Anisha frowned at the sight of the wet towel on the bed. She still couldn’t get why Sumit couldn’t stop doing things that irked her. ‘Maybe he does it on purpose’, she frowned as she picked it up along with his discarded shirt lying on the doormat.
She sat on the plush sofa with her steaming cup of coffee, dressed in her new embroidered salwar kameez, her long loose curls framing her beautiful face. She was nearing the big 40 but looked young for her age. The frown that seemed to appear often these days was the only blemish on her otherwise perfect face. She eyed with satisfaction the spotlessly clean house, the bright paisley cushions, the sheer curtains and the beautiful sky lantern hanging in their balcony. She had worked meticulously the whole week to clean and decorate the house for Diwali. Their children were lighting crackers with friends in the garden below.
The clock striking nine reminded her that she had to hurry or she wouldn’t be able to get lunch ready on time. Sumit had invited a few of his colleagues for a Diwali get-together.
She fetched the vegetables from the fridge and washed them in the kitchen sink. In a few minutes, the sink filled up with water. She had observed the water draining slowly from a few weeks. ‘God, not now!’ she said. There was a lot to do and a blocked sink was something she didn’t want to deal with today. Inserting a wire, she tried to dislodge whatever was preventing the water from draining away. But the stubborn pool refused to recede.
‘Sumit, do something, the sink is blocked and I have tried calling all the plumbers in the locality, no one is available today’, she said after a while, irritated at the sight of him sprawled on the reclining chair, his head buried in the newspaper.
‘Can’t you handle such a simple crisis yourself?’ he said in an exasperated tone stepping towards the kitchen. He wouldn’t have bothered on another day, but today he had to do it as the guests arriving were his colleagues and he couldn’t risk keeping them waiting for lunch.
Anisha handed him the tools while he unscrewed the rubber pipe and poked inside to clean out the debris. Something fell on the floor with a clink along with the built-up gunk. Anisha snatched it quickly and took it to the bathroom to be cleaned.
She returned smiling. ‘It’s the ring, It must have fallen in accidentally. I knew in my heart that Saku bai hadn’t taken it. Thank God, I didn’t question her.’
Sumit took the ring from her and fingered it lovingly. His mind drifted to that Diwali years ago when he had proposed to her with this ring.
Their parents were family friends and were celebrating the festival of lights together. She was lighting crackers with childlike enthusiasm, looking ravishing in her sequined lehenga and dangling earrings. He had whisked her away and put the ring on her delicate finger asking ‘Will you marry me?’. ‘Yes!’ she had exclaimed as if she had waited for that moment forever.
He reminisced their wedding day, their honeymoon in the snow-clad valley of Kashmir and the day they celebrated his first promotion. She had no experience in cooking but had painstakingly cooked all his favourite dishes. How he had hugged her and swirled her around as she laughed like a child.
He stole a glance at her and even she seemed to be lost in memories.
She remembered vividly how he had squealed with excitement on seeing those two pink lines on the pregnancy kit, how he had taken her out at 3 am for chocolate ice cream to satisfy her pregnancy cravings, how he had sometimes worked two shifts to pay their home loan instalments, how they had worked as a team to put together their abode of love.
Those years had been magical.
Slowly, parenthood, responsibilities and the daily grind of life had started taking away the magic from their lives. They had started taking each other for granted. Small follies which had seemed trivial earlier had now started taking gigantic proportions, drifting them apart with each passing year.
‘Can we start again?’ he asked putting the ring back on her finger where it belonged. ‘Yes!’ she smiled through her tears.
The magic would be back again.
All it took was a blocked sink to dissolve the block in their lives.
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