Am I a funny person no I am not. I wish I were. At max you say I have a weird sense of humour. But that could be because my brain oscillates between dysfunction and Alzheimer. If I was in the period of the crusades I would be the fool of the court. Only redeeming factor seems that there were no women fools, or do I say women were not fools?
Wisdom words say people I feel drawn to reflect my inner self, my best friend is a riot. She has to speak and we are laughing holding our sides yet I am as serious as an owl with well…. not parliamentary.
After so many years of opposites attracts and likes repel I am told like attracts like. I would feel drawn to people who mirror who we are. If this is not warning bells believe me nothing is.
As I was lost in this profound intellectual voyage, the door bell rang.
“Paro, I made some chocolate cake”
Here is everyone’s aunt Agatha in person
Now I am forced to invite her in. Offer her tea, so on and so forth, ”haa, how did the chakuli you made yesterday turn out.”
I wondered how she figured that I made chakuli, something fried, yes probably she smelt the oil.
I kept blinking,”You know Ameena was carrying that mould so I knew that you must be making chakuli.”
If this was not a direct hint, I well I wouldn’t know any.
I brought out the chakuli, while Aunt Agatha settled herself in. Feet drawn up on to my settee’ I had visions of the army of ants marching up my cushions where she had wiped the cake crumbs off her fingers.
“Paro, see those houses across, Anita there is having an affair with the inverter service man”
Here I am mentally cleaning my cushion, calculating the drycleaners bill, “Who?”
“Anita, that overdressed woman in the house across.”
“but she is always in shorts, so how overdressed?”
“Not over clothed, over dressed, there is a difference. She wears those pink shorts with pale blue lace peaking out, then the to match alter batik tops, that is a loud invitation.”
Purred Aunt Agatha, who is by the way hitting 75, and wears colour coordinated clothes today’s is a beige Capri, (with beige lace at the hem) beige “batik kurti” burnished gold ear drops. Wrist watch and a mobile pouch to match. Oh! Don’t miss the beige home wear loafers.
“Oh but how do you know who it is,”
“Paro, for a medical college professor sometimes you are so innocent, her husband is of course on the ship.”
“Yes,” the dots still didn’t connect. “But why the inverter guy?”
“Well you know his car is forever in front of her house! If I send him a call when he is around he still takes half an hour to attend.”
‘Oh!’ was all that I could manage. Not wanting to know how she knew that the car was there all day.
“Do you know John upstairs is a smuggler?”
Despite the facts that the dots didn’t connect, and I should ask her the source of her information, she declared “I have proof he went to Kerala.”
Wow what diagnosis. But the Jones triad not met…
“You saw him too, when he returned”
With images of the newspaper headlines screaming, “Drug pedlar caught in Bambalim,” and the screenplay of the futuristic drama unfolding in front of me, I looked at Agatha,
“I saw you come out to the balcony, something you don’t normally do, I mean not the front one, you read sitting on the one attached to the bedroom. I did wonder if you were fine, that’s when John walked in; actually I think you did talk to him too.”
All this, fine, but I still didn’t figure out how John and smuggling could match up. Unable to contain myself I finally asked her,
“Agatha, how do you know what he smuggles?”
“This is Goa, and he goes to Kerala every month” the dots don’t connect.
She must have sensed my lost look, “you get drugs cheap in Kerala, and they are more expensive in goad where the market is high. So it makes sense.”
“No doesn’t” I thought rebelliously and turned to ask her the more fundamental question, “he goes to Kerala for the monthly retreat, anyway how you know that he is a smuggler at all.”
“Paro, it is so clear, the man goes out every evening at 7.30”I endorse it, his driver honks the peace out my existence for about 10mnts every day.
“He returns at about 11, WITHOUT the briefcase, so where did the briefcase go?”
With the anticlimax, I breathe normally finally and Aunt Agatha looked so triumphant.
“And he smokes, I don’t mean tobacco” she said with finality,”I used to smoke so I know how tobacco smells and this is not tobacco!”
“Men, they don’t like women spending time with their women friends, take care deary and do be careful, you tending to the plants at the balcony at the time John comes from his morning shift might get people talking.”
HELP! This Hagno laps gossip.