Our old maid, Ganga, walked into the balcony, a bucket of wet clothes in hand. Standing on tiptoe, she hauled a wet towel over the laundry line and cursed as she missed. She yelled out to Vinayagam. My late father’s Man Friday was by the woman’s side in minutes.
“What?” he barked.
“Sweetheart, I’ve been telling you to lower these lines," she said. "I’ve been telling you for a while now."
“Those lines are not low!’ he said. “Besides, you could have gone up to the terrace to hang them on those lines, you know.”
Ganga said she didn’t see the need to go upstairs. “Not for a couple of odds and ends."
“Then you’re lazy, Old Woman. Go to the terrace. Or put up with it."
Ganga proceeded to fix clips on the clothes. Then she pulled shut the door leading to the balcony as the young man continued to watch her, an imperious eyebrow raised and ready to snuff out a rising repartee. But Ganga slipped away from the room in silence.
“Old Woman, that line’s just fine,” Vinayagam said towards her back. “Next time, wear high heels."