Life is unpredictable, it breaks down many, but few are survivors at all times. Such is the story of Avni.
A housewife. A person who left her parents for her husband. A person who left her job for her children. Nothing different as such, just like many of us.
It was a rainy day, the sound of the water falling on the windows was strong enough to make her scare. Flood, Traffic Jam, local train shut down, no vehicle to reach home. Oh my god! My children! My husband all stuck. God, have some mercy on them. Please stop it for some time. Let them reach home.
She paced fast inside the kitchen and reached for her mobile phone. Where are you? Leave early today.
Son- Mom, are you mad. I am at work, please stop calling me every now and then.
Daughter- messaged back, I’ll call later.
Husband- disconnected the call, no message as well.
Avni’s face had drained out all colours, her eyes had been teared and she kept holding the God’s pendant hanging in her necklace. Her mother- in –law came in the living room and sat on the sofa, putting the TV on.
Avni eyes remained hooked on the windows, as to when the rain would stop.
Her mother-in-law kept staring at her and gritting her teeth. Atleast cook something. Flaring up her nostrils, she added, “just an excuse to escape cooking on time. These days no one takes care of their in-laws.”
Avni ignored her comments, she had got used to being treated as inhuman. The doorbell rang and everyone rushed inside, husband and her two children.
Each one went into their room and came out after being fresh.
“Mom, I had my dinner so don’t cook for me,” said the elder one.
“Even for me, I have to go with my friends now,” said the daughter.
“Avni, why don’t you serve Mom and me quickly? I need to get up early tomorrow?” Her husband said, taking charge of the remote and putting news channel.
Once dinner was done, except for her daughter who had gone outside, everyone was feeling the warmth of the blanket on their bed.
She ate the dinner alone and started to decide the menu for the next day and necessary arrangements that needed to be followed. The clocked ticked twelve, reminding of the time running away. She sighed. How fast the time flies. But why I am in a rush so much and for whom. My children, they are busy in their lives, even if I don’t do anything for them, it won’t matter to them.
My husband, he is busy in achieving his dreams of higher salary and position. For my in-laws, they have never treated me as a daughter and I am just a person who cooks for them.
The thoughts were quite disturbing. She left everything at hand and sat down just wondering. She looked at the time again and her eyes fell on her hands. It had turned rough, wrinkled and nails chipped. She didn’t have time to look at herself, all she cared was for her loved ones.
She still went to sleep. At 6, the alarm startled her and she woke up. What happened yesterday was it a dream or I was thinking about it for real. She looked down at her plump frame and went to take a bath.
She took out her sandals and went for a long walk. On the very day, she even made new friends from the same building and exchanged numbers. Once she returned back, she found everybody staring at her and asking where she was.
“Had gone for a walk. I guess… I can right?” Her eyes were wide and shoulders erect. “I thought you all can take care of yourself,” saying that she went to change and took charge of the kitchen.
There were silent stares, but nobody opened their mouth.
Avni was a different person now, her priorities had shifted to herself now. Exercise, healthy food and she even enrolled herself in painting classes.
It wasn’t easy, all her family members protested her independence, after all, who likes to work after being pampered for years. Avni didn’t pay a heed to their protest, she loved what she was doing to herself.
It was Diwali and the society had geared up for annual cultural activities. Amidst decoration, songs, and dance, there was a section fully decorated with paintings. People admired the creativity, the colour and the contrast highlighted by the artist.
Finally, the time had come to give away awards to people who had won various competitions. The anchor, a bright and cheerful girl, climbed on the stage and announced the winners one by one.
The chairman of the society barged in and handed a note to the anchor. She read it silently and tears of joy ran down her cheeks, “last not the least, the society has decided to award the person, who has decorated the entire premise with her paintings.” She stood silent for a minute, wiped her tears and cheered, “Hip Hip Hurray! And it is none other than my Mom.”
It was Avni’s journey to find her own self. Bold move some said. Some said how could you ignore your loved ones, but the people who mattered to her, had changed. They no longer expected her to pamper them, they wanted her to chase her dreams.
Days pass by as do months and years, nobody notices. Unless you do.