6.30 a.m: A bright and cheerful Sunday morning. Nina squinted at the bedside clock and stretched herself luxuriously on the bed, wishing her body clock wouldn't be so earnest in its chore of awakening her at the same hour everyday; unmindful of Sacred-Sleep-Sundays! How wonderful to snuggle right under the covers, for at least the next couple of hours before she decided to actually pull herself out of her warm cocoon. Her mind went to the wonderful article she had read the previous night on how to de-stress, unclutter, unplug and unwind your life; just what she planned to do, starting today!
Already she was feeling light-hearted at the thought that both her cook and maid were taking the day off. That would give her jangled nerves a respite from their relentless pottering, clanging and clashing about in the pretext of helping her housekeep!
Ahh, the happy days that are called Sundays!
6.45 a.m: Ting-Tong. Nikhil/Nik was not showing the slightest indication of even being alive; he always slept like the dead. This had scared her in the initial months post-marriage, but now after fourteen years she was well-used to it. Cursing whoever was ringing the bell at this unearthly hour on a Sunday, she went to answer it.
It was the building watchman. A young man not more than twenty years of age, newly recruited, clean shaven and bright-eyed, began eagerly,"Madam, there will be no water supply today. Whatever little is stored in the overhead tank will last...err...till it lasts." He saluted smartly and went on his boy scout errand of awakening sleeping bodies to a wonderful Sunday surprise!
She actually kind of pitied the guy his duty, one that he was so fervently carrying out, but one that was sure to break his spirit by the time he finished all the floors of the building. Already she could hear her irate neighbor (who on a normal weekday woke up not before 9.00 a.m and one of these days, she would have to find out where he worked!) screaming at the poor hapless lad for ringing the bell so early....Was there a fire, any emergency, if not, how dare he wake him up!
6.50: She went back to the bed and tried to find her cozy nook, tossing and turning till she realized the futility of it! Might as well get up and fill the buckets. Never know when the overhead storage water might run out.
7.15: Buckets filled, drinking water bottles filled, she headed for the door to pick up the newspaper and milk. Both were lying at the doorstep - only the newspaper was steeped in a puddle of milk that had seeped out of a torn milk-packet! Another resounding set of curses was directed at the milk-delivery boy. Wait till she caught hold of that little rascal, who was part-elfin she believed; the speed with which he moved, belied his human origins. Nothing irritated her more than cleaning up and here she was doing precisely that, this early on a Sunday.
Dumping the papers in the bin, she mopped the floor and chucked the washcloth in the bin too - remembering the nauseating smell of curdled milk that permeated the washcloth and the whole kitchen the last time she wiped down boiled over milk with it, despite several rinses!
7.45: Now for some coffee, she thought placidly, putting away the cleaning travails behind her. The coffee jar was empty. Nik made the coffee every morning and she vaguely remembered him mentioning something about buying coffee...well, obviously he hadn't! No, she would not grit her teeth.
This was a perfectly good day to start on that big bunch of flavored green tea sachets that one of her freakishly health-conscious friends had gotten her from her recent trip to Bangkok.
Okay now she had to choose between Lemon-Honey, Mint-Ginger, Mango-Passion fruit, Peach-Apricot....hmm, sounded delicious! Reading the instructions she proceeded to microwave a mug of water and simmered the Peach-Apricot Green Tea bag for precisely a minute in the hot water. She decided another minute in the water would be better to extract all the goodness out of the bags. "This is so easy, must make this a habit with Nik too," she said to herself , imagining a healthy future spent sipping hot mugs of the rejuvenating, miracle potion! She sniffed delicately, smelling the promised Peaches and Apricots, and proceeded to savor the sublime health nectar. The bitterness hit her first, but she ignored it, braving her second, third sips....it still tasted bitter. Okay no big deal, she thought to herself as she forced the remaining dregs of the wretched concoction down her throat! Now she knew why all health freaks swore by this brew, because it is a known fact that anything healthy had to qualify the basic taste parameter - of not being palatable!
