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

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 155 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

May 21, 2004

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Shop Stalk

Richa Jha

The Hubby Speak:
I have had few proud moments in life. One such occasion was walking into Westecs with a woman in each arm. For once I wished I had more arms. Go ahead, feel the prick of envy, but remember that every bull has his day, and that day was mine. Right from the salutes laced with extra punch, the welcome at the glass doors, and the trail of salespersons behind me, I knew it had worked. Risking the ire of many, including The Wifey's, with the following politically blasphemous words, I can confidently say that it pays to be spotted with more than one woman at the same time, one, (or better still, both) of whom is not your wife. It works even today, in these post femme-emancipated days, and you cannot gag me from calling a spade a spade.

How two women, ask, ask, and also ask how I managed to keep The Wifey at bay? Sadly, I couldn't, thus, on my left arm was the pouting She with a disgruntled look on her face (you can guess why). Her being to my left was not an accidental placing. If you promise not to leak this out, I'll let you in on this one. The left arm is not a particularly favoured arm with me for various reasons, the constant twitching of forearm muscles being one. Over the years, I have learnt to ignore, and thereby altogether forget about the existence of this arm, and by extension, anything that comes with it- shopping bags, car keys, library books, our son, The Wifey.

To my right, and here's my muse for this piece, was the loveliest lady I have had a chance of escorting in to any shop. Her impish eyes sparkled, her heeled feet minced, her gingerly gait gently balanced against my right arm, she was, oooh!, the quintessence of feminine grace. And also, to put it not very mildly, she was the complete antithesis to The Wifey. These two sisters, yes, finally I do have to disclose her identity, have grown up together. As first cousins, and barely a couple of months of age difference between them, I couldn't see how the two could be so different from one another.

To give you an idea of why I am singing paeans in her honour, when she landed at the Zia International, few onlookers thought that she is a visiting model from India. Few days later when her passport went for some official work, the officers were convinced the passport sized photograph was Kareena Kapoor's! Such charm, such poise, such elegance; one look at my Wifey, and you'll know why I said antithesis.

This sis of hers had been promising to visit us ever since we got married, but finally came here only after all these years, when I am no longer as young and dynamic as I used to be. But at least she was here, and I was ecstatic about it. Trouble was, with the unending chats between these women, I was hardly getting any chance to spend my kind of time with her. Moreover, you know how it is when two sisters- any two women for that matter- get together, the only activity they can think of is shopping.

I said I wanted to accompany them. The Wifey was furious, "since when have you started wanting to go shopping? With me?"

"With herů", I murmured to myself, and thanked my stars that she didn't catch the words.
"We have a long list of shops to go to. What about you? Will you do all?", she was as brusque as she could politely be in her sister's presence.
I nodded like a fool.
"Bailey Road, Chandni Chowk, Hawker's, Aarong, may be Westecs, get it?" The Wifey at her curtest best.

All said, no matter how much I wanted to tag along with them, the places she mentioned were sure means of performing Harakari with myself. All, but the last one. I wouldn't mind Westecs. At least there's always plenty of activity happening around the two tiny trial rooms on the ladies' wear floor!

I promised to join them there, which explains the petulant pout of The Wifey's I mentioned earlier.

I wish I had some titillating tales to narrate (which is the only reason you have read up till this point), but nothing much happened up there. The Wifey made sure that I stay away from the trial room each time her sis went in with her clothes. I tried to select a few for my saali, but The Wifey incinerated me with her looks.

"Why, the last time I picked this up for myself, you said it is too revealing. How has it suddenly become acceptable to you?" She will never get it, will she?

So there you are friends, there's nothing more to it than that. The only thing to have happened is that ever since my sis-in-law has left, and several days have passed between that tear-jerking moment of the final goodbye at the Zia International and today as I sit typing it down for you, The Wifey has been giving me a cold shoulder. She expects me to take her to that same shop and buy that same noodle strap top for her. Tell me friends, how can I do that? She is not her sis. Women don't get it, do they?






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