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It was 6am in the morning. Souparnika was busy in the kitchen. It was another working day and she had to get her kids ready to school. Her husband had gone out of station. She had to complete the kitchen work and get the kids ready to school - all by herself. Although her hands were deftly running around with different chores in the kitchen, her mind was thinking about her mother-in-law who was hospitalised in her native. Her husband had gone to be with her in the hospital. She had not been keeping well for the past couple of months and had to be taken to the hospital on and off.
Tring....Tring.... The phone rang. Sou rushed to pick up the call. It was her brother-in-law on the other side. 'Hello... Amma has left us. She is no more', the caller said. This was followed by a moment of silence. Sou didn't know how to react or what to say. She quickly regained her consciousness and tried mumbling 'oh... When and how did this happen? I thought she was ok at 10pm last night. Does San know? Has he reached there? you should be very brave in this moment of crisis. Shall I start right away? I can leave the kids with the maid for a day or two and can start immediately'. She could hear her brother-in-law say ' We are just waiting for San to arrive. I will let you know in a while if you need to start' and the phone got disconnected.
Her thoughts ran back to the previous night. Her husband Sanjeev was worried about his mother's health. Since she was in a small town, he feared that she might not be getting good medical attention. However, this time, since he was taking doctor uncle along with him, he felt confident that doctor uncle would give her proper treatment and she would recover soon. With this confidence, he left last night. While he was on his way to home town, his mother passed away. That was time of no mobiles. There was no way, his family could reach him to convey this sad news.
Tiffin boxes packed and kids packed off to school, Sou sat down for a couple of minutes with a cup of coffee. All kinds of thoughts criss-crossed her mind. Her association with her mother-in-law in the last ten years, the ups and downs their relationship went through in these years - all flashed one by one in front of her. Her mother-in-law's beautiful face with a big kumkum on her forehead appeared in front of her. Has she done justice to her role as a daughter-in-law ? she wondered. From the day she had entered this family, she noticed that her mother-in-law's health was not good. She had all the problems that a aging woman would have - diabetes, knees problem, thyroid problem etc. Slowly, but steadily her health had taken a downturn and was deteriorating with time. However, in the last couple of months, the visits to the hospital had become quite frequent. Sou knew that every visit to the hospital meant more suffering for her mother-in-law since they would pierce at different locations on the body and cause more and more pain. Few days back, when she came to know that her mother-in-law was admitted, she prayed to GOD fervently '' Oh GOD !!! Can you stop this suffering please. She has endured enough in her life. Can you put an end to this suffering please'' and this morning, she got this bad news !!!! Suddenly, a feeling of guilt engulfed her. Has she subjected her mother-in-law to a ''mental'' Euthanasia ? Will she ever be able to stop feeling guilty, she wondered.