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June 17, 2004 14:24 IST
Ever since we moved into our own home, my wife has been indulging her green thumb.
One day, she was showing our 10-year-old son one of her new acquisitions, a plant that bloomed at around 9 am and faded at around 5 pm.
It was around 10 in the morning and the flowers were looking gorgeous. We stood admiring them.
My wife had just finishing explaining why it was called the 'office time' plant. My son, who seemed in deep thought, asked her seriously, "Mom, what do they do on weekends?"
Anindo Shome, Mumbai
I seldom give out my office extension number. The phone generally rings for either of my two colleagues who also share the extension.
Since the instrument is closest to me, I end up attending most of the calls. Which, after a point, got to be hugely irritating.
One annoying day, the phone rang constantly. After a while, I decided I was not going to field any more calls.
The phone rang once more. No one was around. I let it ring.
Finally, my colleague -- who incidentally gets the most calls -- rushed to attend it. He seemed quite angry that I had not picked up the phone despite being right there.
I didn't regret my decision; after all, it was his call.
Or was it?
After chatting for a moment, he handed me the receiver.
The call was for me. I had forgotten to switch on my mobile phone.
Shrinivas Rao, Pune
Straight out of a Hindi film
In 2001, the cable network in Columbus used to show Hindi movies every Sunday at 12 am. This was one of the rare opportunities for my wife and I to see a Hindi movie. Unfortunately, the timing was inconvenient, and we were not able to catch the movie every Sunday.
We thought of recording it and watching it next day so we invested in a VCR. The next Sunday, I pulled out the cassette of a film called Love 86 and recorded the movie on it.
The next day, we eagerly played the cassette -- only to find it screening Love 86. We were disappointed; we thought the film had not recorded due to some error on our part.
On checking the programme schedule, though, I felt a bit sheepish. They had aired Love 86 that day. My wife and I had a huge laugh.
What we didn't know then was the next bit of bad news -- the cable cannel was discontinuing the airing of Hindi films beginning next week.
Samir Shah, Columbus, Ohio
Who's the father?
This happened in our 12th standard class at Vana Vani, Chennai.
My friend Mahesh and I were typical backbenchers who would chat through each class.
We were doing Oliver Twist in our English class and reached the part where Oliver discovers who his father is. As usual, Mahesh and I were chatting with our heads down. Something I said cracked Mahesh up and he burst into laughter.
Our teacher was doubly irritated because she was reading a sad portion of the book.
After making Mahesh stand, she asked him sternly, "Who's the father?"
"Mr Periasamy," replied my terrified friend.
The whole class burst out laughing -- our teacher was referring to Oliver Twist's father and Mahesh had given his dad's name. Even our teacher couldn't help but laugh.
Seven years later, we still tease Mahesh by asking him, "Who's the father?"
Senthil Subramanian, Atlanta,
Illustrations: Uttam Ghosh