I love standing here in my balcony overlooking the beautiful landscape before settling with my routine morning domestic chores. The heavy shower of the previous night has turned the sultry and humid summer into an unusual pleasant morning. The soothing cool breeze stirs in me mixed feelings pushing me into introspection. During such a rare occasion, I am at my best in analyzing. Well, analyzing has become a big part of me these days.
My attention shifts to the happenings around. Staying in a confined space of a steel plant township, I see people rushing to work wearing jackets, safety shoes, and helmets. And across my apartment, the labours flock to the building under construction. Women chattering in merriment, their infectious laugh drifting from afar brings a smile on my face. Is it called a life of contentment?!
My attention then shifts to one of my condo mates who walk to her balcony adjacent to mine, to hang a towel. She seems to be so preoccupied that she doesn’t even notice me. She has a cook, a domestic helper, a nurse to look after her ailing mother-in-law and all she needs to do is to overlook and give directions. Me, on the other side, prefer to do my household chores myself, and I do each bit of it to my set standards of perfection. I complain, sulk and regret sometimes though. Because years of my corporate career has deprived me of the happiness found in these little things, I had reasoned out for myself and hence tricked and tamed my mind. Or so I thought. Tick, tick, tick, as I check on my to-do list mentally, I wonder, is this my life?
My phone pings just as I hit the bed for my post-lunch nap.
Call you in the evening. Have lots to discuss.
Such occasional messages from my elder daughter always give magical powers to me. I love talking for hours. And every alternate day I get to hear my second daughter. Once a week, from my son. I call them my team, my army, my mine of strength.
Sharp 8 pm, my husband returns from work. Hi, he says, his eyes glued to his mobile screen. Just for the sake of having a conversation, I respond too, a cold response while the television continues blaring about the happenings around. Exactly at 10.10 pm, he gets his last reporting phone call and at 10.15 he retires to the bedroom, wishing me a tiresome good night.
Before switching off the lights I open the door to keep the bag for the milk pack that arrives early in the morning. There, I see my condo mate too tucking the bag to the nail on the wall. The same frowned brows, the preoccupied expression!
How on the earth people are so busy, contented and happy, I cannot stop wondering. If it is the small chatters that keep the working class happy, it is the planning for this condo mate of mine that keeps her occupied. And for my husband, it is his busy schedule, his work, his passion. I envy his single-minded focus and devotion towards his career though many a time, I just cannot complain, for he is the bread earner.
And to me, are my desultory domestic chores what hardly takes two hours a day and lengthy phone calls that keep me busy apart from some occasional reading and writing.
If that is all that I have on my platter, so be it. No big deal!