Humorous Short Stories by Raghavan P K

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This is the first collection of life stories written in a lucid manner from the experiences of the author. The rustic village and its environs are things of past. It is all brought to life by the author through various episodes.


<p>Short Stories of Raghavan P K (English)</p> <p>Humorous Short Stories by Raghavan P K</p> <p>Contents with Page number1. Albino who sold alphonso mangoes! p22. An appointment p43. Lachu the free bird p74. The humpy Nandu p95. The signature of Singvi p12 6. The dismissal order p157. A Roja p188. A Dentist in the making p23</p> <p>Albino who sold alphonso mangoes!Villages in India are loosing its identity at a faster rate now. As a regular visiter of the village fish market I was enthused by the happenings there on daily basis. The struggle for eking a livelihood and the survival techniques applied by those sellers and buyers are real life lessons you may not learn from a University. Despite all odds there is love and life to kindness and cruelty prevalent there. An episode is here!Overlooking that sprawling pond is a market in the north east corner. Somehow the village is developed on the outer periphery of this waterbody leaving the surrounding vast agricultural field. Here the word market simply means fish market. True to the tradition other than fish nothing else is sold here. Even if someone ventures with something else, be it fruits or veggies, chances are that the fish mongers there will bamboozle anyone. They are such rogues enough to thrash the person to chutney. This village market functions only in the afternoon sessions. Evening only one can witness the hustle and bustle of this otherwise calm market in action. There are varieties of shops outside this premises also but not under the name market.The unbearable foul smell you have to bear here while making a bargain is no reason to abandon a few bites of crunchy munchy fish meal every day. So you venture out daily there to buy fish, armed with a bag that refuses to shed its odour and hence cannot be held anywhere near the body.Many of the neighborhood villages are even without this facility. So these villagers are considered lucky by the local administration. True it is the road side and street junction that are usually turned as fish market in those days when 'Swatch Bharat' scheme was half a century away. The wooden platter darkened by the constant contact of oily fish over a long period is essentially the platform for spreading the stuff in a rosette fashion to conjure up an illusionary view of more quantity than what actually is there to the buyer's satisfaction. One would realise the factual error of judgments only when reaching the destined kitchen.Now in pursuit of fishing in the troubled market I entered and had a thorough look around to grab what is supposed to be the best bargain. Today's display include pomfret, shrimp, tiger prawns, sardines, mackerel, baby sharks, crab, mussel, mullet etc. besides the nameless humble paral fish and the royal seer fish. What more choice one needs for the pittance that you are going to spend? Your soft spot for the seer of fishes fall the hook line and simper. The paral, a mixture of small fish varieties, is usually known for what a person with small coins can look for. Depending on one's currency colours like the blue for a rupee, red for two rupees and green for five rupees as were the norms those days, one can involve himself in the bargain.The fish arrivals are not uniform. There are days you have to contend with the dried ones available almost every day there. It is sold only by those two fat dark complexioned damsels. It is their prerogative it seems and anyone found selling dry fish will be thrown out in the drain lock stock and barrel by those demon like figurines. Not only that no one will be allowed to occupy the space around them come what may. They sell sardine, mullan, mackerel, small whale and shark all cut open and salted and dried at special rates. People are more interested in fresh fish and for the women earning is not much. Make hay while the sun shines is the policy.</p> <p>It is a sullen sunless sky in the summer. Market has just started. I found an Albino selling Alphonsa mangoes there in the place occupied normally by those damsels. It is surprising that in a market full of fish sellers and buyers jostling for space the new guest has coolly found his way in that vacant spot and started selling his mangoes heaped high in front of him. No one dared to buy the golden colored king of fruits from him. The damsels arrived with head load of dry fishes. They saw the encroacher enjoying the space right where they have been selling for years without an iota of guilt. The damsels tried to scare him, shouted at him but with no effect. They are about to physically lift and throw him out. The Albino picked a few mangoes and offered them to the damsel pairs. The ladies' anger melted down like an ice block. They now occupied his left and right to continue their trade.After a decade I am back in the village. I wished to see the places that were part of my life once again. And if there is one place I never want to miss, it is that stinky and musty fish market. I went there well prepared to hold my nostrils at bay. I was amused to see a dozen children of differing ages exactly the replicas of that Albino playing around those pair of women. To my surprise a heap of ripe golden coloured mangoes are there adoring the dry fish baskets. I went close to them under the pretext of buying some mangoes. I wished to know how the Albino is doing. To my dismay the pair of ladies said it in single tone that he left them recently leaving the children to them! Not a good day for the fish lovers!