The Task of Life!!
I am here with an inspiring Story – Mamta.. After hearing “No” again from accounts department I came back to my workstation. A trip to HR and accounts department is an everyday ritual for me and getting “No” as an answer is like prayer went unheard.
I called Bhushan the office boy waving from my place. “Ji madam Ji” he politely asked. “Today, also you will serve tea from vending machine” I looked at him. He shook his head with a simple smile “Madam Ji, Chotu is not coming from past 4 days”. I nodded ok in reply. After completing my last voice quality call check I took my purse and stood to leave. “Lakshita, leaving? Would you mind me dropping to Shankar Chowk” asked Indra. I replied with a smile as if I was waiting for this moment “Yes, Most welcome”. I pre-planned, all my queries ready, I had ample time to discuss till Shankar Chowk, about my approvals and sanctions.
We went to parking B2 silently, It was 6 am. There was duties shuffle among security guards and due to which there were many guards in the area. I fastened seat belt, we started. Before I could start Indra asked. “How’s Rohan What’s happening with his IITJEE coaching? I am planning for Parth this year, we should start such additional studies from 10th onwards”. Indra knew my situation. Rohan and Parth are in same class, same school.She is my boss, good income, she can think of such expenses promptly. With this thought, we reached Shankar Chowk. Indra asked me to stop the car to one side. She looked at me “Lakshita, Don’t worry dear, I had a meeting with HR department today for the arrears amount of last 5 months, they have ensured me soon something will happen “. I had tears in my eyes all I could say was “thanks“.
It was 7 am, I opened the main door of my house. I quietly peeped in Rohan’s room, he was getting ready for school. I hushed “Good morning my love, Mom needs 5 minutes to freshen up and then will drop you to school”. He came to me and hugged “Happy anniversary Mumma”. I hugged him as tightly as I can “Thank you so much Actually, I forgot, thank God you reminded me “. I packed lunch for Rohan and went to drop him to school. While coming back I got South Indian breakfast to surprise my hubby dear.
I opened my bedroom Arpit was lying on the bed. The entire room was filled with cigarette smell and it looked upside down. I opened windows and door and started removing clutter. I heard My phone ringing went to hear the call in expectation of anniversary wishes “Hello, Madam Ji I will not come today as I am not feeling well” My maid on the other side. “Ok, Ok,” I disconnected the call and started doing my household chores. Arpit came out of the room his hangover was reflecting thru his red-hot eyes. I kept Lemon water in front of him. We were not on talking terms for 7 months. He was trying to revive out of the business failure and I was struggling with my night shift and day life. I could not stop my eyes to throw out all my anger, frustration and irritation from my married life every now and then.
I was pouring tea for me it was 12 pm, I looked around the house was peaceful and looked settled now. I sat on the couch and was sipping tea phone rang “Hello, Congratulations so it’s your 17th anniversary what’s the plan for the day” my sister-in-law asked. “Thank you didi, Yes, nothing much I am sure Arpit must be planning for me” I replied trying to cover up. “I am sure chalo you carry on have a lovely year bye” call got disconnected. With the sleepy head, I just needed was my Bed. I got ready for office in evening after few hours of sleep.
After parking my car I had a thought to check for Chotu as still there were 15 minutes of bio-metric attendance. I was walking down the lane behind a multi-story building of our Office. This area was like slum few temporary shabby torn tents were there. “Listen, Do you know Chotu,” I asked a boy who was playing in the lane. He pointed towards the north and I started in the same direction. I found him sitting outside a tent, He looked at me with an expression of surprise, he stood up, his eyes were shining as if I was the only one who came to visit him in years. “How are you Chotu, You were not coming so I came to visit you” I kept my hand on his head. “Madam Ji, You came to see me, I am better now, I am sorry my tent is too small I can’t call you in” he replied with surprise cum happy sound. He pointed towards a lean lady coming towards him “She is my mother”. Lady happily said”Namaste, madam ji” and continued while covering her head with saree “Chotu always talks about you, he brings clothes and books from you, he shows to all kids here”. Some positive energy I got from both of them I took out a 500 Rs note and handed over to the lady “Make him strong and send back soon I am missing tea he makes for us”. I moved back towards my office, in my heart, inadvertently I Started comparisons between our lives. Chotu is the only child to his parents So is Rohan, Chotu’s father died in a road accident, he was a rickshaw puller so the father is out of their lives, Chotu’s mother is working as maid nearby and my situation since a year is no different. Still, I felt I was in much better condition. I sat on my chair and started my work. This thought of comparing lives, chotu’s innocent face, Rohan’s extra classes, Arpit’s failure and my work were revolving around me. In all this, I missed my everyday ritual to visit the accounts department for that one news which is very much-needed these days “News of Money“. I thought to skip it for today.
