Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Mothers, Daughters and BFFs



I had been a tomboy my entire childhood. There was not a single game I could not play. Football, cricket, running, skating, you name it and I had to do. I was out with the boys all the time and having match with them, I mostly won.

And it was fun. As far as I was concerned, there was nothing I missed. I was out playing and very far away from homework and other girls, which was exactly where I wanted to be.

Fast forward that to 28 years later, I was astonished to see my daughter Akshaya come home very angry from her school.

"What?," I asked, wondering what could have possibly gone wrong, in the five hours that she was at school.

"I hate Suguna!," Akshaya threw her bag on the sofa with so much force that I was sure she was imagining her bag to be Suguna. You should probably know that Suguna is my daughter's best friend. Or so I believed, until about five hours back.

"What did she do?,'' I asked trying to appear reasonable.

"She wrote a very bad letter, pretending to be me!," Akshaya thundered angrily. There were so many things seemingly wrong in the sentence that even trying to understand it was beyond my capability.

I looked at my daughter wishing that she would explain. My daughter angrily rolled her eyes probably thinking that I was an idiot. But to be honest, I really did not have a clue. Exactly how a six year old could pretend to write another six year old was something beyond my comprehension. And there was the fact that the six year old had written something bad. The definition of 'writing something bad' completely escaped me.

"What did she do?," I bleated again with the genuine hope that my daughter would explain.

"Look at this!," My daughter pulled out a letter from the bag and brandishing it at me like a weapon. I hastily stepped back, thoroughly afraid.

Slowly gathering my courage, I read the letter. Written in a scrawl were:

Dear Sushi,

Anjali is not your best friend.

Akshaya.

I reread the letter, still nothing making sense. I looked at my daughter blankly.

"Sushi found that letter in her bag and she thought I wrote that letter!," My daughter announced in a tone which may as well be the end of the world.

"Why did she think that?," I asked feeling completely out of depth. I vaguely remembered the character Sushi. Another unforgettable gem of a friend, my daughter had.

My daughter looked disgusted with me. I knew that look well. It was the look which meant 'how-can-you-ask-all-the-wrong-questions?'

I thought back hastily as I rephrased my question. "How did you know that Suguna kept the letter in Sushi's bag?,'' My daughter smiled satisfied. Probably she was happy that she had finally made me smart.

Anyway I had no such happiness. My daughter started a very angry tirade. "Today morning, Suguna was looking at me very strangely. That was the reason I knew that this was by her!"

I just missed hitting my head hard on my forehead in frustration, but it had taken one year of practice for not doing that.

"Ok!," I breathed in deeply, because either I was having an irresistible urge to burst out laughing and shouting in a frustrated manner, all at the same time. (How that is possible, I do not know. But that was exactly how I felt) "What did you do?"

"Do you want to know what I did?," My daughter asked her eyes shining with anticipation. I did not try wasting any of my grey cells as I meekly shook my head. "I wrote a letter and put it in Anjali's bag! I wrote 'Dear Anjali, Sushi is not your friend'. And mom I wrote Suguna's name in the end!," My daughter said looking unimaginably proud of herself. "Anjali will think that Suguna wrote that letter, won't she?,'' she continued very happily.

Honestly, I had reached my limit of my poker face. I shook my head in a sagely fashion wondering whether there was anything else. The rest of the evening passed with occasional remarks which my daughter made about Suguna's badness as I nodded my head.

**********

As usual I was waiting for my daughter to come back from home. When I saw her she was still angry. I wondered whether Suguna matter had reached the next level when my daughter threw her bag again on the sofa.

''I hate Anjali," She announced.

I was stunned. ''What happened to Suguna?,'' I asked unable to stop myself.

My daughter looked at me like I was an idiot. ''What about Suguna? She is my best friend!,'' She announced. ''Didn't you hear a single word I was saying?,'' She demanded angrily. ''I was talking about Anjali!,''

*****

I finally heard the entire story. I am not wasting my time and yours telling you about why she hated Anjali. But there was a conversation at the end of it which would probably be interesting.

''You know my life was a lot less complicated, than yours!,'' I told my daughter truthfully.

''That is because you people were a lot silly than us!,'' My daughter said having the last word.

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