By Autar Mota
Let me take a shower and finish with my shave now “ He said to himself..
Another half an hour and it was 8 AM. He again went to Sweety’s bed room and found total silence.
“They must have slept late. It is unwise to knock and disturb them. “ he said to himself and returned to his bedroom to revisit the newspaper pages .
He thought of going to the market to buy milk and bread and make Breakfast for everyone. But then he did not have the keys of the main door. He was warned by Aasha ji not to venture out without door key in the pocket. The door if closed, would only open from outside with a key.
“So what to do now” he said to himself.
It was 8.30 AM and as per his information, Sweety and Rohit ji had to leave at 9.15 AM for their office .He again came closer to their Bed room Door. No sound or movement inside. Now he started feeling that things were not normal. Something was wrong. And then 8.40 AM and status quo. Should he knock at the door? Should he ring Sweety on her mobile? Will it be decent if they were actually sleeping? No! No ! Something is fishy. They should have been ready to leave by now. Should he inform Asha ji back in Jammu? No! No! She will get disturbed unnecessarily. Why not open the Gunny bag that had Nadru ,Haak,Kulcha and all that stuff and keep everything in refrigerator. He finished it quickly with his ears and eyes focused at Sweety’s bed room. It was 8 50 AM and Status quo. Now he felt seriously worried.
“Should he call the Guard ? Should he inform his wife Asha ji ? Should he break open the door? “:Had he come to Bangaluru to see all this ? A whirlwind of disturbing thoughts gave him a shooting headache..
“ O God ! What is this punishment? I need nothing. I don’t need the tea. Who wants a breakfast? what to do now ? Something is surely wrong over here. What to do now?” He kept talking to himself. A cigarette was all that he needed at that moment but where to get it.
It was 8.55 AM Now and suddenly he heard some movement inside the room. He came closer to the door. He heard some commotion in the wash room. The toilet tap was open and then somebody opened the wardrobe. He heaved a sigh of relief. Drank a glassful of water and felt as if his hand had come underneath a boulder but now he had managed to get it released safely.
It was 9.15 AM when the door of Sweety’s Bedroom opened. She and Rohit were ready to leave for their office.
“Papa, We have already ordered some items online like Eggs , fruits , Vegetables , India Gate Basmati Rice , Bread ,Toned Milk, Butter and some grocery . The delivery boy shall be here in half an hour or so. The maid shall come at 10 AM. She has a set of keys with her. May be you need to go out, so keep this set of keys in your pocket. The maid will prepare your breakfast and lunch. I have already talked to her about it. . She shall make chapattis and some dry vegetable for our Dinner. You should have your breakfast with Bread and eggs. If you can, please make some Rajmash the way mummy makes it. You know how mummy makes them spicy and chatpati with a little of Tamarind, Ginger and all that. You better guide the maid and she can make it herself. ”
Sweety opened the refrigerator door and saw it stuffed with what Ramesh Kumar had brought from Jammu. “Please remove all this and create space for what has been ordered from the Mall. Okay Bye.” Saying so, Sweety and Rohit hurried towards the Building lift.
“Very strange , It looks as if this younger generation does not need a breakfast . Shall they go to their office without eating anything? And then work all the day. What for do they earn if they cannot have timely and proper diet? I do not understand. This is not done. They are simply playing with their health. I better buy them a Sandwich Maker. I better Buy them the filling stuff, some olive oil, a bottle of tomato sauce and a bread today. Let them start it from tomorrow. So Simple. Just spread the filling stuff on the bread, apply little olive oil to bread pieces and put it inside the Sandwich maker . Switch on the power and Have your hot stuffed and tasty sandwiches with sauce. O! I forgot their lunch issue.Shall they not have their lunch? Where shall they have it? I cannot see them like this anymore .I need to do something. That was what weighed heavily in his mind at that moment. But then he also thought that they might Be Going straight to the office canteen for their breakfast. He had heard that many corporate offices run subsidized canteens for their staff. He wanted to clarify this issue once for all and free his mind.
