Ami was very busy that morning. Two of her cousins were coming over with their families for dinner. Ami loved cooking and she always loved to pamper her guests, as much as possible, with their choice of food. She just readied the baked vegetables when her phone rang. It was Anahita, her daughter working abroad. With a smile she took the call and put it on the speaker as she continued with her work.
“Hi Mom, are you busy?”Anahita’s voice filled Ami with a sweet warmth.
“Yes Ana, I am a bit busy but tell me, how come you’re calling at this time?You’d be at work no? All well?”asked Ami.
“Ya ya all well Mom. I’ve called you just now for a reason. Do you remember Ishita, my friend from college?” asked Anahita expectantly.
“Yes Ana, I do remember Ishita. She was the one with long, beautiful hair and she had a very strong opinion on almost everything, right? What about her?”Ami replied.
“Well she is working with ‘She’, the leading brand in lingerie.She is doing a survey and is interviewing people across segments/age groups. She mailed me asking if she can come to you for a short interview. She wants you to cover her middle age group segment. Will that be fine Mom?” said Anahita.
“Ana sweetie, what will I answer on lingerie? You know I don’t have much idea about all this. Let me be na,” Ami pleaded but Anahita was adamant.
“Mom, don’t be a spoil sport please. Ishita will call you to fix a time of convenience. I am rushing back to work. Love you, Mom. Bye!”
The phone got disconnected. Ami got back to making the chicken roast. First things needed to be tended to first.
According to the appointment fixed, Ishita rang the door bell on Sunday afternoon. Ami greeted her with a warm hug and ushered her in. They got talking. Ishita was always easy to talk to. She kept filling Ami with all that she did in the past few years, after college. Then came the questionnaire. Ami really was a bit skeptical about her knowledge on the subject. She started with her questions and Ami answered them to the best of her capabilities. She was wondering at the back of her mind, if she would be reflecting her daughter, through her knowledge, in any way. Ishita asked her questions like her perception of the topic, how important the product was to her, how would she connect it to sensuality, sex, beauty, confidence, etc. etc. Then she asked Ami the difference between ‘being cool’ and ‘being hot’. Ishita smiled involuntarily at Ami when she said that the former was related to one’s attitude where as the latter to one’s appearance. Probably, she did not expect the answer from a middle class, middle aged woman like Ami. Ami was sort of enjoying herself now and the apprehensions were something of the past. She had never thought that she would be able to answer all her questions. She felt relieved.
Ishita spent time chatting with Ami. Then thanking her she said, “I really enjoyed the afternoon with you Aunty. In fact, I used to love those discussions that we had with you, when we were in college. In my heart I would envy Anahita , for having such a parent with whom she could talk about anything, that most of the children would not dream of doing. I remember clearly how she would argue with you on something that you did not agree to, with her and how patiently and for how long you would keep on trying to explain your point of view to us, without losing your temper. All that is so fresh in my mind that I wanted to do this interview with you. Thank you so much Aunty and I must say you are indeed one of the coolest moms that I’ve known.” After a hug, she left.
In the evening the phone rang. Ami picked up the phone.
“Mom, you are so cool! Ishita is so impressed with your knowledge on this subject. Where did you know all this from?”chirped Anahita.
Ami felt at the top of the world. Her daughter had passed her.
‘A merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’ mom” wished Anahita.
‘ A merry merry Christmas and a very happy New Year’ to you too sweetheart” said Ami.