31 January

After the conversation with So-On yesterday, I am in a mood to accept Comma’s apology.

She peers over my cubicle and coughs. I look up and laugh. Comma laughs too.

Comma: “Sorry about the other day. I guess I was tense about Bhopalwali Aunty. Even though I didn’t want to show it.”

Me: “I’m sorry too. I think I was just exhausted. I’m not used to so much socializing, you know that.”

Comma: “Hmm. You were just overwhelmed by that small town hospitality. You don’t get that in Mumbai, that’s why.”

Me: “No, you do. It’s an insult to Ogre if you say that. But anyway, let’s not argue about that.”

Comma: “Ogre doesn’t count. She’s different. Anyway, I think another problem in Bhopal was that The Prospect and his family bored you.”

Me: “No, they didn’t. Why would they bore me?”

Comma: “Well, they are not as slick as Mumbai people. After all, most of your friends are high-brow, up-market sorts.”

Me: “Why do you have to make me out to be such a snob?”
Comma: “I know you are not. But you can come across as one.”

Me: “I thought this was meant to be an overture to peace.”

Comma: “See? You use these big words. That’s snobbish, too.”

Me: “What’s wrong with you? Why are you fighting with me? Just because you can’t make up your mind about what is the right thing for you?”

Comma: “And you always know what the right thing is, don’t you?”

Me: “Comma, stop behaving like a sour prune.”

Comma: “I’ve never had prunes, since I’m just a small town girl, but I can tell you, you are going sour sooner than me.”

Not only does she make a face while she says this, but she huffs and puffs and sits down heavily on her chair, disappearing from my sight. I feel like laughing, really. She must be very, very tense to pick up a fight with me. That too, one that is so unreasonable.

But I don’t know what I should do to cheer her up. One thing is for sure; I am not going to ask her about The Prospect or her answer to His Proposal until she talks to me about it. Perhaps, I just need to do something to divert her mind from this business of marriage. It has changed her beyond recognition.


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