Thursday, August 17, 2006

All’s Mangalam that ends Mangalam

I love swimming. I’m no expert swimmer, in fact, I look ridiculous when I am attempting free style (I haven’t figured out yet when exactly you are supposed to breathe) but I do a mean breast and back stroke :) A bunch of us girls were practising baltis in the IISc pool. Flip - feel slightly nauseous- surface, that was the routine.

I came home, sipped my morning filter coffee and casually scratched my neck- my mangalsutra was missing.

Me (hysterical)- “B! My mangalsutra is missing!!”

B (complacently)-“ Oh? Its ok, it happens” (goes back to the Hindu).

Me (bleating)- “What shall we do? What am I going tell our parents??”

B (complacently) “ We’ll think about it” (goes back to the Hindu)

Apart from the sentimental value of course, the mangalsutra was (1) REAL expensive and (2) had been bought by my in-laws. I was quite certain I had lost it in the pool so I dragged B there immediately. I tried jumping in right away with all my clothes on, B managed to restrain me. The cleaning lady and the life- guard (pathetic excuse of one actually) shook their heads disapprovingly. “What kind of girl loses her mangalsutra?!” The life-guard climbed delicately into the shallow end of the pool, swam a few laps and informed me that he couldn’t see it anywhere. By this time B was convinced that we were never going to find it and decided to head to work. He advised me not to do anything stupid or life threatening and departed.

Naturally I had forgotten to bring my swim suit along with me. I ran to ask my friends for help. One of them, a slight waif- like creature, who fit into the palm of my hand, offered to lend me her suit. I was too upset to think so I just squeezed into it. I jumped into the pool and…. “rip”, there was an ominous sound (well what did you expect??). Who cared? I dove right in and out popped my contact lenses. Now I must tell you, I am extraordinarily short sighted. So, there I was floundering around blindly, while people gaped. My guardian angel appeared in the form of one of our security officers. He had been watching my antics for a while and his heart simply melted at the sight of a half- blind young woman in a torn swim suit fighting so desperately to retrieve the sacred symbol of holy matrimony (mangalsutra, sindoor- they never fail to touch a chord do they?? :) ). The fact that he was an ace swimmer helped of course. He dove in gallantly and resurfaced empty- handed. Not one to give up easily he dove in once more. He disappeared from sight (at least that’s what I am told) for about a minute and HALLELUJAH appeared holding aloft the trophy triumphantly! I am not too sure what I did after that, but I am fairly certain I wept tears of joy and between sobs managed to get the angel’s name.

The next day I discovered (after some detective work), where the security officer lived. I reached his home holding a big box of sweets. He seemed embarrassed but touched. He told me gravely that I must not thank him but thank HIM for having helped me in my hour of need :) I am not a religious person at all but what can I say except- “ Thank God it was a swimming pool and not the sea :)”


Blogger The Visitor said...

Super post! And we thought that you were incommunicado!! LOL.

11:40 PM  
Blogger Ketaki said...

wow!!! that was a close call, and u sound almost as clownish in a pool as i do! lol except that i cant swim. at all. i can float, with a float. but thats it. ur quite hysterical arent u?? lol... contact lenses were too funny!!

12:56 AM  
Blogger Twisted DNA said...

wonderful post and deliciously narrated. I liked the title too :)

Twisted "Sarva Mangalam" DNA

5:39 AM  
Blogger hari said...

Hi Akka,

I had the laugh of the day. It was an amazing combination of an apparently serious, comical, dangerous and embarassing situation put in the most humorous fashion.

Great going.

10:14 AM  
Blogger itchingtowrite said...

glad to know there are people out there who are as bad as me in swimming. you should see me dive!!!

10:24 AM  
Blogger The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

hahahahhaahhha! :-)
did you reimburse waif-like-girl for her swimsuit or not??? :-)

or just give her more sweets, so she can fit into one of yours. ;) :p

fun post that was!

10:34 AM  
Blogger Hip Grandma said...

nice post.i can understand your plight.i lost mine when I went for a wedding in the family and didn't know whom to blame for it.i quietly took my sister in law and between us we pooled in money and bought myself a new chain.luckily of the two sets one was attached to a yellow thread.actually i had kept the other in my purse because the chain had broken and I meant to repair it.It was so cute of my SIL to do it for me.