Ahh....nothing like bitter hot water - Peach and Apricot flavored to start the day, right?
8.00 a.m: She decided to share the healthy vibe with Nik right away, after all he deserved it in return for not buying the coffee!
But before she could venture on her evil plan, the door bell rang.
8.05 a.m: Ting-Tong. Car-cleaning guy asking for the key, to clean the inside of the car (more like listening to music on the car radio while rifling through the glove compartment, in the comfort of AC!)
8.07 a.m: Ting-Tong. Car-cleaning guy again, "Madam, wrong key!"
8.10 a.m: Ting-Tong. Garbage Man. Normal weekday timing inconsistent, but Sundays 8.10 a.m he would ring the bell without fail on the dot, irrespective of whether she kept the garbage out in anticipation, the previous night itself!
8.15 a.m: Ting-Tong. The untraceable prodigal Iron-Man a.k.a Istriwalla or clothes-presser landed up diligently today. Nina struggled with two large bags stuffed with clothes for ironing, giving him a baleful look that bounced off him harmlessly; after all he was just doing his duty, right?! Grrr...
8.20 a.m: Ting-Tong. Neighbor to ask, "Isn't the maid coming in today?"
Nina decided to sit by the door, just in case she needed to open the door for anyone/everyone who planned to check out their bell today. It was her lucky day; she would be saved from answering a couple of door-bells by her maids, thankfully on leave today!
She was thrilled by her own decision to sit by the door in waiting, when it promptly rang again!
8.30 a.m: Tring-Tring. She briskly opened the door. But realized it was the phone this time. The same neighbor had called to say,"Didn't want to disturb you again, but did you know, there is going to be no water supply today?"
By now, Nina decided to entertain herself, guessing who would call or ring next and what could be the probability of both happening simultaneously, and was contemplating how to handle that.
8.35 a.m: Ting-Tong. "This will be the Newspaper bill guy for sure," she thought to herself as she opened the door. She was right and she surprised the man with a jubilant smile as she went to get her purse to pay him.
8.40 a.m: Beep-Beep. Her mobile rang and while she was hunting for it, Tring-Tring, the landline rang too. Priorities, priorities...landline calls are pretty much dud calls from Pest Control Services or some thing similar. So ignoring the landline's boring drone, she scurried to attend to the plaintive cries of her mobile. Ah, there it was lying on the kitchen shelf. An unknown number? She hurried to receive it, "Madam, do you have Water Purifying RO system in your hou...?" She abruptly cut the call and wondered in dismay, who could have been desperate enough to call on her landline phone....what if it had been an emergency call from someone close?
8.45 a.m: Ting-Tong. Car-cleaner to return the key.
8.45-9.00 a.m: Nina called the near and dear ones to check they hadn't tried reaching her on the landline.
9.00 a.m: "Hey, wakie, wakie, wakie," she managed to chirrup between gritting teeth, drawing the curtains aside and letting the bright sunlight stream right onto the bed.
Well, of course it took a lot more than just a million door bells, phone calls, gentle cooing and bright sunlight to wake up that big old log of wood, didn't it!
Yes, some music would be good, she thought, as she selected from the cacophonic rock and metal CD's the kids listened to! And it was a good thing, the audio system they had purchased at the electronics sale last month would get some airing too.
Why wouldn't the damn thing play? She tried ejecting the CD, but the system wouldn't throw it out; must be a motor malfunction; she astutely guessed. The best known solution for such malfunctions is of course, light tapping, as she proceeded to rhythmically do, which soon changed to vigorous thumping - but the stubborn system still yielded nothing.
Now Nina was pretty possessive by nature, how dare someone take away something of hers and refuse to give it back!
She got her trusty knife and kitchen-pincers - her personal solution to the screw-driver and pliers which of course they possessed; but were lost in safe-keeping!
With the delicacy and patience of a bomb-squad expert, she managed to pry her precious CD out of the deep trenches of the greedy audio-CD eating machine.
