Mahalingam was not exactly henpecked except that he did not do things which his wife disliked.His wife never liked his aged mother who lived with him being her only son.
“Maha, it is very chill these days during nights and I keep shivering.Can you get me a woolen blanket?” his mother asked him one morning
He was reading a news paper and his wife was cutting vegetables by his side.He made a small grunt ’hmm’ to signify he heard her but said nothing more.
Three days past she again reminded him”Maha, I am unable to sleep.Bangalore is colder this year than in the past.I cover myself with my old saris too but they give no relief.”
A lump passed through his throat.He knew his wife was listening to the request.He could only say”Amma, let me see.I am busy with a lot of work in the office.Close the windows in the night.The chill air would not enter.”
The old woman kept quiet and thereafter stopped asking him.
Two weeks later Mahalingam’s brother-in-law who had come on a short visit asked his sister “What are these two big bundles in the hall for ?”
She said with pride “Your brother in law is very particular that we distribute saris and dhoties each year at the old age home during winter.We have been doing these for several years.We will be going there this evening.Why don’t you accompany us?”
”I am very proud of you,sister, at your compassion”replied her brother.
The old woman was heard coughing nonstop huddled on the mat spread on the floor.