When Kulchoo was small he had a favourite baby blanket. It was a blue and yellow woolly type thing that the Old Bag had knitted for him and he called it blanky. He couldn’t sleep without blanky – even in summers, imagine karo! – and blanky had to come with us wherever we went. Once we went to Sharkpur and in my hurry to leave, I forgot to pack blanky. Khair, on the journey home suddenly he asked for blanky and when I couldn’t find it, he created such a tamasha, such a tamasha that we had to turn around – we’d already been driving for full two hours and were half way home – and go back and pick up blanky. Uff! Worst nightmare, returning to Sharkpur when you’ve just left and ooparsay with screaming baby standing on your head. Thanks God, Kulchoo gave up blanky – which had become totally thread bear and ragged by then – when he was about five and started going to school. I remember I even distributed a deg of chawals the day I got rid of blanky. Kulchoo was least bothered.
Vaisay, I think so a lot many people have a blanky in life. Even big people. Maybe you can’t see them because they don’t go with you everywhere like blanky did with Kulchoo but they’re there and they make you feel safe and strong and theek thaak. And without them you feel scared and lost. And weak. And so if you don’t have them around, you kick up a ruck fuss. Like Sunny has her Birkin. With it on her arm she becomes Somebody. Tony, Mulloo’s husband, becomes Tony in his vomit green Porsche. Sometimes some people’s blankys are other people even. Haan, I’m telling you. Like Alladin had his Jenny who lived in the lamp, remember? Vaisay, was that Jenny a real person or a just a bhoot? Khair, whatever he was he made Aladdin feel powerful. And Janoo was telling me that that fat moon faced English king from olden times, who always wore frocks and white leggings, what was his name, haan Henry Eight, he also had a person for a blanky. His name was Comb Well. Some men’s blankys are their wives. Some men’s blankys are their Mummys. Some men even have Generals as their blankys. Haan, bhai why not?