Friday, January 13, 2012

Trouble in paradise- part 2

“Dad…wake up Dad…Dad..”

Anuj opened his eyes to find his boys standing next to him.

Hey Champs, Good  morning ! Up early....huh?”

“Dad, it’s 8 O’clock. The school bus has left without us. We will never be able to reach school on time!

  And anyway, there’s no fresh set of uniforms for us. Remember, you forgot to send us change over clothes to Mrs. D`Souza`s yesterday? So it’s all muddy. There’s a heap of unwashed uniforms in the laundry bag.”

(‘What? The alarm didn`t ring at 6am or did I sleep it over? Whatever!  Now what do I do? No uniforms,so school is ruled out. Shall I send them to the crèche in the morning? No, Mrs. D`Souza has strictly said not before 12 noon.What a way to start the day! Stinking morning, stinking clothes, stinking kitchen , stinking life!  I think I have an idea. I think I’ll spend some time with the kids today. Let me call up boss first.’)

He asked his boss for leave and then announced to his boys,

“Champs, dad is on leave today as well...what do you want to do?”

“Hurray, Dad !! Lets go to ‘Chinese Checkers’ for lunch.

“Lets watch ‘Alvin and the chipmunks’ and then lets play cricket.”

Amid all the excitement, Anuj realized how little time he had spent with his little ones and how much the boys had missed his involvement in their daily lives. He hardly knew what they ate, what they liked to do, what their routine was like. Anjali had taken care of everything perfectly.

The kitchen was a mess and he didn’t have the heart to cook anything, not that he could. Heading out was a better option, he thought. They watched the morning show of ‘Alvin and the chipmunks’ at PVR cinemas. After a fun filled morning at the movies and a hearty Chinese lunch, he put the boys to bed for a small afternoon nap while reading out stories from the ‘Arabian Nights’. Just then Shashi called and invited him and the boys over to dinner at his house. After the boys woke up, he played cricket with them for an hour and then the three of them drove to Shashi`s house for dinner.He was happy to have the boys off his hands for sometime and watched as they played with Shashi`s children after dinner.

Bhaisaab, Its high time now, why don`t you ask Anjali to come back home. The boys must be missing her for sure. You must be missing her too.”

Shashi`s wife Avantika was Anjali`s closest friend.

Bhabhi, I didn`t ask her to leave home, she will come back when she wants to. I don`t think she`s bothered about the kids or me. She knows very well I cannot cook. Is she even worried what the kids might be eating? I have been having a hellish time since she left. I have to wake up early, get the boys ready for school, pack four lunch boxes...yes , you heard it right...two each for the boys...I didn’t even know there were two lunch breaks! And you know what, the kids have their own choices, but poor boys, all I could pack for them were a couple of slices of bread and jam! You have to remember to get the kids homework done, remember to pack clothes and food for the crèche, remember to pick them up at the right time, remember to do the laundry and  ironing, cooking, cleaning...the kitchen’s a mess, I don’t know who is supposed to wash all the vessels! I am fed up bhabhi !  I can either work or manage home, and there’s no guarantee that I can do the latter ever. How in the world does Anj....”

“Well Mr. Newton, now that the apple has finally landed on your head and you have discovered your own law of gravity, what`s the plan?” Shashi and Avantika were smiling.

 “Anuj, how do you think Anjali manages all this? She leaves for office at the same time as you, doesn’t she? She does every bit of work that you have been complaining of and she does it with élan and without fretting about it. Just because work goes on, it doesn’t mean she isn’t stressed out? And you expect her to...”

“Don’t embarrass me further guys, I just realized what a fool I have been. I`ll call up Anjali right now, but before that let me call up boss…”

“…Sir, I need to take tomorrow off too…yes sir, there`s an emergency…well, its called family crisis…thank you, sir…yes, I`ll see you on Monday.”

“Thank you Shashi and thank you too Bhabhi, I think I`ll take the kids and Anjali to Ooty for the weekend, and tell her how sorry I am for driving her nuts when she was already doing her best for us. I think I`ll drive down and pick her up from her Mom`s house right now.”

“There`s no need to do that...”

He turned around and saw Anjali with tears in her eyes.

“I am sorry, Anuj….”

“Shhh…don’t say anything…”  

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