Pregnant Professionals Februaryish.. Amma scrambled to find the right "date" for II's seemandham (Iyer godh bharai) She swerved, as she turned into the 800 Block of Sector 12 almost scraping a parked Octavio Appa had heard from North Block, he had another year left of work, not much in GOI sanctioned consulting was likely to come their way now He had a bunch of other private stuff lined up, but most were going to take an hour or two of commute, NOIDA, East Delhi or Okhla or Gurgaon II was calling multiple times a day asking if they can go check apartments out in Gurgaon
Amma really didnt want her running around in "this condition"
R&B had returned to Paris middle of January against all the wise advise that was given to him by everyone including Mahavir
II had quit talking emailing or chatting with him for atleast a week
Ranjan had tricked her into talking with him by saying "Appa ka phone hai gudiya" one evening when she had woken up from her after work nap
She had fought with Ranjan later, and had not talked with HIM for two days
Not talking and II was like an ethical Indian politician, quite impossible to do
She kept in touch with R&B in short stitled conversations, hanging up under one pretext or the other He couldnt pander to her mood swings since he was really busy.
Amma dialed Sam as she scaled the stairs
"Hi! This is Ishita's mother"
"AUNTY... I have u in my Contacts" teasing
"Umm... hello Samyukta, do u have a minute?"
"Aapke liye to agar time, nahi bhi hoga to ban jaayega" she chuckled Amma imagined the sparkling white neatly arranged teeth
"How is Lasya?"
"She talks too much and sleeps too little" Sam chuckled
"Girl no, she will be like that only"
"No I think she is like her Mami" Sam said with pride
"Yes yes.. our Ishita started talking well before two, she would talk paragraphs when she played make believe, she would hold a book upside down and speak until she turned blue" Amma laughed
"Aunty can u imagine how her lil one will be?"
"I wish its a boy like R&B quiet and composed" Amma sighed
"Nahiii aunty, ekdum chup hai woh, dont know how she lives with him" Sam cringed
"She says she fights a lot and he talks back" Amma reminded
"Woh baat to theek hogi" Sam giggled
"Samyukta I was thinking it will be a good idea to have Ishita's godh bharai at Malai Mandir the first friday in March?"
"Aunteee" Sam squealed "I AM SO GLAD u asked, I was thinking aapko kaise kahoon? Do u mind if we have her godh bharai the same evening at my place?" Sam asked
"Yes yes, why not... u must show her all the Punjabi tradition" Amma smiled
"aunty she struggles to go to work everyday, the house is huge, koi lady nahi hai, idhar bhi nahi aati woh" Sam was sad
"What to do, I took care of Periappa, shouted to 200 kids 8 hours a day and took a bus" Amma put things in perspective
To Sam that was even more horrific
"Aunty" Sam said shocked
"Yes... Uncle worked in Energy Ministry then I think, my mother in law had passed away, Janaki Akka came to help, she left her daughter Lakshmi who was only 6 years old with her in laws and came for a month" Amma explained
"Did u work until the very end?"
" Until my 9th month Samyukta" Amma nodded, pouring her coffee into steel tumblers, took two to the nurse and periappa, sat down with one
"Did u have a direct bus?" Sam asked
"No.. there was a route that via Nehru Place and Khirki gaon and all, I would take three buses to get home to RK Puram Sector 3, Uncle was not Jt Sec then" Amma exhaled
It was a life unheard of, unseen by Bhalla kids
"Selvi's mother worked in my house then, she watched Ishita, I did part time, even if I think about it, it feels like I climbed Mt Everset" Amma laughed self deprecatingly
"Thats why Ishita is so careless about herself?" Sam asked stunned
"No I didnt mean to tattle... I wanted to say, I see her take everything in her stride, raat ke 11 baje she is cleaning the kitchen Dad says
She folds all her laundry, she makes her own beds, she stops by at Sector 1 market or goes to INA after paatu class to pick up veggies"
Amma smiled proudly
"It is good to be active" she said
"Aunty usko kuch bhi karne ki zaroorat nahi" Sam said sadly
"Thats OK Samyukta"
"I feel bad, I have no mother, my brother is so stubborn he went back to Paris, Dad kuch keh nahi paate, she doesnt come here, Aunty I am sorry" Sam began to cry
Amma teared up too
"Dont cry" she said to Sam weakly
"I am sorry if we havent taken good care of Ishita" Sam said genuinely
"what are u saying? She says she gets Chinese, Mexican, American, Greek and Italian food for lunch every day, Vandita did not get those things"
"And her new car... why did they buy her such an expensive car?" Amma was shocked