I could be 81


I am quite used to being addressed as “uncle” by a wide variety of people.  The abundance of grey hairs on my head has entitled me to that avuncular status.  But never did I imagine that somebody would think me 81 years old.

Recently when I was holidaying in Kerala my teeth sprang a problem.  Every holiday in Kerala gifts me a dental problem.  The reason, as my dentist in Kerala once told me, is the non-vegetarian diet.  In God’s own country, no lunch or dinner is complete without at least one non-veg dish. 

The receptionist of the dentist asked me such details as my name, surname and age.  I couldn’t see what she was writing.  As I reclined in the dentist’s chair a little later with my mouth wide open, the doc said, “This is not a serious problem at your age.  It’s just the normal wear and tear that comes with age.”  He went on to repair “the slight abrasion” as I sat wondering whether my age of 51 was the threshold of senility.

Later on, as I sat in a bus to my village, I took out the registration card given by the receptionist just to have a look at it because I had nothing else to do.  Then I understood why the doctor had referred to my age.  My age in the card was 81!

At home, when I told my wife about the age given me by the young girl at the reception, she said with a hearty laugh, “I’ll file for divorce.  I didn’t know I had married such an old man.”

Two days later, when I met the same receptionist at the dentist’s I asked her with a sweet smile, “Do I look 81 years old?”

“Why? Well…”  She fumbled, but without losing her nerve a bit.

“That’s the age you gave me,” I pointed at what she had written.  “I’m 51.”

She smiled much more sweetly than I had.  “Sorry, it’s a mistake.”

We had spoken all through in Malayalam.  In Malayalam the words for 51 and 81 differ only by a single vowel sound.  Her mistake was understandable.

Couldn’t the doc guess the age of a person better?  I wondered.  But dentists are a busy lot in Kerala.


About matheikal

My more regular blog can be accessed at www.matheikal.blogspot.com
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22 Responses to I could be 81


    Lol UNCLE 🙂 🙂
    OLD IS GOLD.. so cheers 🙂
    Nowadays doctor’s are carrying out operation on left leg for right leg..
    be happy for your teeth 😛 😛
    funny post !

  2. Neeraj Kumar says:

    And only because of that mistake we could get to experience such humorous post. So, mistakes achche hain.

    Wonderful post!

  3. Hariharan says:

    Interesting. Your wife’s response is humorous!

  4. Sir, I think you should start hitting the gym! I saw this blog a few days ago, you should see it totally : http://sixpack54.wordpress.com/ ; 😛

  5. subhorup says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I am headed that way, and am loving it so far.

  6. benny says:

    Really funny. I remember once walking down the lane near my home town an acquaintance of my father asked him whether i was his brother. The consolation was that I was happy that my father looked much younger than his age.

  7. Prasad Np says:

    first time one hears the word uncle it actually changes the world for us 🙂

  8. Raghuram Ekambaram says:

    Who said you are at the threshold of senility? You are deep into it and I had preceded you there by a full six years plus some 😛 Wasn’t senility the charge that you escaped from the cuckoo’s nest that was your earlier blog haunt?

    A nice, lighthearted, unphilosophical, un-literary post from you – sigh …


    • matheikal says:

      Raghuram, I’m able to “escape” and that’s the secret of my youthfulness. By the way, you wished me a rejuvenating holiday and I must tell you I had the best holiday of my life this time. I hope Delhi won’t kill my rejuvenated youthfulness too soon.

  9. Nona says:

    51 and 81… She could have taken a guess even it is difficult to differentiate when pronounced. 😉

  10. oh my god! 51 to 81 – a straight 30 year jump! sorry but couldn’t help laughing at this incident
    the girl is going to be extra careful the next time. but i wonder why the dentist didnt clarify. usually they do because age is the first thing they make a note of while treating/diagnosing etc.
    Hhmm true they must be one busy lot

  11. zephyr says:

    Looks like you are using an old profile pic, doesn’t it, considering your age? LOL
    Aren’t dentists supposed to guess the age of a person by looking at their teeth? But like you said, he must have been busy looking at your wallet:)

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