My sister's words: Arnie, Lois, Puli
The washing machine shuddered to a halt. Ramanujam's ageing hands flipped the lid open and his cataracting eyes peered at the twisted, serpentine heap of petticoats, brassieres and trousers. With a sigh, he heaved the bundle of clothes out and threw them in to a plastic bucket.
How had it come to this? How was it possible that he (who had been nicknamed Iyengar Puli by his college mates for his prowess in a boxing ring) was hanging out his wife's underwear to dry? 'Lois Panties' the label said. 'Idhukku onnum korachal illai' he thought savagely. The woman had been his downfall. His Mother had warned him about her.
"Don't marry this one kanna. Vendaam. Amma will find you a nice girl."
He had pushed aside his mother's remonstrance’s and gone ahead and married Kamali. Thank God Amma wasn't around to say I told you so.
The steaks had been replaced by vendakkai ('But I belong to the Blue Cross! How will it look if my husband eats meat?'). The training to become the next featherweight champion was replaced with a job at the local bank ('If anything ever happened to you...' - never mind that 10 years service at the Mandaveli Branch had slowly killed him anyway). The pictures of Arnold were replaced by images of pot bellied Ganeshas. The children that they were saving all their money for never came. And so they got themselves a dog. Or rather she had. Arnie (nakkal!) the Pomeranian was her baby.
'Yenanga. After you've hung the clothes out to dry don't forget to feed baby.'
He silently went to the kitchen. The blasted dog was whining and pawing at the cupboard already. Ramanujam opened the can of dog food and carefully spooned the chunks of meat in to a tiny sterling silver bowl. He placed it on the floor and watched as Arnie attacked it with relish.
'Lucky Bastard' he sighed.