Ananta koti pranam at Swamij’s lotus feet with sastang pranam and total samarpan.

Today’s blog is dedicated to my awesome wife Sanghamitra whose birthday happens to be today on the day of Holi. This is not only the story of my wife, but also a heartfelt tribute to all the working women who sacrifice their personal space, emotions, suppressing all the wishes. I have written this in a story format, but this is reality of a lot of working women. Hats off to all of you.

On that day, Trupti’s son who is in class-IV, had exam. She had taken off from bank on that day to caress her husband, who was not well. She dropped her son at his school at 9:15 AM and the duration of the exam was one hour i.e. from 9:30 to 10:30. Her home is 7 Kilometers from the school that to in ever busy Hyderabad city. So, without mustering the courage to go back to home and come again, which would have been a futile exercise, she forayed into a nearby supermarket to grab some household items and tick some items from her ‘to do’ list. She told herself that she would shop at snail’s pace without hurrying up killing the time softly. Alas, her general banking speed could not let her shop for more than 20 minutes. Within the time period she had everything required in her shopping cart. To her bad luck, the usually long-queued-counters were also wearing a deserted look, may be to mock at her for being poor at killing time!

After some web surfing about parenting and home decoration ideas, she limped back to the school at about 10:15. There were another 15 minutes for the exam to get over and additional 10 minutes for her kid to come out. Anyway, she saw a group of mothers gathered by that time to pick up their kids. She thought that may be, she would find some solace in their company as she joined the group silently. But it was far from that! As it was the final exam and just four more days to go, the mothers were very much excited. The group of mothers whom she stumbled upon was a group of home-makers. Trupti has enough respect for them, because if their work is assessed financially, Trupti’s salary will look meagre against their huge compensation-cum-sacrifice package. They were all of about her age. 

One lady was from Ahmedabad, who was excited to spend the summer vacation with her two kids at her mother’s place. Excitedly, she was narrating her last time’s experience as well as expressing her sorrow as she had to undertake brake journey via Mumbai. The ticket on her direct train to Ahmedabad was having waiting status 90 in Third AC, which has remote probability of being confirmed during the season of travel. Another mom from Nagpur was excited about her two sisters (who would join her) and the big orchard / grove they have, where she spent a very mischievous childhood hiding from school etc. Another Mummy from Odisha was keen on travelling to her native place while some one poked, in summer Odisha becomes too hot. But the Odia mummy brushed aside the heat wave / humidity remembering the care of her mother and how she would go back to her care free days under the safe custody of her loving mother. She was busy dreaming the re-run of her childhood days of minimal responsibilities and maximal fun which she was going to experience very soon. 

Another mother from Kerala was not happy as her mother-in-law was insisting her to stay back in Hyderabad. But she was proud to have given back her M-I-L a befitting reply “You stay with your son; I will stay with my son in my native place! Without this summer break, the melancholy of daily routine was very suffocating. The cocooned life requires a diversion from all the hotchpotch.” Another Mom from Assam was keen on having summer break at her native place, but her husband was insisting to stay back as he would have a difficult time without her with the Hyderabadi food, because he did not like the same. But the lady lovingly fought with him to have her share of break and tempted him to enjoy like a bachelor. Finally, they broke the ice with a romantic night-out on the previous day and everything was settled. Everybody burst into laughter. 

Standing in the group, Trupti was just wondering as she was not in the league at all. She was feeling like an alien from a different planet altogether who was just listening some weird conversation. Her mind rebelled that in her 13 years’ job career, she never had a summer vacation! All of a sudden, she realized that the summer vacations which used to be the most exciting annual event of her childhood life had vanished from her adult life. Trupti had lost her dear mother long ago. Neither had she have her mother nor did she have the trial and tribulation free life (even if for a few days) as enjoyed by some of the mothers in the group. She no longer had the luxury to jump into the pond in a small village in Puri (where she was born) as she used to do in her childhood. Her profession had made her work like a machine with never ending ‘to do’ list both on work front as well as on home front. She was awarded in bank for having taken the least nos. of leaves. But now the small Trupti inside her was just rampaging, tearing her soul which was longing to jump into the pond, cherish the love of mother, go back to her childhood friends and what not! 

She was feeling tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, tornado and hurricane – all at the same moment. The world was falling apart around her. She was in utter distress and confusion. She was unable to judge whether her financially independent woman’s life was worthful or that of those lovely home-makers’ who were readying themselves for a soul relaxing summer vacation endeavor. 

Can you help Trupti come out of her dilemma?

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Biswa Nanda

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