Veena finished packing her hubby’s lunchbox. She lovingly tore a piece of plain paper and wrote, ‘Looking forward to our night, have a nice day, love wife,’ and placed it inside the cover of his lunch box. On the bottle of water, she stuck another note that said,’ Don’t forget to take your medicine.’ She placed them both in a basket and called for the driver to put it in the car.
Before saying bye to Vikram she would remind him if he has got everything he needs.
“Have you your phone, wallet, favourite pen?” she asked.
“Yes dear, got everything,” he said as he checked his pockets.
“Have you closed your zip?” she questioned as she raised her eyebrows and started giggling.
“Wait… no. Now I have! What will I ever do without you?” He said.
“Bye for now,” she said and gave him a bear hug.
“Ok, I’ll see you at night, Bye!” he said as he walked out of the front door.
Veena glanced around the house and looked at the time. The clock showed 8 am. Everyday Vikram would leave work at the same time. For him, work always came first. His mind is always so preoccupied that he tends to forget several things.
Veena has been bogged down by the maid’s work for one week since she has been on leave. She started off by doing the bed. As she moved the pillows she found Vikram’s pair of dirty socks rolled up in a ball. ‘Uff!! Not again!’ she thought to herself as she picked them up, straightened them out, and dumped them in the laundry basket.
Veena felt her back strain after bending while doing the bed. She made herself a cup of tea and decided to take a break before she would finish the rest of her chores. She eyed the cookies in the jar hidden in the corner. But she controlled herself, as she was diabetic. Then she thought to herself, ‘one cookie won’t do any harm, I deserve a cookie!’
Veena relished a cookie as she sipped a cup of chamomile tea and scrolled through her phone and replied to her daughter’s good morning messages. Veena & Vikram were blessed with one daughter, Priya who had been married for 7 years. The house had become empty after Priya started a new life. But eventually, the old couple kind of got used to it.
Veena and Vikram had been married for 38 years. Both are sixty-plus, living each day filled with bittersweet ways of life that were sufficient for both of them. Vikram and Veena met through a lady who was lovingly called Munshi Aunty. She used to play cupid and find the ideal match. Her predictions always seemed accurate. One day, Veena’s mother met Munshi Aunty and requested her to find an ideal groom for her only daughter, Veena.
Eventually, Munshi Aunty’s search began and she found Vikram.
Vikram visited Veena’s house to meet her for the first time. Veena’s father welcomed him. They both hit it off as they were from the same profession and had a lot in common. Veena prepared a tall glass of mango milkshake for Vikram. He gulped it down within seconds and looked at Veena pleadingly and smiled.
“Would you like another glass of mango milkshake?” she asked hesitantly.
“Yes! Please! That would be great!” he said as his eyes lit up and beamed with joy.
Veena made her way back to the kitchen and started preparing another glass of mango milkshake from scratch. She wondered to herself, ‘I hope I have cooked enough food for lunch.’
Vikram was delighted. He somehow knew she was the one who could satisfy his hunger. After all, if a man wants happiness it’s through his stomach, not his heart.
After many meetings, the two became very fond of each other and decided to get hitched. Over the years, Vikram’s business flourished and he hardly spent any time at home, leaving Veena all by herself who single-handedly brought up their daughter. But to keep their love alive, Veena would write notes to Vikram to remind him that she is always there for him.
She would send him notes in his lunch box that would say, ‘you have to go to the bank after lunch.’ and if he had to pick up Priya from dance class on the way back from work there would be a note in his lunchbox and wallet saying, ‘ pick up Priya from dance class.’
But there was one note that made Vikram very happy. It was a note placed next to the bathroom mirror that said, ‘Smile at yourself in the morning! You’re going to have a great day!’
Back in the day, at times Veena would go visit her mother and stay over for the weekend with Priya. Vikram never objected but he missed her notes tremendously and would eventually forget something or the other. It was like Veena had become his right hand for many things.
After Veena finished all her chores, she sat down at her table and took out a post-it note from the drawer.
The post-it was a yellow crisp square-shaped piece of paper that made things very simple. She took out her black marker and started to write a note. ‘Please put your dirty socks in the laundry, Love, Wife.’ And she stuck it above the bed.
That night, before Vikram sat down on his side of the bed he read the note. He looked at his wife and said, “Another note?”
Veena smiled at him and said, “Well, yes!”
“You need to make my life a little easy. I don’t have a full-time maid to come and do everything for me. I’m not a spring chicken you know. These small little deeds make a big difference,” she continued.
“You’ve put up notes almost everywhere in the house,” he added.
“Yes, because without these notes you seem to pay a deaf ear to most of the things I say. You’re always lost in your own world,” she said.
“You’ve not even left the bathroom,” said Vikram as he stormed in the bathroom and pointed at the note.
“And what does it say?” questioned Veena.
“It says please lift the seat and pee!” he replied.
“Do you know why the note is there?” she asked.
Before letting Vikram say another word she continued “Because, by the time I reach the bathroom I’m in such a rush to pee, I need to have the seat ready for me to pee! I can’t control for too long anymore. Age is catching up Vikram,” and she left the room.
Vikram realised he overreacted. He didn’t want to fight with his wife. ‘After all, she does everything for me,’ he thought to himself and sat at the edge of the bed and stared at his dirty socks rolled in a ball lying on the floor.
He then thought about the note he found in his lunchbox in the afternoon. And the numerous number of notes he received since they got married and how it made it all so easy. Initially, he thought his wife was nuts. But on the days he didn’t get any notes he felt there was a void. The little notes made him feel special. It made him feel loved and of course, it reminded him of the things he had to do.
Vikram found Veena sitting in the drawing-room reading a book. He walked up to her and lovingly touched her cheek and said; I’ve fixed us a drink. It’s Friday night. Let’s make the most of it. Vikram took out his phone and connected it to the Bluetooth speaker and played their all-time favourite, ‘The Beatles.’
Vikram started to sing ‘It's been a hard day's night’ and took Veena by the hand and they started to dance trying his best to make things right.
He then whispered in her ear, “I’ve picked up my dirty socks and put them in the laundry basket.”
Veena smiled and kissed him on the cheek.
The next morning, Vikram woke up and looked around for Veena. There was a note stuck on the fridge that said, ‘Gone to pick up some groceries. Mango milkshake is kept in the fridge. Love wife.’