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"Sumi,what are you doing? Why are you banging the utensils while washing? We were told by our mothers that there should be no noise while washing the utensils. Also,you have taken four offs this month. I am going to deduct the amount from your salary". Preeti was breathing down her neck. Sumi flustered and her hands shook at the volume and the tone of the words being hurled at her. In this confusion,a plate fell from her hand and shattered to pieces.
Preeti came out of her room and was aghast to see that her precious bone china plate,with the lovely golden flowers and delicate embossed work had its pieces all over the kitchen floor.
She was so choked up that the tears welled in her eyes but,she could not speak.
On the other hand, Sumi was terrified as she knew how much her Ma'am loved this set of hers. It had been a gift from her parents on her tenth anniversary. It was special also because it was an expensive set and her parents had saved the money to buy it for her. And,now it would be extremely difficult to complete the set. In Japan,they fill the broken China with gold as they feel that memories need to be preserved,but,this plate was beyond repair. How would she ever explain to her parents about the missing plate.
Suddenly,the silence was deafening.
As both Sumi and Preeti turned to look at each other. Sumi had a big gash on her cheek,which still had signs of dried blood.There were bruises on her hands as well,which was also partly the reason that she lost the grip of the plate.
Preeti had her head bandaged with a piece of cloth and the blood was still trickling down in little droplets. Her eyes were swollen as were Sumi's. Both hugged each other,for they were fellow women in this patriarchal society.