Paras Sharma writes a multi-issue story that will have you in splits. In this issue he begins by trying to get mamma jee out of the house!
No matter how old, mature and refined you are today, there was a point of time in your life that you were, (how do we say this politely), ‘Young and Stupid’.
Now don’t get all defensive, you know it’s true. Your nonchalance doesn’t fool me and I suggest you stop lying to yourself as well. Let’s refresh our memories to a time when we weren’t ‘world-wise’ and ‘politically correct’. I am referring to that period of your existence which you would rather pretend never happened. Go and find that photograph that you’ve hidden from the world for years and gaze at it intently. Take in every little detail, face your worst fears and laugh at yourself. Only then can we proceed.
Assuming that you have successfully lowered your level of ‘coolness’, we can now come to our story (which I have excavated from the depths of my subconscious). Before anyone tries to file a lawsuit I would like to mention that the following is a work of fiction. No such events occurred in my past. Yes, that’s exactly what it is. Or maybe I just don’t want to accept the fact that something like this ‘may have happened’. All resemblances to any ex-girlfriends, living/non-living, real/fictitious are (believe it or not) purely co-incidental. If for some strange reason you are still reading this, the torture ends here, but don’t get too comfortable, the story is about to begin. Hope to see you on the other side… Hello? Anyone there?
Dateline: Diwali Holidays of 2004. Yours’ truly is all of sixteen and in ‘love’ (surprise surprise). I had been trying all week to find a way to get rid of mom. After repeated trial and error, I decided to have one last throw of the dice before I finally called it quits. One last desperate attempt to convince her to visit her sister. If this didn’t work, I knew nothing else would. I may as well just forget everything about my ‘plan’ then. All hope rested on this final try and with that in mind, I entered mom’s room, flashing a smile as wide as my jaws would permit, and sugarcoatedly said “Hi Ma. How’s everything going? Slow afternoon, isn’t it?” “Yeah, nothing new about that” she simply said. I pressed on “So why don’t you do something to kill the boredom Ma?” “You think I haven’t tried? I’ve already cooked both lunch and dinner and you don’t even look hungry, and there isn’t anything on TV in the afternoons either.”
I impishly grinned, “You know Ma, I have something you could do, but I don’t know if you would be up for it.”
“Good, then don’t bother yourself.” she said, her poker face still intact. “Maybe you should go and visit Masi’s place, na.” Mom sprang up at the mention of my aunt, “Arrey, why should I pointlessly turn up there?”
I decided to make my move now. “Ma, I know things aren’t peachy between the two of you, but she is your sister after all.” I said trying to maintain an innocent, sincere look. (At this statement, mom turned defensive) “Na, Na, nothing like that. Who told you we were fighting? It’s just that she’ll think that I visit her only when I’m bored. It will reflect poorly.” ”Quite the contrary mother dearest. You fail to see this from the other perspective. Couldn’t aunty feel that you’d rather sit at home bored all day than visit her? Now wouldn’t that look worse?”
“You think so? Maybe you are right. She has been snappy of late, maybe a visit would calm her down.” Mom pondered.
“Oh it will make a world of a difference Ma. You take my word for it!” “Okay then, I guess we’re going to pay your aunt a visit today then. Clear the mess in the living room and get dressed.”
Damn it! This was backfiring, time for evasive action! “Mom, I was actually suggesting that you should visit her alone.”
Mom (turns suspicious) “And leave you all alone here? Are you up to something?” I put on my best shocked expression and sighed “I just thought it would be a nice change from the daily routine for you, and you… you doubted me. I’m saddened by this lack of faith that you show.”
Okay, okay stop it with the big words.” “No, mom, the damage has already been done. My very own mother suspects me, Oh, the shame of it!” “Enough said, now cut the melodrama before I change my mind.” (Whoops, maybe I went a bit overboard but it seemed to be working, mom was falling for it.) “Great, I’m sure you two will have a great time catching up, give her my regards.” I said leading her to the door.
“I don’t have a good feeling about this! I better not hear any complaints about you from the neighbours.” mom warned. “Mrs. Nosey? What makes you think I’d trouble her?” (This time I put on my puppy face). “Oh I don’t know, maybe that incident with her bird? Now wasn’t that a memorable event?” “Hey now you can’t blame me or even the cat for that matter. The bird died out of the dual shock of being let out of its cage and then getting an up close glimpse of kitty’s teeth. The poor thing was just yawning!” At this point mom realized that there was no point pursuing the conversation any further. She wisely surrendered.
Okay okay fine bye. Be good! I’ll be back by 8.” “Take your time; the place is in safe hands.” I said flashing a wide reassuring smile. Mom paused for a moment and then left. I closed the door and jumped for joy. I couldn’t believe I had actually pulled it off. Phase One of the plan had been successfully executed.
To be continued…