This article has been submitted by Sathvika M R for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think this article is a good read, ‘Like’ this article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘comments’ section below.
You, dear reader, may be a boy, or a girl. It doesn’t really matter except that it has been proven that women are more able to ‘see under the underneath’. But even if you are an erstwhile member of the afore mentioned male gender, and no, I am not in the least prejudiced, you must surely, at one time in your life have been witness to this particular phenomenon, though you may have not understood.
I am speaking of course, of the wars that only women know, and by extension, are thusly waged by women.
Let me help you out with an example, confused reader.
My aunt, whom I love with the kind of fond affection reserved for those relations stationed in far of places the instances you visit are few and far between, recently descended on our home in an unannounced visit, precipitating the need for clever use of drawers and cushions to hide what must not be seen and the careful plastering on of genial expressions.
She sat there, calmly, surrounded by a serene army of comfortable pillows and cushions and said to my mother, “My dear, how are you?” and continued with other such pleasantries in a meandering comfortable fashion meant, as we women know, to lull the listener into a sense of dull acceptance, symptoms of which are glazed eyes and vacant expressions, before suddenly, just like the tiger, suddenly springing forth with the intention of pinning his prey, she struck true.
“My son has god admission into —. He is a good child, A1 in all subjects, you know? And since I am the principal of —–, they so kindly waved the entrance fees demanded. ” (Those charges politely referred to as donations.)
My mother, not to be outdone replied. “Oh I am sure. I heard the news from (insert cousin’s name here). I would have visited except that I am down with ear-ache. The EMT specialist we went to, (insert the eminent doctor’s name here) has me under the strongest painkillers possible.” My mother smiled a beatific smile. “He said it was the most horrible thing anyone could get.”
My aunt blinked. “I suppose,” she let, looking still undaunted. “The director of the school board himself recently underwent surgery and is still on pain meds. The poor man. He calls me often for advice and sounded quite down when he phoned.” Her eyes glinted, I envisioned, triumphantly.
My mother shrugged. “Oh, quite,” she agreed, to all appearances unfeeling of the ‘poor’ man’s agony.
Then, “Come here,” she directed me, the writer, who was trying to inconspicuously hide behind a potted plant that came up to my waist. Drawing me down beside her, she said proudly. “My daughter has just written the CLAT exam. She wanted to take law since she was a child. A step off the beaten track.” And despite all mother’s perfect habits and stern adherence to morals, a slightly malicious tone took over her vocal chords. “Your sons are either doctors or studying to be doctors, aren’t they? Obediently following the thousands of other such aspirants.” The mocking was now outright apparent and my aunt flushed, but did not give in yet.
“Vysakh is already a doctor.” She declared. Sanguinely, she lifted the magnificent beads of pearls wrapped twice around her neck. “He bought me this,” she boasted. “Out of his salary, dear boy.”
I would have cringed, but I do hope I’m better mannered than that, gentle reader.
My mother’s posture tensed and I found myself comparing her to another wildcat, the sleek panther, rippling and dangerous in the dark, unknown until the mortal strike that brings victory.
“Why, “ she said and looked positively pleased, like a canary that ate the cream. “Those pearls… they look familiar…” With a cry, she clapped her hands and said. “Seed pearls… oh yes; Ritika bought a choker of them when she got a job at (insert respected institute’s name) in the U.S.”
Aunt fell then, like a giant tower crashing down among its lesser brethren.
I thought, watching my mother, Veni, vidi, vici.
And now, dear reader, I ask you whether it was obvious, or must I explain more? With me detailing even the least of emotions and expression, even you males must have grasped some idea of the subtle interplay of sharp intelligence and strategic wit that had gone on. I confess myself afraid somewhat of my mother, my aunt and the whole female race.
But I tell myself, that for now, all these symbiotic wars, fuelled by stature, sparklers and scions are far, far away in my distant future.