28 January

Me: “I still don’t think you should have lied to your aunt. It’s not right, Comma.”

Comma: “Maybe. Anyway, I know she’ll be on the phone all day today, calling up my parents, calling up my entire family, and speculating about what I was doing in Bhopal. I wonder what kept her from doing it while we were there.”

Me: “Maybe she’s not as mean as you think she is.”

Comma: “It’s not about being mean. It’s just the way relatives are. They think they have a right to know everything about your life, especially if you are a woman, and especially a young woman, and especially an unmarried woman.”

Me: “Ogre is not like that.”

Comma: “She’s an exception. But you don’t have hordes of relatives the way I do.”

Me: “So what, now?”

Comma: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Why did we go all the way to Bhopal? You didn’t know when you were in Mumbai, and you don’t know even now.”

Comma: “So? Should I make up my mind quickly just to satisfy your urge for prompt answers?”

Me: “It’s not about me. It’s just that I don’t understand. You fawn all over The Prospect while you are with him, and flirt shamelessly. And then, when it comes to The Proposal, you still don’t know.”

Comma: “So what do you recommend? That I sit all glum and morose like you in male company? I like talking and laughing, AND flirting with the opposite sex. Does that mean I should get married? What a prude you are!”

Me: “Thanks. I don’t know why I am being subjected to these insults from you. And I don’t even know why you took me along with you, since you obviously hate talking about your plans with me.”

Comma: “I don’t know either why you came along, since you were not the least bit interested in The Prospect or his family. And you made absolutely no effort to get to know them.”

I gasp at her meanness, and burst out: “You just needed me as a foil for your aunt, didn’t you?”

Comma nods curtly and said: “Yes, you’ve got it right, finally.”

All this in hissed undertones in a vain attempt to preclude the ears of a benevolent looking old man sitting next to me on the aisle seat. Perhaps we are just tired after 2 hectic days of wining, dining and lying. I don’t know why we are fighting, but I can’t wait for the flight to land in Mumbai, to be back home. Comma and I pick up our bags in silence, wait in the rickshaw queue in silence, and take separate rickshaws to our separate homes, glad to be rid of each other, for the time being.


5 Comments on “28 January”

  1. dipali says:

    Loving the story. The tension is building up. Can’t wait for tomorrow and the next chapter:)

    • Banno says:

      Thanks, Dipali. I’m glad you are finding it a good read. And thanks for pushing me into posting this every day. 🙂

  2. desi-at-large says:

    Comma has such a sense of entitlement. I think we’re all like this, except in varying degrees.

    • Banno says:

      I love Comma’s sense of being who she is. I don’t know about you, but I am more uncertain. Though I think I was more sure of myself when I was younger.

      • desi-at-large says:

        What I meant was how Comma expects the world should be at her beck and call – Appi should think or expect nothng for her acts of friendship.
        Having been at the receiving end similarly (and still not having learnt my lessons), this conversation touched a `dukhti rug’ for me.
        As for my sense of certainty, maybe a couple decades ago, I was a little sure of myself but yes, with age, it has definitely been on the wane.

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