“That’s right I am the B*T*H here, sab meri hi galati hai woh toh dhoodh ka dhula hai na?” Anya flushed but fought back valiantly.
Khushi looked resignedly at her, “Theek hai, have it your way,” she sighed and lowered her voice conspiratorially, “Sherry is really an awful guy, sahi kiya jo ghar chhod kar aagayi, you should have left him ages ago, never mind, better late than never, ab chalo lets go and file for divorce theek hai?”
Anya stared at Khushi, “Divorce?” she faltered.
“Haan of course,” Khushi vigorously nodded her head, “Aur koi option hi kya hai? He is domineering, autocratic, controlling, overbearing aise toh chal nahi sakta na, so may as well end it, right?”
“N…nahi, I didn’t mean that,” faltered Anya.
“Phir kya matlab tha?” Khushi settled herself comfortably.
Anya was at a loss, she stared helplessly at Khushi, “I dunno,” she muttered.
Khushi looked at her, “So let’s work this through shall we, do you want to divorce Sherry?”
“No!” Anya shook her head.
“Toh phir yahaan kyon aayee?” asked Khushi.
Anya shrugged helplessly, “I guess I was angry and upset I…I needed some rest, some change,” she trailed off.
“So every time you are angry, upset or tired, you will walk out of home on a whim without any intimation to anybody? Suppose nobody was home when you arrived?” Khushi asked.
Anya shrugged, “Vimla chachi toh hoti? Otherwise I would have gone to RM,” she dismissed casually.
Khushi shook her resignedly, “Matlab what you did was right? And if the situation arises again you will do the same?”
Caught, Anya looked helplessly at Khushi, “Na…nahi aisa nahi hai,” she swallowed, “Maybe I took a hasty step…”
“Maybe!” Khushi interjected.
“Oho Maami, give me a break will you!” pleaded Anya.
Khushi melted, she reached over and hugged the poor frazzled girl, “Achcha achcha theek hai, but only if you promise not to take such impetuous and hasty decisions and definitely not without informing or discussing with anyone, after all you have the babies to think of, kalko they will be older, just think Anya,” she said earnestly, “what kind of emotional trauma will they be subjected to when they are able to understand what is going on? Already I suspect they can sense that something unpleasant is going on.”
Anya looked chastened.
Khushi went for the kill, she held out her hand, “promise?”
Anya placed her hand in Khushi’s and said solemnly, “Promise, cross my heart and hope to die but Maami it’s just not fair is it?”
“What isn’t fair dear?” Khushi asked patiently.
“Why do women have to give up their careers, their lives for the children while men have the best of both worlds?” burst out Anya.
Khushi raised her eyebrows and looked at Anya; Anya looked away and drew patterns on the bed, “I know, I know I am an unnatural mother,” she muttered defensively and guiltily, “I know I should be thrilled, ecstatic and proud to be the mother of two adorable little girls,” there was a warm soft tender expression on her face for a few moments before it vanished, “But most of the time all I feel is exhaustion,” she admitted unhappily, “Life has become one endless cycle of feed, change, clean, get them to sleep, ek soti hai toh doosra utth jaati hai,” Anya massaged her aching neck, “And on top of it, saara din I take care of the babies and in the evening all the girls want is their father!” she bit out resentfully, “Tab toh it is as if they don’t recognize me at all! It’s just not fair,” she reiterated with an injured expression.
Khushi shook her head resignedly, “I guess its not,” she shrugged helplessly, “But would you rather the girls clung to you even when he was home? Wouldn’t that be even more exhausting for you?”
“Maybe, but that would be fairer wouldn’t it?” Anya said contrarily.
Khushi rolled her eyes, “Anya tum bhi na! Maybe you should put the girls in a crèche or something and take up a job again, all this staying at home has really messed up the wiring of your brain cells,” she rued, “On second thoughts, better not risk it, what if the girls miss their father more than their mother? Phir kya karogi?” You know girls are like that – more inclined towards their father isn’t it?” Khushi said musingly, “Even Chotti prefers her father over me,” she said matter of factly.
