INSTAMATIC SELFIES FOR THE NEW YEAR
PUSHIE Aunty likes big words.
There was the one time when her operation at RK Khan Hospital was postponed. The atheists were on strike.
When she heard that Ragani was taking elocution lessons with Saira Essa at the Unit 10 library, she asked her to fix her kitchen light.
Her cavalier vocabulary is hardly out of place in my beloved Bangladesh Market district in Chatsworth. Language is only to understand one another.
As is our tradition, I stopped at every house to drop off invitations to the annual New Year reunion in Park Rynie. The door-to-door visits came with real-time status updates and animations that would put Facebook in the shade.
I asked Aunty Pushie to take a selfie. Like my crew with microbladed eyebrows and Brazilian weaves, she first dashed to the mirror.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see her at the polished antique imbuia dressing table complete with gleaming bevelled mirrors. She touched up cheeks and chin with Snowhite cream.
“I hope you got more than 24 films,” she giggled as she took her place beside me on the divan couch.
Waddling to the six-section white enamel kitchen cupboard, she fished from the innards of a crumpled Sunday Tribune a Kodak Instamatic.
“See if you can fix this camera. Uncle used to take all our snaps with this.”
She shed a tear for Boya.
“He left me and gone pa.”
As she rustled my tenth cup for the evening, I peered at her book collection. There was the Divine Life Society’s What Happens to the Soul After Death.
I figured that the book came after Boya was cremated at the Sivananda Ghat in Clare Estate. Alongside was a pocket New Testament and next to that Linda Goodman’s Love Signs.
Sounds like the widow is on the prowl.
She brought me tea in a fine china cup and sauce on a plastic tray with eggshell doilies.
“Have at least one biscuit,” she pleaded. Our goodbyes were all of 20 minutes right up to the concrete fence.
“Au revoir!” she blew me a kiss. Thanks to an episode of Date My Family, Aunty Pushie has added a spot of French to her big vocabulary.
Higgins is in India for the World Book Fair.