“Let me first ask Sweety about this breakfast issue. May be my sandwich maker shall go waste? May be they have some better arrangement in their office. And for homemade breakfast, you need to get up at 7.00 AM. To get up at 7.00AM, you need to sleep at 11.30 PM at the most. This younger generation has changed their body clock by sleeping at 2.30 AM . How can they get up at 7 AM? And this Sweety is now dependent on the maid for everything. Can’t she cook two cups of rice for their Dinner ? Eating stale chapatis for dinner shall make them sick someday. I am going to discuss all these issues with her tonight. I am going to buy them a small rice cooker. That should make their system smooth .Very simple to handle. Just two cups of water in a cupful of rice and nothing more.”
With these thoughts in mind, Ramesh Kumar suddenly turned pensive.
He also wanted to have a general look inside the house. For this, he first went to Sweety’s Bedroom and found Rohit’s night suit on the floor. The calendar page had not been changed since June. The shaving razor and the shaving foam container were in the Wash room sink. Two Wet towels were lying on the bed. A half-filled coffee Mug was lying underneath the bed. On the side table, near the bed , lay a half-eaten rusty apple with a kitchen knife close by.No one had opened the rubber bands of the newspapers for so many days and these had been thrown in the lower shelf of the bedroom cupboard.
Moving to kitchen, he found that the refrigerator had not been cleaned since long. The washing machine too revealed similar story. A packet of Prasad Kaul’s kashmiri Mirch Powder that Aasha ji had given to Sweety during her last shivratri visit to Jammu, was lying unopened in the kitchen cupboard. She had forgotten to keep it in the refrigerator as was suggested to her by Aasha ji.“This is not a family house. Everything is in disorder over here. They live like inmates of a college Hostel. This sweety has not learnt anything from her mother. “
Ramesh Kumar said to himself.
But then he also realized that she had lived away from her parents for so many years .She had almost left her home once she cleared her ten plus two examination. The crucial period when she should have picked up all these things and other values was spent away from home.
“She was not to be blamed totally. A girl who is sharp and efficient at her job , can pick up all this with a little effort. I better send Aasha ji for a fortnight next time. Everything shall be perfect to the desired level. “
These comforting thoughts made Ramesh Kumar forget all and move ahead. .
While he was about to move to kitchen , the doorbell rang .
The Delivery boy from some shopping Mall had come and placed the bill and the ordered items on the lobby floor .Ramesh Kumar checked the items physically with the bill and found them in order .It was 11 AM now. The maid had to come at 10.00 AM sharp but had not turned up .Ramesh Kumar felt hungry but disorder was prevalent everywhere . The kitchen sink , the refrigerator , the wash rooms and the bed rooms .
He came to kitchen side. Looking at the upper Shelf of the kitchen Almirah for some small pressure cooker for cooking Rajmash , he found a new 3 litre rice cooker lying unopened over there . As per the complementary tag attached to it , the rice cooker had been gifted by some friend to Sweety on her marriage . To cook Rajmash , he now needed to wash the pressure cooker lying in the sink .
It was 11.15AM now and the maid had not turned up. Accordingly Ramesh Kumar decided to do some purposeful work. He thought it better to begin with washing of utensils in the sink. He opened his shirt and threw it on the lobby chair and went to the kitchen sink. Thereafter he cleaned the refrigerator and put the ordered stuff inside it . It was 11.45 AM when he decided to make a cup of tea which he drank along with a kashmiri Bakery kulcha that he had brought from Jammu. He now decided to cook Rajmash . And for that he had many other things to do. He went to the market and bought a pack of tamarind, fresh ginger from the vegetable seller, cigarettes , onions and a new Gasket for the pressure cooker that he had washed clean .He also opened the Rice cooker wrapper that he had seen in the kitchen cupboard shelf.
…to be continued
Avtar Mota is a blogger, writes for local and national papers and journals