“Well, you know what Amit did last night, mom?” Vandana was sounding uptight with her brother. She was venting and Reena had to give ear. Reena smoothed the wrinkles in the bedspread, wanting to do the same to the frown between Vandana’s brows.
“He really crossed the line this time.” The hairbrush snapped through her hair as she talked. “Last night I was out with my friend Rocky, we had gone to this place called Fork You at HKV, and I was busy chatting and having a good time…”
“It was also late and we were worried,” said Reena, unable to help herself, “and though we knew you were at HKV we did not know where.”
“But Amit knew, I am always in touch with him, and it was not tha-at late.”
“We tried calling you, but your phone was unavailable.”
“We were sitting at a place where the signal was out of range, simple.”
“Got Dad worried.”
“Ya, so Amit up and comes to pick me up and take me home, is that it? So embarrassing.”
“Good anyways, you got a ride back home without calling a cab.”
“Mom, don’t you understand? I am grown up. Would you send me to check where Amit was and get him home?”
“Yes, if we were concerned about him…”
“But there is a limit, he could have just told Dad where I was.” She flung the hairbrush down.
“Next time, you tell us. You know how your Dad gets. These times are not good, Vandy.”
“Amit should not have popped up there, all big brother like. What must have Rocky thought.”
Reena did not particularly care for Rocky and his thoughts, but she was a smart mom. She kept ’mum’ about such stuff.
“Next time, just keep us in the loop. And you know how elder brothers can be. Amit’s intentions were good.”
“All I am saying is that he should know when to let me be, not crowd me in.”
“He knows, doesn’t he? Dad asked him to find you out.”
“I have to talk to Dad as well. Really, you guys.” She gave an exasperated sigh. “Anyone would think I was a kid of ten.”
“Vandy, you know how Delhi is, no longer a safe place to be out at night.”
“ So I’ll message all of you together, but…”
“That’s about it. Then, after that, let me be, okay? I need to breathe.” Vandana took a deep breath to show how much she needed it. “Like this, mom.”
“Did you talk to Amit?”
“Of course, I am just letting you know. I need my time, my space.” She fixed the clasp on her pearl earring.
“And we give you enough of it,” said Reena.
“Mother, I am making a point here, right?” She fixed the second earring’s clasp.
Reena walked up to Vandana. “Right.” she said. Then put a hand out to softly stroke her daughter’s creased brow.
published 16 June 2013