Short Story of Husband and Wife – Shirt on Bed
I scanned all channels, one by one, starting from DD1 to TV6. My thumb pressed next channel button on remote once again. A new channel DW was added in cable. I exhaled depressedly,
‘How does it matter?’
I pressed the button again to see AV display on dark blank screen. My thumb became restless; it kept pressing the button quite frequently to see each channel not even for a second. My twitchier mind was the reason, perhaps.
My unbending finicky thirty seven years old habit to keep things over orderly and extra clean finally yielded to my throbbing heart and anxious mind. I found very difficult to give away my intrinsic characteristic but punishment of being away from Sachin for last seven days made me selfish enough to strangle my very own attribute.
I looked at wall clock. Minute hand had been moving like hour hand. Not even five minutes passed. I tried calling Sachin again,
I threw mobile on Italian sofa and collapsed myself next to it. It was little over 12:35 AM. I saw his SMS once again. Yes, arrival was 12:30 AM.
‘Why is his mobile still off? Has the plane landed safely?’
A freaky baseless thought of plane crash jolted me. I quickly grabbed the remote and jumped to news channels one by one. It seemed all normal – same old news… few channels had started teleshopping ads. I assured myself,
‘Come on Mridula, it is just 5 minute over. Plane would not have stopped properly even if it is on time. Moreover it is common for international flights to delay about 30 minutes or so.’
I tried calling him again, ‘It is ringing…’ a smile with big relief crept at my lips.
‘Hi Mrid, just waiting for my bag… see you in 45 minutes’ and thud.
‘He sounded still irritated and angry. Just one short call in this one week and now he cut it in less than a minute without even asking how am I – dead or alive…’
Thought of his prevailing irritation made me uneasy. His trip to Germany could not be coincident. I knew that it was not planned earlier and resulted only after our fight. Actually my fight. It was me who started it.
‘How does it matter if he throws used clothes on bed or leaves toothpaste opened? Why does he need to keep comb always in handcrafted case, why not directly on shining granite of our basin? Why will sky fall if he picks pakoda directly without washing his hand…’
Numerous such thoughts and I found myself in more guilt for leading him by nose to the extent of irritating and harassing him.
‘Enough is enough. Overall he is a man.’
I thought how polite and dutiful Sachin was to inform me his itinerary by SMS when he was leaving for Germany. If I were him, I would have never SMSed. But, despite knowing that I came to my parents’ house without his knowledge when he went to office after I fought with him on a petty issue of keeping used socks in shoes, he called me to tell his safe landing in Germany. He knew very well my phobia that every plane was bound to crash immediately after takeoff.
I saw him as my groom in picture frame kept at side rack of TV. First time in fifteen years of our married life, I found a very thin layer of dust on the photo frame. But I did not rush to bring duster. This showed I had changed in this one week - completely. But how would he know.
I still had forty five minutes as my last remedy to win his heart. I hurried up to kitchen. I knew it very well “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” especially when the man, my veggie Sachin, returning after whole one week from veg-less country Germany. I opened pressure cooker. Aroma of Chola Masala entered in my nose. My adept hand cut green coriander in it. Now it was time to prepare his favourite Aloo Paratha.
After 15 minutes I was done with kitchen and then decorated dining table.
‘Rasmalai must be in transparent bowl. He simply cannot resist. Little more saffron in kheer…’
Finally I rushed to first floor bedroom of our duplex house. It had been a quite hot day. I switched on air conditioner, spread a new designer bed sheet, changed to matching pillow covers, freshened room with jasmine freshener, and changed my dress, at 1 AM in midnight, to put on his favourite black chiffon saree with matching sleeveless blouse. There was still fifteen minute left. I did light makeup and sprayed CHANEL N°5 EAU DE PARFUM.
‘Mr. Sachin Awasthi, will you still feel irritated’
I sighed sexily and saw myself in full length side mirror. I blushed…
I ran and opened the door to hug Sachin tightly, not letting him go away from my soft hands. He reciprocated letting his bag fall on floor and lifted me to enter in the house. Before his hands could become naughtier, I returned to conscious and asked him to wash himself for dinner.
Half an hour after the dinner he called me from our upstairs bedroom,
‘Come on Mrid… leave kitchen. Anyway it is Sunday tomorrow… I mean today. It is already over 2:30 AM.’
I was about to opened my mouth but kept quiet, ‘He would never change. Leaving kitchen dirty is so unhygienic.’
I washed my hands and entered in bedroom. His used shirt, lying on my pillow, was teasing me. It was enough to bring back original of me,
‘SACHIN!!! HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE TO TELL YOU TO KEEP USED…’
He jumped from bed in one step and lifted me while locking my shouting lips with his.
Very soon I was sleeping in his caring arms. And the shirt was now lying on the bedroom floor preparing pretext for resuming my incomplete fight…