Usually, I talk to A really late into the night. That is the only time we get to talk to each other. (There are snatches during lunch time, but they don’t count because then, we don’t fight and we don’t make up.) After an hour of the routine arguments where he’ll keep saying, ‘What ARE you talking about?’ and not give me a chance to tell him what indeed I am talking about, we settle down and be very sweet to each other. We’re at this phase when both of us are blessed with bad memories, and I am quite grateful for that. I do know this is just a phase though. Otherwise, he never forgets and I never stop reminding – it’ll be fun to see where all this sharp memory will take us in the future.
Coming back to the sugary conversations; I love the way he asks, ‘How was your day?’ I think the reason my heart tugs at this question is because it is innocuous enough, but it seems weighted with care. It’s only a day and it’s over when A asks me about it. But suddenly I find myself looking back at it keenly. Rummaging through rubble of ordinary temporal odds and ends, and picking up one or two interesting pieces. How, maybe, a shapely, manicured hand would go through a heap of grunge and pick out a stunning terra cotta elephant miniature. So, I enthusiastically tell him of the exciting times in my day. Most involve rickshaw drivers, rickshaw fares, rickshaw meters, battle involving all, and brief references to the RTO. Or maybe how the staff at INOX counters expects you to tell them your ATM pin number so that they can punch it in. Because it’s so inconvenient for them to push the little machine through the glass opening. And when you refuse, they make a face. And when you ask them to show you the seating plan, they make a face. And if you don’t give them exact change for 180 rupees they make a face. Sometimes, I think I see more histrionics before entering the movie hall.
That aside, there is my batty behavior. To a passer-by, I may seem like a giggling doofus in love. (I do giggle, albeit intelligently.) One may speculate that naughty nothings get muttered at the other end (as one of my pals thought) and while I would like to agree because it’s a nice thing to agree to, it wouldn’t be true. I giggle because of the funny put-downs that come fast and furious now that the proposal has been made and accepted. So, while I appreciated his humor before, I don’t quite like it as much now when I’m at the receiving end of it. But it is funny, so what to do?
Like the time I was alone in the house. It was dark and silent and of course, I could hear strange noises. Then my phone blinked and I happily picked it up, expecting it to be A’s call. It was.
I told him that I was alone in the house and I was a little scared. So, what I expected him to tell me was that I shouldn’t be scared because he’s there with me, or I should just imagine that he’s by my side, or I should dial ‘100’. (I’ve noticed that’s his blanket response for everything – lawyer’s proclivities, I suppose.) But there was none of that. Instead there was this:
Me: ‘I’m alone in the house and I’m scared.’
Him: ‘So don't stand in front of the mirror.’
I start giggling like a fool. And they think he’s getting romantic.