Shaku’s last dream of 2012
The last dream of this past year came to me on the early hours of December 31st, 2012.
The sorted clothes filled two baskets, and a third held the bed-linen I had just taken off my bed.
I grabbed a basket of clothes and approached the laundry room which is on our first floor. From the corner of my eyes I saw Raj walk by carrying the second basket and go towards the basement.
“What are you doing?”I hear myself ask.
“I am helping you with the laundry. You don’t have to do it all by yourself.” He answers.
He proceeds to the basement steps, (apparently we have a duplicate set of washer and dryer in the basement,) and soon I hear the washer running.
I sat up in bed, wide awake. What just happened?
It hit me that after a hectic week of holiday get-togethers, and Christmas celebrations, my laundry had piled up and it was the first item on my to-do list.
Raj doing laundry? But, he is not really here.
In the sixties, when we lived in the hospital apartment we washed our clothes in the nearby Laundromat. It was a weekend ritual that Raj, me, our friends Padma and Shanmugham rolled our wire-basket laundry cart, and two strollers holding our daughter Devi, and their son Kannan, and walked a block and a half to the Laundromat. Once we were there, we took turns, one of us watching the two little ones, the others loading the washers, and then transferring the clothes to the driers. We sat on the park benches by the sidewalks, eating Jay’s potato chips, drinking Pepsi and talking about future plans when we would have our own washing machines. In summer, ice cream cones replaced the potato chips.
There is more to the story.
Shanmugham was going to be a Surgeon. He already signed up to assist in any surgery going on at the hospital, and hence on more than half our laundry dates, he got paged and left the chores for the remaining three adults to handle.
Maybe being young and carefree, maybe being true friends bonded together only by love for each other, I do not remember any one of us complaining about him deserting us. Raj, Padma and I just completed the task at hand and returned to our apartments. Living in apartments across the same hall, we helped each other put away all the clean clothes. I remember Raj always cleaned the children’s faces, changed their clothes and got their bottles before we put them down for naps.
Then we sat down to watch our favorite TV programs on our black and white television set.
My last dream of last year has effectively taken me back to 1965 and 1966.
I am certain Raj is assuring me I won’t ever be alone.