Just what i needed to get back to writing. A visit from Mom and Dad.
“Rae, why is there an armchair in the balcony?”
But why is there an armchair in the balcony?”
“Because I like to sit there.”
It took about fifteen minutes to explain that I didn’t like to explain. Ten minutes later I succumbed. I told him that when I found the time, I sat down in my balcony in the evenings with my coffee, surrounded by my little pots of jasmine, tulsi, germanium and mint, staring into September rains, thinking thoughts I shouldn’t, dreaming smaller than I should, romanticising the mundane that my life has decayed into. Quite pleasurable.
He listened to me, an imagination of sorts growing in the space between him and me. Then he frowned, winced and continued.
“I made dosa!”
These were the first words I heard on Sunday. My only weekend off after 3 months of gruelling deadlines, meetings, bad campaigns, dying ideas and senseless headlines on baseless ads, I intended to live my weekend to the fullest – in my sleep. But she made dosa. At 7 a.m.
“Awesome! I’ll wake up and eat, Amma.” I manage.
“IT WILL BECOME COLD!!!!!! EAT AND SLEEP!!!!”
I didn’t fight it. I knew she was only going to get shriller. Plus, she was on holiday, technically. (Yes, vichchoobhai, I’ve gotten more patient with age.)
So I kicked off my sheets and sleepily dragged a foot off the bed. Halfway vertical, my dad walks in.
“AGAIN SLEEPING?? WHY YOU ARE GOING TO BED?????”
“I repaired the fan in our room!”
“There was nothing wrong with it, Dad.”
“No. I changed the capacitor! Now it goes faster!”
“Ok, Daddy. Thanks.”
*move to my room*
*notice my fan*
*it doesn’t work*
“Dad, what’s wrong with my fan?”
“It doesn’t have capacitor.”
Dad loves my cooking, he says. Which the sweetest thing he’s said in 26 years and 4 days.
So I decide to cook him something.
“What do you want for dinner?” I ask.
“Burger!” he chirps.
So I get down to making a list of things I need for our sophisticated family dinner. My mother accompanies me to a supermarket nearby, while I leave my dad, quite hesitantly, at home. I’m sure he was hiding a screwdriver behind his back when he waved us goodbye.
“Do we need this?” she asks, pointing at frozen burger patties.
“No, we don’t, Amma. I’m making them myself”, I proudly reply.
“When you’ll get married?”
The next hour around the aisles is a bit hazy. Between ‘Detergent’ and ‘Dairy Products’, I remember a rhetoric discussion about my darkening lips and unkempt hair which were doing absolutely nothing for my 26 years of age. I was going to end up unmarried and unhappy – an old woman with 17 cats and arthritis and a monthly subscription to Fine Garden and Kids These Days.
But the burgers came out nice.
They’re here another two days. I’m at work and will be, till at least 3 a.m., hoping against hope that she hasn’t rearranged my cupboard, he hasn’t rearranged my furniture, fixed my laptop or attempting to fix my life.
Another two days.
Gonna miss them.