Marriage is a great institution. I mean, really. I have huge respect for it. While I got to agree that the driving institute where I learnt my driving does give a tight fight…the institution of marriage comes a definite first.
I will do anything to keep my, my wife’s and people’s faith in this institution called marriage. Even lie to my wife.
You perhaps just let out a gasp: “Lie to wife?” If you did…you are probably a woman. Or an unmarried man. If you just let out a smirk, and uttered: “Don’t we all?,” you are the scheming, plotting husband who doesn’t need a lesson in safe-guarding the institution of marriage.
But you know…really, I am not to be blamed. What is a self-respecting, handsome, 35-year-old man expected to do when he is surprised at 10.30 pm with a question such as: “If I die, will you re-marry?”
Let me break it up for you.
Last Sunday….after trying our best for an hour, we finally managed to make our daughter sleep at 9.30 pm. She yielded to the Mayawati-aunty-will-come-and-take-you-away threat. Just in case you didn’t know…all that Gabbar jazz doesn’t work anymore.
From 9.30 pm to 9.45 pm, we lay in bed, in a dark room, facing the ceiling…and to top it all our daughter slept like Jesus (arms extended) in between. It was a battle of the sexes. Finally, I had to speak up. I asked: “”Slept?
“Nope!” Rekha said. My wife doesn’t generally speak loudly….but when its night, and the room is dark…her voice can sometimes ring in the ears for up to 90 seconds.
After 90 seconds, I uttered: “Hmmm…”
“What hmmm…?” That was Rekha again.
Can somebody tell me…why is it that only the man should initiate? Why not the woman?
Since now the onus of replying to Rekha’s question “What hmmm…?” was on me, I replied: “Simply hmmm…”
Rekha quickly responded: “Better be simply hmmm…”
Another 5 minutes of silence followed. If you thought waiting outside a public toilet to take a dump, when somebody was inside is torture….let me tell you, waiting for the right moment when you are lying down in bed with your wife is a bigger torture. In the former you know the guy inside is going to come out sometime or the other….but in my case…there was this good chance that Rekha would sleep off.
After five minutes, I said: “Very silent huh?”
“Obviously. Its 10.15 pm and everybody is trying to sleep.”
“You are also trying to sleep?” I expressed my shock.
“Obviously. Tomorrow is Monday, and we need to start early.”
“Hmm…I was thinking, maybe we can play some golf?” I don’t know if I have told you earlier, but we Rajans are very persistent. We don’t give up till we get what we want.
“Rajan, I am too tired. BTW, what do you plan to do with your iPhone once you buy HTC Desire HD?”
“Well, I was planning to give it to my mother. She has been wanting to change her mobile.”
Considering the situation, it was the wrong answer. I should have said: “You can use it if you want.” But I had already spoken to my mother and told her that I would be passing on the iPhone to her.
“iPhone for a 55 year old lady? What if I take it and we give the mobile I am using to you mother?”
I wasn’t new to this. Many a times, just before tee-off time Rekha had asked for what she wanted and got it. This was no different.
I knew I couldn’t live without Golf, but my mother could manage without an iPhone.
“So, Golf now?” I asked confidently.
“One more thing…if I die, will you marry somebody else?”
In the dark, I could see Rekha turning towards me…trying to catch my expressions. I tried to hold back a smile…but couldn’t….so turned the other way.
“No Rekha. How can I even think of sharing my life with another woman?”
I don’t know if Rekha knows that these are all lies, and a lot will depend on the circumstances. I don’t know if she actually saw me smile, and ignored it for good. I don’t know why she even asks such questions. But the fact is, she forces me to lie, while lying down.
I wouldn’t go into the details of the excellent Golfing session. But at about 12 midnight, while staring at the ceiling in a dark room, I said: “Actually Rekha…I have been thinking. I don’t really know what I will do if you are no longer there. A lot will depend on the circumstances.”
There was no response. It has been a week now, and there have been no repercussions…so I would guess, she had slept by the time I decided to tell her the truth.