Mr. Kumar has been in the employment of the state government administration for more than twenty-five years and as far back as he could remember his life revolved around this office and the same chair for all these years. He had become the executive officer partly due to the length of service but largely due to the cajoling and pestering of his wife who had motivated him to sit for the departmental examinations from time to time. His wife brought out the awareness in him that he has to upgrade himself by way of the improvement in his social status. She also told him that man’s official designations and standing in life do play an important role in bringing up the family standards. Their living that had been an uphill task in the beginning of their marital life was gradually getting more comfortable. He remembered the time when his newlywed bride had entered his life in one room dwelling of government quarters .The sparse furniture in the room indicated that it was barely enough to be called either bedroom or a living room. The home they lived in now in contrast presented much elegant picture .His wife had very tastefully done up the place to suit the middle class taste. The three-piece sofa, a few pieces of pseudo art objects picked up from a second hand art objects dealer decorated the corners of the living room quite elegantly. The hand paintings done up by his daughter Koena, added grace and charm to the room. Kumar was comparatively satisfied with his life at this stage of his career. He did not however want his two kids to get through the rigmaroles and vicissitudes of life like he had gone through. Without being overtly overambitious he wanted both of them to settle down well in life and had strong belief that God almighty will certainly provide them with the better opportunities in life; after all his wife would not let any opportunity on the day of fasting go away lest the gods that she worshipped be angry with lesser of the mortals that carried the name of her family. She would often find enough reasons to appease all kind of benevolent gods. She was insistent on all family members adhering to the ritual of keeping a fast on the auspicious days to appease the gods of all kinds. “If you want to worship any of the gods you must be open about it and let this also is shown in the way you lead your life. Only then the gods will understand that we mortals are their real followers and they will bless us. ” she had often advised her children. Mr. Kumar heard the door bell ringing,” it must be my wife .She must be back from the school,” thought Kumar. Mrs. Kumar Koena’s mother had been teaching in the neighborhood school. She had often used a logic here too while justifying her working to the women in the neighborhood majority of whom were by choice housewives only “I go to teach in a government school and remain away long hours from the home; so that our own children are sent to public schools. At least we can provide for their fee for higher education”. “It was a matter of a couple of years more. Once his daughter finishes her education, she will become the support of her younger brother,” Kumar mused often. The sound of the door bell was heard again, “it is you my dear daughter Koena. How was your visit to the university? Could I have a look at the prospectus”? Kumar was too excited, “Could we decide on the stream you want to study”. “I think it will be better if we discuss this along with your mother so that we can confer and deliberate and then decide.” “I wish she is home early today I am getting pangs of hunger in my stomach”. She felt quite famished and wanted to eat some light refreshment with the evening tea. That of course will be served only when her mother returns, as it was a ritual to relish evening tea together by the entire family. The dinner and supper however was served to each family member separately. It will always be his father who would eat first as her mother relished serving him the fresh baked chapattis direct from the oven. Koena and her brother Munna liked carrying errands for him for tit bits such as fetching a glass of water or a piece of the green chilly and wonder as to why does he eat a chilly when he has to treat the bite and its sting immediately thereafter with a glass of chilled water. They mocked at him when he made funny faces with each bite of hot chilies. She and her brother sat next in the row to have the dinner in the kitchen itself. This time their mother will enjoy watching her children eat. She will show her love and affection towards them by insisting they eat one more freshly baked chapatti even after they had had a belly full of their meals. “Do you mind if I tell you to just go and have a look at yourself in the mirror girl. How thin and famished you appear. You must have been losing weight all the time due to strain and stress of studies. How will you survive young girl if you do not eat a good meal” she would often chastise Koena if she happened to decline the offer of another chapatti by her mother. Many times had Koena requested her mother that she should be allowed to manage the cooking of entire food for the family while her mother could join their father in partaking their dinner in a common plate. But her efforts have always been in vain. Her mother was too fond and doting on her family. She would often look forward to the pleasurable moment of gazing and doting at them lovingly while they ate their food. She would by habit and design prefer to be the last one to have her supper. Poor soul she had always derived greater pleasure and satisfaction from serving others. She was always ensuring none of her family members ever ate a morsel less than their stomach full. “May