Amu and Sakhi were tidying up the house and having a nice time too. Sakhi is Amu’s sister in law; that is her brother’s wife. But an outsider will probable take them to be sisters. So nice is their camaraderie. Ever since Amu lost her family in a road accident she has lived with her brother and his family. Her mother too stays with them. It is Amu who notices her mother nodding her hand and waving her finger, and she says, ‘Bhabhi, ask Maa to do some work?’ Sakhi understandingly calls our,’Ammaji, can you cut some palak for me’
‘No, I won’t, why should I? It is your home, you do it”
In a far of land Nimmi and Vimmo are having a nice time. Nimmi sings a song accompanied with the harmonium; Vimmi dances. The song ends, the dance ends and both of them start giggling.
‘Maa, why can’t you help us a little, there is so much to do’, it is Sakhi who tries to convince her mother.
‘Nah’, the old woman says
Nimmi is apprehensive. Her father is searching for alliances for her. Educated, settled but he is not able to. He has so many criteria which his son-in- law should comply to but he does not seem to meet such a guy.
‘Ammaji, see Saru is crying, see what happened?’, says Sakhi. Saru is their neighbors 15 month old daughter. Ammaji loves to play with her. And so she gets up, opens the door and goes out.
Finally Nimmi is getting married. The boy though educated looks after their ancestral farms. Nimmi might not have the comforts of a city but then she is the eldest daughter in law. She, her father hopes will have some command over the others.
Ammaji returns in a good mood and then even helps around the house. After a nice leisurely bath, she sits to have her food. ‘Why have you made such bland food today?
‘Sakhi replies,’Ammaji, all are getting old now, no one is able to digest spicy food’.
‘I know you are getting old, look at your wrinkles and lackluster looks. But I can tolerate spicy foods, at least give me some pickle’
Nimmi is indeed the ‘Boss’ of the house. But work she has lots. The entire household is bursting with people. And she has to look at the kitchen with its daily cooking, the pickle making, the pappad making, the snacks everything she has to overlook. Apart from that she also have to look at the welfare of the people who work in the fields. It is indeed a busy,busy, day every day. And in midst of all that she keeps on getting pregnant .
Sakhi and Amu exchange glances. Then Amu gives her mother a little pickle. Better to heed a little than topple the peace of the house.
Only three kids of hers have survived. Times are changing. There is a new law now. those who tend the fields will own it now. the fields are all going now. The farmhands whose welfare she had so lovingly looked after are now all owners and they turn their faces when she comes across them.
After a nice lunch Ammaji takes a nap. But Amu wakes her up after some time,’ Maa don’t sleep much now otherwise you will not be able to sleep at night’. ‘Who are you tou to tell me what I should do?’ retorts Ammaji
Amu mischievously says, ‘Your daughter’. But ammaji is not in a mood to tolerate it and they have an argument.
Nimmi has lost her husband and then she migrates with her son to the city. Used to a rural life adjustment is tough. She does not know how to work the mixer or to light the gas stove with a lighter. She learns but it is not the same. Then they hear that her grandchildren and son in law have died in an accident.
‘Stop it you two. Your voices can be heard from two streets away’, says Sakhi. She had been to buy some groceries.
Her younger daughter she hears is being harassed by her husband. The pent up emotions all come out and she picks her stick to hit him.
‘Who are you to hit my daughter?’
‘But.. Maaji, when did I ever hit her?’, screams Sakhi
Our mind sometimes plays cruel jokes with us. Unfulfilled desires, pent up emotions often play havoc in the idle mind and often tricks it to doing what one should not do.