What a day it was!!!
The day started with a bleary eyed me fumbling for my cell phone. With a jerk I sat upright at the sight of what I dreaded to see. It was 7:30 AM. WTH!!! Abbas’ late arrival the previous night was the sole explanation for the grave blunder’ – my mind played the blame game. But I had no time to think. I had to get my butt moving to wrap up the million chores I had already made a mental note of.
Post the early morning rituals, I stepped into that space of my house where I find solace. No prizes for guessing. That’s indeed my kitchen. (After Abbas’ arms, that is) Proceeded to steam some idlis and concoct 2 cups of tea. (Background: Now my right burner of the stove has been burning at turtle’s speed as in if milk is placed on the right hand side of the stove and rice on the left, rice would get cooked but milk would still not boil. We had finally got hold of a repair shop and they promised to send a technician on weekends. Many weekends passed and I cooked by interchanging the utensils based on the flame required to cook and priority) Once Idli was done, the left burner decided that it was over utilized and behaved akin to its neighbor. The knob also popped out. Sigh! I couldn’t cook lunch for us. Packed Idlis for Kids’ lunch. This was when I had a Eureka moment – it occurred to me that today was Thursday. Mantam have some pre-scheduled activity on Thursdays and they need to wear their uniform T-shirt. I checked the Monthly newsletter and found out that they would be taken to a fire station. Abbas suggested that we would take the gas stove along and drop it in the repair shop. We scurried to get out of the house, me all the time grumbling under my nose “Mantam might miss the trip. What if they would have left by the time we reached?” Abbas retorted – “Arre, don’t worry Seemu. They will start at 10” I was feeling so restless….
We took the usual route to the repair shop which was on the way, but discovered that the road was dug due to some road maintenance work and we had to take a detour. We simply spotted a random repair shop and stopped by to give the stove to them. He assured that he would service it by evening. Off we went in Bulu, I insisted that Mantam were dropped first coz I got apprehensive for the 11th (11 being the hot number doing rounds) time. We reached their school and I exclaimed “Why so less shoes here?” and a teacher came out. Abbas asked “They’ll be taken to the fire station today right?” The words I had dreaded to hear hit my ears – “But their group has already left”. A shameless Abbas snapped – “But there was no timing mentioned in the diary”. I hung my head in shame as I anticipated the reply – “Their school starts at 9AM. And they left at 9:30.” We had reached at 9:45 and all I wanted to do then was pretend as if I didn’t know this gentleman whom the teacher knew as Mantam’s father!
Abbas called the head teacher and asked if we could drop Mantam to the fire station. She approved. He took note of the address and told me that it was quite far and not a great idea coz it’ll make him late to office. We bid good-bye to Mantam and left. I almost broke into tears. My mind went to the blame game mode again but this time the target was Moi – “All my mistake. I should’ve not shut the alarm off. I should have seen the newsletter yesterday night itself. Bla bla bla”. Abbas would drop me to office which is 5 mins away and then head towards his. Abbas tried to console me saying “Thik hai baba. Itna kyu tension leti ho? We’ll take them to the fire station some other day” Me – “Why don’t you understand that going with us and going with their social circle is a different experience for them. And they missed this trip for no fault of theirs” A cheerless me stepped out of Bulu with a gloomy face as we had reached my office. Abbas just said “Cheer up” and left.
I was upset and got to start working. After a while Abbas called me.
Abbas – “Guess what? I’m in their school.”
Me – “Whatttt????”
Abbas – “Yes. I’m taking them to the fire station.”
Me – “Are you serious? Are Mantam happy?” With a grin whose ends met my ears.
Abbas – “Mantam? Err… First tell me are you happy now?”
Me – “You bet!”
He dropped them to the fire station and gave me a call again to validate. Oh boy! I fell in love with him all over again.
Now came evening. I left work, picked Mantam up. My tummy growled and Mantam spotted pop corn. Bought popcorn for them and 1 kachori for me. We got into an auto and all three of us indulged in gastronomical pleasure. None of us talked. We finally reached our area to see that the road is still dug. Got off and walked home. I had to get the gas stove from the shop which was at 15-mins walkable distance. I left the kids at home with my domestic help (First time ever), gave them assurance of coming back in a jiffy. I reached the shop. A guy pointed towards the gas stove and said you could take it. My mind pre-occupied with thoughts of Mantam, paid the charges and held the stove dangling in one hand and briskly I marched towards home. My mind wandered to the happenings in the morning, and I remembered Abbas muttering that the stove was quite heavy when all he did was carry it from our home to Bulu that too in lift. I secretly felt stronger than him. The next moment my pride was shattered when it dawned on me that burners were missing. How could I not notice the absence of burners???!!! I had almost reached halfway (panting for breath) I took a detour and went to the shop again. People were staring at me (or so I felt) for the way I was walking with a gas stove in my hand as though it was a chic carry bag. The shopkeepers were all smiles and handed me over the burners. When I reached our apartment gate puffing, wheezing and panting, there I see a lift that was out of order. Sigh! FYI… We stay in the 3rd floor.
I was sure with so many things happening against me, a power cut had to be the cherry on the cake. But I thanked my stars for my sixth sense didn’t work for the first time in the day.
Silver lining for the day was that the shop where we were supposed to get the stove repaired initially had quoted exactly double of what I actually ended up paying. I have always believed in the saying “Whatever happens, happens for good”