Sakhi was tidying up humming a tune. She was excited, happy and a bit anxious too. Meeting a friend after 20 yrs does make you anxious. Yes, she was meeting her childhood friend Anu after 20 yrs. They had been neighbors in their steel township of Bhilai, had studied in the same school, same Division, same college until finally they had got married and she had landed in Mumbai and Anu in Bhopal. And tomorrow they were meeting at the nearby Mall. She was ecstatic; it was as if a part of her childhood was returning to her. But what is this, she looked at her reflection in the mirror; her hair looked so lackluster, so many wrinkles on her face…….her son Kartik was right, she should regularly visit the saloon. Yes, she thought she just had to visit the saloon early morning tomorrow, else what will Anu think of her. Anu was married into an industrialist family, so naturally she must have kept herself trim and proper. Just then she saw Kartik with his low fit jeans and his jockeys peeping out and she fumed, ‘ Kartik, wear some proper clothes tomorrow and not these ‘types’, what will Anu think if you come in such clothes.’ ‘Come on Maa, what I can do if that small town Behenji doesn’t know about current trends’, was his reply. “How dare you call my friend Behenji and speaking of small towns don’t forget your Maa hails from a small town too.’
Anu had turned her entire suitcase out but still couldn’t find the proper sari to wear. She was meeting Anu after so many years and she wanted to look good. But all she had were these heavy embroidered saris in gaudy colors. Her mother in law never allowed her to wear pastel colors saying that she looked anaemic in them. Sakhi was now a Mumbaikar, so naturally her taste in clothes will be chic, and also being a teacher she might be fluent in English. As for her, she had stopped speaking in English just after her marriage and now she had doubts whether she could speak a single sentence properly. Just then her son Abhishek came inside. ‘Abhi wear that blue jeans and the white Tee tomorrow.’ “but Maa I thought of wearing my check shirt, I feel more comfy in those’ ‘Come on Abhi you are in Mumbai, have some sense of style. You have come to join IIT Mumbai, you will be ragged nicely if you don’t change yourself.’
The tomorrow dawned nice and bright. The husbands were enjoying their wives plight and the sons were confused as to how to react.
They met in the food court. The friends hugged each other and took stock, introductions
were made, after some time, the husbands went to a corner discussing the share market while the sons went to the game zone. And Sakhi said’Kaisi hai?’ and Anu inhaled a deep breathe of relief. And then they started chatting away like they used to do back in the good old days of Bhilai.
‘Sakhi your son is very well mannered and has quite a sense of style.’
‘But your son is so down to earth and so humble and so brilliant too. And you Anu you are looking so good in this orange sari. It suits you well. I remember in college you used to war pastel shades but bright colors suit you very well.’
‘And you Sakhi your skin is absolutely glowing, you have kept yourself very well.’
‘Err, no, actually I wanted to look the best, so had been to the saloon today morning. Where do I get the time to groom myself? ‘
Anu giggled, ‘Sakhi were you anxious about this meeting?’
‘Yes but why are you asking?’
And out came her story about how she had spent hours in selecting a sari, finally selecting one which was the least gaudy, her issues with her son and her inability to converse in English.
Sakhi in turn told her about her concerns and both had a hearty laugh and carried their conversation and friendship forward.
Oh Women and their apprehensions!!!