Friday, August 18, 2023

In dialogue with Subramanian & Lakshmi

Are you going to Amritsar asked the elderly woman in Tamil accent. One can expect a good diction of British English from Tamil literate elders. That's what they grew up in. Yas, where and when that's how the story started. 

Subramanian in his 80s is visiting his sister in Mumbai.  what good life is and food wife is. As we talked about Switzerland, Lakshmi mentioned how she could see bhindi and another vegetables present in switzerland market.

"The nature is good place for thinkers." affirmed the elderly person who is wearing a red maroon t-shirt that says, "I got Lehd" Interesting. 

"Hope much it costs you?" he enquired. 
After discussing, investments, returns and a bit of risks Listening to tit bits of my interests, he said, "you're swimming. Going places. That's not at all bad. It's completely okay."

A fellow mechanical engineer, worked in Tata motors. Married in 1972. pusured Engineering at Thrissur from 1959 to 1964. Even my father wasn't born before he pursued engineering.  

It's a delight to talk with them, as I get to listen to them recollect their life through selected memories. Lakshmi, in her takes a nap here and there and shares her stories with a full laughter. Even she pursued Ecnomics in Chennai during 60s. "Back in those days, we had to travel alot. Get on train, walk per long, attend college and return home. Thankfully back then, it was safe. Never for once, we had to be afraid of getting out."

In their early marriage days, they took an avro propeller plane where they sat on a bench. "Adhi enna, she asks Subramanian, turning her pointed finger." "Propeller Lakshmi, he gave a word to finish her statement." Propeller- Girrrr an sound varum. 

Talking in impeccable english, she quickly swtiched into Tamil and at times Hindi as well. 

As it's dinner time, we talked where the train has reached.  "This train used to start at 10.30. I'm talking about 1970s again. Back then, it's steam. Everynow and the train stops, reloads, gets water and begins. Within that span, everyone used to attend their activities. Go out and eat food, collect food, get the children for a bath near the running tap. At the same time, they've traveled in this train when it's steam. The train used to start at 10.30, on steam and stops at nice places where we have ample of time to go to canteen, get food, eat good food and return. Now, it's all one two minutes stops. Back then, I used to enjoy Sathukodi. They cut fruits, put salt and give."

The lady asks for tablet, husband's hand overs a chocolate. She eats one and says, naan tablet sonna, nee chocolate kudikkara. And their banter goes on. While the wife loves to talk of WhatsApp and the three groups she's active in. Maternal family, paternal family and friends. 
Subramanian, amazed of the development, mentions how newspaper was redundant in 80s in Germany. They had computers all over. 

Talking of the office trips, he mentioned that the supply chain list, he got in a day which would take weeks. His brother's three week trip work got completed in 3 days thanks to computerisation and organized data. 

So much they've seen in life. From waiting for hours to make a call in STD to doing WhatsApp call.
He's very happy about how WhatsApp has revolutionised the video calling. Earlier the markets used to loot money, now it's gone.

10 years ago, he has attended 50 years alumni, now they want to attend 60 years alumni. "I'm not sure if I'm up for it." He says, ruminating in his own memories. 

"Glad to catch up with you, by meeting you, we get to understand our children better as their decisions seem same to you." uncle said. 

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