The evening found a contemplative Meera and Rohan on their balcony looking at the star studded sky with the nocturnal insects creating music of their own.
The birds and insects were being heard only after the cessation of sounds brought forth by blaring horns and swishing of the tyres.
Meera couldn’t recollect the last time they had found the time or the inclination to stand doing nothing. This virus has brought mankind and many super powers to their knees with the end nowhere in sight. She heard her children laughing and the noise of various pots and pans from the kitchen. She was too bemused with the fact that they both offered to cook and the fact that they were laughing together was enough to make her heart feel warm once again. Hence, she didn’t worry too much about the taste or the ability of both to turn something palatable.
It was not too long ago that the food prepared by the cook was invariably wasted. Her daughter was hardly at home, compulsively partying or shopping after her office. Her son was deaf to her pleas to open his door and more often than not he preferred food delivered from Swiggys, zomato, Dunzo among others, eating less and throwing away the rest. Rohan found it easier to hide behind the word, ‘busy’! Most evenings, she had a lonely meal pouring over her designs and giving more grief to her team.
The previous night, Rohan and she had re-discovered their passion for each other after weeks and months of avoiding each other’s company. Now they were seated in close proximity looking out into the dark in compatible silence.
Meera chuckled and continued after Rohan gestured her to go first. “I turned into a nag! I wanted to prove to you and others that I was a successful entrepreneur and I was totally pre-occupied and distant. I left no opportunity to be nasty with you.”
After giving up her career during the child birth and child rearing, Meera had started her own boutique. She was good but this lockdown had made her realize that she was quite a terrible boss breathing down the neck of her team and not allowing them any freedom to display any creativity of their own. The pictures of the finished products sent by her team of tailors were so good that she knew that her profits from all forthcoming exhibitions would make up for all the lost months.
She had been unhappy of late. She realized that her house was no longer the beautiful home that she had envisaged with each member caring for and being affectionate with one another. They had grown apart..each one busy with their own lives. So much so, they had absolutely nothing to talk about and if at all they found themselves in the same room, each of them was happy communicating in the virtual world rather than with one another. The family which needed to be nurtured constantly was falling apart because of apathy and lack of time.
Today, when her children had offered to take over the dinner preparation, she was flabbergasted yet pleased. She had moved to stand on the balcony and realized moments later that Rohan had joined her and had brought along a couple of garden chairs which had somehow disappeared from the balcony after they stopped spending time there. The last half an hour found them contented without the underlying resentment in each other’s company.
Rohan shuddered when he recollected that he was on the verge of making one of the biggest blunders of his life. The arid marriage and the boredom that had set in had made him contemplate alternative solutions to spice things up. He had found himself getting close to Ritu more because of proximity and the thrill of possibility rather than real attraction.
“Would you have had an affair?”
“I wish I could say, never!” Rohan answered ruefully, “It was easy to lay the blame on unhappy home, you, unaffectionate children rather than look within myself and rectify my flaws. I guess all of us like to feel, “poor me’ and enjoy a few moments of getting sympathy from others. Ritu and I were working closely on a project which involved a lot of interaction and we were getting drawn to each other more for convenience. I am not too proud of that.” He hugged her close. “Believe me you, this was the very first time, I even considered being disloyal to you and I feel quite ashamed. But how did you know that I was on the verge of straying?”
“Obsessiveness about one’s crotch ceases after teenage!” She teased. “I found you often smiling while messaging. I was too angry and was in a mood for pity-party than confront!”
Just then, the children hollered, “Dinner is served!”
The table was set and a quick glance into the kitchen had her letting out a sigh of relief. She was dreading the cleaning up but it was in fairly good shape. She also realized that obsessiveness about the house can be quite off-putting to the others.
Good humored differences on who did the lion’s share of work made the dinner time fun. Enjoying her time with her family, Meera experienced the warmth of the loved ones who seemed to have healed and come together during this forced confinement. If not for this lock down, each one of them would be in a quest of some elusive happiness rather than heal and come together as a family.