THE GOOD WIFE

I was groomed well from the very beginning. The society had taught me how to be good as a woman even before I truly had turned into one. The secret, of course, was to be a good wife. One that I had become the moment I entered my new home, the house of my husband.

I  knew he was the man of the house and listened to everything he said, gave him everything he wanted. He was the king, period. When he was sick and lying on the hospital bed, I was there, taking care of him and never leaving his side. When he was infuriated over some event at the office, I would listen patiently as he rambled on and on for hours. I made his favourite cuisines, even if I had to wake up super-early to do so. I, indeed, was the classic example of a good wife.

My daughter might have felt a tad bit neglected over the years, but that was a necessary sacrifice on my part. After all, she was a girl, perhaps it was a good thing she got to learn adjustment and compromise from the every beginning, it would ensure a peaceful future for her. Oh, wonderful. A good wife and a good mother, I was brilliant. Handling the house as well as a job could never be easy for any woman, priorities had to be set for my own sanity. I was pretty clear as to how my days needed to be. I woke up early and prepared breakfast and lunch for myself and my husband. For my daughter, I boiled some milk and also prepared two eggs if time permitted. I tried to ensure that my daughter got a good breakfast, afterall, the only time she had a meal after that was during dinner. Her own mistake, to be frank. It’s not my fault that my husband and daughter have such contradictory tastes when it comes to food and ofcourse, expecting me to make a separate dish for her would simply be too much. It is pretty simple, she should eat her father’s desired dish that I have prepared, or make food on her own because I simply do not have the time. The petulant brat still hasn’t learnt though. She would starve for the day but never take a step into the kitchen, such a disgrace, who on earth would marry her? Over the years, it seems, she has gotten used to having only one good meal per day. Well, good for her. My husband understands that this is not my fault, so of course I’m doing nothing wrong. Oh but ofcourse, occasionally when she starts crying and acting like a cranky angry woman because of hunger, I make all her favourite dishes.I am a good mother after all. I make it a point, though, to not make them again any time soon after that. I don’t want her to get habituated with me making her special dishes, what if she starts expecting it every time? We can’t have that, can we?

My schedule is pretty hectic, when I come home after a tiresome day at work I take a 1 hour nap and then immediately get onto the cleaning task. My husband is rather messy, to be frank, and oh well, so am I. However, ever since my daughter shifted to her college dorm I’ve found a cheat move. I take all of the abandoned clothes, files and every rubbish from the living room and our bedroom and deposit them in her room. It is rather convenient, she isn’t here now, is she? Anyway, she deserves it. Even when she was home, she never helped me clean the house, that spoilt brat. I felt obligated to give her a thrashing everyday because of the same. She was such a horrible daughter, I tell you.

Now, 10 years later, I really wonder if she truly was that horrible. She had endeavoured to be a friend at times, I just never had the time. I wish I had though, what I would do now to get a glimpse of her. Not a glimpse of some photograph she uploaded on facebook but an actual live glimpse. She stopped visiting after her second year in college, even spent the vacations interning at some place or the other. Once she got placed she moved to a huge city situated at the other corner of the country. Never came back since. She sends us a nice hefty sum every month, also calls us once a week to know if everything is fine; a conversation too short for my liking. I wish things were back to normal, the normal that was 10 years back.

I wonder where I went wrong.

FLAWED FAMILY

She loved her daughter, she truly did, but sometimes the young lady behaved so erratically that she almost seemed like a stranger. Under the dim light of the room in the elite, ostentatious hospital, she sat with her shoulders slumped, wondering about the grim expression on her daughter’s face. Any passerby won’t think much of it. The poor girl’s father was admitted in the hospital all of a sudden, surely she wouldn’t be spurting rainbows from her mouth. However, if you looked closely, you could see smidgens of irritability rather than those of concern; a trait that would be enough to label her as an immature daughter with no seriousness or worry about her old man. This was what had gotten her mother in a twist. Her daughter was the soothing cool breeze and energizing ray of sunshine all rolled into one, a hyper-active girl who showered her father with affection all the time. She might not be perfect but she was a gem, their gem. If anything, her behavior right now was nothing but perplexing. Little did the mother know, the daughter was well aware of how the situation seemed, however, she couldn’t give a damn.

She loved her father, she truly did. She was concerned too, however, every time she noticed the look of utter peace in his face, she couldn’t help but feel annoyed. It was as if he was loving the status quo, basking over the nonexistent glory of it. The doctor hounding him to ensure he was alright, the nurses specifically assigned to him taking care of him, her mother giving him a massage and being at his beck and call, it was indubitably obvious that he was deriving some twisted tranquility out of it all. She endeavored to understand his perspective, but she couldn’t consume the fact that he was somewhat secretively enjoying at the expense of his loved ones’ peace of mind. It was a simple issue of gas, the X-ray report had authenticated that, however he was hell- bent on getting hospitalized because apparently his body felt as if it was bursting into flames. Worse was the way he changed his behavior as per the people surrounding him. In solitude, he behaved like the dinosaur-in-distress. Groaning and gnashing his teeth, only grumbling as a response to anything that his wife asked, setting up a nice pretense of attempting to speak but not being able to due to the unbearable pain. However, that didn’t stop him from indulging in a nice tete-a-teta like a smiley miley with the wardboys and nurses. What trumped everything else was his behavior when the doctors came in, the act was so perfect that even she couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. Little did the daughter know, the father was well aware of how the situation seemed, however, he couldn’t give a damn.

He loved his family, he truly did. He genuinely did not want them to worry much, perhaps just a little bit? Oh, who was he kidding, he was enjoying the fact that his wife was wound up over his health. The neck massages were truly little iotas of bliss. How long had it been anyway since she’d last done it? He didn’t even remember. She had always lived in extremes, and never in a good way. She was always either ‘too’ busy or ‘too’ tired or ‘too’ frustrated by work to ever even sit with him for a nice chat. Not now though, now she was all his. His nice little family worried sick about him, paying attention to every moan coming out of his lips and every drop of glucose entering his vein. Well, maybe not the family in entirety. His daughter seemed rather off, not in a way that she should have considering the fact that her father is hospitalized. His daughter had always been a chatterbox and a cuddler, something he adored about her. Now, though, she barely even gave him a sweet smile, a nice review of the latest book she read or the most recent episode of her favourite TV series was out of the question. He didn’t worry much though, if there was anything he was absolutely certain about it was his daughter’s love for him. He was well aware that he had multitudinous flaws, most of which she was well-acquainted with. That didn’t stop her from loving him then, so why would she now? Moreover, the extravagant attention from the hospital staff more than made up for this little glitch in his plan. Not to mention, the patient next to him seemed like a pretty cool guy. It had been too long since he sat down, relaxed and had a nice conversation with a young intellect like himself. Everything was going according to the plan, he had even successfully befooled the doctor, the good old idiot was getting all worked up as if this was the most complicated case of his lifetime. Perhaps it truly was, you never know these days. Little did the father know, the doctor was well aware of how the situation seemed, however, he couldn’t give a damn.