Winter Morning: A Story by Lalita Vaitheeswaran

There was an alert announced from the met department for an ensuing cold wave in the coming week. We were all geared up with extra sets of winter wears. Soham, my son’s shoes looked old and wouldn’t bear the brunt of the chill. We got him a pair of new ‘uggs’ for the sinister weather. Urvashi, my daughter was eyeing those winter jackets since long. This was the right time; we thought and got her another pair. She was proudly clicking photos of her already overflowing wardrobe and posting it on social media boasting about her newly bought jacket.

I too needed some wardrobe overhaul as the same old colours and clothes had become boring and loathsome.
“Mrs. Sharma? I rang up my friend and asked her about the trendy winter attires for us middle- aged, not-so-young ladies.
She promised to get some pictures in our kitty on Saturday afternoon. I made the parlor cozy, setting up a heater. I had changed the curtains into heavy, got extra cushions for the sofa and had made a cliquish couch in the corner overlooking the bower across the garden.

I ordered for some quick snacks for breakfast. These winters are not for me….I just cannot wet my hands …I was ranting.

The husband offered to take us out to the posh restaurant for dinner as he left for office. He said he would have his lunch at office.

Kamala, my help was nowhere to be seen today.

“Every time we have guests, she disappears” I was grumbling as I carefully opened the new dinner set which I had bought from our last trip in Italy.

Where is this Kamala today? I was already getting worked up. I had told her that I would cut her salary if she takes leave.

The geyser was on continuously as we could not do without hot water in this cold, not to forget our overworked electric kettle which gurgled every now and then.

We had a good dinner at a classy restaurant and made ourselves cozy in bed. The kitchen lay unattended and messy with unclean utensils in the sink.

‘Let her come tomorrow and do it’ I was irritated at the thought washing them.

The next morning, I was determined to look for Kamala. I knew her premises and I was having my kitty in the afternoon. I called the driver and set off to the downscale locality where she lived.
It was a cold winter morning. I was surprised to see Kamala up and about making a meal on a ‘chulha’. She was almost bare with a thin piece of cloth which she referred to as a shawl and came running apologetically to meet me.

Madam ji…My sweater got wet yesterday and so I did not have anything to wear and so couldn’t come for work. I looked at her half-naked family and looked at my pushy new winter attire.

The winter morning was foggy and my eyes were misty.