SMS and DLL

When I see all those middle-aged couples amble sedately along the road or the walking tracks, I can only sigh, that is if I am not panting to catch up with the L&M. I sigh louder when I see the younger couples clinging to each other and holding hands as they walk side by side. I can’t ever remember such a thing even during the early days of our marriage, except when he lovingly held my hand on certain occasions – which happened to be the times when he did so to prevent me from bolting from one of those 007 movies that he dragged me to, remember?

Coming back to the park while the other couples turn to each other and talk, I talk to his back; sometimes I shout to his back as he strides ahead. This is not something that has developed with age, but has always been so.

Here I must pause to ask the forgiveness of my feminist sisters who must be ready to banish me from the sisterhood forever for not only addressing him as my Lord and Master but also faithfully following in his footsteps – literally, as I try trot after him like a panting puppy.

To be fair to myself, I don’t take it lying down. I do make my displeasure evident — to his back of course. And if he is not too far, he hears me and turns back to mumble a sorry and retrace his steps to my side. The poor guy genuinely tries walking alongside. Not for long, before the itch to stretch his legs overtakes him and his strides lengthen imperceptibly and then visibly, increasing the distance between us. And I sigh again. (Wonder if Baba Ramdev has some kind of pranayam consisting solely of sighs. If he does, I am an expert at it.)

I can’t blame the L&M entirely, because he can’t help his long legs as much as I can’t help being short and also an SMS to boot. And now you’d have guessed what the acronyms in the title stand for. No? Then you are as much an SMS as me. Ok, ok, I will end the suspense and tell you: I am the Slow Motion Sundari (SMS) and he is the Daddy Long Legs (DLL)!

Of late we have decided to go our separate ways at least in the park. On the way to and back it is still me following faithfully in his footsteps!

Let me tell you about the SMS:

Even as a kid I used to laugh last – not because I laughed the best, but because I couldn’t understand the joke when it was being narrated. As the others burst out laughing, I would look somberly at them, with a poker face. They might have dismissed me as a humourless thing. Little did the others know that I was furiously trying to decipher the joke. And then, viola! It would dawn on me and I would burst out laughing, after everyone else had stopped of course. And it annoyed the others, not only because I was such a slowpoke but also because my laugh was like a donkey’s braying that went on and on. Sometimes they would find it so hilarious to see me roll on the ground laughing, that they would start laughing afresh – at yours truly.

Even that was fine, but there used to be times when I would laugh days, weeks and even months after hearing a joke. I would suddenly remember the joke and begin laughing, tears rolling down my cheeks, unable to stop to enlighten the others as to the cause of my uncontrollable mirth. I didn’t need laughter clubs where they laugh artificially at nothing in particular. I could summon a belly laugh at will, just by remembering some funny event or a particularly good joke.

I am no Churchill, that master of repartees, but still, I wish I could be a little quick on the uptake when confronted by a comment. Alas. I would be frantically thinking of an acid retort when the moment would have passed and I would be left looking stupidly at the person who made the comment. And me being ME, I would not stop thinking about it.  After an hour of brooding over it, I would have the perfect repartee ever, but sadly no one to deliver it to!

That’s how slow I am. You could call me a ‘lubait’ as my nephew would call the tube-light, when he was a kid. The only problem was that sometimes the lubait never came on and became a ‘fuse-light’ instead.

Will you believe me if I told you that I used to be called ‘mollamma’? Molla in Tamil means slow. It happened like this: one day I was running and tripped and fell. (That’s what happens when you hurry. Now you know why I am a SMS!) My elder sister called out, ‘Mollamma!’ (go slow, child!), and the name stuck. So whenever I did anything at my normal pace — which was SLOW — I was called Mollamma.

The SMS ate slowly too. While everyone else had finished their lunch/dinner, I would still be eating my first roti. No amount of scolding, cajoling, teasing or any other means made the morsel of roti — chewed to a pulp and beyond — go down my throat. My older brother warned that it would get digested completely and turn into something else in my mouth itself if I didn’t swallow it quickly enough. Curiously it only made me gag, but not swallow. My concerned parents even consulted doctors to find out if something was wrong with my gullet, but they could find nothing wrong. It was simply the SMS at work.

