‘Four more days to go’ thought Sushma. She had been counting from so long that now when she got up in the morning, the first thing that came to her mind was the number of days.
Sushma loved to dress up and accessorizing. Since her arrival to Bahrain, she had fallen in love with gold ornaments. And love she might but circumstances had been such that she had not been able to buy any; since her marriage. But now, 4 days later she would with ‘her’ money.
She was very proud of her money. When Keerti her daughter had been about one year old, Sushma had demanded her husband Suresh for something, she didn’t remember what exactly now. But he had screamed at her saying that did she know how difficult it was to juggle with finances, with responsibilities and the needs of a small baby. Although he had apologised later but from then on she had never demanded anything from him.
Instead she had found her niche. She baked and made snacks-cocktail, birthday snacks, finger food etc for small gatherings. And there was good demand for Indian snacks if only made less spicy. And if home-made the demand was much more. Then she had a network of UK residents who left their children in her care when they wanted to shop or just wanted some peace time. And Sushma converted these times to story times. Our Panchatantra tales always help, she thought joyously.
So that was how she earned ‘her’ money. She used it to fulfil some of her wants and some of Keertis wishes. And then to buy gifts for Suresh and for the family back home. Small knick knacks which always brought a smile.Although initially she had been angry by Suresh’s remark, now she held no grudge, because it was that remark of his which had made her try something new and brought on confidence.
But for the past one year she had been saving. Saving to buy a necklace. She had a large order that weekend-3days later and with that money and her savings she was going to buy it.
So in a happy mood, she sat with the Gulf Weekly. She liked reading it because it had gossip and also had news about events happening in the local community. ‘hey whats this -the famous Bharatnatyam dancer Valli Anand was visiting Bahrain and would choose 10 dancers and train them personally for 3 months. At the end of which they would have an Arangetram(First public performance), wow what an honor she thought.
Keerti was learning Bharatnatyam. While she loved Salsa, Keerti loved the traditional dances. Keerti would be so happy if she was chosen by Valli thought Sushma.
Evening found Keerti in a morose mood. On asking she told that she had been selected by Valli. “But in such a case you should be happy, I am so proud of you’, said Sushma.’But Amma the fees for 3 months is BD 250 and later the expense for the performance, costume would be some BD 200 and above’. And so the discussion came to a standstill then and there.
It was Saturday and Sushma was jubilant. It was ‘the’day. ‘She had it all planned, afternoon she and Keeti would lunch at Little Caesars, then off to a movie and then … of to Gold City.
‘Keerti are you ready?’, she called out.
‘No amma I don’t feel like going out. You go and have a good time, I will make some Maggi for myself.’
‘What go? Your appa is of to work, you at home, what will I do alone. Ok then I will go just to Gold city and return’, she said and left but Keertis lacklustre face lingered in her mind.
Evening tea and snacks were made with a spring in her steps and a twinkle in the eye. ‘Why Sushma, you won’t show us your purchase,’ teased Suresh.
‘Oh yes here it is’, and she waved a receipt.
‘Oh so you have designed a piece and given an order is it?’
‘No, this is the receipt for dance training from Ms. Valli Anand to a certain Ms. Keerti Suresh.’ said Sushma
‘Oh Amma’, said Keeri and hugged her ferociously.
Later Suresh asked her ‘Why did you do it? I mean you were saving for this necklace from so long’.
‘Did you see the smile on Keertis face today. It’s worth a million necklaces.’ said she.
‘Women thought Suresh they will crib and cringe for small things and when need be will murder their own wishes for simple joys. Let me see, Mr Bhandary was telling about some Sheikhs sons needing Maths tuitions. Maybe if I take it on, I can buy her – her dream necklace’ and he picked up his mobile.