Seriously people, I need a waterproof laptop/phone/thingamabob, something I can take with me to the shower where all the cool ideas of mine are born. And then I walk out of the shower, dry myself and just like that, they die. The moment I step out of the bathroom door, I am like that man in the story, the one who stumbled on the way, had a fall and forgot all. Well, not all obviously, but what he was supposed to remember.
In case you haven’t heard, here is how it goes. He, the man in our story, once went to visit his friend who lived in the village across the river. His friend was very happy to see him and asked his wife to prepare something special. His wife made kozhukkatta, steamed sweet dumplings made from rice flour with grated coconut and jaggery as filling. Our man had never before eaten anything like it. He found it extremely tasty and literally gorged. Before leaving he did not forget to ask its name, determined to go home and ask his wife to make them for him.
Lest he forget, he kept chanting ‘Kozhukkatta, kozhukkatta, kozhukkatta,’ from the moment he left his friend’s house. While walking through the woods towards the river bank, he stubbed his toe on a stone, missed a step and fell down hard in a nearby ditch. Cursing all the Gods who failed in looking after him, he pulled himself out of the ditch and checked all over. Nothing was broken. But just as he was about to resume his journey he realized he had forgotten the name of the thing he had gorged on at his friend’s house. He racked his brain and suddenly it came to him. Of course it was, khattakaazha! Happily he went on his way.
On reaching home, he told his wife she had to make khattakaazha for him. She knew of no such thing and told him so. He started hitting her. “You horrible woman, what do you mean you don’t know what khattakaazha is!” Yeah, men of those days were such childish boors, weren’t they? Imagine hitting your wife for not knowing something! By the way this is a story we children heard growing up and laughed at the part when the wife kept insisting she did not know what he was talking about and he kept hitting her. Such a sad state of affairs, normalizing violence against women by unreasonable men right from childhood.
Anyways, the story ends with the woman complaining the next day that the beating he gave her had caused her a swelling as big as a kozhukkatta over her right eye. “That’s it!!!” the unfeeling man cried out. “Kozhukkatta is what I wanted you to make for me!” The disgusted (I am hoping she was disgusted, not overflowing with womanly love for him!) woman replied, “Then why didn’t you say so?!” I am also hoping she didn’t clean the jaggery well enough and there were stones in the filling that broke the man’s teeth. Ha.
Anyways, at the end of the story that I have related here let me hasten to add that when I compared myself to the immature and glutton of a whatshisname in the story, it was only to highlight how he forgot what he was chanting when he had a fall. As for me I don’t even need a fall to forget, only step out of the bathroom to do so. I stand outside the bathroom door my mouth repeating the last sentence of whatever it was I had been busily scribbling inside my head, but with absolutely no clue about why I am doing it. In my place the man in the story would probably have broken his laptop, kicked the dog, shouted at his children or snarled at his wife. But since I am not him, I am merely writing this post for the Midweek Wordle #6 at A Prompt Each Day.
And yeah, that wish about waterproof thingamabobs stands. If not, I need a thought recorder. Yup, that would be simply awesome!
©Shail Mohan 2015