Note: Yes! You read it correct. Here is a Version 2 for part-2 of the story. Hang on till the new Part-3 and let me know which one you like. :P
Read Part1 here
To be continued... :P
Read Part1 here
Part-2 [Version-2]..(the first para is same as the first version- it changes from the second para)
Asha’s mom was amazed at the dedication of the little girl to save money. What did she know about money? How innocently she dreams, Uncle Scrooge! She wiped a happy tear from the corner of her eye before it rolled out on her cheek. The rest of the afternoon went by in cooking the lunch, talking to the maid, catching up with the Sunday serials and handing out cups of hot coffee to her husband. “It is not hot enough” he would flatly refuse, returning the cup to her and she would repeat the process till it was boiling hot. “It is too hot now. Why can’t you make a cup of coffee?” he would get angry. Thoughts rushed through her mind; a faint familiar feeling of pain strained her. Was he punishing her, proving to her that she wasn’t good enough a wife, now because she is working? What is so wrong about a woman earning better than the man she lives with. What is that futile Ego? And where was that pride when he had rummaged through her cupboard? When he robbed his own wife of the meagre hundred, two hundred she had carefully placed between the ironed saree folds?
She only hoped and prayed that he would leave Asha’s coins untouched. “Amma, am-ma come see my box it is full!” Asha pulled the loose end of her mom’s dress, while bouncing in the air,” Come, Co-me, Co-me Amma.. see it is fu-ull!” She quickly shushed her and followed her to the room. Much to her delight, the little girl did manage to fill the box. Later that evening they went to a near by shop and got it changed to crisp notes. The final count was a hundred and twenty three, a priceless saving of her eight year old. She carefully rolled the hundred rupee note and tucked it under the paper of the coin box. She pulled out some loose change from her purse,” Here you go Asha, now you can collect again!”
An innocent child has the eyes that can see people without bias. Asha was no different. She would hop around with delight and tell her father;” Appa I saved two rupees” It was only after several reckless remarks that she had started to ignore his presence. How knowledge can rob away some senseless happiness? Nobody asked her to but she had learned to tip-toe and make sure the coins didn’t juggle enough to catch the attention of Appa. “Did you save a Rupee?” he would snicker at her. She would hang her head down in anger and do the bravest thing a child of her age could do. She ran to her mother. “Don’t let him bother you. Here take a rupee.” Amma always managed to patch the cracks made by Appa in Asha’s illusion of a happy childhood. But, Asha, she was maturing at a remarkable rate.
She would startle her mother with some blunt questions,” Amma, why does Appa not like money?” Amma would feel guilty of all that Asha could have overheard. Could she tell her that it was only her money that he didn’t like? Asha knew nothing other than Appa throwing a bundle of tens on the floor shouting,” Take that money! I can earn well enough!” She had crawled under the bed believing that it was a bad dream. With gentle sobs and anxious eyes she had waited till she saw Amma’s feet walk in. She jumped into her arms and had embraced her with a delight of not having lost her. There was this strange fear about Appa. She always thought her could hurt her mother. Maybe it was from watching Amma cry whenever Appa spoke to her. The best advice her young mind could offer was,” We should stay at Ajji’s house. Appa never comes there”. How simplistic was Asha’s comprehension of the complex life around her. Her mother feared the day when see would see things deeper and clearer.
A woman is like that string that holds different relations in a marriage. If she breaks off, all the beads fall apart. What is the victory in that -to run away?
To be continued... :P