Manu Remakant, a 38-year middle aged man of Thengappura lane is found missing from a bar in the city. He was last seen dying his hair. He is short-statured, 5’7”, dark in complexion, and has got a small paunch whenever he rises on his feet. It is easy to identify the missing person. With the sort of dandruff on his head he can’t spend half an hour without scratching his scalp. He has graying whiskers, a barcode of a moustache with a few white hair tucked beneath it and a very dirty black skin-infection under his lower lip(Not birth mark). You pull his shoes off, you can catch him with his socks worn inside out. His toenails are overly grown and grimy.
Thank you my dear amme. That was a nice piece of ad you gave. Your son was thrilled to bits reading it. You could’ve also added ‘Wanted Dead and Never Alive’ as the title.
12 Corrections you must make if you want your son back in one piece
1) “Manu Remakant” (Dr. Manu Remakant. If not for this and now, why did you want me to take PhD, amme? There is absolutely no other use with it).
2) “Found missing from a bar(ber) shop.” (Amme, believe me. Your son doesn’t drink. Yeah, it’s true. Who told you this? Aji? Amme, you know? He vomited after taking one beer. But your son… leave that, amme).
3) “Last seen dying his…”(Stop. “Dying.” Period. That will be enough to intrigue the readers).
4) “A 38 year old” (THIRTY-SEVEN. How do you know!!! It is my age).
5) “Middle-aged man” (grr…I’ve read you a thousand times how they write in newspapers even when carcasses of unidentified men wash ashore: “a body of 49-year-old young man was found in a canal.” I am your son, show me some respect).
6) “Is found missing from Thengappura yesterday.” ( editor – pls correct…it is Rose Avenue now. The old woman never understands).
7) “He is short-statured, 5’7” ”(Short-statured!!! Jolly Gosh! Thundering typhoons! Where did you get that idea? You should have asked my colleague Ajayan sir(4’9”) before you write this one. What will you call him then? Unborn?
8) “And is dark” (Dim, not dark, amma, like milk chocolate! Amme, how many times have you told me that I’m only a bit tanned and not ebony when you used to bathe me when I was a child? You always miss the highlights of my body. Why didn’t you mention in the ad that my trunk is in fact far lighter than my face with my shirt buttons thrown open? And what about the complexion on my biceps! Chathiyayippoyi amme…chathi…(This is plain cheating from the part of a mother. Any mother).
9) “And has got a paunch.” ( Paunch!!!. Huh!)
My dear friends, I was around 25, when my belly bloomed. In the beginning I used to call it, ‘unnikkudavayar’( a cute little paunch seen in cute little toddlers). But one day when an actual toddler tottered in and asked me what he should call his belly if mine was ‘unnikkudavayar’, I gawked. I promptly gave the title back to him.
But still amme, I never thought it would someday rear its head over all the good other features I have. (Lush hair, beautiful eyes, sweet smile, chweet dew lap). You forgot everything.
10) “The missing person has graying whiskers and a couple of white hair on his mustache as well.” (Amme… (long helpless sigh)You would spot a wisp of a white hair on my moustache from across the continent, but would never understand what it is, even when I hand over to you a big bun of hair I found from your sambar. I remember how you would roll them tightly into a ball, straining your eyes over it with a stumped expression and finally dismiss it as, “It is only mustard, Manu.”
Mustards do not grow hair, amme, nor do they have the size of tennis-balls. And we can never spot them in milk, ice cream and appam and whatever things which are made at our home. I could have easily called in the food inspectors, served you notice and get our kitchen sealed forever.
But did I do it? And see what I get in return!
11) “That dirty skin disease under the lower lip.” Amme, let me calm my nerves before I answer this one. After all you’re my mother. Amme, that is not a skin disease but it is a nice croissant of hair I painfully grow under the lower lip purposefully for the last two years. It is called soul patch, amme, it is fashion, not skin-infection.
12) “Dandruff, scratching, toe nails, socks.” I knew this was coming my way. You didn’t notice that your son was not scratching for the last two weeks and it was bloody hell for him resisting the urge. And for your information: those were black boots with pointed tips, not grimy toenails.
Tell me sincerely. Don’t you want your son back?
There were other photographs of your son which he had deliberately strewn all over your table before he went missing. Why didn’t you use them? Hmm… You didn’t mention a single detail –intelligent, handsome, charismatic, smart, fair, lean, irresistible and versatile in many languages– I really have.
I know, I know what was in your mind. You wanted people to bring your actual son back, not anyone else who would (you know that, clever mother) never dare to spend all his lifetime sifting sambar from mustard balls.
I am coming home, amme, I am coming home, before you give out the next ad. Get the sambar ready.