Charity          

 

Mausumi Phukan Baruah

  

Copyright 2017 by Mausumi Phukan Baruah

   

Photo of the author.



Life is a pendulum between a smile and a tear” Riki says philosophically, as she makes her entrance to the Kitty Party organised at Salma’s house while Malini, Meera, Seema and others were waiting for her arrival to start the party.

Hey don’t start boring please, leave your damn philosophy with yourself, for gods sake, don’t spoil our mood in this nice party” Meera says sarcastically, always unable to bear Riki’s works. Maybe she doesn’t understand them. Her motto of life is to relax, eat lavishly, forget the tensions and enjoy life. Her body and dress sense speaks nicely of it- a Body Mass Index of 30 + and always on Designer clothes- Halter tops, Lee or Levis jeans.

Meera is now getting impatient. It has been about half an hour and nothing to gulp, at least some of the mouth watering dishes should have made their appearance. Before coming to the Kitty Party she had made sure about the menu from Salma. Now she cannot wait any further as her stomach is aching with hunger, the tongue eager for the taste.

She had a very light lunch today of only fried rice with a few pieces of chicken.

Riki asked “What is in agenda for today?”

 Seema, a snob, habituated to pin each and every one in any given opportunity remarks “Let’s start with any one of the delicious recipes that Meera might have to share”. Everybody at the party knew that Meera was a bad cook and a big Zero in recipes.

To ease the situation Rekha drew everybody’s attention towards Simi “What’s the matter dear? You look very fresh and bright today. Any good news. Please, don’t disclose if you can’t.”

Rekha is right. Today Simi looks fresher than any other day and she is also smiling very often.

Seema remarked “Oh, she is fresh for ‘Orchids’. They must have made a good amount by applying Shahnaz Gold on her. All these useless things”

In fact Seema is a weekly visitor to ‘Orchids’ and is their privilege customer, in plain words a prime mover in their cash flow.

Simi shows off a new white ring in her left hand middle finger “Birthday gift from husband. Oh I am very happy. He said those few words ‘I love you’ and gave a gentle kiss. Don’t misunderstand, not on lips”

You are really lucky. A few days back I asked our Mr Perfect to bring me a new Sania Nose Ring. He gave me a glare that made me feel like asking for the moon.” Actually Meera never allows any change to go without making a carp about her husband. “Mr Perfect is only concerned about himself. A worthless character engaged in what he calls social service, attending meeting for the betterment of society. He never cares for or bring me any gift except during Bihu’s and Puja’s.” In true sense Meera has succeeded in making the life a hell for her so called worthless husband.

Malini enters the room from kitchen with Salma after supervising the food and arrangements.

Let us start out discussion. We have to bring certain value out of our meetings, not only just eat and make merry”

The room became silent and everybody sat attentively looking eagerly to Malini.

As you know that the flood situation has worsened creating a lot of misery to the people nearby. While we are comfortable here many like us are maybe surviving with one meal or no meal. Think about the children. What life has offered to them?”

The room became more silent as if somebody has just breathed his last.

Breaking the silence Meera spoke “The children might be suffering a lot along with their mothers. My aunt is the distributor of Oriflame products; she can supply some products.”

Malini gave a stern look and asked “Any other suggestion?”
 

Why don’t we arrange for at least a meal and some clothes for the children along with a tarpaulin?” suggested Jessy who is usually quite and reserved.

The idea was really brilliant and bound to be accepted by all. Malini immediately accepted the idea and asked for consensus. All raised their hands to give consent, baring Seema who uttered something inaudible.

Malini asked Neera to find out the expenses. Neera is a young member and was important as she was of commerce background and really sharp.

It was a long wait for Meera and she said “Let’s have our food first and then again come back for our discussions.”
Everybody was about to dash towards the dining arena and Malini had to make a good effort to stop them.

First let’s finish the job and then we will enjoy our food. Also the food is not yet ready.” She moved towards Neera who was starting to calculate the expenses to be incurred. Malini noticed that Neera was wearing a nice Pink saree.

What a nice saree, you look gorgeous Neera.” Neera felt a sigh of relief, at least someone had notice her new saree, which she had purchased exclusively for today’s party.

Actually everybody had observed it, but nobody really desired to give any importance to her.

Neera finished her job in a few minutes and handed over the expenses detail to Malini.

As Malini presented the ‘Budget’ there were whispers all around and when the final figure came out there was uproar. Each member has to bear a sum of Rs 1000/-.
Meera already impatient, waiting for the food stood up “It is no point in spending such a huge amount. After all what will we gain from it? No personal benefit. I am not along with it. Also my husband will kill me if I ask him for such a huge amount”

Meera’s purse might be having at least two to three thousand of rupees at that time. Her monthly pocket money is at least five to six thousand always bullied from her better half.

Seema said “We are not in social service. We don’t want to make a name. We don’t want our photos or names to be published in newspaper. What we really want is to help the people. Helping people must not cost such a huge amount.”

Seema’s photograph was once published in a local newspaper as she garlanded a visiting dignitary to the club during Bihu holidays when most of the people were away. She made a photocopy of the newspaper and circulated to each and everyone she knew through the resources available of her better half.

There were similar voices from the room with only Jessy, Salma, Malini and Neera keeping mum. The crowd was getting unruly.

Why not some fruits to the children? Maybe an apple, a banana and a packet of biscuits. It will cost about Rs 10/- per packet.” Rekha said. Everyone clapped and accepted the proposal.

Yes it will be a good meal and the fruits will provide them with the necessary vitamins.” Meera and Seema remarked simultaneously.

We can also explore the opportunity to donating some of our old clothes and shoes/slippers also” Neera suggested.

It is final. Now let’s proceed for High tea” Malini concluded the meeting.

Meera and Seema led the others to the area.

Oh Seema, you know the ‘Tuna Salad’, ‘Chicken with Baby Corn and Mushroom’, ‘Vegetable Kabiraji’ not to mention of the ‘Vegetable Fried Rice’ made by Salma is five star class. It reminds me of our stay at ‘The Hilton’ last year.”

Meera generally makes a trip once a year with her family as she her sisters and brothers are all settled across the globe.

Seema, eating a spoonful of fried rice, “You know I fine the food at ‘The Taj’ much more delicious than any other. Oh! I really like it”.

Everybody in the group knew about the misadventure that Seema had in her only trip to a five star hotel – JW Marriot, Mumbai, with her husband in an official tour. She pretended to be sick so that she could avoid the ‘Dinner party’ thrown in honour of her husband, as she trembled while speaking English to unknown persons. She confided to her close friends that she will never step again in a five star hotel. Till date she has kept her promise.

During tea it was decided to go to the nearby relief camp on Sunday, which is only six days away.

Malini said “Since all of us will not be able to go, let us find out who will go.”

Meera, Seema, Rekha, Riki, Simi volunteered to go.

Seema asked Malini “What should we wear on that day?”

It will be better if we wear traditional dress and also of light shades” making a cut on Seema who was wearing a dark saffron saree with blood coloured lipstick. Her lack of dress sense is praised by all.

Oh at least I can buy a new set of Mekhela Chador” Meera said. “What might it cost? she asked adjusting her halter top.

Not less than two to three thousand.” Seema said.

She was wondering how to milk out the money from her better half as it is a golden opportunity for buying a new dress.

All of a sudden a brilliant idea stuck her “Charity” and she shouted ecstatically “Hip, Hip Hurrah, Long Live our Kitty Party, East or West, our Kitty is the best”


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