“You know what you should do?” my mum broke the silence in the car. We were making our way back home after bhajans at Aunty Nair’s.
“Ask Harvin if she has any nice single girl friend’s of hers. Get to know them, get their numbers and get yourself a nice Punjabi girl friend.”
I hit on the emergency breaks. The car skidded to a halt.
“Hey!!! What you trying to do???” My mum screamed. Her hands gripped tight on the sides of her seat.
I slowly parked the car on the side of the road. Winded up the mirros (we have no air con in our Datsun but i didnt care).
“Okay” I took a deep breath.
“Rule number 1, when I, Sukhbir Singh s/o Kaka Singh, aged 22 years, am driving this blue Datsun 120Y, thee shall not
a) Give THY directions
b) Flail your hands and scream like a maniac “”OWHH NO!! Watch out, there’s a car infront!”
c) Gossip about why the neighbors fought last night
d) Tell me i have put on or dropped weight
I took a deep breath in.
“And! e) Thee shall not tell thy that thy needs to get a Punjabi girlfriend because thy is not interested in any Punjabi girls.”
I looked at her in the eye. She kept her calm and then winded down the mirror.
“Okay okay i won’t. Now drive. So serious..”
“Thank you.” i said as i winded down the mirrors.
“Yes i am.” i snapped back.
Silence again in the car. I drove on.
“But Punjabi girls are good for you, you know.” she said softly.
“Maaaaa!!! What’s with YOU and Punjabi girls?? Do you know how hairy they are??”
“That can always be worked upon. And you’re hairy yourself so what difference does it make.”
“How sure are you I’M hairy?”
“I’m YOUR mother.”
I rolled my eyes. This was getting too embarrassing.
“There’s a motor fella infront, slow down.” she pointed at the motorcyclist at the front.
“Stop telling me what to do.”
“Okay i wont.”
My mum. She drives me nuts.
“Watch there’s – ” i cut her. “I KNOW!”
“With that kind of behaviour no Punjabi girl will ever come for you.”
There was silence again.
“Were you like this when you were young?” i asked her.
“I’m always like this.” she replied confidently.
“I don’t know what Pa saw in you” i muttered under my breath.
“What did you say?”
“I said, “How long more have we got to drive?”” i lied.
“Don’t lie Sonu. I always know when you lie.”
I imitated her, “I always know when you lie”. I rolled my eyes, and focused on the road.
“Yes i do.”
There was silence again. I kept on driving.
“God” she said.
“What God?” i asked.
“It was God.” and she pointed upwards.
I thought for a moment. “Why do you say it’s Him?”
She looked at me, smiled and said, “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. If it’s not. It’s not.”
I didn’t look at her. I didn’t want to show her any trace of emotion. We drove on silently till we reached home.