*****</p> <p>An appointment</p> <p>GG is a senior person and Jikkuis his grandson. They have interesting discussions very often. We love to see our grand children to be of some assistance to our elders. One such episode is here.In anticipation of an imminent constipation and associated emancipation the nonagenarian 90plus Great Grandee of Jikku wants to call his doctor for an appointment. Not that he has no solution to these recurring idiosyncrasies of modern life. With no other serious work worth doing, such triviality takes the front seat. Hale and healthy he needs neither a wheel chair nor a walking staff to support him. Slight hearing loss that is natural to his age and the occasional discomfort of stomach, the genesis of which lies in microwave cooking oven, is all that he encounters for some time now. GG now seated in his favourite arm chair that has seen a thousand or more full moon tries to dial the bulky black telephone instrument kept on a footstool near, that he inherited when Indian telephone company was inaugurated in Whitefield. Someone from the other end lifts the receiver and answers but is not audible to GG thaatha. The problem is one that of compatibility. Those century old crossbar tele-exchanges for which this instrument was designed is only kept in Museums now. Still GG believes that 'old is gold' and is not prepared to give it up.</p> <p>His great grandson Jikku who calls him double G, gladly reveals very often that his Great Grandee's extraordinary faith in his black bulk telephone instrument of yore and the home remedy for constipation, that is the 'thriphala-choornam', cannot be shaken even by God Almighty. He says the minuscule mobile phone is not suitable for Thaththa. Thinking it as his thriphala-choornam tablet he might swallow it by mistake.</p> <p>GG IS just trying his luck again for fixing the appointment for him with his regular Dr Venky. Yes, he is Venky for GG and Dr Venkat for others, a super speciality doctor. The ultra modern and ultra specialist hospital is a recent development. Don't get confused with the appearance of the building, It is the same old one. It is not the building appearance that is going to treat you, it is the doctors, mind it! Hospital is accredited to International standards and procedures. What good on Earth is there on account of mere certification of this sort, asked GG once to Venky himself. Dr Venky smilingly replied,"A herd mentality ! When the hospital next door has all these certifications, can I lag behind?""No, not at all." GG firmly nodded his hairless head in full agreement.GGs' previous visit was when the mobile towers were on the design desk. Now communication is competition. There is not a single person who is not gluing, one or two gadgets connected with a mobile phone in his or her ears on the go at any given point of time. Be it while crossing a busy road, or eating in a Pizza Hut, no matter how risky it is. GG was taught for talking less and working more, but whenever he advises this his great grandson Jikku corrects him saying "No thaaththa, talk more is correct ! This is twenty first century."GG continues his efforts. In his more than nine decade old life only in the first decade he claims to have depended on someone like his mother. Had it been not for such a mental make up he would have left this world long ago, he used to say. 'Try try try again' is his philosophy. When struggling Jikku will volunteer to help for which he will repeat "Try try try again is my philosophy." Quick will be the response from Jikku , "Right thaaththa, but philosophy bakes no bread you see!"This time lucky with the line, GG proving his philosophical statement tells Jikku, "See what happened now?"Jikku agrees but adds his corollary by saying, "Thaaththaa, Getting the required person in the first attempt is what matters, and not trying and dying."The generation gap and technological advance plays havoc with elderly and sick sometimes. Now that the phone call is through he starts conversing."Hello, I want to fix up an appointment with you Dr. ""Chief is not available immediately. His junior Dr Vikatan Saar is available. Can I fix it with him ?""Give him this phone......... hello, hello, is it Vikatan Dr?""No he is on his rounds.""Then may I know to whom I am speaking now ?""I am his assistant Saar.""Ok very kind of you, Can I have an appointment today evening please?""No vacancy today.""I