October 13, 2010
When you walk into my building, two very Indian things welcome you.
First, the queen-of-the-night bush at the gate. With its tiny white flowers and heavenly smell, it is, indeed, just too lovely.
The second thing, right after you pass the flowers, is Nosy Nightie.
Nosy Nightie lives on the ground floor of my building. I have never seen her dressed other than in polyester nightgowns. She must have been beautiful in her younger days but now, in her late forties, she’s kind of lost her aura. However, she still moves and speaks with utter confidence, haughty as a doll.
Nosy Nightie doesn’t work. Luckily, she has found an activity that certainly fulfills her life like no regular work would. Spying. Nosy Nightie doesn’t simply sit out watching everyone’s move. That, my friend, would be amateur spying. No. Nosy Nightie asks, questions, interrogates.
Every single time I come home and she’s sitting out, she asks me : “Where did you go?”. And everytime I go out she barks: “Where are you going?”.
The first time, I was taken aback. Mind your own fucking nightgown, I thought. But I still mumbled “To a friend’s”.
“Who ? Where ?” she fired, looking agitated.
Whacko lady, stay away from me.
Since then, she doesn’t get a word out of me beyond hello. I just shoot huge smiles and pretend I’m deaf.
One night I came back at two and I swear she was watching out of her kitchen window.
But she hasn’t given up, firing her questions at the top of her voice, as if I was a witness escaping from her custody.
Nosy Nightie has the soul of Mata Hari. Jaipur is probably too small for her and my life, to her adventurous mind, highly disappointing.