Mrs Sharma wiped the forehead, as the beads of sweat trickled down. It was a hot day and the exhaust fan that ran in the kitchen was not helping, except making way for the fumes emanating from the vegetable she was cooking! It had been a hard routine for her in raising Anand and Nitin her two children. She had endured years full of struggle, and providing the best she could to her small family. Both her children were brilliant and had inherited the traits of the family of hard work and diligence. Anand had qualified from a top business school in the United States and was working for a multinational as a consultant. Nitin was still in college, pursuing his engineering.
‘ Sudha, come see this, “ Mr Sharma called her from the living room where he was watching a cricket match and at the same time reading a response to the advertisement inserted for a prospective bride for his illustrious elder son. The girl, Keerti was three years younger than their son and was matched like a tee! Perfect height, looks, color and qualifications what they had been looking for. A brilliant student, Keerti was also working as a manager in a leading company!
After two months, Anand and Keerti were engaged, as parents on both sides overcame the reservations on either end. Mrs Sharma had prided herself as being a mother of two brilliant sons but now she was soon to be a mother-in –law of a ‘Trophy Bahu*’! She would not miss a chance to tell the neighbors and friends how lucky she was to have found a perfect bride. Mrs Sharma was keen to have a marriage with ‘pomp and show ‘but her son Anand was against exhibitionism and preferred a simple marriage. Keerti, too felt that it would be deplorable to spend lavishly on the marriage.
Despite some initial differences between Keerti and her mother in law, they got along fairly well, notwithstanding cultural differences, the constant advice that generously flowed from some relatives and neighbors!
One morning, as Keerti got up, she heard a commotion in the adjoining room. Anand was out of station and was expected to return the next day! She rushed out to find Mrs Sharma crying as she was bent on immobile body of Mr Sharma! Her eyes opened wide in fear and disbelief as she rushed to the kitchen and tried to sprinkle some water on Mr Sharma’s face but to no avail. She rushed out and hailed a taxi. With the help of the taxi driver, they managed to rush the limp body of Mr Sharma to the nearby hospital. The doctors immediately transferred Mr Sharma to the ICU, as Keerti completed the admission facilities and paid the deposit.
After two hours, of wait the doctor stepped out and stated that Mr Sharma had suffered a minor stroke and was out of danger! He also mentioned that but for the presence of mind and timely transfer to the hospital; Mr Sharma may not have lived to see another day! Mrs Sharma, who stood speechless came and hugged Keerti and told her, that she was indeed a ‘Trophy Bahu’ that her friendly neighborhood used to chuckle when referring about her, and was proud of what she had done by saving the life of her father in law!
* Bahu is the reference to Bride in Hindi
PS: Image Kind Courtesy Google