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“Hey, I’m Maanya Parikh, Head girl, and Hotshot. Former Writer and Publisher. Now reduced to running errands, wiping down appliances and scrambling at 9 pm to ghost write essays for my 10-year-old twins.”
Maanya walked around the house, putting away a toy here, fluffing a pillow there. Another dreary day in a rather mundane week. Endless versions of chai-breakfast-laundry-lunch-cleaning-school-snacks-homework-nag-homework-bath-dinner. Every single day, the absolute same. “The Thrilling Life of a Housewife, Chapter 1031”, she thought with a grimace.
Her back ached, her eyes hurt, and she was bored to the point of screaming. Outside the window of the highrise, lights twinkled on, in the distant highway. She gripped the cool metal of the grilled window and peered at the dusky darkness.
As a yawning breeze caressed her face, she let out a sigh. A little newspaper headline popped into her head.
“Supermom pries open window rails and flies into the night, before falling to her death”.
No, No! How about this:
“Former Editor of Metro Publishing, gleefully jumps to her death from towering Laundry Pile. You will not believe her last words.”
Too click bait-y. Come on, you can do better, babe.
“Choose which boring task Maanya Parikh hates the most, and we’ll reveal the name of your Soulmate!”
Yup, that would be the one!
Chuckling darkly, she stepped away from the bars and padded back into the darkness of the hallway. Twins in their beds, husband away on a work trip. Her Netflix queue called out to her as did the 7 books slowly collecting dust on the end table. She had to fix the kids’ lunch bags and.. Wait! Oh-My-God, Wait!
Wasn’t tomorrow the last day before the monthly essays were due? Had the twins even started on them?!
Suddenly exhausted, she sat down and burst into tears. An ugly thought floated before her.
“Hey, I’m Maanya Parikh, Head girl, and Hotshot. Former Writer and Publisher. Now reduced to running errands, wiping down appliances and scrambling at 9 pm to ghost write essays for my 10-year-old twins. THIS! This is how I fade away.”
A little voice squeaked behind her.
“Mumma, are you crying?”
Arjun looked at her, with large luminous eyes, so like his dad.
She wiped her nose on the sleeve of her tee shirt and held out her arms.
The little boy came running and burrowed into her embrace. (Alexa, schedule Arjun for a haircut.)
“Why are you sad, Mumma?”
“Oh baccha, I’m sorry. I meant to remind you about your essays. Have you guys started on them?”
Arjun looked down, crestfallen. “Sorry Mumma. I wrote a littl-…”
“I finished my essay. Mumma! MUMMA! I finished like 3 hours ago!” Arshi’s tinny voice came from a bedroom further down the hallway.
Maanya smiled. Younger by a minute than Arjun, the twins were wildly different.
“It’s on the hall desk, if you want to check it, Mumma,”, yelled Arshi.
With an exaggerated sigh, Arjun rolled his eyes. Then with a goofy smile to show he meant no ill will, he kissed Maanya’s cheek and scampered off to bed.
Sure enough, on the Hall Desk, lay a crisp sheet of paper. Written in firm, precise sentences, was a well structured essay about how Arshi wanted to grow up and be a Surgeon. The cadence of her writing, the ease with which the words flew onto paper- she had a flair for prose, much like Maanya at the same age.
A familiar weight settled in her bones. Real life, bank loans, PTA meetings and Dentist Visits. “The Thrilling Life of a Housewife – A Never-Ending Story”.
Go on, Maanya! Set a 5 AM alarm like a good little lady. This is your life now.
She was about to turn off the hall lights when she saw a crinkly page poking out of Arjun’s backpack. His essay? Curiosity piqued her. Her dreamy, sensitive little man, Arjun wasn’t as outgoing as his sister. Whatever could he have written?
She pulled the paper out and saw her name emblazoned at the bottom.
Curiouser and Curiouser.
When I grow up – by Arjun Parikh.
I always thought I would grow up to be a Teacher. Or a Photographer. But now, I have changed my mind.
My Mumma is a Housewife. She used to be a writer. But I think she is a SuperWoman. She knows how to work from home and still have time to cook my favorite breakfasts. She remembers every school function and every party I’m invited to. Math or Science, Astronomy or Literature, Mumma knows more than most of my teachers.
Last month, Papa forgot to pay his gym membership fees, but when he called the gym, they laughed. And said, Arjun’s mumma has already paid it. She helps us with homework and Projects, and we always have the most fun when we’re learning with her. She makes magic soup when we fall sick, and her pizza is the best in the world. She knows the funniest jokes (Papa only knows PJs) and tells us the spookiest stories. And every Friday night, she lets us cheat and win at Board Games.
My Papa is clever. But Mumma is much smarter. She makes money and works at her computer, even when no one is watching. The housemaid loves Mumma’s tea and my friends always want to hang out at our house. Because she knows their names and talks to them like a buddy.
I once asked Mumma what she was. And she replied – “Just A Housewife,”.
When I grow up, I want everyone to love and respect me. But not as a doctor or engineer.
Like Maanya Parikh, I want to be a Super hero.
I want to be a househusband. That sounds Thrilling!
Maanya put down the paper. Wordlessly, she walked to the window. Lights twinkling on the distant highway, now far less frequent. Blinking furiously, she breathed in some of that cool, cleansing breeze. Twins – wildly different. Most days, they drove her crazy. But in the stillness of the night, she realized they saw more in her, than she ever had.
A brighter, much better headline swooped into her head.
“Former Editor rocks a thrilling, new career and meets her biggest fans.”
And with a big, goofy grin, HouseWife and Superhero Maanya Parikh went to bed, completely at peace with herself at last.
Image Source: Pixabay
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