Life of an Independent Woman…Akshaya!

The story of an Independent Woman named Akshaya and how she moves on with her life that has a dark past, as she finds a new family to love her. The setting of the story is based in Chennai city in the late 90s, revolving around an old couple and a young woman in her mid-20s. The story is loosely based on a 90s Tamil Drama of the same name. The characters are mostly the same, with changes in the storyline as it progresses. Hope you will like it!

 

It was in the late 90s. To be precise, 1997, a cold winter night in the capital city of Tamil Nadu, Chennai. The house of Veeraraghavan, an elderly man in his early 70s, was quiet as everyone were asleep. Veeraraghavan was too, until he heard an uncontrolled breathing next to him. His wife Parvathy. Parvathy was in her mid-60s and just like other women of her age, she had health issues. But, in that hour of the night, in the cold winter, she was troubled in wheezing problem that made it difficult for her to breath. Veeraraghavan lazily opened his eyes and saw his wife struggling to breath. Panicking, he sat up and switched on the bedside lamp.

“Parvathy? What happened?” he asked his wife, who was turning blue already.

“I can’t– bre– breath…” his wife was trying to find words, but it couldn’t pass through her lips, due to her struggled breathing.

“Wait! Wait! I’ll wake Suresh,” he told her and quickly left the room and knocked on his son, Suresh’s room door.

Suresh was deep in sleep and barely would hear a bomb blasting. But his wife Sumathi, beside him stirred in the bed as she heard the faint knock. The knock grew louder to her ears when she opened her eyes and saw the clock, showing 4am in the morning.

“I will wake up in an hour? What is the rush?” Sumathi grunted as she helped herself to the door.

She opened it to face her tensed father-in-law. Squinting her eyes to hide her annoyance, Sumathi stepped out.

“Uncle? What happened?” she asked her father-in-law.

“Parvathy is having an asthma attack. Wake your husband. We have to go to the hospital,” Veeraraghavan said quickly.

“He is sleeping. He was doing his sales report the whole night. He is tired. Why don’t you go and wake Ramesh?” Sumathi brushed it off shocking Veeraraghavan.

“My husband won’t wake up Uncle. You don’t bother. Go and wake Ramesh,” Sumathi said and went into the room closing the door.

Veeraraghavan shook his head and went to the other side of the house and knocked on Ramesh’s door. Sumathi had at least opened the door, but Ramesh’s door didn’t even budge. Ramesh was sleeping with his head under the pillow. Ranjani, nevertheless, woke up to the knock. When she saw the clock hand, she just rolled over to the other side and went to sleep.

Veeraraghavan kept knocking but Parvathy’s rough breathing caught his attention. Realising that it is no use wake his children up anymore, he went to their room and brought Parvathy to the living area.

“Stay here. I will go and fetch an auto,” Veeraraghavan said as he wrapped his neck with a shawl, to withstand the cold weather outside.

A while later, he entered the house with a young man in brown shirt. He and the young man helped Parvathy into the rickshaw, and it sped to Sushma Nursing Home, 2 streets away. Parvathy was quickly attended to. The rickshaw driver stayed with Veeraraghavan for a while, when he realised that the elderly man was unstable. When the duty doctor had come out of the room and assured Veeraraghavan that Parvathy is safe and discharged soon, Veeraraghavan’s face brightened up.

He turned to the driver, “Son? Thanks for the help. Can you drive me back to the house? I have to get some money. Have to pay the hospital bill and you too,” he asked the driver.

“It’s ok sir. Not necessary. I will stay her till madam is ready to leave. I will drive you back home,” the driver smiled.

Veeraraghavan smiled back, “Even relatives don’t help each other these days. I don’t even know your name, but you are here as if you are my own son. May god bless you!” he blessed the driver whole heartedly.

Not soon after, the clock clicked 6 and Dr. Mithran entered the hospital. He found Veeraraghavan outside the room and went over to check.

