Being a writer means you spend a lot of time with just yourself. Even after you have daydreamt to your heart’s content there’s still plenty of time between ideas. And that’s the time my writer’s brain comes up with these conversations with various people, some real, some imagined!
The conversation I have with my family members in my imagination.
Me: (answering phone) Hello, Mausi/Kaku/Kaka!
Aunt: Hello! Are you busy?
Me: A little but…
Aunt: Oh, should I call you later?
Me: No, no.
Aunt: I’ll be quick. So, my son is visiting India with his family in December and wants to visit you.
Me: (feeling my heart beginning to sink) But that’s the time when I am really busy and…
Aunt: I know how busy you always are. And I don’t want you disturbed. So, just book them into a hotel and…
Aunt: Just do as I say. And let them go shopping and wandering around the city on their own.
Me: But… they’ll probably want me with them!
Aunt: So? Tell them your boss needs you to work.
Me: But I don’t have a boss.
Aunt: There’s no need to tell them that. And send me five sets of your books.
Me: Five sets?
Aunt: For the children in my building. I’ve been boasting about my writer niece and now I want to give them your books!
Me: But they’ll weigh a ton. How will your son carry them all?
Aunt: So what? It’s the least we can do for our famous writer!
Of course reality is nothing like this! Here’s what actually happens.
Aunt (on phone): Hello, are you busy?
Me: (trying to type with one hand) Yes, a little and…
Aunt: Good, I wanted to talk to you. My son and his family are visiting India and they want to travel around a bit.
Me: (with my heart beginning a slow, but steady downwards travel) Oh, and where do they want to go?
Aunt: Your city. Apparently there’s plenty to see and lots of good shopping. And he wants to meet you.
Me: (astonishment) Me?
Aunt: After all, you are his favourite cousin.
Me: (trying hard to remember when this cousin was last in touch with me) Oh, really?
Aunt: And he wants to introduce you to his wife and children.
Me: (remembering that I wasn’t invited to the wedding of this cousin) Really?
Aunt: He’s coming in December. Take them around the city and all the best shopping places.
Me: (with my heart sinking even further) But I can’t go around with them! I’ll make all the arrangements but I have to work and…
Aunt: Surely you can manage to take some time off to spend with your cousin and his family? After all, they are coming all the way from America.
Me: (trying valiantly) Yes, yes, but they’ll like it better if they go around on their own and I do have work to finish and deadlines to meet.
Aunt: Tell your boss that your family is visiting and you can’t work.
Me: I am a freelance writer, remember? So I don’t have a boss.
Aunt: Then what are you getting so worried for, you silly girl? Just go out have fun with your American cousin! You never know when you’ll get a chance next.