I was innocent. For I thought she loved me. I was obviously (and naturally) thinking like a man.
Rekha used to call me at least four to five times during office hours. If I include calls made to remind me to pay the phone bill, drop the Credit card cheque, or book train tickets…it would amount to about ten calls a day.
For long, I thought the amount of calls that a wife makes during office hours is directly proportional to the love she has for you. Guess, it is just the opposite.
The first call would be around 10 a.m. “So, did you reach safely?” she would ask.
“Yes. Nothing happened to my Yamaha.”
“Good,” she would say and keep the phone down.
The other calls would be timed for 11.00 a.m. (she knows that`s the time I go for coffee), 1.00 p.m. (that`s the time I go for lunch) and 3.30 p.m. (afternoon coffee).
Though not a daughter of a Army General, Rekha sure was punctual with her calls. So much so, once I got the second call of the day, I would yell at my colleague, “Hey, looks like its coffee time. Wanna come?” Guys generally like to have coffee with me. That is, if I offer to pay. Otherwise, they prefer lady colleagues. Their motto is simple; if you are not saving money…at least have some fun.
As I have already told you, I am a man quite chaste. And the innocent me never suspected any ill will in Rekha`s calls.
A few days back she calls me when I was having lunch.
“So, what you doing?” Rekha asks.
“Me? Nothing…I am just having my lunch. Why do you ask?,” I question her knowing fully well that she would not answer.
“I can hear a lady near you. Whom are you having your lunch with?”
“Hooo…that`s Pratima. A colleague.”
“Nah, but she would get married soon,” I turn an astrologer.
“So she is pretty?”
I wanted to ask her…Arre if only pretty girls get married…how did YOU get married. But such questions are best wrapped up in an aluminum foil and kept safely inside your right ventricle.
“Yeah, kind of,” I tell her.
“From tom, you shall not have lunch with her. So it took you only two months to start flirting again?”
“What flirting? I am only eating!” I exclaim. I am furious, but then gentlemen like me do not show their anger out in the open. So, I speak into my mobile lovingly: “My dear Rekha, I am only having my lunch.”
“That`s all fine. I am glad I called you. My two months of keeping a watch finally paid off”
I ask her softly. “What watch? Just two months into our marriage and you have hired detectives to tail me?”
I am sweating with anger and indignation…but I am not suffering from mad cow`s disease and hence would not reveal my anger.
“No baba I have not hired any detectives. Why do you think I was calling you so often?”
I don`t recollect how the conversation ended. But it hurt. Now she doesn`t call me that often. But knowing her, I am sure…I have a few detectives behind me. I don`t see them, but I know they are seeing me. They could be my lady colleagues too…