be all mothers of the world are always like this, the quintessence of sacrifice. These sacrifices by the mothers of this world are the reason why family systems have all through bound all kinds of denizens of the mother earth to each other of their species”, believed Koena. She was however disappointed when she did not find her mother home, which meant Koena will have to bear the pangs of hunger for a little longer. “Where is mother Papa?” Koena asked her father, she had really been disappointed when finding that her mother has still not been back from school. “She wanted me to accompany her to shopping. She herself is not back from school yet and I do not find even Munna around. Is he playing around his regular game of marbles as usual with neighbor’s kids? He does not seem to be paying much attention to his books. I must have a look at his home work given by his class teacher today and find out how he has been fairing at his school. Last week only his class in charge had given him “very poor remarks” in his math’s note book. What a shame that fellow does not understand simple additions or deletions even”. Munna, her younger sibling was six years her junior. He was a great companion to her, a best friend and yet he was the worst of her rivals also. Their vying rivalry came to the fore through the daily verbal duals and bouts. These fights between the brother and sister had become exhibition matches for the entire neighborhood around. None of her day will be spent without having a fight with him yet she always treasured her brother. She cherished his childhood pranks and little monkey business he would indulge into to either to please her or to have a genuine argument with her. She adored his self-indulgent plays with the guns and cars. He loved hugging on to her securely at night before his going to sleep. Sometimes he will just go to sleep resting in her lap even ahead of her sending him to bed. She smiled indulgently, as she recollected how serenely he sleeps in her arms. “He is such a small baby after all and needs all the love and care”. Koena remembered he was born to her mother after her mother had suffered two miscarriages and as such has been the apple of everyone’s eyes in their family. Since he was the youngest member in the family they all adored him. However this was turning him into a virtual terror, often blackmailing everyone with his tears and tantrums, every time he wanted to have some thing, some toy, a game or a gun. Still they all adored him. It is a fun to dress him up in the morning and see him off to school. “He will turn out to be a handsome young man like their father as he grows up,” thought Koena “and will exactly emerge a man with chiseled north Indian features like their father, who still looks quite dashing. Her mother’s good looking contour and lovely facial appearance complimented him so much. Oh they make such a lovely pair,” Koena crossed her fingers. Her mother had come back from school. Koena went inside the kitchen to put some water to boil on the gas stove and make some tea ready before her mother asked for it. Koena was allowed to practice her culinary talents to prepare only tea and some small snacks. “You must not waste time on petty tasks when it is time to get your self educated. Education must always come first. You should also try learning lot of other skills. There will be time enough to pick up the art of cooking later on in your life.” “So! How did you spend your day today young lady’, her mother had asked her,” I am sure our daughter will one day become a great pedagogue in the university. She will teach lot many students there”. Her mother who had not been able to make it to the university and higher education in her own life wanted to see her own innate desires fulfilled through the efforts of her daughter. Her father snorted his nose in a mock when he heard his wife speak like this. He had always wished his daughter rising to the position of a senior government officer. As he always believed that “it was the bureaucrat only who run the administration of this big country and all others of the ilk were simply running errands for them”. He had a dream that some day his progeny will reach the position; he could not achieve himself owing to circumstances. The profession of teaching was certainly not on his Carte de jour for his daughter’s future career options. Their evening hours were quite hectic as warm discussions were held on the course of higher studies that she should join now that she has passed out of her graduate school. The deliberations and pondering of the family traveled from too frayed arguments to simply cool pleadings. She could feel the heat and cold waves shifting positions in the discussions between both of her birth givers. However she kept on enjoying such pellets and firings coming out of them as it always amused her to see how they both would patch up again after their battles were over. This kind of spell of wits was normally performed at the very least once a day on a working day and may be three or four times a day if it happened to be a week end. Finally at the end of the day one of her parents had relented, agreed to the stand taken by the more aggressive partner. They had reached a compromise on Koena opting for her Masters in English literature. Although in real sense like the earlier times her mother’s will have prevailed here too. Koena really wished she could have taken a decision about this one question about her life herself; but that was not to be so. All through her life her parents took many decisions for her and she had simply abided by the same. “They will at all times think the best of everything for their children” thought Koena.