Posted by: miilee | October 2, 2010

Not For The Laundry


The one thing Zoya couldn’t tolerate and the one thing that seemed to be plaguing her for some time now. Everything from her bedroom to her finance was in a big mess. Somehow, 24 hours just didn’t seem enough anymore, she thought to herself as she hurried from room to room, picking up the discarded clothes for the laundry.

“Naina! Vicky! Where are you two? Is anyone else planning to move a finger to help out here?”

No response. She let out a sigh, gulped down a tear and went on to the laundry room. “Maya” She called to the domestic help. “Start the dish washer and see where the kids are. I’ll start the washing machine. Put out the clothes once they’re done. I need to be at the bank within an hour.”

Time. Where does it go?

Maya obediently went to get her work done, calling to the children as she went. Another wave of tears caught her throat as the thought of the state of her life flashed past her mind. What had she become? Quickly, she brushed the thought away; she had no time for tears and musings. That was for the pillow when she finally had the time to cry herself to sleep. Again, the regularity with which she did that was a disturbing thought; one she relentlessly ignored.

She went to the bureau in the small study; it was a handsome piece of furniture. So much like the one to whom it belonged.

No thoughts Zoya, she told herself and ravaged the drawers for all the relevant documentation and started to file them. She just had to get the bank work done today or wait till the next Saturday off.

Once all the papers were in place, she closed the folder and headed to her room for a quick shower before she headed out.

Deep in thought, she reached her door but something that her subconscious mind had seen made her take the few steps back to the children’s room. She looked through the slightly open door to find Vicky on the floor, playing with his blocks and wearing a crumpled blue pinstripe shirt that was way too large to be his. Naina was on her bed, her head between her knees and her long hair screening her face.

Zoya’s temper hit the roof and she threw the door ajar violently, making the kids jump. Immediately, Vicky shrugged out of the shirt and stuffed it beneath his mattress and stood cowering, like he was expecting a death sentence. Naina just sat bolt upright, very obviously expecting the rain of scolding that were making Vicky shiver. Zoya would have done just that, but something in the anticipatory fear in Vicky stopped her. Something in her just broke. She walked over to Vicky’s bed, sat on the edge, lowered her head into her hands and let the tears flow. Nobody moved at first but then Vicky cautiously laid his little hand on her knee and whispered, “I’m sorry mommy…” his voice quaked, like he was on the verge of tears too. “I didn’t want to make you cry…” with that he started crying in right earnest. Zoya lifted her head to see his agonised face peering at her and Naina standing next to him, crying silently.

“What am I supposed to do? Will neither of you help out with some work till I die doing it?” She looked from one to the other, trying to figure out what she’d done wrong. “Why don’t things get done till I don’t yell about them? And Vicky, why is that shirt under your bed? Don’t you know I wash clothes in this house?”

“It is…” He halted, took a deep breath and tried again, “It is daddy’s shirt mommy. I like the smell and if you wash it….” He broke into violent sobs and so did Naina.

Zoya took them both into her arms and let out heaving sobs emerging from her broken heart. Through the tears, she looked up and for the millionth time, asked the same silent question; “Why did you leave us Manan? Why did you leave me?”

All that remained behind was a mess…. And one shirt not meant for the laundry…



  1. OMG….touched.

    • I was on a low when I wrote this one…

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Saifudheen P and Maithili Desai, Maithili Desai. Maithili Desai said: Not For The Laundry: […]

  3. very touching

    • thanks…. one of my more melancholy pieces…

  4. Beautiful! Loved every bit of it!

    • Thanks milesh.. 🙂

  5. Oh my… That was an intense piece of literature. I loved every bit of it. I loved the part where Vicky touches Zoya out of regret, fear and confusion. My eyes filled with tears… I remember the times from my childhood when I’ve seen my mom break down similarly at helpless situations.

    A very good piece of work! Keep blogging…

    • Than u so much!! glad u liked it…

  6. Excellent!!! Really good. Adding you to my reader right away. Keep writing…

    • Thanks Pallavi… glad you liked it….

  7. Another touching one from madam miilee who can really control the reader’s emotions through her words! I loved your story ‘Moving On…’ and I liked this even more! 🙂 great work, looking fwd to more from u!

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