It's Saturday afternoon and I'm back after a stint at Inorbit with my mother. It was my parent's anniversary on the 4th of February. I'd thought of taking my folks out to dinner and that happy film, 'Rann'. They appreciated the thought and promptly made other plans. Oh well. Of what use is the child who you can't take for granted.
In any case, my father is generally easy to buy for when he isn't around. Got him a shirt. It's full-sleeved, with beige and grey stripes, and in my favorite material - linen. (Favorite material on men, actually.)
My mum, on the other hand, is a different story. She loves buying stuff for the house. And then she'd like to buy a house for the stuff. The best gift for her would ideally be a bungalow somewhere or a nice penthouse. But because she has the kind of daughter she has, she's learnt to make do with lesser things.
But I still don't understand the raptures over a stupid centre-table. When we already have one that was hand carved in Belgium, for Christ's sakes! Or wanting a futon when she was gifted a divan made out of sheesham by some odd-ball royalty from Rajasthan. Or craving yet another coffee set when my dad's colleague got her these really beautiful Greek pieces inlaid with gold.
A lot of people scoff at zodiac signs. But if there ever was a cloud burst of Taurean traits, my mum was right there, enjoying the shower. She just has to be surrounded with all those fine and fancy things. And when the rest of us complain exasperatedly, she looks all martyr-like and says , "Oh...it's only to compensate for the kind of family I have." Well, all the existential struggle hasn't dimmed the sarcasm, you can tell.
Anyway, I don't spend much time in the kitchen. I also don't know much about kitchen appliances. But what exactly is the point of a 10,000 buck hand-blender! I vaguely got references to something about that contraption being made of mother-of-pearl...but...hand-blender! If that hand doesn't come attached to a person, I don't see the point. And then, of course, Ma has these irrefutable arguments..."But then I can have juice every day!"
"You can eat the fruit, you know. You're diabetic. You're not supposed to have juice, in the first place."
"At this age! After I've brought you up and all this...you expect me to chew fruit!"
Gasp! What sort of an ungrateful wretch am I?!
Anyway, she tells me to go away (shoos me off is more like it). And while I look at some reasonably priced options, she has snuck in the hand-blender and is paying for it at the counter. "I'll not deprive myself!", she says all sanctimonious, as if I'm telling her that the money for her multi-vitamins will now be used for my car wax. The store-keeper gives me a withering look and we're off.
Finally, I get her a couple of silk-kurtas (which I can tell she's imagining herself wearing while using that blasted blender) and she seems happy.
Now she wants to have some chhole-bhature and gulab jamun and spicy chicken curry. All the things she isn't allowed to have. I'm beginning to think that I mustn't get my mother to Inorbit anymore. I try to distract her by telling her about my new project at work, etc. but she wants to go to Hypercity. That's clearly a bad idea because that means we'll end up with 5 types of custard-powders and a large bottle of fabric softener. Or worse, we'll end up buying endless crates of fruits and milk so that she can have something to blend when we get back. Bad, bad idea!
Against my better judgment, I get her unsweetened lime juice. Then we head home.
My brother has shipped my parents some gifts, which Ma opens with glee. They're beautiful! I wonder when my brother acquired such fine taste in home decor. (He's a Scorpio - and that's a different story!) He's sent a beautiful matching set of coasters, candle-sticks, photo frames, and a clock. Very unusual and elegant...and perfectly suited for our living room. They're dainty, greyish, and made of...wouldn't you know it...mother of pearls. Hmph!
I hope my dad likes the shirt.