After the initial excitement of being true to the wedding vows ("I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health....I will love you and honor you all the days of my life" etc etc...) I thought of getting a little practical!!!
A careful scrutiny showed that The Almighty had after all shown some partiality to the fair sex and did not include "in business and on official tours" in the list of vows exchanged...so without a feeling of having disobeyed Godji's commands, I made up my mind never to accompany Husband Ji on a business tour!
The comfortable environs of my home were so much more luxurious and engrossing than the boring confines of a splendrous hotel room where all by myself I would hardly know what to do while husband-dear-husband busied himself in an endless chain of discussions/meetings.
Yes! I could go out to see places of tourist interest, check out on some nice eateries or just shop-n-hop around....Alone?
In the twentieth century when I was a newly married woman that was still a far-fetched idea, which hardly ever crossed the minds of females-from-respectable-families (At least the kind I was brought up in).
So it was decided. While my husband would be on a business tour, I would utilize my leisure to pamper myself, doing whatever pleased me...... like rearranging the furniture in the house or eating oil-dripping spicy food or weeding the flowerbeds (getting my hands and nails real dirty!!!!)....and of course watching television late into the night. On his return he would be face to face with a thoroughly spoilt brat !!!!
But six years and two children later one is a lot more wiser! I also learnt to adjust and adapt!!! I think even the man learns his lessons. He tries to become not just a good father but a better husband too. So when he asked me to accompany him on one such trip to Delhi I agreed, much to the delight of our children.
There were two important things on our joint agenda.
a) Taking the children around Delhi
b) Visiting my Mumanijaan's "maaika". (Her mother had expired a couple of months ago, and we had still not been able to visit them)
Not being able to find even a day off Javed arranged for the safest way for me to take the kids around: Delhi Tourism Department's luxury bus ride across the City. It was just perfect. Comfortable vehicle, non-interfering passengers and a helpful guide, who even took care of my children! The day went off very well.
But it was not going to end before some unforgettable drama!!!
The bus had taken off from the Tourism department's office, and assuming it to return there my husband promised to meet me at that same palce in the evening. But to my utter surprise the ride terminated at a completely different place. I was horrified. Delhi is so chaotic. Suddenly it looked monstrous too. But the obliging Guide offered help when I told him about the situation.
There was no other option, and so wiping off fear from my face I walked behind him with the children. The place was pretty crowded, I could have lost his sight in just a second. He did not realise that for me and the children it was hard to match his speed. But somehow we managed to pull through.
The office staff made us comfortable with tea and biscuits. And then the wait began.
Minutes passed like hours. I lost the count of them. But Javed did not come... I called up his meeting venue and was told that he had left, I tried the hotel. He had not returned to the room yet. This was getting worrisome. Even the children were now feeling the discomfort.
I was sure he would not go to my relatives' place without me. But even then I decided to check out with my cousin.
"Oh!Dearest Zohra Baaji....where in world are you?!! Javed bhai, and of course we all are so extremely worried about you and the children. He called up four or five times!!!" Exclaimed my cousin in one breath.
I narrated my side of the story to her. Gradually we calmed down, much relieved that the ordeal was over. And as I replaced the receiver back in place the concerned faces around me relaxed too, brightening up with genuine happy smiles.
Javed came in about fifteen minutes later.
He said he had come to the office at the appointed time and was told that the bus ride terminates at another place. He immeditely rushed to that place, terrified at the thought of the worst that might happen and at the same time praying that no harm should come to me and the children.
Meanwhile I had used my intelligence, and we ended up crossing each other quite like Bollywood films.........
But all is well that ends well.
It was dark outside and a bit deserted too as we walked towards the parking lot. Javed a little ahead of me, Faizi holding his Abba's hand in a secure grip, talking incessantly and Usman perched proudly on his arm, quietly observing the world through keen eyes.
I had contained my urge to burst into tears far too long.....but on the dark deserted road where no one would see, the stream had broken all barriers even before I knew !!!
An elderly man crossing the road stopped by to ask :"Is everything allright beta? Why are you crying?"
I just smiled through my tears of immense unspeakable joy...