Before I fell asleep last night, the noises that my fan was making made my survival instinct go through brain scenarios about how long the fans have lasted, how I have never heard of one falling on someone,  and what a mess it would make if it did, and what a wonderful invention the fan is — the AC in my room is not working — my parents’ house and appliances are so old and antiquated. I had had a hard day of running around, doing the usual thousand and one things I have to take care of when I am in the city, and looked forward to a night of rest and good sleep. Revki, my mother’s maid, came into my room at 1:30 a.m. and said, “Didi, mummy ka pankha gir gaya” — ‘mummy’s fan has fallen.” I sat up in bed, stunned. She always sleeps under the fan and doesn’t like AC, though she’s had a new one installed in her room recently. I got out of bed, and mom was sitting on the sofa, well. It was an absolute miracle that she survived. she said, the fan stopped and she sat up wondering why, and just then it fell before her eyes onto the bed, just grazing her feet. Well, no body got any rest, for she was agitated, and so was I and Revti; she had to shift to my room and she had a fit seeing the clutter in it, and couldn’t bear it, OCD and obsessively clean as she is, but had to endure, as had I, for she has to sleep with all the lights in the room on. Bright lights make me insane, and fortunately I had a sleeping mask.
Later I reflected on what a world of a difference in a tiny syllable : Revti could have come into my room and said, “Didi, mummy par pankha gir gaya” — “the fan has fallen on mummy.” Heavens, what a difference between ‘ka’ and ‘par’! ka is the possessive: mummy’s fan; par is on.

Well, this morning the family has been calling, and she’s having a jolly time telling the story that she has survived to tell.

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