Through this short story, I’ve tried to depict the life of a typical Indian working Mother and how she gets on with her busy day. This time, I’ve used a different style of writing- like the one I noticed while reading books written by authors whose writings portray Indian culture. You will find code mixing, that is the use of words in a different language to enhance the content. Read on and tell me what you feel about it!

She was woken up by the much too familiar call of the alarm clock. 6 am. Long before I woke up. The start of another day. How she craved to roll over for another snooze! Reminding herself that there were still four days left for the weekend, she got up. She smiled as she recalled how she had dozed off the moment her head had hit the pillow the previous night. Fresh and having had a good night’s sleep, she was charged up again.

Getting up, she did her usual morning chores, collected the milk and the newspaper and turned on the gas to make some chaha. As the milk boiled over the flame, she strolled out into the gallery to examine her garden, something that she enjoyed thoroughly. That was when I trudged sleepily into the gallery. As I looked at her, I saw that her face reflected the tenderness of her heart as she gently caressed the blooming roses. 

Her cup of chaha marked the start of her day. She then bustled about in the kitchen chopping veggies and setting up things. She was busy making breakfast when she realized that it was 8 am already. A soft groan escaped her as she dashed about the house, looking for her headphones and mobile. Then she logged in to Zoom and joined the meeting she was supposed to attend. 

No doubt she was an excellent multi tasker and as the veggies boiled in the kadhai, I heard her telling her team about some new project they had received recently. 

Breakfast was a quick thing for her with not much time at hand. By 10 am, she had completed her chores, made a delicious meal, had finished her bath and was dressed up in an ethnic cotton kurti, ready for work. 

‘The traffic seems as bad as yesterday,’ she thought as she steered her car on the road. But as she turned on the radio, all her thoughts vanished as she began enjoying the music on her favourite Radio Mirchi station. 

At work, it was a different story. Her day was lined up with meetings, client presentations, sync ups, and reports. She literally bolted down her lunch and didn’t even stop to think about how her new masala had enhanced the flavour of the bhaji she had cooked. As the day drew to a close, she packed her laptop and headed home. Trying to be patient with the evening traffic, she thought longingly of the cup of chaha that awaited her.

Once she was home, she microwaved her chaha to make it piping hot, just the way she liked. And grabbing her favourite Parle G biscuit, settled herself in an armchair in the gallery. When I returned home, I saw her sitting in the gallery.

She was so content and was blissfully enjoying her chaha. Birds twittered and the sun painted the sky with its crimson hues. This was the rare time she spent with herself and all of us made sure that she wasnt disturbed then. As I watched her, I wondered when I would be able to do so many things without getting tired. I wondered how come she never complained and worked really hard every single day. I recalled how she enjoyed doing little tasks and found immense happiness in small mundane things . ‘Maybe that is her fuel,’ I thought. 

They say that queens live in palaces and superwomen are found only in movies. They also say that role models are always big, famous people. Truth be told, I can’t disagree more.  

~Mugdha Deshpande 

Short stories

My grey day

“A colour is that expression which adds beauty to life and meaning to the world.”

It was a dull day. I had to reach my friend’s place. I took my books and started walking towards her house. It was a long walk and I was thoroughly bored. The atmosphere was grey, the surroundings were grey, the pavement was grey… Everything was dull and grey. So well you get it, that this was not the best of days. Absent-mindedly, I dragged myself forward. Reaching the crossing, I stood there and a second later was knocked by a girl somewhat of my age. “Hey! Don’t you see it’s the red signal?” She replied, “I’m sorry, but please can you tell me what or how is red?”

It was as if a giant brick had hit me straight on my head. I looked at her eyes, except that they were devoid of what they needed the most- her sight. I couldn’t think of what to do next. Instinctively, I escorted her to the roadside, far from the traffic. “I am sorry for knocking you down, but please can you tell me how does red look?” Tears sprang into my eyes. I tried in vain to search for words that could aptly bridge the long gap between the both of us.Just a while ago, I had been grumbling about my ‘grey day’ but then it struck me that the girl next to me lived in a ‘black day’ every single day..

“You’ll see,” I replied fighting back tears. “You’ll see red one day!” She seemed confused but never the less was happy that I had added some colour to her life. And then she walked away, with difficulty. I stood rooted to the spot and mumbled a silent prayer to God to grant her the sight of red, just once..

That was when I realised that I had to reach my friend’s place. As I walked on, I noticed the red, yellow and pink roses that bloomed colourfully at the florist’s. I noticed the green parrots, chirping merrily in the blue sky. And I also noticed a golden aura- the aura of sight- that surrounded me- always…

-Mugdha Deshpande