This Indian life: He said, she said
She said: Yes, I know I cry at Haji Ali. And Siddhi Vinayak and Shirdi too. But I am a strong and sexy woman. You know that, don’t you? I run six miles and take apart spreadsheets. I do my taxes and spot decimal differences. I walk home after midnight and climb Matheran peaks. I am strong and self-sufficient and can manage on my own, thank you. Please don’t take me for granted. I don’t want you to. Just because I apologise when we fight. Don’t think it is because I’m weak. I take advice and compromise and say sorry and smooth things over. But please don’t take me for granted or walk all over me. And don’t you dare call me clingy and bring in my family too. Because I will walk out. You know I will. So what are you going to do, my best beloved?
He said: Yes, I know. You think I am stubborn. And irritating and complicated too. You think I am a mamma’s boy. Not true. I would carry you to the moon and back. I would bring flowers. But that’s not me. I know I don’t say much. Not like in the movies anyway. I don’t hold hands or say I love you. I am old-fashioned that way. No public display of affection for me. But mostly I am confused about how you changed this way. What happened to the girl I married? When did she become a nag? The truth is that I need you, yes, more than you need me. The truth is that I will break if you walk out on me. But why do you get so vicious and petty and jealous too? Why do you call me names that come out of the blue? You keep asking for a divorce but is that really an option? Not for me, my best beloved. So what are you going to do?
She said: Let me list the reasons. About why this marriage ain’t working. We fight about money. You think I spend too much. We fight about kids. I think you spoil them. Just because you work a lot doesn’t mean that gifts will do. Our daughter needs your presence, not dolls and toys and games. Our son needs a role model, not an absent parent. Yes, I like to buy new clothes. But I think you like them too. My job keeps me busy all day. Just like yours does too. But in the evening – I want more than TV and endless hours of cricket. I want to go out dancing and do date nights like we used to. I want a little romance and please don’t call that filmy. I want to hold hands and walk in the rain. I want to wring out some life from the life that we’ve gotten used to. Since we don’t have that, for now, shopping online will do. Yes, I know it is an addiction. But so is the vodka you down, sneaking it into juice and water. First thing in the morning, really? Has it come to that? What are we going to do?
He said: There is this girl in my office. I haven’t told her about you. She smiles at me from the side of her eyes. Just like you used to. I think she likes me. And oh God, I like her too. She is hot, baby, hot. Wears sexy miniskirts too. Last time we were in Delhi, we had a working dinner. All of us drank a bit. Company tab, you see. We walked up to the rooms together – some six of us in a lift. Wouldn’t you know? Her room was on the same floor as mine. Would have been so easy... We were both drunk as hell. Her more than me. Plus, she likes me, you see. Young and firm. With perky boobs and a booty to boot. Fifteen years younger. I left her at her door. Said good night. True gentleman. But next time, sweetie… since we are fighting anyway… and you want a divorce. What are your thoughts about an affair?
She said: And you call me vicious? How dare you bring up a girl? You think I have no options? You think I’m going to sit at home? Like your mother did for years? Yes, I will bring up your mother whenever I darn well please. She ain’t no saint, you jerk. Such a b****h she was. During the wedding and after. You want to have an affair, you pathetic man. How dare you? Shall I tell you about my manager? The one who touched my thighs. Shall I tell you about that client who put his hands on my waist? You think I have no options? Watch me, I say. This is me walking out the door. This is me taking our children. This is me drawing up papers. And this is us. Oh, wait. There is no us. Just you. Pathetic loser.
He said: B***h.
She said: J**k.
The End? Read on…
(This column addresses the issue of parenting our parents and other unique facets of This Indian Life and our culture. If you have stories about the weird and wonderful relationships that enrich or enervate your life, write in.)
This Indian Life appears every fortnight
From HT Brunch, June 9, 2019
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch