Rekha’s elder sister Rema is visiting us with her seven year old son. If I weren’t a good human being, I would have created a big scene.
Rema is the one who is married to the better of the two son-in-laws. Sudhir Nambiar is tall, fair, handsome….with a nice thick mustache that makes up for a complete Keralite bridegroom.
No wonder my father in law Mr Chandrashekaran told Rekha (when she first told him that she loved me and wanted to get married to me): “Rajan is short, dark, ugly…why couldn’t you find somebody like Sudhir to fall in love with?”
I don’t think Ouchmytoe.com is the right platform to share that between the two sisters….it is Rekha that loses. Rema is prettier, has curly hair that looks so good on Malayali girls, still maintains a sub-30 size, and is a lawyer by profession. In turn, Rekha after the whole of last month on the treadmill has only just managed to break into the sub-40 waist size.
Anyway, as you are all aware my in-laws have been staying with us for the last couple of months. So, when Rema decided to visit India…. one half of her India vacation had to be here in Gurgaon with us.
The day Rekha knew that her elder sister was visiting, she brought out her finest cutlery, took out her best bed-sheets, replaced the almost-invisible bathing soaps in the washrooms, and also started using washing powder to wash our clothes. As for me, she forced me to use the winter cream saying, it made me look younger. She also gifted me a L’Oreal Go 360 Clean Deep Facial Cleanser and said: “This will not make you like Sudhir, but it will take you closer.”
On the day Rema had to be picked up at the airport, Rekha said: “Are you coming?”
“Remember, I told you my sister Rema is coming today?” She looked at me enquiringly.
“Ahhh! I forgot. Is it as big as forgetting an anniversary? I hope not.”
“Don’t duck the question. What plans to pick her up?” She continued her enquiring look.
I sometimes feel whether women have trouble changing their expressions…look at Sushmita Sen for example…when she won the Miss Universe title…she kept that surprised look for weeks.
“I was thinking of SMS-ing her the driver’s number, and she can call him the moment she gets down from her plane.”
“That’s a bad idea. Remember, being her younger sister, I grew up wearing her clothes….so I owe her better. I am going, and I want you to come with me.” Needless to say, she continued her enquiring look.
In marriage, like in international diplomacy, one resorts to the past to settle disputes. I dug deep into the past and came up with a gem of the response which put off Rekha.
“But Rekha, when my mother was coming to Gurgaon two years back…you refused to come with me to pick her up. Though I didn’t grow up wearing my mother’s clothes….I still had to go and pick her up. But back then, you said why have two where one could do the job.”
Anyway, as planned Rekha picked up Rema and her son Anupam (another tall, fair and handsome chap….only without the mustache) and ended up at our home.
As luck would have it, that day I got busy at office and reached home at 8.00 p.m..
“You came late on purpose, didn’t you?” Rekha asked me once we were alone.
“Rema’s coming to our house doesn’t excite you, right? Why else would suddenly you get late at office?”
“No no…seriously, I am excited. In fact I am looking forward to lots of interesting conversations on climate change, Carbon footprints, oil price hike, rising prices of onions and ex Kerala Chief Minister Karunakaran’s death.”
“You seem too excited? This isn’t good…she is my sister…remember that.”
Rekha confused me with her response, but I was used to it.
Two days went by without any untoward incident – well, if I can avoid calling that dropping-of-hot-milk-on-my-feet-by-Anupam incident as untoward.
On the third day morning, Rekha accosted me while I was leaving for office.
With our house full of Rekha’s relatives…she was having trouble having private conversations with me. She had to catch me alone to mention romantic sentences like “Can you drop the cheque at HSBC today?” “Pls don’t forget to call the electrician today” or “Did you remind those guys about Rhea’s passport?”
After romantically requesting me to call the computer hardware guy who will solve our printer issue, she asked me: “Why do you stay aloof? My sister is not a monster.”
“Why? I really like your sister. Seriously.”
“Yes, I find her to be prettier than you. I also feel if we had met before she got married to Sudhir Nambiar, we would have hit it off well.”
“Hmmm….” That’s all Rekha could manage. I could see her thinking really hard. And then she asked me: “So, what do you like most about my sister?”
“I like her curly hair. She looks gorgeous in them.” I replied and looked away…seeing if the lift had arrived at the 10th floor.
It has been two days since this discussion, and Rekha doesn’t bother me about her sister anymore. In fact, she didn’t even ask me to come along when she left to drop Rema today morning at the airport.
She only said: “I am going to drop my sister. Will be late, have a few more places to visit.”
I am guessing that after dropping her sister Rema and Anupam at the airport, she would be visiting a beautician – to curl her hair perhaps.