Together We’ll Move Mountains

The alarm bell rang at 4.a.m. Ridhima snoozed it by mistake and snored off again.

She had slept around 2 a.m. after completing Anvi’s poster on World Peace that had to be submitted on Monday morning.

She was startled by the door bell that chanted the Gayathri Mantra upon the arrival of the milkman.

6.00 a.m.!!! Shit man!!! 
How am I going to get Anvi ready for school? Ashwin too has to leave early today for a business meeting.
Lord, I can’t waste a single minute now.

She gets off and for the next one hour, she marathons between the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, waking up Anvi and Ashwin, giving Anvi a bath, preparing their breakfast and lunch, packing tiffins, in between feeding 5-month old Advaith who woke up out of hunger. She was nothing short of an automated robot.

At 7.05 a.m., she finally took Anvi down to the bus stop, and almost missed the school bus. She then rushed back home, so Ashwin could leave for office.

The moment she entered, he complained,

“Why do you make such sticky Upma? You know I don’t like it at all. Huh!”

and then he barged out closing the door with a thud.

 “I should have woken up early. My mistake!” She murmured to herself.

She ran into the bedroom to pick up Advaith, who woke up to the commotion Daddy had created and was wailing uncontrollably.

She gave him a bath, fed him Cerelac and then put him to sleep again. While he was asleep, she cleaned up the house, completed dusting and mopping, cleaned up the utensils, completed washing the clothes that were soaked in last night and put them out to dry and finally around 12 p.m., she took a bath.

Time for Advaith to wake up…the bubbly boy was all smiles now because he had a good few hours of undisturbed sleep. Ridhima cuddled him for a few minutes and then tuck him into his pram and put on the Nursery Rhymes CD. She changed and then filled up the cheques for paying the water and electricity bills. Just when she was about to leave with Advaith in the baby pouch, she spotted Anvi’s poster which was lying on the dining table.

Oh no! Anvi forgot to pick it up. Poor girl might have got scolded. I should have reminded her. My mistake!

She then dropped both the bills and cheques at the RWA office and went to the nearby Food Bazaar to get some veggies and kitchen stuff. Suddenly, as a reflex action, she dumps the trolley with the guard and rushes to the washroom.

“Advaith, why do you always poop when you shouldn’t be???”

She cleans him up, hurriedly picks up the items on her list, and pays the bill.

Oooopppppsss! It’s already 2.15. Anvi’s bus will reach in 15 minutes. I got to rush back else she’ll be scared and they’ll take her back to school.

She almost completes a thirteen minutes marathon race to reach the bus stand panting and puffing for breath. Advaith was giggling all the way, because he was enjoying the fun–ride clinging onto Mamma’s chest in the baby pouch.

Here comes Anvi Di, with a sad face. She sure got scolded for the poster.

You’re a bad Mamma! You didn’t send the poster. Teacher made me sit on the floor. Everyone was laughing at me. You’re too bad.

Ridhima gives her a tight hug and a few kisses and apologizes.

Once back home, she microwaves the Pulao and Curry and serves food for Anvi.

Ney, I don’t want to have Pulao. I want Dosa only.

Anvi, there’s no batter left. And Pulao is so tasty, yummy and healthy. Have it for me and you’ll be glowing like Cindrella.

Ney, I don’t want it. Period.

After a few more unsuccessful attempts to persuade her, Ridhima walks into the kitchen and a little later she comes back with hot Dosas with gun powder. Anvi is all smiles and heads to munch upon the hot delicious Dosas.

Ridhima managed to make Dosas using aata (wheat flour) and Rava.

Thank God, wheat flour wasn’t over.”  She said to herself.

She fed Advaith, while Anvi finished her meal and then put them to sleep.

Picking up dried clothes from the balcony, ironing Anvi’s uniforms and Ashwin’s clothes, stitching the torn ones, and preparing dinner…she completely lost track of time.

Phew!!! It’s 6 p.m. Time to take them to the park. She whispered to herself.

An hour in the park and then they were back home on Anvi’s study table. Another project to be submitted tomorrow morning and definitely a first grader cannot be expected to do it by herself.

She was working on the project while making Anvi do her homework and in between fed Advaith twice.

Om bhur bhuvah svah tat savitur varenyam ….

went the door bell around 8.45 p.m. Ashwin is back. She offered him water and then prepared tea.

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Picture courtesy: Google Image Search

He was quiet, extremely quiet. He didn’t even talk to Anvi or respond to Advaith’s baby talk.

He got fresh, had very little food and went off to bed.

He woke up at around 1 a.m. and was puzzled to see Ridhima missing from the bedroom.

He went out into the living room and found her still working on Anvi’s project.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ashwin got stuck in a traffic jam and reached office just on time for the meeting.

After the meeting when he was back in his cabin, one of his boys, Sidhanth, went in with a dhabba of laddoos.

Sir, thanks for the promotion and the increment. The bank finally approved my home loan. My parents are really happy that finally we’ll all be able to shift to our own house.”

You deserved it. You worked really hard and made the project successful and profitable for the company. Congratulations!

Sidhanth was a real asset to the organization. Ashwin adored him for his dedication, hard work and intelligence.

Ashwin then got into two more meetings and post lunch he got a mail from HR which made him completely blank.

Fire Sidhanth. The project for which he was hired is over and we cannot afford to pay him anymore.
We have to meet our profit targets and hence this is part of the head count reduction process we’re carrying out across the company.

He headed straight to his manager and then to the HR, but to no avail.

He tried turning to every possible pillar, but all in vain. He knew Sidhanth was the only bread-winner for the family. He was also blessed with a baby girl just weeks ago.

Ashwin had to do it under pressure.

Sidhanth’s last few words before he left, kept ringing in his ears.

I know you fought for me, Sir! Thank you! And God bless you!

At around 7.30 p.m., Ashwin mustered courage and hit the send button of the email with subject: RESIGNATION

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ridhi, come and sleep. Why do you slog so much?”

Ashwin, just a few more minutes and I’ll be done. You go and sleep. You look very tired.
You’ve to leave early in the morning too…right???

Ashwin went and sat besides her and helped her finish the work.

As she came out of the kitchen with a glass of milk for him, he said,

Ridhi, I don’t have to go to office from tomorrow onwards…”

She went to him, hugged him and handed over an envelope. It was his selection letter from IIM-Ahmedabad.

His eyes were twinkling in amazement.

Ridhima went up to him and whispered in his ears,

Together we’ll move mountains.

P.S: Dedicated to my ‘Someone Special ‘ 🙂

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25 Replies to “Together We’ll Move Mountains”

  1. That was a nice story ending on a positive note when it looked like it almost wouldn’t!
    Just a small observation. I noticed the tenses jumping all over the place – from present to past to present. You might want to check that once.

    http://reekycoleslaw.com/

    1. Thanks Rickie for the honest feedback! I’ll definitely run through it for the corrections. 7-8 years of juggling between tenseless programming languages have eaten up all my senses…err tenses. 😀

  2. No murder or crime involved, but there’s suspense built-in so well! I couldn’t figure out (still can’t!) how much fact has been added to this story.
    The editor in me noticed the ‘jumping tenses’, but I thought that was deliberate!! Superb narrative!

    1. Facts + Fiction, isn’t that what makes a short story? There definitely is some amount of fact on every story. Thanks! And I’m glad that you liked it.

      I have done some edits for the tenses…pls do let me know if it’s fine now. 🙂

    1. Hi Rachna, an almost true story. In reality, Ridhima is a working woman and did support her husband financially while Ashwin completed his studies. Just wanted to add a bit of fiction, and hence chose to make her a stay at home mom, which is my big time dream. 🙂

  3. Loved it Rekha – you ‘re a real human being and what a fantastic one ! It shows thru’ in your words and between the lines… who ever the special people in your life, hey they’re fortunate…. :))))

  4. Beautifully written, Reks! Enjoyed it thoroughly. Like the way you eased off on the housewife’s chores and routine just at the right time, and switched the focus. Brilliant! With more practice I can see both the prose and the story-telling capability getting better. More power to you!

  5. Awesome awesome story Reks, wonderfully written, keeps you on the edge till the very end despite the fact that there is no crime at all in the whole story. I personally didn’t notice the tenses given that I am probably as new as you are at writing fictional pieces, thoroughly enjoyed the narrative and the style of storytelling.

    Keep us entertained with more fiction pieces 😀

  6. The story touched my heart and found so much in common with Ashwin. Our newspaper closed and was shifted to another department. A week later, I resigned and still job hunting:) I am glad, I took the steps. The story of the women who pull all strings to ensure family happiness is beautiful and I wonder why so much pressure on someone. Just because she is a woman? The end of the patriarchal mindset seems to be a distant dream.

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