Saturday, March 03, 2007

La Affaire Daddy

"Vechchu Vei..Paakalam"
I have heard this term a little more than a few crore times from my dad that I have grown a phobia towards it.
God made things in this world with a purpose. Who are we to destroy them? Noble thought! But come to my home in tirunelveli and you would realize that its perhaps not too profound an idea to practice!
Some people write diaries. My dad just collects it. Some have a fascination for calendars..the pireeli..swimsuit type...some collect "saami" calendars....My dad has 2 in 1987..10 in 1989...50 from 1991 and so on. He is also an ardent devotee of all Gods. These dieties first occupied the "saami alamaar". Then "moved" by the pious devotee's "bhakthi" they descended and moved to whichever place in the house they can - "omnipresent" in kitchen, fridge, tv, bureau and damn even the toilet sometimes...just in case if a cockroach decides to be a tenant of our anal passage...it will get scared seeing the poster of GOD Almighty "sorigified" in the door joints of the loo.
Every useless thing has a utlity value for my dad. So he does a "Vechchu vei paakalam" for everthing. Even his new VIP undy sticker is a good decorative element and has a place in the fan regulator.Then there is a flimsy jigu jigu wall hanging made of cheap plastic paper which is a sorry choice for a ceiling hanging (a la Chandlier lamps). It took me 7 long years to convince that we need to remove the package cover on it. It hung in my house for all those years neatly wrapped in a cover. For my dad, the cover was meant to prevent dust, even if it means the decorative (!) piece would never serve its purpose!
Oh then there are varities of seeds - Strawberry to Tulip flower... Kiwi to Pappaya..which will one day become a part of our orchard that we will never buy in a century. But so what? Even if the seeds are dried now, wouldnt some Professor in Arizona State University find a way to make life outta dried seeds and then, we can have all rows of kiwi, strawberry and tulip in our hot tropical tirunelveli. Heck..if al this cannot happen, Steven Spielberg's great grandson or some mission from mars will understand life in earth, by just looking at my house..They would even take these seeds to Mars and create new life..My dad is a visionary...and we are just shani..
As a kid I used to wear those black leather shoes from Bata. They are durable. In our house where useless stuff last for 50 years, you can imagine how long "durable" stuff will last.. I have all my school shoes and yeah, the dried cherry shoe polishes. So what if they are dried? We have kerosene in 10 bottles to liquidate the polish. When my son studies in DAV, I can fool him about the value of antiques and give him the same shoes sparkling shiny with my 30 year old cherry shoe polishes. You thought my dad is compulsive rubbish collector? No he just beats inflation across decades, which P.Chidambaram and Manmohan Singh cannot do!
And by the way, did you miss the part about Kerosene. We never knew why we needed it when we having cooking gas and microave owen. But now that we discovered the shoes and shoe polishes, there is perhaps a use for the kerosene. But I agree that 10 bottles would be an overkill. But who knows? With all the nuts, bolts, ball bearings, chain sprockets that my dad has collected, I can build my own Bullet bike and this kerosene will then have two uses. One, to lubricate and two, to run the bike!
My Dad is a craftsman too. Can you collect 1000's of nutirene coffebit and orange toffy wrappers, skillfully knit them to create tiny baby dolls with frocks? My dad can.. I feel helpless that this skill just dint find a better stage than our TV shelf, windows and his own bureau.
My dad also is a great socialite. He "hangs" out with sangar, subramanian, natrajan saar, segar - all wasted souls of my dad's office, for whom the only perfume is the "agarbathi" they kolithify everyday at home. But should that stop my dad from buying every new deo in the market (no matter if it sternly reads "Ramasamy - This is for women and not for you")? I love him and all that. But I kinda dont like him when he offers me one of his "scentu bottils" which read "Now unleash your feminine freedom". He doesn't like me refusing either! Ultimately these bottles end up in a massive plastic tray in our "so called" dressing room. He has all colors of bottles. All fragrances. Damn! I started hating perfumes becuase of his penchant for wierd smelling perfumes (including the famous "marikozhunthu" scent thats famously sold in city buses)
Did I say he also collects "Ball point pens" and "Fountain Pens"? The ones that have four refills in one (Red, Blue, Black and Brown), the Reynolds, the Hero Pens, The fully transparent fountain pens, the golden color ballpoint pens, the pilot pens, assorted refill packs - he has them all. But just as you want to use one of them, you will have to wade through an ocean of melted ink, stinking like rotten brinjol and then pick up a refill. When you finish noting that phone number, you would realize that the ink has not just painted your gripping fingers, but also under the nails.
If I have a soap in the bathroom, I am saved. I can just wipe the ink and get off. As murphy's law goes, if shit should happen, it will always happen. Just as I call out for a soap, Dad will be there with 24 options - from a simple hamam to a medimix to lux (imported by my uncle from Dubai) to some sample soaps with no names (given by his office, when he "travelled" to "madras" in 1998)...Aaa aaaa aaaaaaa!
I know you are tired by the sheer breadth of passions my dad has! If you live to read, go on...there are some more!
My dad collects papers! I repeat, Papers - which include news papers, petrol bills, vibhudi and kunkumam potalams, assorted letters saying "Ramasamy, this is just to let you know that your ULIP deposit has increased from 2000 Rs to 2034 Rs through our wasted investments we made on your behalf". There are letters that say "Ramasamy, our thoppanar expired in matunga. Thasathu will happen on Sunday" - dated 23, April 1989. He also has a stack of stock certifications of companies like GV Films which dont exist today!
Mom has four cardboard boxes of these treasures and God being so kind, we continue to get these treasures in piles, overflowing our shelves and occupying every possible square inch of our house.
How can I miss the best Souvenir dad has got in his life - The Ganga Jal
Dad had gone on a pilgrimmage to Kasi a few years back and in my opinion (and his too), its a personal fete comparable to Alexandar conquering India. For a man who think twice before crossing tirunelveli, holding his flag high in Kasi is indeed a lifetime achievement! What best way to celebrate it than by getting lorry loads of small brass pots with "Gangei Jalam"
We havea full loft filled just with these brass pots with arrested water in them! I asked amma what Dad is planning to do with them
Amma said " Cheththu pona odane idha thaan odachu thalavazhiya kulipatanum". Humor under helpless situations is the best way to beat the feeling of helplessness, I learnt!

2 of my fans were here!:

Bhargavi on 8:03 AM said...

Hail Dad!!! :D

So your post finally made me realize that my dad is not as creative as yours :P

I think you should seriously consider writing to something like LIMCA wonders - looks like he has great collections - common dude you got to encourage him!

Revathi on 4:12 AM said...

ha ha ha ha!!good one..ur dad could put my parents to shame. i thought my dad was being silly when he collected readers digests and national geographics. we still have a 1956 readers digest and 1984 National geo at home!!sigh!!

 

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