The Krishna idol in the Pooja room was smiling more vibrantly than ever before. She lighted the lamp, the agarbathis (scented sticks) and dashangam. She slowly chanted her Sandhya Naamam. Just as she finished, a rose petal fell in her palms from the garland Krishna was wearing. Blessing in disguise! 🙂
She then went with the Deepam to the sit-out and kept it there in the middle of the wooden tiled floor.
Tip Tip Tip…
Droplets on the window pane were falling down on the slab beneath and were getting splashed onto the floor. His Titan Chronograph kept on the night-stand too is blessed with a droplet right in the middle of the glass on the face. The alarm clock starts beeping exactly as she kept his evening cup of coffee on the cabinet next to the bed.
Time to pick Gauri (5) from the dance class and Pranav (7) from the piano class…
It’s raining cats and dogs and she just wants to gather her kids together like a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings.
He’s still in the shower. Thunder and lightning are in full form. It’s pouring like never before. She gathers all her courage and knocks on the bathroom door.
He was visibly upset since the past few days and had instructed all of them at home to stay away and not to dare disturb him. She used to go and fetch the kids daily on her own. But today…she knocked once more.
No response again.
She picked up two umbrellas and raincoats, and ran outside. In the hurry to reach the kids, so they didn’t get worried, she had forgotten to open the umbrella. All drenched, she reached the institute and picked up Pranav and Gauri. She felt relieved. Rain too had mellowed down a little bit by then. Possibly, God too was feeling relieved.
After changing her clothes and getting the kids freshened up, she served them hot food and went inside the bedroom to check with him, if she should serve him food now or later.
She ran up to him and wiped off his tears that he was trying to hide, with the tip of her dupatta. Triggered by this simple but sweet gesture, he broke down in front of her. After a long session of pacification and persuasion, he told her that he had lost his job about 10-12 days back. He was worried about how they’ll make both ends meet till he got another job. He was an extravagant and never bothered to save for the rainy days. In the initial years, she had begged him to allow her to work. But he didn’t budge owing to his parental pressure. His mother had roared,
“Working girls dominate the house, her husband and in-laws. That’s why we didn’t get him married to a working girl. Girls are supposed to handle the household, especially the kitchen. Be where you are supposed to be and do what you are supposed to do.”
A B.Tech in Computers, 20 and fresh from the college she was and couldn’t retaliate much…something she has always regretted.
In the past 10 years that she’s been in the house, she had no earnings except the few thousands that her parents and brothers used to hand over when she went on her annual or biannual visits. He used to handover an amount for household expenses to his mother, till about two years back when she expired.
She pacified him for a while and then went out of the room in a jiffy. She came back with a steel can and a wooden box. She handed them over to him. He opened the tin can and found it full of notes of all possible denominations. He was surprised to notice that the notes added up to over a lakh and a half. The wooden box had the gold ornaments she had received during her marriage. There was also a passbook of her account which had over 8 lakhs in it.
He looked at her, a look of disbelief slowly crossing his face.
“After Amma passed away, I had taken up a home-based assignment of Software-Development for a MNC company through the internet. Once you left for office and after dropping the kids to school and finishing household chores, I used to work for 2-3 hours and then went and picked up kids. Again after feeding them, cooking dinner and sending them for tuitions, dance and piano, I used to work for another few hours. I hope you won’t be angry that I didn’t inform you about this earlier. I believe all this money and gold would be of some help till you find a suitable job.”
He hung his head in shame and then hugged her tight and whispered in her ears,
“Priya, I am Sorry!”
Tip Tip Tip…
…it starts raining again. 🙂 🙂 🙂