The alarm rings continuously. One of the figures on the bed lies still, the other one stirs.
Looks at her cupped palms and recites:
“Karagre vasate Lakshmi…. Kara madhye…..”
She bends down and touches the ground reverently and steps out noiselessly. As if her footsteps on the carpet would awaken the sleeping figure where the shrill noise of the alarm had failed.
Setting a huge pot of water to boil, she steps out through the front door, a broom in her hand.
A fine layer of sweat breaks out on her forehead and her nightie sticks to her skin by the time she finishes sweeping the front courtyard. The milk bottles for the morning have arrived and she puts them to boil and adds the rice to the other pot to cook.
The slender fingers cup the hot steel tumbler of tea as she flips through the newspaper enjoying her 15 minutes of peace before the household awakens and the mad frenzy of the day to day chores take over.
The other figure, Shanmugham, stirs slightly and calls out rudely to the woman for his morning tea and newspaper.
Her face is devoid of any expression as she hands over the things to the man who is sitting up in the bed.
She proceeds to the kitchen and gets started on various dishes simultaneously.
Chattering noises are heard and Ramya and Sowmya, the two daughters descend the steps into the dining room. The man joins them soon and there is a friendly banter as the father and daughters settle down.
The woman brings plates of dosas and chutney and sets the table. Three sets of tiffin boxes are packed and put into the respective bags. They finish their breakfast, say bye and leave the house while she is washing the dishes.
Quiet descents on the house, now vacant except for the woman. She puts on the radio and goes about her routine. In another 30 minutes, she leaves for office.
“Tsk tsk…” She ignored the cat calls. “Ey aunty…Here here…Come I will drop you” they were getting courageous, but she seemed indifferent to it, almost as if she was used to it.
The boss on the swivel chair asked her to close the cabin door as she strode in with the files. Asking her to take the chair in the center, he pretends to be looking at his computer screen while evidently looking at her, as if undressing her with his eyes.
“Okay. You can go now,” he almost sighed.
“Wear that yellow saree tomorrow. It really suits you.” He remarked as she closed the door and stepped out unfazed.
She stepped down from the bus and purchased milk and vegetables on her way back home. Dinner was made and served. She finished all the chores and retired to the bedroom where the man was lying down and scrolling through the Instagram account of a fashionista whose clothes were a bare minimum. The man rolled on top of her and satiated his desire while she lay there looking at the whirring fan. He rolled away and started snoring immediately while she lay there with open eyes for a long time.
The woman in my story has no name. She could be you or your sister/friend/ aunt/mother. This could very well be the story of the average Indian woman…And the average cannot be identified, they do not have names.
I am participating in WriteTribe Festival Of Words and the prompt for the day is to feature a day in someone’s life.