“Goodness! Could you be anymore clumsy?” she snatched a piece of tissue paper from the holder and started to dab hurriedly at the stain that she knew was going to set into her beloved silk sari.
Aargh! Her sari… ruined by her husband’s inattentiveness…
Her Husband… always annoying, always clumsy, and always forgetful…
Could he not see why she was decked up in her favorite sari, even if it was years old? Could he not smell the cooking in their sparse, little kitchen, even if it weren’t as decadent as it used to be? Could he not see why she had been beaming since morning, even if…
“Oh, who am I kidding?! He doesn’t see it. He’s forgotten. Just like he’s forgotten to smile, to love, to appreciate ever since we lost it all”, she sighed heavily as she recalled those long standing debts that snatched everything away from them – their home, their savings, their goodwill, their happiness. It was all about work, and work, and paying off the bills now. There was no time for love or laughter.
She was late for school already, and this stain meant that she would be even more late. She was surely going to miss the school-bus. Then she would have to take an auto-rickshaw, an expense they could do without. Maybe he could drop her off on his way to work, but then his scooter was out for repairs too. Oh, god! More delays!
She hurriedly went into their bedroom and started rummaging angrily in their sparse cupboard for a change of clothes. Everything would need to be ironed first. Another 5 minutes worth of delay.
Suddenly she was spun around and a carefully packaged box was placed in her hand by her beaming husband.
She looked at him confusedly. Could it be he remembered afterall? She tore at the paper hurriedly, in childlike anticipation, only to find a beautiful Benarasi Sari wrapped up neatly in the box.
“Happy Anniversary!! You thought I’d forgotten, didn’t you? Ha, ha, gotcha!”, her Husband sang out and snatched her in his arms. She couldn’t make up her mind whether she wanted to laugh at his impishness or cry at his thoughtfulness. She decided she didn’t want to look silly crying so she made a playful jab at him, “But why did you have to spill chai on my favorite sari?”
“Oh God, I was sick and tired of watching you wear it at every occasion. And don’t lie, it wasn’t your favorite. It was only the best you were left with.”
She was touched. He could see, when she thought him blind to her pain.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t get you anything…”
“But you already have… you stuck by my side when times were so hard. You stood strong when I was weak. You gave me hope when there was none. If it weren’t for you I wouldn’t still be fighting. You’ve given me the greatest gift – hope!”
They embraced, each ensconced in the other’s arms. Each rich in their love for one another.
Copyright ©2017 by Pradita Kapahi.
All rights reserved.
Image Credits: Pradita Kapahi, 2017.