The Missing Anklet


Sunday! Day of leisure, free from mundane monotony. Lata woke up  at 8, and had her  filtered coffee. It was 8:45 and maid Manda hadn’t  come. Usually she came around 8 with ghungroos of her anklets jingling. One could never think of her without those musical sound of ghungroos, the prime assets of her simple persona that kept a rhythm with her brisk movements. With sharp features, the girl looked pretty but Lata was annoyed now.

“Manda, didn’t I tell you to come at a fixed time.”

Manda smiled and said, “Sometimes it happens. I too like to sleep till late in the morning.”

Lata slipped into the bathroom, and Manda busied herself with her assigned task, her   anklets jingling. Lata soaked herself in shower for half an hour, dressed and when she came out of the bathroom, there stood Manda before her with tears in her eyes. Her body shivering, and she seemed deeply distressed. Lata asked her the reason of crying and Manda told her that she would have to leave as her mother had suddenly taken ill and has been taken to hospital. Suddenly, Lata noticed her one anklet  missing. Manda said she lost it while dusting  and now she has no time to search as she has to leave. Lata told her to wait and went inside to get some money but by the time she came out ,Manda was gone.

Soon, Umesh, Lata’s husband, came dressed up for office. Lata told him it was Sunday. He replied that there was some urgent work at office, breakdown of machinery, and he is required to be there. He went away. It was then that the thing caught her eyes, the anklet of Manda lying under the folds of her husband’s neatly made  bed. The missing anklet of Manda glared at her. Her confidence  shook, and faith blighted. She stood still. Dark thoughts messed up her mind. She could easily guess what had happened  in the morning. The missing  anklet lying in the bed sheet’s fold revealed the sordid drama. No doubt Umesh had misbehaved with Manda .The girl was so frightened, she left telling a lie to Umesh’s relief. But the lost and found anklet spoke all.

Then she remembered, how before her marriage she had received an anonymous call from someone  warning about Umesh’s flirting demeanor, but she had thought it a silly lie. When Umesh came back she pretended to have a migraine, and slept taking a tranquilizer.

Next morning, when Manda came all smiling with one anklet  jingling in her ankle, Lata gave her the other anklet. She just laughed and said it might have got entangled with the sheet when she was folding it, and as she received  the call of her mother’s ill health she didn’t  bother about the anklet. She further said that her mother had silly stomach ache. She wore the other anklet, and humming a tune worked in the kitchen. Lata stood dumbfounded thinking what the eyes see may not always  be true. 

Ritu Kamra Kumar

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