Monday, August 27, 2012

Pappachan's Videocam

Pappachan came home radiant like the 'Olay model'. He had a video cam in his hand and flashed it proudly at his wife Treasa and kids.It  did not come as a surprise to any of them because there had been heated debates at home with regard to the purchase of this contraption.Treasa was worried about the wasteage of money on a second hand camera when they could buy a decent enough new one. Pappachan had his way with money and ego so he let himself  fall for the camera of Simonachayan who praised its clarity over 4 pegs of chivas regal.Now since Pappachan wanted to be in the same league as Simonachayan and his flock he fixed the deal over booze and this to Treasa was a poor business deal.What upset the kids was the fact that they did not get a video cam the year before on their trip to Muscat where they spent a month watching Cecily aunty and her huge belly anticipating it to burst any moment like a watermelon with a thumbelina baby. They were disappointed with their father who did not purchase this contraption two years back on their vacation to Cyprus and Israel where they could have made the best home videos. And now in this uneventful year he was buying it when none of them felt thrilled. 

Pappachan was oblivious to the plight of his family members.He was jubiliant for his youngest brother Johnichan the fairest baby boy with the best looks 'after him' was tying the knot.And Pappachan dreamt of  shooting the whole affair in his Panasonic videocam in his silk mundu and red velevety shirt. He had even made up his mind on the new hair style he would adorn and a month long facial treatment he would do for the glow people commented he had when he landed India.The kids had vague memories of this uncle.He was the one who gifted them the mango juice in a green carton that read Frooti and a chocolate in Violet wrapper that read cadbury. The uncle had pronounced it weirdly enough for them to follow him then.All these years they never heard their dad speak about his family and if he ever did they found it hard to catch up to his swearing skills.

Treasa was upfront logical in reminding Pappachan rather snapping him out of his reverie that they had no formal invitation to the wedding and this news was just a rumour they heard from a childhood friend of Pappachan who called him for a personal loan."Why would my brother need to invite me formally?",gnarled Pappachan but then he had to know the dates to book the flights he told himself.

The days thereafter were filled with nostalgia. Pappachan narrated his tales with Johnichan where the Big B carried the little one to school, how the little one once wanted to go see a temple wedding and could hardly pronounce 'Ambalalthil Kalyanam' ( wedding in temple) and ended up dragging Pappachan saying 'Ambathi kandanam'. 

As days passed by Pappachan grew impatient expecting the call from India. He checked his phone lines, dreamt of his red shirt and silk mundu and kept practising on his video cam.The bride would be fair for my brother is a hero he kept telling his kids and then narrated other tales and adventures of his childhood with Johnichan.Three months later Babykuttan came from a vacation in India and remarked what a beautiful sister in law Pappachan had.Having seen all his Sister in laws whom to him ranger from ambassador to fiat and maruti 800, he had no idea who the maruti esteem was that Baby referred to. Sensing the surprise Babykuttan blurted that he saw Johnichan and his wife at the church,the previous sunday.

It then dawned to Pappachan. The fight he had at home with his brother Georgekutty who had taken a loan of 1 lakh and never returned and how Johnichan intervened on behalf of Georgekutty. How he promised he would not marry unless he settled the account of 1 lakh." So he did not have the money so he was worried I would mess his wedding", he spoke to Treasa who was sympathetic to his grief." But  he was my baby brother", he continued.And then breaking all restraints Pappachan cried.His kids who had never seen their father cry was dumbfound by this miracle even jealous that their father never loved them so much to cry for them

The videocam lost to the world sat in the corner for the rest of Pappachan's life. He swore never to meet Johnichan and his wife but could not resist when they invited him home with pork fry. And that's how Pappachan was gullible, vulnerable,emotional and human.

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