Sukriti looked out of the window at the lush garden. It was incredibly beautiful. The Champa flowers were in full bloom around the lovely lush lawn. There was a Flame-of-the-Forest bursting with its plush red offerings. The garden looked like a little haven of peace. It was all due to the efforts of this one sweet lady, Sukriti thought with admiration for her mother-in-law. Rehan’s father had passed away when he had been in college and his mother had brought him up all by herself. There was a lovely bond between the two of them.
She hummed to herself as she skipped down the corridor. It was her first day at her mother-in-law’s place. She and Rehan had gotten married a month ago in Bangalore. Rehan’s mother had come to attend the wedding all the way from Lucknow. Supervising the arrangements for the wedding and the guests, she had seen to it that there wasn’t a single wrong note in the whole ceremony. While leaving she had extracted a promise from Rehan and Sukriti that to come and stay with her in Lucknow for a month. So here they were.
Her mom-in-law was in the kitchen. “Good morning, Sukriti.” She smiled at her new daughter-in-law looking up from the griddle. ”I’m glad you’re early. I have started making the parathas for breakfast. Would you like one? This is your first day at your in-laws’ place after all. Let me pamper you.”
This was incredible. A mother-in-law who was really a mother! Sukriti could not wait to share the news of this amazing piece of luck with her parents. They had not been very happy with her marriage to Rehan. ”This is his second marriage.” they had said, as they voiced their dissent, “Besides, the age gap of eight years is a little too much, we think.” Sukriti had held her own and finally persuaded them that Rehan was a good match for her.
She looked up from the half-demolished plate of parathas and her face broke into an unbelieving smile. “They are the best, mom! I can’t believe you made them just for me!” Her mother-in-law smiled proudly. “Thank you, beta. How can I not shower a little extra love on my son’s newly wedded wife? I want us to bond. We are going to be even closer than I was with Maya.” “His first wife?” Sukriti asked. “I was distraught when we lost her.” reminisced Shashi, “You remind me so much of her. She loved these parathas. I’ll make them especially for you every day as I did for her.”
Sukriti’s eyes misted over, “I am so lucky to have you for my mom-in-law!” Shashi smiled at her brand new daughter-in-law, “Now enjoy my special parathas.” she beamed, as she turned around and quickly put the lid on the tiny bottle of arsenic she used to spice her special daughter-in-law parathas. ”Bon appetit, my dear.”