Kamalini Natesan’s short story is heart-touching in its narrative as she captures the mother-daughter bond beautifully.
Rani removed her old spectacles, replacing them with the new red-rimmed snazzy ones. The mirror image was flattering. Why now, thought the woman, and to what end? Even so, she liked her reflection and almost allowed herself to smile.
Rani then gathered her mother’s old silken scarf, still rather tasteful, and wound it around her neck; the edges fell to her chest, fashionably tattered. Would Maa have approved this look? The wool pricked as if her mother had said something unflattering, as was her wont.
She unbuttoned her blouse, just so, and removed the scarf, replacing it with the sari’s pullav, drawing it across her chest, folded perfectly, revealing and concealing all at once. This was her mother’s wedding sari, the suave sari she had also donned at her own wedding. Had her mother loved her in this sari? Who knew! The woman barely expressed distaste or approval. She only ever spoke to Rani’s husband Biru, who was also long gone. Rani would have to glean beauty or lack of it on her own, and she wished to be done with all of it. Today she would call it a day.