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  1. Saarunnara?

    You may be wondering what this word is and how it is relevant to this question.

    OK! I will tell you.

    Afternoon 2′o clock. Just going to get my afternoon nap.

    Tring tring ….. the land line phone rings. I wake up from the bed and go to the other room where the land line phone is.

    “Is it Mrs Vijaya Lakshmi?”(I hear a girl’s sweet voice in telugu)

    “Yes speaking”

    “I am from SBI Life so and so branch”

    “OK?”

    “Saarunnara?” (it is a Telugu word meaning is saar(sir) around?)

    “But you were asking for Vijaya Lakshmi and I am Vijaya lakshmi”

    “Yes of course the phone is registered in your name so asked for you. But saarunnara? Unte pilavandi madam(Is sir around? If he is there please call him).

    “But why saar?”

    “Because I want to tell about some investments etc and only saar can understand them”

    “Saar is not around. You can tell me about those investments. I am a retired finance person”

    But as soon as I complete the first sentence she disconnects the phone.

    And I am Like this:

    “Ding dong” the door bell rings.

    I hurriedly go to the door from kitchen.

    There stands a young man with some pamphlets in his hand.

    “Saarunnara madam?”

    “No! he went out “

    “When is he coming?”

    “He went to vegetable market. He may take half to one hour to come.”

    “OK then I will come after one hour.”

    “You need not take trouble to come after one hour. I will convey the message to him if there is anything important.”

    “Madam I am from XYZ real estate company and I want to explain the benefits of investing in this company. So I better speak with saar directly.”

    And before I could say anything, he is down the stairs.

    And I am doing this:

    “Ding dong”

    I get up from my chair, leaving the laptop open and open the door.

    “Madam a courier for Mrs Vijaya Lakshmi”

    “Yes I am Vijaya Lakshmi”

    He hands over a fat envelope. I immediately know that it is my renewed passport, and I feel happy that it arrived very soon.

    “Thank you” I say smiling and signing on the paper he handed me.

    I give him back the paper. He is still standing there waiting for something.

    Then finally he says “Saarunnara?”

    “Why saar? Is there any courier for him too? Actually we are expecting his passport also. He is having his afternoon nap. If there is a courier, I will wake him up.”

    “No madam there is no courier for him but just ……..”

    “Just what?”

    “Actually whenever we hand over any passport, some tip is given to us. So I thought if saar is there …………..”

    “Tip? OK no problem.”

    I go to our bed room, fetch my hand bag, take out some money and come out from bedroom very quietly so that my husband does not wake up from his nap.

    I hand over the money to the courier boy.

    “Sorry madam for waking up saar. Tell him my thanks”

    And I am doing this:

    It is the most Indian thing ever, taking it for granted that female members of the family do not have any role in financial matters and they don’t understand any financial matters.

    Or is it only a “Telugu thing”? I don’t know.

    Even in the US there are these salesman etc ringing the bell. But first thing they ask is “May I know who takes the financial decisions in your house?”

    Images from google

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