The fact that she was chopping onions hid the fact that she was shedding tears. She had learnt to use the knife as deftly as she had learnt to adjust with things all her life. No one ever could know from her expression whether she really wanted to do it or was making another one of the compromises.
Sheela could not help being that way though, her mother had drilled it in her head from the day her marriage was fixed that she was an embodiment of her husband and has to follow his orders. At the age of twelve, she did blindly follow instructions from the boy she married. As they grew together, he did not disappoint her. He always had a set of rules and instructions to be followed.
She looked at her daughter sitting and reading a book under the light of the lamp. Her ‘teacherji’ told Sheela that, Gauri was a bright and brilliant student and at 15 was just a year away from completing her basic education. She was too young to be married like her father wished. Also, Sheela did not want Gauri to have a life like hers; she wished a better life for her daughter – A Life where she made the rules and did not mutely follow a set of instructions.
The tears were for the woman in her who was torn between being a Wife and a Mother. The tears were of helplessness. She was walking on the edge of the knife, one wrong move and all would be lost. Her tears were a silent prayer for strength to do the right thing.