I have spent quite a few years at my current accommodation. A few steps down the lane, there is a small set up of one of the oldest couple (for their age) I came across. The wife would collect the clothes to be ironed from the neighborhood and the husband would iron the clothes. Sometimes vice-verse. The lady once told me the name of the place in Delhi where they lived with their family. It was quite far from the area that I live in, 2 hours approximately by bus. I often wondered why they traveled such a long distance just to iron clothes of 8-10 households. I could never find the reason.
Anyway, the reason of this post is not this. I just wanted to share about this couple who must be in their 80s, commuting for 4 hours everyday on an average, the money they must have earned wasn’t too great but enough for the two of them, who were still together and who still cared for each other. I sometimes speculated if theirs was a love marriage or an arranged one. The lady seemed the pampered one, a brat and often was too straight forward in conversation that it would surprise one. She talked a lot, while the man was quite shy and spoke less. They were seen sharing a beedi many a times. The sight was rather amusing; they looked less like husband and wife, and more like partners in crime.
They stopped working a few months back and their son took over. Got to know that the husband wasn’t keeping well and hence, they were advised to stay at home during harsh winters. Their son came to work after a week or so. My maid often handed over the bundle of our to-be-ironed clothes to him and hence knew him. This afternoon she told me that while generally inquiring about his absence he shared that his mother passed away. The news made me recall this couple and this lady who was quite bold for her era. May her soul find peace and her husband, the strength to survive in her absence. Amen!