An imported ball pen I almost lost 08/07/2013

How did your interview with the government official go off? Asked my husband as soon as I returned home.

You know, I almost lost my imported ball pen, I said  feeling proud of my presence of mind.

What does your imported ball pen have to do with your interview? He asked puzzled.

Because my Indian made one ditched me, I said cursing my folly for not being armed with a  spare ball pen in case a  contingency arose.

But I am sure your imported ball pen which forms an important  item in your over-sized  hand bag had come to your rescue, he said.

Yes, fortunately it did and I could take down all my interviewee’s  answers though he tried to be evasive at times, I said.

I am sure  you would have grilled him the way these anchors do on TV news channels, he laughed.

Yes, I tried but you know, unfortunately  bureaucrats in South are not as bold and fearless as their counterparts up north, I  lamented.

Well, I feel it has something to do with our soil, he observed and I couldn’t understand what he meant by that statement of his.

What about your imported ball pen you are so possessive about which you say you almost lost? He reminded.

You know, after I  was done with the interview, I proudly compared the two ball pens saying the Indian one, though it was new, the ink had  dried out but the imported one did its job though I used it after more than a year.

He too would have appreciated the quality the imported stuff has, said my husband.

He did and since he wanted to have a look at the pen I gave it to him thinking he would return it.

Didn’t he? Asked my husband anxiously.

He quietly put the pen in his shirt pocket even as I as watching him, I  said.

Then what did you do to get it back? He asked looking still shocked.

I said  it was my birthday  gift from you and I wouldn’t like to part with it and he immediately returned the pen  appearing very displeased at the idea.

Probably it was due to a force of habit he pocketed it as these officials are always at a ‘receiving end’, quipped  my husband.

 n.meera raghavendra rao


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