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463Discussing things at home (tag Patrick, Emily)

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  • k.b. charles
    Oct 27, 2013
      ((Ali Masjed))

      After finishing his work, Jack went home to Emily and the four kids.  He kissed Emily and thought about how they would have some more fun, later on, in their
      bedroom.  “How are you, my love?”

      Hugging her husband, Emily replied, I’m well; it will not be long until the baby is born.”  

      “Things are going well for the party.  Do you think you’d have time to do cook some of the food?”

      “Of course; what would you like?”

      “I think some pots of medium strength, so to speak, curry, would be appreciated.  I have become adjusted to Indian cuisine, I guess.  Maybe you could talk to Lakshmi and see what she’s doing.”

      Emily smiled.  “They’re coming over to taste this stew.  I thought we could use it at the party.”
      Jack licked his lips and wondered if he could sample a spoonful or two.
      At that point, Sayankala came up to her parents and said, “Mummy, daddy, can I wear a soldier costume to the party?  I want to be a soldier, like daddy, when I grow up.”
      Jack smiled.  “What do you think, Emily?”
      “Yes dear you may be a soldier.  Who knows what the future holds; one day, they may allow women in the army.  What do you think, Jack?”

      The thought of a whole bunch of women in uniform and in combat took him a moment to conceive but then he remembered Sita Tindall.  “Well, women have fought in the past.  Perhaps someday, in the future, the Army will have them.  I wouldn’t be surprised.”
      Emily was thinking of Sita Tindall, but of course it was many years in the future.
      Saya smiled.  “Oh, then I can have a soldier suit?”
      “Well, we are in India, so why don’t we get you a suit like the ancient Indian amazons used to wear.
      “Amazons?  Daddy, what are amazons?”
      “Amazons are women warriors.  They fought with shields and swords and wore armor.”
      “All right!”  Saya went off to tell Miriam.  
      Jack turned to Emily.  “Can I help you with supper, my love?”
      Handing him a knife, she said, “Will you do the onions, love?  I am making a stew for a change.  With a twist you have to guess what I put in it.  And, the girls as well. For tonight, we are all having supper together.  And, the Tindalls are coming over.  Did Patrick tell you?”

      “Uh, no, he didn’t.  I’m sure he was absorbed in thinking about all the details needed for the party.”
      Lakshmi was giving Patrick the news at that moment.
      “Babuji,” she said, after clearing away the children and greeting him with a kiss, “we are invited over to Jeck and Emlee’s for dinner. I accepted the invitation.”
      “When did you to discuss this plan?”
      “Emlee asked us this morning, after you went to work.”

      “I’ll be on my best behavior.” Off duty, Jack was his brother in law, as well has his superior officer.
      “Babuji, I know you will be.  You are a wonderful man.”
      Indra came in.  “Dahdee, may I be a soldier like Sayankala? She just told me over the fence.”

      “We’ll see what mummy says.”
      “A soldier?”  Lakshmi paused and frowned.  This wasn’t the first time Indra had voiced a desire to be a soldier but Lakshmi had thought that they had talked her out of it.  Lakshmi really couldn’t imagine women in the military.  She knew about the Tindalls of the future but that was hundreds of years from now, not here and now.  To tell the truth, wife and mother was the only role available to a Sikh woman in the 1880’s in British India, unless she inherited a principality and were a maharaja. “What about dressing up as a maharaja?”
      “Or, what about a nurse?  And, how are your lessons going?”

      Indra put on a big smile.  “I am a good student, Dahdee!  Miss Jones says I am very good in writing and in numbers!  Can I show you some of my papers?”
      Indra ran into the room used as a schoolroom and she was quickly back in the parlor with some papers with writing and arithmetical problems.  “Look, Dahdee!  Everything is good!”  She had no mistakes on the papers.
      Lakshmi was also very proud of her daughter, though Indra was actually adopted.  Patrick, responding to a report of a village being attacked, had found her as a newborn baby among the ruins of a village that had been burned by Afghan raiders.  Indra was the only survivor.  But, since then, Patrick and Lakshmi had had many more children.  Indra remained special to them.  Lakshmi wanted all her children, from Indra on down, to be educated and have more advantages in life than she’d had, although she couldn’t have done better than she had, becoming the wife of a British officer, a member of the ruling caste of India.  But, she had been lucky; she wanted her kids to not have to depend entirely on luck to get ahead.
      They employed a govness to help both the Tindall and de Montfort children, an Englishwoman named Miss Jones, who was the sister of one of the  officer’s wives on post.  Miss Jones had come to India hoping to find a husband among the British officers, a very common thing, but had not succeeded and didn’t want to go back to England.
      “Pahtreck, my love, we have a little while before we go over.  The children are all ready.  I have a hot bath ready for you, and some lemonade.”
      Lakshmi smirked. “I will be happy to help you bathe.”
      Over in the de Montfort’s bungalow, Jack said, “I think I’ll draw a hot bath, love.  Would you like to help me, maybe even bathe together?”
      The de Montforts and the Tindalls
      Ali Masjed
      -  K. B. Charles
      "This we'll defend."