What are you so engrossed with mamma? Asked my daughter Preeti noticing that I was seriously writing something sitting at my desk.
I am preparing a list of invitees for our wedding anniversary, I said.
I guess the list will be longer this time from the way you are making new friends year after year, she said.
Not exactly, on the other hand I am trying to delete some names and replace them with new ones, I said.
Have you thought of the consequences of your fool hardy decision? She Observed.
Well I did. I know it will cause a lot of ill will, I said.
By the way what are the criteria you are adopting in your selection and deletion of names? She asked appearing curious.
That is what I am racking my brains about. I know it doesn’t seem to be as easy as I thought. I am sure even Amithab Bachhan would have faced the dilemma when he drew the list of invitees for his son’s wedding, so also Shilpa Shetty at her’s, I said.
You know it left a bitter feeling among the excluded ones and they began attributing motives for not being invited, she chipped in.
Yes I know, it is bound to happen with me as well. Even if the ones left out of the list pretend to forgive, I am sure they cannot forget, I said.
Anyway, I have decided at last on three criteria for dropping some names from the list this time, I said feeling proud of using my discretion .
What is your criteria mamma? Preeti asked all attention.
First: All those who try to monopolise the conversation and talk about their illnesses—past, present and future.
You mean hypochondriacs mamma? Preeti said.
That’s right, I concurred.
Second: All those who always expect to be invited to parties hosted by others but never think of reciprocating the gesture.
I know whom you mean and Preeti reeled out a few names looking at me as though for confirmation.
I didn’t bother to respond.
Third: The “I used to—types.” They talk about things and positions they held in the past by virtue of which they expect you to treat them like Queen Bees even ages later.
Preeti gave me a knowing look which I acknowledged.
Mamma, then you may have to delete a lot of names from your list of invitees, she observed.
Yes, that’s the problem, I rued.
But mamma, deleting these three categories from the list will leave very few. What is the fun in celebrating your wedding anniversary with just a handful of people? I am sure the party will be insipid, Preeti remarked.
What do you want me to do? I said.
I have a bright idea, she said sounding excited.
What is it? I asked eagerly.
Instead of dropping names from the list Why don’t you drop the idea of a party altogether and take pappa and me out to dinner at …..
suggested the girl mentioning the name of a Five Star hotel.
Let me think, I parried.
Wait, I haven’t finished, buy me a designer salwar kamiz and the accessories as well which would be a befitting gift on the occasion, she suggested.
I was back to a square one!
N.MEERA RAGHAVENDRA RAO