Looks are deceptive, aren’t they, thought Malathi as she pulled out a Golf club from her husband’s Golf Kit resting behind the door. The smallest club seemed to be the heaviest, she smirked. What all could it do, besides hitting a ball, she wondered ?
Kill a cockroach? Crack a skull, perhaps?
Looks are truly deceptive, she smirked again. After all, who would have imagined that her Veshti wearing, burping after every meal, napping whenever and wherever possible husband would turn into a smart trouser wearing, energetic, English speaking and Golf playing gentleman overnight?
He had now started subscribing to a famous English newspaper (‘no regional paper for me, Malathi, they write rubbish!’), had stopped eating rice (‘not good to eat rice everyday’) it seems, she rolled her eyes each time she thought of that statement and spent more money than she did on the household expenses for a month, on just a few pairs of clothes!
When she asked him how much the Golf Kit had cost him he had laughed it off, adding ‘Don’t want to give you a heart attack, Malathi’.
As if she was that weak! When she had survived the manipulations of his mother, his aunts and his sisters, what was the cost of some stupid game accessory going to do to her, she harrumphed!
As she went about her chores, she could hear his soft snores coming from the bedroom. Rain had forced him to cut short his game of Golf and return home unexpectedly.
She wasn’t prepared for him being home this early.
After being abandoned for Golf, Malathi had first sulked, and later set her own routine. As soon as her husband left for his game, Malathi whizzed through the house finishing her chores. She then called up her best friend and they both discussed everything they couldn’t discuss with others, for an hour. Then Malathi watched her favorite serials as she lunched, without any interruptions. A short nap later she was ready and refreshed to wait on her husband, who left a trail of mess and rattled off a list of demands as soon as he stepped into the house.
For the first time in her life she was doing what she wanted to and had time to herself. And it felt good.
At this unexpected change of routine, Malathi’s annoyance turned to anger.
Why didn’t her feelings ever matter? Why hadn’t her wishes mattered? Her children too didn’t care for her, and her grandchildren were following their path. All anyone ever looked forward to was her cooking. ‘Amma make this! Amma make that! Paati make me this! Malathi make that!’ That was all she was remembered and needed for.
Anger and hurt vied for the No 1 spot in her brain.
Malathi tiptoed towards her sleeping husband, Golf club in hand. He was snoring away. Should she? Shouldn’t she? She clutched tightly at the handle of the club as she felt the sweat from her palms making it slip a little.
She took a deep breath, lifted the Golf club high, and swung it down with all her might.
The skull split in two.
And Malathi picked up the twin halves of the coconut, as she brushed away the twinge of guilt for bruising the Golf club, once again.