Sunday, July 21, 2013

Always a Child

Kajal got off her friend's car and saw her daughter Keya getting off from a bike and the bike zoom away. She frowned. "Who was that? Do I know him?"

"Yes, of course," Keya said patronisingly. "That was Amrit."

"What are you wearing?" Kajal eyed her daughter.

"My friend's clothes? Aren't they cool?"

Kajal didn't think so. "What happened to yours?"

Keya waved the bag she had in her hand. "Here. We went out for lunch impromptu, and my t-shirt and jeans seemed woefully unsuitable. Ritu gave me this to wear."

"Why didn't you tell me that you were going out, or...changing? Didn't you tell me you will be back home for lunch?"

Keya rolled her eyes, shrugged and walked into the house without a word, leaving Kajal fuming.

As soon as Kajal entered the house. Her mother Geetha came out looking displeased.

"I thought you were going to be back home for lunch..." Geetha complained, looking at the clock pointedly.

"We got delayed and had lunch outside, don't worry. Did you eat?" Kajal replied.

"You at least thought of asking," her mother was at her sarcastic best. "What did you buy?"

Hesitantly, Kajal placed the clothes on display and saw the disapproving look on her mother Geetha's face and waited for the inevitable comment.

"Are these for you or Keya?" Geetha asked. "It will not suit you," she passed judgement on the capri, leggings and kurtis that Kajal had bought.

Kajal just chuckled and said, "That's what you will say! Nowadays women your age are wearing stylish clothes, looking smart and trim. This is how women my age dress, so stop complaining."

Geetha snorted in an unladylike way, adjusting her sari pallu. "Yes, and they look obscene. Many have their tummies spilling out and they look more like ducks than women!" As Kajal laughed, Geetha continued bitingly, "Don't think you look any better!"

"Oh stop taking off like that!"Kajal snapped, hurt to the quick. She placed her stylish leather bag on the table and heard her mother quip, "No doubt you spent a bomb on that one?"

Kajal threw her hands up in frustration, not deigning a reply. And then she heard her daughter's tinkling laughter. Keya had been watching the scene unfold and running up to her granny, hugged her. "I know where mom gets her training from!"

Kajal pursed her lips tightly. At 45, she did not need to be pulled up like a teenager by her 70 year old mother.

(Note: Some such story had been on my mind for a while. But when my mom and I had a very similar conversation yesterday, the story was bound to become a reality!) 
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