Part - 26
“When I was little, my mother used to talk about someone called Ammani athai”, Padmaja begins while attempting to reduce the volume on the car stereo. Saktivel deftly twists the dial to zero and in the hum of the car's airconditioner, Padmaja continues.
“Ammani athai was my mother's aunt who never married and lived with her brother - my mother's father and his family - until the day she died. Amma would bring up Ammani athai's name whenever she would tell us about the perils of not marrying young and the dangers of growing old lonely. My mother used to say that we all need to get married so we can grow old with someone.”
“We all fear that.”
Padmaja shook her head.
“You see, loneliness has nothing to do with being around people or not. My mother was wrong about Ammani athai. She was old but she was far from lonely.”
Padmaja turns the volume dial so car is filled with sounds from the radio.
“Doctor, if you can drop me off at the next bus stop, I should be able to reach home before it gets too dark. I hope you find the right saree for your daughter-in-law.”
(to be concluded)