10:54 AM  
Blogger The Inquisitive Akka said...

@ the visitor- me and incommunicado??Never! :)

@kets- Hysterical?? So I've been told :)Have you tried diving with contact lenses?They just pop out under the pressure!

@Twisted Sarva mangalam Dna :D- Thanks!

@Hari- I am glad I made someone laugh today :)

@itchintowrite- Hey I am not that bad :( I But diving and free style....not my cup of tea at all :)

@the_girl_from_ipanema- Nice idea!Unfortunately she remains as waif-like as ever, some people are sooo lucky :) I got the suit stitched up and returned it to her :)

@hipgrandma- Yes that was nice of your SIL! I removed the yellow thread long back so it was just one solid gold chain!

11:49 AM  
Blogger Anand said...

Couldnt stop laughing after reading your post!!
Well it was indeed brave and sweet of u to make all the efforts to egt the mangalsutra back...!

12:00 PM  
Blogger WA said...

I repeat other comments above, hilarious post :)))))

12:50 PM  
Blogger Ardra said...

love u'r style of writing- started coming here from Boo's page-
and this post reminded me of the time when i noticed my wedding ring was missing- - and that too in the first few months afer marriage- I invoked all Gods- and next day- Lo Behold! I scoop out rice in the wooden mesuring cup from the rice tin- and there it was- my ring- I immediately consigned it to the safety of the safety locker in my cupboard- and there it lies still- coming out only on special occassions!

12:51 PM  
Blogger Nee said...

So you got your mangalsutra back and we got a funny post. Mangalam indeed! :-)

2:30 PM  
Blogger Inder said...

hahahah... cute post :)
'B' seems to be one of those cool hindu addicts :P
i stay away from water more than knee-deep.

3:16 PM  
Blogger The Kid said...

yakka: help here...

how do you do it? I mean, I remember you did not have a blog couple of months back (saw your comment in Boo's blog) and now you get comments in the dozens? I know my blog is not the best and it is the not best of blogs with a few problems like, blogging more regularly and writing in better english and maybe more interesting stuff in my blog and funnier stuff, is there any sokku podi ??

plz, tell me your magic!


PS: Funny, story about Mangalsutra, must have been a terrible time for you... but I realized that you did not say "Thaali" once. I guess you must be entertaining a much bigger hindi speaking crowd.

12:20 AM  
Blogger Anusha Parthasarathy said...

Glad that u got it back...Be careful maadi :) (i cant believe these words came from me, a person who is damn careless:p) hee :) hee:)

10:18 AM  
Blogger Dinesh said...

I remember writing about it on my blog when it happened :-)

10:35 AM  
Blogger Ketaki said...

fortunately i dont wear contacts ;) only bad experience ive had in a pool (when i wasn't drowning that is) was when i saw someone testing their flatulence when they were in the water. disgusting!!

3:39 PM  
Blogger The Inquisitive Akka said...

@anand and wa- thanks!

@ardra- I am so glad you found it!!

@nee- Very mangalam :)

@inder- Yeah he loves the paper!

@pratap- Sokku podiya??Illa pa nothing of that sort! I am just happy if people like what I write! As for the mangalsutra- yes I certainly want everyone to understand what I am talking about! Otherwise I would have started with Thirumaangalya sharadu! :)

@anusha- Hmm your kannada is as bad as mine I see :) The best part abt living in bangalore is that everyone speaks tamil!

@dinesh- Really?I don't remember reading that.

@kets- Aiyo, chee chee chee!

10:15 PM  
Blogger AA said...

But seriously, is'nt it just an object that hangs around (that phrase sounds meaner than its meant to sound) your neck ?. What kind of validation is that supposed to provide for your marital status ?. You know you are married and thats all that's required. Is'nt it ?. Switch to a ring. Rings are better.

Am I going to get yelled at ?.


7:04 AM  
Anonymous ekta said...

haha..must say it indeed was adventurous...!

8:11 AM  
Blogger freespirit said...

hey...did u say IISc? Thats home...or atleast used to be home to me. My folks still live there and I visit every now adn then. There is a good chance that i know you then! :-)

8:55 AM  
Blogger Rohini said...

