Usha’s shawl

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Usha and Varkey are our best friends.

Actually they are my husband’s classmates & best friends. Husband’s friends do not mean that their Chemistry should click with mine. But this couple became my close friends too.

A Karnataka girl so fluent in Malayalam, you will never see in your life that is Usha! Both Usha & I are not fair, may be that’s why our frequencies synchronized. We understood each other very well. We didn’t have to explain too much about anything. We understood!

Even if it is only for few days, when we visited India, we tried to see each other. Last year, when we were just passing by, we stopped for half an hour at Varkey’s.

They were just finishing the evening clinic, when we walked in. I was in typical Kerala style, Saree, matching Blouse, Hair put up and so on…

The Temperature was in 90’s. I started to sweat once I was out of the Air-conditioned Car. There was a surprised look on Usha’s face, when she saw my attire. Our relationship is so straight forward, we didn’t need any formalities to start our conversation. Usha was very casual  in pants & top.

Usha asked me.

“Why are you wearing this heavy Saree in a hot day like this? Why don’t you wear pants or salvar?”

I know… I am trying to be modest. I am suffering. I couldn’t stand the heat & humidity.

“Oh, I can’t help it. Once I land in Kerala, I go back to my old self. Also my elder brother once told me that here in Kerala after certain age women from good families don’t wear Salvar! So here I am, sweating in this attire!”, I was very honest.

“Come on! You just came from US and I know that it is very cold there in US at this time of the year and this hot & humid weather will be too hot for you. I don’t know how you can stand this humidity!”, Usha was concerned!

I didn’t have any thing else to say. I go back to my old self when I come back to my native place. I can’t help it.

Usha was wearing a simple top with a Pant.

“Do you know something? Something really funny happened to me.” Usha started.

“I went to buy some Kurta from the Mall . I saw few which I like. I was looking for some shawls to match with the two Kurtas I liked most. But I couldn’t find any. One young sales person was with me trying to help me to find the shawls. He may be in his early twenties. He was some what handsome too. He tried his best to find what I am looking for. But all in vein! So I decided not to buy any, since there was no matching shawl to go with the Kurtas.”

“I was almost going to walk out of the shop. The Sales boy looked at my face. He wanted to say something before I left. So I stopped.”

He said,

“Madam, how old are you? I know it is rude to ask a lady the age, still… ”, he stopped in the middle.

I am not that sensitive about it, so I told him. “I am in my sixties”

“See, Madam, just looking at your face people know which age group you are, then why should they bother to look at you further down…?”

“You don’t need a shawl Madam. Those Kurtas fit quite well.” He added.

“I walked back to the store and bought both Kurtas. This is one of them”, Usha showed what she was wearing…


That was a good story. It made me understand my vanities. I stopped looking for shawls! Who cares what I wear? I am in my sixties! LOL. That salesperson’s words were kind of rude to swallow, but too sweet to spit out!

It reminded me of something which happened in my life.

I was in my early thirties. That day I didn’t have to wake up early as I usually do to go to work, since it was a public holiday. But my husband had work. So he got up early.

He didn’t bother to wake me up for coffee, since the automatic Coffee Machine I set up yesterday night was punctual in brewing the coffee. He took shower and got dressed. I was half asleep, when he gave the usual peck on my cheek. (That was an unwritten agreement between us, who ever leaves first, should give a kiss to the other before leaving.)

I told my husband from my sleep,

“Don’t forget to lock the front door and back door when you leave. Don’t forget, when you leave in a hurry.”

“I am alone and sleeping… If somebody comes in, I will not know. Yesterday, I heard over the radio that somebody was raped in a nearby town, when the woman was alone in the house.”

He gave me a peck again and said,

“Don’t worry too much. Who will come to rape you, other than me?”

I threw my pillow at him. He took his car keys and ran out laughing…

Oh my God! It is something I can’t prove and I don’t want it to be proved either.

I laughed a lot. Whenever I think about this episode, it brings a smile to my face.

Too sweet to spit out, too sour to swallow! But I liked it.

I have told this joke to my very close friends at different times. Only once, after hearing the joke, one young girl asked me…

“How can you let him put you down like that?”

I was speechless!










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