Mummy found Pakhi in a solemn mood, she tried to probe but the only answer she got was that Sheetal had joined the singing classes. But she couldn’t understand what the problem was, she knew Sheetal Dasgupta was the local industrialist’s daughter but what happened if she joined the classes, she wondered.
In the coming days Pakhi got disinterested in the classes to the point that mummy had to literally push her out of the house. One day she found her daughter in front of the mirror modeling. She had pulled her skirt high up so that it reached just above her knees and the T-shirt off her shoulder so that it looked like an off shoulder top. “Hmmm, my daughter is growing up” thought Aanchal, “it won’t be long before we will be discussing clothes and…boys”, she thought gaily.
But the next day found she found Pakhi in tears, “what happened Darling.” She said. “its Sheetal, ma”. “What did she do”, asked her mother. “Nothing but she always wears such fab clothes and me the same 5-6 outfits. You know her dresses are so good, all bought from INFINITY.” Infinity was a designer store for young ladies. “And she always brags about the dinners she has in different restaurants, I feel so inferior, Mummy”. So this is the problem thought Aanchal. My daughter is growing up and is discovering the world and the worldly pursuits she thought. How do I make her understand that we are middle class and can’t afford such luxuries?
That evening she said to her husband, “Hey Rahul why don’t we go to the Bistro on Saturday” “Bistro, Aanchal do you know how much a single bowl of soup costs there”, her husband enquired. “Yes I do but…” “But what”, Asked Rahul. And out poured Pakhis woes. “Oh so you want to please Pakhi. But I don’t think its right Aanchal. We might placate her a little by taking her to some fancy restaurant but she has to understand that we can’t afford it. Not now at least when she is confused. Let her understand the class differences in her own way then maybe one day we will take her to the Bistro but not now.” “Alright but let us get at least an outfit from INFINITY, just to make her happy”, Aanchal pleaded. “No. If we fulfill this wish she will feel that we can fulfill all her expectations which in reality we can’t. Aanchal she has to know the difference between wishes and reality.” “OK” murmured Mummy; she didn’t agree with her husband’s logic but decided to keep mum for peace’s sake.
Some days later Aanchal had packed Pakhis favorite Aloo parathas in her Tiffin box. Caught between her husbands ideologies and her daughters wishes, she was trying in her own ways to please Pakhi. During the interval Sheetal came and sat next to Pakhi and said “may I sit here” and proceeded to ask her,” what have u brought. Oh aloo parathas, yummy I just love aloo parathas. Can I have some”. “Sure” Said Pakhi. “Hey your cook cooks real nice” said she. “Cook? But these are made by my mummy” Said Pakhi. “Your mummy cooks?” Asked Sheetal. “Yes”, replied Pakhi,”your mom doesn’t”. “No” said Sheetal and proceeded to tell that her mom was busy doing charity work, attending parties to raise funds for some or the other social cause, how her cook cooked and her maid helped her with dressing up etc and her tuition teacher who helped with her studies. How she met her father rarely and her mother on weekends when they went out for lunches and shopping. And in turn Pakhi told her about her family how they did all chores together, how they did gardening and played scrabble and in the end Sheetal remarked, “You are one lucky girl Pakhi” which made her very happy.
Evening mummy found Pakhi joyfully playing with her friends as soon as she saw her she came sprinting and hugged her and immediately proceeded to tell her what had happened at school. Then Aanchal gave her a surprise; a pretty denim skirt and pink off shoulders top, “not Infinity dear but..” “But this is just fab mummy just wonderful. I LOVE YOU” and off she ran to try the new dress.
So this hurdle is crossed, thought Rahul, what is up next?