Tight Schedule - Spouse, Rat and ’Craft “HOME-WORK” before attending a business conference at Madras now Chennai on the following afternoon, had kept me awake till late hours. The flight was scheduled around noon. I woke up, as I felt a thud on my chest. Thinking it was impact from her arm and so I cheerfully rolled up but alas on the wrong side of the cot! Bed-side clock was blinking 07:00. In dim light, I saw a thin greyish tapering tail, partly visible at the bottom of my spouse’s semi-closed wardrobe, whence I realised the impact was that of rat falling on my chest. I rushed out chaotically to fetch milk pouches from three floors down. When I returned, found baba and spouse both asleep without any stir. Finished with morning chores, I sat in balcony to study business conference papers. Coffee-flavour, wafting from behind heralded approach of my expectant wife transferring steaming fluffy coffee from one container to another. While she handed it over to me, we heard intermittent gnawing noise from her wardrobe. She “smelled the rat” as a woman could, the presence of a rat inside it; nervous she was, commanded that I don’t leave home until the rat was caught and disposed off. I was thinking of business conference about which still there were some lose ends. She switched off the revolving bedroom- fan, gathered our half asleep boy, held him on to her bosom sat over the brim of the cot and as afterthought she moved to adjacent room. I made calculated moves to smack but rat seemed to possess better expertise to dodge, it exercised me to dive, dance, hop and jump all at once which provided delectable joy to wife and baba watching from adjacent room. I was bathed with sweat and panting, yet I pretended to be indefatigable. I had decided to bite the bullet; the intelligent rat moved zigzag and finally the rascal entered into the kitchenette. My wife was kind enough to hand over the cob-web stick and the new hard broom. With cob-web stick on my left and the right gripping the broom, nonchalantly like a stiff soldier, I was closing in. I haphazardly struck the kitchen utensils, steel racks and other articles around producing a symphony in disharmony while I hopped in x y z directions. My boy held over her hip, watching from a distance without winking, started to chortle in amusement. My boy spotted it and shown the direction by lifting hand toward ss kitchen- sink which was overflowing with cooking utensils with previous night leftover food. We jointly looked at it from afar. The rascal rat was trying to swim out of pressure cooker that was half-filled; cooker lid was half covering it. While I stood perplexed, my wife from behind holding baba on her left hip turned courageous came to the forefront stunned me by doing an adventurous act; she smartly glided the handle of the lid with her right hand resulting in cooker shut-tight. The rat got trapped. It was moment of eureka for her more than I. But precisely that was the moment I felt enervated. In a stern voice she said, henceforth the very sight of this cooker would be despicable and ordered (!) that I should carry the rat-pressure cooker and throw it enroute airport. She needed an immediate replacement. Opposite our building there was shopping mall and in the next one hour we could get new one on exchange price. As extension of service, he obliged to let out the rat into a manhole closer to his shop. Cursing the rat, I hurried to airport to catch the flight but I couldnot make it before the ‘show-time’. Disappointed I was, I rat around the lounge evaluating other options and exited after half an hour. I heard multiple explosions at a distance. I had u-turned into the lounge area. I heard at far corner, a group of persons crying and sobbing. Few minutes before they stood near the barrier, all looking up waving off the Madras (now Chennai) bound Caravelle flight carrying their kins. I heard later, after successful take off, the flight attempted emergency landing, plummeted over a height of 300 feet and crashed on the runway. I got dazed. It was, then, I recalled my grandmother’s oft-coated essence from Bhagavatgeetha that whatever happened, happened for good. Whatever is happening is happening for the good... and whatever will happen that will be for good as well.