9.30 a.m: "Yayyy!!", she cried out jubilantly, finally rousing the sleeping God and the Demi-Gods too with her loud whoops!
"Hey, what are you up to you crazy woman?," Nik called out crankily looking at Nina and then at the clock!
"Mom, I think I have fever", called out her older one Timmy. "Mommy, I think he just gave it to me too," whined Bobby her younger one.
Nina was dumb-founded, fever on a Sunday morning seemed so improbable didn't it? But bolstering herself she went to check on the boys all the same! Yes, Tim did seem a little warm and flushed. But Bobby was absolutely fine! The little imp was a born actor; trying to wriggle out of tests that would start tomorrow!
She worried and fussed over Tim, fluffing his pillows, tucking his covers closer around him.
9.45 a.m: She went to the kitchen to fetch some medicine for the fever and wondered whether the Doc would start Timmy on an antibiotic course. "Okay, some milk first for the kids," she said to herself as she opened the fridge. Now, why did something look out of place in here? Ahhh! Now she'd got it! That greedy little Timmy had raided the entire half-kg cake kept in there on his midnight snacking spree...no wonder the fever of gluttony!
10.00 a.m: A tray with special Mango-Passion fruit green tea for Nick, a bitter fenugreek (she debated whether to serve the green tea instead) potion for the little pig and chocolate milk for Bobby was ready on the dining table. "Hey, sleepyheads! Gather up, rise and shine, you too Timmy...I know what you did last night!"
Sheepishly clutching his tummy, Timmy came out while Bobby followed looking convincingly hunched and sick! "Ah! What a wonderfully dedicated actor he is; not giving up the act so easily, are we?," Nina thought to herself. "Ahem, I think Bobby is seriously unwell, Bobby let the chocolate milk be, I'll get you some of grandma's potion, same as Timmy and you'll be perfectly well again," she announced. Bobby sat up straight at once and burst out laughing, "Mummy, I fooled you, didn't I? Wasn't I really good? Fooled you, fooled you," he chanted as he hurriedly darted to grab his milk!
"Nik dear, stop searching for the paper, it's in the bin, soaked in milk, don't ask! Do come and dunk yourself in this lovely mug of Mango-Passion Fruit green tea, really exotic I tell you!" looking invitingly over the steaming mug."Why no coffee....," he tapered off guiltily at the look Nina gave him. "And by the way folks, you all better rush through your toilettes, water supply is limited today, may go off anytime, hurry up!"
Nina looked over to see Nik poring over some old newspaper with the same intensity he would bestow a new one! How exasperating! But then she remembered the flavored potion and went over to his side, giving him a generous peck on his cheek, ruffling his hair and handing him the mug with a sweet smile, "Your new healthy morning fix dearest!" as she moved on to attend to the Sunday special cooking.
"Hey, you kids get a move on, remember the last time we had a water problem? We had to go over to snooty Aunt Leila's under the pretext of visiting her, just to use her washroom! You want to do that again?" She saw the boys gesticulating signs of strangulation and gagging but ignored them as she continued, "I don't mind, plus she makes the most out-of-this-world sticky, mushy, taste-free pasta on every Sunday; what say, we drop in for that too?"
That threat worked magic like no other, the two boys dashed to the washroom, while Nina mulled the contents of her fridge for a Brunch fix.
10.30 a.m: Sunday brunch...hmm something special yet not too painstaking.
Well dash it all, the water supply was about to stop, she'd had a horrible morning so far, she deserved a break to try out her de-stress, unplug, unwind strategy too! Yes, decided! Time to run through the flyer compendium and order food in!
"Happy Days are here again, thumbs up, thumbs up," she happily hummed!
Image credit 1
Read other tales from Nina's World:
1. A Change of Heart
2. Delirious Dilemma?
Disclaimer: All the characters in the above posts are fictional, any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.
This post was written in response to a #WritePrompt #Happy days from @Blogchatter - a wonderful platform for bloggers from every genre, that encourages, motivates and educates on everything blogging!
Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI