Friday, October 21, 2016

Of Shopping and Delusions

One afternoon late last week, Sanjiv and I decided to do Anna's grocery shopping at Savemax.  Dushera was over and Karva Chauth many days away, so it seemed a good time to head out, given Delhi's now legendary traffic jams. But we were mistaken. Grossly mistaken. The traffic jam was so bad that it took us an hour to take a chakkar and return to our house.

So I decided to just order everything that Anna needs from BigBasket.  I had never done a full month's grocery shopping online, so this was a first for me.  

The next morning, BigBasket delivered groceries 30 mins ahead of schedule. I asked Anna if he wanted to see how the online ordered grocery delivery happened. He immediately said, "Yes", tho' he normally napped after breakfast. He loves grocery shopping. Anna sat at the dining table as I crosschecked the delivery, one item at a time, over the next 20 mins.

Me (pointing to the heaps of grocery packets on the floor and coffee table): Anna, how did you like the grocery delivery?

Anna does not respond. He is frowning as he looks at the groceries.

Me: Anna, now we have all that you need for the next 30 days.

Photo: The Time Of India
Anna: I hope we are not spending more than we can afford.

Me: No Anna. I've only bought the things you need for a month.

Anna still has a frown on his face. He just starts to look sleepy.

Me: Anna, will you nap now? I'll put away the groceries.

We take Anna to his bedroom and he falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow.

That evening Anna is still looking worried.  The attendant and housekeeper tell me that he has been agitated all day. "It's going to be another one of those days", I think.

Me: Hi, Anna. How are you?

No answer.

Me: Anna, what did you do today?

Again no answer. We sit in silence for some time. I notice that Anna is looking at me with a piercing sideways glance.

Me: Anna, what is it? What are you thinking?

Anna (after a long pause): Sangeeta, you have to tell me the truth.

Me: Yes, of course, Anna.

Anna: I have been asking to see my accounts for months. You haven't shown it to me. What are you hiding?

Me: Anna, whenever you ask to see your passbooks, I show them to you. You have forgotten.

Anna: What are you hiding from me? Are you taking away money?

Me: No, Anna. I am not hiding anything from you. I will bring my laptop tomorrow and how you all your (bank) accounts.

Anna: How are you spending so much?

Me: I am not spending much, Anna. We are spending on only essentials.

Anna: You don't have an income. So where is the money coming from?

Me: Anna, we are spending only on what you need. And from your money.

Anna: If you are taking money from the company then it should be in proportion to your stake.

Me (confused): Anna, what company? What stake?

Anna: Show me that you are taking only the money that is in line with your stake. If you take too much, I will be destitute and on the streets.

This goes on for nearly an hour. I am unable to convince my father that I am not spending his money, not stealing from him.

This is the first time I have been a part of Anna's delusions. How frightening it must be for him to believe that his family is cheating him.

It just makes me sad.

1 comment: