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The name ‘ Rani lakshmi Bai’ did not do her enough justice. Perched on the edge of her seat , she urged the auto wallah to hustle – If only she had a whip to accelerate the process of reaching home!
Home ! She closed her eyes, savoring the adorable view of her two little munchkins! The aged auto wallah took that second to scratch a long serving itch on his leg and she almost but pounced on him, with narrowed eyes and a grimace ( the one she reserved for a maid-less Sunday morning !)
“ Bhaiya Jaldi chalo!”
With the ease of someone who was probably, always late for school, he replied “ Devi ji, ab hanuman toh hain nahi jo ud kar pahucha de aapko. Traffic se nikalna ek kala hain. Vaise hum likhte bhi hain. Kuch suneyega?”
She huffed and sat back, watching the minutes tick by. The oldie droned on with his shayari and her mind escaped to her life or more accurately, the mess in her life! Her husband and her routine weren’t the best of friends. One was too relaxed for his own good and well, the other needed caffeine and secretary with an office of its own!
Once in an inebriated condition , she blurted out her sob story to her MIL . She wasn’t to blame- the younger one had applied a whole tube of moov on the table (uska pav dard ho raha hai!) And her son emptied a kilo of surf on the floor and tried to clean it for her – with water!
Her in-laws had moved in with them and she could finally breathe in peace. Gone were the days when she would tip-toe around the house with trepidation – wondering where tsunami had struck. Gone were the days when the scary silences and head hammering made her experience border line insanity.
But now, things were fine. Infact, too fine for comfort. Of late, the boys wanted to stay indoors and watch TV. Earlier, meal times were like elections- each one campaigning at the top of their voices. And now it was eerily quiet. Often she would observe that grandpa would switch on the TV without even a request from the kids! How could she reconcile herself with those zombies, watching the screen with expressionless faces and dead soulless eyes?
With sincerity and politeness, she had tried to orient the parents towards an overall development but she realized that they did not have the physical energy to lug children to the park or for extra- curricular classes. Ready for a compromise , she requested a filter on the type of programmes the children were exposed to but to no avail. Those soaps carried life force energy of their own!
And here she was, rushing back from work for that one hour with the kids before they drifted on their bed time circus. No matter how tired she was, she wanted to read, play and listen to them – boxing it up in one hour was tough. “ Hurry! She whispered to herself.
Walking in the door , she was greeted with a pleasant sight. Her husband and the children sprawled on the bed with a CG Slate tablet! “We spoke about this, Vikram ! No screens before 6 pm !
And as she was giving him the best wounded ever expression, she noticed something so subtle that it could have escaped her notice had she not been aware- Her kids talking to each other animatedly about the human digestive system, their heads bowed deep in concentration.
Breathe, his eyes kindly told her.
“Ma, look at Titu- he’s funny! Just look at the faces he makes! “
“Ma, I told him that the large intestine is around 5ft and the small intestine is 20 ft long!!! He didn’t believe me and now that Titu says the same …aaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhh!!
And he wants to keep reading about poo!! That’s so gross ma!!”
With a smile on her face and a skip in her step, she turned towards the kitchen.
“I am the boss -Boys, with your bicycles and helmets, outside the main gate, tomorrow at 6 AM sharp.”
A Surprise- with a topping of a Bonus!