I came out of the building after visiting a friend of my mother. Stepped out and then looked up at the building and its surroundings. A tall 30 floors building, it had everything that I wanted in a house/apartment.
‘Teacher, teacher’, a voice called. It was Dhruv, my student at the kindergarten where I teach. ‘Dhruv’, I said, do you live here. ‘yes’, he said and proceeded to introduce me to all his friends. I spoke and then said ‘Alright Dhruv, I have to go now’.
But he wouldn’t agree and insisted that I just had to meet his mother. I had to go with him, who can argue with a persistent five-year old; not me.
We reached his home on the 15th floor. I was already feeling dizzy. Heights do give me a tizz so what if I am on the lift.
We stepped out of the lift and he pointed towards his home. And I immediately regretted my decision of allowing myself to listen to Dhruv.
A party was in progress. Nonetheless I could not break the little fellow’s heart and followed him in.
‘mamma, mamma’, the little champ called out. A lady came out of the group of dazzling ladies. Yes they were indeed dazzling. The theme I guess was traditional. So all were dressed in sari and diamonds.
‘Hello, I am Kavita’, she said. And I gasped. She had THE perfect figure, manicured fingers, sari draped perfectly, make up all proper. And me… i was dressed in an old salwar suit, hair all dishevelled. Well I had helped aunty clean her kitchen, so how do you suppose I might be looking.
She was pleasant and very humble. Most of the other ladies looked a me as if I belonged to the zoo. After Dhruv finished reciting my bio data I made some excuse and excused myself.
On reaching home, I had a nice bath, moisturized my skin, filed my nails and applied some paint on them. My mother was surprised. But happy that her daughter was taking care of herself.
A couple of days later I was returning home after purchasing some groceries. A lady tapped on my shoulders and said ‘Hi’. It was Kavita.
It was fair that I invite her home. I was feeling conscious. The flat I lived in was bought 20 years back by my father. It had its last paint done about 5 years back. My father was no longer alive and my teacher’s job barely allowed us to survive, so who could think of renovation.
It was obvious that she had time and was in a mood to chat. So I made some tea. ‘This place is homely’, she said, ‘I feel calm and peaceful here’. And suddenly the place started to look heavenly to me. ‘Whats that’, she said,’ Is it for making besan ke laddoo’.
My mother before leaving for her evening walk had fried some besan for making some laddoo. It was the class picnic the next day and I planned to take some for the kids. I told her that.
‘Come lets make some then’, she said. Got up, removed her false nails, washed her nails, sat down cross-legged.
My mother returned half an hour later to see us happily chatting away, our hands busy binding laddoos.