Wow! That was really adventurous. I am a ring person myself but the problem with that is that I got pregnant and my fingers got fatter and they no longer fit. Once, my ring fell down the elevator shaft and I made my husband climb in to fetch it out for me.

2:09 PM  
Blogger The Smiling Girl said...

Thats a lesson for me too.. coz i am a bad swimmer and I wear contacts too.. :)

3:39 PM  
Blogger The Inquisitive Akka said...

@AA- Yeah, try losing something that costs the world!:) I am sure you'll do your best to find it! :)

@ekta- It seems such a funny adventure now but I was SO upset that time!

@freespirit- Isn't the IISc pool the best?? :)

@rohini- I wear a ring too and my fingers became fat even without a kid :) So there's no chance of ever losing it :)

@smiling gilr- Learn from the expert :)

6:22 PM  
Blogger Priya said...

All's well that ends. ;-)

Good you got back the m.sutram, esp one given by in-laws **wink wink**

I know what you mean about the senti value - I have to wear 2 (1 from the hindu ceremony and 1 from the christian ceremony coz my hubbs is christian) - and I'd hate to have something happen to either of them.

3:42 PM  
Blogger 30in2005 said...


7:52 PM  
Blogger Pavithra said...

Hi there. First time visitor (followed the link from Ramya's blog) and found your mangalsutra episode hilarious (sorry, know it couldn't have been hilarious when it happened) - but you've got a nice style. :)

10:04 PM  
Blogger Siddhu said...

LOL! You should maybe try what my mum does. Keep the mangalsutra (or thali, as we call it in Kerala) in a locker in a armoire.

But that does kinda defeat the purpose. :P

7:13 AM  
Blogger Aqua said...

all's well that ends well :) cute post!

6:22 PM  
Blogger vibhor said...

hi dear...
finally you got ur mangalsutra..
i can feel ur condition..once my wife also just forget whee she puts that n she is crying like anything..but finally she got it ubder the matteress....

nyways..nice post....

12:48 PM  
Blogger dimbulb said...

I've lost toe-rings regularly after I gave birth.
(Makes me think that ONLY MY TOES have lost weight -- post-pregnancy!)

4:42 PM  
Blogger ashok said...

wow...good to know u got it back :)

10:23 PM  
Blogger Janefield said...

Uh oh!! Too funny!!! :D

2:53 AM  
Blogger Gounder Brownie said...

evarajan's daughter??!!!! I had no idea that she had a 31 year old daughter....I knew she had a son called Dinesh...he was my bro's batchmate btw...ask him if he remembers Surjeet [your mom would remember my bro too, he was some whizkid in school]. Your mom taught my class Bio in Class name is Sowmya...don't know if she will remember me, but she might if you tell her that am Surjeet's sis [sigh]. She was one of our bestest teachers...I still remember mitosis, meiosis and animal adaptations and the human reproductory system because of She was teaching us what a reflex action was and she asked this guy called Nandakumar if excretion was a reflex action and he said yes...she immediately bent down as if to check if he had soiled his ex-classmates and I still remember that class and laugh over it!! Okay, long rambling, but do say hi from me to her the next time you talk!!

And oh, nice thali sentiment post btw :) The first time I went swimming in school, I ran in like some heroine and nearly died...I was about 7 I think!!

11:40 AM  
Blogger Gounder Brownie said...

My comment seems to have been cut for some reason at the beginning...It begins with "HEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYYY, you are Praveena Devarajan's daughter????????" :p

11:41 AM  
Blogger The Inquisitive Akka said...

@ priya- 2 thalis??Wow! :)

@30in2005, Pavithra and aqua- Thank you!

@siddhu- That's exactly what I did after that unfortunate episode! I always forgot to put it on again until my juniors(sweet kids who call me akka) reminded me.

@vibhor- I am glad she found it again!

@dimbulb- Think positive, the toes are probably the starting point :)

@ashok- Yeah!!!

@the chosen one- Hmm, in retrospect its terribly funny! :)

@gounder brownie- I am indeed PD's daughter and its not the first time that people have wondered how she has such an ancient offspring! Check out Dinesh's blog- ddspace.blogspot, he has some more interesting PSBB stories :) I shall ask my mom and bro abt you and your brilliant brother:) Dinesh almost drowned in the PSBB pool once, so you have something in common :)I really love your blog!I spent the entire morning reading it!

