Our lives flashed before our eyes.
Ok, so not our whole lives but at least the last 17 days.
The sound of the key in the latch – the welcome sound we have spoken about earlier – had us leap out of the kitchen, where we were sitting patiently as Big Sis got our breakfast ready, and towards the door. We smelt them before we saw them. We reeled in excitement. We were poised for the welcome jig but in that fraction of a second
our lives flashed before our eyes
Mom and Dad were back! We jumped and leaped and whined and barked and complained and reprimanded and sniffed and welcomed without pause. And yet, niggling was the dread. Dad is a pretty cool kind of guy: he doesn’t really yell and scream at us. Mom is a different story. Apocalypse was headed our way.
- The sky would fall on our heads when Mom noticed the cover-less books on the stand in the hallway. It wasn’t our fault, really. If everybody leaves you alone at home and vanishes, you are entitled to a little time off, reading. We actually wanted a taste of just a corner of a book or two but they were all so good that we could not control ourselves. Big Sis was horrified when she and aunt returned from lunch and immediately sent a video to Big Bro in Germany, seeking help.
- The sky and its uncle would fall on our heads when Mom discovered that one of those tasted morsels was a mini-biography of Shammi Kapoor. The man’s delectable and we just licked the cover to pulp. We can understand why Mom loves him so much, but will she understand why the book she has treasured over years no longer has a dreamy Shammi Kapoor looking back at her in a black and white killer look and why the ends of the pages have Gurgaon-roads-style potholes?
- While Dad might give us a sly pat for point two above, we could not bank upon his indulgence for the bed cover. He has this thing about clean bed linen, and Big Sis had failed miserably despite cleaners and powders to remove the muddy paw marks from the bed cover. Our artistic ability, great as it is, could not fully succeed in blending splotches of various shades of brown with the print of the bed cover. The upside is we exposed the truth that no washing machine can undo what we do, notwithstanding what they say on TV.
- Happy martyrdom would be our lot on the one count of getting our own back at that pesky vinegar that Mom has been using as a weapon since we first reached out to you. No Mom, no vinegar. Nothing to protect the dining table and chairs. And because Mom had ditched us, we let her bedside table have it. Big Bro had been rather unkind in not inviting us to his grad ceremony, but we hold no grudges: we did not forget to honour his shoe cabinet.
As Dad and Mom unpacked and talked about their trip, our antennae were only partially tuned in to pick up tit-bits for sharing later. We thought it wiser to keep a safe distance and wait for the moment(s) of reckoning ….