August 4, 2001

rakhi sans the brothers

for the first time in many saturdays, i woke up at 7:30 am. and i had one nice long day….

9:15 am. LP bus stop.
Having waited for the thane bus for over 30 minutes, i decided to take the bus#512 to mulund, which is a slightly longer route. or at least i thought it was!

though the detour proved very time-consuming for me, i enjoyed the ride through the fresh rain-washed areas of sanpada, turbhe market, vashi, kopar khairane, the cidco flyover (at the end of which i discovered a beautiful three-storey architecture — the helen keller institute for the deaf and deaf-blind), ghansoli, airoli, mulund and finally the chek-naka where i had to get off.

as the passengers got off along the way, the ticket collector (or ‘conductor’, that’s what they’re still called) in the bus seemed to get restless about where i had to get off, and asked me at least thrice at intervals of 20 to 30 mins each (the entire journey lasted two hours). finally, at mulund, when the bus was almost empty of all passengers, he picked on the young gentleman sitting next to me.

after asking him to show his ticket, he took him aside and i could hear him uttering some stern words. the boy soon seated himself ahead on another seat. shaking off my curiosity, i got back to observing the busy streets of mulund when i heard the conductor call me again…

i almost told him that if he didnt want me on the bus, i could get off rightaway, when he leaned closer to me and said: “madam, if you feel uncomfortable with someone sitting next to you and doesn’t vacate the seat even when there’s place elsewhere, you must feel free to complain. we’ll see to it that he’s thrown out.”

i could see that there was no point in explaining to the smugly smiling conductor that i did not experience any such problem. he seemed to be stubbornly concerned about my safety.

obviously, my intincts warned me otherwise.

2:00 pm. lunch at chitti’s house
i had woken up with the realisation that this would be my last rakshabandhan here in bombay.

and it was also not going to be one of the happiest. but i guess this had to happen some day. we’re all growing up and (geographically) apart, and rakhi day will never be the same when all of us cousins used to get together at least once a year.

anyways, this year it meant a simple lunch at my chitti’s home and later in the evening, snacks at another aunty’s place. what made me blog this day is something i always observe when women get together in the kitchen. be it mothers, aunts or even you (perhaps in a few years), they just *have* to have a grudge against someone who did not turn up, or, if he or she or they did turn up, why it had to be the way they did.

surely, women must have better things to talk about, better things to share and teach. so do all of them have a gossip tongue that surfaces later in life? which reminds me…what language do men use to gossip?

late after lunch, i was back home browsing through an international magazine. i found it surprising that most non-working women are referred to as house-wives in india, while abroad they’re called home-makers. hmm, big difference.

more of saturday to continue…

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