“F***kin son of b ******s, Damn your appraisals”,
My mind silently yelled those words repeatedly, through my hour long drive. It was 8:10 pm, Wednesday night …I was returning home from work
Physically exhausted, I reached to open the lawn gate, the heat endured by the iron wrought latch the whole day, nearly singed my thumb.
With all the little effort left in me, I push open the gate and silently climb the footsteps to the door.
Clearly visible through the crack between the door, a human cheerfully humming, one of Janet Jackson’s recent numbers with some unsynchronized whistling to go with the chorus. His hair was ruffed up from behind, to give an untidy look but charming all the way. He was wearing my apron with a ladle, happily curdling something liquidly in the cooker. The scene was comical to the naked eye, But it was cherubic enough to put a sly smile on my face. The vapor from the heat of the thing of whatever was being supposedly cooked, formed tiny beads of sweat on his forehead. With one smooth whipping action, with his ladled arm, he shoves away the sweat and continues the stirring as if his life depended on it. His formidable 6 11” height, made him duck and bend doubly every time he gets a sneak peek into the vessel.
Jeezz, how can anybody be so, cheerful for the kind of day I had, was my immediate thought at the back of my head.
“Hey Honey”, he says.
I immediate look and walk away without the slightest hint of having literally gaped or rather awed at husband’s backside for nearly a minute.
I can hear, him duly untie his apron and throw it casually away on the kitchen table, which gave me enough window time to double my steps and step inside my room.What I didn’t remember was his 6 feet 11 inches” frame. With two swift steps, he gained on me, and held my right arm.
“ I need to be alone, please” , I said, with my head still turned away from him.
“Honey, Wats the matter? You don’t look so good, can we just sit for some time, before you can tell me what’s bothering you”
I can feel my eyes brimming with tears, holding back my desire to hug him, hold him closely so that he can wrap his arms around me and never let go.
Containing myself, I take deep breath and turn to face him with all the guts I could muster. I could see him, mutely examining me, with those brown eyes of his,with such concern behind them, like a mother curious to know about her child’s bad day at school.
“Sweety, my appraisals didn’t go so well ,I ended up with rating “T”
I can sense, my husband’s in ability to catch up.
“T stands for trail, it’s the lowest rating one can get, and as a part of the policy 75% of my salary will be deducted from next month”, I explained.
I can literally see the comprehension dawn on his face,as he realized the cruelty of this act of appraisal and the consequences of it on our family’s economy.
“I’m afraid,we can’t afford to run the family with Ranjan and Sanjay about to enter school.They’ve already been in kindergarten for two years now”
I can feel,one thing that I have controlled so far flowing out, Tears!!!!
As he pulls me close, and hold my face between is huge palms.
“Honey, Its gonna be OK, Don’t worry..Everything will be fine!” looking deep into my eyes.
“Though those words meant the whole world to me and the things I can always expect of him, I cudnt help myself asking how the situation was going to be fine, in between my sobs.
“We can sell off one of our kids, Ranjan or Sanju.We’ll choose our favorite one, and that one will get to go the school”, he said musingly
I did a double take!!!! “Watttttttttttttttttttttt?????”
“Yeah, Kavi..My friend once told me abt a children market that’s come up,where children below age 10 can be auctioned. And guess what, the market prices are hitting the roof, these days it seems.We not only get rid of one, But we get paid for it!!!,Is’nt that great??!! Profit in Profit”
And my husband goes on a tribal dance around me chanting hysterically..
“Profit in profit”…yipeeeeeeeeeee
“Profit in profit”
“Profit in profit”
“Profit in profit”…………….………..
Our children wont make it,
Sell them for ppl to grab it,
Why should we live so candid,
Life is all about faking it
…….I am going to vomit.
And then I woke up with a start…
“F***k, It was a dream………”