Friday, February 02, 2007

Early Birds

The moment I told my friends my wife will be out of town by virtue of her profession, there were some real mixed reactions. Some commented, “Lucky guy!! Now you can do whatever you want.” Some said, “Amazing. It is so relieving, getting some space.” There were some counter to these, mostly from relatives, like “So, who will cook for you now?” “How will you manage your laundry?” Frankly, I was confused. I did not know how to react? I mean, ofcourse, I was depressed that even before a year of our wedding, there came a small, but substantial time period when we would not be together. Knowing my wife for 5 years before finally getting married, she was a habit to me by now. Bu there was a secretive joy too. I don’t know why.

Also, she was the one who was the early riser in the house. The maid comes at 0630 hours sharp and I would probably go and open the door only to slump back under the quilt, once a month. I would pull my quilt, push my wife and kick the mattress to do that. Now, she not being there, I would have to pull all my strength, push away the quilt and kick myself to get out of bed and open the door for the princess!

The first day was not so bad. Or that’s what I thought. We had to get up by 0430 hours for my wife to get ready and for me to drop her to the airport. I came back, made some tea for myself and waited, as it was almost time for the maid to arrive. After a long time I was up by this time. I was missing my wife too. What would I do without her for the number of days she isn’t around? I started recounting activities and routine jobs around the house, which we did together that appeared special now. The ‘Miss You’ list of things started getting bigger and longer. There is a Motel across the street. As I walked out to the balcony I saw the room service boys running around, the cleaners almost done with the outside cleaning of the premises, the cabbies cleaning their cabs. And it was still dark. I was wondering, my day had not begun yet, theirs was half way through. I was drowsy; they were as active as athletes. Thinking of athletes, my mind started asking; who will win the race to my home, the maid or the newspaper boy? Well, ofcourse, it was the maid. She rang the bell thinking we are fast asleep and kept ringing so that we wake up. The bell noise was deafening. On most mornings, I don’t even hear this noise! I ran to open the door. While entering, the look on her face confirmed the fact that she was not only surprised to see me awake but with a cup of tea in my hand. I told her that my wife would not be there for some days. Before I could even think, she herself suggested that she will come a little late from tomorrow. I was impressed by her intelligence for a moment. Then it daunted on me, she was actually ridiculing me. She was hinting that I could not get up early and open the door for her! The boys out there in the Motel had not finished pulling my esteem that this lady had lofted my character out of the balcony. I did not know how to react? I could not reply in positive, as I did not agree to her. I could not respond in negative, as what she said was after watching me for so many months. She was right in all ways possible. I did miss my wife. But this item was not on the ‘Miss You’ list!

Our forefathers were real experienced and evolved beings. One of them said, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy and wise”. I became wise that morning, for sure. The other two, we shall tackle in another story.


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