“What’s wrong maaji, why do you look so troubled?” she inquired with concern as she walked into granny’s room. The room was bare and had a dull decor, except for a big framed painting of Lord Krishna adorning the wall opposite her bed.
“Nothing bahu…it’s just my joints aching again. Guess I have to get used to it,” replied granny.
“Oh, have you taken your daily dose of pills?” she queried. Granny nodded in affirmation.
“Okay, then let me give you a nice massage, you’ll be fine in no time” Renu offered. Granny nodded yet again, letting out a sigh. Renu skillfully massaged her knees. “How do you feel now maaji?” she asked after a good half an hour of giving her an intensive massage.
” My hands ache too bahu….” granny’s voice trailed off in a sorry tone.
”Oh poor you…give me your hand. My massage should shoo away the aches in no time,” assured Renu kindheartedly.
“Granny, why aren’t you watching your daily dose of Mahabharata on television today?” queried Kanika, her savvy teenage granddaughter as she breezed into the room. She was carrying a few compact discs in her hand. The titles on the compact disc covers indicated that they contained music from latest English chart-busters.
“Kanika…beta, I need to go for my kitty party in sometime. Leela has requested for a half day leave today for some personal reasons. Can you stay with your granny for some time, till I’m back?” questioned Renu.
“Oh..But mom, I need to leave for a party in some time!” groaned Kanika.
“You people go ahead… I’ll be fine. I’ll say my prayers and listen to some devotional music while you’re away,” reassured granny.
“Are you sure Maaji?” Renu asked her with a worried look. Granny nodded. “Fine then, I’ll leave your porridge by your beside so that you do not need to wheel yourself to the dining room,” she added.
Granny patiently waited for each one of them to leave. After being sure that she was alone. She quickly made a phone call. She had thirty minutes to herself before the pizza got delivered. She had ordered it with extra cheese…yummm! She quickly slipped into a slinky short cocktail dress that she had found in Kanika’s room on a hanger. She further helped herself to a touch of bright lipstick and mascara from Kanika’s collection of cosmetics. As soon as the pizza arrived, she poured herself some champagne in a flute from her son’s bar cabinet. She had chilled it in a bucket of ice for a while when she waited for the pizza to arrive. And yes, she was ready! No – wait a minute, she had something important to do. She quickly flipped the Lord Krishna painting on the wall, and lo… she had Tom Cruise looking passionately into her eyes! He had been facing the wall for a long time now, while Lord Krishna had to put up with watching all the drama that granny would enact day in and day out. And hey, her spicy chicken tikka pizza had arrived! With all her might she sunk her dentures into a thick slice oozing of melting cheese and slipped a compact disc into the music player, one of those that Kanika had forgotten in her room in a hurry.
The room boomed with the peppy beats of Lmfao’s:
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, yeah
I’m sexy and I know it!
Granny was spiritedly gyrating to the music, checking herself in the full length mirror across the room as she attempted all the funky dance moves that she had seen on the music videos that Kanika watched on television. The fact that Tom Cruise was watching her perform gave her cheap thrills! This was her way of letting her hair down on the rare occasions when she was lucky enough to be left alone.
You might wonder why she would act handicapped and helpless on other days. Well, you see granny learnt her lesson the hard way. A few years back when she appeared hale and hearty to people, she was the one who was automatically designated the responsibility of being the caretaker for everyone. She was expected to cook her special delicacies all the time because no one cooked them like her – according to people. Often their house would be swarming with hordes of family friends and relatives who were invited for feasts, just to show off how well granny cooked. Poor granny had no choice but to silently suffer and sweat it out in the kitchen since she would not want to upset her children. She would also have to baby-sit her grandchildren when they were much younger and her daughter-in-law would go out for her kitty parties and social dos frequently. The house would be in a mess if granny wouldn’t volunteer to clean it or supervise the daily help to maintain the house. She had done enough for others till her husband was alive and still continued to put everybody’s needs before hers. Granny wished to put up her feet and relax for the rest of her life…do things that she wished to do for herself. But alas…her children never would understand that side of her!
A few years ago she had once slipped in the washroom and had hurt herself badly. She was advised complete bed-rest for a few days. Her diabetes had also worsened. After few days even though she had recovered, she continued an act of being down with her aches and other health issues, as though she had never recovered. She cheated on the pills and threw them out slyly, and remained confined to the wheelchair. Because, she had realized by then the advantages of acting ill, handicapped and feeble. Not only did she get her much deserved rest and other perks like a dedicated caretaker at her beck and call, but she also got a V.I.P treatment…like the massage she got from her daughter-in-law today!
Another twenty minutes to go before which she would have to change into her drab sari. Flush the bland porridge down the drain. It was time to send the suave Tom Cruise back to facing the wall and get her confidante, Lord Krishna, smiling naughtily… facing her yet again. She would have to wipe out all the signs of her wild party before the others arrived. Sit on her wheelchair rolling her chanting beads between her fingers and watch that day’s episode of Mahabharata. Yawn…
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