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A Blossoming Friendship

By Lakshmi Menon


"Friends are medicine for a wounded heart,
and vitamins for a hopeful soul."  
— Steve Maraboli

Taking the car key from the keyboard, Kishore stepped out of the house to go to his office.  As he was opening the car door, abruptly remembered something and turned towards the gate where his wife Asha was standing.

“Asha, I may come home for lunch today,” said Kishore.

Usually, he eats in the office canteen, and Asha had not expected or planned for his lunch.

“We won’t be at home today, Kishore,” replied Asha instantly.

“Where are you both going and when will you be back?” Kishore scowled.

“Didn’t I tell you yesterday that we have our Homemakers party today? Both Amma and I will be going there. This time Praveena is the host.”

“O I see, I forgot about it,” said Kishore. After a moment’s thought, he asked, “So, you mean, I won’t get any food if I come home for lunch?"

"Yes," said Asha with a funny smile. 

" Can I join you if I happened to be here at that time?” Kishore had a naughty smile.

“Absolutely not.” Asha smiled jubilantly. “It is meant for housewives only. No man is welcome there.”

“What are you both contributing for the party?”

“Vegetable cutlets and Carrot Halwa.”

“Hmm…yummy.. So I hope I’ll get those two items with our supper today.” I gave her a quick glance.

“Sure,” Asha giggled. “Amma has already started grating the carrots in the kitchen. I must better go and help her soon.”

Kishore started his car and waved to his wife. As he was driving, he remembered the newly formed Homemakers’ club of the Layout, which his wife was talking about. Both his wife and his mother had given him a detailed description of their newly formed group.

“The men have office life and office parties, and the working women also have such parties and enjoyment. We, the poor homemakers are left at home without any special activities and parties, always doing mundane jobs. So we too have formed a group for our enjoyment,” said Asha and peered at her husband to see his reaction.

Kishore sat there as though he was listening to one of the fairy tales he had heard in his childhood days.

“Is it? An excellent idea! Whose is this brilliant idea, and how’re you going to implement it?”

Asha moved closer to her husband, and whispered, “Aunty Maya! She met us in the park during her evening walk and asked our opinion about having such a group, and everyone was highly interested and thanked her for taking such an initiative.”

“Good. Then….?” Kishore was eager to know more about it.

“We decided we’ll meet at lunchtime in one of the members’ house on rotation basis. We started with 10 members and now we are 13 members in the club.  All of us will bring at least one item, and we will have a sumptuous lunch. We will reach the host’s house at sharp 12 noon and will spend almost an hour with some games. Then the next 40-50 minutes to enjoy our lunch, and another 10 minutes about collecting our charity amount or to discuss anything important. Finally, we will culminate it at sharp 2 p.m. so that we can be back home before our kids' return from school.” Asha was in the fit of ecstasy as she talked about her newly found kitty party.

“Charity collection?” Kishore asked, dazed.

“Yes, all of us decided to donate a minimum of Rs.200/- every month towards charity. Those who want can donate more. No problem. Once in six months we will visit an orphanage and donate this amount either in cash or things. Since we are enjoying such a fabulous lunch we should be able to do at least this much for the needy, we thought.” Kishore noticed Asha’s face filling with gratification as she spoke,

“Another great benefit of this party is that all of us become more friendly and accommodative. This is a chance for us to get to know our neighbours in a better way.  Thus, because of this fortnightly meeting, surprisingly a new streak of fondness and friendship has blossomed among us.” 

Kishore observed Asha had immense pleasure in talking about her kitty party.

After the first party was over, while they were sitting in the garden in one beautiful desultory evening, Asha had given her husband more details.

“Kishore, we had great fun during our Homemakers’ party. Since our members belonged to different states, we had different varieties of food, and it was fun sharing the culinary skills. We had two games, and it was great fun watching all the ladies, irrespective of their age, playing musical chairs and tailing the donkey games.  We have started a Whatsapp group also for sharing the news and photos between us. We all look forward to our next party. You will be amazed to know that even your Amma was enjoying it and she is enthusiastically waiting for the next party.” Asha let out these strings of the word without a pause.

The Short story continued here..