Not Always Diamonds and Chocolates by PREETHI WARRIER
It was Valentine’s Day and coincidentally, her thirtieth marriage anniversary as well. But Madhavi sat on the couch, depressed. Her son had wished her in the morning, but her husband Srikanth had forgotten, as usual.
Thirty years and the man never remembered. People spent a fortune on diamonds and candlelight dinners, but her husband was not even home. After retirement, he had turned busier than ever.
The doorbell rang and Madhavi opened the door to Srikanth. Having made up her mind, she confronted him, “What day is it today?”
Before Srikanth could speak, Madhavi fumed, “It happens to be our thirtieth anniversary. People call it Valentine’s Day as well. I don’t expect you to be romantic, but the least you could do is, remember.”
She stomped off into the bedroom, Srikanth followed her silently.
Sitting beside her he spoke, “ I know you are angry. With my meager salary, all I could give you was a small rented house. I knew his education was most important, that’s why I had to work overtime, do double shifts. I am sorry, many times, I used to be under tremendous stress, I often forgot your birthday, his annual day, our anniversary… Thankfully, he did well, has a good job and bought this flat for us.
But then, none of this could have been accomplished without you Madhavi. All I did was go out there and work. You took care of the finances, you ran the house, you taught our son, you supported me all the time but never complained. I owe my life to you, without you, I can’t fathom what I would have done. Thank you and I Love You.”
Tears welled up in Madhavi’s eyes. He had just made her the happiest woman on earth. No jewellery, no flowers, nothing materialistic could ever bring as much happiness as appreciation could. And what was she complaining about, Srikant had been a loving husband, a doting father and a respectable citizen. He had not showered her with luxuries, but he had slogged day and night, to make sure she and her son lived comfortably.
Today he was giving her all the credit for their journey and here she was, bickering about stupid things.
“Here”, he said, handing her an envelope. “Papers to our new flat. It’s not as huge as this one, just a one room flat in the neighbouring building.”
Madhavi was shocked, but Srikant explained, “Tomorrow, our son will have a family of his own. Once I am gone, and God forbid, if the relationship between him and you sours, you should have a place of your own, to live independently, with your head held high. I had been saving from my pension for some time. I couldn’t buy you expensive gifts, but now you don’t have to depend upon anyone.”
Madhavi now wept, with joy. He had gifted her Love, Appreciation and Independence, the most precious gifts of all.
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