter, urging the regal lady to service the other customers also. He gets agitated when she can’t do the things in the expected speed. He shouts at her. He says as to how terribly she messed up the counters while servicing. The regal lady does not even show a trace of emotion on her face. She just goes around doing everything that he wants her to, even though it all comes at her own pace, which she tries to speedup, but sadly can’t.

On Sunday, an old couple, Tamil speaking, come and occupy the seat beside me in the train. They bring in huge loads of things wrapped in sacks and fill the whole space under the seats. Everyone stares at them, even me, with just one obvious question in mind, “Are they really intending to travel by 3rd AC?” Well none of us voices out. They discuss in hushed tones of getting down at Palghat. They ask me the timing when the train would reach Palghat and then settle back in a quiet contemplation. Years of hard word lined their foreheads and some concern showed over their faces. Two weary travelers with a huge load with them.

The ticket checker soon makes away. The man produces a crumpled ticket from a purse tied up in his mundu. The woman shows respect and reverence on her face.

“Ithu AC ticket allallo? Randayiram roopa fine aavum. Enthayalum coachinte veliyil poku. Njan angottu varam.”

The sudden panic of an unexpected blow strikes their faces. They gather their things and speed out, without glancing either way.

In this world where people break the rules knowingly, two old couple who don’t know the difference between an ordinary and AC compartment in a train are caught and might end up being fined off their hard earned penny. And like kd says even I do feel sometimes that there is no justice in this world. Well the 3 couples have given me 3 entirely different insights.

17 comments:

Srijith Unni 2:57 PM  

Hi Reshmi,

It`s a very thoughtful writeup indeed.! Offering my thoughts, I would say, some couples may not be really soft and caring on the outside, but at heart they savour each other`s presence a lot and care for each other a lot.! That doesn`t mean I sympathize with the old man in the second couple.

Also, yes, there are some people who are always too innocent for this age.!

And coming to the first couple. Very sweet indeed.! Lucky you!

With Best Regards,
Srijith Unni.

maddy 4:27 PM  

hi reshmi,

interesting observations, i am not so sure though how it is these days, but I would have chatted up the old couple and asked them if they indeed knew they were in the right compartment. my wife keeps telling me that i do these impromptu things which others don't, and get into trouble many a time, but I would have..speak out when u feel like, time flies by anyway!!

more than anything, observing mankind can be fun & even more, thought provoking..

manmadhan

Reshmi 4:51 PM  

@srijith: my inference is not tht the second couple don't love each other..:)..jus noted their behavior..thatzitt..all three couples were in different states/situations in life..more than the couples, it is the situations in life tht perplex/puzzle me always..:)

yup..a lot of ppl don't show the love and concern they feel within..

@maddy: after the incident, i couldn't help feeling guilty..i should hav actually asked the couple abt the compartment..i could hav really saved them from a lot of trouble..really feeling guilty..:((

and on the last statement, i fully agree with you..

Shyam 5:45 PM  

If ever anyone doubts ur writing abilities, then I believe this single line will certainly clear their doubts => "But ultimately her man had to firmly catch her hand and force her onto those moving steps". That was just an awesome piece of writing. Now coming to ur blog, trust me observing ppl and things around is a very interesting one indeed.

binesh 6:24 PM  

Hi ,
Just now i started reading these stuffs in your pot. Lemme ask onething. how did you get the time to maintain such a blog. Actually i started blogging from the last year itself. Till feb this year, i posted once in a while. But after that the blog was rusted.
But now i am trying to maintain my (my groups)blog. maseans....
I cant write my personal views or thoughts in such a thing.Since its purely made based on a group.
I love to read blogs rather than putting some scratch online...
Nice one. Will read it completely , when i get time..

Dew Drops 10:56 AM  

hey, that was gud. i liked the first story thouhg. in our case also, everything said and done, amma & achan live in their own world.

Reshmi 11:50 AM  

@shyam: thanx..well ur comments have always motivated me..:)

@binesh: blogging is a personal interest..n somehow maintaining a decent pace..
ur group initiative is definitely a gud one..
welcome to my blog n thanx for the comment..

@dewdy: the 1st story is a happy one..the 2nd and 3rd have some circumstances to put blame on..
let amma n achan be happy in their own world..:)

neermathalam 1:35 PM  

It all started from one comment from abhi...
then i went to Dew then Alexis...
and now...you...gr8 to read all thses blogs..
1st things 1st
Your blog interface is amazingly cool.and writing style is a flowing one.
and couples...and I too feel for that couple...
but Life was never fair..!!!

pophabhi 4:40 PM  

Very nice observations. It shows how variant marriages are, and how the circumstances make them to be variant.

Just as you told, many a times we ignore how much we relish our trips back from home, especially if they are in train. You experience a lot of things - memories, studying people...lots.
A similar post on
http://pophabhi.blogspot.com/2006/02/on-retrospection.html

Keshi 12:30 PM  

great observation and nicely written.

**In this world where people break the rules knowingly, two old couple who don’t know the difference between an ordinary and AC compartment in a train are caught and might end up being fined off their hard earned penny.

thats so sad...but it happens. Justice is not always prevalent in this world.


Keshi.

Reshmi 12:58 PM  

@neermathalam: so u have been blog walking?:)
the interface is jus a reflection of my interest in HTML..still feel a tinge of sadness when i think of the unfortunate couple..

@abhi: thanx for capturing the whole idea behind the post in precise words - how variant marriages are, and how the circumstances make them to be variant..n abt the post linked - we often end up thinking "if I had a lil hindsight?"..hopefully next time both of us will act on impulse n with hindsight..

@keshi: i always try to sum my feelings on life as "Isn't life...?"..but never find words to complete the expression..

@all: thanx a lot for the visits n comments..

mathew 11:58 AM  

nice observations..infact I love the way u described the last couple..

Reshmi 12:26 PM  

@mathew: welcome to my blog..thanx a lot for the visit n the comment..

soorya 4:58 PM  

Reshmi, thats a lovely piece of writing.Watching people around you means learning and gaining more in insight and experience, enriching ur warehouse of thoughts with the true attitudes of people crowding this world in which we live.. You have put through your thoughts very well - thoughts on how different natured people bonded for life stick to their in their varied mannerisms - sometimes in tenderness and sometimes in the coarse roughness of mundane life -and still are together after all these years.. And you believe that ur parents are among the best couples in the world - not everyone are so blessed and lucky to feel so.And u have a very simple narrative style which gives ur story a sincere and earnest touch..

Reshmi 2:21 PM  

@soorya: thanx a lot for that hearty n encouraging comment dear..:)

addict 1:02 PM  

reshmi, good observation on 3 couples...
couple 1: lucky you like me, cause i too have very similar parents ! :)
couple 2: i would have talked to that baldy while he was shouting on his better half, i just cant take it...
couple 3: poor guyz! very unfortunate...
and let me tell you, i spent more than 45 minutes at a strech today and swept your blog, cause i just couldnt stop swimming through it!!!

i request you not to stop updating http://ensemblemythoughts.blogspot.com/

cheers!
Chethan

Tessa 10:07 AM  

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ruth

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