It was an arranged marriage. Both Rahul and Rohini were compatible in terms of age qualification, job, looks and family background. She saw no reason to say no especially when her parents went gaga about him. The honeymoon was all fun and fast. They had set up a separate apartment midway between both their offices that were in opposite ends. She worked in a foreign bank and reached around 8pm.He came from office around 8 30pm.
It was a fortnight after they had moved in and when Rohini was cooking the dinner, Rahul barged in around 9pm.He surveyed the scene and said in a gruff tone “I want things clean in the house and expect when I come back a plate on the table with hot dinner. I just want to make it clear so there is no misunderstanding”
Rohini was taken aback at his brusque tone and insensitive statement. He knew that she also worked in a supervisory role and that she returned home only around 8pm.It was a shock but she felt that he may be tired after a hard day and frustrated by the traffic snarl.
“I came just an hour back and the dinner should be ready by the time you have a wash. You are perhaps tired. Have a glass of fruit juice” she said softly.
“I don’t need any. But I want my house to be spic and span and do not like things to be littered here and there. I like the sink to be clean at all times and the vessels loaded in dishwasher then and there. It is ok today but make sure hereafter that my dinner is ready when I come back” he said without any remorse.
Rohini did not reply and turned to hide the tears from her eyes. She kept the dinner on the table and went to the bath room for a shower. Rahul when he came back found her missing. He did not wait for her and finished his dinner before settling down before the TV. She came down after sometime, skipped her dinner, cleaned the table and went back to her room.
When he came a little while later and asked her whether she had her dinner, she pretended to sleep. He went on asking her questions and even touched her but she did not budge. The next morning as he came down he saw sandwiches, hot milk, cereal and fruit juice on the table. She had left for office. He found the sink clean and the dishwasher running. He smiled smugly satisfied that his reprimand worked.
When he came at 730 pm itself earlier than his usual time, he found a middle aged woman in the kitchen setting the table for dinner. He found the counter clean and all things neatly kept. He looked askance at her when she replied “Madam had employed me to cook the dinner and keep the place clean. I am to come at 6 and leave at 9pm daily. You dinner is ready. Madam had instructed me to serve you and not wait for her.”
His face became red as anger surged in his heart. He quietly had his dinner and retired to the living room before TV. Rohini came at 915pm.”Why are you late? I came at 730 pm itself expecting you to be at home. What is this new arrangement of a woman to cook dinner?” he asked her.
“I had work at office. She will keep things clean and have your dinner hot when you return home as you wished” she replied
“I have not married wanting a maid at home waiting for me with dinner. I want my wife to be available when I come back” he said
“You don’t need an IIM graduate for keeping your home and readying your dinner. I am disappointed with your attitude” she said softly but firmly.
“I am the boss in this house and things should happen as I wish. I am earning enough. You may find a job that will enable you to be at home by 6pm.Till such time you find a similar job, you can stay at home” he said rather loudly.
She wondered what has gone wrong with him and why he has turned cranky. He knew that she was talented, an IIM graduate worked in a foreign bank and earned more than him. He was aware of all these and never mentioned before marriage about his expectations from her. She had a glass of water and said “Can we discuss this later? I have just returned. I need a wash and some rest”
“No, what is there to discuss? You either agree with me or not?”he bellowed
“Ok, Let this arrangement continue for a couple of months. I do not want to cause any anguish to my aged parents so soon after my marriage. I will take a transfer and move away from you in a couple of months. You can then choose a wife to suit your requirements” she said in controlled voice.
Rahul was shocked as he never expected such a response from what he thought a timid Rohini.”What did I say for you to carry the matter to such ridiculous lengths?” he asked.
“Sorry, my mind is decided. You are not the guy with whom I would like to spend the rest of my life. You have fallen very low in my esteem. I need rest and wish to be left alone. What I have said is final and irrevocable” she said with finality and left for her room.
Is Rohini justified in not giving Rahul another chance?