“Sir? What happened? You are here this early in the morning? Is everything ok?” Dr. Mithra rushed over to him and questioned.

Veeraraghavan told him what had happened and Dr. Mithra, at once rushed into the room to check on Parvathy, the latter being in good condition.

“You could have called me right?” Dr. Mithra told Veeraraghavan.

Dr. Mithra was a family friend of Veeraraghavan, who has been monitoring both Parvathy and Veeraraghavan’s health throughout the years. He advised Parvathy on her medications and wished her good health, and the older couple took off in the same auto rickshaw.

Back in the house, Suresh and Ramesh were drinking coffee in the living room. Ranjani was still sleeping. Her work starts at 9 and she has a habit of only waking up around 7, or 730. Sumathi was already in the kitchen annoyed as she is the one that must prepare breakfast. After preparing it, she prepared herself a cup of coffee and sat down in the living room couch.

“Sister-in-law? Where is mother and father? I haven’t seen them since morning,” Ramesh asked, wearing his shoes.

“So you didn’t wake up?” Sumathi asked in a shocked voice as her hand holding the coffee cup stopped midway towards going towards her mouth.

“What do you mean?” Ramesh straightened up.

“Uncle knocked on my door this morning. He told me that aunty was having asthma problem. Your brother was sleeping so I asked him to wake you up,” Sumathi said.

“IDIOT! IDIOT! Why didn’t you wake me up?!” Suresh yelled hearing it.

“I didn’t know that father came to my room. Ranjani was sleeping as well,” Ramesh angrily went to his room calling out to his wife.

“Ranjani! Ranjani! Wake Up!” Ramesh shouted.

“What is the time?” Ranjani asked sleepily.

“Waking up time! Wake up!” Ramesh shouted again.

“5 more minutes please,” Ranjani said and covered her head with the blanket.

Ramesh was boiling with anger as if he would explode any moment. He looked around angrily and found a jug of water on the bed side table. He grabbed it and splashed it onto Ranjani’s face causing her to wake up quickly.

“What the helll?!” Ranjani shouted as she stood up from bed.

“I’ll break your teeth! I was sleeping after taking headache pills… Weren’t you just sleeping as usual? Didn’t you hear father knocking the door in the morning?” Ramesh shouted as he came out of the room.

Ranjani on pursuit, “I heard it. I thought it was your sister-in-law trying to wake me up to do the daily chores!” she shouted.

Sumathi was fuming, “Even if it was me, won’t you wake up to help me?” she shouted.

“Why must I? I have to work everyday at the office and also do household work?” Ranjani grabbed a towel and wrapped it around her shoulders.

“Even working women do household work. Don’t you know that?” Sumathi shouted.

Soon, both ladies got engaged in a deep argument, shouting words at each other. Ramesh was angry but helpless. He tried to calm them down but to no avail.

“AAIYOO! BOTH OF YOU SHUT UP!” Suresh shouted as he came down the stairs.

The ladies finally shut their mouth and glared at each other. Suresh was buttoning his shirt and checking his wallet for money as he came and stood beside Ramesh.

“Look dear? The second daughter-in-law of the house wouldn’t do any work. I have to do everything!” Sumathi came over and complained.

Suresh angrily looked at her raising his hands to slap her, “I will honestly slap you! Is this important now? Fool! I wonder how mother is now,” Suresh looked over at his brother.

“They should have gone to Dr. Mithran’s hospital. Let me come with you,” Ramesh said.

The brothers started towards the door with their wives behind them, still angry with each other. As the neared the doorstep, an auto rickshaw came to a stop. Veeraraghavan came out of it, caring for Parvathy. The two elders stopped and looked back at 4 heads looking at them from inside the house.

2 Comments
  1. Revu

    Is this one inspired from any tamil movie ? Please tell me the name of the movie. Writing is too good. Congratulations for your first article in TU. Keep writing and be an established Author at TU

  2. Great narration…
    You really write very well ! I can say you will be a great writer if you choose your one of the career option as this !!!

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