"I think we are standing on the wrong side of pavement."
I could sense that my wife's blood pressure and patience were exactly at opposite levels.
"Why do you think so?"
"There is a zig-zag yellow line here which is an indication that cabs should not stop and pick any passenger."
"You are telling me after walking for close to 10 minutes on this road?"
"I could tell you if you would LISTEN to me."
This is what happens when I try to do something right. All I wanted was to take her home cosy and comfortable in a taxi and just as Mr. Murphy's law states, you happen to spot a taxi exactly when you don’t want it. And perhaps, we all know that men are poor when it comes to asking for directions.
"Even if we had taken the bus, we would have been half way near our home."
See, that’s the point. Immediately she derives a calculation out of thin air that we would have got the bus on time to our place, we would get seats and also with minimal traffic, we would be halfway down to our house. My argument is - what are the odds? And also, I am not comfortable carrying 2 bag-full of groceries in either hand. That’s when I did the unthinkable error.
I retorted her.
"Why are you making a big deal out of this? Is it my fault that there is no taxi on the road now?"
And she immediately appears stung. Her eyes moisten a little and you can spot the water in her eyes like a mirage in the desert. I sometimes wonder how fast women get their tear glands to respond.
"You should have married Vanitha."
Ah! There we go. And now I get married to Vanitha for not getting a cab. Before you all get driven to nuts, let me explain who on earth is Mrs. Vanitha. She is possibly some secretly inherited descendent of Hitler. Or maybe Idi Amin. She is possibly one of the few women on earth whom you would not even want your most secret adversary to get married to.
My wife, the quintessential gossiper she is (aren’t we all?), likes to narrate me Mrs. Vanitha's strict order in the house where no extra oil or butter is allowed to be consumed or when children have to ask permission for everything. I wonder if her children religiously shout "Hail Fuhrer" before going to bed.
You can imagine the predicament of her husband. I once met the couple when we were doing our weekend family shopping. Her husband was a small man with head in the shape of an Easter egg. He had a small mustache and a sorry looking face like a Lehman Brother's shareholder or an Indian voter.
So, which brings to realize why women always compare with the worst lot available? Have you ever heard any women say, "You should have married Tammana or Shriya."? Absolutely not! Its always a Mrs. Vanitha or your next door neighbour who infact looks and behaves closer to the witch described in Harry Potter.
Have you heard any man complain or compare on the same lines? Imagine how it would be if Bill Clinton were to fight with Hillary - "You should have married Bush. Your life would have been filled with correcting grammatical and pronunciation mistakes." That’s least likely possible. Why? Because men are egoistic and would not let their muse out of their control even in words. But yeah, that does not rule out the possibility of the same guy doing a Tiger Woods routine.
"Look, just calm down. I will call the speed taxi number ok?" I was trying my best to do damage control.
"And who will pay the extra charge? If you had been with Lalitha who orders a taxi every time she goes out, you would have understood, how better off you are."
I had to stop this nonsense before she planned grandkids for me and some Ms. Lalitha. And just as I wondered, an empty taxi stopped nearby. I was waving madly like the guard did when Titanic hit iceberg. I think he stopped possibly to check if I was having seizure than to pick me up.
We travelled throughout the ride without a word uttered between us. If the taxi driver was a bachelor, he was probably planning to remain one for the rest of his life, after watching our marital spark. We watched some mindless comedy on TV without bothering to laugh much for next hour or so. It was a question of who would break the ice.
Just as we looked at each other, we said in unison "I am sorry."
It’s probably little hard. It’s probably very easy.
It comes - easier with practice.