“You are the most important person in my life mother; you have to come and bless my work.”
“I promised myself never to set foot in the house, now don’t make me go back on my words.”
Nearly two decades earlier, Sarala had walked out of her home with her daughter. Repeated pleas and entreaties of her husband, persuation and cajoling by her parents and relatives, could not make Sarala change her mind.
“I am not going back there.”
“That is your husband and your home, beti; at least tell us what is the problem.”
“Just let me stay here for a little while baba; I shall find a job and move out.”
Sarala never said anything more than this. She knew relatives and friends are talking behind her back. They called her “ziddi” and “bewakoof”. How so much stubbornness is not good for a woman. But Sarala did not care. She did find a job, and found a place of her own near her parents. She raised her daughter, seen her through her education. Today, Smriti is an interior designer.
“Here we are mother,”
Smriti stopped the cab infront of the single story house. Smriti had inherited the house from her father; she had renovated and re-decorated the place,
“unlock the door mother, you are my chief guest.”
With a mixture of trepidation and anticipation Sarala turned the key in the lock and opened the door. Instinctively, Sarala went after the light switch by the window, a habit from many years earlier.
“Happy house warming mom!”
the room was filled with noise of laughter and clapping as the fluorescent light flooded the room. Memories of another event came flooding to overwhelmed Sarala. Many years earlier, Samir had handed her keys to this house, amid laughter and happiness of family and friends.
“Mother, these are keys to your house. Let me show you around what I have done.”
Sarala did not express her inner turmoil entering the master bedroom where she had seen her husband and his secretary on her bed.