Rahul and Ramya were good friends from high school. They studied in different colleges, chose different careers still their, friendship continued. Their parents knew about their friendship and were always supportive. When, there relatives commented on their friendship, they just ignored. Rahul and Ramya , won the first prize in an inter school quiz competition, when they were in tenth standard. It was a big trophy. They decided from that date the trophy would be for six months, with Rahul and the next six months with Ramya. This ritual continued even in their college days and even after Ramya got married. Ramya got married to a very handsome, intelligent Vivek. Vivek didn’t have any problem with Rahul and Ramya’s friendship. Still, both of them couldn’t meet each other more than twice in a year to exchange their trophy.

Ramya was blessed with a baby boy, Ravik, 8 months back. Rahul married Latha, 1 year back. Now, Latha was 5 months pregnant and Rahul was joyed. Whenever they met once in 6 months, they poured all their, views and feelings. Never had they felt the gap of those 6 months in their lives.

Today was the day for Rahul to take his trophy and Ramya was waiting for him to come and pick up. Rahul came tired and late from office. He seemed disturbed too.

Ramya didn’t fire Rahul with questions. She knew, he will take time to say things. So she prepared his favorite chocolate milk shake as Rahul started playing with her son.

Vivek was away in his office for a meeting.

Rahul, was playing with Ravik, when his phone rang.

Rahul stared the phone for a moment and lifted with a sigh. He started speaking and Ramya understood immediately, it is Lakshmi aunty, on the other side, Rahul’s mother. He was her only son.

Lakshmi aunty must be speaking something for a long time and Rahul was simply nodding his head and kept the phone after 10 minutes. As Rahul was heading home in an hour, Ramya didn’t understand why she was particular to speak to him before, he came home.

Ramya, casually started, how is Latha and Lakshmi aunty. He gave a sigh and slowly opened up. Rahul started speaking, “you know my mom, and she is cleanliness freak. She really works nonstop keeping the home clean and taking care of everything. Latha has to manage office and home. Latha said before marriage to me that she wants to work and give her entire salary to her parents to take care of them. I and my family didn’t have any problem with that. Now as she works, she does her part of home chores, but not as perfectly as my mom. Now, she is pregnant too and she is not able to do. If she says to my mom, she says, I worked triple when, I was pregnant. If I support Latha, my mom gets upset and if I support my mom Latha gets upset. This has become a daily drama in my home. I am not really sure, how to deal with this.

When my mom is not around, I clean the room so that mom thinks it is Latha who cleans the room. I don’t know what else to do. She now called me up to say, Latha answered her back, on some trivial issue and wants me to scold her. I feel Latha should not have answered her like that.

I will go and speak to her.”

Ramya kept quiet, for some time and she spoke, “Do you know Rahul, when a women is pregnant, from the 5th month,  the child listens everything that is said to the mother .Spend quality time with your wife and child”.

In her heart, she knew, Lakshmi aunty was feeling insecure about her son and she has a fear of losing him. Keeping the home clean was a petty issue and about Lakshmi aunt, she is a wonderful and loving woman. She was behaving like this as she was feeling insecure about him. Soon, this will pass. She knew all this and understood that Rahul also knows this in his heart. He just didn’t want to see his mother hurt.

Rahul took the trophy and left Ramya’s house.

Latha had overheard Lakshmi aunty speaking with Rahul in phone. She was not scared anymore. If, Rahul, would advice her something on this matter, she was ready to give him a sharp reply . She was sick of the insecurity feelings of her mother-in-law.

When Rahul came home, both women were quiet. They were waiting for a storm. He simply freshened up. Ate his dinner and was about retire for the night. Lakshmi called him in her bedroom and said him,” Go and speak with your wife. Tell her not to answer me back”.

He said, “Yes, tonight I will speak”. Lakshmi was happy.

Rahul entered the bedroom, and Latha was expecting him to speak something about his mother.

Instead, Rahul came close to Latha and slowly touched her tummy. He started to speak to his baby by touching her tummy, which he never did before. He said,”Latha, you have to take care of yourself and our baby”. Latha didn’t understand what was happening. Rahul was caring but never showed it. She got used to it and this act, filled her eyes with tears. She decided, whatever his mother will say, she will not revert back as Lakshmi aunty was insecure about Rahul, otherwise she was a golden lady. If only she could treat her as a Child, nothing would hurt.

As she was about to say something, Rahul said,” I forgot my trophy in the car” and went running to bring it back and kept in his bedroom. Latha understood, he met Ramya. Relief swept through her. She understood it was Ramya’s advice. Her introvert husband gives a lot of respect to Ramya’s words. She thanked God that, her husband had a wonderful girlfriend who was neither his wife nor mother and gave him a third person’s simple advice to complicated problems of home.

She hoped her child if it is a boy gets a good girlfriend like Ramya and if it is a girl be a good girlfriend to someone else, as everyone needs a girlfriend / boyfriend to discuss things, other than their family members.

Latha felt, Rahul was lucky to have Ramya in his life. She decided to be the same to her male friends, who she lost in touch.

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