This weekend, my house looks like the setting of an Agatha Christie novel. It is filled with assorted characters that are linked to each other either by blood bonds or by sort of Bluetooth linkage called acquaintance and friends. So this weekend we have in our tiny boxed up three bedroom flat in contrast with the large country manors of Madam Christie’s setting, a sister, her daughter, her daughter’s friend, my batty mom, my sister’s friend , my sister’s friend’s sister, my sister’s estranged husband and of course yours truly. Phew! That sort of sums up about the residents and the seemingly dispensable characters of my imaginary mystery novel, where I am hoping there is a murder – Mine or maybe I am already dead with exhaustion and fatigue.
Ours is a typical urban home with just a part time maid for help and where we the ladies of the house- spelled me and my sister are the major home makers. Managing a place housing eight residents for two days is the last thing on earth that I would call fun. Weekends when I do not have to work are rare, my job being the guilty party here and Saturdays and Sundays are such days when I have huge expectations from life to sleep till late, have a leisurely bath and lunch and just relax watching silly Abhishek Bachchan comedy movies. However such dream weekends are rare, very rare for me- the frequency being one such weekend in say two months maybe.
So you can imagine my frame of mind this weekend, cooking, cleaning, and washing and ah! The hardest part – entertaining our guests with a sweet smile and as if that wasn’t enough, the deadline of an article for the e zine looming near on the horizon. Add to that, requests pinging continuously in the phone to check the latest statuses, latest posts and the latest pictures of friends and foes (in the garb of friends) alike in Facebook. And hence I am in stress; my mind is in stress trying to grasp and bring under control things that ironically are slipping away through my fingers, out of my grasp. So while I beat the eggs, my mind is on the article that I have to submit; I think of the evening meal’s menu as I play badminton with the two kids and I am urgently thinking up of an excuse to cancel the plans of shopping with the two sisters guests, all the while as I attempt to strike up a normal conversation with my brother in law.
So how did I end up in such a situation? Well it ended up so because of my- our inability to say NO.
My brother in law said he would like to come visit his daughter – We felt morally obliged to say YES
My sister’s friend announced they were coming this weekend- My sister did not have the heart to say -No. Cancel it.
My editor said she was waiting for my piece – It hurt my pride to say I was incapacitated that week.
And what resulted were stress and more stress. I feel cranky as you can sense from whatever you are reading. I am dying to get some sleep and quiet. My muscles are screaming with fatigue- both the muscles of the limbs and the lips due to excessive forced smiling. No doubt the soye huye aatmas or the sleeping dead of hindi horror movies become so testy when they are awakened from their eternal sleep. Who wouldn’t be?
But mercy fully, I have crossed the 500 words limit of this post, which sort of marks this as a fully fledged post. Yes I am winding it up here because I do not want to continue. I can’t. There I said it. And guess what! I feel better. I feel much better saying I cannot do it. See, we will have to get rid of our superman super-women complexes someday if we are to wish for a better life. Some where we have to draw the line and say No, we cannot when you know you really cannot. This is not quitting, this is just-knowing your limitations. And the hell! If it is called quitting! Does it matter? Does it matter more than our well being? I would rather be a survivor than a non quitter. I would rather say NO, feel sane, be at peace and live to tell the tale happily later on. So is it yes or is it a No?
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