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Magix 'n' Curses
..the argument continues

Friday, January 14, 2005

The day of the Daughters-In-Law


Once upon a time, in a tiny village somewhere in South India, there lived a farmer called Raghu. So effectively, "ek gaon mein ek kisaan Raghu thaatha". He had two sons, who were good-for-nothing slobs. They lazed around all day, leaving the entire farming work to their dad. But they had a good excuse for being so. They were Siamese Twins.. of a different kind.

Maggie and Heinz (that's what Raghu named his sons, coz he was Kissan remember?) had an age difference of one year. How can they be Siamese Twins then, you may ask. But hey, farmers get very sentimental about their land, and often call it "Thai" land, likening it to a mother. That explains the Siamese part. The Twin part was a technical error. Blame the editor.

Anyways, they WERE Siamese twins in a way coz they were stuck together... at the palms! Talk of being different! The age difference is confusing you now, isnt it? Don't be confused. They'd been stuck at the palms ever since they, as kids, successfully but clumsily opened a Fevicol bottle after struggling with it for an hour, and then shook hands to celebrate their success.

So anyways, back to the story... Raghu was extremely poor. He couldn't even afford to buy bullocks for ploughing his field. His sons were extremely sad to see him struggle on his own like that, and wanted to do something about it. But what could they do? Their hands were tied.. err.. stuck. Besides, they were old enough to get married. And they really wanted to do something worthwhile for a change. (Hey!! I meant farming, you pervert!)

So both of them went to the city, hand in hand. They desperately wanted to be come unstuck. They even tried their luck at Univercell, the cellphone shop, coz they promised "Hands-Free" with every purchase. Pity they didn't have money. They hadn't really given a thought to the city-bred way of thinking though. People were giving them extremely weird stares to see them walking hand-in-hand everywhere they go. Ah, the bliss of being an innocent villager. They really didn't have to explain to everyone that they were neither happy, nor gay.

Maggie racked his brains. What do illiterate, poor, good-for-nothing people do in the city? And then, he had a brainwave. Join politics, of course! So the brothers decided to join politics that very day. They had an intense debate on which party to join, which basically meant they tossed a coin. But tragedy struck then. The coin rolled down a drain, and that was last rupee they had on them. They were penniless now, and politics really was the only option. But the second tragedy struck when the brothers, who were united in every way (pun intended!), differed on the choice of political party. Each of them was interested in a different party, and the two parties were the biggest rival factions in the history of politics. They couldn't even join the different parties coz, duh, they were stuck!

Meanwhile, the entire city had heard about the brothers. The power of television media. And you can trust them to make a Tsunami of a gentle ripple (A mountain of a mole-hill is so cliched). The political parties got wind of the situation, and thought they'd make for a brilliant campaign. That's basically the campaign strategy nowadays, isn't it? Who cares about inspirational speeches from awe-inspiring leaders? People want entertainment, and entertainment they'll get! And it really doesn't matter if someone mistakes them for a new circus in town, as long as they get noticed.

Arrgh, I digress too much. Back to the story... The leaders from both the political parties came with vetthalai-paaku-pazham to invite the brothers to join their party. The brothers were stumped. They didn't know what to do. So they left the decision to the party leaders, with the only stipulation being "Buy one, get one free". And the party leaders too, who were known for their diplomacy and brilliant decision making skills, got to work immediately. Each grabbed a brother and pulled them to their side! The entire party got together on each side, to help their respective leader. A massive tug-of-war ensued. The TV media were delighted! They did a live telecast of the tug-of-war. Of course, the television channels weren't free from politics either. Each channel, belonging to a political party, announced that their party was winning, in the live commentary.

Never underestimate the power of Indian Politics. They promise changes and improvement in areas that've never seen progress for over 20 years. But for a change, they did just that! As the tug-of-war became more fierce with each passing minute, and as more parties joined each side to form kootanis, the brothers were starting to feel the pressure. And lo! They came unstuck! The political parties hit the ground hard (which is not new to them, anyways) and the brothers, elated at the sudden turn of events, made a run for it (they didn't forget the vetthalai-paaku-pazham, though)! They caught the first bus to their village, and were eager to break the good news to their dad. Don't worry about having no money, travelling "without" is not an alien concept in Tamil Nadu.

Raghu had tears of joy flowing down his cheek, when he saw his sons walk a metre apart (Ironic, eh?). He decided to get them married at the earliest. Now the sons had tears of joy flowing down their cheeks! He found them two suitable brides (who were NOT siamese twins.. I'm not narrating the story of JEANS, ok?) ... The wedding wasn't done in great pomp and ceremony, and there were no special effects to show a dinosaur wishing the newly married couples a happy married life either. But everyone was happy.

Their happiness, though, was short-lived. They got back to their dreary lives. Farming was becoming increasingly difficult, and the sons didn't have an excuse to laze around anymore. So they did something to make their dad proud. They volunteered to be the bullocks! That was the least they could do, after years of "dhadi maadungala! velai pannunga da!" shouts from their dad. It looked a scene straight outta Mother India. The sons derived great satisfaction from finally being of some help to their father, and Raghu derived great satisfaction from wielding the whip.

The wives of the bullocks.. err.. brothers, were deeply pained to see the scene though. They didn't like what they saw. How dare Raghu whip their husbands? How dare he subject their husbands to this kinda torture? They bristled at the sheer injustice of it all.. afterall, wasn't a wife supposed to be doing all that! But they could only mope, and shed copious tears. Something they'd specialised in.. a result of watching mega-serials from 7-11 P.M.

But one day, all the hard work paid off. As they were ploughing, they hit something hard. A little digging unearthed a treasure chest! Right in their field! They performed a little war dance to celebrate their good fortune. They didn't dare shake hands anymore. With the money, they were able to buy themselves a pair of sturdy bullocks, and ofcourse, a TV to watch those wretched mega-serials. They decided to celebrate the day every year. The most excited were Raghu's daughters-in-law, who were happy to get their husbands all to themselves, and yeah.. not to forget the television. All this happened the day right after "the festival of harvest".

And that is why people say "Happy Maatuponngal" (Happy Daughters-in-Law) the day after Pongal! :)