Radha was weeding with such a ferociousness which made the earthworms squirm.
For forty-five years Radha had been the undisputed queen of the home front. As a new bride she had a lot of apprehensions. The fact that she had a bossy, chauvinistic husband scared her more. But she had been a fast learner. And had learnt to manage the home beautifully, raised two kids and had even managed to tame the BOSS.
After her husband’s retirement they had come down to stay in Ukkunagaram with their son who was working for the Steel Plant. They had arranged their son’s marriage and everything was going well. She still managed the home while her daughter in law managed herself and the kids. everything was going well until yesterday when her daughter in law -Shruti had screamed at her saying-Ammaji if you still insist on doing everything yourself when will I learn?
‘Huh as if i have stopped her from doing anything’, thought Radha. But what had angered her more was the conversation she had had with her daughter Anoo.
Anoo’s call had come immediately after Shrutis outburst and Radha had not been able to control herself and had cried whilst speaking to her. But Anoo had not sympathised, instead she had said-Amma but Shruti is right. You don’t leave any scope for her to do anything around the house Earlier when the kids were small it was alright but now they have grown, isn’t it time you let her do something.’
‘But I have never stopped her from doing anything’, she had argues.
‘Yes you haven’t. But before she can do anything you finish off all the chores. Like you finish cooking before she comes into the kitchen and…’
‘But what can I do if her day begins at 9 and mine at 5.’
Let it be amma. Does it matter if her day begins at 9am. What matters is that you get your lunch at 1pm.’, Anoo argued.
‘And she cooks such bland, oilless food your dad just abhors what she makes,’ she argued back.
‘Good, he should have such food. Amma Dad has cholesterol, he should have food with minimal oil,’ and so they had volleyed till in frustration she had banged the phone down.
And here she was weeding away in the blazing 11 am sunshine.
‘Radha weed away your anger too,’ it was her husband. ‘I have been thinking Radha, what Anoo and Shruti are saying is right. True in our age we feel unwanted and that’s the reason you try to do everything. To show your worth to show that you can still manage. But Radha we have raised our kids and now is the time to train them to face their responsibilities and if need be to aid them. Its time we moved on and let them come to the forefront.’
Radha understood when told in such a manner. ‘But then what will I do?’
‘You and me will start life afresh. I always wanted to play tennis, now I will learn. True my knees will trouble me but still I will learn. You are so fond of classical music, join some course and together we can go for Gita classes.’
‘But at this age won’t people laugh at us’, she asked.
‘Let them but there will be many who will admire our guts,’ he said with a smile,’ And then we have each other for company, we can face the music together.’