Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Assumptions About the Parrot in the Office

One week when I was five, I became aware that my parents were animatedly conferring about someone called Tilak.

Since he’d been dispatched by corporate HQ to visit my father‘s outpost, my mother assumed that having the perfect dinner party and the right kind of evenings at the club were crucial to ensure a favorable report.

My always-so-earnest father assumed the worst and found himself entirely unable to relax. So much so that when Tilak asked him, during one of those evenings my mother had planned, what “numbers” (colloquial in those times for songs, I’m told) he liked--my father, perhaps still thinking of ledgers and requisitions, blanked and then replied ever so judiciously that he didn’t discriminate.

Most of the time, I played under the dining table or was being sent off to bed while my parents had these urgent discussions. But i in turn assumed, given the proximity of Tilak’s name to the Telugu word for parrot--chilaka--that he perched on a swing beside my father’s giant desk at the office, pecking away at a green chilli, and chirping his numbers in a most annoying way.

__

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really cute story.
-SP