living in, moving out
shanta, my “live-in” moved out today. nothing short of a “mujhe meri maa chahiye…” “bete!! main tumhare bina nahin reh sakti.” and “mere voh (repenting, reformed hubby) mujhe vaapas bulaa raha hai.”
here’s what happened. her son had long run away from home and returned and run away again and returned, this time with her daughter who was also acting up. so shanta had taken time off to go leave them at her mom’s. she returned and things went south within the hour. i was sitting and trying to figure out some stuff when shanta suddenly piped in, “i’ll go down and meet prema.” not suspecting anything at all, i said ok. within a minute security calls and tells me shanta’s hubby was waiting for her. my first reaction was to protect shanta… but silly me. as i rushed to the window, i saw her walk out the gates and stand chatting with the said hubby. wasn’t this the man she was afraid of? obviously not any more. 25 minutes later she comes back and tells me “prema’s sister’s husband came looking for prema, so i went to talk to him.” was there anyone else, i queried. “his friend.” i told her what security said. her face was a picture of fright and tongue-tied confusion. she was obviously lying. “i’ll leave,” she volunteered.
go, let me not stand in your way. no, not on the 25th… today. take your salary and take care of your life.
and so i’m without ‘help.’ prema still comes in to clean… at least i hope so! in some ways, many ways, her chattery, capable, transparent self is a welcome relief to the quiet, lying (i find out today) skulking ways of shanta. i shouldnt be too harsh on her tho. she wasnt bad, until she was bad… know what i mean…? like the girl with the curl?
and then i get this call on my cell from bihar (or was it belgaum?) “hallooo? aap kaun?” excuse me. you called me. who do you want? “nahin, aap kaun bol rahe hain.” ok, i was not going to give up so easily. i was in a fiesty mood today. listen. you called, what number did you want? you’ve obviously gotten a wrong one. turns out not. 9886613881. oops. ok, who are you? “aapko second hand SIM card mila hai. i lost mine a year ago.” then why are you calling me now? “where are you?” the voice queried. bangalore. “bunglaur? baap re. card bunglaur kaise pahunch gaya?” beats me. i’ve had it for the past 3 months now, sir, thank you. “achcha. ok. sorry.” the voice tried calling me once more, but the ambient noise of the mall i was in drowned it out. anyways, i was not in the mood for any more disembodied voices laying claim to my property. grrr. of course, i wondered if the great driver ramesh had done his own share of hanky panky and bought a second hand SIM for me at first hand SIM prices. i asked him, he denied it, offering an explanation fo hutch recycling numbers of lost SIM cards. to believe or not to believe?
what a day. suddenly the relative isolation of a chandler home with gently lapping lake waves sounds soooo inviting. ashu, are you reading this?