My new portfolio

Don’t you think this past month has been a flurry of activity? I said.

What activity do you mean? asked my husband.

Well, it began with controversies of all kind, a few heads rolling in the process, soon followed by   bureaucratic transfers and well at the macro level and now at the micro level—- I said.

All this was expected, only thing is it left a few shocked and disgruntled especially among the…I could not hear what he said as the words trailed away. 

Whatever happens at the macro level doesn’t concern us but certainly it does if it comes to the micro level. Coming to think of it  what happened to your residents’ meeting today, did everything go without a hitch? asked my husband  coming straight to the point.

Well, sort of, I said.

Has there been shuffling of portfolios? What is your new portfolio, he asked.

It hasn’t changed, and I am given more responsibilities, I said.

Most of the portfolios have been retained by the residents of the colony. The Speaker was the most adamant, she didn’t wish anyone else to occupy the prestigious post, I said.

What is so prestigious about her post? 

It is not only prestigious but the easiest and the best among the rest because a speaker’s job is to speak, speak and speak. It is not difficult for someone who has been practising the art at home and outside her home. Only difference perhaps is, now she has noticed that her listeners were dwindling. I feel they too are tired of listening to her complaints against someone or the other in the neighbourhood. 

Who has been her target this time, I hope it is not you? (I could sense that my husband was trying to provoke me.)

Thank God, it’s not me but the security and the newspaper delivery boys, I said, and noticed his look of relief.

I thought the security have been doing their duty quite well giving no cause for complaints. What could she have against the newspaper delivery boys, I wonder. 

Only that she thinks they are being cordial to some among us and that they make this very obvious by their body language. She appears to be cut up with their behaviour. 

What about the other portfolios? my husband wanted to know.

The treasurer wanted a portfolio change but since no one was willing to accept her post, she was forced to continue.

The decision was, however, unanimous regarding the president and the secretary who will continue in their posts for another year or so, I guess.

You haven’t still told me yet what your additional responsibilities are , said my husband.

I head the Complaints and Redressal Cell as before and have a new portfolio thrust upon me – that of a counsellor and peace maker, see to it that all the residents are kept in good humour and peace prevails in the neighbourhood, I said, not knowing whether to feel happy or miserable about my new portfolio. 

It is all your fault, accused my husband. If you had only listened to me and taken up a full-time job, you wouldn’t have landed yourself in this mess. 

I had all along been under the impression that I was enjoying being a home maker unlike other women in the colony who were all working women. What a fool I had been, I thought, not to have paid heed to my husband’s advice and wondered why sympathy, like charity, doesn’t begin at home. 


N Meera Raghavendra Rao


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