Portrait of the Artist as a Young Madrasi

IT’S THE one-liners that delight! Sample these: A scooter in Madras is a man’s promise that he will not return home drunk in the evening/A North Indian girl in jeans so tight you can see daylight between her legs/Men are managers. Mothers are housewives. And all bras are white.

Or that mocking observation the wife makes about the drunken husband who’s gathering his tattered dignity about him as he goes about his business in the morning, seemingly oblivious but actually deeply ashamed by his inebriated idiocies the night before. “Walking about,” says Mariamma about husband Ousep, “as if he’s going to collect a Lifetime Achievement award from the President”!!!

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