"Where were you?" snapped Mother when Daughter walked in late.
"I told you, I am going for a movie!" Daughter snapped back irritated at the ill-tempered reception.
"Yes, but that must have gotten over at 3. It is 6 now, where were you till now?"
"Oh ma! Don't be a nag! I was with my friends at a cafe near the theatre."
"Why didn't you come home straight? And you didn't inform me either!"
"Where is everyone else? Bhaiyya hasn't come home yet?" Daughter asked to get her Mother off her back.
"He will come, you don't worry about him. But I have told you not to loiter, haven't I, but to come home straight?"
"And why not? You never tell Bhaiyya anything!"
"You don't worry about him. He can take care... It is you I have to worry about."
"Ah, that's what you think! If you knew what he was up to..."
Mother's heart skipped a beat. "What is he up to?"
"Hangs around outside the theatre and hoots when girls cross him. I was so embarrassed to even say a hi to him! That is why I waited in the cafe with my friends, waiting for him to go... Just so they wouldn't see what a loafer of a brother I have!"
"Shut up! Don't you call your brother names! He is just having harmless fun..."
"And if I do the same!" Daughter burst out angrily. But it was a slip of tongue she will regret. Her mother's palm connected with her cheek sharply.
"If I hear one more cheeky answer from you, I will cut off your going to movies!"
"And Bhaiyya?" she asked, unable to contain herself.
"How can you stop a boy? He will have his fun... That's why I want you to be careful."
Daughter stared stunned, speechless.