Life can Change in Minutes

It is very calm and peaceful, except for the occasional screeches coming from the window. Those must be the piglets in their sty, being fattened up by their owner to appease someone’s taste buds as pork some day. Wonder when the management committee of our society will succeed in removing the sty from beside our compound. Despite the numerous complaints the residents have raised, about the foul smell and the unhygienic practices followed and the irksome screeches of those pigs, the sty continues to function there, with no one being able to do something about it. I turn my attention inside the house instead. Everything is in its rightful place, well, almost. Except for those sweaters and jerk-ins that Nirav wore yesterday, and Aarav’s monkey cap. These are lying on the sofa. A couple of Aarav’s toys are sitting on the dining table, and a single sock, Nirav’s, is hanging limply from the sofa’s hand-rest. The father and son are exactly like each other, never caring to keep their things in order. I sometimes get tired of telling them repeatedly and silently go about putting stuff in order, all by myself.

On the kitchen counter rests the huge steel basket containing washed utensils. I didn’t get time to sort them down before I went out. The counter needs to be cleaned too, for the ‘roti-wali-bai’ has left smears of wheat flour on it after making our rotis. Sigh! Wish I had a magic wand to clean up the whole place with one swish and an incantation. The way Mrs. Weasley does. No matter how much I clean up, my house continues to look as if Ron, Fred, George and Harry just finished playing a Quidditch match here.

I enter the first bedroom that serves as my office room. Nirav’s books are strewn all around, and his white board is filled with 1s and 0s. He is learning some serious stuff. Re-learning rather, the stuff that we learned in our 11th and 12th standards and then conveniently forgot. At least, I did. He is going all the way back into the basics now, in order to understand them better and possibly to come up with something of his own. I only wish that something did not involve papers strewn all over the place. But then, when were scientists and inventors followers of domestic orderliness? That task has, for centuries, fallen on the shoulders of their wives, butlers or if they were alone, none, and they have never paused to wonder who kept their pens polished and their desks clean when they were busy playing God.

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I look up. The small attic is almost filled to the brim with cardboard boxes and suitcases. I have been urging Nirav forever to get rid of most of them. I hate clutter, but he always brushes away my pleads saying they might come in handy some day. Maybe he is right. For example, they could probably use that TV cardboard to pack up all my clothes and give them away. And to think I bought those lovely T-Shirts only yesterday. Such a pity.

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My laptop on the table is still whirring softly. The monitor is still on, and my unfinished post glares at me from its wide screen. I so wish I had completed this post and shared it in all the usual places before I went out. If only I had, the world would have at least got to read my last post. If only I had finished up all the work at home before heading out, Nirav would not have had to do them. Especially now, when he is rushing back home after receiving the call. That is why Kabir says, “Kaal kare so aaj kar, Aaj kare so ab; Pal mein parlai hoyegi, bahuri karega kab.” Then again, how was I to know that a speeding bus will come and hit me when I go to buy something as insignificant as milk?

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