Nayana walked towards the door a little slowly, The floor was still wet as it was mopped a few minutes ago. It was Nandu, her husband. Today was his last day at work, He got his retirement from his job. He also had a box of gifts with him that his colleagues had gifted him. She picked up his bag and the box and placed it near the window.
Be careful, The floor is wet she said.
Hmm, replied Nandu.
The conversation ended and both were on their own now, Nayana got busy preparing tea and snacks for the evening and Nandu was changing clothes and went to take a bath and freshened up.
It was a Summer evening at 7:30 PM while the sun was still bright and the temperature was dipping slowly. They both sat on a cot outside their house in the veranda.
Nandu was looking extra tired today and Nayana noticed it, He was eating the snacks slowly and sipping tea with longer gaps than usual. Nayana asked the reason. It could be the handover of work to a new person, she guessed,
but instead asked directly, Are you ok ji ?
Nothing, Just asked because you appear very tired today. She said.
Why did you say so? Asked Nandu.
Look at the speed you are eating, it feels you are unwell !
What’s the rush now? He replied.
With confused looks, Nayana stared into Nandu’s eyes.
I got my retirement today, remember!
So! She had the exclamation on her face.
So, it means I want to relax every coming day and not rush at all.
Aree Haa! She replied with some excitement and remembered about the box Nandu handed over to her while entering the house.
So you are a free bird from today she added.
Hmm, And he continued sipping the tea.
After the snacks were done, Nayana gathered the crockery and the dishes and arranged in a fashion so she can take them all in one go and rushed towards the kitchen.
Nayana! Shouted Nandu from the veranda while she was in the kitchen already.
What is it? I was here just a moment ago! She came back with a small kitchen towel in her hand.
Let’s go to a restaurant today, we will eat outside.
But she said they can do it tomorrow as she had already done preparations for the dinner today.
Disappointed, but with a smile Nandu said, we will go tomorrow no problem.
Nandu, closed his eyes and was thinking about how the day passed and how excited was he to enjoy his holiday life. Being a smart banker he had saved enough for their retirement and pension. He knew finance was the support they would need to stand strong without work.
The dreaming kept him busy, while Nayana was preparing dinner.
It was 9PM, Both were at the dinner table and Nandu was sharing how the day passed and what his colleagues had to say about him and his life at work.
Nayana listened with utmost attention and smiled each time she saw Nandu’s face lightened up with his smile. After dinner, while Nayana was still busy wrapping up the kitchen chores, Nandu realized that he was retired from his job, but Nayana hadn’t. The Rush was over for him but Nayana was still stuck with the chores of life and family. So he had to change it.
There were no plans in his mind, but he wanted to change it.
Nayana was in the bed at around 10PM, tired from the days work and set an alarm for 6:30 AM.
I LOVE YOU! Nandu said.
Hmmm! He heard the reply, within minutes, he heard snoring as well.
Surprised Nandu, couldn’t believe the cold reply because I LOVE YOU or Good Night weren’t the usual words he spoke at the Bedtime, instead on some days, Nandu slept before Nayana.
7:30 ? Nayana woke up with a jerk and didn’t know why the alarm didn’t work?
She found Nandu still sleeping, and rushed to the kitchen with half closed eyes and started preparing the tea for both of them. The noise woke Nandu up and he too looked at the clock and jumped from the bed, Straight to the bathroom, almost undressed he realized that there was no need to rush and he came out.
Nayana, after many years had seen Nandu in UGs. She didn’t react for the first few seconds and bursted into laughter after that.
Why are you not dressed? she asked
I forgot, that I have retired came the reply and as soon as I realized I came out.
Ok! Get back in now and take a shower, I will set the table for tea and breakfast. There is retirement from job, thought Nandu. But what can he do to retire from a schedule ? With Nayana ?
There were million of ideas in his mind, life is short he said, and shorter now after retirement. Let’s trek one more time he decided.
While at the breakfast table he told Nayana, we are going on a trek in 3 months. Let’s forget the chorus of our lives and workout.
Always enthusiastic about trek, Nayana said, we were young when we used to do a trek a year. It’s too late for us to start it again. She made Nandu thinking and disappointed.
But, she got of the chair and wrapped her hands around Nandu’s shoulder and said. What’s the rush? Let’s start slowly, we will be through in about 4-5months and Nandu kissed her hands with a smile.
4 months later they again went to Roopkund, where their journey started.