17 January

We are sitting in the Gold Class lounge at the multiplex. Yes, going to see the movies with So-On is a special occasion. He cannot bear to watch a movie with people talking around him, cell phones ringing, vendors delivering food and drink orders. At least in the Gold Club there aren’t many people, and the risks of annoyance are fewer.

Once, I took Comma along to see a film with So-On. Rather, she insisted on tagging along, because it was a film that she just had to see on that particular day for some particular reason, and there was no way I could refuse her without being very rude. It was terrible for me. Comma being Comma, would munch her popcorn loudly, giggle and whisper asides into my ears. So-On being So-On fumed silently on my other side. I don’t think I saw a single scene in the film. After the film, I rushed Comma away hastily, before So-On mislaid his politeness and set forth to her on Bad Movie Manners. Later, he chewed up my ears over the phone about her ignorance, gaucheness, tackiness.

I felt bad for days after, that I had said nothing in Comma’s defense. But I made sure to keep Comma and So-On in different time and space zones, after that.

There is no one else in the Gold Class lounge except us. So-On is agitated, and his voice has a whine to it that I have never heard before.

So-On: “He just doesn’t care. Basically. They don’t care. I’m so fed up of it all.”

‘He’ being his father, ‘they’ being his parents, and ‘it all’ being the firm.

So-On has had a big row with his father yesterday. After he spoke to me, and a few other friends on the phone, and the printer had not yet been fixed, he decided to call it a day, and left the office. After that, he had been untraceable throughout office hours, as he was at a rehearsal and had switched off his cell phone. The firm had lost a business order of some 1000s or 10,000s or 100.000s of dollars. I forget which. Because he had not been available to sign on some important documents.

And understandably, Uncle had said several unforgivable things about So-On’s theatre activities.  So-On instead of admitting he had been remiss, had taken the opportunity to talk about signing over his rights to his father, for an indefinite period of time while he went to New York to study screenplay writing or drama or theatre production or some such thing. The fact that he was not even sure about what he really wanted to study made matters worse.

It’s a mystery that Uncle did not have a stroke at So-On’s audacity, or that their apartment building did not loosen itself from its foundations with Uncle’s roars of anger.

I wonder if So-On’s mother had maintained her cool unruffled poise while this family drama was underway. Somehow, I cannot see her getting emotional or hysterical whatever the situation. But according to So-On, she is firmly on her husband’s side as far as the New York issue is concerned. She must be aware that Sam is going there, and aware that that is why So-On has suddenly developed an interest in further studies. And so.

I am surprised that So-On’s mother is not more approving of Sam who is so much like her. What kind of a girl will ultimately please her as being eligible for So-On? Will ANY girl please her at all?


2 Comments on “17 January”

  1. dee says:

    Did you use remiss to indicate remorse? That ought to be admitting he had been remiss.

    • Banno says:

      Thanks for the correction, Dee. Have made the change. I’m reading ‘A Suitable Boy’ these days. And for some reason, my mind casts you as Mrs. Mehra, even though I think you are nothing like her. It would be a fun role to play though. 🙂

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