The air around them jiggled with jollity. Five Punjabi women on wanderlust by themselves, no marital benevolence in immediate attendance! Ensconced in a privileged bubble of petulant peach, their Christian Dior bags hushed everyone in range except the greasy lad on the first flight of his life to Bangkok with his friends.
“Aunties, why are you going to Pattaya at your age? It is a shame. You are going to bring a bad name to our country. You all should be visiting Haridwar to take a religious dip in the Ganges. What are you going to do on those beaches?”
The aisle erupted with rambunctious laughter. They wagged their Mac nail paint tipped fingers at the young flock, “We specially picked that town for all the hanky-panky that goes on there! Don’t you all know that the new sixties are the new forties? And why should the young people have all the fun?!” A fresh burst of merriment bubbled out of them to see the boys beat their foreheads in disapproving despair.
Clad in designer linen, their fingers drooping with cocktail rings that winked, the ladies radiated an odd air of earned brashness. They had been good mothers and wives and had the self-assuredness of lives lived well enough, to give themselves regular breaks such as the one they were on.
“We will be at the Hilton, Pattaya. The Jomtien beach is better, a bit away and cleaner. Where will you all be staying?” they could afford their friendliness. “We, well, we won an all-inclusive vacation giveaway, four day, three night’s luxury at the Courtyard, South Pattaya,” the youngsters responded gleefully. Several pairs of tended eyebrows shot up at this and remained suspended under the colored hairlines until the two groups stopped to say their goodbyes at the Suvarnabhumi airport luggage carousel. “Be good!” the lads admonished the aunties indulgently. They were turning away when one of the matrons beckoned the greasy one closer, “Here, take this, we have two. It is our farewell gift to you all. Use it. Place it at a strategic point. These hotels are quick to compensate for poor hygiene. If nothing else, you can threaten them with a bad review on TripAdvisor.”
The bevy tittered away in the distance, leaving the curious young men staring down in silence at the gift. It was a six inches long, lifelike, realistic rubber lizard!