Monday, October 06, 2008


She was my sister's college friend. A fair-skinned Goan Hindu with delicately etched features, she wore her nearly auburn hair trimmed short in a bob and lived with her mother in a huge elegantly furnished apartment on Laburnum Road, off Hughes Road. Even in my child's eyes, she seemed to have a mysteriously wicked air about her. Her disappearance was equally mysterious, sudden and without a trace. But while she was still around, she was probably the best coiffed, the best groomed, the best dressed creature I had ever seen. She had a weakness, I guess, for bouncy georgette and chiffon 6-yard saris in pastel hues. Even in those days, she used to drape the sari quite low off her waist as is all the rage now. Whenever she visited 233 Khetwadi Main Road, I used to virtually devour her with my eyes. It didn't seem to bother her much. She chided me about it gently once or twice, though, almost as if it was all a big joke. She was my first childhood crush, I guess. The next one was a dumpy and dark English teacher in the first grade. I adored her for the way she taught me English. She was, I think, largely responsible for instilling the love of the language in me. The third one was another teacher, a fair and short damsel with sparkling eyes, who taught me in middle school. Almost every day, I used to watch her avidly from our terrace when she walked to and back from school.