And the shrill alarm rang at a horribly unearthly hour. Ma AllJazz rolled over, shut her phone with vehemence and slipped right back into her benign dream world. She was rudely woken up again, by what seemed like the retching sound of a week long undigested chicken. As she slowly came to life and as her brain cells powered up, Ma AllJazz discovered that the culprit was her phone, belting out her son's version of music. Perhaps, his way of getting even with her for the previous day's dinner, comprising of a very bitter gourd? Apple of her eye? Blah!!
As gods seemed to be intent on denying her of her beauty sleep, Ma AllJazz decided to indulge herself with a much promised and much delayed morning walk. Her weighing scale had been groaning of late, beseeching her to come back alone! All alone!
After an invigorating Lemon & Mint green tea, she geared up for the task ahead. Sneakers, Goggles, Sun Block, Cap!
A fully loaded Ma, then jauntily set off to the local park. She began to pound the walkway purposefully, testing the limits of her imported deos and barely managed an even breath with her lungs literally hanging out. Mr. Nosey Neighbour walked past, declaring cheekily, "Ho Ho What a shocker! What brings you here so early, on a Saturday morning? A walk in the park or just to see how the Sun looks on a weekend morning?" he laughed at his own dig and carried along, without missing a beat.
A very sullen Ma decided, enough was enough. She needed a wholesome breakfast to soothe her frayed and delicate nerves. Perhaps some stuffed Indian breads washed down with freshly squeezed juice and may be a few roasted dry fruits to round it off! One had to look after one's joints against old age creaks after all! Ma AllJazz reached home in anticipation of a treat. But there was no sight of her maid yet. She searched everywhere, enquired with the neighbours, asked the security guards. No one had seen or heard from the maid. Fearing the inevitable, Ma AllJazz gingerly stepped into the battlefield of a kitchen and reached out for the cutting board. Thundering Typhoons!! She had to fix her own breakfast. Was there no justice in this world? The bell rang sonorously. Ma bounded up to open the door. It was Maid. Thanking her lucky stars inwardly, Ma let go at Maid. "What is your story this time? You knew, I needed to be at work today." Ma stopped midway, wondering if she had overplayed her cards. Maid smirked knowing fully well, she would be pacified later with a cream laden Masala Chai. It was all about power play! Breakfast done, Ma, the teacher, arrived at her school after navigating the mayhem of traffic on so called roads, where everyone seemed to drive with a hand on the horn and a foot on the accelerator.
The agenda of the day was the Parent Teacher meeting. Student after student was chastised, praised, mauled in much flowery language. Ma AllJazz began to enjoy herself. She marveled at how stupidity could be couched in so many veneers and layers. But good times don't last forever, do they? From the corner of her eye, Ma saw Mrs. XXL rolling in. Mrs. XXL seemed to have discovered the colour pink, with vengeance. The various hues of pink seemed to cohabit, in conjunction and in collision, all at the same time, on the very vast canvas of Mrs. XXL. Mrs. XXL overflowed the tiny chair and a heady concoction of roasted garlic and fake Davidoff emanated from her gigantic, bulbous biceps as she crowded Ma to emphasize on her failure as a caring and thoughtful teacher. From then, everything went downhill for Ma. Ma even refused the cold samosa and watery tea brought by the ayah and trudged home wearily, wanting to just tuck into her bed, hoping that her muddling mulchkins would have been sorted by Pa
Pa was at home, trying to complete the weekend crossword with Thesaurus, daughter and Google giving a helping hand, in that order. Daughter gave Ma, a bone crunching hug which kind of dimmed the pain that lay ahead. Ma should have guessed by now. But Ma was a sucker for hugs. Her daughter simply showered Ma with smoochies whenever the situation became slippery. A cursory glance around the war ravaged weekend house was enough to induce a cardiac arrest in Ma. She clutched a chair for support. Son was no where to be seen. Seeing his wife's worn out state, Pa suggested a movie outing at the local mall. Ma readily agreed. After all, what else could be the spoiler?
The mall in question was literally bursting at the seams. Apparently everyone else had had the same idea. After some fervent merry go around, one parking spot was found. But before Pa could manoeuvre his car, another eager beaver swooped in. Much like the good old times, when hankie-tossing was the de facto seat grabbing tactic in a red bus. After exchanging some pleasant, choicest abuses, questioning the antecedents of each other's lineage, they both managed to squeeze park. Ma wanted to disappear into thin air. Ma then prayed for a scratch proof outing. Would Gods be merciful? Only time would tell.
They found three seats in the front row, after coughing up a bomb. As they groped their way to their seats, in the dark, Ma heard a familiar nasal twang. Mrs. Nosey Neighbour cooed, "Oh How nice! Have you come to see the same movie?"
"We are in the same screening hall! Duh!" muttered Ma under her breath. "Our seats are over there. At the back! Centre Corner! Planning you see. I can always depend on my husband to deliver" after uttering such endearing words, she waddled away. Ma suppressed a sob and settled for a neck breaking movie viewing experience. Droning Daughter was kept quiet with a steady supply of munchies which burned a serious hole in Ma's pocket.
Pa decided to assuage his wife's wounded feelings. A gourmet meal priced equivalent to the maid's salary was on the anvil. Ma nodded happily, a perfect ending to a not so perfect day.
After waiting close to an hour, they were shown a tiny table next to the kitchen doors. As they dragged themselves, Mrs. XXL bellowed across the restaurant, drowning the din," Hello dear! Fancy seeing you here. How come? Checking the menu, are we? Or are we seriously planning to eat too!"
Oh these conversation killers! At this point Ma was too tired to say anything. She just went along with the flow. As Ma quietly slipped into her bed, she told herself, "A below average day in an above average life. Tomorrow, hopefully, is going to be a better day. Sabbath! The day even Gods rested. Perhaps Satan would rest too, leaving me alone to cope! Long Live The Law of Averages!" And the daughter came barging in “ I am feeling very unwell. I think I have fever..” Pa? He continued to snore away!