The bell rang at 10 am, the markets had opened. The stock price had been depreciating for the past few days and the company was registering a loss of 10% in its quarterly earnings. These were tough times for Vaibhavi, having been elected as the head of the bank in its most turbulent period.
“I don’t know what we are gonna do Ashish” She told her husband who was standing by the stove making aloo parathas for her. “The markets are sour, we may plunge into bankruptcy one of these days.”
“Don’t worry, you’re gonna be fine. Eat your breakfast or you will be late again” Ashish said as he switched off the television.
“Arre, today is an important day. The government has announced some reformatory policies that would help increase our stock prices”
“Oho baba, All you talk about is money, Don’t you get tired of it”
The parantha had burnt a little from the edge. “Ashish, this is burnt”
“It won’t matter when it goes into your stomach” He said nudging at her waist
“Ouch! You are so mean Ashish Mehta” Vaibhavi said with mock anger
“Mornings are to relax” Ashish said as he switched off the TV again. “Sit back and enjoy your breakfast”
He put a cassette in the tape recorder and pressed the play button. The first song that played was Begum Akhtar’s Aaj Jane ki zid na karo.
“Why do you still keep this radio Ashish, they have even stopped producing cassettes nowadays”
Ashish chortled as he was was cutting onion rings.
“What” said Vaibhavi. “Nothing” Ashish said.
“Arre tell na baba” said Vaibhavi.
“You remember that time in college when both of us would sneak into corridors and sing songs all day. We haven’t really laughed since Jiya died”
It had been three months since Jiya died, Vaibhavi had kept herself busy so as to not think about her only daughter’s death
“Wha.. no.. We do laugh Ashish, what are you talking about” her voice breaking into a crackle
Vaibhavi had busied herself with her work when Jiya had died. She talked to Ashish everyday as if Jiya was still alive and busy playing with her toys in her room. Every day she would visit her room in the morning to wake her up from school, only to find the beddings still in place and beneath it was Jiya’s doll. She had bought Jiya the doll on her 10th birthday. She hated the doll now, it was the only thing that saw Jiya swing in the air and had the audacity to watch her till her eyeballs had popped out.
“You would have to accept the fact that Jiya’s dead”
Vaibhavi switched on the television again. “I’m full” Vaibhavi said.