Accounts Settled




DING DING DING!!! Ambika woke up to the ringing bell. The warm sunlight reflecting from the cottony snow peeked through the window and kissed her rosy cheeks. Yawning, she stretched her hands as her bangles tinkled. Her anklets jingled rhythmically as she daintily sauntered across the room to have a look at the visitor outside her mansion.  A woman was murmuring something that was audible even from the height where Ambika stood. “None of the alliances seem to match for my daughter,” she lamented. “The boy's families expect girls to be slim, fair and beautiful like film heroines, and a kaamwali bai* when it comes to do household chores. How unfair!” “What’s up, Ambi?” Dev placed his hand on Ambika’s shoulder. “Oh, you are back home,” she smiled. “Where are our boys?” “Don’t ask! Their demands are never-ending!” Dev threw his hands up in the air. “One wants to play board game, while the other wants to do ice skating. And if I listen to one, the other accuses me of being partial!” Ambika chuckled. “Now do you fathom my dilemma? One weekend you can’t handle them. I do it everyday!” “You are great, Ambi. Your patience is unmatchable,” Dev folded his hands, as they both burst into laughter. “Who’s she?” he glanced at the woman outside. “Oh, she!” Ambika slumped on the bed holding her forehead. “She wants me to be her daughter’s matchmaker.” “So? Shouldn’t you help her? Aren’t you the in charge here?” “She never keeps her word, Dev. The last time I helped her find a groom for her elder daughter, she promised me to feed the village orphanage. And she very conveniently forgot about it. She didn’t even pay me a visit all these days, until today when she’s in dire need again.” “Cons of being a leader, Ambi.” “I do understand, Dev. There are plenty like her out there. One man had come to me as his wife was unable to conceive. I helped them find a good gynaecologist, who helped her deliver a beautiful baby. He had promised to make a handsome donation to the village school. But guess what? He didn’t shell out even a rupee!” “You need rest, my dear,” Dev gently massaged her forehead. “I can’t, Dev. Look at the queue outside.” Sighing, Ambika looked below from her abode, Kailas*, as some students unabashedly tried to bribe her for good score, while others tossed false promises for fulfilling their wishes. Very few visited genuinely with devotion. Then she saw him- the biggest liar of them all- the nefarious politician. His bodyguards shooed away the crowd, as he strode haughtily into the temple. “Now?” Dev teased. “Every individual has their ‘lie account’. When it matures, my manager, Karma rewards them with what they deserve. This man’s account has matured today,” Ambika smiled. “Let’s go play with our children.” Ambika ice skated with Ganesha, while Mahadev played his favourite ‘snake and ladder’ game with Karthik.

***

GLOSSARY: Kaamwali bai: female servant Kailas: The Mountain, which according to Hindu mythology is the heavenly abode of Lord Shiva and His consort, Goddess Parvathi (Ambika).   Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!