The Vicissitude

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Silently getting out of bed; Nina closed the bedroom door cautiously, so that her husband wouldn’t be disturbed by the household noise that was about to commence.

Nina had not been a morning person all her life. She loved to laze about and dream about everything under the sun.

 It was motherhood, which forced the change in her lifestyle. Initially after the birth of Pablo, the shock of keeping awake at odd hours had flung her into post partum depression.  By and by, she became immune to losing her personal space, and gradually every bit of her time began to be weaved into balancing home and work.

What surprised her the most – was that – how effortlessly her husband had maintained, and gradually increased his personal time and hobbies over the years. Sometimes, she wondered at the extreme lucidity with which she had allowed herself to be entangled in the web of sacrifices. With every sacrifice that she made to make life easier for her family; she had willingly woven the web more tightly around herself.

Each weekday morning, her eyes opened automatically just before the alarm. She meticulously  switched it off before it could disturb others.
Getting up, she made breakfast in automation for the family. Putting things on the table, so that they could simply take the food on their dishes and enjoy their breakfast, without much hassle.

Dinner was prepared and kept ready for being heated in the microwave. Everything was freshly made as always. She had never made her family suffer even the slightest discomfort because of her career.
She had always tried her level best to give her family the same comforts that her homemaker mom had provided for her.

Since the pandemic began, she had been gripped by fear and apprehension for her family. Her hands were perpetually white with all the washing that she did through the day.

Though not a front line worker, she worked at the municipal office; keeping track of the orders for the essentials which needed to be supplied to various hospitals and institutions. She needed to update records and report to her superiors. Therefore, she never had the luxury of working from home even during the lockdown.

Her husband had never been supportive of her job. “Why do you need to do a job in the first place? If you can’t manage, just leave it,” he would often say.

It was an old trick every lazy husband played to avoid helping with the household chores. She knew it; but kept her mouth shut for the sake of peace, for her children and for her career.

Never ever leave your job,” her homemaker mother had always insisted.

What hurt her most was that everyone had taken her services for granted, at home and at work. Expecting her to fulfil all their requirements and wishes in a wisp.

At times it really hurt. Nobody cared for her health, likes or dislikes. Even when she was dog tired or ill – her family expected her to look after their needs instead of the other way around. She knew- somewhere down the lane; it was she who was responsible for the way things turned out. If she had the determination and strength to fight back the social conditioning,  things might have been different.

Mom!  don’t forget to bring my favourite chocolate on your way back,” yelled Lisa, her youngest daughter.

Sure love, if the shop’s open when I return,” she replied softly.  Throwing  her a loving look. She wondered how her daughter’s life would be.

Byyee! Momm.” Lisa bade her goodbye with a bored sleepy look.

As she stepped outside, preparing for another deary long day ahead, she looked up at the sky, seeking solace in the flight of birds. Watching them glide through the air effortlessly. Closing her eyes for a moment, she let out a long sigh.

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