It was this super-hyped long weekend but for Tanvi it was another boring long-stay with mummyji at home faking to enjoy reading or pretending to be working on her laptop hiding behind the half-closed door of her tiny room. For anything else, she would need to give long explanation to her mummyji because her famous dialogue, “mera kya hai, tumhey jo karna hai karo, mei toh isliye kehti hoo kyonki Delhi is not a safe place”; simply puts a big full-stop to all conversations and plans. Life was losing navigation. Tanvi didn’t know which way to go, she was simply killing time. Being a small peck in the big bad corporate world, pursuing Phd just for the heck of it, debating between mall shopping and online shopping, always planning a trip and then cancelling it for lame reasons; all this wasn’t adding up to a smartly navigated life trip.
Tanvi calls up Natasha, her closest friend who leads a life that was almost perfect according to her. Natasha married at the right time, popped out a kid right when Google experts claim that the biological clock will tick away, has a free-bird career, and a supporting husband who pays her bills and lets her do whatever she wants to do man, except when it is about his mother; a.k.a Mother-in-law. Well, itna adjustment to banta hai!
Natasha works as a pacifier for Tanvi. A good listener with correct injunctions of positive reinforcement she is one who can bring out Tanvi from minor mood swings. However, today Natasha was of not much help as she picked up the phone and excitedly chanted about her trip to Auli and skiing adventures.
Tanvi was back looking at the dust that had collected on the edge of the mirror. Right at that moment, she was almost telepathically and loudly reminded by mummyji that she could have cleaned her room instead of whiling away the most productive long weekend holiday. “Ah! Perspective mom, perspective! All my friends and colleagues are enjoying life and you want me to get down to dusting. Shouldn’t I be looking for the man of my life instead?” Tanvi couldn’t contain her frustration. And this was followed by a hour long ranting of mummyji on how she brought prospective grooms but she didn’t cooperate, how her being over-educated is a big impediment to finding a suitable Punjabi groom and how Tanvi is never at home, and then it keeps going off-tangent. Tanvi closes the half-opened door, pulls her velvety blanket (purchased online during last great Indian sale) and wishes to get lost like Alice in Wonderland.
Life hasn’t been exactly easy lately. Her mom will retire from her school job in a year without any pension scheme to fall back on; her dad had quit job way back and could never get out of that depression to start earning full-fledged again. Family saving was close to nil. Thankfully, the two-bedroom, parking facing DDA flat was their own. She worked not only to make her career like her contemporaries but also because family finances were hugely dependant on her. She was in this vicious cycle that she couldn’t break of.
Tanvi was mindlessly scrolling through her Facebook feed which was infact a self-torture technique for liking happy and vacationing friends’ pictures while hiding inside a blanket is not exactly what she planned to do on the long weekend, when there was a ping from the official email account.
Read the previous chapter here – Prologue – Attempting to Create An Impact
Read the next chapter here – Earthquake Jolting Impact