Incidents Short story Thought and Reason

Withdrawal symptoms – a housewife’s confession

Today was the day. I was a slave, about to be freed. My husband had an inkling, but didn’t know how rapidly the last six months had devoured me. I had started doing it once a week, when loneliness was my sole companion. It gave me a ‘high’ – it liberated me. Slowly, the frequency increased to once a day, sometimes twice, and sometimes all day long, only to feel terribly tired and sick by night, when the family returned home! But I had heard it wasn’t good for me or for us. I was visibly gaining weight, developing dark circles under my eyes, and looking haggardly. I finally resolved – to break free – to abstain for a day (to begin with).

Today was the day. The first hour was a breeze. I didn’t even think about it. The second hour was very busy with mundane morning chores – cooking, cleaning, etc. I was doing better than I expected. So I thought. It started by mid-day. The withdrawal symptoms. I started getting restless. I stretched out on the old sofa and switched TV channels like a zombie. “But why is this idiot box an accepted indulgence? Is that all we housewives are allowed? Why are men never questioned?” I thought angrily. The news was boring. The TV soaps were killing! I thought I’d go for a walk, or gossip over the phone with Mummy. The health-freak that I am, I chose option 2, but at the end of it, I was actually more irritable.

Something was not alright. People watching me would have thought I was tapping my feet in tune to “Kabhi kabhi .. Aditi”, little did they know that my nervous twitch was just at its worst! My head was beginning to throb. I tried to sleep a while. The thing with Sleep is, it is a rebel. When you really need to be awake, like the night before your Financial Management exam, that’s when your droopy eyelids are too heavy, even to allow you ogle at Hritik Roshan dancing in the rain! And today when I was desperately in need of sleep, my pillow turned lumpy, sheets turned cold, and the windows clanged incessantly with the wind. I tossed and turned until I finally gave up.

I was in a terrible state. Restless, irritable and moody. My craving was overwhelming. Its only been 12 hours, I reminded myself. Then a phone call did it. My mother-in-law. “Beta, I saw your holiday pictures, very nice. Looks like you’ve put on a lot of weight. What do you do the whole day??”, she innocently asked. I snapped. Here I was, putting my career at stake for the sake of the family, and all I get in return is a questionnaire on how I spend my time! I couldn’t care less about what anybody thought about my habits or me. My husband didn’t know, atleast not yet, so I might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

So I sneaked into my bedroom, feeling guilty and excited at the same time. I opened it, touched it nervously (as if it was the first time!), caressed it lovingly, deftly moved my fingers and punched something. And the screen read, “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage”.

What the ****! I do not touch the computer (my new-found love) for the longest 12 hours in my life, and broadband doesn’t work! Grrr! Anyway, tomorrow’s another day. I’ll try again. The Internet I mean, not the abstinence.

(Today was the day I had decided to abstain from the Internet. And here I am, typing out this post for you! Three cheers to the Internet, the housewife’s window to the world :-))