Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Before You Retort...

My domestic help came in on time today morning. He always does. He came as usual, in his brisk way. 

But today, there was something not like him about the way he walked. He seemed to have mellowed down a bit. As he rode in on his motorcycle, it seemed he had been deeply preoccupied or concerned about some problem.

As soon as he got down, he took out his phone and started dialling. This was unusual, for he always greets me when we meet at the gate.

Actually, it turned out he had an argument with his wife that morning.

It had been over a cup of tea. She had served him tea late, as he was getting on to his bike. 

In a fury, he told her to drink it herself, turned and rode away. As he sped away, he stole a glance at her in his rear view mirror. She was standing there, still like a tree, cup in hand, looking after him.

Suddenly remorse struck him like a tennis ball. He imagined of all the chores she performed at home, for him and for the children. He remembered how she had looked after him when he had been ill, how she waited for him to return at night to have food. 

He looked in the mirror again. She was still standing there, cup in hand, even though he couldn't make out her face.

Her stunned, sad figure made him feel bad, really bad. He wanted to stop, turn around, go up to her, and hug her, tell her not to worry.

But there was no time. He had to be on the highway before the mad rush of the machine monsters began. He felt his feelings were being crushed under the giant wheels of the 18 wheeler truck rolling in front of him. 

He resolved to buy her a sari in the evening.

Before that, he needed to make a phone call...
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