Friday, 26 March 2010

Short Story

Akhandamindri was the king of Raichur. Rather, his ancestors were the rulers of Raichur. However, after independence, all princely states had merged with the Indian Union and he was king only in name. But, the government, as per the agreement that was signed when Raichur acceded to India, gave him a privy purse and his family was very wealthy, and extremely well respected. However, he was a spendthrift. He spent most of his money in buying a lot of cheetah fight match boxes, which in turn he traded for rare ones. This, was his hobby.

Then came Indira Gandhi. She thought that it was unfair these princes who mostly lazed around and wore fancy dresses every day should get a privy purse while the rest of India lived in abject poverty. So, she abolished it. Thanks to the rather profligate life that Akhandamindri was leading, his family was instantly reduced to penury. The privy purse was their only source of income. Since matchboxes were the only things that he had any experience in, he opened a roadside shop selling Ganesh Bidis and cigarettes, because this gave him an excuse to keep the matchboxes after many customers had emptied them. With this, they could make ends meet.

But, Akhandamindri was very depressed. The reason for his extreme depression was not that his income had been reduced to many lakhs to practically nothing. Rather, it was his childlessness that kept him awake and worried all night. When he was a prince, he had his own personal doctors. Each one of them had more letters of the alphabet after their names, indicating what they have studied, than the other. You see, the way you identify that Doctor A is better than Doctor B is by counting the number of letters that follow their names. For example, Dr Arundathi Nagaraj MBBS MS QWERTY OOGA OOGA CHEEK CHEEK is way better than Dr Arundathi Nagaraj MBBS MS. I digress. Anyway, these doctors still treated Akhandamindri's family out of courtesy. No one could find anything wrong with either him or his wife.

This was when a soothsayer was touring Raichur. His name was Priyananda Shenoy, not to be confused with Nithyananda. He had a degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in soothsaying and he knew the periodic table by heart. Such was his fame that the queue to meet him in Raichur stretched till Gulbarga. Priyananda specialised in predicting when people would have children. On hearing his arrival Mrs Akhandamindri pestered her husband to go and meet him. Akhandamindri thought "Well, I have nothing to lose, having lost everything buying match boxes" and went to Priyananda. Priyananda told him that if Akhandamindri and his wife were to go to Mantralaya and pray to Lord Raghavendra, he would be blessed with a child. The Akhandamindris thanked Priyananda and went to Mantralaya the next day.

Just as Priyananda had predicted, the Akhandamindris were blessed with a male child in about an year. They were overjoyed. They named him Raghavendra Raichur after the Lord and the city which they hailed from.

This was the time when television was making its advent in India. Little Raghavendra was always fascinated by the black and white Keltron tv that they had at home. He would always stay glued to it, and sometimes even miss school to watch advertisements on it. His lifetime ambition was to become the owner of a television shop, one in which you could go and choose a television of your choice, and if you were so inclined, buy it.

Time went by and Little Raghavendra Raichur became Big Raghavendra Raichur. When he was about 25, a famous matchbox collector offered Rs 2,00,000 for a rare Cheetah Fight match box from 1970. Raghavendra was unemployed. And these Rs 2,00,000 would serve him well if he had them. Understanding his need, Akhandamindri decided to sell one of the half a million cheetah fight matchboxes from 1970 that he had, and give the money to Raghavendra. With tears in his eyes, and wax in his ears, Akhandamindri sent the 499,697th match box in his collection to the address mentioned in the newspaper. He received the money by cheque in 7 days.

On Raghavendra's 26th birthday, Akhandamindri summoned him and gave him the cheque. He said "Go open your tv shop". Raghavendra was overcome by joy and started dancing to Asereje. After completing his dance, he rented out a shop in K R Market and opened his TV shop.

In order to inaugurate his TV shop, Raghavendra invited Dr Rajkumar. Dr Rajkumar came with his wife and children and inaugurated the shop. His wife's name was neither Meenakshi nor Kamakshi. Later, Raghavendra himself decided to deliver his first television to the Rajkumar household.

When Raghavendra reached Rajkumar's residence, he was greeted with warm smiles. He had the television in a trolley. When he asked Rajkumar where to put it, Rajkumar replied: ಹಾಲಲ್ಲಾದರು ಹಾಕು ರೂಮಲ್ಲಾದರು ಹಾಕು, ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರ (hallallaadaru haaku, roomallaadaru haaku, Raghavendra, for the kannadically challenged)!


Nishant Ratnakar said...


Raghavendra Raichur said...

ROFL! mindri only!

Pradeep said...

Haha...klpd aithu!
Short story anthe :))

dfsdfsdfs said...

i didnt get this at all!!!

mangaLooru mallige said...

haalalladaru haaku,
roomalladaru haaku,

hallalli zee-tv,
roomalli f-tv,

Sachin said...


Santhosh Adiga said...


Chandan R said...

ROFL! teriffic ending

Pandu said...


Vineet said...

Typical Raju ....Dude , why dont you start the GB stories series here..

Raghuram (AJ) said...

Awesome! :)

You & Priyanada Shenoy must have been separated in some jaatrey! LOL

RukmaniRam said...

punchline translation please?

Raju said...

@IlliterateScribe: Put it in the hall or put it in the room, O Raghavendra!

(listen to the video for better context, it sounds like that).

RukmaniRam said...

aha! gettings now!

Pooja said...

LOL! should have guessed