I would hold a piece of burfi or some equally small piece of eatable and nibble tiny morsels of it, sometimes quashing the whole thing in my sweaty palm. Often my second oldest brother would come and take a sizeable piece of it away, ostensibly to ‘help me finish it’, having finished his own share. Needless to say the SMS would begin crying still not gulping down but holding the remnants of the burfi!  Today the L&M has taken over the job of relieving me of my share. You already know what he does to the popcorn, don’t you?

If there had been some contest for slow eating, I would have won it hands down. This habit continued well into adulthood, with the only change being that if I needed to eat fast, I would eat miniscule quantities. After marriage, my father-in-law would tease me, ‘Eat a little slower and we will join you for dinner.’ It had no effect as usual,  though I tried to eat faster and choked, much to his alarm.

The brats unashamedly capitalized on the SMS syndrome while surfing channels. By the time my ears relayed the message that my favourite song was playing in a particular channel, to the brain in super-slow motion and I screamed, ‘stop stop!’, they would have jumped ten channels. They would dutifully surf backwards a couple of channels and say that that I must have imagined it!

You can imagine the catastrophic consequences when the SMS also begins growing older, with the reflexes slowing down as a natural consequence. Even though the L&M’s reflexes are slowing down too, it is in proportion to mine.

And so the distance remains, as the SMS continues to run after her DLL, in slow motion of course!

(Photo credit: colchaspaz.com)

37 comments

  1. Amazing write up ma’am. I admit since morning i devoured all tyour blogs on L&M and the Brats and now slowing putting comments as i was so busy laughing and rolling on the floor 😛

    I liked the short forms and as i am a fast walker. Could you beat it when a guy friend once told me you walk so fast i couldnt catch you when i had accused him of making me wait at rail station for long time!!!

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    1. Welcome to my space, Ashvini and I am glad you liked the posts. It is ghar-ghar ki kahani and so you must surely have found something to identify with. BTW, I am short AND slow 😀

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  2. Totally relevant. I agree that they walk faster. In my case, I am having long legs, but I am having big bulk too. Therefore, I have stopped walking with him. Or at the back of him. He is so fast, he will go some 100 metres and look for me 🙂
    All the friends in morning walks would say” he is already much ahead”. It was terribly insulting. And he was relieved when I stopped, he need not look back and reduce his speed, it seems.
    Now all is well in the mornings.

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  3. SMS and DLL 🙂 techno cute names 🙂

    Reminds me of my cuz sister – geethla. She s this most adorable chinese doll i have come across. I am sure she can give you a touch competetion.

    She would lift rasam mammu and only 10% would remain from what she lifted from plate to wat goes inside the mouth. 😀 and she ll keep it in the mouth and if the TV was running. Someone would realize she still has food in her chubby cheeks. “hmmm muzhungu” then she ll remember she needs to swallow. I am gonna go visit her in couple of weeks from now. I am pretty sure she s still the same.

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    1. Oh I remember the muzhungu thing. My mother used to keep growling that to me in all my growing up years, except that there was no TV back then. But I used to dream all day long 😀 If she had the same problem as me, (oosi thondai, my mother called it), she will still be the same. 🙂

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  4. A loveable post. I absolutely loved the expansion of SMS and your further dwelling on the theme.

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    1. Nice to see you back and from your comment to Mayank’s post, I can see that your biennial shifting spree is almost over. All the best. 🙂

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  5. Ma’am,even I have this problem of me being left behind by my bf…when I would say,we start together 😛 and only to be told that,its me who takes those baby steps :(,when I complain :(:(…SMS and DLL…OMG I was ROFL :D…Awesome writeup 🙂

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    1. I see I am not the only SMS as far as keeping pace with long-legged males is concerned 🙂 Do visit again!

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  6. Lol Z or should i say sms…what a funny post!!!

    psst…I am also the “follower” of the pati dev whose long legs will ensure this happens for the rest of my life despite the quiet “subtle” hints of being so mean to leave me behind…!!!

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    1. Another traitor to the female species?? 😀 We are the bharatiya naris who tread in the footsteps of their masters 😀

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  7. Hehehe..I can relate only to retorts and being “short”..All nasty comments are processed very slowly leaving me agape the next day of the comment..Else I’m NFS (need for speed)…My parents believe I swallow dosas and idlis.. :D..Thoroughly enjoyed the post SMS…

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    1. The next day! I am better than you then. It only takes me a couple of hours 😀

      the L&M does all the swallowing, thank you! And Fletcher would be happy to see me — I chew each mouthful to death 🙂

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  8. “The poor guy genuinely tries walking alongside. Not for long, before the itch to stretch his legs overtakes him and his strides lengthen imperceptibly and then visibly, increasing the distance between us.”

