They watch tv together – Malayalam channels in general and Idea Star Singer, a reality show, in particular. They find the anchor woman Ranjini pretty, rivetting and yet hilarious. Her affected Malayalam accent makes them call her a ‘foreigner’. They gasp at her chandelier earrings and laugh at her ‘acting’.
The other day n came home from grandma’s and said, “Ammu’s tv isn’t working… "
"Hmm," I said, staring into my comp.
"It’s ruthless,” she added.
I looked up and asked, “What? Ruthless?”
Amit, overhearing us from his desk, said, “Ruthless? But how can a tv…”
“Yeah,” she said dismissively, continuing to fiddle with the scab on her knee, “Fully ruthless, it is.”
Mom had been complaining about her tv and how it was on its last legs. Maybe n meant it wasn’t working and was therefore tormenting her? Ruthless that way? My child was a po-et and I didn’t know-et?
This morning while having breakfast, from out of the blue, she said sleepily, “I told you, no, Ammu’s tv is ruthless. It's not that. It's hopeless. It’s a hopeless tv.”
Ah, I see. The penny drops.