Amma Goes Shopping

Amma* smiled with childlike glee stepping through the doors of the new, three-storeyed departmental store. Mostly confined to her home in Chennai, Ranjan decided to take her out since he was visiting her for a short while and wanted it to be memorable.

Amma touched everything on display: electronics, toys, clothes you name it. She felt like she had reached a dream world, so unreal it was!

As she walked past the clothes section, Amma noticed some beautiful Kanjeevaram silks and rushed ahead. Ranjan in the meantime browsed through electronics section. He wanted to buy Amma a gift, one that she wouldn’t forget.

Suddenly, he spotted a deal on the latest LED Smart TV. He knew how Amma loved her Tamil serials and movies and decided that it was the perfect gift for her. And knowing her, she wouldn’t agree so easily. She was always lecturing him on saving money for the future.

Ranjan walked over to where Amma was busy examining the silks and took her aside.

“Amma, I have decided to buy you a gift. And don’t say no, okay?”

Amma was pleased to have such a caring son and replied, “Ranjan, I know you always think about me and won’t say no. So, do you want to choose my Kanjeevaram silks?”

“Amma, I am not buying you silk. I want to do a swap. Our television is old and the one on display is a great deal. So, let’s change it.”

Now as we all know Amma being hard of hearing, heard only ‘swap’ albeit differently.

“Ranjan, you will buy me a top? Are you mad? You are watching too many Hindi movies with modern mothers who wear western clothes. I will only be clad in my sarees and that too silk ones. Don’t try to change me!”

Ranjan shook his head. His mother was so stubborn. He had tried convincing her for a hearing aid, but Amma refused to budge.

He tried again. “Amma, not top, I said swap. What do you think?”

“Ranjan, are you now convincing me to get that fancy mop we saw on our way up? You know how old Geeta is, she will never use that fancy gadget. And I hope you realise that the mop will be a gift for Geeta and not me.” Amma now miffed, quickly walked away.

Ranjan ran behind, trying to pacify her.

“Amma, I said ‘S-W-A-P’ as in ‘Exchange’. Amma, don’t be angry. I only wanted to buy you a gift and that too a television.”

Amma was thrilled with the word television. But suppressing her excitement, she said, “Hmm, I only wish you had said ‘Exchange’ instead of ‘S-W-A-P’ earlier. Today’s youth, Huh! Always want to use fancy words. And only swapping won’t do, I have some shopping to do too. I hope you are carrying enough money.” Laughing, she walked away in the direction of the silks again.

As always Ranjan was dumbfounded. He would never understand his mother.

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Glossary:
Amma – Mother

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Sheetal Ashpalia

With a teenage son and a full time job, writing is what Sheetal enjoys in her spare time apart from singing and reading. She firmly believes that “Something beautiful is about to happen”.

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