In an unprecedented event that has left many young women panicking in Chennai’s busy OMR region, when an apartment association has disconnected the reticulated gas supply to a single woman professional staying alone. Sources say that reason for this measure was her methodical and planned withdrawal from the activity in Whatsapp group called “merry wives of aqua pond”.
This WhatsApp group comprises of women of the apartment who has office going husbands and school going children. They have some free time between packing 4 rotis, subzi and organic cucumber salad for husband’s lunch (some also include a bottle of buttermilk- Chennai very hot no?) and 4 pm tiffin of Nutella sandwich for the centum in Math 10 year old (only one tuition in Thiruvanmiyur and weekend tuition in West Mambalam).
The free time is productively put to use by these wives by forwarding inspirational messages from next door army uncle or Bill Gates. It may be also relevant to point out that the wife of the president of the association is the group admin (hereinafter called first lady) and sources who did not want to have their name revealed said that the disconnection was the price the president had to pay for his wife not buying another earring from the online jewellery shops “Carat Rabbit” or “Blue Smurf”.
The woman in question whose gas connection got disconnected– Honey (name changed) – took a sabbatical from her illustrious career last year to “find herself” and started staying in the above mentioned Aqua Pond. After copious amount of time spent stalking ex-colleagues in Facebook and trying in vain to learn making Bundt cakes she was in search of new ways to spend her time and find herself. One fine day, while attending the “100 North Indian gravies using Paneer” cookery course, she befriended the first lady and came to know that they live in the same floor of the same apartment. An exception was made by the first lady (normally they don’t let single women in the group) and Honey was added to the elite group (Honey has an uncle with a 2 ground individual house in boat club… for god’s sake, that means something).
Honey was fascinated by the activity in the group and was a willing partner in forwarding “Good morning” with picture of white rose and “Have a great day” with a picture of filter. In the initial days she even enthusiastically sourced some South Indian breakfast pictures from istockphoto and forwarded it as early as 5 am in the morning. In no time honey conquered the group. She collected trumpets and dancing girls by the dozen. All went well with Harvard group study messages and Ratan Tata’s IIM speeches.
Then one weekend she attended a Motivational Yoga workshop and suddenly realized that she was a karma yogi wasting her life away and decided to get back to working in the CSR space of her ex employer (where else can you meet poor people, help them learn how to start SIP’s and earn your salary too). And as honey went back to work she found less and less time to spend in Whatsapp. The remote villages she went to did not have good 3G network also. So her forwards stopped and slowly dwindled to just a thumps up or a clapping hand emoticon and further down to a bouquet a week. Also she did the unthinkable act of removing her last seen option.
Concerned messages about her inactivity in the group from the first lady was answered by “will call later…in a meeting” or “battery running low” which miffed the first lady completely. In the meanwhile the Navaratri season started and the first lady invited honey for Golu Puja, in an attempt to bury the hatchet. Not only did Honey not attend it, but was also very critical of the terracotta bell gifted by the first lady to a common friend (her exact words were–“these are mass produced in Kodambakkam and is just 10 Rs a piece”). This she came to know through the common house maid.
Finally one day unable to deactivate the automatic down load of pictures and devotional song videos, and due to a full memory in the phone, Honey, LEFT THE GROUP. All hell broke loose first lady sent a private message and honey said that it happened because she changed her phone and in her panic, even asked the first lady to add her back on. A few days later she had to travel for work and could not charge her mobile for 2 days continuously. Also some serious signals were coming from the bistro chef guy who she had befriended. So it was very important to keep the charge intact for a “wassup” and “nothing much, just trying to fix a salad” message exchange that might happen after midnight. So she left the group again and next when she turned the notification button on, there were 5 messages from first lady and even a Whatsapp missed call. She ignored it at her own peril.
It is only when she came back home after 3 days and tried to switch the gas on to make her gluten free spinach pasta and green tea that she realized something was wrong. The mechanic said that the gas connection was cut. She briefly turned the last seen option on in her mobile to check with the first lady if she too had any trouble. She realized that she was in deep shit when she saw the DP of the first lady. It was a picture that said “revenge is not what I do, but accidents will happen”. Her status message was “you can enjoy your tea, only with a good morning”.
Smart Honey understood the hidden message (what are so many Dan browns in her wicker bookstand for) and rushed to the 8th floor with a box of figs (left over from last Diwali gifts). The first lady whose authority in the pack had come under a cloud due to one cub that went astray, was quick in pardoning.
Last known information says that the first lady has an agreement from honey to at least forward 5 “value of friend ship”, 3 “women power” and 2 “loser husband” jokes a week. She also has been asked to make the Prasad for the apartment’s Ganesha Temple on all Fridays for 3 months(no repetition of dishes). Then all will be forgiven.Better sense prevailed and Honey has now invested in a charger bank .Also she has posted a query in quora asking how to increase the memory of her phone. Answers are awaited.