Win cash rewards worth Rs.45,000. Participate in "A Writing Contest with a TWIST".
Win cash rewards worth Rs.45,000. Participate in "A Writing Contest with a TWIST".

Sandeepa Menoki

Drama


4.7  

Sandeepa Menoki

Drama


The Enigma Called 'Life!'

The Enigma Called 'Life!'

5 mins 458 5 mins 458

The sleek black limousine stood in the courtyard - a stark contrast to the shanty locale of the crowded slum. A bunch of dust-covered happy little faces peered into its window in great amusement. Amidst their routine rounds of fun, wheeling the cycle tier, the street urchins had stopped by in queer amazement at the unusual sight of an SUV basking raw in the open sun.


Under the thatched roof , on the cow-dung polished floor, seated on a soot tanned worn out rickety stool, Mrs Thanuja Sahay gulped down a few ounces of lemon juice from the steel tumbler. Then suddenly, like an unannounced avalanche, breaking all restrain, her overwhelmed emotions shed down in tears. All along, guided by the illusion that she was the happiest person alive with all the fortune and comforts of life, with a family complete with three promising children and her husband- an acclaimed business tycoon on whom success always smiled, she felt cheated for the first time in her life. The reality of being duped by the shadow of happiness, when it actually alluded her, seemed to hit her hard. She discovered what was missing in her life in the humble hutment of her trusted maid Savitha, whom she always used to sympathize with her plight.


In the soiled and greasy saree, drenched in sweat, Savitha slogged her daylight hours working for the Sahays, taking care of her home all by herself and looking after her two children- the twins, Umang and Tarang, whom she called 'Her Jewels'. Going by their names, one must have thought of two sprightly children, actively running about the home and leaving their trademark through a messed up home. But no, she was blessed with two quiet kids who did not give her any of those troubles. Unlike other children, they did not demand their mother for any exotic food, they didn't ask time and again, if they could be helped to go to the loo, they did not nag their mother for toys nor persuade her to take them to the market place in the town for shopping."Very obedient children, they are- my jewels", exclaimed Savitha with pride as she cleaned up the pool of urine surrounding one of them.


She took the fifteen-year-old inside to change, while the other kept scraping a pencil on the slate with all his might, leaving a formless patch of stain that looked to him like the world he was in. When the children were hardly five years old, one quiet afternoon, when their mother was not around, they saw their father's feet dangling in the air, as his body lay suspended from the ceiling and they clapped seeing the'fun'. Little did they know then, of their father; they would see no more. Savitha, who had until then not ventured out of the dim walls of her home, ever since she was wedded to Manohar, had to step out to fend for the family- to keep the three lives going. But, never for once, did she complain, though it was definitely a lone battle for her. But Mrs. Sahay could see the fond attachment the mentally challenged sons had for their mother.


Mrs. Sahay's children were way too different. Her eldest son, Varun was a CEO in a reputed company in Bangalore. Settled with his family- his wife, Roopa and their two children, he was an occasional visitor when there was a family event. Her second born, Keya, was studying in a convent school. The abundant freedom in which she grew up made her head strong and adamant. Always tweeting over her phone or glued to the computer, strongly independent, Keya took her own decisions. Whether it be the clothes she chose to wear -too western for Indian ethos or the company she kept - a group of boys and girls older than her with whom she hung around all the time or the time she chose to go out or come in - late in the night....


Mrs. Sahay had no say whatsoever in her life. Though she tried discharging her motherly duty of admonishing her, it came to no avail. For her daughter, she was like a total stranger. Her son Tharun was Keya's male counterpart in every sense. One could always see him styled in a weird hair do with his earphones plugged in , quite absorbed in the virtual world . Evidently, he was oblivious to and cared less for the real world he was in. Mrs. Sahay had her worries about the time he devoted for studies and whenever, she raised concerns firmly, the house turned into a bedlam of bickering.

Mr. Sahay's busy schedules allowed him a visit home only once in a blue moon and his sojourn was too short.


To a layman, Mrs. Sahay seemed to have everything she needed in her life- She took long drives on her own, travelling to new places and camping out whenever she felt like, attended conferences of the Women's Welfare Guild that she headed, attended classes in photography- her vocation, visited the annual trade fair, the museums and the art galleries with acquaintances who shared similar interests. Thus, battling out the sense of emptiness and loneliness that engulfed her life. That evening at Savitha's home was a moment of epiphany for her....she saw what was terribly lacking in her life...over there, in her maid's humble abode....it was the warmth of the mother-child bond...it was the genuine happiness that widened into a smile every time on the face of Savitha as she attended to her bundle of joy- 'her jewels'! It was in the every moment's struggle and hard-work in which Savitha discovered the meaning and joy of her life, her home- that others saw as a hell-hole was a 'haven' and she was the happy caretaker of the God-given space and with a heart full of gratitude, she rode over all the calamities of her life with equanimity of mind.


It was getting dark. As Mrs. Sahay stepped out to leave, she handed over a small packet from her purse to Mrs. Savitha, who to her surprise, refused the charity. She said in a thankful voice, she was reasonably paid for her services and expected nothing more. She was infact, more than happy that her mistress, Mrs. Sahay had cared to visit her in her humble home. A heavenly light shone in her eyes, and the dignity and grace she bore echoed in her voice as she expressed her words of gratitude.


As she stepped out, Mrs. Sahay felt the first cool drops of a delayed monsoon splatter on her....she felt drenched to the core.


Rate this content
Log in

More english story from Sandeepa Menoki

Similar english story from Drama