Geeta would wake up before the sun crossed the horizon. She was to finish all her household chores so that when the sun rose, she could go and do other people’s chores. She would wake up and clean herself. She would feed milk to her little baby. The rugged cloths that wrapped the kid were the freshest piece of cotton you could find in that little hut of mud and cow shit.
She would then sit on the only chair in the house and pat the baby back to sleep.
Then came servicing the man of the house – the old drunk bastard with whom her father married her off to get some money for his own pleasures.
Mukesh was a local thug. He didn’t choose the thug life, thug life chose him. Deep down Geeta knew Mukesh was a good husband and a worthy parent. To keep his reputation alive among the others of his class, he had to drink and smoke and fuck and kill. Geeta tried to pull him out of this garbage life many times. He too tried his best to make his new bride happy. After numerous attempts he told her, “I am what I am by doing all that you hate. No force can take me away from this. I can change my identity and my name, but I can’t change my fate.”
Finally in submission to her husband’s choice and compulsion, she took it upon herself to ensure her children should never have to do what their father did to stay alive. She started working in houses, cleaning toilets and mopping floors. Day in and day out she had her hands dipped in that soapy water. Her hands weren’t soft enough to feel her own face; how could she even dare to pick up her baby with those hands? She never stole anything from the houses she worked in. All she asked for was salary and pieces of clothes. These fabrics would pass through her strict cleaning procedures and then later on her baby.
She didn’t want the baby to know how rough his mother’s hands felt.
One day while returning back from her angry employer’s flat, she saw a goon bashing up her husband. She ran in to save the man. Before she could reach, she saw a blood stained knife coming out of Mukesh’s belly. Feet numbed down, she shook there in shock. The goon saw her too and couldn’t understand what to do. Geeta ran to Mukesh, picked him up on her lap and tried to talk to him. He looked at her, tried to smile for one last time and closed his eyes for eternal peace. The goon watched them with ice-cold eyes. He knew if he didn’t finish the job, there would be consequences. He stabbed Geeta multiple times till she stopped reacting.
When Geeta finally opened her eyes, there she was, dressed in all the colors of her childhood. She felt a load around her neck and was amazed by the feel of solid gold and bright diamonds. In front of her stood her Mukesh wearing all whites, with an oiled moustache. He told her how beautiful she looked. Geeta knew where she was and what she was. Tears rolled down her eyes.
“I don’t want this,” she said. “I want my baby”.
Mukesh took her in his arms and pointed downwards. Far below they could see their little baby in the arms of another mother. She seemed to love him as much as Geeta did. She adored him with all she had in her world. Time passed by, but she wouldn’t move. She waited there to watch the baby going to school and then, becoming a man of words and deeds.
They both stood there, with tears in the eyes and satisfaction in their minds.