A mother of three teenyboppers, Natasha Verma always had certain facts straight. One given was that no kid of hers was to stay put in a Delhi school throughout. And sure enough, the staunch advocate of boarding schools that she is, two thirds of her brood has, in the last two years, been packed off to good ol’ Welham.
This comes through especially emphatic when she narrates anecdotes off the top-of-her-head.
One such nugget: A ten-year-old girl refused to go to her best friend’s birthday party that was to be held at a neighbourhood club. The grouse: little girl thought the club was too downmarket a place to be seen at. And subsequently, accepting the invite would be a form of social-suicide.
As dumbstruck as such oddities leave her, Natasha is mostly confident of the common sense her kids seem to have developed. Her eldest Mrinalini, at 11, is unlike an increasing majority of her contemporaries in Delhi. Mini skirts, nail polish, make-up — all of it gets a stern “nothing doing,” from the mother. But both girls refreshingly are okay with waiting a while.
Boyfriends too, suspects Natasha, will take time to crop up — especially as it as an all-girls boarding school. Daughters Mrinalini (11) and Devyani (10) have been successfully kept away from the rich, moneyed air that schools in Delhi are said to reek of. While the youngest, son Shaurya, at eight, still has time before Doon school becomes his alma mater. As things stand, young Shaurya is the only sibling to be in a day school here in the Capital. And his mother is doing everything in her power to ensure he stays, well, constructively preoccupied.
So “to keep him away from the TV as far as possible, and not come under the influence of servants,” Natasha nudges her son towards the golf course. “He’s a very good skater,” beams mommy. And he’s into skating and tennis, besides learning the piano. So far, so safe.