The best thing about marriage is that you are never short of reasons to dive into a fight. I foresee Rekha and me being toothless, all wrinkled up like a soaked-for-two-days raisin (‘kismis` for Indian readers), and still fighting it out. The reason though escapes my mind.
So, as you would have guessed, Rekha and I had a fight. Something that I had been waiting for – how else can a blogger who lives a boring life find a topic to write on?
“Do you know Sheela has also bought her own house?” She remarked matter-of-fact.
I said, “Wow. When you next see her, please congratulate her on my behalf,” before I let out a slurp to confine the rouge noodle which was trying to escape from in between my loosely designed lips.
“She is the second friend to have bought a house this month.”
My CEO tells me that to be a good business leader, one need to rely on gut feel and numbers. “Ask for numbers and everything will fall into place,” he says.
Relying on his advice, I asked my wife: “So how many of them have bought houses since you started keeping a count?”
“Seventeen.” The short response from Rekha meant she was on guard. And willing to fight it out.
I had also learnt from my CEO that numbers don`t mean much…if you don`t know the time duration in which those numbers have been attained.
“Seventeen since?” I asked.
“Since we got married in 2004, seventeen of our close friends have bought houses.” The beauty about beauties…that`s women…is that if they have come prepared to fight you…you know it the moment they open their mouth. That`s because they always come armed to the tooth. And teeth are in the mouth. 😉
“Now I know which Sheela you talking about. She had a sister didn`t she…that pretty little thing?”
“Can we stay on the topic please?”
I had noticed this earlier. When we fought during dinner time Rekha always finished hers quickly….perhaps to concentrate on the job at hand. So, all those Hindi movies in which Sharmila Tagores, Nutans and Mumtazes got up from the dining table during a fight…without eating another morsel was hog wash?
“I could stay on the topic for ever…but you wouldn`t like me discussing Sheela`s sister.”
“Rajan, for once can you be a little serious…I was referring to the house.”
Sometimes I really pity my wife. If I really loved her, I should have walked out of her life instead of marrying her.
“Yeah…so we were on the house…so what about it. Are you saying that I never congratulate them in person?”
I couldn`t see the issue. Somebody had a bought a new house and the only thing that bothered me was….how do we now reach their new house…to ensure the surprise dinners that we imposed on our friends continued.
“Rajan, you aren`t concentrating enough. OK…let me be straight. Everybody around us is buying houses…why are you stone-walling my suggestions to buy a house?”
“Ohhh…simple. Heard of global financial crisis? Recession?”
“Yes. What about that?” This time around, my wife had done her homework.
In my ten years working with Engineers, I have realized that if you confuse the other party with lots of ‘technical` stuff, the party finally ends up asking: “So, what do you suggest?” I remember, asking this question to the Engineers after almost every meeting. In recent times, I have learnt to save time…the moment I enter the meeting, I say: “Let us save each others time and energy…what do you suggest?”
Anyway, I tried confusing Rekha but she held her own. She seemed like a well-read wife…somebody you couldn`t fool. I was glad to see the opponent do some homework before settling down for a fight….shows that your opponent considers you tough competition. (Note to self: Discontinue newspaper and Dish TV subscriptions, if you want to win arguments in future)
“Listen Rajan, this recession is an opportunity. Everything will be available at a lower price. In fact, the one skirt and two salwars that I am planning to buy this weekend will also be lower priced.”
“So you suggest we go for the kill now?” Once in a while you fake the opponent into believing that she is going to win.
“Yes…let us start looking and in two months time, when the prices are really, really low…let us consolidate our investments buy buying a house.”
“Wow…what did you say you studied? It wasn`t an MBA…or was it?”
Rekha didn`t reply. She just picked up my plate, picked up her plate, gave a pat on Rhea`s cheeks (Rhea is our daughter) and left for the kitchen. I did spot a spring in her steps….a spring that one notices in a person who has smelt victory.
We Rajans are die hards…in fact, as soon as a child is born in our family…we baptize him/her in front of a life-size Bruce Willis` photograph.
Not willing to let go easily, I shot back: “I tend to agree with you Rekha. Why don`t you re-look at our household expenses and see how we can squeeze in the monthly EMIs of Rupees thirty five thousand to fifty thousand…depending on the type of house we plan to buy.”
Being from a family that places their newly borns in front of a life-size photograph of Arnold Schwarzenegger and baptize…she agreed.
As always, I will keep you guys posted on the progress.
Screw Recession: If you are a good at your work, you won`t lose your job. If you aren`t good in your job it definitely means you weren`t in the right job…and there is something else that you do better. Explore that. As with all advices, I agree, it is easily said than done.
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