Rich woman with poor past and temperament.
It must be many years ago, may be 6-7 years ago. There was a property dispute and under orders of the court we had to visit the residence of a litigating party alongwith two officers appointed by the court and the lawyers of that party.
We reached as per plan. It was a palatial Banglow in one of the most posh localities. The dispute was also about billions. We were seated in a dining room with about 16 seat table and a lot of murals, statutes and artifacts collected in the room. It looked more like a small store house with a lot of empty space in between, to keep the table. An apparent display of wealth in clumsiness.
As per Indian traditions of hospitality, the well-mannered servants in uniform brought tea/coffee with snacks and served it on the table. The official business had yet to commence. However the old lady, in question, entered appearance. Initially she was courteous and inquired as per etiquettes if everything was in order or any one may care for something more.
There after she remain seated for a while and suddenly shouted at the top of her voice, do not throw anything on carpet. Now this was shocking. For many reasons:
1. It was her lawyer who was standing, talking and eating at the same time and was in good position to drop food on carpet.
2. Billionaire as they were, carpet cleaning was not the least of their worries and in any case carpet was old enough if not worn out but certainly not a new one.
3. The remark was absolutely middle class while lady was born in one of the richest families, may be in an estranged branch.
4. With a small and very weak frame, thin and frail as she was, such hoarse shout seemed improbable and unnecessary.
5. Her lawyer turned around, looked at her and continued with his activity, as if nothing happened.
I wondered what was wrong with lady. Some kind of bi-polar disorder? Who knows? But one thing was certain, at one point of her life, she had it so rough so as to worry about cleaning the carpet/floor and such things, inspite of all the rich relatives, dead or alive.
Memories always hound us and often erupt at most inappropriate moments.
© Sandeep Bhalla