Sunday, June 12, 2011


Susamma was in a dilemma.

The neighbor's wife was older but slimmer. Never seemed to care about silk sarees and seemed to be in possession of just one; "ONE" mobile phone! And she never wore any gold. Which chromosome is she missing?

That first day, early morning when Susamma arrived into this world screaming, legs kicking, her beaming granny gathered her up in her frail but gold-bangled arms and marveled: "Oh she is a chunk of gold!". That sort of did it. Lil Susamma latched on to the first word she heard and decided to dedicate her entire life worshiping the precious metal. The rest is history...still in the making.

So back to the neighbor's wife who didn't seem to care a rat's ass about wearing the precious metal. On the other hand, Susamma carried a minimum weight of 400 gms of the yellow stuff at any point in time including the occassional funerals of a relative. She took pride in carrying the scars on different locations of her pleasantly plump body; all caused through abrasions caused by her gold ornaments. exception was the dark snake like mark around her waist caused by a tight, heavy waist chain. But no one ever saw it except for Thomachayan, who never seemed to be bothered about it at all especially when the sighting was may be once in six months. While Susamma went through a lot to carry gold and the scars, her neighbor's wife had none on her silly slender body and still men seemed to be interested in her. Susamma scratched her head with a hand that jingled with four gold bangles; each weighing 16 grams each.

Susamma's despair was tripled by an incident that had concluded 2 days back; Thomachayan's friend's daughter's marriage. The horde of gold bearing women at the venue resembled a splotchy sea of yellow and in the midst of it all stood her neighbour's wife Nancy, in all her gold-less glory; wearing just one platinum chain. In her plain and simple raw silk saree, she was graceful as a swan among pudgy ducks with bad make up. Even Thomachayan was found silently adoring that woman. Susamma died a thousand deaths that day and wished a thousand more to her neighbor's wife. Contrary to her habit, Susamma left the party early before the roly-poly women folk dispersed.

Back home, she gathered all her gold from her box, body and book shelves. After meticulous calculations, she put them all back. That night Thomachayan saw the snake around Susamma's waist and a jubilant Susamma sold all her gold the next day for a few pieces carved in platinum. The next day was a beautiful sun drenched Sunday. She wore her shocking red silk saree, wore the platinum, and walked ahead of Thomachayan to the lift. Her timing was perfect. There she was.

The slender neighbor in her lilac cotton churidar. Around her slender neck was a string with a pendant that had all the colors in the world captured inside. Susamma's jaw dropped. Unintentionally, she mumbled, "what is that?". Nancy smiled and said; "Abalon". Susamma, confused, looked back at Thomachayan whose adoring eyes had left the abalon and had wandered over to Nancy's abalon abs.

Susamma's hand absentmindedly went to her waist, barren without the waist chain. She almost heard the snake hissing.

Sauce by the side