Trying to fool my mother on a foggy winter!

Trying to fool my mother on a foggy winter!

‘But I can’t see Rahul’s house!’

‘That is not a test of anything. It is not the first time there is fog,’ Mother said in that tone which suggested finite patience.

‘I can’t even see the GPO clock!’

‘Yes, I can’t see it either,’ the finitude of the patience getting clearer in Mother’s tone.

‘How will you even drive? Is it not unsafe?’

‘Hmm,’ and just like that I had broken through.

‘I think best to skip school today,’ I summoned all the earnestness I could.

‘What are you talking about,’ Mother was not happy. I think I played my hand too soon. Just could not think of anything to build on the breakthrough that was just there. Grasped for it and now it is slipping away.

‘Can we at least call the school to find out if it is open?’

‘I know the answer. We will leave in five minutes,’ Mother was now much focused on finishing her tea.

‘Can I call the school?’

‘Sure, just make sure you are done with it in four minutes,’ Mother said looking in the direction of the GPO clock which was still invisible. Not that it seemed to matter to her.

Inside, I dialed the school number hoping against hope. Mr. Saxena, the principal’s assistant, usually answered the phone, but as luck would have it, it was Father Lewis himself.

I blurted the question, ‘Is the school open today?’

‘Why would it not be open on a Wednesday in the second week of January?’ Answering a question with a question did not seem to bother Father Lewis.

‘There is fog,’ I stated the fact. Unembellished fact. There was fog. The GPO clock was not visible. Forget that, Rahul’s house right across the lane was not visible!

‘Who is calling?’ Father Lewis did not sound happy. It was all so unnecessary. There was no chance to begin with and I was now going to get into trouble with Father Lewis. Voluntarily. This was not a good morning. I must answer though because my silence was unlikely to help matters. ‘Why are you voluntarily getting into trouble’ I asked myself.

‘Hello. Who is calling?’ Father Lewis was not backing down. There was only one option. I hung up.

‘Let’s go,’ Mother called picking up the car keys.

‘But they said the school is closed,’ it just came out. 

‘What? Why?’

‘The fog, obviously. We can’t see the GPO clock,’ I had to double down.

‘Who told you?’

‘I think Mr. Saxena,’ I was a picture of confidence. With no endgame.

‘You mean that if I call the school right now, they will tell me that they are closed?’

I nodded.

She called.

‘Oh, hello, Father Lewis. Good morning. My son tells me that the school is closed today.’

Father Lewis must have told her about Wednesday and January.

‘Right. I will ask him to see you after the assembly. Of course. Thank you.’


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