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7 mins 336 7 mins 336

Even in the midst of inflation, we acquire certain things with great difficulties to project our status to the world. But when those things become affordable to others what do they mean to the status-conscious people?

We were taught from childhood that our country is primarily an agricultural country. The farmers of this country produce gold from fields. And many times in the absence of God’s grace the farmers' hard labor go futile. I remembered the news related to the rain of the past few days. Unfortunately, many quintals of wheat got wet due to rain.

There is a saying, “on every grain is written the name of the person who will eat “Hope my name is not written on those wet grains of this monsoon. With this fear I left for shopping, with my wife, holding a bag.

I store enough gold in my warehouse for our yearly domestic consumption. Of course, I'm talking about cereals. I am not required to run to the market every month for buying. I get lifeless hearing the price of wheat in the market. I reprimanded the shopkeeper,” Please tell me the price carefully, Brother, because I am a heart patient! 

The shopkeeper calls me his friend. He had trapped me with his sweet words. I reach only his shop every year. He had intimacy with me because he got many more customers due to his acquaintance with me.

The shopkeeper smiled looking at my wife and proposed, “Bhabhi Ji buy now. Otherwise, you will get rotten wheat for the same price. I was startled and asked inquisitively, “Are you the government? I mean whether you too face the fluctuation of fortune? Don’t you have warehouses? He laughed and said,” It is not so. What is there to hide with you, Sir. I have such big warehouses where we can store tonnes of grains. Even if they lie there for two to three years, nothing happens. At the opportune time, we bring out and sell. Before completing his talk he gave a bait of our friendliness and told my wife,” Bhabhi Ji, select yourself, I shall give you at a reasonable price. What reply will I give to God by being unreasonable with you?

By his cleverness, he involved God also. I found that his cleverness and indifference of the government were the two sides of the same coin

If not gold, we are to conserve and cherish grains to keep us alive. By the time we furnish the house with all amenities, the old age comes to us. 

Despite all this, my better half has always the complaint that I l never get her anything.

I wish that I get her gold earrings. But whenever I think of buying gold, sleep forbids me. (Pun on Sona). Finding the gold price declining, when I regain my strength to buy, the gold price starts shooting up. My problem remains unchanged. Over the last few days, my wife stood firm on her demand. But my condition was tight. It was the last week of the month. My pocket was empty. Repeated rapprochement from my wife was insulting. I found myself always lagging behind in business transactions.

Honesty doesn’t allow me to get and helplessness stops me from giving. In a filmy style, I asked her what should I give her apart from my heart……

She took objection to my mischief and grabbing the opportunity said, “Being the father of two children, are you not ashamed to sing such a song

I smiled shamefully. To smile at all circumstances is also is a style.

I am always late when I return home from the office. One day I thought of going home before the fixed time and give a surprise to my wife. The days have changed. Doing amazing things to surprise was my intention. This was my small attempt.

The intention was to get the best result with the least effort. Only with this belief, I came out early from my office. When I reached home, I was surprised myself seeing the crowd of ladies from the colony. All the ladies sitting in the drawing-room were laughing and joking. I was sadly disappointed with my plan. My plans got a severe beating. In the matter of giving anything to my wife, I was always a total failure. I wanted to give her a surprise but I failed. All the ladies were surprised to see me there. Representing all ladies, my wife looked at me with a surprise and asked,” How did you come so early?”

I couldn’t give the right answer. My intention was not to give surprise to the entire colony. So I straightaway entered the other room. In her follow through my wife came and holding me she said, When you have already come get fresh and arrange the plates with snacks.

I will not be able to do, I resented. But she looked at me with love, leaving a cupid’s arrow which demolished my resentment. Okay, but what's going on? I pulled up my beautifully dressed wife towards me. She disliked it and asked, “What are you doing?” My wife told me clearly that today was the draw for the lottery.

All the ladies of the colony have teamed up together and, formed an association that collects the money each month and disburses the amount to the winning member of the lottery. On this pretext, ladies meet together for gossip, fun, and laughter.

Well, I got fresh and moved towards the kitchen. After some time, Madam came in when I said rubbing shoulders and taking a deep breath “Please take it, snacks are ready. She went straight towards the cupboard. I followed her. She took out the recently purchased sari from the cupboard

“Are you going to change your sari again?” I asked

“No, I am going to show that to everyone. Seeing the eight thousand rupees worth sari, they may feel jealous”. 

Seeing this style of my wife, I remembered the title of the movie “I will burn you to ashes”.

She even ordered me while going to the drawing-room,” Arrange the plates in a tray and place it in front of the drawing-room. I shall take it”

I arranged the plates in a tray and reached the directed location. The discussion of ladies about the sari was in full swing outside.

“Sari is good”, a woman said.

“Yes, it is OK “, the second said.

“What do you mean by OK?” this was the voice of my wife.

Sari is not bad but….

But? What is that Mrs. Sharma? It was someone else’s voice.

“My domestic maid Rajjo wears only such saris” this voice was of Mrs. Sharma..

“See even the domestic maids wear such saris” Someone added fuel to the fire.

Oh, listen. Perhaps my wife has lost her cool. He called her loudly. In a panic, he entered the drawing-room with the tray.

“What happened?” I asked her calmly.”Please return this sari”.

The sari, worn two times, cannot be returned. Whatever it may be… I shall not.

Bhai Saheb, throw away this sari”.Mrs. Sharma told

I thought today we may have damage of Rs 8000/-. One good sari will be left behind the bars of the cupboard. I saw Mrs. Sharma's face blooming with joy. She was getting sadistic pleasure. 

I changed the topic.”Please have your snacks first” All your talk can happen later.

My wife liked my proposal. How was she to know that "Sometimes hands get burnt in Hawan".

Bhabhi Ji, your earrings are beautiful. Are they made of gold? I asked Mrs. Sharma turning to her.

She got bloated and said that they cost Rs30,000/-

I directed my wife’s attention towards it and said: “Look Niti, I saw our domestic maid Sunita yesterday wearing similar earrings”.

Yesterday!, My wife was surprised. But she did not take much time to understand me. She endorsed my views later and told that it cost the maid Rs 30,000 /-. Mrs. Sharma couldn't bear it. She was thinking of leaving the place on some excuse.

"Domestic maids have also started wearing such earrings?”My wife made another attack.

Mrs. Sharma could not take this remark lightly and she got up with an excuse to go saying that the children were about to come from school.

As Mrs. Sharma was about to leave I gave her a suggestion,” Bhabhi Ji throw away the earrings. All the ladies had a hearty laugh. My wife got a sense of victory. She complimented me with love. I was floored.

झुमका गिरा रे!

Dainik Jagaran -Publish Date:Mon, 03 Nov 2014 03:31 PM (IST)

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