Rashi was waiting for Rachit’s phone call as he always calls as soon as he leaves from office everyday without fail. Her eyes were constantly stopping at the wall clock while she was feeding her baby. Maybe he is stuck in some work and had to extend, she thought to herself. Singing to her child she put her to sleep and the phone rang. It was Rachit, he said, ” You and Ridhi be ready I’ll reach home in another half an hour, few of my college friends are catching up tonight. Rashi told him that their daughter, Ridhi was not feeling well and she slept so she won’t be able to accompany him. Rachit said, “Oh! then i’ll come home I’ll meet them some other time.” Rashi tried to convince him to go as it has been a long time since he met them and more than that he needed a break from all the stress at office. After sometime Rachit agreed. He came home, changed, hugged and kissed Rashi and Ridhi and left saying “I love you”.
He looked happy, Rashi smiled thinking it would be great if he gets some time with his friends without family as everyone needs to have a little break from family too and talk stuff apart from usual household topics and future planning.
She made herself dinner and watched television. She never disturbs Rachit when he is out with his friends as she herself doesn’t like to attend phone calls when she is out to have fun. Four hours passed and it was getting very late so she decided to give him a call just to be sure if he is fine and to know when he is coming back as she was feeling sleepy.He told her that he’ll be there in 15 minutes. She hung up saying “I’ll be waiting dear”.
Her eyes visited the clock again and again, an hour had already passed. Maybe goodbyes took a little longer, happens with friends, she thought. She finished all the petty chores she was left with. Bell rang, she jumped out of bed happily to open the door. As she opened the door her eyes didn’t believe what they just saw and spontaneously held Rachit’s arm. Rachit was drunk. It wasn’t like he never drank, he was an occasional and moderate drinker but never came home like that. She made him sit and took his belongings to keep on the table. Rachit rushed to the washroom to puke. He was feeling sick. Rashi maintained her calm and helped him with all the mess then made him lie on the bed. The first thing Rachit said was “I am Sorry Rashi” and he kept it saying again and again. She was very upset with this act of his but cooled herself as it was not the time to show her anger and decided to do it in morning when he would be in his sober mind. As she sat with him on the bed and put her hand on his forehead with love he said “Sorry” again. Rashi was puzzled now and asked him what was he sorry for. He started speaking his mind in his drunk weak voice “Sorry Jaan, I should not have drunk so much”. “Hmmm” came the reply. “I am sorry for putting you to work again now to take care of me after whole day of your work”. Rashi didn’t reply this time. She asked “then why did you drink so much?”
“I actually didn’t want to drink to this level and you also know I never do but I was feeling so frustrated from inside that I didn’t know when did I gulped all of it while talking to my friends. I became a coward to come out of there and face the routine life again and wanted to seize the time.” Rashi was surprised by the use of word “Frustrated”. She just kept listening as he poured his heart out that he might forget the next morning.
“I am very stressed out and feel suffocated and please don’t feel it is because of you or Ridhi, it’s the Life. You know how easy-going and relaxed I was, right? Friends, movies, buying every gadget that was launched in the market, travelling, thinking freely”, said his trembling drunk voice. “Now I feel life has changed too fast that I didn’t get time to change myself with it and it suffocates me when I have to plan every expense and think about future. You don’t take it to your heart sweetheart it’s not you but life that is troubling me. I love you and Ridhi to pieces.”
Rashi kept listening to his feelings that were coming out as words that she had never heard. Her eyes glued to his and tears in her eyes. She knew that he might even forget whatever he was saying that time, still she chose to let him talk as these feelings have never come out like this and were always hidden behind that charming smile she fell in love with every single day. Her anger evaporated and her sleep escaped somewhere in that thoughtful environment. Tons of thoughts took it’s place. He spoke for nearly half an hour all that was buckled up inside him about his expectations, office, wish to travel the world with her,wanting to have a collection of watches and gadgets, and a lot more that would not have ever come out if he was in his senses as he has never let sadness come on Rashi’s face and didn’t want to by telling all this. Rashi had already thought of talking to him about the drinking part that disturbed her a lot in the morning but she never knew she would get to see a new Rachit behind this drunk honest chap. As he dozed off saying sorry again Rashi was lost in a pool of thoughts.
She always thought her life changed after marriage and baby but this never even occurred to her that his husband’s life has also changed drastically. He now has responsibilities on him that he can never afford to forget before doing anything. She could see herself taking care of him, making him dinner,telling him what new Ridhi did, but then complaining about the everyday chores, the maid, the neighbors, how she could not sleep as the baby kept her occupied, etc, and she could see her husband coming home and kissing on her forehead with a smile, looking for Ridhi to play with her, just saying “I’m a little tired”, never talking about how they were torturing him at the office, he just could not tell all this as he knew Rashi only has him to talk to after the whole day and he could never see her upset or in tension after telling about how he spent all day and night. He wanted to be the best husband and best father and trying to make that happen he was somewhere losing himself. He was pressurized by the society, responsibilities, his love for his wife and daughter and FUTURE. He was becoming another man running in this race of life in contrary to the fun loving guy who managed himself well with a very less salary also, who enjoyed everything without even being a miser, who lived at life as “Today is the day to live, stop thinking about tomorrow”.
Rashi felt a little guilty though she was not sure why. She wanted to see the Rachit she knew earlier. She didn’t know what to do. She kept awake thinking for a solution but with no success. The rays of sun peeped through her curtains and another same day began with the cry of her baby….