The kitchen had been cleaned night before. Next morning, food would be prepared for the “Goddess, Durga Ma”
They had fasted all 8 days for the prosperity of the family. No onions, no garlic was touched in the 8 days. Anju had convinced her husband and son not to touch Alcohol and meat in these days. After all, it’s important to be in good books of God.
She woke up at 4am, took a bath, dressed in clean red saree and took charge of kitchen. She prepared Halwa, the delicious smell could be felt even 3 flats across. Then she cooked Choley (Chickpeas) and Puri.
In another room, Seema her daughter in law was trying to sleep, drenched in sweat. She had fever since last 2 days. No one had come to ask her even a glass of water. As for them, she was an outcast. Her parents could never provide chosen gifts to boost their egos, and she was not too smart to balance her work and home, so she had not been able to please them.
Soon, it was 6.30am and young girls dressed in their best traditional attires could be heard talking excitedly about how much they would collect today. It was the only day when they were so much in Demand. “Kanjak.” The mini Goddess as they were called on that day.
Tia had worn her pink Lehnga, matching pink and white bangles and even worn trinkets. She had put a small bindi and she was looking adorable.
“Tell that Maharani to wake up and at least help in packing the lunch boxes for the girls. In another half an hour, the girls would be here.” Anju was shouting at the pitch of her voice.
Seema slowly dragged herself off the bed. She wobbled a bit, but she had to stand up, or else she would be reminded for days, “That she is useless and her parents didn’t teach her even basic ethics.”
Her hand were trembling as slowly she started packing up the giveaways.
“Look at her speed. Even after the nights rest, she can’t do anything properly.”
Seema had tears in her eyes, but she did not dare to look up. It was a holy day and she did not want another fight in the house. She did not have any energy in her body as well to tell them about her condition.
Soon, the little girls started arriving. Tia was fond of Seema, and she would say, “Seema aunty is the most beautiful.” She never needed an invitation to come, the moment she spotted Seema back from work, she would come and chit chat with her. Tia’s mom would tease her that Seema aunty is your second mom.
The moment Tia entered, her eyes started searching Seema. She was not interested in her feet being washed, or the goodies she was about to get. She spotted Seema and hugged her.
“Seema Aunty, you are so hot. When I’m this hot, mummy tells me I have fever.” She ran fast to call her mummy.
“Mummy, come fast, Seema aunty has fever.” Tia was screaming so that her voice could reach her mother before her.
Up in heaven somewhere, Goddess Durga was laughing at the irony of her younger avtar being prayed to, and the older one being loathed at.
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