t was 2 am when Mrs Sen got up coughing heavily. She moved her hand on the table beside her bed to hold a glass of water, still feeling restless she decided to take a round in the balcony. “What good is it to live here it, after all these years of work, this is the house we get to live in, can’t even get fresh air to breathe, Government treats its employees like slaves,” mumbled an angry Mrs Sen under her breath.
“Anger at this age leads to death my dear wife,” chuckled Mr Sen as he joint Mrs Sen gazing at the beauty of the night. “What? Did you just call me old? For your information, my dear husband, you are the one who is getting old at an alarming speed, I am still young. It’s just pollution and this small apartment which makes me restless every time. How many times will I have to tell you to shift in our own house. These government quarters are like a rat hole. I don’t want my grandchildren to visit us here and suffer like we do daily,” added Mrs Sen.” Why do you worry so much, Mrs Sen. I have had a conversation with the broker he says we just need to give him a list of our requirements, he will find us a suitable place soon,” says Mr Sen.
“Then what are we waiting for? I am giving a call to Ashmita and Pari tomorrow itself. My daughters will help me in figuring out what modern houses look like these days,” exclaimed a very excited Mrs Sen. “Call their husbands too, I need to understand the loan procedure and get the paper work done as soon as possible, if they come it’ll be a great help for me.” Mrs Sen informed her daughters and they dropped by soon.
Ashmita entered the house with a box of sondesh and congratulated her mother by hugging her. “Maa, I know you have been wanting this for so long, after so many transfers and moving from place to place, finally when we’ve settled in Kolkata I guess this is the right time. I am very happy with papa’s decision,” says Ashmita. By the time Pari entered with also another box of sweets and says, “Papa, Karan had said he’ll meet you after office and discuss the loan proceedures only then. He will pick you up from your office.” which, Mr Sen left the ladies in the house to discuss on the details of the new home.
Ashmita started with the location of the home, “Maa it is very important that your new home be near a hospital and in a market place. You and papa are old and any time you both could need anything and it might happen Pari or I aren’t available, so you need to look for a home near a market place. Also we’d want you guys to live with people of your age so that you enjoy and don’t get bored. After papa leaves for work you get bored the entire day. So let’s short-list places where already elders are living so that you find company easily. Right, Pari? asked Ashmita.
“Absolutely right di, after these two things are sorted, we can think about a simple interior and a well-lit and ventilated place. Maa keeps coughing due the pollution here, we’ll try to see she doesn’t have this problem in the new place. Also, maa and papa’s room should have a garden view so that they can have a pleasant morning each day, papa loves a natural view, said Pari. “Ashmita suggested keeping the furniture simple but gadgets handy as Mr and Mrs Sen were old and couldn’t perform many things. Pari on the other hand recommended for a English toilet as Mr Sen suffered from back problem.
After many discussions a list was ready to be sent to the broker. Mrs Sen was on cloud nine and her happiness knew no limits. After years of service by Mr Sen for the government and moving to new quarters every three year, they were finally going to have their own home. Mrs Sen could cherish these moments for ever. After all, with each transfer, this was the only wish that grew stronger in her heart and she wanted a home more than anything else. A home where her grandchildren could play freely without worrying about the space and she could invite her friends without thinking twice how she manage so many people in the small quarters. Relatives could visit them and they were finally going to have a permanent address. A home is a happy place in one’s life. From the day we become independent, the first dream that sparkles in our eyes is having our own house. We