A Holiday to Remember

By Lakshmi Menon

Reading stories of bride burning, young wives committing suicide, unhappy relationship in the marriage etc in the various newspapers has become an every day affair in today's world. It made me think of a friend's story, which I thought might be interesting to others too.

The other day I was amazed to know how my friend had made her ordinary holiday a most exciting and memorable one.

“Let’s spend our holiday outdoor this time, just the two of us”, said my friend Malini, fondly called Malu, to her daughter-in-law when Seema announced her weekly off, which she is availing the next day. Seema welcomed the idea without any protest. The two women, young and old,had been following a mutual understanding between them for the past five years since the time she became the integral part of Kumar's life. They have made it a practice to respect each other’s request as much as possible so that the other one wouldn’t get upset, which made Kumar always a happy man.

At the thought of her two-year-old Shradda could also enjoy the outdoor holiday, the younger woman began planning her outing-package.

“If you’re particular we’ll take little Shradda with us. Otherwise let the men of the house take care of her this time and only two of us will go out. We're always busy and at least once in a way we must feel like free birds,” said Malu with a naughty smile.

The daughter-in-law found no reason to object to the senior woman as she considered her mother-in-law as her most trust-worthy and understanding friend who always came for her rescue even at the cost of fighting with her son whenever she found it necessary.

After completing the household chores early in the morning, the two ladies left alone to enjoy their day out ignoring the anxious looks of their spouses.

As a first step of celebrating their new-found freedom, the two ladies decided to see a Hindi comedy movie, when they saw the poster outside. They laughed out as friends, until they could laugh no more. Then they moved towards a Chinese restaurant and ordered for their respective dishes and smiled at each other satisfactorily. To make the holiday more remarkable, the older one took the younger one to a boutique and got her favorite dress, which she had been postponing for some time. Seema wanted to hug her mother-in-law for being such an understanding mother and selecting the off-white churidar with the striking brown designs which she had mentioned to her once casually.

The younger one returned her gesture by taking her mother-in-law to the Art Gallery to buy her favorite painting, which she was yearning for months, and every time her husband had diplomatically postponed it to the next time. Each time she used to return home hoping for a fruitful visit next time. Her eyelids moistened with her DIL's love and concern, and wondered whether her own daughter was so close to her at any time of her life. "I hope she too will make her inlaws proud," she thought to herself.

"What happened to you, Ma? If you didn't like it we will buy another one. Just choose whichever you like," said Seema, seeing her MIL's eyes filled with tears. Smiling, she told her what was in her mind.

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They felt free to spend the day leisurely without bothering about the time for once as otherwise done when they were accompanied by their spouses. Malu's husband hated to spend long hours in shopping, and always rushed her to make her selection fast and leave the place. Thus,each time Malu ended up in buying things which she was not fully satisfied. For Seema too, she was happy to buy the things what she actually liked than what her husband had chosen for her.

By seven o’clock they returned home exhausted, discussing about the dinner preparation for the family, but still holding on the wonderful feeling of togetherness and affection, topped with satisfaction.

Little did they know what was waiting for them in store when they saw the three cheerful faces at home. Continue reading here...A Holiday to Remember.