Anya shook her head defiantly, “Well I am not like that! I love mom and dad quite impartially you know,” she said rather superiorly.
“I doubt if your biological mom would agree,” Khushi said gently, “Do you even remember her or miss her ever?” Khushi shook her head, “Even when we met you as a little girl, you never really hankered for your mother, a mother figure maybe, but not her specifically?”
Khushi looked at Anya questioningly. Anya looked away, “But that’s neither here nor there, we are diverting from the main issue here, which remains unchanged, its not fair,” she protested.
“But sweetie, who said life was fair?” Khushi said wearily, “And chalo maan bhi lete hain that life is indeed very unfair but what do you propose to do about it? How would running away from home or fighting with Sherry make life fair? Or do you have plans to convince your girls to love you more than they love their dad?”
Anya sat there pale and mutinous, “I don’t know what I am going to do but the fact remains, it isn’t fair,” she muttered like a broken record.
“You know Anya life is like a special investment plan where you have to keep investing – your time, your sleep, your love, money affection – in fact pretty much everything you have at your disposal to give and most of the times it is just a one-way route,” Khushi said with a faraway look on her face, “You just have to give and give with no apparent sign of any return,” she paused.
“Unbelievable Maami!” exclaimed Anya, “Kaun se zamane ki baat kar rahein hain? We are nearing the middle of the twenty first century and still!” Anya shook her head despairingly.
“Yeh toh har zamane ki baat hai,” Khushi refuted strongly, “If you want big returns you have to invest, if you want to eat the fruits of a tree you have to tend to the plant through all seasons, the same way if you want a relationship to work, you have to nurture and nourish it with all that you have and then perhaps at the end of a long journey you may start to get ‘returns’ on your ‘investment,” Khushi looked at Anya and smiled faintly, “Waise sometimes, some investments are bogus and then you have to cut your losses and start afresh but at least yahan that is not applicable is it?”
Anya looked helplessly at her, “I am tired, I am exhausted, mere se nahi hota aur,” she drooped, “hamesha main hi kyon?” she revived, “Why should the onus be only on me!”
“Haan sahi bhi hai, why only you?” Khushi agreed, “So let’s see where you see yourself after say five years, once the girls are older and going to school busy in their schedules – with or without Sherry?”
Anya’s eyes widened and she froze, “W…with Sherry of course!”
Khushi smiled, “wohi toh baat hai, if you didn’t care for Sherry or you didn’t see him being part of your future,” she paused, “for whatever reason, he is a wife beater, an alcoholic, whatever, you can and indeed should walk out of such a relationship, but,” Khushi raised a hand, “If Sherry is to be part of your future you have to take steps now to ensure that he does remain part of your life,” Khushi said.
Anya was silent for a bit, “I hate saving and investing,” she protested rather childishly, “I prefer to spend all my money as soon as I get it,” she looked defiantly at Khushi, “I believe in instant gratification not wait for centuries before his Lordship deigns to spare a glance and say condescendingly ‘you aren’t half bad y’know’ Anya said in a scornful pompous tone.
Khushi laughed, “Instant gratification bhi milta hai but only if you look for it.”
Anya looked a bit confused, “Main kuch samjhi nahi,” she shook her head.
“Don’t you see, everything is all about perspective? You think Sherry doesn’t care about you, he is cares only about himself hai na?” Khushi said and Anya nodded her head dolefully, “Yeh bhi toh dekho na, that possibly he couldn’t shrug off his friends or that maybe he thought they might cheer you up? Give you the change that you were looking for? Moreover he didn’t ask you to cook did he? He took that upon himself meaning for you to relax and enjoy with your guests – wasn’t that sweet and thoughtful of him?”
Anya looked away.
“Besides, these are early days for his career, his business, just like the twins that is also his baby, his identity, his pride and he needs to give his all to set that up to not only pander to his ego but also provide for his family,” Khushi spoke passionately, “Earlier you used to help him and assist him in his work, perhaps he is missing that, perhaps he too needs your support?
Click here for Chapter 431