Mrs.Sharma came in with shopping bags in both of her hands and proceeded to stack things in their proper places. Then she looked around, made sure that nobody was around and took out her prized possession- chocolates and stacked them neatly at the deepest corner of the refrigerator, in such a way that none could see it. Nobody would see it anyways, because apart from her there was rarely anyone at home. Her husband was the General Manager of a Food processing company. He was the GM for the entire GCC except KSA(Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), which meant that he was mostly on tours. Son was away studying Engineering in the UK, daughter was with them but seldom at home. Either she was at college or at some mall or partying.
Which meant that most of the time Mrs. Sharma was alone. The thought of loneliness made her crave for some chocolate and she popped in a butter chocolate. Just a few years back she was so busy. Everyone needed her and her time. Her husband took her advice, kids wanted her help for their studies, she cooked, she dropped the kids to their classes and now, no one wanted her. She would be really surprised if anyone noticed her.

Yes, she was a member of the Indian Ladies association, the Angels Toastmasters but was it enough? Can anyone replace the love and completeness that a family provides? And in went a Ferrero.

And her neighb ours? Good people but all were Madrasis. For Mrs. Sharma anyone south of Maharashtra was a Madrasi. What can you speak to them with their rolling tongues? Oh yes she was cordial to them. But all they talked was about cooking and which spiritual class was going where and of bhajans. Was she that old to attend Gita classes and sing bhajans? And in went a Galaxy.

She loved to cook, to invent but who was there to eat. So whatever she cooked stood in the refrigerator for some days until it was passed on to the liftman, the cleaner or the maid. The skinny cleaner had developed quite a physique after he started work in their building. And her husband had started wondering why although none were at home the grocery bill was sky rocketing.

Loneliness…Mrs. Sharma reflected was such a painful feeling; all the while moving her hands lovingly on a Van Houten, was it a wonder then that she had become a chocoholic?

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