‘And today’s sermon shall be on the value of chastity.’ The bitter thought swirls and sticks as I sit, eyes downcast, a penitent look fixed firmly on my face, listening to Mum berate me for missing my curfew, yet again. Why doesn’t she get it? Her rules were fine when I was a kid, but I’m almost an adult now, it’s time she came to terms with that.
“Can you guess how old I am?” she giggles, shoulders back, a few stray white hairs escaping the tight bun at the back of her head and snaking around her high cheekbones. The only lines on her face are the creases at the side of her mouth as she smiles.
“Come, tell me. Can you guess? I’m much older than you think, you know. Nobody ever guesses right.” She pats her slightly protruding stomach and rearranges her sari so it covers a little more flesh.