Rupa hummed the latest chart buster as she stir-fried the bhendi, with one hand, while she rolled out the thin crispy parathas. Beer Singh, her husband, busy on the phone, came into the kitchen, tapped angrily at his watch. Rupa smiled apologetically and handed him his plate of food. She could hear her mother-in-law, invoking all the gods while she screamed at Rupa for her tardiness and her father-in-law demanded another cup of chai.
Nothing could faze Rupa. Not today. When long awaited happiness was in sight.
Tomorrow, her in-laws would leave home to visit her sister-in-law and her husband had appointments all through the day.
So she would…
In a flash, she was back to that point where it had all started.
Rupa, true to name, was beauty born between many sisters, into a wealthy family steeped in conservatism. She was also bright with stars in her eyes and big dreams to chase. Her family let her study provided, she learnt all the ‘girlie’ talents. As one by one, her sisters were married off, much against their wishes, Rupa knew what fate awaited her but she hoped against hope. And sure enough, one fine day, as she came back from college, the elders gave her the news of her engagement with Beer Singh. Since the wedding was only a week away, her education was stopped. Wearily, Rupa got busy with the festivities.
On her wedding night, Rupa discovered what a monster her husband was…which continued. She tried complaining around. Her family said, their responsibility was over the moment she got married. It was up to her, to set her marriage straight. Her in-laws fumed, how dare she find fault with their precious son?
Enough ways were found to break her into submission, to break her spirit. Weary Rupa, trudged along with life. Luckily there were no children and in-laws began hinting at another wedding. Totally broken, TV would be her entertainment, once she was done with her daily chores and the Mother-in-law retired for her siesta.
One fine day, Rupa happened to see, ‘Sleeping with the Enemy.’
A plan began to formulate in her head.
Beer Singh was a property dealer. There was always cash around. Rupa began to whittle away tiny amounts of cash from the sum she received to run the household, hid it in pantyhose, tucked it away under mattress, stashed away in the dark corners of closets. Mooched some cash away from the money given for safe keeping. Did whatever she could. Slowly this money grew into a significant reserve over time. It was her treasure, to be used as and when she decided to bolt, to set up life new in the remote south, where nobody knew her. She had it all planned.
And the D-Day was near. She was about to fly the coop the next day when all were busy.
Rupa finished the rest of the day very cheerfully. She cooked Beer Singh’s favorite food. The wretched bloke deserved one final kind gesture.
Beer Singh came back as usual, sozzled to the gills, demanded the TV be switched on while he ate his dinner. Suddenly, all the news channels started airing the PM’s address to the nation.
“As of midnight, tonight, all 500 and 1000 notes will be demonetized. And…”
Two people fell down simultaneously to the ground, though for different reasons.
Would Rupa get a chance to fly away? Tomorrow surely knows!