Every room in the house was yelling differently. Although the subjects, contexts and tones were different in each room, one thing was constant – that was ‘struggle’. Struggle to face the current situation. Struggle to stay alive on different fronts.
One bedroom was office to my son, second bedroom was school for our daughter-in-law who is a teacher, and our grandchildren had gone to school in our bedroom! Considering the shortage of devices in our family, both our grandchildren were attending school through our mobile phones! Both of us, being free from all of this were sitting in the Living Room.
I said “Hasn’t the world changed too much recently?” while he was reading the newspaper..
“Hmmm..” A cold response from the newspaper.
I continued saying, “Meenu had called. She was saying she’s just irritated with this lockdown in those four rooms and seeing the same people in the house all the time.. She’s planning to come here for a week once the lockdown releases..”
Cutting me, “Eh.. Kids of today’s times..” a sarcastic remark came from the newspaper..
I couldn’t resist and said, “What was that for?”
“Don’t you think so? These kids have taken so much efforts to buy that house, work hard relentlessly for the people they care for; and when time comes to stay in that same house with those same people, how can they get irritated!! Do you recall initial times of our marriage? How many of us stayed in that small place? We couldn’t even go on our honeymoon for many years due to the financial situations!!”
“You’re right dear.. But times have changed.. Generations have changed.. Thoughts have changed.. So it’s being difficult for them! It’s surely not easy to digest any change easily!!” before I could complete, he interrupted..
“This too.. Is a luxury of today’s times.. Didn’t we change in our times? We didn’t even have a TV! Didn’t we change witnessing the world transform from a Black and White TV to a Smartphone? After Bandya’s marriage when we gave both of them all the rights to run the house as per their views, was it easy for us? I went on evolving at my workplace and you went on evolving in the house as the situations demanded us to.. Did we market it? We need to face the situations with patience and courage..”
At last I said, “That’s true.. But in our times there wasn’t much competition.. Our needs were limited.. So…”
“So tell me.. Who increased this ‘hunger’ for those extra needs? In order to fulfill that hunger, who chose to get into that rat race of competition? So if it was your choice, then why are you complaining when you have to face the other side of the same coin? You remember? We loved the ‘PCH’ Coffee in our times.. Finances were always a problem so we went there once a month to have that coffee! It was so much fun! But did we crib that we couldn’t have it everyday?”
The moment he mentioned the ‘PCH’ coffee, I went in a nostalgia.. He simply loved that coffee, so I had taken special efforts in those times to learn it’s recipe.. I realized I hadn’t made it for him in so many years.. I said, “Aaah.. I just forgot to complete a very important work that’s been pending since a long time” and left for kitchen.
As soon as the coffee aroma entered our living room, he realized what that pending work was.. You should have seen his expressions when he saw the coffee cup that I had made for him..
“Delicious.. Now everyday you have to prepare such coffee for me..” he said as he had a wholehearted first sip of the coffee..
I smiled and said, “Sure.. But we cannot afford to forget that this ‘extra hunger’ that we are creating for ourselves is being fulfilled by our kids – about whom you have been complaining all this time..”
He being an expert with his words said, “Don’t worry.. If after this becomes a habit, someday I don’t get it – I wont crib about it.. Hahahaha”
All thanks to our grandchildren.. They went to school through our ‘mobile phones’, and hence we found time to relive our early memories..