She woke up at 4 in the morning. Waiting for the fourth whistles in the Kitchen. Grinding the tomatoes. Chopping the onions. From her window she noticed the people outside in park. Jogging. Talking and having A lots of fun. She again started to concentrate on the food she is preparing. It should be special. As She has worked really hard for this menu. Finalizing and changing 4 times before finally decided it.
It had to be Kashmiri pulao, Rajma, Aloo Parantha and raita. Uday’s favorite dishes. Nothing else would fit the occasion. She carefully. remembered to get all the ingredients required for lunch yesterday itself. Her half cooking was almost done.
Now all the food is packed in cooled a little bit before packing them in aluminum foil and then putting them into a lunch box. And in some while all the hot Paranthas, Rajma rice and raita are neatly packed in a Tuperware box.
She chose a peacock blue Kanjevaraam sari to wear as it was gifted my Uday from his first salary. It look perfect in her. All the the 45 years she looked resplendent in that sari, commanding respect and exuding warmth as she was wore it for the first time.
That was the thing with Uday. Everything he did and said was perfect or at least nearly so. Be it in business or personal life, His decision are always bang on. He was a master of people management and he exhibited his skills both at work and at home. This what makes him a hero for his loving wife and for his son Arvin. Uday was like a magical mirror in her life. Whenever she seeks for an opinion he is only one for him.
She use to belong from a middle class family. When got married to high class business man Uday. She learned a knowledge of dressing up to stand next to him in all his parties. But Uday use to like she pin the string of jasmine oh her hair, which falls down with her braid. Even after little years she shifted from braid to bun Uday doesn’t want to lose that Jasmine smell. So for him she used to pin Jasmine around her hair very neatly. The scent of her hair gave him a high that no joint in th world could match, he told her so many occasions.
Placing the lunch basket carefully beside her on the back seat, she nodded to the driver. He had already kept the car ready for madam. He had been with the household for many years now and knew the importance of this day. Therefore he certainly didn’t want to car have any damage in the chill morning.
As soon as the car started her phone rings. Even before seeing the screen knew it was Arvin.
‘All set?’ he asked, emotions constricting her voice ‘Did you make any sweet?’
‘No beta, your father doesn’t like any sweet remember?’
‘Of course. Just asked. Hope everything goes well. Take care Ma.’
It took Twenty minutes to reach the place, thanks to the empty morning roads. As the car entered the compound, She could hear the early morning bird chirping voice. Uday loved these Voices.
She got down from the car, Which driver drove away to the parking lot and she walked towards the Uday’s room. As she neared it she could hear the nurse’s voice, ‘Good morning, Mr. Uday. Hope you slept well.’
She did not hear and response.
Uday was sitting in a posture as nurse made him sit in. His eyes lost in some far off, unknown realm, searching answers for questions that did not exist. She fussed over him for sometime; changing his sheets, making him wear a new shirt and dhoti, Combing his hair. Then she sat bu her side and read Gita whole morning. Every now and then she looked up at her husband face to see sign of wellness. None whatsoever was forthcoming. Then she collect her self and start reading again.
Dementia. That’s what had hit the Uday’s family. Its is the global injury in which patient lost memory, attention, language and problem solving. His business suffered a great loss which lead him to this phase. He took all the tension. And soon the problem become so big that he had be given in palliative care center.
She knew it well the disease is degenerative and had no proper cure, she hoped for some sort of recovery. The doctors had told her it would be only possible only through some sort of miracle. But God was not in any mood for miracles just then. Uday’s condition went from bad to worse.
It hard for her to see her husband like this. Who use to command people. And help each and everyone is now dependent on other even for a pee.
It’s a mid-day. Time for lunch. She took out a lunch basket and laid the item on the table besides Uday’s bed. She puts a little of each item on the plate and repacked the rest. Giving the rest of the food to the nurse. She said ‘It is my husband birthday today and I made some special food. I would like all the good people who take care of my husband to have some. Please take this and distribute among the team of your nurse, Would you?’ The nurse happily obliged and went to share the treat with her colleagues.
She closed the door behind the nurse and return to Uday. She sat for a moment near him, Whishing for his lost eyes to turn their focus on her, just once. Closing her eyes she planted a soft kiss on Uday’s forehead with full intensity of love on his skin. A minute later, She took a vial from her handbag and added some of the contents to the food on Uday’s plate. She started feeding her loving husband spoonful, Singing softly:
‘Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Uday, Happy birthday to you
May god bless you, May god bless you’
Tear streamed down her eyes. From tomorrow white would be the color in her world. Praying ‘May God bless my husband with an easy and painless death.’ She went on feeding the poisoned food to the person she loved the most.