A Day In the Life of Tatun

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7 AM: I am up. Jeez… it’s so early… everyone else is sleeping. Even I don’t wanna get up right away… It has been raining incessantly since last night and the weather has become so pleasant this morning. There is a nip in the air because of which I feel too lazy to open my eyes even. Yet I want to go lick Mummy’s face and wake her up. Hurray!!! It’s a new day, a new beginning and I’m already excited.

And the old man grumbles in the next room.

7.14 AM: Enough! I can’t lie down any more. I am getting bored now. Wait, let me wake everyone else. Look at my sis Chumchumi. She sleeps the entire day, yet so sluggish to wake up in the morning. And Mithi didi! One lazy bum she is. But first let me go wake Mummy up. She is the one who’ll go make tea and then take me out. I wanna pee. How long will I hold back?

And the old man grumbles in the next room.

7.45 AM: Woof-woof Woof-woof…. Mummy you know I like biscuits after you dip them in tea. And stop throwing entire biscuits at my face. What do you think I am a dog or what? Treat Chumchumi like that if you want to. Not me for sure. I just love the tea session early in the morning. It’s so peaceful and calm. Am happy! Gosh I wanna pee. Anybody listening?

And the old man grumbles in the next room.

9 AM: Time for my morning siesta. I feel so light and good at this time. I feel slightly hungry and I miss Mithi didi. She’s gone. I am at home with Mummy, Chumchumi and that old man in the next room. Let me play with Chumchumi for a while.

And the old man grumbles in the next room.

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9.30 AM: Ting Tong… Who can come this time in the morning? The cleaner, sweeper, vegetable-seller uncles and maid aunties have already finished their work and gone. Oh, it is Tiara didi and her rickety son. I feel they come here every time with the intention of getting some gifts on the flimsiest of pretexts. Tiara didi will say her husband got a good job or her son stood first or her mom-in-law kept a pet goat at their village home and bla bla bla. Immediately after listening to these tales of her outstanding family members, Mummy gives her something or the other, mostly cash (because that’s what Tiara didi prefers), which she greedily accepts. But I hate her son the most. He keeps pulling my and Chumchumi’s tails. I find the boy extremely irritating. These ghati village people are just incorrigible.

But today Tiara didi is in a completely different avatar. She is in a dishevelled state and as soon as Mummy opens the door Didi hugs Mummy and starts crying. Later she confesses that she is in dire need of money and that too nearly 10 lakh rupees. Her husband was caught stealing from a village school fund, where he worked as an accountant. Now the authorities are demanding for that amount of money to hush up the matter.

And the old man grumbles in the next room.

11 AM: Ting Tong… Another calling bell… Now who will come at this hour! I am starting to feel a little hungry. It’s almost lunch time and I do not like intruders at this hour.

Well, it’s Tania mashi in her gorgeous kanjivaram. I can hear her telling Mummy to keep us confined in the verandah. Our smell makes her pukish. I will complain about her to Mithi didi. Mummy continues with her feeble protests that we had our bath just two days back. But Tania mashi as always manages to have her way. Chumchumi and I are locked in the verandah. I hate this fair, fat lady with her sickeningly dazzling glitters in what she calls her ‘costly saris’.

Now Tiara’s didi’s troubles take a back-seat as Tania mashi begins her rambles on how beautiful she is, how exceptionally intelligent her son is and what a horrifying woman her daughter-in-law is. Listening to her I get sleepy.

And the old man grumbles in the next room.

3.30 PM: Mummy I know you love me. No need to cuddle me any more. Okay, I will lick you once for your multiple kisses. My tummy is full. I am very sleepy. Please let me sleep. What’s with this laughter? Who can laugh out so violently? Ah I had been sleeping after lunch so I missed out on the details. I gather it’s Tanya mashi laughing while giving Didi prasad from Rishi Arobindo Ashram, where she had recently visited. She parleys on the worth of sacrifice and renunciation and how to repudiate oneself from all sources of maya – things she had learnt at the ashram. She shows off the selfies she clicked there and gushes over the fact that even in the Ashram, like always, she was the prettiest one around. I cannot make a head or tail of the situation and am about to doze off again when I hear her cry out about a brilliant plan.

