My amma and papa don't get along very well but they share a lot of similarities. For example, there are seriously demented characters from both ends. As if mental illness runs in the family. But one particular specimen stands out for her sheer bonhomie. Malamma. My mother's eldest sister who had a nervous breakdown at a rather young age after her husband passed away leaving her with a son to fend for. She had a not-so-colorful life but the people who took care of her had it worse. Eventually, she ended up in our house in Bombay and that's when i came in close contact with her. A gentle soul (under heavy medication), i remember her muttering words to herself. Between sleep, food, staring at TV and petty chores (and several pills, of course), there wasn't much to her existence. Oh yes, there was one thing she was very fond of: newspapers. Actually, newspaper. There was this Kannada daily that she got hold of someday when i had just entered secondary school. And she continued reading that particular edition for several months—if not years. I don't remember the exact time period of her fascination with news she can't use. But i do often reminisce how we used to jokingly ask her "Are you done with it? Or is there still some breaking news in there?" with no response whatsoever. Paying attention wasn't her forte so it didn't matter how many times she read that paper nor how many times we tried to be funny.