Ritchelle my 21 year old, walked into the house and I greeted her with, 'where are you coming from?'.
She looked puzzled and shrugged her shoulders like I must be crazy.
Don't I know that she gets back from her graphics class at this time, grabs a bite and leaves almost immediately to meet with her friends to walk around Lokhandwala market?
'Where are you going?'.
It was my next question, as she floated past me and reached the main door to the house.
She stopped and stared at me and raised her eyebrows, as she quietly asked me how I would feel if she were to ask me questions like this each time I walked in and out of the house.
I in turn told her that she knows all my friends, whereas I know but just a couple of hers, and therefore I am worried about who she meets and whom she generally hangs out with.
Ritchelle exchanged a confused look with my maid and stepped out of the door, shutting it behind her as I went on to ask my maid Sandhya if she is aware of all the people Ritchelle hangs out with.
Sandhya told me that she knows some of them who walk in and out of the house with her, and by name she knows only those who live in the same building as us.
I blew her up.
Here, I have trusted her and given her the right to virtually bring up my daughter for the last so many years that she's been with us, and she hasn't a clue about who the people Ritchelle hangs out with are?! I wish I had known earlier, so I would never have trusted Sandhya with Ritchelle.
My maid asked me what had gone wrong with me? If I am I ok, or what?
I told her to leave my sight and as she walked away she muttered to herself that I should trust my daughter more, specially since I've had little hand in her upbringing because of my work, relationships and various preoccupations, and that I should shift my gaze on Shiv, my nephew, my sisters son, who lives in the same neighborhood as us, because he is the one who tries to ape me, and he is the one who hangs out with the strangest of folk on the steps outside Barista, opposite Cafe Coffee Day (CCD).

'Shiv, who are these weirdos you hang around with outside Barista, opposite CCD at the steps?', I asked my 18 year old nephew as he stepped into my house because I had summoned him on the pretext that we'll go catch a movie.
'You are offending me!', he said and walked into the kitchen to the fridge to pull out some water to drink. 'Come on lets go see 2012... get up!'.
I told him to sit down because I want to have a chat with him.
I asked him who the strangers are, whom he knows, and why they walk in and out of his house at random. My sister keeps complaining about Shiv walking in and out of the house with all sorts of guys.
'At random?!. Have you gone crazy?! They are all my friends. Teenagers. Guys in their teens, like me!!!'
But does he know who they are?
'THEY ARE MY FRIENDS!!! Don't you get it?! They are people I know and hang out with. People I chill out with!'
Does he even know where they live and who their parents are?
'This is really going nowhere Bebu Masi. You are pissing me off! Are we going for the movie or is this another hoax you've pulled on me to give me a lecture?'
'I need to know Shiv, I'm worried for you. You can't trust anybody these days. You've heard whats happened with Rahul Bhatt right?! He and his colleague Vilas became pals with this American and...'
'Oh please!!! Give me a break man. Half the world is terrorist and the other half is afraid of them. Where do kids like us go? Chalo, I'm leaving. My friends will leave the steps and go away if I don't get back to them fast. They think I'm seeing a movie with you. Bye.'
He went to the door and stopped before stepping out. 'If I meet another guy called Headly, I'll let you know', and he banged the door shut behind him.
Charlie, my dog sat in the middle of the room staring at me, wagging his tail.
'Come here Charlie', I said. 'You are the only one who loves me and the only one who will perhaps never meet a terrorist and befriend him'.
Charlie leaped, and cuddled up next to me, on the sofa.