She was too late
Even today, when I think of all the attempts to foil every plan we made for an outing, I find it amusing.
Time does heal. But back then, I remember how mad I used to get and how frustrated, helpless I’d feel, Mi. Especially during our 6 year stint in Madras when we oscillated between two places never quite sure where we were going to land up next. Weekends were particularly harrowing.
For most people, weekends brought thoughts of relaxation, but not for us. We had to be extra busy catching up on our own housework and tackling others’ housework in addition to ours.
Do you remember that particular weekend in 1985 when we had carried work home but couldn’t get it it when we could because we had to go to aunty’s place? We wanted to return home by lunch, but their list of duties was never ending and by the time we set out home it was 6 pm. We were anxious to reach home – have a bath – we felt so sweaty and soiled.
We got into the bus, wishing we could have had one of those rare Sundays when we woke up early, finished household chores and had a leisurely bath…went up to the terrace to dry our hair and hang out clothes to dry in the hot sun. Then, we’d have lunch and settle down to work, trying to finish it before tea time so we could all sit together and watch tv.
Even as we were talking, you suddenly decided we’ll get off the bus at Blue Star. Puzzled, I followed you out and was stunned to see you heading with determination to His & Hers, our tailor who also had ready made clothes. There, you insisted on buying me that beautiful lavender colored churidar kurta with the crocheted waistcoat. The neck and sleeves had crochet trim and the kurta had pearl buttons.
Gosh, I burst into tears and we hugged and paid for the rather expensive set. Then laughing we went home. Suddenly the day looked brighter.
Planning what to wear the next day, we entered our home to be greeted by Paati who was worried we were late. We were then showered with affection, given something to eat, after which we had a quick bath and began our work.
Mi, I still laugh to think that I wore that churidar kurta for more than 12 years, after which you gifted it to Sunita, who looked great in it. Lovingly hand-washed each time, it looked as good as new.
The next Sunday, we had planned to meet Sarala for a movie, remember? We decided to skip aunty’s house with an excuse but she still managed to make an emergency call to the neighbor’s house to talk to us and somehow make us visit. But, ha, this time she was too late! I always wondered why we did not simply say no.
Why did we worry about how they’d feel when they consistently trampled all over our feelings and simply hushed us if we wanted to do something for ourselves?
Why did we always get them the best things even when it pinched our pockets and we had to go without, when they threw us crumbs or left overs?