A ‘thank you’ we forget to say
She wakes up at 5:00 am. She has to make breakfast and pack a snack for all her children before they wake up for school. She makes a boiled egg sandwich for her daughter, a fried egg for her son and a cheese omelette for her youngest son. Without wasting a minute, she sets the table and her eyes fall on the clock that strikes 6:00 am. She panics and curses under her breath,
“Oho! Museebat, I am late again!”
Scurrying to the rooms, she wakes each of the boys up with a kiss on their foreheads. They squirm and whine in an effort to get a few more minutes of precious sleep.
“It’s just 6:00, mom. Wake me up at 6:10!”
“Come on! Hurry up! You are going to be late,” she commands and hurries off to set the table with protests of ‘you are so mean’, trailing behind her.
They reach the table, one by one.
“What is this? I don’t like this yellow yellow thing in my sandwiches, mom.”
“Yuckh! The omelette has so much salt today.” The other whines.
“Eat it beta – you are already late,” she coaxes, “I promise you’ll have your favourites for lunch today.”
She leaves them there and goes to the kitchen to pack their lunch boxes. She quickly makes burgers for the elder two and fried chicken nuggets for the youngest.
She recites a prayer under her breath and then blows it their way; she hugs each one of them before they leave for school and then walks away. Wiping off her sweat, her eyes reach for the clock again.
It is 7:30 am.
She sighs and rushes towards her eldest daughter’s room.
“Jaani, wake up. Only half an hour is left for the van to come.”
“Shoot!” she yells “Mom why didn’t you wake me up earlier? I have clothes to iron and hair to straighten.”
“Your clothes are ready jaani, and see how gorgeous your hair looks right now”, she smiles.
“You don’t know anything mom, curly hair is not in fashion anymore.”
Feeling a bit stung, she leaves for the kitchen to make breakfast for this daughter who thinks her mother’s fashion sense is rubbish.
“If there isn’t anything else I can do?” she says under her breath.
Its 8:00 am now and she rushes to wake up her husband.
“Will you wake up, please? It’s getting very late. Your breakfast is ready.”
“Why does the tea taste weird today?” He asks, after she serves it to him on the table.
“Have you forgotten how to make tea?” He teases her.
“I’m sorry na, I got up a bit late today” she apologises.
“Do you want another cup?”
She grips her back while forcing herself out of the chair. She moans from all the strain.
“What should I cook today?” she asks him while handing him a cup of tea.
“Anything would do.”
“So should I make nihari?” she proposes.
“We just had it two weeks ago, what is wrong with you?” he says. “We can’t eat the same thing over and over again, now can we?”
“Okay, so would biryani be fine?”
“Can’t you make something new, something different? I am sick of eating the same type of food,” he complains, while sipping on his tea.
“I am not a professional chef. There is a limit to my culinary ability”, she says with a grim face.
“Also, before you go to office, can you give me my gym fees, please?”
“Again?” he asks. “You know, you should go try cooking classes this time,” He laughs, ignoring his wife’s wince at the cutting comment.
He hands her some money, making a grand show out of it to remind her just how indebted she is to her.
“Thank you… Thank you so much.”
A tear rolls down her cheek because the ‘cooking class’ remark was cruel. Her hand quickly wipes it off before he can even see. Her own ‘thank you’ echoes in her ears; just some words of acknowledgement she wishes to hear from her family whom she does so much for.
It’s the same ‘thank you’ we all forget to say.
She walks off to hang up the laundry and put the afternoon curry on, dreaming of the happy faces of her family as they enjoy their meal in their freshly pressed clothes.
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