Mrs Khanna Or Mrs Biyani! | Flash Post 418
Button, I met them on one of my evening walks. As far as I remembered, they lived with their respective families in a highrise in South Mumbai and I had met both in the society elevator about 10 years back prior to moving out.
You mean friends?
Because you’ve told me you’ve never had friends.
That’s right. The two ladies were struggling up the slope on Carmichael Road in designer face masks, identical looking jumpsuits—one was a bright pink and the other some shade of burgundy. They had red-streaked hair and goggles wrapped around their eyes. It was around 8 in the evening.
Since you go for regular walks around the same time, you must have bumped into them earlier?
Yes, only this time they waved at me and I waved back without having the slightest clue as to who they were.
Did they introduce themselves?
No, both huffed and puffed past. In my head I desperately tried to place them but as I genuinely am hopeless with names and faces, I failed miserably.
They must have recognised you easily because you must have been casually.
I was in my usual track pants, T-shirt and jogging shoes.
Did you meet them again?
Yes. Only this time I was briskly walking up the slope from the left and they were on their way down on the opposite side.They called out to me by name and I was extremely embarrassed as I did not know who they were because they looked like identical twins. My eyes, the left that also homes a floater now because of my advancing years, moved in perfect tandem with the direction of my gaze as it shifted from one face to the other with a blank expression.
Did you’ll meet finally?
Yes. They crossed over and we chatted about COVID, our kids—one of the topics homemakers never fail to discuss— and what they were up to. I vaguely recognised one as Mrs Khanna and the other as Mrs Biyani after they threw off their hoods and removed their eyewear hoping I was right. Our masks were on and we were barely audible but we chatted some as I addressed the lady in the pink as Mrs Khanna and the one in burgundy as Mrs Biyani.
I realised they were giggling under their masks and wondered why. We spoke some more about travel plans and they told me that both their families and friends were planning a trip to Seychelles soon. They chatted excitedly amongst themselves about the shopping they would do prior to going on the trip, giggled some more and seemed over the moon like young girls discussing their first boyfriends.
What we’re you doing all this time?
I waited patiently trying to participate provided I could make out what they were giggling over and talking about why they were so excited. The next minute Mrs Khanna or who I thought was Mrs Khanna suddenly mentioned that they were dining out that evening and had to get going. One of them—Mrs Khanna or was it Mrs Biyani insisted that I should go over to their place one day and consider joining up their girl gang. I nodded and was about to turn around and leave when I found that the two ladies, who had also turned around to leave had their names embossed on the backs of their jumpsuits. The one I had addressed as Mrs Khanna, in other words the lady in the pink jumpsuit was actually Mrs Biyani and the one in burgundy was Mrs Khanna.
You mean to say that not once did they try and correct you? We’re they giggling because of this faux pax you’d made?
Perhaps but this is something I do all the time. I don’t remember faces and the names attached to those faces and have, time and again, attempted getting into the wrong vehicle where the driver has stared quizzically at me and politely told me that I was getting into the wrong vehicle!
That must be embarrassing.
The family teases me by saying I am bound to get kidnapped one of these days if I don’t watch out and refuse to let me out of their sight!