    Hehhehhe..No, I am not too tall. I am just 5’6″, but I can very well relate with this situation. I have faced similar, very evident displeasure of one of my female friends (read: one of my best friends). I mean she has actually walked off to a different path to show me her displeasure over me not walking the ‘Baby steps’.

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    1. Oh, we do that all the time; I mean walking different paths 🙂 At one of the walking tracks the ‘walkers’ had to go round the tracks and if we both walked in the same direction, he would do two rounds by the time I did one! you are right about height not being the main cause for fast walking, it is just a habit I guess.

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  9. Hilarious… Just couldn’t stop laughing 😀 I loved this SMS!! 😉

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    1. Thanks Arti. 🙂

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  10. hahahahahaha!!!! Sundari it seems… *starts singing “sundari siriya rettai-val sundari”*

    hahahahahah 😀

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    1. you are going to get the hiding of your life when we meet. Laugh at me, will you? btw, I never had a rettai vaal after the age of 6 😦

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  11. OMG! Thats like the funniest post I have read in ages 🙂 and I think I am like you in many ways..except the eating part! I can eat faster than anyone else in the room 🙂 I can so understand the frustration of not coming up with the right repartee 😦 Its so so bugging that I can think of the right answer to give back after like 2 days

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    1. Good to know I am not alone in the slow response dept 😉 But the most frustrating part is that I can’t get it out of my head till I come up with a good repartee at least in my head !

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  12. It’s time you wrote a book on L&M and the brats. You paint such a delightfully funny picture. The family came in running to check why I was chuckling so loudly.

    The SMS and DLL had me LMAO….Dear slow motion Sundari – you just met your match in this sparkling specimen of XMS (Express motion Sundari). I am flighty, impatient and always the first one to finish my meal :))

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    1. I would love to, Purba, but publishers don’t seem to want to publish the series 😦

      I can imagine what I will get to eat if I went out with the XMS and the L&M — nothing 😀

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  13. I am glad you laugh often and aloud. I can understand the predicament of trying to keep pace with tall, brisk walkers….

    I admire people who come up with smart repartee’s instinctively.I cant.

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    1. Smart repartees are not my cup of tea at all. As I said, I need time to come up with the best ones. Any wonder why I love writing?

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  14. how endearing zephyr – straight to my heart. god bless your slow motion moves.. heck it doesnt matter – does it!

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    1. Not, it does not matter; not after all these years. You come to take the good with the bad after a period and that’s how it should be 🙂

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  15. hahahhah! I was rolling on the floor when I read this! You always told us about the Slow Motion you, but never knew you called yourself an SMS!!!

    I can totally imagine you talking to appa’s back even now! Here’s to the best SMS mom of all time!

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    1. Thanks Vinni. He harrumphed when he read the post today. What is all this about walking ahead and all? he wanted to know. Let me see what he does tomorrow…

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  16. Never mind the disparity of SMS and DLL, beyond this, they r jelled well together !

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    1. Gelled or not, we are STUCK together except when we walk anywhere 😀

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  17. Whatever the differences, good to know that SMS and DLL are happy with each other 🙂

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    1. For better or for worse? 😀

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  18. LOL, as usual wonderful post. My husband (lovingly) holds my hand only when we have to get on the escalator. No don’t say awwwww; its just that i am scared of escalators and he makes sure that I dont run away towards the staircase. 😉 Of course he leads me while crossing roads, climbing stairs but that is a necessity

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    1. That’s very sweet of him — I mean guiding you while crossing the streets and all. Actually to be fair, the L&M does it for me too. I have problems going down the stairs, not up and in the evenings and nights. Then he holds my hand and helps me along. 🙂

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  19. Hi…see finally, am the first person to comment :). Being the riot that you are, its difficult to believe that you could be an SMS aka tubelight as we used to say. Atleast it gave you yet another funny blog to write about though! I m only 3 years into my marriage, and these days my hand is held more to drag me faster when we are passing rows of sweet shops or rows of earring and bangle shops!

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    1. I am slow, believe me, except when I sometimes overreact and ‘leap to conclusions’ as the younger brat would accuse me of. When I react quickly, it is often with disastrous results.

      Your L&M should have blinkers for your eyes as they do for horses to make you look straight and not at all those tempting shops 🙂

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