The other day the mite and I were caught in a thunder squal outside Total Mall with no umbrellas...I called to an autorickshaw but it seemed to have not heard and moved on, I desparately climbed on to the divider to cross the road- it would be easier to get an auto from the other side. Suddenly a young chap calls me ...."madam, the auto has stopped..." I turned back to see this boy pointing at the auto which was standing some distance away. The boy had no umbrella either, he had stopped the auto and come running some distance to inform me, it had started drizzling by then with loud claps of thunder..."oh..." I said bemusedly and then rushed to the auto and jumped in, and spend off without giving the poor boy a second look. I felt like a scum of the earth a moment later. Here was this boy who had worked so hard for me and I did not even say a proper thank you. I could have offered him a lift, after all, he did not have an umbrella either...but I was only thinking about ourselves! The people of Bangalore are very kind and I have to get myself used to their ways so that I may be able to repay them for their little acts of kindness.
Here the shopkeepers and the domestic help are in the the habit of calling us ladies 'Amma' or the shorter 'ma'. When they address you so, you cannot even argue with them, it sounds so beautiful..." No, ma, I cannot reduce the price on this" ... my mental response- "ok, son"...and that's the end of the matter! "Take this fish, ma, you will like this" - "very well son"...and so on. In Calcutta they shop keepers call you 'didi' till you look about 80 when they will switch to 'ma', or 'mashima', in Delhi they call you "madam" and if you are over the hill in their eyes then "auntieji" and later "mataji". They had started to call me auntie...it made my skin crawl, I would have cut some throats if I graduated to mummyji or mataji there...but here, the lilting 'maa' just melts my heart, it makes me completely defenseless. One of the reasons might be that it is used indiscriminately for women of 1-100+. The swimming coach used to call the brat girl in the pool saying- " Jump in ma..", the brat ofcourse has no feelings for this adress and promptly refused!
In spite of the arrival of the rain clouds it continues to be hot by Bangalore standards...I, however am enjoying myself as my parents are here, I have had them bring some old photos of our 'happy family' days and I am determined to scan them for posterity! Will post them here too...cheerio for now and a very happy mother's day to all the momma bloggers!!!