The blank screen scares me. Every time I look at it. It mocks me. It dares me to frame a decent plot. I write a few words, not deep enough, I realize.. And then I delete it all. And it laughs again, looking at me, saying, “Is that all you’ve got?!”. I am not singular in this eternal conflict. Have been many before me, will be many after me. It’s a painful experience but we still struggle because of the nectar which is there for the taking at the end of the journey. Often, the easy way out is to talk about oneself. Today is one such morning when I am drawing a total blank. I need to give something to the publishers soon. They are getting impatient. So..
Today, when I woke up, my wife wasn’t there by my side in the bed. We had had a fight yesternight and I had had a few more pegs than I should have. I cannot clearly recall how the things ended. Probably not very well, Vipula must still be sulking; else I would have had my extra sweet black lemon tea by now. There certainly was a lot of melodrama. Bloody hell, I cannot even recall what the squabble was about. Nevertheless, she was nowhere to be seen. Maybe she had gone to Shalini’s place to gripe about me and compete about the misery in their lives. Probably the fight was about my increased drinking and doing or not doing some household chores.
That I think led to the last time I had criticized her cooking and that again led to whose mother cooks better and then that led to whose in-laws have more unfair expectations. I could remember a few things but in fragments. I tried calling her but her phone was switched off. If she still doesn’t come back in an hour, I will go to Shalini’s place. Where else can she go bitching about me but at her best friend’s. Problem was I did not know how to face her. Did we settle it all before we ended? Did any of us apologize? Did I tell her I would look for a divorce lawyer the very next day?
In what note should I start the discussion once I see her? Should I maintain my stance or should I be apologetic or should I just wait for her to react to gauge the situation? Very difficult choice. Perhaps, I should cook something nice for her. Or maybe not, if I am expecting her to lose the fight of egos and tender an apology. There was some commotion on the streets. I could hear some people’s clamor from somewhere down there. But I was feeling too lazy to get up from my throne(from where I created the world of fiction) even to take a leak.
I am feeling a little hungry; Vipula has still not come back. She is usually a very doting wife, taking care of all my needs. I checked the kitchen and there is no breakfast, very unlike her. We have had fights before and then there would be silence. The burden of it would keep on growing till one surrenders but that never kept her from keeping me fed and looking after me in every possible way. But, today is a complete exception. Did we really go that far? I am quite concerned by now and I light a cigarette, pick up the phone to give it another shot.
As I walked on to the balcony, I see a crowd of people standing. I look down from my tenth floor balcony aperture and see half the crowd staring down and stranger still, the other half staring up towards me. And then my eyes fall upon a familiar face- almost unrecognizable, bloody, asleep, and/or dead! Oh my god! Did I push her off in a fit of rage? I was still trying to recollect what exactly happened last night when my phone rang.
“Good Morning Beta!”
“Good Morning Ma, how are you doing today?”
“I am okay Beta. Listen, did you get a chance to check the photographs Priti mailed you?”
“Not again Ma. Didn’t I tell you I am busy working on my book these days. I do not have the time for marriage and all right now.”
“How long would you keep pushing it back? We are getting old son. And we also have your little sister to get married after you..”
“Phewww! Okay Ma, I will check them out and will let you know. Talk to you later Ma, I am in the middle of something right now.”
“Okay Beta, take care. Bye.”
Sorry for the interruption. So, where were we?