We came back with a gift. The meeting had been with a travel agency. They had some travel packages. Though we declined their offer, we were given a gift.
We came home, I had some chores to finish but the kids were anxious to know what was in that gift and so they opened it. ‘Dinner set, eeks’, Adya screamed. Aditya made a face and both went away. The better half looked at me and asked, ‘Do you need this?’
‘No’, I said. I already had two sets and didn’t want one more. ‘I will gift it to Trisha’, I said. He mumbled a yes.
Trisha my sister, younger to me by ten years was getting married after a long courtship of five years. Both she and Dilip had waited so long because they wanted to live in ‘their’ home. They had purchased their flat about a year back and were getting married in two months time.
Every waking moment I was spending planning for her wedding. Whatever caught my fancy was purchased for her.
And so the dinner set was carefully kept.
Only ten days were left for our trip to India. I kept all the things I had purchased for Trisha in the spare room. It would be easier that way to pack it up and nothing was forgotten.
‘Didi, how can I clean this room if you keep everything scattered’, It was my maid Sudha.
‘Leave it like that Sudha or else I will miss something’, I told her.
‘This design is so nice she said looking at the cover of the dinner set. I want to get something like that for my Kirti’, she said. She sat down ogling at the box. After 5 minutes I asked her, ‘Now will you proceed with your other work’. She got up reluctantly.
Sudha belongs to an a family of farmers. But the drought has completely wrecked their lives. And so some 4 years back, she and her husband came down to the Gulf to earn some money. They had left their children back at home with his parents. The elder one is now of marriageable age. And Sudha dreams of getting her married to an educated man. Each spare fils is saved for their daughter’s marriage.
Our preparations are in full swing. Shopping is almost over, packing is on. The spare room is full of things to be packed. Sudha helps me in every single thing. Because of her I have managed my sanity. Balancing job, office, two boisterous kids and a wedding is no mean feat.
‘Didi why have you not packed the dinner set’, Sudha asks.
‘Because that will go in hand baggage’, I say.
‘Hmm’, she says fondling the pack as if it is a newborn baby.
We leave for the airport in ten minutes. I rush here and there to check if I have not missed anything. In the end I catch the dinner set and give it to Sudha, ‘This is for your daughter’, I say.
‘But…you kept this for your sister’, she said. ‘She can buy her own’, I say.
The aeroplane soars high. I soar higher than it. I will never forget the look of delight on the face of Sudha. Just a dinner set and yet it gave so much pleasure to her.
**Image courtesy Google images