Surely Mr.Feynman, you’ve heard of Kumbakonam?
No, no—my hometown, Kumbakonam. I’ve brought you its famous sathukudis
—But I thought the tuberculosis killed you?
It did. *coughs blood* Now let me try chalking one of those diagrams of yours…what do you think?
Why, thank you Mr.Feynman, I’m glad you approve of my drawing skills—if I weren’t a mathematician, I’d have likely been an architect—or a puppeteer at the least
—I *sheepish* was actually referring to your fruit—the, the…well it’s yummy all the same.
Oh that—*a little disappointed*— I’ll bring you jackfruit the next time around
I’ve already explained it to Hardy
—Laurel and Hardy?
My mentor—G.H.Hardy; the guy who had me shipped to England, it was the number of his taxi cab—ayirathi ezhunuthi irubathi omb
—I thought it morbid at first
—I meant the anecdote; the numbers eating you from within; your cube roots of solitude, bed and bouillon
But I had no choice, Mr.Feynman; there were…
—Please call me Dick
in Putney, Dick. Who’s Champollion? *tap dancing*
—And obviously, no taxi cabs in your—damn!—what was the name again? keeps
reminding me of bongo drums—you ever play bongo drums?
I’ve never had rum
—but hold on; I asked you about jackfruit; or was it starfish?
Yes, definitely an interesting one, but also an “unfavorable omen”, as Hardy put it
The starfish. I saw it on an English beach one frigid morning. Its five arms splitting me like five infinities
—No doubt—starfish make for excellent cabbies
*Dusts his chalky hands and admires his Diagram*
—Is dying yummy?
I miss Laurel and Hardy
~ Arjun Rajendran
Arjun Rajendran‘s first collection of poems, ‘SNAKE WINE’, was published by the Zaporogue Press last year. His work has recently appeared at AntiSerious and in The Bombay Literary Magazine.