The ups and downs

Sheela dumped the clothes in the dryer and went and sat by the window sill. Ravi, her husband had said that she just needed an excuse to fight. Was it true?

But wasn’t he demanding… I mean he gets up late and then just commands, where is my coffee, my file, this, that …… why can’t he just do it himself.

True she is a housewife but does that mean she is a servant, always ready toΒ  run at his beck and call.

Ravi meanwhile in the metro was lost in his thoughts. How dare she reply like that, the only thing that he had asked for his cup of coffee. She could have just said that she is bringing. Instead she bites. ‘ Don’t I give it everyday?’. ‘Did you say something to me’, the person sitting next to him asked and Ravi realized that he had spoken aloud. ‘No…’, heΒ  smiled sheepishly.

‘How dare he insult me by saying that I speak too much and to keep my mouth shut. Male chauvinist, huh. Will the kids respect me if he treats me like that’, Sheela thought.

‘How dare she speak like that to me’, Ravi thought, ‘Am I not her husband, the father of her children, what will the children think of me?’

Shalu the ten-year old walked slowly. ‘Hurry up Shalu else we will miss the bus’, thirteen year old Ritesh said.

‘Bhaiya, do you think mom and dad will divorce’, Shalu said

‘Divorce…oh you are upset because of the fight. Don’t worry, Dad will get movie tickets in the evening and mom will cook his favorite food and all will be fine’, said the very wise Ritesh.

‘Really’, said Shalu.

‘Pucca’, said Ritesh

Meanwhile Sheela called her aunt Rukmini, ‘Are you free today, can I come for some time’, she said

‘Why do you sound morose, had a fight with Ravi?’, her aunt said.

Sheela could not say much other than, ‘uh huh’

Rukmini guffawed and said, ‘Sure, you can come in anytime.’

Sheela wondered what had happened to her aunt and why had she guffawed.

Sheela was just about to leave the house when the phone rang.

It was Ravi, She proudly said, ‘Huu….what is it?’, expecting him to apologise.

‘Sheela there was a meeting…the company has had huge losses in the last year, the management has decided to lay off some employees…..’, he said.

‘Why are you afraid, do you think you may be laid off’, she said.

‘Anything can happen…The school fees, the bank loan…how will we manage’, he said

‘Hey come on, you are good at your job, you have so many years experience, you will get some other job. I can work too, nothing will happen, don’t worry’, she said.

And so it went phone calls back and forth.

It was three p.m. when the phone rang. Expecting it to be Ravi, Sheela hurriedly pick the phone. It was Rukmini aunty.

‘Hey Sheela where are you? Have been waiting for you, I will be leaving for my evening walk at four…’, she said

‘Aunty I will not be able to come today, something came up’, Sheela said.

Aunty laughed out loud, ‘So all fine at your end’, she said.

‘Hmm’, Sheela replied.

Aunty guffawed and kept the phone down.

Sheela was wondering why aunty laughed.

Aunty remembered those times of fights with her late husband, the bickering and the making up and wiped a tear.

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