am not asking for an employment Saar, I need a consultation appointment.""I too said about that only. I do not want to disappoint you. Is 8.00 pm ok for you?""I am too old, if you can make it first in the evening I will be grateful. This is bit urgent too.""Then do one thing. You try to come at 4 o clock itself . First appointment is at 4.15, so if any one not turned up on time, You can see the Doctor in that slot. No guarantee, anyway 8 o clock you are going to see the Doctor.""May God bless you". Saying that thaaththa put the receiver down."Jikku.., Jikooo..." with his forceful hand signal that seems like grabbing a mosquito creating nuisance, Thaththa calls the boy and tells the matter.Jikku thinks for a while and guesses the problems and possibilities in all its totality. Now he is well aware of the troubles and turbulence elder people face. He cautiously asks his double G, "Thaththa, you are going to the doctor only in the evening. There you may be waiting long hours to see the doctor. Doctors cannot maintain punctuality. So may I suggest with all humility one thing for your kind consideration?!""Most welcome ..." GG said.You may consume two teaspoon full 'thriphala-choornam'1 in warm water right now and wait for four hours. I am sure you can cancel your hospital visit after that.Jikku turns out to be right !GG profusely thanks and blesses a delighted Jikku and happily cancels the appointment.*****'thriphala-choornam1' a mixture of three herbal powders prepared as per Ayurveda text.</p> <p>Lachu the free bird!There are several unknown stories of loneliness of girls married and departed to their in laws houses. While the cities and towns it is easy to find a way out for the monotony and boredom, it may not be that easy in a village. The disparity of age and education is vast in certain cases. The interests and hobbies are abandoned once married. Here is a story of a young lady finding a solution to her problems own her own.The misty T junction of Poonakkal is reverberating with action on a chilly winter morning. It is the tea shop of Achchu Muthalaali (owner) at the criss cross that forms the nucleus of this energy. A provision store that will envy the showy blitzking department stores of present genre is camouflaged to the tea shop to optimise the business. The shop has a tinge of a Laurie Baker design mud house attached to its rear side that has access only for muthalaali and his confidants. There are only two members in this house, Achchu and his wife. The canopy of this century old edifice resembles like the Egyptian pyramid of Pharaoh's. Bamboo rafters and country tiles darkened by age give an all weather ambience therein. Headroom at the shop entrance will make a person of a fathom tall, humble down a little to make his or her entry safe. Once entered the dim light inside will confuse you over the next direction. There are different levels of floors, steps and ways inside. Shaky wooden benches and parapet walls are here and there for you to relax. If you are the one seeking a hot cup of tea in the morning peak to energise your sleepy body, you can shout it to the tea master and squeeze yourself anywhere you see a vacant space. The rest follows.The tea section is managed by Achchu's able and efficient lieutenant Varkki. Varki by position is number two in the hierarchy. Nobody knows for sure who this person Varkki is. Generally it is believed that he is an illiterate orphan and muthalaali has shown a gesture by accommodating him as an assistant after his marriage. Varki's outstanding mannerism and behaviour makes him dearer to customers day by day. Over the tea one can glance the vernacular news papers just arrived there and start igniting fiery discussions to enhance the sagging spirit of camaraderie. The shrewd Achchu muthalaali is very particular that no one should bring religion into the discussion for that he is sure his cash box is very secular. If you are a shy person not willing to get your silent mode disturbed and do not want to indulge in this exercise of power point argumentation, better vacate the sooner you gulp the hot brew. Don't forget the bill please! The lean and cheerful Achchu muthalaali is a nice man only for those who meticulously make payment . Clad in a white starched and ironed kaadhi cloth he displays a pro Gandhian non violent look. Behind the symbol of nonviolence, kaadhi, lies a coarse mind that can tear opponents to pieces. He never moves away from the cash box where every penny from sales is deposited. The jealous compare him to the ghost protecting the treasure chest. The only occasion for him to relieve from this ghost duty is the lunch hour when the responsibility is transferred to Varkki, albeit for a while.The village-women folk in a hurry will simply stand at the entrance and shout for one or two items they wish to buy. Achchu will promptly respond to such eventualities and deliver it down the steps at entrance in no time. Quantum, quality and cost are what Achchu decides. Contrasting is the attitude he maintains to his wife. A caged bird after tying the nuptial knot with Ac...</p>