12:16 PM  
Blogger noon said...

Nice one. I can feel the panic. When I travel to visit my mother (more than mammyar who is cool about it) I tell my husband to remind me to wear my thirumangalyam (as my mother spashtama says) and I leave notes on the fridge marked in bold "Thali" and I panic if I think I forgot to wear it before I board the flight. If this had happened to me I would also have gone and thanked this man profusely for saving me from my mother's wrath at this sacrilege - "Thirumaangalyathaya tholachute?!"!!!
First time reading your blog - enjoyed it.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Vinesh said...

Kudos to that Mangal Pandey for the rescue!

6:14 PM  
Blogger The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

Onga maamiyar address kudungo!

1:44 PM  
Blogger The Insane Genius said...

You dint know??Yep...I have it......its all matching matching with someone we know :D


3:38 PM  
Blogger Sush said...

Good post. It might seem hilarious now but I just cant imagine that nerve-wracking tension at that moment. Now, this is what I call ultra-modern woman with a traidional heart

Good that you did not give up your attempts. I liked the spirit with which you went for it and found it. Be cautious from now when swimming.

7:05 PM  
Blogger kuttichuvaru said...

nice title!! gud tat u got it bak :-)

8:09 PM  
Blogger The Inquisitive Akka said...

@noon- Thanks!Ammas and maamiars never fail to strike fear in our tender hearts :)

@vinesh- Mangal Pandey???I'm sure the security guard will be honoured by the comparison:)

@shoefie- Naan kudukkave maaten!! :)

@the insane genius- Yeah it does sound familiar, take care!!

@sush- ultra modern with a traditional heart?:) Will check with people who know me to see if they agree! :)

@kuttichuvaru- Thanks!

11:38 AM  
Blogger Prashanth said...

Hah! A goody one, there!
Say, you write fast n furious n what's better, very well! :P

Hey, by the way, what was B reading on the Hindu? I mean, I realized that's one good news n analysis paper in this country, that hasn't yet gone 'consumer-friendly' manic! Heh!

but hey, is this a 'true life' incident?

urk - am off!
[runs out blinking back appreciatively]

3:39 PM  
Blogger hari said...

Hi Akka,

I see you again you have again created a vacuum in the spirited atmosphere of the blogworld by your abscence.

Do come soon.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Srijith Unni said...

That was a nice post..
Enjoyed reading it..!

Nice to know that you were saved.. Please do not do anything dangerous in the future..

With Best Regards,

1:09 PM  
Blogger The Kid said...


edhavadhu ezhudunga. please.

3:01 PM  
Blogger The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

hi akka,
I now pontificate at

i wonder if u get your comments to an email


4:22 PM  
Blogger The Visitor said...

@the_Girl_From_Ipanema - if you log into blogspot, you can go tothe settings page where there is a comments section, where you can set the comment notification mail address.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Janefield said...

@the visitor,
doesn't it have to be Inquisitive Akka who has to change settings on her page to receive the comments? :)

Was hoping to see more updates since Aug 17th on here! Hope you're doing good, Akka :D

3:06 PM  
Blogger mommyof2 said...

:-) nice post & your hubby acted the same way I expect my hubby to react in similar situation;-) How can they act so calm or should I say careless. I drives me insane:-))

7:36 PM  
Blogger Just like that said...

LOl LOl Lol
LAffed thru this entire post- at the unfortunate sequence of happenings, swimsuit, contacts and all....
, and at your one-in-a-million hubby who will NOT be parted from his Hindu come-what-may, and who coolly went to office later.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Sandhya Tenneti said...

wonderful story, very heartwarming!

11:28 AM  
Blogger Feanor said...

Hello, Akka! Our man B was over at ours yesterday (spent night on sofa and pronounced himself quite rested) and was rather embarrassed when I asked him what B stood for. Well? So what does it mean? :-)

You know, after four years of IISc, every month religiously procuring a pass to use the swimming pool (Rs 10 only) and going once to take a deep breath and a dunk, I still don't can't swim. But I daresay that my bouyancy has increased in the years since :-)

6:08 PM  
Blogger Lucky said...

Great post .Good writing skills.Keep it up

11:12 PM  
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10:57 PM  

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