<%-- Page Title--%> Slice of Life <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 112 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

July 4, 2003

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The Play-shop Workshop

Richa Jha

The doorbell rang thrice. I rushed to attend to it.
“Hey, that was new. You don't ring the bell like that. I wondered who it was, pressing the bell so musically”, I said to The Hubby as he walked in. He had been away from Dhaka for three days for some 'self-excellence' workshop.
“The power of three, honey. You should do everything in batches of three. The first act stirs up the sleeping particles inside you; with the second one they dance, so every cell in your body feels rejuvenated; and the third act enables the expulsion of the bad energies.”
“The WHAT?” I exclaimed. “Oh, oh, this looked like bad news”, I thought to myself. I got the message then and there. The next few days would be difficult for us at home. You see, whenever The Hubby gets back from these high-motivational-self-management seminars, he loses his soul to the Insane. With a sense of deja vu I forced myself to humouring him.
Ignoring my reaction he added, “The drive back to Dhaka was draining. The evening traffic is an uncompromising gridlock of human souls and machines in unison”. All he meant was that the evening traffic is a mess. So this time, I concluded, they must have had a linguist as their trainer!
“You want some tea?”
“No, I'm fine. Tell me, do we have balloons at home?”
“I'll have to check. But, why balloons?”
“I need to de-stress”, he stated. I needn't have asked.
Anyway, the balloons were fished out for him (with a toddler in the house, you can never go without balloons in the house). Taking few deep breaths, he blew up three of them, one after the other, and tossed them around in the room.
“There, do you see all the enervating-mood initiators getting separated from my body and getting tossed about in the room? See how they fly away into the sky? Aah! I feel sprightly all over again”.
His body had a different tale to tell though. It looked fatigued, bored and lifeless.
“How was the workshop?”
“My queen, my life, it wasn't a workshop. It was a playshop, and I haven't felt re-charged like this in ages”. Such endearments for me hadn't come out of his mouth since that play we acted together in college. And that was centuries ago.
“O yeah? You don't look it”.
“That's not you speaking. That's the negative energies inside you babbling, trying to triumph over all the affirmative atoms in your mind”. And then he did that funny gesture which was to stay with him all the time over the next week or so. It looked amusing enough initially, but it's difficult to tolerate buffoonery over larger lengths of time. He pulled his right palm over my head, cupped it as if to scoop out all the above-mentioned undesirable “energies” from there, and with a flourishing “tut, there it goes. Off off! You rogue!”, he threw 'it' away. With the bad 'influencers' thus expunged from my mind, he expected me to behave and talk like a saint after that.
This newly anointed saint could have harpooned the workshop trainer, if she had her way! Needless to say, The Hubby slept like a log that night.
I was woken up with a distinct cock of a crow very immediate, sharp, and loud. Who else could that be but The Hubby making such exasperating noises standing by the window?
“Have you lost it? It's not even 5:30! And what do you think you're upto?”
“Shhh! Don't let the agitators get the better of you so early in the morning. Come, I'll show you. We were shown this amazing meditation therapy at the workshop. We should behave like animals for a few minutes everyday. That's how your inner being gets in tune with the animal world at large. We are all animals, only, we are conditioned to suppress the animal within us. And I have decided to become a rooster…”
“Or a jackass”, a sharp retort and I hit the bed again.
I happened to drop in at his office sometime last week. All around, his colleagues cooed, galloped, grunted, trumpeted depending on which animal you bumped into.
Such absurdities went on for a week from that morning. This morning, the eighth day, he slept through his cock-a-doodle-do routine. Clearly, the 'negative' ions have got the better of him again, and I have my good ol' Hubby back. Till August, when he attends his next workshop. Oops! Playshop.


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