She did not remember when it had all started..Was it when she got married?
Or was it when Sona was born? The early morning wind chilled her cheeks as she stood
staring at the hibiscus rows on her backyard..
As a young girl, she liked a lot to paint. Mixing oils, experimenting on canvases,
brush strokes and water colors creating a mosaic of patterns on her apron..
Why couldn't she enjoy that kind of recreation any more?
Ram had been a loving husband when they married. Then Sona, their little daughter, happened. Her bright eyes and long hair so reminiscent of her look. It was like looking at her own reflection, only young. Ram and her had a plan, for Sona. She would go to Crescent (it was the best convent in town) for her schooling..
Every morning, she made breakfast for Sona and Ram. Although Ram hardly had the time for breakfast. As a consultant, it was hard to keep tab of his diet. He was mostly out of home, traveling. As for Sona, she had to wake up and go to Ballet class and then catch the bus to school. Evening she took coaching for the IIT exam..
Rest of the day was spent in taking care of chores. Cleaning Sona's room, cooking, doing laundry and dishes, sorting bills, shopping for grocery and stocking the kitchen and..then Sona would come home, drink milk with honey and do her homeworks and sleep early..
Soon the exam results arrived. Sure enough, Sona made it to the top IIT school. She packed to her hostel both sad and excited about her life..Meanwhile, Ram was now a Principal consultant which meant he traveled more often now.
She spent most of her time, doing the regular chores. Hardly any interaction with the neighbors or friends for many years, immersed in domestic life that zapped the energy and zeal that she had for anything else. She missed her husband and daughter, both oblivious to her lonesome life. She often moved either because Ram said it was better for him to move to Mumbai, to be in the heart of things..or Sona would really do well if they moved to XYZ school, they have the best resources for Sona's bright future.
Sona, was now a Software Architect at a multinational and lived by herself in Delhi. Ram was working hard to become the Director of his company and had plans to start his own consulting firm..
She stared at the match stick box, concealed in her palm now. It was too cold to unwrap her robe..it had already been an hour since she drenched herself with a can of kerosene and then covered herself with a robe as she walked to the backyard of her house. Summoning up courage, she watched her numb fingers push the match box open.
"Isn't it too cold outside Miss Kelkar? I see that you really love nature..", shouted her neighbor from her backyard, as she stood near the hibiscus rows.
That night Sona and Ram came home, a long forced vacation from work, they said. When they arrived, they found her cooking pots of steaming hot biriyani and chicken curry, Sona and Ram's favorite.
It wasn't Sona or Ram but her neighbor Miss Dixit who interrupted her fateful day..As for Sona and Ram, it was just another day.