One morning, as is usual, I was sitting on the balcony with the day’s newspaper, scanning the headline stories along with a cup of tea.
“It is already an hour past since I gave you your first cup of tea, haven’t you finished your newspaper yet?” my wife shot the question at me.
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
“You have read the newspaper enough, now digest this news also...” She started: “I have been seeing for past so many years, you wake up with the newspaper, newspaper after the breakfast, newspaper after the lunch and again newspaper before bed. Your reading of the newspaper does not seem to end. I am fed up with you”
For a moment, I was taken aback. She then curtly said, “today onwards, I shall do my work, you shall do yours.”
I am already retired from service, so no work for me. I smiled to myself and said “ok”.
“I haven’t completed yet, listen, Corona is everywhere, maybe it is at our doorstep only, so our maid is not coming. I have asked her not to come. That is why, from today, cleaning, mopping and all chores are your task” she said.
From here on my relationship with the dust and the cleaning chores started. Months have passed and my relationship is not hunky-dory anymore.
One day, my mind got into a dialogue with the dust: “See Dusty, you never troubled our maid, why me?”
“No Anna, the maid used to call me with love and affection. I would go if I wished, otherwise I would just slip behind the table or the bed. She would also tickle me a little and pat me to sleep there” Dusty said.
“Initially, I too called you with love. I put you out because you were so adamant,” I reasoned.
“I too should have a home. If everybody threw me out where should I go?”
I was humbled by Dusty’s argument.
As I put down the broomstick with a ‘Namaskara’ and sat down with a sigh, my grandson came on the phone to tell me that they have got a “Rumbi” and I should go there to see it.
Rusty, Razor, Ruby— fancy names of pretty pet dogs. The next morning, I reached my daughter’s house asking for “Rumbi,” the pet dog.
She burst into laughter and brought a round box and placed it before me. As it started moving, my grandson came running and said: “it cleans the dust”.
I was lost in thought as my eyes went behind the machine and my mind kept asking me, “when are we getting this to our home?”. I kept smiling, sensing a victory over Dusty.