Sushma came running down to the phone, it had been ringing for long.
Sushma pan tingly answered, “Hello”
Kavita, “Hi, how are you?”
Sushma, “Oh! You. Hi. I am good. Tell me what’s up?”
Kavita, “I just called to chit chat. Have nothing else to do in life so thought might as well talk to you.”
Sushma, “Good that you called. Even I have nothing else to do in life. Basically I was also sitting in front of the TV to kill time.”
Kavita, “Hmm…life has become so mundane, isn’t it? I mean all that we are left to do is run a house. Do never ending chores. Chores after chores.”
Sushma, “Yes. Boring chores. I so much want to get rid of them. I wonder why am I so bored in life? I mean before I got married I used to do all these things for myself but it never looked like a chore.”
Kavita, “That is because when you were single you had the option of not doing this if you did not want to.”
Shushma, “Hmm! I guess you are right. So what else in life?”
Kavita, “Nothing much, Suresh keeps busy these days at work and I feel all the more lonely.”
Sushma, “But the baby must be keeping you busy?”
Kavita, “Oh Yes, pretty much but sometimes the baby gets on my nerves. If I am trying to read a book I can’t do that because I always need to keep an eye on the baby. There are so many things I simply can’t do because there is a baby at home. It’s been so long since I traveled, read a book or did something that I really like doing. Sometimes I have to feed the baby, sometimes clean the potty, rest of the time there are CHORES that I have to finish. Oh! That reminds me, I have loads of clothes to wash.”
Sushma, “ That should be easy, you got a machine.”
Kavita, “Yeah, but taking the clothes out of the machine, putting them on the cloth line, fetching them back and arranging them in the cupboard is an exercise. Talk to you later. Bye.”
Sushma, “Ok take care. Bye.”
Sushma hung up and started reminiscing her being single days. She had so much time then. She could do anything that she wanted. She could read, paint, watch TV, go for a walk, sleep as long as she wanted. But now things have changed so much. She is in a very happy marriage and its also not that her husband asks or expects her to do things but there is something inside her which would not let her keep things all messed up. She simply can not overlook the house when there are jobs to be finished. She went to the kitchen made some tea for herself and sat down to read the newspaper when suddenly the door bell rang.
It was the courier that she had been waiting for. She had applied for a modeling assignment long time back. She had always been fond of facing the camera and be right under the spotlight. She got the assignment too but had been postponing it because her marriage was in the pipeline then and later the family obligations kept her busy for a while. Now that she was settled in the new set up she thought this is the time to re-start a career and do things that she had always enjoyed doing.
She opened the envelope. This was the last letter from the agency. If she did not come to meet them and sign the contract the assignment will be given to someone else. At the bottom, there was a hand written note of her favorite photographer with who she had a very good professional relationship. The note read, “Sushma, this is the maximum I could do. They wont wait any longer. I requested them to give you at least 15 days more but they said you got to meet them in 2 days. And yes, last time I saw you at the grocery shop you had put on a little weight. Is it still the same?”
Sushma rushed to the weighing scales, it showed her a number which she had never seen before. She would not be able to lose that weight in 2 days. No way. 10 kgs is not something you lose in 2 days.
She kept thinking and doing multiple calculations if there is anyway she could get back in shape and re-start her career. She tried calling her husband but he smsed back saying, “In a meeting.”
She went to the study, sat on the PC, wrote an e-mail to her favorite photographer, searched the net for some over the counter anti depressant, some psychiatrists then started dusting the computer which was gathering dust. She went down to every nook and cranny of the house and started cleaning. It was hot summer of Delhi. Her body was tiring quickly, her throat parched but she kept doing the chores, washing, mopping, cleaning the dishes, receiving letters, paying bills on line, making grocery list, cutting vegetables for dinner. Finally when her body could not take it any more she went to the fridge, took out the last piece of chocolate cake, ate it all and wept like a child looking at her old photo on the wall by then it was time already to start preparing dinner.