“ ‘NO‘ isn’t just a word but a complete sentence in itself. Doesn’t need further clarification! ” – AB senior baritoned intensely on the telly.
“Uff! How many times will you see this nonsense? Can I see some news now?” Husband took the remote from my hand – grabbed more like it – and began to get high on that raucous pseudo patriotic renditioning of events by that finger-wagging news-caster. I slid down the bed, turned and began to play with my phone.
Without any preamble, the husband switched off and grabbed me. He was panting already. “No, not today, I’m extremely tired.” I tried pushing him gently but he was on the top as always. “This is an everyday story.” I went flat, both in enthusiasm and position. My eyes were wet. He thought passion made them so but only I knew the truth. The deed done in two minutes, he was snoring almost immediately like a boring machine.
I finally slept in the wee hours after liking random posts, happy-couple pics. I woke up with a murderous rage, wanting to pound someone. Husband had been up already, tending to his flower bed in our tiny balcony.
“Morning, Why do you get up so late? Now you will rush for work, leave a mess behind, get caught in the morning traffic and blame everyone else for your slothfulness. No wonder your boss doesn’t give you important tasks.”
Luckily my brain was still fogged out to get the full blast of his words.
“Don’t sulk now. I made coffee for you and told the cook to pack some sandwiches too. Don’t waste time on trying to reverse my instructions to her. Get ready fast. We are leaving in 40 minutes”
I don’t remember when I started switching off at his sermons. I walked into the kitchen to pick up my coffee.
The cook smiled at me. “Morning Didi” I grunted in return.
The coffee tasted bitter. As is usual, health-conscious-he decided that one spoon of sugar is enough, knowing fully well that I liked three. As I added sugar, the cook said, “You are very lucky Didi! Saab looks after you so well!”.
“Too well!” I muttered.
“Where are the sandwiches?” I was mild enough, taking care not show how I felt about her take on my marriage. After all, the husband needed her fawning culinary skills to keep his six-pack thriving.
I sipped the coffee as I scanned the dailies. “You are still here! Go take a bath. We are leaving in 30 minutes. Wear that red dress of yours. It brings out your black orbs very well. I will pick you up from your office at 6:30pm. We are having drinks with the Das’s.” Husband declared.
“What? I told you, we have to visit Raji’s studio! I promised her. Today is the last day of her showing.”
“We can always see her concoctions at her home. Das is my new boss and we can’t say no to him. Good for my career, good for us. Now, go rush. 25 minutes to the takeoff!”
“Why don’t you go ahead? I will take time, I need to shampoo. I will take an Uber.”
“Really! Leave the locking to you? Have you forgotten how you left the balcony door open last time and the monkey came in and wreaked havoc? Why spend on Uber when we both are going in the same direction? Why are you wasting time chitchatting? In twenty minutes, I will get the car out. You better be ready.”
A hurried bath, and a clumsy effort at getting dressed, I was finally out at the stipulated time. Husband had banged on the bathroom door restlessly 5 times by then. Thank God for my humungous tote, which gladly accepted the dry shampoo, straightener, Kajal and the works. I could spruce up at leisure in the restroom later. I packed in the red dress too.
“Why aren’t wearing the red dress I told you to? And please be more presentable than this! We are meeting my boss, not some hippy friend of yours! God knows what you do with all the designer stuff I buy you.” Husband was visibly angry as he locked the front door after multiple checking on the various doors and switches of the house.
I don’t know when his words stopped stinging. “ I will…” I mumbled incoherently.
He dropped me at my office. The entire ride was spent in silence as a punishment to me for my lethargy. I was grateful for the non-communication though.
“At 6:30 sharp! In a better shape than this!” Those were his parting words as he sped away.
“Have a good day, you too!” I waved at the disappearing car.
Mom called as I swiped my card. “Have you reached your office? Guess who was visiting us? Son-in-law’s Uncle. I was telling him, how lucky you are! How well the son-in-law looks after you…Pray, when will I get the good news?”
Somehow the entire building looked blurred through my moist eyes! I must change my mascara and the Kajal pencil.
They keep making my eyes wet.