One hundred and twenty five could mean just about anything in this world right now.
But for me, one hundred and twenty five is the amount over which my mom and I bonded for the first time in quite a while.
But yesterday something strange happened. I went to the city’s most crowded bazaar with my mom. Where men stare at you as if you are from another planet and women just stare at you to know why men are staring so much.
The calls of ‘Baji, idher ajayen baji-best hai baji-pliss baji-bethen baji’ followed us. All went ignored until that one loud voice made us stop in our tracks.
That one look we exchanged is the only reason why my mum and I haven’t killed each other by now after all the fights we’ve had..
We entered this one dingy 10by10 shop in that crowded street to find ourselves in this familiar place that I last visited years ago, when my mom and I shared more than the to-the-point sentences we usually do now.
The walls had been stained by paan so much that the color seemed natural, seats with barely any cushion left on them, crates of drinks stacked against the wall and two fans buzzing loudly on the ceiling.
This shop was the gali’s best-est-est-est chaat ki dukaan.
Yes, a chaat ki dukaan.
Its funny how a meager 40 rupees chat can make you rethink the way you have felt about your mom in the past 6 years of your teenage life.
Ive always felt that she never understands me and we cant get along much. My dad gets so confused and amused at the same time because some days we’re best friends and on the others, arch enemies.
But here I was, laughing and eating and thinking how right now she was the only person who would’ve stopped to eat here with me without me having to say a single word.
The waiter giving us special attention (which we giggled over because we seemed really ‘hi-fi’ to him), pretending to be aloof of the people staring at while stuffing food in their faces (yeah, here too) and just the fact that we fitted as friends so well made me realize that lavish three course meals or gifts on birthdays and polite conversations about tv shows and movies cant ever replace what we just shared.
I haven’t felt so close to her in a while now and yesterday just made me wonder why I wasted 6 years fighting with her every now and then..
Next year when I fly off to college some thousand miles away the only thing I will miss to death is her.
And the one hundred and twenty five rupees.