Sujoy was a forced bachelor; his wife was going to be out for a day. He got back to home which was spic and span and quiet. He dropped his laptop and walked towards the television to switch it on. As he approached the television he found a small note which said, remote is in the first drawer. He smiled; his wife Sharmila was always very thoughtful.
He went to the refrigerator and as he opened it he found neat Tupperware boxes stacked one over the other with chits stuck to them so that he could pick them out easily for dinner, breakfast etc. He went into the bedroom to find his night suit neatly laid out on the bed and on it was a note which said ‘I love you and miss you’. Those words were enough; he had a peaceful night’s sleep and was looking forward to waking up and finding more chits around the house.
The next morning he received a call at six in the morning that Sharmila had been in a terrible accident. Sujoy rushed to the hospital to find that to surprise him, she had taken an earlier bus so that she could be back home in the morning and the bus had had a head on collision with a truck. She was hurt pretty bad and was in the ICU and had the life support system on her. She didn’t look so good. He heard his kids come in and they were in tears. Sujoy and Sharmila had two lovely kids a little girl Sanjana (8) and a little boy Sumeet (3). The kids were in their grand moms place and so were safe.
The doctors told him that Sharmila was out of danger but would have to stay in the hospital at least for a month and would have to undergo a lot of treatment and physiotherapy. Sujoy met Sharmila and she was worried. She tried telling him all that she could think of that he would need to run the house. Sujoy just looked into her eyes and said “Don’t worry it’s all under control, I will handle it”.
Sharmila was an orphan and so Sujoy’s mother decided to stay back in the hospital and look after her. Sujoy got back home, determined to get everything done till she got back home. The next morning, there was a lot of running and the kids were somehow ready for school. He sent them off, gave the maid instructions for lunch and the household chores and was off to his office. On the way his phone rang; it was discipline in charge from school. She yelled saying “what sort of a parent are you? Don’t you know it’s the blue uniform today?” He made a note in his task sheet to find out which day was which uniform.
After a busy day and a lightning fast visit to the hospital he was back home. He asked the kids to get their books out. Sumeet had left his diary in school and now Sujoy had no clue what homework had to be done. Sanjana finished her homework quickly and went off to play. She came back at 8 pm and told her father that she had to carry farm animals’ stickers to school in the morning. With last minute driving around and trying to locate friend’s numbers (parents of his kids’ classmates) he somehow managed to accomplish the homework task.
Sumeet was used to Sharmila brushing his teeth gently and after the early morning hurricane with Sujoy; he refused to brush his teeth in the night. The next morning he got the uniforms right and forgot the shoes. The following morning all that was right but their bags were not packed and the morning after that there were no pencils in the house.
Handling the maid was another headache. He would say make six chapattis and she would and suddenly the kids would eat one extra and he would be left hungry. The maid would come every other day and narrate a long list of things which were empty. Sujoy would struggle and shop but still she would complain, not this brand or not this product etc. He tried bullying her one day and the next day she didn’t come at all.
Sujoy decided, handling too many things was difficult and so he took leave till Sharmila would get back. Even though he was at home throughout the day, the work never finished. He sat down totally tired one day and wondered,
- Why can’t the clothes walk by themselves and get into the washing machine?
- Why can’t all his shirt collars just become clean by themselves?
- Why couldn’t there be a daily vegetable delivery system?
- Why shouldn’t all the monthly purchases be over in one go?
- Why do things specially snacks finish so quickly?
- Why do some masalas need to be made at home?
- Why are there so many assignments and homework given for kids when the teachers know that it is the parent who has to do it?
- Why can’t clothes sort themselves out?
- Why do they need to be ironed?
- Why do kids have to play with all their toys every day?
- Why kids can’t put anything back in their places?
- How do keys grow legs and always hide?
- Why do we have to fold our bed sheets etc every morning?
- Why is planning the menu for breakfast lunch and dinner so mundane? And why does it have to be done?
- Why, why why why why why???????????????????????
As he kept thinking he suddenly remembered, one evening when he got back from office was in a very bad mood and he looked at the house in a mess. It was one of those days when the kids were being extra naughty and there was so much work to do. Poor Sharmila was still busy cleaning up when Sujoy came in. He immediately screamed saying” After a hard day’s work, why do I have to come to house that is messy, you are just too useless. No wonder you are a housewife, you just sit, sleep, eat and watch television. There is nothing that you can do and that is why you have to sit at home”. A tear rolled down his cheek, he never had to bother about the house and he always felt the house just ran by itself. Today he understood one thing no lady is just a housewife, they are home makers. They actually convert the building and sometimes cold people who live inside into a home filled with love and warmth.
The day Sharmila was back home, he gave her a small gift. Inside the tiny box was a note. “I know it by firsthand experience how difficult it is to run a house and this time I am going to hand over the keys and responsibility to you but with a promise; a promise that I will surely help and hey the house being messy one day is not wrong it just shows that we are alive and happy”.
Mrs. Sheela Pakianathan