Some day, some time
‘You never know when we’ll need it. Don’t throw it away’, said the mother.
‘When would you ever need an old umbrella held together by a string and safety pins?’, asked her young daughter who had launched herself into cleaning their home on a Sunday morning.
‘What if we had a sudden downpour?’
‘Amma, we’ve not had seasonal rains in three years. Forget sudden downpours.’
‘But what if it rained suddenly and I had to go out to buy some food?’
‘We’d just order food by telephone’
‘But what if the rains brought down a big tree and it fell on our telephone lines and our telephones went dead?’
‘Then we’d just borrow some from our neighbours’
‘But what if they had run out of food and cannot spare us any?’
‘Then we’d just get wet going out to buy some food. Now throw away the umbrella, will you?’
The mother nodded but put it away behind her sarees in the cupboard. So when it did rain one unusual March morning and there was nothing left in the fridge and the neighbours were away on holiday, she went out to the market. The tattered old umbrella tucked under her arm.