Saturday, April 04, 2009

Foot loose and hands free

My Mother calls me, I'd say, about eight times a day. If she has somewhere exciting to be, like a mall or a tennis match or a party, the number could drop to, say, four. There are days though, that eight becomes fifteen. But the duration of our conversations remain the same. In one minute and eighteen seconds, we've covered everything there is to talk about. Such is the power of getting straight to the point.

Today, mommy was out of the house early. So the first call at 10 a m, was a morning morning, did I wake you? No, good, acha have anda bhurjia for breakfast...

Eighty seconds.

In another half hour, instructions for the maid.

In the next forty five, I leave the house.

In between calls from my mumma, father dearest calls. He's on his way back from golf and he's called to say hi. Also to say that the bad spell seems to be over -- he won his game. I ask him how much; eighty bucks. And how much did you tip the caddy?; hundred bucks. I tell him he's the limit. He laughs. Then asks whether I'll have dinner at home. Doesn't lose the opportunity to tell me eating out all the time is unhealthy and that, I, child, better get some exercise.

This call was about three-four minutes.

Four hours later, mumma calls again. Something about this super cake she's made so "come home fast." I try and reason that nobody else will eat it in the time, so it doesn't really matter WHEN I get home. "Anyway, see you at home".

Disconnected. Under a minute, this call.

The sixth call of the day is to tell me to keep my afternoon free the next day because we have to go over to so and so's for lunch. Fine, I say, but I'm going for a puppet show after that, so let lunch not pull on till high tea. Oh, puppet show, where, even I want to come!


Oh-kayy, so from it being a date just with boyfriend, the families are all going to watch puppets.

Deep breath.

Next call is twenty minutes later, and equally quick. "N, sweetheart, we've just reached the wedding. Papa's just parking. What time are you going home? There's nice khana in the fridge."

I recongise the restraint in my tone, "soon ma, soon, okay? Bye now, very busy. I'll eat later"

She calls me back in 8 mins. "What ya, Ma? I have work!"

"Nanu just called. Amar mama ji died."

"What...? Where?"

"What do you mean where," she snaps, "In Doon, where else.."

"Oh... when...?"

I feel a twinge. Amar mama ji was a nice guy. My grandmother's elder brother, at 93 and till yesterday, he could read without his glasses. Every year, he would send me a card for my birthday and really fill it up with blessings without making it holy bore of a read.

I feel bad for my grandmother. She's no spring chicken, but losing your last sibling can't be fun. I'll speak to Nanu, I think. And I'll call my brother to hear his voice. "Hi," I'll say. "Did Mama call you?" He'll say "haan." "I heard. Amar mama ji na?" Then I'll make a hmm sound and we'll both be quiet and say something inadequate. Soon enough, we'll change the topic. And I will put the phone down, summarising another three-minute call.


El said...

hehehe, Exactly, exactly, all in the name of 'safety.' "It's not that I don't trust you, I don't trust people around you." Phish.

And Punk is indeed not dead. Nice article. : ) I liked (interesting) and it covered all aspects of what was happening. Though I couldn't shake this feeling off that you were probably the hottest thing they'd seen in awhile 9offscreen that is) and had trouble concentrating on your questions because they were too busy checking you out.



Nimpipi said...

noooo.. they were these poor little geek boys, only too wary of a mocking journo. No hit-on, nothing! so bore, so bore!

Inexplicably said...

Hmmm so didja finally make that call?

Word verification is a pain in the arse. Why do you have it ?