Now You Love
Me Now You Don't
rang at the most inopportune time. I'd just settled in my couch
to watch Just Shoot Me, when The Hubby's voice greets me from
the other end of the line. Had he been in town, I would have
asked him to call up later, but this call was being made from
“How was your flight”, I asked distractedly. Tele-conversations
with The Hubby last a few seconds, at best, and such long distance
ones, even fewer.
Never again, I tell you”, he sounded agitated in an enervated
sense (paradoxes are second nature to The Hubby).
happened? Had a turbulent flight?”
again am I going to travel with a newly married man in the same
car, in the same flight, to the same airport, to the same city.
like the conversation wouldn't end there, so
I politely asked him to call up half an hour later, “I'm in
the middle of something, please?”
can sense several raised eyebrows, but let me explain. If I
have to choose between a rib-tickling episode of JSM and a fretting
husband…do you see now, the choice ain't all that complicated,
and my preference not all that blasphemous. Besides, husbands
are forever, these laughs so transient.
switch off the TV and listen to me”, so he knew it.
Reluctantly, I did so, and said, “so what happened?”
“How can a married couple be so coochy-cooyey? Look at us, we
are so normal”. So we are. But we were not always like this!
I wanted to remind him of his initial wedded years, but memory
is so short lived, we forget.
Thus began his monologue.
a day! This morning in Dhaka, when I went to pick him up from
his house”, (the 'him' being this colleague The Hubby was travelling
with), “I realised to my horror that he was still not ready.
All I could overhear from the other room was, “Honey, do I look
better in this, or this?” and “you decide, I dress for you”,
and “how will I dress up there without you”. I looked at my
watch and lost it. “Uffo, do you mind wearing anything at all
and hurrying up, we'll miss our flight”, I shouted from the
lounge. Then he finally came out and just when I thought we
were ready to leave, I noticed flooded eyes and overflowing
emotions and a volley of “I'll miss you's”, and “do you really
have to go?”, and so on. Once in the car, this glum lover soon
realised he'd left his mobile at home. “It's alright, in any
case, you'll not need it now”, I tried to reason with him. The
next thing I know is, he politely asked for my mobile and dialled
up home. “We've reached the railway-crossing now. Yes, yes,
I'm alright. But missing you loads already. Don't worry, I'll
eat the airline food, not a patch on your cooking though, but
I'll eat it if you say so. You take care of yourself”. And so
on. At the airport too, I could see him from a distance hugging
the phone receiver tight at the local call booth. And that was
not enough. Just before I switched off my cell onboard, he cooed
his undying love to her that one last time from Dhaka”.
so cute, isn't it?”, I tried to tell The Hubby.
a man think of his wife all the time? It beats me, wifey”.
natural, they've been married for less than two months. You
don't remember your days, do you? And come on, don't tell me
you don't think of me all the time!” I protested and pointed
in the colleague's defence. But counter-arguments rarely register
in The Hubby's mind, so he carried on with his tirade.
afternoon he pulled me to this mall, where all he did was lift
the ladies tops and ask me, 'do you think this will fit her?'
I said 'what would I know, she's your wife?', but he said, 'no,
no, don't get me wrong here. You've been in the company of women
much longer than I have'. 'One woman', I corrected him, and
added, 'sorry to disappoint you buddy, but their dimensions
don't match, so keep me out of it'”.
when I wanted him to accompany me to a night club, he refused.
'I can't do this to her', he said. 'Do what?', I protested.
'No, no, night clubs and all. I know what happens there.' By
then I was at the end of my patience with him, but I still tried
my best to explain to him that this club was not what he thought
it was. To drive home my point I even mentioned that you and
I went to this same club the last time we were here together,
but he would have none of it. Annoyed, I left him in his room,
and went out on my own. I can't take any more of it now. And
today was just the first day.” “Relax dear, why don't you tell
me what you managed to do on your own. Did you visit the Cathedral?”,
feel like. Remember what fun we had there last time? How could
I go there without you?”
I walked past it, felt really nostalgic, so didn't go
in. Really, it's not the same without you”, said The Hubby in
what was decidedly the most romantic moment in recent years.
I fingered him, “hey, now you're sounding like your colleague,
missing me and all that…”.
not”, his tone stiffened as if having been jolted from his momentary
lapse of reasoning! “I didn't say I missed you. I spoke about
you not being there in a normal way”, said he, now on guard.
is so abnormal about your colleague?”
get it. He's acting so mushy. Almost as if he's with his college
heart-throb, not his wife!”
The Hubby never ceases to stump me with his amusing theories
on life! Or was he merely re-iterating what our forefathers
have been saying for centuries, ever since marriages got institutionalised:
that nothing kills romance quicker than marriage! Or so The
Hubby has certainly internalised.