Swarna goes to work … chapter 27 Swarna would give Suchitra hell every day. If she made Dhal she would say she likes Sambhar and if sambhar was made, she would say she felt like eating rasam. This was to irritate Suchitra who would just not care. The minute Suchitra sat down to work, Swarna would call out to her and say “Eyyy, my leg is in pain and my throat is becoming very dry, give me some water”. At other times it would be coffee. Suchitra put up with all the nonsense. But most times she would keep telling Swarna that it is better she also finds some work. She would tell her that our social status would improve if she works and she need not be dependent on anyone. She said she need not contribute to the household and can save the money for herself. Then one day out of sheer frustration she told her Mother in law “Amma what I am saying is true, if you work you will know how nice it is to have your own money. You can do what you want with it.” Swarna thought for some time and said “Pavum what will you do without me, and that too you are pregnant. Who will give me a job” Suchitra kept working for some time and told her “Amma don’t worry about me, if you are willing to try out some work, let me know. There is a family on the next road looking for someone to go and cook for them. They would give you a decent salary. Try it out for a month and if you do not like it, you can always quit” Swarna thought for some more time and said “OK, I think I will try it” Suchitra told her “That is good; you can go in the morning and come back before Krishna leaves for work. I will take you there, but you do not open your mouth, I will negotiate a good salary with them” Suchitra took her to that house and Swarna was employed. She would go to work at 6.30 AM and return by 10.00 AM. She would eat her breakfast at their house and sometimes bring a little bit of lunch too. After about a month or so, she started getting some flowers from the vendors close by and strung them and gave them back and made some money on that too. Swarna took time to adjust, but once she got the feeling of earning she was happy. She felt she had a better place in society. Once out she saw many more women like her who were working and she realised there was no shame in working. She was fine getting up in the morning and leaving, but on coming home she would taunt Suchitra, who would never bother. At times when things got unbearable she would tell her mother in law to shut up. By the time her delivery time arrived, Suchitra had saved money for the hospital expenses and to take care of her newborn. It was in the middle of the night that she got into labour and had to be rushed to the hospital. After struggling till the evening, she delivered a baby girl. Swarna was very upset that she delivered a girl child. She did not want to touch or carry the baby. When the nurse handed her the baby she refused to take her and Krishna took the baby. The doctor scolded her for being so gender biased. On the second day, in the afternoon, Suchitra got a surprise. Her mother visited her. Suchitra was very happy to see her Mother and her mother said “Daddy does not know I am here, how can I not come to see my grandchild, I am happy for you” Suchitra was in tears and hugged her mother and they spoke for a long time about various things. Then it was time for her mother to leave. But she promised to come whenever time permits to see her and her grandchild. On the 3rd day Suchitra brought home the child. She was ecstatic that she was a mother now. She was very happy to see the child and forgot all the difficulties when the child smiled. Swarna spoke about the naming ceremony to Krishna. Suchitra said they will have the naming ceremony in the morning with just close relatives and that will be it. She said she strongly believed that the festivities should be altered according to the purse. Krishna was also for it and Swarna had to reluctantly agree. Then she asked Krishna “What name are you planning to give the child, it is a girl she has to carry my mother’s name” Krishna looked at her and said “Amma as always don’t be old fashioned, I am calling my daughter Maya”. Swarna had a thousand objections to this name and said “What is this Maya like some spirits name, give her a decent name, I will call her Ambujam” Krishna wanted to object when Suchitra nodded her head and said to leave it at that. They called the girl Maya. Suchitra’s mom came for the naming ceremony, she looked at the house in which her daughter lived and was in tears. She told Suchitra “Oh my God, how are you living here, what plans I had for you and you spoiled everything”. Suchitra looked at her mother and said “Amma my husband is a very good person and that is what is needed in a marriage, life is not always going to be like this, wait and see. No use crying over spilt milk. I am married and have a daughter” To be continued……….