Sometime back I had written that after Rhea`s birth (my two year old daughter), Rekha (my God-knows how old wife) and I had started fighting for different reasons. If you missed that, you can re-read the blog post here.
So, last Friday we fought again – after 2 months.
Before leaving office at 8 p.m., I called up Rekha.
“Rekha, I will be late. I am sorry.”
“Everything fine… right? With all this recession, one can never be sure.”
“Yep. I still hold my job. Just that, I have to go out for drinks with my office top management.”
“When will you be back?”
“11 p.m., I guess. I am so sorry…wanted to be with you.”
“That`s fine. Just be careful when you drive back.”
When on a Friday evening the husband calls to say he is coming late, the husband expects some amount of sadness in the wife`s tone. But there was none. Reason for a probing question.
“What will you do till 11 p.m.?” The concerned husband in me enquired.
“Probably call up my friends after Rhea sleeps.”
I remember two men from Rekha`s life before she met me & got married.
Sridhar had studied with her in Bangalore. He had came to our marriage, got on to the stage with his gift and whispered something into my ‘brand new` wife`s ears. He looked upset and had tears in his eyes – my newly wedded wife had also stiffened after his visit. Rekha ensured I never saw what he had gifted – perhaps, the proposal ring that he had planned to give her. I would never know.
Sachin had worked with her in her first job and he had refused to come to the marriage – perhaps because he couldn`t see Rekha in all the wedding finery, getting married to somebody else. However, a week after the marriage he did call her up and say he had bought a gift for us and wanted to drop it home. However hard I tried, I couldn`t make him smile – all my jokes fell flat. Sachin left exactly 5 minutes after entering our house….and out of those five minutes was staring at Rekha for at least three minutes and forty seven seconds.
As luck turned out, he gifted us a steam iron & an ironing board. Quite a vengeful guy, I must say. All my attempts to forget him have failed…every day in the morning I use his gift to iron my clothes.
Was she speaking to these gentlemen in my absence? Should I feign an urgency at home and NOT go out for drinks on a Friday night?
Ten minutes later – two minutes to think and eight minutes to drive – I was home.
“Ohh, you came back early. Didn`t you go for your Friday night out?”
“Are you upset that I didn`t go?
“I am not upset. I was planning to call up some friends if you were going to be late…now we can watch the Delhi Daredevils vs Deccan Chargers semifinal together.”
“Who, Radhika?” This was my way of checking if she was going to call Sridhar or Sachin.
“Some other friends in Chennai.” She replied nonchalantly.
“Do I know them?”
“Nope you don`t. But why you so curious?”
There are some times in a husband-wife relationship when hiding things doesn`t help. At least, that`s what Rekha had taught me…so I blurted out.
“Why were you not upset that I was going to be late on a Friday night – and will be coming home drunk? Was it because you could then speak to Sridhar or Sachin?”
“What are you saying? Are you mad?
“They were your boyfriends, right? Till now you haven`t accepted that they were – why would some body cry in a marriage?”
This is where Indian men and Indian women differ. For a man, it is a matter of great pride to tell his wife that he had 5-6 girl friends (men always give inflated figures) before he met her and married her. A wife, will try and keep the matters under wraps for as long as possible. “He was just a friend,” she would say.
“Rajan, believe it or not…they were just friends. And I wasn`t going to call them anyway.”
Ahh…just the reply I was expecting, I told myself. I couldn`t have let Rekha`s ears hear this suspicion.
“Then, why were you not upset?” Being a wife can be handy job if you have as suspecting a husband as I am.
“Rajan, I would have created a scene if it wasn`t for the recession. Everybody is trying to put in their best, network with people, go out on drinks and do stuff they don`t like to do themselves…just to keep their job. I understand that…so I am trying to hold your family side of life…and not give you extra pressure to handle.”
I stood there for what seemed like an eternity. Age and experience has taken away the innocence from me…so even if it was for a split-second, I did wonder if she was telling me the truth.
Innocence won. I stepped forward, tried to hug and say sorry. She just pushed me and said, the food was in the refrigerator and I could have it anytime I wanted. Before I could finish my dinner, she had slept.
Next day morning, I said sorry again. Now, things are fine on the surface, but there is a cold war simmering. I have decided to never suspect my wife with either Sachin or Sridhar, again. I am going to win her back by my love – so I am taking her to Hush Puppies store at Ambience Mall, this weekend.
Note to self: If I can lay my hands on Rekha`s call records, and confirm that she speaks to Sachin and Sridhar…I know what I will do. I will steam cook the steam iron and deep fry the ironing board. What else?
Other Funny Reads
If you would like to be alerted whenever this blog gets a new funny post, just enter your email ID below.