This morning I was trying to finish a writing assignment that has to be delivered tomorrow. It required that I write a humorous piece on marriages between Neanderthals and Homosapiens. This assignment required all the ingenuity and creativity I could muster so I thought I’ll start by getting into my creative-mood. This process usually involves cajoling wifey into preparing some cardamom-tea, then enjoying it while jotting my ideas down on Paper.
When I came into the drawing room, she was on phone with Mrs. Chaddha.
I tore a page from my notepad and jotted down my request for a cup of tea. I then waved the note in front of her; she flashed me a perfunctory smile, snatched the note from me, and clutched it into her fist. Next I tried mouthing the word tea to her, she flashed me an exasperated smile, and continued with her animated conversation with our neighbor. Finally, I tried whispering my request into her ear. This led her to giggle and she flashed me her pearly whites – attempting to scare me off.
Mrs. Chaddha must’ve had gone through a similar experience so she was quick to latch on to that giggle and proposed to end the conversation with what I can only surmise, was a slightly risqué remark, which made wifey go beetroot red. I noted her change in expression and braced myself for the onslaught.
“Couldn’t you have waited until I finished the call?” she asked with her lips pursed, her nostrils flared, and the brows furrowed.
“I just wanted…” I started to tell her.
“I know what you wanted. Even Mrs. Chaddha knew what you wanted!”
“She knew?” I inquired, puzzled about how Mrs. Chaddha could have guessed my need for cardamom tea. Did she get cameras installed in our apartment on the sly?
“Yes. All women understand it. I hope the word doesn’t get around or I’d be the laughing stock of the whole colony!”
“I’m sorry,” I mumbled – Still wondering, how on earth could anyone arrive at this conclusion – without looking at the note that was still clutched in wifey’s fist.
“And I am not in a mood. It’s 8 in the morning, do you realize it?” she raised her right eyebrow and asked.
Raising of that right-eyebrow is usually my signal to leave her presence for the sake of Ghar ki Shanti.
“Sure…sure. If you don’t want to prepare tea, it’s fine. I’ll prepare it. Would you like a cup?”
“A cup of tea?” she thundered.
“Yes,” I confirmed…still puzzled.
“She opened her fist and read my note.
“You wanted a cup of cardamom tea?” she asked again. Usually she isn’t this dense. I wondered if our exchange had something to do with her temporary loss of sanity.
“What did you think I wanted?” I asked. Still curious.
She blushed. Then she turned and hurried out to the kitchen mumbling something that sounded like, “I’ll get you your tea.”
Suddenly the pieces of the puzzle fell into their places to complete the picture, and I understood.
For Non-Hindi speaking Audience the following may clarify matters more.
Ghar ki Shanti: Household harmony.
Extra Info: Mrs. Chaddha has moved into the floor below, about a month ago. Wifey and Mrs. Chadda have hit along well and so you may hear more about her in the coming posts.