My friend Rashi writes syndicated columns for several publications. Rashi is overbooked second half of every year, as festival season hits India.
“This is the busiest time of the year for me mother, don’t ask me to go anywhere,” Rashi said without looking up from her computer screen.”
I could hear Rashi’s voice climbing the stairs. Rashi had managed to convince her family and took possession of a room on the roof top of their family home. Such a room is called a barsati in localese. Both Rashi and her younger brother had eyed the room. Rashi, being an earning member, had beaten her brother to the game, with the argument,
“I need open air; ideas do not come in a closed environemnt.”
Family members were aware that Rashi smoked and occasionally drank, too. It was better she did what she did in the privacy of her barsati, and not in public. Elders need not see and therefore need neither frown nor feel awkward.
“Some of the perks for being financially and professionally independent!”
“You are always busy, beta. When do you ever find time for your family? Some time it is writer’s conference, sometime bloggers meet, now it is festive season. You have to make time for social events too.”
“Don’t waste my time, mother, I am working against deadline. I cannot give time to lord Yama now. Cousin’s family function is much lower priority. If possible send some chai and snacks.”
“Yes aunti ji, make it for two; Well Rashi why don’t you listen to your mother?”
I said entering Rashi’s barsati, almost an independent unit with an attached a bathroom and an airconditioner. Again, the privacy and independence card played, well.
“What do you want yaar? I have deadline to meet. Don’t
have time to waste.”
Rashi was not in a pleasant mood. Her room was scattered with drafts of unfinished writeups discarded as paper balls. A white colored ice box was lying on the floor.
“Up all night, not getting anything right.”
Rashi used her black clip to bring some order to her untidy hair.
“Why your car key on the floor?”
“Been busy, no time to organise my stuff.”
“What is the problem Rashi? Can I help?”
“Yaar, not able to conclude my article. Deadline is by lunch today,” Rashi lit a cigarette, “On top of everything, my mother wants to take me to socials to meet men?”
“Which story? What theme?”
“Any story, for that matter any theme. Say left vs. right intolerance, left violence vs. right vigilantism, flood in Kerala or legalizing Gay sex.”
“Why? Give a balanced view;”
“No yaar! This is festive season. A balanced view is too bland. My editor demands a clear villain and a good hero”
Rashi took a drag of her cigarette. I really need my sanity,
“why dont you go with my mother?”
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