Sankari Mami..a short story
For a woman of 60+ Sankari Mami must be more agile than most other youngsters of Today..Right from the early morning KOlam in front of her Villa,waking up the sleeping NIght Duty watchman,shouting at top of her voice,Muniamma who was yet to stir out of her Hut opposite side for the usual Aavin Paal(Milk)..highly energetic and her nice,soft software exporting Hubby,Premji..has to be more subdued in Nature as God always ties up the Knots in Heavens in such a way that too much energy in One Family might explode the Earth even without His Knowledge.
If it is Deepavali day..Sankari sincerely does all the Pujas and wakes up her 1 yr Old Grandson too from New Jersey sothat he takes her Lahium and takes a Snanam before 5 AM.. Oil bath that too..
stickler to the Ritual rules..all the Mamis of her agraharam used to invariably throng to her to find out the rudiments of the rituals right from Ganapathi Homam to Sudharshana Yagya…
Occasionally if Sastrigal makes a mistake or two in the procedural dogmas..she wd shout in front of all”Enna Sastrigale..Ivvalauvuthaana..?”
If it is Navarathri,the entire 10 days would be the best Kolupeetam in Sankari’s House and all the girls of that area wd throng to her for receiving Kumkum and a Ravikkai with special Sundal on each Day..
with Sanskrit as her basic Language from the age of 5 ..she mastered that Language to such an extent that every day many Sanskrit students from Mylapore come and go to clear their doubts to this House..
Tho’ she didnt manage to master her 8th Standard in Kadayanallur Kesavayyar High School,she always stood First in her classes and the entire town used to admire her extra ordinary skills in everything from Kolams to Knitting with Needles!
Sankari mami should have been an Ordinary Mami like any other from Kadayanallur but for her Mama’s son Premji who was bent on getting married only to her despite her eigth std and she too started a small living in the outskirts of Adyar,till one fine morning,windfall from Wisconsin started bringing unexpected Bonanza to this Software specialist Premji and being a simple fellow,he allowed the Dollars to come in as it does and all the management of the Money was left to this Genius called Sankari..
Normally a simple nice person,Sankari became a bit more intolerant with her servant maids and particularly with the drivers and poor Premji always had a minimum of 6 CVS of Drivers in that area as many of them left without notice and along with their Mobiles too!
Her intolerance level reached a height of Idiocy when she was getting a unique name in that Agraharam of “Conjuice Mami” as she invariably saved on Pennies…
One day she innocently asked Padma,her tenant Downstarirs:”Padma,see my Gas suddenly is finished..and I forgot to order the replacement also(she has normally 2 to spare!)and can you help me with yours as you have a spare too.. as soon as mine comes I wd replace it?”
“Mami..but yours is Bharat Gas you know..mine is Indian Oil..”
“Dont worry..I have an Indian Oil too..”
Padma is a Middle aged Medium level exceutive in a Bank and her simple Hubby is happy and content to go tothe near by Railway Booking office as a clerk and they have a grown up daughter,Malathi in Plus 2 and they are not too Orthodox to follow all the rituals of Sankari Mami style but content to pray to God that what He has given to them they are ever grateful to Him..
Sankari Mami always used to chide Padma:”why you dont get up at 5?why you dont recite this;that?why you dont put KOlam yourself everyday..”and so on..and being a tenant she has to be tolerant too..
as Padma visualised next week itself Sankari Mami came running to her:”Padma the Gas has come from Indian Oil and I dont have the Indian Oil Gas Cylr..why dont you take this now itself..?”
“But Mami my present one which is running will be coming for atleast another 3 months?”
Sankari Mami told that Gas man”what to do now?”
Gas Man:”Mam if this is returned I wont bring any Gas for a few more weeks period?”
Then it was Padma who had to accept that Cylinder returning her running one with full Gas almost..the Loser(its always the middle class everywhere)
The other day a Thief entered the house in the GRound floor ..luckily Sundaram shouted at him after hearing some noise at 2:30 AM…almost all the houses cd hear him..
till date Sankari mami hasnt even enquired about this incident as she wd have to add one more Security on the backyard,if she reveals that she is aware of this incident!
Padmas daughter came out First in her School and applied for IVY Leagues and got admitted in Harvard!
Sankari Mami was not too pleased with Padma sending her daughter abroad..”Why at this age.. why not Stella Maris?People are talking so many things Nowadays of our Girls in USA(her own elder Daughter is in New Jersey!)..”
Sundaram said:”We shdnt consult anyone..lets pray as usual and send her abroad..”
Luckily Padma’s Bank Manager was the Happiest one and he arranged all the loans for her Daughter to go abroad..
Sankari Mamis woes with Watchmen and Drivers still continue..
Padmas daughter is well settled in San Fransisco ..she says she has got a Job in Google..she travels a lot..
Sundaram proudly says..Its all Gods will..
People like Sankari Mami must try get more empathy and mere Rituals and expertise in Sanskrit do not lead you to MOksha..it is not my words..Adi Sankaras’:
“Kuruthe Ganga sahar gamanam Vratha paripalana mathva dhanam..Gyana Vihine..Sarva Mathene..”
He says Gyanam is common to all Mathams(religions)..there is nothing like One Gyanam for a HIndu and another for a Christian!mere Rituals alone won’t help you to attain Moksha!
(Originally written in Sulekha in 2006 by me)