Being prepared

Devaki was literally up with the lark that Sunday morning. She was of a cheerful disposition. As such, she was not one to grumble about rising early, especially on a holiday when most people lazed. There was a spring in her step, a lilt in her voice as she sang to herself, and a smile hovered about her lips.

Briskly, she set about getting coffee for herself, the South Indian filter variety - just the way she liked it. She switched on the motor, started the Aquaguard and filled two jugs and six bottles of water to last for the day. Then, she loaded the washing machine. While that was doing its work, the milk was boiled and the decoction ready. She made herself a cup of the rich, creamy beverage and relished every drop. She had switched on the heater earlier, and the water now hot, she went in for her bath.

When she had finished, she called out to her husband who entered the bathroom obediently. Then she said to her daughter, "Gowri, go bathe." Gowri, clearly unhappy about being hustled, grumbled about it being like Deepavali which Devaki wisely ignored. She reminded her son Venkatesh that his turn would be next. He retorted, "I am not having a bath today." Devaki said, "Suit yourself."

She then set about preparing breakfast. Sunday special was idli with onion sambar and chutney or masala dosai with chutney. Today, it was idli-sambar-chutney. Everyone assembled and the family had a hearty breakfast followed by 'degree' coffee.

Devaki told her children to clear and clean the table, and summoned her husband to help with lunch. That done, she announced, "Now all of us can relax."

All these arrangements were because of an announcement in the newspaper the previous day. "Maintenance work by the KEB will impact power supply between 11 am and 5 pm on Sunday."

Devaki collected the newspaper to read in a leisurely fashion, lying comfortably on her bed and solve the crossword puzzle. Gowri and Venkatesh opted to watch a film and the father retired to read a book in peace. The film was a long one and Devaki cautioned, "Once the power is cut, you must stop watching the film."

"What's the UPS for?" asked the duo, in unison. "For emergencies!" replied Devaki. But even after the film ended, the power supply had not been impacted.

The family had a peaceful - relatively - lunch, rested and woke up for tea. Still, they continued to have power.

"Did you check the date on the newspaper, amma?" queried Gowri, with a sly smile. "Yes !" replied Devaki, not rising to the bait "All that fuss for nothing," grumbled Venkatesh. "What is the harm in being prepared? I for one, had lovely, long, lazy day!" "To each his - or her - own," mumbled Venkatesh.

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