Swati entered the kitchen and opened the cabinet on her left. She found nothing meaningful that she could use for her cooking. She looked out of her kitchen window and saw that it was still snowing. It was snowing since the previous night. She again looked into her cabinet only to find it empty again. The snowfall this time was continuous and all roads to Siliguri were blocked due to a Landslide, leaving her small town with no supply of food and other items.
Swati opened the right cabinet and found a packet of bread. The breads were hard and Swati remembered she had bought them from the local grocer almost three days back. She was about to throw them away but suddenly changed her mind and decided to keep. The phone started ringing in the hall. Swati rushed to pick it up.
“Hello” she said
“Hello” she heard the voice of Deepak. “How are you dear?” asked Deepak.
“I am fine” she replied.
“Why did you not call last night? Don’t you know I get worried if I don’t get your call” Swati said all this almost in one breath.
“Oh god! There is nothing to worry dear. I am absolutely fine. There was no signal in my mobile therefore was unable to call” said Deepak in his usual calm and relaxed tone.
Swati gets anxious if she doesn’t get Deepak’s call. This anxiety is shared by everywoman married to an army man. Deepak understands her worry and tries to call her everyday so that she unnecessarily does not panic, but at times due to unavoidable circumstances he can’t.
Deepak asked “what are you cooking tonight?”
Swati dejectedly replied ‘nothing” she added “there is no supply of grocery for last three days due to this wretched landslide, I have no clue of what to cook” she said in a grim voice.
Deepak wanted to cheer her up so he enthusiastically added “but you are a magician in the kitchen dear, I am sure you can cook a storm out of nothing”
Swati laughed at his comment and added in the same grim tone “let me see”
Then she quickly asked “would you be able to join me tonight?”
“No my jaan, how can I come? Who would protect the country?” he said this with a tone of artificial mimicry. Swati laughed. Suddenly she felt very lonely. Deepak hardly spends any occasion with her. Be it her birthday, anniversary, Holi or Diwali. After three years of marriage she has kind of got used to it, but still at certain times feels lonely.
Swati went back to the kitchen and started fiddling with the bread packet. She was not feeling like cooking anything. She saw the packet of bread again and suddenly remembered that her hen had laid one egg in the morning that she had collected and kept in her refrigerator. She had a pet hen which was her only supply of eggs. She rushed to her fridge and took out the egg. Then she took the bread packet and made herself busy in the kitchen.
When the doorbell rang it was almost evening. Sun sets quite early in this part. So it was already getting dark. Swati was quite surprised to hear doorbell at that time. In this sleepy town hardly anybody disturbs at this time. Swati thought maybe someone mistakenly rung the bell. She opened the door quite carefully and was pleasantly amused to see the person who rang the bell.
Deepak was standing in front of her in his army uniform. She was so excited that she could hardly utter a word. Deepak flung Swati off her feet and lifted her in his arms. Then he lightly kissed her lips and said “see I am home”
Tears came to Swati’s eyes; she was still unable to say a word. Every time when Deepak comes back from his posting Swati feels the same numbness. Every time he comes back it is a victory. And his every return makes Swati thank the god for his survival.
This is part of Tasty Tuesday. Linking this to #FlavoursomeTuesdays hosted by Shilpa.