BACK TO SCHOOL BLUES
I got my life back last Monday morning.
After two horrendous weeks of trying to entertain kids, in-laws, maids and guests, I am finally picking up the pieces of my shattered life. I was so excited, I couldn’t sleep a wink!! Wonderful dreams of having the whole house to myself without bumping into and over anyone got me so wired up that I beat the alarm clock by a whole hour! The rush of impending freedom was simply exhilarating! I zipped around, whistling merrily, packing the children’s tiffins, getting them bathed, all with a beatific smile, a twinkle in my eyes and a spring in my step! It was Back to School time and I was determined not to let a missing ID card, shrunken sock or phantom tummy aches come between me and an empty house.
‘Hurry up you’ll miss the bus!’ I frantically hustled my reluctant twin 4th graders out of the door. The elder teenager had already been packed off to her boarding school the night before and so I was down to two kids and one husband in my desperate bid for normalcy.
‘But you’ll be all alone mommy. We’ll go tomorrow’ they dug their heels in, wrapped themselves around me, trying their best to melt me down.
‘I think that’s exactly what your mother wants’ my husband dryly piped up from behind the amour of a newspaper making me look like Cruella De Vill on a mission to abandon children. Outside, the scene at the bus stop was straight out of a B grade Bollywood movie. Inexperienced mothers bawled like babies while a handful of hardened veterans like me, looked on with pity at the mass hysteria that had been unleashed.
‘She’ll be back in couple of hours’ someone tried consoling a distraught mother who moments earlier had flung herself into the bus in a desperate attempt to accompany her Bunty puttar to school.
Two hours! I thought aloud, ‘there’s a lot you can do in two hours. You can shop, eat, drink, read, for crying out aloud, sleep in peace!’ I snapped at the foolish woman, trying to shake sense into her till her teeth rattled loose.
She looked at me in utter horror, ‘You don’t have kids do you? You’re one those career women’ she hissed eying me contemptuously. Now, the Mommy Mob would have torn me to pieces if my friend hadn’t quickly stepped in and shoved me out of harms way. I fled this hysterical maternal scenario, hoping that back home, life would be calmer. That hubby would have found his way to the office, stayed put or golfed till the evening. That mother-in- law would have found something to occupy herself besides chewing up my brains over the menu and that for once I could savour my cuppa of tea without hearing the kids shriek ‘Mommmy! Help! He/She is killing me!’ for a few weeks before the next vacation rolled in and once again reduced our lives to utter chaos.
The house was silent, not a squawk or a squeak could be heard....
Ahhh! Peace at last! I thought, pouring myself a fresh cuppa of chai, ready to get back on track, when suddenly things didn’t seem quite right.
The silence was killing. As the day passed, it slowly but surely ate away all the pretenses I had of being one of those career women who raced up the corporate sans emotions. You guessed right. The next day I was the one bawling at the bus stop…