I was reading some of Dhir’s forgetfulness in one of his blogs and there was this blog which mentioned how he once forgot his wife…….. you can read the same here . I really wanted to comment on that but my comment was a long one so I just linked this post to his and dedicated a post to this topic.
This incident happened a long time ago with Ma and mashi (maternal Aunt). This incident is so funny and even now years later……. almost 45 years……… everyone in the family laugh at the mention of it……. including me!!!
This happened before Ma’s marriage to Dad. Ma’s paternal aunt (Pishi) was a widow and lived with them. She had become a widow at a very young age (people used to get married very early in life then…… refer to Ballika Badhu in Colors channel). When this incident happened, she was around her 70’s and had lost all her teeth. She was usually clad in a white dhoti cloth….. which was a dressing norm of widows at that time.
Ma’s Paternal aunt wanted to go to the take a dip at the Ganges for the Gangasagar snaan Jatra. Gangasagar Snaan Jatra is basically a festival that takes place at the time of Makar Sankranti when people take a dip at the holy ganges…… something like the Kumbhmela. Lots and lots of people gather in hordes to take a dip in the Ganga at at particular auspicious time.
After a lot of consultation, Ma and mashi (maternal aunt) were designated as her companions. They left early to avoid the rush. When they reached, there were already a lot of people there. In fear of getting lost they decided to hold hands of their Paternal aunt (Pishi) lest she got lost.
Amidst all the crowds it was very easy to get lost and their Paternal aunt (Pishi) did not know her way back….. so ma and mashi were very cautious and never left her hand. They went in the waters of the Ganga together. Paternal aunt (Pishi) started saying her prayers and that took a long time for the whole thing to take place. It started becoming dark and the duo started losing their cool and started telling Pishi to hurry else they would miss the bus back.
Suddenly there was a huge influx of people who were travelling in a group who came between them and they lost Pishi!!!! Ma and mashi were totally terrified. They could not go home without her. It was getting dark and they were getting petrified. They looked for her everywhere……. but they could not find her amidst the hordes of people. It was hours and very dark when they finally saw Pishi already in the bus.
They were very happy that at last they had found her. At that time mashi noted that the bus was a wrong one. She panicked and started calling out “Pishi neme poro” (Pishi get down). Pishi said something which they could not hear. Then Mashi and ma marched into the bus and started yelling “Pishi neme poro bolchi”……. (Pishi get down I tell you) Pishi started crying and said that she would not get down. Now both of them were very agitated and dragged crying Pishi from the bus just in the nick of the time before the bus started and left.
When they alighted from the bus with Pishi they heard announcements of their names. The administration was calling them and asking them to collect their elderly relative who was waiting there in their office. They were totally disgusted with Pishi thinking that Pishi had made those people announce for them and then very conveniently went and sat in the bus. It was very dark and when they reached the temporary office of the administration where the announcements were being made. There in the light of the hurricanes they saw their Pishi waiting for them!!!
They were totally aghast!!! They had made some other old lady miss her bus. The mistake happened because of the common attire and that both old ladies looked similar in the dark. They started apologizing profusely and the old lady in question started crying more saying that these two women had made her miss her bus and now she would not be able to go home as her family had already left in the last bus.
Pishi then consoled the old lady and told her to come to their house and that her brother would leave her home the next day. It was already dark when they reached home and recounted the whole story to the family. That night amidst lots of apologies, she was given the treatment befitting a queen. She forgave my Ma and mashi. The next day my maternal uncles and grandfather all went together and left her home and apologized to her family.
My Ma and mashi were totally grounded forever and were never again sent for Ganga sagar. Even today when it is Sankrant, Mashi calls up ma and they have a great laugh over how they had kidnapped an old woman thinking it was their Pishi.
This incident still puts the whole family in a laughing frenzy and Ma who has been blamed for the incident…… since she was older of the two…… backs up her stand saying…… “It was very dark!!!”