“Tiara, you are young and look kind of okay in your dark skin. You have a good body. It’s time you make use of it. Every month you can earn in lakhs and your husband will not have to steal any more,” she tells Didi.

Tiara didi gives out a blank look. I see self-pity in her large eyes. Mashi continues, “Intimate moments spent with men are so pleasurable, right? So why not make some money out of it? The only trick is to seduce men so well with your assets that they will want to come back to you again and again. I have thoroughly enjoyed such awesome days in my time and now it’s your turn”. Hahhahhahhaaaa, she roars aloud. “Make yourself available to the village men and charge a hefty amount every night. All your problems will be gone sweetie.”

Mummy immediately goes livid with her boring and stern preaching and tells Masi to shut up. Tanya mashi is not somebody who likes to be snubbed. She gives a false pretext of getting late and before leaving makes a grand announcement of going for a Europe tour next month.

Before anybody asks, she enlightens everybody on the nitty-gritty of the trip – her plans to stay there for almost a month, places she wants to visit and the elaborate shopping she intends to do. “I have told my son I may easily blow up around 10 to 15 lakhs in this trip alone,” gushes Mashi. Well, okay okay we get it Tanya mashi, you are just born plain lucky! Now can you please shut up? And as Tiara didi stares at her with her mouth open, Mashi bids adieu to all and leaves.

And the old man grumbles in the next room.

 6.30 PM: Hurray! Sachin uncle is here. I’m his favourite. The entire time he is in this house. I remain in his lap. A bachelor himself, Sachin uncle’s passions are photography and social work. Even though he hasn’t managed to earn a lot of money, he has certainly earned loads of accolades and love from everyone everywhere. He gives me my favourite biscuit. How I love it!

Tiara didi shares her problems with Uncle. He is a rational man. In the first place he says it’s illegal for the school authorities to ask for a bribe so blatantly. Then, they have to prove that Tiara didi’s husband has stolen the money. The process is quite elaborate and legal matters are complex as well. He doesn’t tell Didi he will solve the problems but he says that he will look into it. He reprimands her as well and tells her to join work, do something she genuinely likes to do and establish her own footing in whichever way possible.

He calls aloud for some hot pakoras that Mummy is already frying in the kitchen.

And the old man grumbles in the next room.

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8.30 PM: Mummy I want to eat pakoras as well. This is not done. Mummyyyyyyyyy…. Grrrrrrrrr…. I am tired of my boiled chicken and rice. Give me a little bit as least plzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

And the old man grumbles in the next room.

9.30 PM: Tiara didi is smiling at last. She is about to leave when we all get startled with a loud bang on the door. Is something wrong with my ears? I hear Tanya mashi’s voice once more. Why is she howling so much?

From what I can make out I understand that her son and daughter-in-law had lured her with the story of an impending Europe trip only to get her all personal details and somehow forged her signature to transfer her dead husband’s property to their name. Now she has nowhere to go. All she is left with is her ‘costly’ kanjivaram sari. Mummy as is her nature, hugs her and tells her to stay with us forever.

Are you kidding me? She will stay with us? Hellooooo…. Somebody take my permission as well… Woof-woof Woof-woof.

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But before I can bark out aloud more ferociously to protest, someone else speaks up. Before Sachin uncle can say anything about looking into the matter, Tiara didi reaches out to Mashi. “I am joining a beauty parlour as an attendant to a hairdresser next month. They are looking for an accountant. Will you be interested to apply? Let’s forget the family problems for a while and engage ourselves in something useful,” exclaims Tiara didi who at least 12 hours back had been so unsure, hesitant and helpless.

As Mithi didi and her beau Mallar dada join others and start clapping their hands in approval, all I can say is BOWWWWW-WOWWWWW BOWWWWW-WOWWWWW…….

And the old man stops grumbling in the next room.

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3 thoughts on “A Day In the Life of Tatun

  1. Shows your sheer unadultered love for tatun.Lucky n cute him..Now on the writing part.. I was kinda getting curious as to when and where he would manage to relieve himself… suddenly that part went blank.. But the world seen through Tatun’s eyes leaves a good lasting impression on the reader and apparently,the grumbling man,as well..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for your comment. 🙂 however I think it would have been better had I been able to make it less sterile stereotyped.
    Anyway, thanks once again.

    Like

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