Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Living Under Dust Covers

It was the golden hour. Soft bright sunlight was pouring in from her bedroom window, creating a patch on her bedcover. She could imagine little men, photons, carrying light straight into her bedroom, yelling “Stand Aside, Stand Aside” as they rushed in to do their jobs of spreading the morning warmth. She longed to just stay in bed, and watch the sunlight for a while. But, no way, the evil clock on her head stand nudged her and she got up, pushing the coverlets aside.

“Lift up those covers, fold them and keep them aside”. Her husband instructed from the bathroom, where he was shaving his stubble. “You always leave the room in a mess, and I have to spend time cleaning it up”. He was sounding irritated now. He is right, she thought, I never like folding up the bed immediately after I wake up. Somehow the act is too harsh when I am not fully awake yet. I would like to do that after I finish my tea. But she knew from experience, he can not stand the delay. So, she sighed and got down to the job. There - the job was done, the bedcovers were folded, lying neatly, and she straightened up, tying up her loose hair and began to walk towards the kitchen – Ah tea, that what she needed just now.

“Just why cant you keep the four corner aligned when you fold up?”, he was saying, as he glanced balefully at the bedsheet-fold-up job she had done. She halted at the door, temporarily putting her need for some hot tea on hold. She looked at the folded covers. They looked good enough to her. Obviously, he did not think so. He was glowering at her now – “I simply don’t understand how someone cant figure out that the four corners of the bedsheets have to be aligned, just so. Do you know how uncouth this looks, this non-aligned bedsheet?” Ok, ok, she said – I will do it again, and she resigned herself to drinking that tea later. She sat on the bed – her sunlight patch was still there, dancing merrily with the photon men. She glanced up at him, her eyes still drowsy and dreamy with sleep and the warm golden morning “Don’t you think the sunlight is just lovely? See, the patch it makes – it\s almost a degree warmer than the rest of the sheet”, she murmured.

“Must you stand there and talk about sunlight as if it never occurs every other day? Why don’t you get some discipline into yourself, fold those sheets properly and move out to your office?”, he was practically yelling now. “Sunlight and its patterns on the bed are about as important as your neatly folded bedsheet” – she almost retorted, but held her tongue. She had lost the warm, drowsy look in her eyes now. Proper sheet folding done, acknowledged by an exasperated sigh from him, and she walked out, pushing her feet in the slippers.

“Don’t wear those slippers to the bathroom. I have just wiped the bathroom clean. Yours are so dirty all the time. Here, wear mine” he pushed his slippers towards her. “My slippers are not dirty”, she said indignantly. “Oh, yes. They are. Just see”, he said, as he turned the soles of the slippers towards her. Yes, they were slightly dirty, dirt clinging from the soles, but she could always wash them in the bathroom, couldn’t she? He replied even before she asked – “I know the way you would wash your slippers. You would leave water all over in the bathroom, with mud in the edges. No, better wear mine.”

She moved to the kitchen after she finished from the bathroom. “Use the Aluminium tea pan” his voice sailed from the bedroom. “I have washed it for you, and please, don’t use the blue coffee mugs that we bought yesterday. They are a devil to wash, and you always chip china when you wash them”. But, she liked that glass coffee mug. She had bought it because she was tired to having her tea in these brown mugs for years now. She had liked them enough to have bought them even when he was completely against it, murmuring against her ears that it was waste of money.

She ignored what he said about not using the blue mug, and poured her tea in her new blue coffee mug. She would wash them herself, she resolved, and would do it carefully. She carried her tea out on the table, and went outside to pick up the morning paper. When she returned, he was pouring the tea out from the blue mug to the brown one. “The blue one was looking dirty from the outside”, he said. “Have your tea in the brown one today. I will wash all the blue ones and you can use it from tomorrow”.

Suddenly, it did not matter any more to her. Tea, no tea, blue mug, brown mug – it was suddenly too much work to get anything she liked. She gulped the tea, grabbed her towel and headed for her bath.

Stumble, Slip, Fall!

The next instant, she found herself sprawled on the floor, which was now somehow wet. Something near the foot region, she was hurting, it was as if something was broken, and she cried out involuntarily. She saw him running towards her through the tears of pain, and was grateful for his presence, for the first time since she woke up.

He helped her to her feet, and said “My God, Water is spilled all over, just after I had wiped it dry. Just stay here. I will get the mop”.

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