The Memoirist
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The Memoirist


That Night When My Mum Became Wonder Woman, Made Her Son Shit in His Pants, And Almost Got Him Killed

Nobody called 100 that night

Photo by Viki_B | Pixabay

Sometimes, life can get scary. I don’t mean scary in our heads — that demon is one tough nut to exorcise. I am talking about “I am gonna shit my pants and die tonight,” scary.

My dad was on a global tour in India. It wasn’t the “Summer of 69,” and he ain’t no Bryan Adams — if that’s what you are thinking. My old man was a humble government servant on a field trip to feed hungry farmers.

Back home, it was my mum, my only sister, and one teenage douche rocket who must not be named. My mother asking my maternal uncle to stay with us in dad’s absence, spoke of her confidence in my prowess.

Anyways, that fateful night, the ladies slept in the bedroom. We, the gents, couched the couch in the adjacent living room — a practice for male exploitation under the disguise of chivalry.

It was around 1 AM. My dream dancing with J Lo was interrupted by a serpent-like swaying — it was the uncle ambling to the window to take a peek outside behind the curtains. The suspicious barking from the stray canines had his sixth sense activated.

Next, I remember his two hundred pounds body landing on my couch, his big hairy hands covering my mouth. I had no idea why I was under attack by my uncle. Then, it happened. The corner of my eye saw the porch light getting turned on, and BANG! BANG! BANG!

The call of “Jain Sahib (sir), Jain Sahib” in perfect synchrony with the door banging would have made Beethoven proud. The next day newspaper headlines flashed through my eyes — Murder spree: An uncle kills his teenage nephew by asphyxiation before getting bludgeoned to death.

The door banging got louder, the voice calling for my dad angrier. I don’t know whom my mother would have been more upset with at that moment — uncle, dad, or me. I know who will have my vote. Regardless, that wasn’t the right time for her “Amazon” like powers to kick in.

The woman went all in as Wonder Woman. “Who is it?” she shouted at the top of her lungs from the bedroom window, “What do you want?”

“I am the watchman from the main gate. There is a phone call for Jain Sahib,” the perpetrator responded.

“What did you say?”

“There is a phone call for Jain Sahib. It is urgent. He needs to come immediately. Please open the door.”

It was 1999. Having a mobile phone was a luxury, a status symbol. So, we didn’t have one. But we did have a landline phone, right there, in the bedroom.

Wait. So, instead of calling 100 (India’s 911), why is my mother on a suicide mission?

“Jain Sahib is fast asleep. Take a message and tell the caller that he will call them back in the morning.mum instructed.

It is at this point things went south. The perpetrator had enough. It was time for him to show who the boss was.

“Open the door or, we will break it. Don’t you understand?” screamed a hyena with a few expletives.

Mum told us later he signaled a few other men standing a few meters away to join him. It was pitch dark but, she was sure she noticed three tall men, wrapped up in shawls with potential weapons in their hands.

But hyenas threaten no lioness, especially when her cubs’ lives are at stake.

“Sharma, Pankaj, Santosh, Kashyap (neighbors), they have come to kill your Jain Sahib. Help! Help! There are four of them with weapons. Be careful.” mum started roaring in repetition.

It was a valley and they were adjacent homes separated by a common wall. One could hear a squeak from a mile in the night. Imagine what her shrieking voice echoing in the entire neighborhood would have done. Her stare was enough for me to piss in my pants.

But a question — why is she still yelling for the neighbors from the window and not calling them, or 100? Hello?

“Shut up. Shut up. You couldn’t go quietly, huh? I will show you what death feels like,” the hyena sensed losing fresh meat.

“Sharma, Pankaj, Santosh, Kashyap (neighbors), they have come to kill your Jain Sahib. Help! Help! There are four of them with weapons. Be careful.”

It was Santosh from next door who heard the cry for help. He came out with a machete and gun. Uncle and I were still thinking — why is everyone on a suicide mission and, why is no one calling 100?

Kaun hai be (Who is it)? Goli maar dawangaa (I will shoot you),” we heard Santosh loud and clear — two air shots towards our house punctuated his threat almost immediately.

A display of poor communication and analytical skills; let them respond, man. You know how expensive bullets are and, you just wasted two. And now what? You will make four perfect shots to put down all the suspects in that dark. What if there are more? What if there are ten?

I think air shots did the trick. That would wake up that entire small town. Within seconds Pankaj, Sharma and, Kashyap howled in unison with Santosh. The wolf pack had assembled.

What exactly transpired afterward will always be a mystery to me. I have heard so many different versions that it’s all jumbled up. But, bottom line, the suspects fled. We were alive. But you already knew, didn’t you?

The pack asked my mum to remain inside and go back to sleep. They assured her that they would keep a watch for the rest of the night.

And finally, for heaven’s sake, that hairy hand of my uncle’s was off my mouth. Ugh!

Maybe they didn’t need to because they were brave people ready to stand up for each other but, I still don’t understand why the fuzz nobody called 100 that night?

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We publish memoirs, personal essays, and fictional memoir. Creative stories unpacked from the nostalgic hope chests of our lives.

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Gaurav Jain

Gaurav Jain

I have three TVs, two cars, and one wife.

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