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Guessing parenthood

chandigarh Updated: May 11, 2013 09:33 IST
Rajbir Deswal

This happened in Goa. There they were the threesome, all white skinned. By the side of a swimming pool. One woman and two men. The woman wearing skimpy apparel lay with her back exposed to the sun, engrossed in a book. Once in a while, she sipped from her beer tumbler.

The two men kept talking like the best buddies. The younger man lay on the pool-recliner, while the older one sat as if on his haunches. The latter seemed too eager to please. He did most of the talking to which the younger man kept responding endearingly though, but with discounted attention. The women too chimed in once in a while, to a meaningless affirmation, or a rubbishing negation of the older man's whispered blabber. Realising that he was not being enough facilitative to the young couple, the old man drifted to the bar to bring fresh beer for the threesome.

I observed the goings on almost eavesdropping on conversation and stealthily looking through the corner of my eyes, trying to fathom as to what kind of a relationship existed between the three. Was the old man the father of either of the two? Was he just another neighbour? Was he really an unwanted appendage to the couple on their honeymoon? Was he a shake-offable frisky, connection-craving old punk? Or that, he was an affable person trying to seek just happy company, not minding spending a bit from his pocket?

Guessing more, I harped upon a definite relationship between the three of them. I had imaginative peep into their immediate passé predicament back home. Well, the old man was the father of the boy. Finding himself too lonely on a certain day, he phoned his son if he could join him at his place. The son told him that he and his new-found love had already planned a trip to Goa. The old man then said that if the couple didn't mind his coming along, he didn't mind financing their trip. Lo and behold! They're all here and the old man is lovin it!

At West Bay, Dorset, in the UK, I came across a similar situation when I tried to establish an old woman's relationship with a couple in their sixties, who literally danced attendance on her. She must not have been less than 90 years old. She wore bright nail paint and exquisite jewellery. Ensconced and slouching in a wheel-chair, she smoked heavily. She did not seem to be conscious of her near-seamless cleavage with a face decked up with blusher applied profusely. Her gruffy voice, I noticed, scared the hotel owner's cat away. The couple turned their face aside slowly, being careful of not annoying the old woman, when she huffed a grunt and puffed like a chimney. Well, definitely she was the man's mother, who was yet to make a will and legate to some caring son, her estate and empire worth millions. But she may still have to puff more smoke off her than life --an obvious irritant to the son and his wife.