It’s been a long long while since I last thought of Mrs Tandon who always wore a saree and used her blouse as a pocket to keep her wallet.
It was raining when she died. Very few people were present at her funeral as I recall, I expected the whole town to turn in because she was such a social butterfly, but my mother many years later explained how she was a mad hatter and not much of what she spoke made sense to anyone (except a 7 year old me).
I remember her making perfect sense to me when she helped me buy a milk packet from the confectionery to feed a few stray puppies. I wasn’t allowed to bring home the puppies or Aunty Tondon, puppies were more cute though and I could easily sneak one in my school bag. Never thought I could smuggle a over 85kg lady in it! Estimation made sense even then.
She had the most loudest of laughs which could be heard as far as six blocks and one could easily spot the black tooth which looked like a witch from those Disney movies but wasn’t as well fixed and always threatened to fall as her belly wobbled from laughter!
She would tie her saree in a manner that could hardly be called graceful. But it was tied in an exceptionally convenient way to walk across the hill roads and climb stares without falling off. Half here bosom and more than half her wobbling stomach was always visible to the naked eye and I am not sure if I ever heard her complain about eve teasing even with that amount of skin exposed. It gave me the notation that it was okay to wear what you wear if it’s convenient and comfortable, society doesn’t mind that!
Today while I was walking home from the town market I crossed her house. It looked dilapidated, vacant and unhappy. It started raining as I stood there watching the building, waiting for Mrs Tandon to come out yelling at the cobwebs and cursing the gods for making her porch wet.