After Some work and dinner break.
I came back to my seat, there was a Missed called from Arpit’s number. I was thinking he must have regained conscious that it’s our anniversary today. I re-dialled “Hello, Lakshita.” I replied, “Yes, Arpit what happened ?”. “There was a letter from the bank, We have to pay due installments as soon as possible. ” He habitually replied to the point. “Ya, I know will make all payments” I replied & with some hope left I asked”anything else”. “No.” and he disconnected the call.
Someone knocked on my cabin door, I turned back It was chotu standing with his tea-cup holder.”Madamji Chai” he smilingly offered one glass to me.”You shouldn’t have come, You still need rest” I asked. “It’s ok Madamji, Afterall rest will make me lazy and I can’t afford laziness” he replied and went back. His words touched me deep inside. I have some unknowing affection towards chotu.
While scrolling my emails I saw a mail from accounts. The news I was waiting since 7 months. My appraisal, arrear amount and bonus all breakups were clearly mentioned. The total was reflecting as 358200/- Rs. Thoughts flashing in my head, Bank payments, Arpit’s nature to waste money, His business failure, Rohan’s studies and Chotu. Chotu, why am I thinking about him at this point of time? I asked myself. I called Rohan, “Hey, What are doing my dear, did you had food ? “. “Yes, Mom, I had dinner and I Was just working on a science project, will sleep in an hour,” Rohan replied.
“Rohan, Do you wish to join the IIT tuition from this year onwards, Please beta be honest with mom,” I asked. “No, This year is my boards. Honestly, Mom, trust me, I will need just 1 year coaching and have faith, mom, I will make you proud.” after a pause, he continued “After all, I know how much pressure and stress you are going thru” “I understand completely, Mom I wish to be Like you in my life,” he added. His words were like a tonic to me I needed since long. His love filled me with motivation. “Mom, are you there,” Rohan asked from another side. “Yes, I am happy my Love.”
I went to Accounts department and requested them to make two Demand drafts for my payment. I took one in my purse for Arpit and another one I took in my hand. I went to the slum again, Chotu was lying outside his tent and his mother was cooking on the stove. With the confused look, she stood and greeted me “Madamji,aap? Chotu and her mom stood and came near me.”I am here to give you this” handed over the Demand draft of Rs 1.5Lakh. Chotu looked at the Demand draft and asked: “What is this Madamji?”. I held his hand “Chotu, this is money this will help you open your own tea stall, and you can go study too “. “I see you like my child, and it’s a gift for a son from his mother, you can say” I added. Chotu and me we both had tears,our eyes were describing our bond we share with each other.
Chotu’s mother with her folded hands said “Madamji, How will we repay this?”. I held her hands,”No Need This is a gift from a Mother to a son”. “Thank you is what I can say” she replied with tears flowing her eyes.
I went back to the parking and started for my home. I don’t know what will happen next, How will I answer Arpit if he will ask me about this amount. I was not sure about tomorrow at all. But, I had the content feeling today. I think, I fulfilled “Task of Life”.
Today, After 7 years, Lakshita is separately staying in Delhi working as a consultant Quality control and devote her half day teaching in nearby slums.
Rohan is in the USA for his MS in computers.
Shiv Kumar AKA Chotu is doing an MBA from Delhi university joins his mother (Lakshita) every weekend to teach in slums.
Chotu’s Mom is running a canteen in an MNC in Noida she too joins him every weekend.
Arpit still reviving from his business loss and is staying in his paternal home in Lucknow.
Happy Mother’s Day!!
To be a Mom you just need an emotion in your heart i.e. Mamta.
A Disclaimer: Inspired from real life. Names changed.