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Agreed, when she started, she was a little cranky, complained a bit and her cooking was sometimes “meh”. But not anymore; she cooks better than any cook I have hired, irons better than Ram Prasad and keeps the house so clean that you can literally eat off the floor and not feel diarrheal. These days she’s even threatening to make mithai at home. I’m not complaining! Even the husband is in love with her. He cares for her so much that there are days he offers to do the housework just to make her happy.
Nah! That doesn’t make me jealous at all. After all, love is all about sharing your husband.
A part of me dreads having to let go of her. I know the separation is inevitable once I come back to India but I’d rather not think about it. I have been trying to convince her though, tempting her with peace of mind even if it’s at the cost of a lot of hard-work. I’ve even offered her to buy a dishwasher, a robo-maid as assistants. But New-me is not too sure.
Oh, did I not tell you her name? It’s New-me, my soul-maid for the last two years.
I think I know what’s playing in her mind. New-me is afraid that she’ll turn to Old-me once she gets back to India.
Let me tell you a bit about Old-me before I proceed any further with this story. Old-me was this lady who lived in a tiny castle up in the air with her dear family and many helping hands. Even though the hands were many, she felt stressed all the time. She felt trapped in her castle, forever at the mercy of helping hands and their many moods. She was sick of managing their sicknesses, their children’s and their aunt’s sicknesses and the sick world at large. Every time she heard one of them cough loud, she would have a heart-attack, imagining herself down and dirty on her knees, stewing in sweat as she made stew for her dear hungry family.
Old-me had willingly entrusted her sanity, her freedom in the hands of her helping hands, focussing all her energies on keeping them content. After all they were the ones who were keeping her happy. Or so she thought. She planned her outings to suit their schedules, tearing her hair off in anxiety when stuck in a traffic snarl, wondering if they would go back disappointed after ringing the doorbell 2 1/2 times. There were times when Old-me longed to be unshackled from the tyranny of her helping hands. Especially when they took spur of the moment vacations to attend their Aunt’s brother’s son’s nephew’s wedding, with their phones switched off.
New-me often has conference calls with Old-Me. You see, they are best of friends. I often hear New-me give fiery pep talks to Old-Me, telling her yes-you-can. Om sighs and tries to explain, it’s not that easy. Her country is one of the most productive whose people produce cholesterol and their houses constantly produce dirt and grime. She can’t imagine herself spending all day on her knees, over the gas stove, stooped over the counter, chopping bhindis for dinner.
The fact is, both Old-me and New-me are scared of change.
There’s an Old-me dying to be the New-me in all of us. Be it dropping a few pounds, finally mustering courage to write that book, getting rid of people that make us unhappy or maybe travel and discover the world. The only thing that holds us back is the love for the comfort-zone – that safety cocoon that seductively whispers in our ears ‘everything is all right’. Oh, the excuses we make to remain in the comfort zone of ours. I don’t have the time, who will take care of the house, I can’t tell a story, I won’t be able to manage all that stress. But deep inside our heart we know we’re bullshitting no one but ourselves. Of course, we can have all that we’ve ever wanted. All we need is to step out and knock at opportunity’s door. Yet, we choose to stagnate, complain and wonder if we’re wasting our lives?
That’s the truth of life, we either keep up or be left behind. The choice is entirely ours, isn’t it?