Believe it or not, this is quite a ritual. It is not as easy as picking up the phone and calling them over for lunch. I wanted to call a NCC mate of mine home and this is what happened.
“Rekha we need to call Derek Lesley home,” I said casually even as I changed the channel from AsiaNet to Sun TV. Rekha being a Malayali always watches AsiaNet, while I being a Tamilian stick to Sun TV.Â
“If you can change the channel back to AsiaNet, we can talk.”
Needless to say, I changed the channel. Sometimes, having the remote control alone doesn`t entitle you privileges.Â
“And you were saying?”
“I was saying that we need to invite Derek Lesley home for lunch one day.”
“Derek Lesley.” I said trying to sound normal.
I get really angry when my wife starts behaving like my boss. It happens so often in my house that I checked if the word ‘boss` is a synonym of the word ‘wife`. Apparently it is not. According to Microsoft Word, the only synonyms of the word ‘wife` are: companion, consort, spouse, partner and husband. Yes, ‘Husband` is a synonym for ‘Wife` and vice-versa. Don`t ask me why.
“Who is Derek Lesley? I have never heard of him before.”
“He is my friend from NCC. He was from Loyola College and I from The American College and we would meet at various camps.”
“How come you have never said anything about him before?” Rekha had her eyebrows raised.
I felt as if I had killed a model in a bar in New Delhi and was now sitting in front of the police interrogator. If you are married, you probably understand what I mean.
“Well, we lost touch after college and we met at Spencers Plaza last week. That was after almost 12-13 years.”
“You never mentioned meeting him during our talk.”
“Yes, I didn`t. I realize it was a big mistake.” Purists call it stooping to conquer.
“And when and why did you go to Spencers?”
“I know last week…but when? Which day? You never told me that.”Â
“I agree that`s my second mistake of the day.” Purists call it stooping twice to have the last laugh.Â
“Hope you haven`t told him already about this invite?” I didn`t tell Rekha that marriage had taught me many things and the most important being…never to commit.
“No…I didn`t. He just got married and I thought it would be a swell idea to call the couple home.”
“Let me think. I will get back to you in a day`s time. While you are at it, why don`t you increase the volume…this is the Mohan Lal movie which won him the National award.”
I imagined the remote to be a pistol, and imagined the TV to be my wife and fired two rounds…
“That should be fine,” said Rekha as she settled into her bean bag.