Ever since this lock down started, we’ve all been looking for reasons to either stay in or step out. The women in my society are all facing the reversed cycle of life: dealing with helicopter kids, as they are now discovering, is no fun after all.
We don’t let our moms step out of the house, so their only access to fresh air is a 45-minute chit chat session on the terrace. As instructed, they all don their masks and gloves and keep their change of clothes handy. I accompany my mother sometimes for these walks, a decision that oscillates between my work commitments and my frustration levels, and the conversations are animatedly fun.
Right from Ramayana’s poor audio quality to which Mahabharata was better and the Krishna Dancing on top of Sheshnag’s head being my cousin, these talks are impassioned and intense. Some of them are slightly hard of hearing so sometimes the questions and answers don’t match, and it doesn’t matter because neither realizes it anyway.
But the favorite topic for all aunties here is DIY. Some have brought out their sewing machines and after the initial help in threading the needle, they’ve decided to move on from altering nighties and making kurtas to sewing masks from old t-shirts. It is so much fun to see them explain the cuts and the trials and errors of their experiments. Then there is my mom and my neighbor. Both have visiting kids, and now the stream of guests has stopped abruptly. Cooking for one person has its perils, when you are conditioned to serve a feast for every single meal. The neighbor sheepishly admitted to me that she enjoys making breakfast for me because the last time she made poha for one, she ended up with more oil and turmeric than she could stomach.
My mom nodded her head in unison, saying she has become more experimental with her cooking ever since I get her the vegetables she’s avoided for years, and there is someone to share the meals. But these two ladies have taken things a few notches higher. Let’s just say Diwali came home a little too soon, and the house smells festive for a while now. If they only stop self-medicating and getting lazy about their own health, they’re the sweetest pandas ever!