Thursday, June 18, 2009

The last word

A random lady in the gym strikes up a conversation– “I have such a strange body. No matter what I do, I never sweat.”
“Yes, honestly. I am sure you find it hard to believe, but it is true.” Before I know it, a forearm is thrust under my nose. “Smell and see. Wasn’t I telling you the truth?”
Her grandchildren are probably as old as my kids, so I am forced to be polite. “Erm, yes.”
“Didn’t I tell you? That is the way it always is. I never sweat. My mother was the same way too, and so was my grandmother.” She babbled on- couldn’t see that I was just not interested?
“My husband doesn’t sweat either, nor do either of my kids.” Drenched in sweat as I was, I just didn’t want to hear any more about malfunctioning sweat glands in others.
“You know, that is because we are very good people. No matter what anyone does to us, we never wish them ill. That is why we never sweat.”
Was she insensitive or plain foolish? Couldn’t she understand what she was implying about me? I was forced to react. “I don’t know about that. Even in the Delhi winter, my younger one used to sweat while nursing. Don’t you think four weeks is too young for someone to have any thoughts, much less evil ones?”
She, however, was not having her pet theory debased. “But even at that age, his personality is in place. I am sure he has a hot temper.”
He does, but I was not going to admit it. “But if your personality is something that is pre-programmed since birth, it is not something to boast about, is it?”

I am not sure she even realised she did not have the last word.

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