Mr Vohra was the Chief Executive Officer of a big company. He worked long hours and was extremely dedicated to his work. On his table was a picture of his beautiful wife. He was obviously very much in love with her. His Secretary, Kavita was a pretty young girl who looked up to him with respect and awe. Mr Vohra or ‘The Boss’ as he was usually referred to, had a habit of telling Kavita, to run the oddest of household errands for him. He asked her last week to pick up his daughter from school and drop her home, while he was out for a day. One day he asked her to go to the departmental store and buy hairpins, nail polish remover and hair conditioner for his wife.
Strangely, the daily shopping for vegetables, fruits and grocery was done by Mr Vohra himself. Kavita would, often notice that the rear seat of the boss’s car was full of household stuff that had obviously been bought on his way to work. Sometimes he would hurry out early saying that he had to do some errands for his wife. Kavita thought, ‘What a lazy woman, Mrs Vohra must be. She’s definitely spoilt rotten by her doting husband. A small quote in the newspaper caught her eye, it said: ‘A successful man is one who can earn more than his wife can spend. And a successful woman is one who can find such a man!!’ She glanced at the picture on the table on thought, ‘Lucky Woman!’ she thought. She looked at her own simple white dress and the lovely lace outfit that adorned Mrs Vohra’s bosom. She looked at the diamond solitaires sparkling in her ears and sadly touched the oxidized silver studs in her own ears. She looked enviously at that flawless complexion toned by the choicest of skin care products and compared it with her own suntanned, freckled face. The lovely curls in the picture put Kavita’s severely secured bun to shame. She wished she could be half as lucky as Mrs Vohra.
One day Mrs Vohra called up at the office. Mr Vohra was away to a site where his cell phone was out of reach so she asked to speak to Kavita. She said, “Kavita, would you ask him to call back, it’s rather urgent.” Kavita said, “Ma’am I’m afraid he’s not going to be back until evening, is there something I can do for you?” Mrs Vohra said, “Oh no! Thank you Kavita, it’s just that I needed to go to the dentist. I have a terrible toothache. But its okay, I’ll just take a painkiller. Do ask him to call as soon as he gets back.” “I’ll do that Ma’am, take care”, said Kavita. Two hours later, there was still no sign of the boss. Kavita picked up her car keys and guided by her inner voice, drove straight to Mr Vohra’s house.
The door was slightly ajar. It was a beautiful house and seemed to be very well kept. But there was no one in sight. Just, then she heard a voice calling out, “Vinayak are you home? I’m in the back lobby, I’ve been waiting for you, come in!” Kavita followed the voice, find Mrs Vohra’s in there. But it was not her beautiful face that took Kavita’s breath away; it was her chair! She was seated on a wheelchair, her legs covered with a cotton drape. Kavita was dumbfounded. Mrs Vohra looked zapped and asked, “Who are you? How did you come in?” Kavita spoke in a voice that was barely available, “I’m Kavita. The door was open, I just walked in. I came to ask you if you would like me to take you to the dentist, Mr Vohra was not back as yet.” She spoke in one breath, but she could not get her eyes off those legs. “That’s very sweet of you Kavita, but I’m afraid only Vinayak can take me, for it wouldn’t be possible for you to lift me out of this chair and fold my wheelchair to fit into the boot of your car. I’ll just have to wait for him to come back. Why don’t you have a cup of coffee with me?” Kavita was too dazed to say anything except, “OK”.
As the two ladies sat down to coffee, Mrs Vohra started talking. “…. It’s been ten years now since we were married. After a year of our wedding we had a car accident. I had just delivered our daughter. I was paralysed waist downwards. Vinayak suffered a shoulder dislocation that healed in a couple of months. Our daughter was at my mother’s home at that time. Since then, I have been confined to his wheel chair. But, Vinayak is like the ‘Rock of Gibraltar’ in my life. He is everything to me. I live for him. But for him, I would have gone insane. He has brought up our daughter. He has been both father and mother to her in many ways. There is not much that I can do for him. But there is nothing that he doesn’t do for me. I am blessed to have him. I love him…” Tears sparkled in her eyes as she said it. “I love you too,” said a soft voice from the doorway. Vinayak’s entry had gone unnoticed by both the ladies. “I am blessed to have you too, darling.”
It was time for Kavita to make her exit. She said good bye to the couple. She no longer envied Mrs Vohra’s diamonds or her complexion. She said a silent prayer, “Dear God, May they continue to love each other, always.” Yes, there are drawbacks in each one of us. But true happiness lies in accepting each other. Adjustment is not changing oneself for the other person, adjustment is accepting the other person as he or she is.