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There is a woman hereabouts who makes a living by helping local ladies with their beauty requirements at their homes. Oiling of hair, applying of henna/dye, pedicure, manicure, waxing are some of the things she does in the convenience of their homes.

Her husband is of no use to her in running the home. Whatever he earns, that is IF and WHEN he finds work, is spent on himself, especially buying liquor and getting stone drunk. How his wife and children carry on with life seems of no concern to him whatsoever. In fact he even asks demands money from her being the man, the husband and head of the household. Pah!

That no one asks those such as him, and here I am pointing my finger at our regressive society, why if he is the man, the husband and head of the household and whatever blah blah, he isn’t taking care of his family, is beyond me. But I digress. This is a topic for another day. Let me get back to the woman and what happened one day.

I had just moved into the locality and neighbors introduced me to her. So I had her come over every month to oil my hair and apply henna. Her children were quite small at the time and she sometimes brought the younger one along if he didn’t have to go to kindergarten. She would ask me to switch on the cartoon channel for him so she could do her work undisturbed.

One evening I saw her walking towards me with the same little fellow in tow. Since she had been in the previous day I wondered why she was making way towards my house. She stopped in front of me, and much to my surprise turned to her son and said,

“Now, give it to Aunty!”

The boy extended his arm and in his palm was a very old pair of sunglasses that had belonged to my first born. Apparently the boy had taken it home with him. She quickly forestalled what I was going to say, namely that he could keep it as my children were too grown up to want it any more, and told me,

“Take it from him, Ma’am.  He should learn not to take anything that belongs to another without asking.”

She was right of course. I had no right to tell the boy he could keep it thus negating his mother’s lesson of value. I see so many devaluing a parent’s authority and I don’t agree with that AT ALL. So I prudently kept my mouth shut when the boy put the sunglasses in my hand and said he was sorry. The woman turned to her son and smiled, he smiled back at her and together they walked away hand in hand.

©Shail Mohan 2016

Day 3 NaBloPoMo 2016