Mummy does a Vanishing Act
Mummy was all of 4’8” tall. That should be more like ‘short’ than tall, but for all her pint-size stature she packed a giant image and not once did I ever perceive her as short, as long as I was a kid.
Mummy got tickled very easily. Even the silliest of jokes would get her in splits. And so it was only natural that any kind of goof-up, even some one tripping and falling or tumbling would make her laugh first and help later. She always helped, with tears rolling down her cheeks….well so what if they were squeezed out by laughter! So it only stands to reason that all of us kids also have the same foible. I wonder if foibles are contagious! Let’s not digress and get along with the tale.
So this happened in Delhi. We were in Moti Bagh. One day we decided to take the short-cut to the taxi stand. Jasper and I were walking ahead and as we came to the rather wide and deep gutter, which thankfully isn’t there today, we jumped over it effortlessly, without interrupting our conversation. A few steps later, I turned to look for Mummy and she was nowhere to be seen. In typical little girl fashion I panicked. Where had she vanished? Kidnapped!
We ran back and there getting up inside the gutter was our mother. The relief had a huge comic effect to it and I burst out laughing. Jasper, the good old soul that he is, stopped his mirth to stoop to give her a hand up.
“Stupid tailor,” she grumbled, “stitched my petticoat so narrow, I couldn’t span the width of the gutter.”
The sermon I got did not rankle but it did prompt me to retort that she laughed too whenever I fell, but I didn’t mind since I laughed too, harder than any one else. However, the sermon served its purpose eventually, as I don’t find it funny when some one falls any more. Maybe later, when one is brushed and dusted, and no physical or egoistic injuries have been sustained, a little laughter is ok.