Daily Cereal: Beginnings – Ep 24.

Imagine a car chase across the streets of Wellington …

Ok, forget what you’ve seen on the telly or in the movies – imagine a car chase in the real Wellington. During the lunch peak hour. With police and without a police car.

Yes, that sort of car chase. A very, very slow one.

Up somewhere at the back of Karori Cemetery the convoy has come to halt. The women get out of the car, their saris flapping in the breeze.

The women crowd around the leading car as Nic is gently unbuckled and pulled out of the car. They carry him down the hill and place him on one of the old, abandoned, grassy plots.

On Kelburn Parade a car, containing two police officers, sits behind a bus.

Officer 1: Oh, c’mon! Pull over!

Nic moves his head a little. It hurts. He opens his eyes and sees the smiling faces of his aunties. Through the circle appear his mum and Maya. He sits up with a jolt.

Mum: Don’t worry betta. Relax.

Nic: Wha-wha-what’s going on?

He looks around and notices where they are.

Maya: We’ve got a confession to make.

Nic: Where did, how did, why are they …

Maya sits on the ground next to Nic and puts her arm around him.

Maya: Nikulbhai, I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. If I had been a bit more careful …

Mum: Organised.

Maya: Fine, organised …

Mum: Betta, if your sister hadn’t put her social life before the family business then we wouldn’t be in this mess.

Nic: Family business? What family business?

Mum: This family business.

Nic looks at the smiling aunties.

Nic: And that would be?

Mum: The women around you are some of the finest minds and the most discreet assassins in the country.

Nic: What?

Maya: Manimashi …

Manimashi waves.

Maya: Is a Tai Chi master.


Maya: Speed it up in your head …

Nic: Oh.

Maya: Neenamashi is fantastic at poisons.

Mum: Well she was Chemistry Professor at the University of Mumbai.

Neena: Bombay back then.

Nic: I didn’t know that.

Maya: That’s our advantage, no one does. No one suspects an old Indian woman in a sari.

Nic: You’re not old.

Mum: Maya’s an apprentice.

Nic: Maya get’s everything.

Maya: No I don’t, you got a car.

Nic: On the condition that I drive you around everywhere.

Maya: And you got to go out later than me.

Nic: When I didn’t have to baby sit you.

Mum: Kids!

Nic and Maya: Sorry Mum.

Mum: Nikul, betta, while your sister has obviously made a mess of our operations, you’ve become a liability.

Maya: It means you have to go.

A car screeches to a halt up on the road. Ganga’s voice rings out …

Ganga: Hey, where do you think you’re going?

Officer 1: Ladies please stop what you are doing …

Maya and Nic’s mum gives a signal to the assembled women.

Oh don’t worry, I’m not going to give you a martial arts show down between two police officers and the finest sari assassins the world has ever seen.

I’m not that tacky.


© Sonal Patel, 2007


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