Kavita sat down with her cup and sipped. Today she felt lethargic, it was not just the humid weather which made her tired but the attitude of her sons. For them she was a fool who didn’t know anything other than her world- kitchen. But then she didn’t blame them, how would they know that she had been an all-rounder whilst in college; sports, studies, debates, you name it and she had done it.
In her ‘maayka’ she was still praised, her opinion was still valued but here in her home….
She ignored her sons sarcasm as their ignorance but not her husband’s. How could he negate her and laugh with the kids when they joked about her.Didn’t he know her. She had sacrificed her career for the family. Is the male specie like this. If she had a daughter, Maybe she would have understood her.
The doorbell woke her up from her reverie, It was Milli her niece. She was doing MBBS in this city and would drop by whenever she felt like talking or wanted some home food.
As usual Savita enjoyed her niece’s company, Milli could talk non stop and blow away the blues and so an hour flew by when Milli noticed the medicine strip lying on the corner table. ‘What is this, Mausi, you have been unwell and you haven’t told me?’ And then after checking the name, ‘Mausi, you are on anti depressant? Why?’
‘You must be hungry, I will cook something for you’, Said Savita trying to divert her attention.
‘Got it, you don’t want to tell me. But let me tell you something, anti depressant are not a solution to any problem. I mean if someone is chronically depressed it’s another story but not for you. You are so gifted, try to find the cause for your ”pains’ and find a solution, why depend on chemicals for a solution.’
Savita was having insomnia, her Doctor had examined her and looking at her moods had prescribed both sleeping pills as well as anti depressant.
She knew that the real problem was not insomnia neither menopause as her husband suggested but the feeling of being unwanted, of being neglected, of not being appreciated. Taking these pills elevated her mood somewhat but she knew that what Milli was saying was right.
She opened her inbox to find a mail by her Brother in law Hemant and she left a sigh. From the time she had entered the family years back, she and he had never seen eye to eye and so this mail of his made her anxious.
Dear bhabhi-he wrote
I know this mail will surprise you but I am in a dilemma and in this difficult situation the first person I thought of was you.
Its been about 10 years since we have settled in USA and my kids are totally Americanized, no I am not complaining but the way my kids behave is a little bit difficult for me to accept. Sayali who is 14 now has already dating. I am not against that too but I would have very much liked it if she paid a little attention to her studies too. Sahil 12 is not yet a teen but already has his own mind. I wanted them to stay in India for some time with you. I admire the balanced way you have kept yourself and the way you have raised your sons. Will you look after them for 2 months, teach them about our culture, generally the truths about life.
I don’t wan to impose on you. Please decline if you feel it will be a burden.
Savita was shocked. Tobe appreciated in such a way was a bit alien for her and that too by Hemant was indeed an honor.
Evening she waited eagerly for her husband to arrive, he arrived late and that too in a thoughtful mood. she opened the topic when they were having dinner and as soon as she conveyed what Hemant had said the boys started cracking jokes.
‘ Chacha has lost his mind, if he can’t control his kids, how can he accept mom to do it’, said one.
‘Mom gets lost in a crowded supermarket and he wants her to show way to his lost kids,’ said another.
‘Shut up you two,’ screamed the father, ‘ this lost lady has been responsible for you two being able to stand on your own feet and making your own decisions, otherwise you two also would have been like Hemant’s kids, don’t forget that. Don’t forget that she was the one who looked after you, taught you, groomed you. SHe was the one who listened to your endless prattle and this is the way you reward her, by constantly criticising her.’
His remarks shocked both Savita and her sons. While the sons were ashamed, Savita was surprised, how come he had realised her worth suddenly?
Later in the bedroom, she asked him, ‘Had a hectic day?’
‘Not exactly, the whole day I have spent thinking.’
‘Milli had come to meet me in office. And gave me a piece of her mind. She reminded me how active you were in college, tennis champion, keen debater, so many social issues you championed and then getting married and leaving it all behind to look after us all. How lovingly you looked after my parents, the values you taught our sons. and what did you get in return, nothing. I constantly insulted you because you were not earning and the kids because you were so simple. …………. I feel so ashamed Savita that I never ever realised your worth, so much you have done for us without a murmur, is it too late, will you be able to forgive me?’
While Savita kept on staring at him with glazed eyes.
Savita got an angel in the form of Milli but there are so many whose lives go on unsung.
Not everyone is strong enough to demand what is their due, for those, hold out a hand. Even a smile, a loving word helps.