After 15 years of togetherness he was now spewing out diluting the ingredients of my hard work letting me down in my hour of crisis, he badly needed a makeover. I thought I should call it quits! But that grey old guy never tires whistling flirtatiously at me in his monotonous shrilling tunes, he is still huffing and puffing unable to let go of the pressure within. I was furious at his insensitivity so much that I splashed some water on his square face gesturing him to shut up and behave, the remaining water I emptied on the mound of flour that waited for a spa like kneading.
It is already 6.20am and the bus would be here by 7, I had to hurry so I grabbed him again by his crest this time but he would not budge and was determined to test and tease me. Pressure Cookers you know! They conk when we need them most, they never understand us women! I slipped into my thoughts wondering why did I have to do this? I could have been a corporate head with a large team under me or I could have been a backpacker spending time at the most exotic spas feasting and flying around like a Mavic bird or I could have simply hired a Raamu Kaka but here I was grating and grinding all that pungent masala grudgingly, the recipe of which my monster-in-law had meticulously engraved in me many years ago. A thought about the loving mother in law early in the morning could be highly prolific and beneficial at the same time as I now clasped the flour wriggling my fist fiercely into it, releasing my wild imaginations flow and began beating and pummeling it hard against the platform, such skills makes the dough and relationships much smoother you see!
Like you, even I have had a somewhat decent education, like you even I had my parents spoon feeding and pampering me all along, like you even I have a job but a thankless one but suddenly I was required to wash everybody’s undies and clean and pick after you all that mess you accumulate, I do not know how but I have been promoted overnight as a food and laundry manager without applying for it. I am the Scorch Brite who removes all the stains on the dining table, that you left last night and I am the official duster of the house, I am the patented dabbewaali who will tolerantly bail out those choicest taste buds that keep asking ‘what’s for tomorrow’s dabba’ and I am the Tata namak who will add taste in your life!
Four-three-two and one the microwave beeped like in a gothic film, setting the stage for a perfect display of chivalry and I said to myself “Cut them down to size now” as I dashed slicing and slivering the last minute chop-suey of vegetables into the pan ruthlessly as they now shivered and shrunk sweating sooner than the sinner in me had expected but my prestigious BF in the kitchen is still gurgling nasty sounds, seems like he is having a stomach upset today, after marriage BF only means Break Fast in case you went back into flashback! It is 6.45am, my kids are almost ready and I am only left with the last chore of making rotis now, I slip into my reverie again __ “this is the best part of my life, I could have been anything anywhere a crime reporter doing a sting operation, a wild life enthusiast digging up a crock’s mouth or perhaps a dancing diva or even skydiving or”__ but suddenly a voice reverberates as if deep down from a well __ ‘Amma……’!
Am I hallucinating or is it a spiritual inner voice? No! It is actually coming from the washroom closet __ ‘Amma! I am done’ Holy hell you undid your uniform in this last moment! I rush and give him a quick wash smiling to myself, yes! I could have been anything but here I am washing this little rogue’s butt, this little truth suddenly dawns upon me a connecting empathy with all those in-law clichés, all their sacrifices, oh my god I am getting philanthropically enlightened now! Who said inspiration comes only from the laughter of a child or a smile of your loved one or a blooming bud it can even come while you wash and wipe a little bum, it can even occur when you sweat out for your dear ones in the kitchen and it is this unexplained unspoken optimistic wiring in women that go on to consume their bouts of everyday stress and depression to make the world around you function unstoppably because each day is my day __ women’s day. Oh my! It is 5 minutes to 7 and I quickly pinch a little ball of dough and mould it stimulating all the palm chakras vigorously in the nth moment and swat the steaming phulkas tucking them into the box and zoooom….. we go, I really don’t know how that lady in the movie (Lunch Box) goes on to pack food for a stranger when I am struggling to make ends meet for my loved ones, philanthropic movies I tell you! The lift does not stop we race on the fleet of stairs, hiking the road dragging the kid along to reach our daily targets waving desperately at the already moving bus! Trrrrrrrrrrr…… the alarm rings again and I realize I had been hitting the snooze button all this while rubbing my eyes I jump out, gosh!! It is already 7 o clock, the mixed vegetable curry, the pulao the phulka and that entire Phantom race was only an early morning dream?!!!
“Mummy you are late can I please take the food coupon today??
My son is ready and wakes me up. Howzattt!!
Good gracious! I have this option to laze and dream once in a while but there are millions of women like me who slog their lives day in and day out to run that reality show called family, which requires a great deal of mental health that is achieved with their productive thinking, dedication and unconditional love. But off late we are only busy with our gadget stricken life that we have a lot of under utilized time to brood over insignificant issues which result in low morale and is often hastily classified as depression. Actually it is a midlife crisis with a monotony syndrome that often triggers and creeps in stealthily a feeling of nothingness, loneliness and a feeling of not doing anything substantial, inability to cope with changing responsibilities, inability to express to a thick skinned partner oblivious to the monotony brewing in his partner’s head who is indifferent to the loud signals seeking to spend quality time, inability to enjoy anything at all around you, temper tantrums and most importantly inability to rise for yourselves.
Strangely we all depend on others to make our lives engaging, most of us think we are running the show but as time passes you realize that time takes care of many things, kids grow up and suddenly now you have ample time on your hands that you do not know how to fill up, you need to acknowledge and understanding this gap and try to engage early in life in an activity apart from your everyday schedules.
I am sure this will help you get out of that lunch box phobias!