'What I can do for you, anything?' Mr Seshadri wanted to know.
'Yes, Mr Seshadri. I am trying to find a good person to make a statue. Mrs Vaidyanathan kindly suggested that I consult you about it.'
Thirumalai scuttled in with the coffee, and handed it around.
'Oho, for what purposs statue, sar?'
'A big statue, to be installed outside the university, maybe in the sea.'
[. . .]
'No, I want to see what you can do for me by way of Hindu gods—or better still, goddesses.'
Mr Seshadri pressed that button again. 'Whatever is your wish and will, Professor sar. Thirumalai, bring the book catalogue for sar!'
Thirumalai scuttled in with the catalogue.
'Full pictures are there, sar. Online catalogue also is there. You see, you select, you order. Page fourteen to sixteen, Knowledge Goddess, that is Saraswati Devi, three different type, with or without veena instrument; page eighteen to twenty-four, eight type of Cash Goddess, that is Ashtalakshmi Devi; page twenty-five to twenty-eight, Frightful Goddesses, Kali Devi—'
[. . .]
'So Professor sar, which of the goddess you are liking best?'
'I want to have an image of Saraswati, as she is the goddess of Learning.'
'Very good!Brilliant choice! University also is for Learning! Now let us see details, Professor sar. What kind of base you require? We are having different kinds of bases, Lotus, Cupcake, Cutlet, Corinthian. Also Up-to-date bases?'
'What are the Up-to-date bases?'
'Optical Mouse base, Xerox Machine base, Microwave Oven base, Nuclear Missile base—no that is something else—'
'I think I would like the Lotus base, it seems very appropriate in a university setting.'
'Aha! A very pure traditional mind! What cup size you are preferring?'
'Cup size?' said Professor Ram.
'Different-different people are preferring different-different cup size for chest of the goddess. Every day the fashion is changing, pages thirty to thirty-four, Twiggy, Dolly Parton, Madonna, Pamela Anderson models—foreign tourists are wanting one size bust, pages thirty-five to thirty-nine, Aishwarya, Madhuri, Sridevi, Kevlar Vest Devi models—Indians are wanting bigger. One size is not fitting all! If I am making the full statue, Professor sar, it is just money waste, time waste, no use. So I am making certain parts sep-rate, then I am getting it assembled, as per your requirements. Bust sizes 32 to 44, cup sizes A (Oomanly), B (Wonder-ful) and C (Magni-fishent). My sculpture R and D department is making the special screws so that we can fix the bust on the statue before installation. Customer is king.'
Professor Ram hesitated. The Size 32A model looked a lot like Mrs Ram to his eyes. So he chose 44C, which looked as if the goddess had hung a couple of zeppelins around her neck. [. . .]
—From No Onions Nor Garlic by Srividya Natarajan