First published on ArtoonsInn
His face contorted into a grimace and he went still suddenly. One shoulder drooped while the other touched his ear. One leg stretched sideways and then he dragged his other leg towards the first without bending it. And just like a child rubs his chocked-up nose with the back his palm, he gestured similarly near his throat.
His bedridden grandmother watched all this from her cot, horror writ large on her crinkled face.
“Ohh…my poor Bunnu. Paralysis…he…he is paralysed. Help! Bunnu Ki maa…please, oh please come here fast. Bunnu is getting paralysis attack. Come fast”, she screamed at the top of her voice.
Supriya, Bunnu’s mother, who was cutting Bhindi, cut her own finger in her hurry to get up and rush into the bedroom. She put her finger into her mouth to stop the blood flow, thinking that her mother-in-law is getting a paralysis attack. But no, it cannot be, nobody would announce their own paralysis to the world at the top of their voice. It’s not biologically possible. But nothing is beyond the old witch, she thought to herself. Then she remembered mother-in-law mentioning Bunnu and she froze. What has he got into, this time. She remembered the last time he had come home howling in pain, his hand bent in the opposite direction. It had cost time and lots of money to set it right.
When she barged into the bedroom she saw her MIL sitting upright in the cot. The witch lives, she thought to herself regretfully. Then she saw her Bunnu rolling on the floor with laughter. She had one mind to throw whatever was in her hand at Bunnu, but then she remembered that she was carrying her Bhindi cutting knife and controlled herself.
“What has come over you, Maa? Why did you shout so? Do you know how petrified I was? And you Bunnu? Why are you laughing like a madman?”, Supriya rattled off her questions like a machine-gun.
“Oh Maa. It was hilarious. I was dancing the Pushpa step and Badi Maa had the look of pure horror on her face and then she shouted. Oh Badi Maa, you are so cute. I love you.” And he embraced his grandmother warmly.
The grandmother just shrugged in mock anger and turning her face away from him said, “Is this how a grandchild treats his grandmother? You act paralysed and ask me to remain calm? How can I remain calm if I think that you are having some serious medical problem?”
Then turning to him and scrunching up her nose she said, “And you call this a dance. You should have seen Bhagwan dance. So graceful, so cute…what are you looking at me like that. Bhagwan was the greatest Matinee hero. You know…”
And so Supriya left the two blessed souls exchanging their generational anecdotes to attend to her cut finger and to be cut Bhindi.
Folks, this might be the scenario in more than one household in India which is currently in the throes of a Telugu language movie and more specifically, a song in that movie.