Story So Far
Nalini and Sudhakar are sitting in their bedroom after dinner the following day chewing betel leaf. Savithri was released earlier in the morning, and is in her bedroom. Sudhakar tucked her in bed against her wishes and asked her to sleep cautioning that she might be hospitalized if she didn’t follow doctor’s orders. Nalini changes the channel on TV but doesn’t seem to be caring on what channel is ON. She turns towards Sudhakar. Before she could spit the words out, Sudhakar queries, “I know what is bothering you Nalini. Amma will be alright. She will wake up tomorrow before us and will start doing the dishes. She was really pesky about leaving dirty dishes out tonight. The last thing she wants us to do is invite guests in the form of rats.”
“I am… well, not exactly worried about that. I am worried about Anjali’s wedding. I don’t want her wedding to get postponed because we are not available to take care of your mother”, Nalini interjected.
“Amma will be just fine. Nothing will happen to her. Just a couple of days rest, and she will be normal.”
“For her to rest, we need to let her rest. We have the coming few days planned for visiting various matrimony centers around the state. We will not be able to take good care of her. She will do something or the other when she’s alone at home. If something happens to her, I don’t want Anjali to miss out on getting married at the right age, and miss out on the creamy layer of possible grooms. Not to mention that I don’t want us to be the reason for something happening to your mother.”
In India, when an elder in the family or somebody connected to the bloodline dies, festivals and celebrations such as weddings are put on hold for a year. The affected family does not partake in hosting any of the Hindu festivals and all ceremonies except for those in memory of the dead.
“Let’s wait for a few more days before we head to those centers. What’s the hurry now?” – Sudhakar quipped.
Savithri grips Sudhakar’s thigh to get his attention and raises her voice – “Everything. Next month which is like 5 days from today is inauspicious to do anything holy. Anjali has agreed to get married. If we delay it further, there is every chance that she might change her stance and I won’t excuse myself.”
“Alright, let’s do one thing. I will ask my brother to take care of Amma while we are gone. I will call him first thing in the morning. I know he will agree. He has been looking forward to taking care of Amma for some time now.”
Nalini stood up charged, as though she was stung by a jelly fish. “Let’s do one thing. We will request your brother to take care of your mother until we are done with the wedding search, perhaps until the wedding. What do you think?” She moved her eyebrows like a wave in the ocean asking the question for which she already knew the answer to.
Sudhakar nodded in agreement and the night ended with a strategy being drawn to convince his brother.