Curling up shivering, Aparna pulled out a blanket and wrapped herself. Strange dreams startled her awake! Her heart beat seems to pound through her mouth. It was peak summer and the whirling fan and air conditioner was pretty annoying. The other day, she went to visit her friend, unknowingly that she was down with viral. Initial symptoms are body ache and shivering. Since the day her friend was down, little did she realize, the viral was on the prowl. Without thought, she popped paracetamol in intervals, the only remedy for the 3 long days of rise and fall in body temperature. In more than a decade of marriage, never did she fall sick. She felt terrible.
Nobody came to see her except her hubby when he is around from work. She really did not want anyone to visit her least the virus spreads. When the temperature drops, she is just normal but weak. “Bowma! Kabar jaiga lagao”,(set the dinner table!) calls her father-in-law. How does it matter even if you are sick? Daughter-in-law’s work cannot be compromised.
Unluckily the fever extended to the fifth day, very unusual. Not a happy thing for a daughter-in-law of course. Newspapers lay strewn on the sofa, dust settled on the furniture, shoes lay un arranged, potted flowers drying up!
She wipes her exhausted sweaty face with the corner of her sari and arranges the table for dinner. Before the table is fully arranged everyone has settled. Sometimes, she is pained and wondered why they can’t wait, till all the food is warm and served on the table. Only when they are half way through, does she join them.”See Aparna, you shouldn’t be sick for so long”, tells her father-in-law. She gave a shocking glance at him without saying a word. Food was a thorn at that very moment. She hurriedly finishes the cleaning and everything and rushes to her bedroom, sits down on her bed and wipes her tears. She hates her husband more now.