Friday, April 01, 2011

Aunty Kisko Bola be?

So there I was poking and smelling some ripened mangoes at my favorite streetside fruit hawker's, when I hear someone screaming 'Shilpaaaaaaaaaaa..."...Startled out of my wits, I turn around to find a woman waddling towards me, grinning so much that I could count her teeth all the way from across the street. I blinked my eyes unable to recognize her....And then I attain Nirvana. This was my longlost friend Pinky aka Paromita aka Purr.....!! I beam my broadest smile and run towards her, ripened mango in my hand, the hawker running behind me shouting at me to return his mango, the vehicles skidding midway, trying to avoid a collision or striking us dead. there in the middle of the busy packed road, 2 long lost friends embrace, hug, laugh, shriek in delight, much to the amusement of passers-by.  Like a scene from that Hollywood movie, Grandfather Time falls down. People stop to look at us. Drivers roll down their windows, cuss, shake their fists and middle fingers. Then Grandfather Time comes back to his senses, picks himself up and slaps us across the face.
Embarrassed we run back to the pavement and continue our drama. Questions tumble forth, shoot back and forth.
'Where are you working?'
'Where do u stay?'
'Are u married?'
'Yes, I have a 5 years old boy. Rohan.'
'What? I want to see him.'
'Of course u have to. Come. My house is just 5 mins away, have dinner with us tonight'
Still unmarried, n usually wasting my time working at CUPA or shopping or pub-hopping, I run to her house., lured by the idea of eating a home-cooked meal for once, but tempted more by my excitement at meeting her family.
You see, we had been together ever since we were 4 years old only to lose touch as teens. She had moved away to another state and those days belonging to the pre-internet, pre-mobile phones era, for some months, we managed to write to each other, but soon even that link got cut.
So here we are, drinking wine at her place, sharing all that we had to tell each other, all the things we had missed out in the last 12 years......
Pinky introduces me to Rohan. A shy, little boy of 6. He comes to me with his chin stuck to his neck, n Pinky says - 'Dekho beta, kaun aaya. Yeh hain Shilpa aunty. Say Hello to her....'.
At the mention of Aunty, I fume inwardly. Look up at her. Then blink my eyes and smile at Rohan.
'Hi Aunty.' Rohan says to me.
I pretend not to hear the second word.
'Hi Beta', I answer through clenched teeth.
'Arrey wait, I will go get some more snacks' and Pinky waddles back into the kitchen.
As soon as I see her back disappearing inside the kitchen, I look at Rohan.
'Idhar aao' I call him, almost commanding, my eyes narrow slits.
He comes slowly to me.
I take hold of both his hands, twist my face, hoping my snarling face looks better than Johny Lever's,
'Tereko mein Aunty dikhti kya? Bol.'
Rohan looks at me, surprised at the change in this seemingly 'nice Aunty's' voice.
He swallows the chewing gum he has in his mouth, n blinks his eyes at me, mouth open.
'Bol be, Aunty dikh reli hain kya mein tereko?
Clever Rohan knows better than to say yes.
He shakes his head from side to side.
'Teri Mummy jaisi hun kya, mein? Kya bolne ka mereko? Didi. Kya?'
Cheeky Rohan blinks his eyes four times and says
'Lekin meri saari Didiya to dikhne mein chhoti hain....aap Didi kaise bane? Aap to badi hain.'
I glare at the boy, doing a good job of looking like, I imagined, Sunny Deol in 'Gaddar'.
That seems to quieten him up. He weighs his options, finally deciding as long as 'Shilpa Aunty' is in the house, it is a dangerous existence.
'Kya bulayega mereko tu?'
'Shilpa Didi...' he stammers.
'Phir se bol.'
'Shilpa Didi...' he speaks clearly this time.
Just as Pinky enters the living room with some more wine and cheese, I pat Rohan on the head, shuffle his hair a little too much, n plant a sloppy kiss down on his cheek, while all the while he is squirming. But he doesn't dare wipe it afterwards.
'Mein kaun hu, beta?' I ask, looking him straight in the eyes.
'Shilpa Didi'..he replies and runs away into his room.
Pinky laughs - 'Oh he knows his Mum is old now. He is calling u a Didi. Wait until u get married. then he will call u Aunty.....hahaha'
'No dear, i don't think so...hahaha'
N we continue chattering away late into the night.

No comments: