Her Mother came with a rather empty suitcase. And a sullen expression. How else would mothers of about-to-be divorced daughters come? But contrary to Kamakshi’s expectations her mother is rather understanding. It was one thing to deal with the emotional upheaval, but the sheer logistics of moving out the house was proving too much for her already frayed nerves. How was one to decide what belonged to the wife and what was rightfully the husband’s?
The apartment was now littered with half filled cardboard boxes. Her clothes, her music, the books. Every object that finds its way into a box fills Kamakshi with some pain. Her Mother is surprisingly deft though. In the kitchen, Kamakshi lets her eyes rest on the stainless steel utensils, still gleaming. Evidence that not much cooking had been witnessed here. She wonders if her Mother will notice how new they all look. She’s doubtful about packing these though. From Kamakshi Mahalingam, she had become Kamakshi Natrajan. All the utensils were initialed with a K.N. Even the stainless steel ladels and spoons had come with her new initials. M and N. Two adjacent alphabets.
Her Mother barges into the kitchen, and begins wrapping the utensils with newspaper. Tumblers, small pans, spoons, dawaras, the large one that went inside the cooker, plates. “There’s no reason why we shouldn’t take these back. They look good as new. He didn’t like eating much at home, did he?”. Kamakshi is grateful that her mother doesn’t insinuate that she didn’t do enough cooking. She wonders how her mother will cope with the presence of a K.N utensil in her kitchen. And how was she to eat out a plate initialed with the failure of a marriage?
The Mother perhaps senses the daughter’s apprehensions. Her hands still busy she says, “Not to worry. We’ll find another boy whose name starts with an N. We won’t have to get new ones then. No wastage. Maybe a Narasimhan, Nathan, Nasabathy, Natesh, Nagesh. Or even another Natrajan.”.
Her Mother seems happy with the simple, elegant solution. So K.N it would remain.