Please use the star ratings above to rate this story!
“MOTHER”, the word and Aarthi’s smile indicated that she had given her approval. Things turned back to normal between us and regular contacts resumed. She would appreciate me but she was careful not to come between me and my daughter during weekends. Whenever I invited her to visit my place, she would politely decline it as she did not wish to barge in and disrupt the moments between Deepa and
her mother. After my prolonged persistence, she visited on rare occasions and slowly joined the party.
Over the months, whenever she had free time she would come to our apartment over weekends and help me in preparing dishes and other routines. Also she would help in correcting my makeup and dressing mistakes. She would also advise me about how women feel and behave during different situations. Having her beside me provided a morale boost which helped me in enhancing my feminine qualities even whenever I became a mother. On top of it, exploring the feminine world was a revelation as I saw the world through my wife’s eye.
Rubini was totally impressed when I informed her about Aarthi’s advice and she too decided to listen to her advice via phone calls/chats. I couldn’t ask for
anything more in my life and the weekends were just nothing short of adventure.
“Guhan, do you have minute”, my manager called me from his cabin. “Yes, Amrish”, I stood before him.
“Please take a seat”, my manager pulled the chair near him. I closed the door and seated myself in front of him. “You are aware that our project is currently in YELLOW”, my manager opened a power point and showed me the burn out chart.
“Yes, I saw them in the mail. But, that’s not a problem. We can complete it before deadline”, I gave him my assurance. “That’s the problem here”, he twisted my answer. “Why do you think so?” I enquired him about the problem.
“Today morning, customer has come up with a new deadline. We have to release it 3 months before the estimated deadline”, I was in utter shock as he spoke. “That’s impossible”, I pointed him about the toll it would take on Team leaders and junior engineers if it were to be done earlier.
“I too felt the same. But you know, customer says we do it”, he too was helpless as he said. “May be we can arrange a meeting and discuss with team”, I too felt the same as customers are gods in corporate culture. Amrish quickly booked a meeting and brainstormed with team to meet the new deadline. It was decided at the end that all engineers will be working on weekends.
“Not as bad as I thought, I will work from home” I said to myself and informed my manager. “Sorry Guhan, I need you in office”, Amrish rejected me in no time.
“But I can’t, I have a daughter…”, I narrated my reality. “I know, just till release. Leave her under your relatives care till then”, Amrish was in no mood to entertain me. “Shit man! It is bad” I cursed myself and accepted his proposal.
If accepting to come on weekends was harder, then convincing my daughter to allow me was the hardest. “Deepa”, I slowly opened up the topic while eating. “Yeah”, she replied looking at TV. “Mommy can’t come this weekend because…” I made weird expressions as I begun to explain her. “NOOO!!!!” she screamed at the top of her lungs and rushed to the bed and locked it from inside. “Deepa, listen to me” I knocked the door only to receive a loud scream again. “You Liar” I could only hear her muffled screams behind the door. “Deepa, please”, I slowly explained the crisis situation I was facing in my office. I stood in front of the door with silence giving me company. After 15 minutes of pin-drop silence, she opened rubbing her eyes. I quickly sensed that she was crying and hugged her tight. After an emotional moment, she kissed me on the cheek and went to sleep.
I completely stopped dressing for next two months to endure the painful night and weekend works. But, what was more painful to endure was to see my daughter’s happiness crumbling in front of my eyes. During the initial weekends, she would at look at me on Friday nights hoping that her mother will come this week. But, it only seconds for me to crush her dreams by saying a plain NO. Soon, she understood me and stopped her pesters. Though she behaved normally her eyes suggested the converse. Every weekend, she would look at her mother’s wardrobe for few moments and touch them to get the feel. In spite of noticing her, I continue with my work.
Soon the deadline week arrived and the pressure increased exponentially to deliver a quality product. The pressure gripped me to the core to the extent that I began to work from home in late nights. During one such night, Deepa came to me with an invitation. “Annual Day Celebrations” I glanced through the card as I read the title and fortunately the date was a week after the release.
“We will definitely go” I gave my thumbs up to her and continued my work. “But?” she placed a twist in her sentence. “But, what?” I looked puzzled and looked at her eagerly. “I want to go with Mother”, her words threw me off my groove. “What?” I was befuddled by her request. “Okay…uh…I will ask and tell you tomorrow”, I did not want to start an argument late night and requested her to sleep.
Working late night shifts and skipping meals took a toll on my body. “Amrish, I am not feeling well. I am going home”, I requested permission from my manager. “Time is…uh…12:30. But, the release is tomorrow!” my manager was skeptical of my permission. “Yeah, don’t worry. I will login from home” I assured him and left early. Though I supported from home, I was totally drained of physical and mental health. By 4:30pm, I somehow gathered strength to pick up Deepa. “Will mommy come to function?” she began her pester from the school entrance itself. “Okay…okay”, I tried to dodge the bullet. “Answer me!” she continued her question till we reached home.
As god would have it, my manager called me to discuss another important issue just as I entered home. “Just give me a minute, Amrish”, I ran to open my laptop and began to browse through mail. Without knowing the seriousness, Deepa still continued her pester and suddenly, I snapped.
“Will you please stop it!” I shouted at her on top of my lungs and unknowingly knocked her on her head. She began to cry out loud which prompted me to shout at her even more. Hearing my loud scream, Aarthi who was returning to her apartment after work began to bang on my door. After I opened, she noticed Deepa crying and quickly went to console her. “Take her to your room … please”, I controlled my anger and requested Aarthi to help me. She took Deepa to her room without even looking at me. I banged the door shut and began to work on the office issues.
By the time I was done with my work, the clock reached 11pm. “Oh man!” I quickly rushed to Aarthi’s apartment and rang the bell. Aarthi opened the door holding Deepa who was fast asleep. “Thanks” I placed Deepa on my shoulders and left to my apartment. The next morning, Deepa did not even look at me while getting ready for school. “Talk to me…please”, whenever I came close to her for apology, she ignored me and carried on. “I got a surprise for you”, I used my final trick to make her talk during breakfast. “Which is?” though she was surprised, she acted normal and asked me what it was. “You know… uh… I talked to mommy”, just as uttered the word she jumped out of chair and came close to me.
“What did she say?” she was all over me while asking her question. “She said… uh… uh… YES”, as soon as I said, she hugged me tight and began to cry.
To be continued …
If you liked this story, please don’t forget to give your ratings!