Chronicles – Sewing Machine Oil

Many moons back, when myself was in 2nd or 3rd standard, a funny incident happened. As its popular for all fairer sex to get educated in software engineering, Fashion technology et all, it was the art of sewing and embedroidary in those Indira Gandhian days.

Statutory warning : Do not enact the following events. Read at own risk.
It was considered Chic by girls and used as a popular tool to palm off their daughters to unsuspecting grooms by their parents. An added ability to sing and cook was mandatory. The era of pants/shirts/chuddidhars for fairer sex had not yet made thier apperance. There were streakes of hippi culture getting poupular and our barbers were swaying to Elvis even when they did not understand a word of the noise!

My mothers elder sister had just moved in from Tamil Nadu, back to Bangalore due to her sons transferable job. Since I had 3 cousines, my aunt hatched the usual plan and started sending all the 3 of them to the Tailoring class run by my mother – opposite to our residence.

Since they did not know kannada at that time, my aunt used to escort them ( I also doubted that she wanted to ensure them to attend classes without fail!) to and fro on daily basis.

One such day, I was just playing cops and robbers with imaginary people, hiding behind pillers and saying Booo on unsuspecting people at the class, Jaya aunt came and sat down with a heavy breath. Looked like she was running a temperature.

Lucky as she was, there was a doctor shop next door who was well known to us. The good doctor gave some 12 packets containing white, brown tablets for 3 days – 4 times and the most pungent decoction of god knows what in a small bottle – suspected to be paracetamol.

He said its viral fever and would last the course and die normaly. I smiled since otherwise patients would die before the fever! Its allways good to see the doctor when somebody is getting the medicine heh!

Jaya aunt ate one prescription set of medicine and put down all the packets, bottle on the small table and waited for my cousines to finish the classes. Meanwhile somebody reported that one of the sewing machines was struck with a broken needle.

Scolding them, mother proceeded to remove the bobin holder which I watched gleefully and enacted when nobody was around, found the pedal too tight. She wanted to lubricate it and asked me ‘Dai – get me the machine oil , its on the top shelf of the room behind”.

She would buy sewing machine oil in bulk as there were 20+ machines and was cheap. Infact she had struck a deal with the repair man who would deposit a new brown bottle every month. I just carefully put a piece of paper around it, it was smelly and I didnt want any oil on my hands – gave it to mother.

The bobbin holder was lubricated and I took back the bottle and kept it temporarily on the table as my friend Nagesh called me for a session of chowka bara – Ludo .

Jaya aunt and my cousines disappeared for next 4 days. We assumed that they were taking good care of her and on the 5th day, a week looking but out of fever Jaya aunt came trodling in with some Grapes and sat down with a sigh – What is bangalore coming to – its getting hot in march itself!

She proceeded to fill on all the happenings for the last 4 days including a very big complaint on the smell of the medicine. Mother said “No, we all take the same medicine even our mohan takes it – its very very bitter but good for your health. See you already are back on your feets due to that”. The good doctor was getting a great exposure.

Jaya aunt had brought the bottle back as evidence. It was empty – she had drunk it but mother just opened the bottled to peer inside and some familiar smell hit her nostrils.

She had a funny expression and went to the back storage room to check. As suspected there was the sewing machine oil bottle. She opened it and brought it to front yard as the light was quite dim in the back room and smelt it.

She burst out laughing so much that I had never seen her laugh until tears in eyes. Not even when I brought a good report card back with 30 in maths!

Jaya aunt had exchanged the brown looking bottles that day. Instead of paracetamol she had managed to drink pure sewing machine oil and got rid of the fever. Paradoxically mother had not required the oil lest she would have found out the switch immideatly.

Even today when ever we meet, we tease her on this. We do not know how she survived that ordeal and actually is still alive to tell the tale.


13 Responses to Chronicles – Sewing Machine Oil

  1. Vijay says:

    This is too funny… you should have given Jaya Aunty a needle and thread and to see if she could sew faster now that she had drunk the oil.. 🙂

  2. Veena says:

    paapa Jaya Aunty..!
    Mohan – BeLeyuva siri moLakeyalle 🙂

  3. praneshachar says:

    very good narration mohan
    Yes these incidents do happen
    and happy you are able to recollect and reproduce
    good for us to laugh laugh

  4. Hahaha oil!!

    Let such articles flourish MOHAN 🙂

  5. rk says:

    Aunty-ge YENNE kudisida Prachanda Mohana, sharanappa sharanu!

  6. Prashanth M says:

    ha ha!! avara hotte full clean aagiratte bidi 😛

  7. Vijay,
    Man! I liked your statement. Let me ping it to her next time and get back 😉

    Forewarned is forearmed anthe! thanks.

    Praneshachar, Srik
    Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks.

    Unintentional mistakuu sir. Revisit made sir innu bahala yenne story ide.

    Ok sir. Nevu endorse maddidha male thogothine.

  8. some body says:

    “mohan lubricates aunt’s intestines.” if this were to happen today, i would see this headline in toi!

    on similar lines, one of my aunts once brushed her teeth with burnol, which was discovered only later after the sun came up (this was during some function and everyone had to wake up really early, plus at that time there was no electricity in our villages – i.e. about 20 years ago).

    – s.b.

    some body
    That burnol is a dangerous one though. It would have possibly burnt badly but strange when people are in a hurry nothing in the world can make them see the difference. Belife is everything I suppose.

    My friends ragging in engg included secreatly replacing the toothpaste contents using the scrimp part, remixing with shaving cream and refill. The unsuspecting Junior uses the toothpaste and the foaming never ends 🙂

  9. some body says:

    As its popular for all fairer sex to get educated in software engineering, Fashion technology et all, it was the art of sewing and embedroidary in those Indira Gandhian days.

    i just had to link to this one … 🙂

    – s.b.

  10. Some body,
    Considering the humurous aspects of the post, it was good.

  11. TSSM says:

    A super lubricant that was.
    Must have cleaned the entire alimentary canal.
    Sure , the doctor would have gone pale after hearing about it,
    not because the aunt drank the wrong one,
    but because it was equally good
    or even better than his medicine.

    What happened to the poor gals,
    did they attend the tailoring classes thereafter?

  12. TSSM says:

    Also reminds me of another incident where

    Dr.Murali Manohar Joshi, while on a function in Tamilnadu
    drank the orange colored liquid ,
    (which was actually kept as a decorative piece),
    kept in the flower vase, on the dais,
    thinking that it was a cool drink and felt sick
    and was immediately attended on to relieve him

  13. M O H A N says:

    TSSM sir,
    Welcome to this site. The gals finished classes, went on to get married – forgot sewing and husbends are doing the sewing of lips and cloth now 🙂

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