Anuradha was not happy. She was not happy with Aditya. She was sick and tired of his demeanor. She had been to her neighbour, Nisha’s home yesterday. Nisha is a good friend of Anu. Nisha’s husband, Nikhil, had got Nisha some pretty flowers and a diamond ring for Valentine’s Day. Not just that, two months ago Nikhil had gifted her a thick gold necklace along with gold earrings. Anuradha was so upset, she went to her parents’ home. Anuradha’s parents had their apartment two buildings away from Anuradha’s apartment.
Anuradha sat near her dad on one of the chairs of the dining table, while Anuradha’s mom was busy cooking in the kitchen. She was surprised when she saw Anuradha at this time. 10:30 a.m. in the morning is too early for her to step out of home because Aditya and Anshika need lunch right on time, which is 1:00 p.m. Usually Anuradha is done with cooking, cleaning by 12:00 p.m. Hence she never visits her parents before that. She asked, “Anu, you want a cup of tea?” Anuradha replied grumpily, “No Maa, I just want some peace”. Ashok, Anuradha’s dad, was reading a newspaper. He and Aradhana looked at each other and realized some problem was brewing up. Aradhana came and sat near Anuradha and said, “What happened? Tell me now”.
Anu hugged her mom tight and started sobbing. Aradhana brushed Anu’s hair, pulled her gently away from her and asked, “What happened sweetheart?” Anu wiped her tears and said, “Aditya does not love me anymore”. Aradhana and Ashok were not surprised. They knew what was coming up. So they were all ears. Aradhana asked, “And what makes you think so?” Anu continued, “It was Valentine’s Day yesterday; Aditya did not even say that he loves me, forget about getting roses or gifts. You know, Nikhil got roses and diamonds for Nisha. All Aditya does is asking questions and telling me things like, “Why is the geyser switch on? Can’t you and Anshika switch off the fans when you move from one room to the other? Why do buy veggies? You don’t know what to buy? Don’t buy chicken on your own. God knows what you will buy?’ I am sick and tired Maa. I am sick and tired.”
“Hmm, So, that’s the matter,” Aradhana said. Anu wiped her tears again. Aradhana continued, “By the way, where is Aditya now?” Anu said nonchalantly, “Anshika’s bicycle broke down. He went to fix that.”
Aradhana said, “By the way, I saw Nikhil early in the morning today.” Anu replied, “Yes, Nisha was saying Nikhil had some trekking plans.” Aradhana continued, “I saw Nisha couple of minutes ago. Seems she takes early shower and then goes for grocery shopping.” Anu replied, “Yes, she has gone to get the groceries. She always takes early shower because you know about the water cuts in our building. After 10:00 a.m. there is no water supply.” “But you never take shower before 12:00 p.m. Why so?” asked Aradhana. Anu was irriated. “Oh come on <aa. Can you please stop asking silly questions. You know I have water tanks in my bathroom and kitchen. I don’t need to store water in buckets. I have water coming in the water taps.” Aradhana continued, “You got those installed?” Anu was pissed off now. She said with anger, “I did not. Aditya did that.” “Oh okay!” said Aradhana. “Do you have groceries at home?” asked Aradhana again. Anu yelled, “Of course mom. Why would I not have those?” Aradhana asked, “So when did you buy them?” Anu replied, “I did not. Aditya got those.”
Aradhana again asked, “Were you able to sleep well last Thursday? There was no electricity. Nisha had told me that she had trouble sleeping because her electricity inverter had broken down.” Anu had enough. Red with anger, she replied, “I slept well. The inverter installed at my home is strong. I had the air conditioner also on. Stop asking silly questions, mom. I came here with my problems and here you are asking me stupid questions.”
Aradhana patted Anu’s back and said, “It’s you who are getting upset with silly things. Nisha goes in this hot sun to buy groceries. Did Nikhil even bother? Aditya tells you not to buy groceries, not because you don’t know how to buy them, but because he does not want you to go out in the heat. It’s Saturday today. Aditya too could have gone out with his friends. He did not go. Instead, he went to fix his daughter’s bicycle. Aditya does not need those lofty water tanks. It’s you who need water more. Hence he got those. He installed the strongest inverter so that if there is a power failure, you and Anshika can sleep peacefully with the air conditioner on. He never had an air conditioner earlier. He got it just for you and Anshika.
And talking about not letting you buy chicken, that he does because he does not want his wife to stand in a place surrounded by unknown men who will stare at her in those chicken shops. Hence despite being tired, he goes to get those. Now, coming to gifts, Anu, has he ever gone anywhere in this world without you and Anshika? Nikhil gets gifts for Nisha when he travels abroad. Aditya brings you gifts every time he has to go for office tours but all the same, once he is back, he ensures he takes you and Anshika to a beautiful holiday. Not wishing you on Valentine’s Day does not mean he does not love you. He loves you and Anshika more than anyone else. It’s just that, his way of expressing love is not sugary. You can see love in everything he does.
He comes all the way to pick you up in the nasty traffic even if it calls for stressful driving. Yes, he keeps on asking you to switch off lights, fans and geysers when they are not in use. What’s wrong here? He is right. He saving the environment and he is saving a little amount of electricity bill. That’s all. The tiny amount he saves here, is nothing compared to the amount he spends for both you and Anshika”.
Anu was speechless. What her mom said was all true. Anu looked at the gold ring she was wearing. Aditya had got it for her when he was in Dubai. In the next trip Anu and Anshika accompanied him. Last Saturday, Aditya was home getting the water tanks cleaned. Entire Sunday, he spends his time on buying vegetables and fish and meat shopping. After getting fish and meat, he is the one who cleans them, divides them in portions so that it’s easy for Anu to cook. Only one problem with Aditya was he did not know how to talk softly with a romantic tone. But then, he was not GOD. Every human has imperfections. His only imperfection was that he did not have a sugar-coated tongue. That’s all.
Anu went home happily. Aditya was home. He was sitting and chit chatting with Anshika. When he saw Anu, he grumpily said, “I have got mutton. It’s thoroughly washed.” Anu loved mutton. She loved cooking it as well. Aditya was not a huge fan of mutton. But just because Anu loved it, he used to get it. Anu looked outside. The sun was shining ruthlessly. Aditya did not budge from his duty despite the harsh sun and heat. He got Anshika’s cycle ready and got Anu’s favourite food. Anu asked and answered her own question and giggled, “Does Aditya love me? Yes he does.”