Labour of love.

Labour of love.

              I happened to come across an article on housewives in today’s newspaper.  It said that, ” a recent High Court judgement has fixed the price of a homemaker’s life at Rs 5,000  a month.”   I read it aloud to ensure it fell on  hubby’s ears. It did fall, unlike other trivial issues, that generally fall on deaf ears. However, the outcome was not very impressive. Hubby, who was in my domain, toasting bread slices for his rumbling tummy, quickly appeared with a plate of two tanned slices, topped with melting cheese, prepared specially  for me. 
           I was pretty stunned! But, before I could form the question, he answered, “This one is for you, my dear, so that you don’t ask me to deposit 5,000 bucks into your bank account from the next month.” Yes, hubby has been accorded with the gift of the gab, which makes sure my witty retorts stay with me, till death do us part.  Now, there are many out there, who will find this gesture extremely loving, and oh, so romantic! But, I did not. No. A pair of bread slices, smeared with cheese, is not going to impress me.
         But, what really set me thinking was, that can someone  fix a price on all that a housewife does for her family? All the love and care we shower on our families, whether we are home makers or professionals, is to ensure their happiness and well being. We put our families on the top of our priority lists, making adjustments for them during any emergencies, in fact, making adjustments for them, all the time.
         Here, I talk about home makers. Working women are in a class apart. They are the admirable heroes, balancing home and work with such ease and efficiency, even our Maker would bow before them with respect! But, we – the home makers – are the ones who get the raw deal. We leave our jobs, disuse our education, ignore ourselves, in order to look after our families. We are the ‘cooks, cleaners, maids, alarm clocks, janitors, doctors, councillors, teachers, what-nots’ of our families, but, ultimately we are the ones whose labour goes unnoticed, unpaid and uncared for. Do you think that a piddling amount of Rs. 5,000 is the value of everything we do for our families? The  question was asked in the article, too!
        During discussions, the professionals get tagged as the ‘working’ women. Hello! What do we do the entire day? Hatch eggs? Who takes care of your parents, while you are out gallivanting  round town? Who cares for the kids, runs errands, finishes household chores and the added tasks you dump on our heads before leaving for that ‘very important meeting with the clients’ (read, party with the boys)?  Call it a rant, if you will. But, all of the above has a reason.
         The other day,  I  dropped a hint of being unavailable on the weekend, as I wished to go, visit mum, and spend a few hours relaxing with her. Quick came the news from hubby that his sis would be visiting during the said time.  I happened to reply, in jest, that she took breaks a lot more frequently than I did. She, who happens to be a very dear friend, would surely never mind the remark. But, hubby did. His retort to my jest-y remark was, “She needs the breaks. SHE WORKS!”
       And, all hell broke loose.

        
Just chillin’…

Just chillin’…

                  The alarm goes off at 6:30 am. I scramble to shut the croaking machine before it awakens the husband. Groggily, I squint at the window, which seems to be welcoming the daylight as happily as a wife welcoming her out-stationed husband.  Shucks! Its morning already! But, I just slept a few hours ago! My mind gets into the grumbling mode. Well, can’t blame it. Who won’t grumble on having to wake up in the wee hours during the best season of the year?
                I go back to sleep — to catch a precious few winks — when the dog begins to whine. I again scramble to shut the whining machine by patting his head and pulling him in my blanket, with no luck. This whining machine comes with a sharp brain and a stubborn resolve. I have no choice but to shrug my blankie and step out of my warm cocoon.  Its time for his walk. 
             
              The cold hits me as I step outdoors, all bundled up in my woollens. I still shiver as we brave the wind,  and think about the  day ahead. The mind finally wakes up and begins making notes of the chores for the day. But, it finds itself all alone, completely abandoned by my body. The body is in no mood to move a muscle. It somehow finishes the walk, gets the dog home, washes, cleans, feeds and gets back in the sluggish mode, all over again.

          Unluckily, for us, winter somehow does not seem to agree with the shores of Mumbai. It plays a game of touch and go. One moment we are all packed in our rarely used woolies, the next moment, we are  drenched in rivulets of sweat!  How I wish winters in Mumbai were never-ending! Just thinking about curling up in the warm, cozy blankets all day long, sipping endless cups of hot coffee and enjoying non-sweaty days gives ‘chilling out’ a totally new meaning! 

        Ah! But that is not to be. This too shall pass. And before we know it, the long days of summer will be at out door step, wringing the life out of us. So, until then, let me just  stay cooped up in my warm blanket with my favourite book and  leave the boring chores for some other time! 

          
382 words.           
           
A battle ends.

A battle ends.

          In a languid state, breathing her last few breaths, she looks at peace — a blessing — after a lifelong struggle with the devil, that resided  in her mind.  
         Living  a  life on drugs,  that held her together, but sapped her of every ounce of her energy,  death is a welcome release. 
          
 Word Prompt: Together.       
Words: 50

Linking Up with the Fiction Challenge ‘From 15 to 50′

Chef’s special.

Chef’s special.

                    A  day spent with  the girl friends, indulging in some much-needed gossip-therapy (and some retail-therapy),  leaves me feeling buoyant and renewed as never before, when realisation strikes, like lightning.
                 My domain has been under the husband’s care for an entire day and I begin to imagine the scene that will welcome me at home; the house  in a complete mess,  clothes changed a hundred times lying around, awaiting their turn to be dumped in the laundry basket,  the towel drying on the bed, newspapers  flying around in the drawing room, and the kitchen — MY kitchen —  a war zone! 
              What did he cook for lunch? I wonder, remembering his words, “Don’t you worry about my meals, darling. You go, enjoy your time with the girls!”  
             All the joy that I amassed during those precious moments seems to be retreating in the shadows, as the mound of chores awaiting me begins appearing in front of my eyes like an apparition, sucking the wind out of my lungs.
        I take in a deep breath and steady myself as I ring the doorbell, announcing my arrival, when the door flies open and I am hit by an overpowering aroma of freshly baked cake, made by the husband  for his wife of 15 years; the loving smile on his face tells  me  to shut up and forgive him for forgetting the date…once again! 
        


[Lillie McFerrin Writes] Five Sentence Fiction – Fresh

http://lilliemcferrin.com/five-sentence-fiction-fresh/


When I am really old, I hope to look back at life and know that……

When I am really old, I hope to look back at life and know that……

                      Life, as we know,  is about looking forward– leaving the past behind and looking ahead at  a  bright and  a  promising future.  But, there are times when the past beckons.  I have begun experiencing those moments, when I look back at the days gone by.  But, those moments are few and far between. I feel  there is still time to completely get into the reflective mode — reminiscing about the years gone by and looking at the horizon, awaiting the finale  of a life well lived.  And, when I do reach that stage — when I reach my old age — and, when I look back at my life, I would like to know that…

                   ….I lived a full life, a contented life. That, I played the part given to me at every stage, to the best of my ability.  Be it of a daughter, a sister, a wife or a mother, I put in my best in every role I played. I know, I have driven people up the wall  at some point or the other, but, I would like to hope I have been forgiven.  I will be thankful to the people who were sent in my life. It is because of them, that I turned out the way I did. People who taught me the meaning of patience, understanding, empathy and selfless, unconditional love.  How these helped chisel the rough edges and  made me a much better person than I would have been otherwise!

                 ….I was lucky in meeting some wonderful people along the way, who, by their sheer goodness,  confirmed my faith in humanity. I was  fortunate in meeting the right kind of people, who were helpful in times of need. The tough chapters of my life will definitely end with gratitude for those guardian angels who looked after me, and helped me tide over  the turbulent times — my hand secure in their’s — as I waded through the  rough seas.

                ….I was blessed enough to have made some really amazing friends, who, over a period of time, became my soul mates, and stood by me, through thick and thin.  Who  added cheer to the dull moments, picked me up when I stumbled and fell, drilled some sense in me when I went off-tangent .

               ….And,  most importantly, I will  know, how fruitless it is to hold on to grudges, and how fruitful it is to let go. And, how relieved it felt on letting go of some hurtful words and deeds committed in moments of intense passion. Letting go of what was never in my destiny, and doing good with what had been arranged for me.  Making mistakes along the way, learning from those mistakes and paving the way with stones of wisdom,  to avoid stumbling and falling  again!

              Aah! That felt good –fast-forwarding to the future and looking back at the past!  But, as I came back to the present, I realised I have a long way to go!  Many a things to learn, a countless improvements to make, so that when the time comes, I get a chance to smile at the life gone by and give a little pat on my back at having lived  a life just as it had been chalked out for me!
                   

This is a Finish The Sentence Friday post.

Today’s prompt is When I am really old, I hope to look back at life and know that…