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from the eight-day-Madras-trip.

From a taxi driver who dropped me to my mom’s place –

You need to work hard through your younger days to live peacefully in old age. I didn’t quite study well during my younger days and so I am here doing menial jobs. That’s why I am slogging so much to get my kids educated.

From every relative (almost) that I met –

So, do you get the desired free time, now that you’re at home?

From a couple of (shocked) close friends –

You don’t wear a proper thali.. You don’t wear metti.. You don’t wear sindoor.. And you call yourself a married woman?

From an extended family member from the husband’s side –

I thought you moved back ‘cos you wanted to work, right? Why aren’t you working now?

From the bride on seeing me at the reception dais –

I know her! I know her! You are a Chartered too, right?

From an auto guy who plied me to my friend’s place –

Ask any of your brother or uncle to drop you somewhere. They never would. It’s only us who drop you safely at any hour of the day to any place you want to go. So, isn’t it okay to give us the money we ask for?

From my mom who couldn’t get her laughter to subside on seeing me pushed down by a massive wave at the beach –

You are a mother of two who can’t even protect your kids from water!

From the son when I said the next in line is engagement –

What is Nischiyadhaartham, Amma?

From the daughter, while dressing up for the wedding –

Why can’t I wear the saree, Amma?

From the dietitian who I happened to meet at the doc –

You are four kilos overweight and shouldn’t be eating **insert names of a hundred grains, fifty vegetables, twenty five fruits, oil, this, that and half the world**! Do you have any further doubts?