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Pray – The Wordplay

“Dad – TGIF!”

“No honey, it’s SHIT.”

“That’s not the way to speak to your princess. TGIF, Dad!”

“No, princess. SHIT!”

“TGIF – Thank God it’s Friday!”

“SHIT – Sorry Honey, it’s Thursday!”

Silence while the calendar on the smart phone was being checked. Anju doubled her attacks on Shen.

“FOMO.”

“YOLO.”

“IMHO.”

His faculties were limited to handling the acronyms peppered in the Income Tax Act. He had a good handle on PUC, TOSI, DTAA, CCPC, etc. (more recently CEWS, CEBA and host of pandemic relief related words). Interpreting international tax treaties between countries, hunting for the loopholes, reading the Tax Act were mundane daily tasks. Anju, with pouted lips and a pronounced lisp, recited one acronym after another. Shen struggled to decipher and swam ‘against the torrent and the current’.

“You are making up these words, right?”

“No, I am not. Check the internet.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“Look up.”

“YOLO? You only live once? How do you explain this to a cat who has nine lives? She lives nine times. Do you call it YOLNT?”

A stare (the one she learnt from her mom) that could freeze the boiling water engulfed Shen.

“How about going out for lunch? I am craving Indo-Chinese food. Let’s go to Green Lettuce!”

“That we shall. But first study the ‘young’ words. Now.”

Shen, not a rookie, hesitated.

“I will, as soon the laptop boots up. Only four years old, and it’s acting up.”

“You need an upgrade.”

“That’s very insulting to tell your dad that he needs one.”

“Your laptop, dad! It’s ancient. Remember Mesopotamia? It belongs to that age. You need to upgrade constantly. Your laptop and the vocabulary.”

Shen digested the daily dose.

“She doesn’t mean it. I will never let go of you!” He patted the laptop.

Next day, Shen, ready with the arsenal from various armories (aka search engines), called.

“Anju, ITALY.”

“Huh?”

“ITALY and also INDIA.”

“Covid has restricted your annual visits to India. Do you plan to go this year? Fly via Italy?”

“ITALY – you outdated girl – stands for ‘I Trust And Love You’!”

“You are joking.”

“Your ignorance astonishes me, and INDIA – which stands for ‘I Nearly Died In Astonishment’.”

“Mom, dad is acting up. Please help.”

Saanvi rushed in, wiping her wet hands on the sides of her apron.

“Wifey: LIBYA.”

“He is acting weird.”

“Anju told me to educate myself. I did the research and found the universe of acronyms. Saanvi – LIBYA – which means ‘Love is Beautiful, You Also’.”

Saanvi, the well-educated spouse, blinked, smiled and murmured,

“SYPYIT.”

Shen peeked at his cheat-chit and turned pale.

“Say Your Prayers – You In Trouble.”

Atul-Anand

August 17, 2022

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Last modified: March 30, 2023
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