I woke up to the clinking clattering pans in the Kitchen. 7 AM by the clock and it's too early for a chilly winter weekend. I checked my calendar if it was my birthday, our anniversary or any special occasion for which wifey might be preparing for a surprise. But the blank calendar stared at me and mocked, "Your treasure hunt begins here. Have a good day!" Damm... Rubbing my eyes, I peeped into the kitchen and there she was, standing tight-lipped, scattered hair, breathing faster than usual and rubbing the utensils. I can read her moods very well and this one said that' Shanti Bai isn't coming and there is going to be Ashanti in the house."
So like a good husband, trying to cheer her up, I tiptoed into the kitchen, held her from behind and placed a peck on her cheeks but she shrugged me off! "Today I will make tea. Will have it together." I blew my first safety airbag to escape her rage. But she pricked my balloon with just a "hmmmmm..". So placing the vessel, I measured water and put it to boil. Meanwhile, I asked her for cinnamon just to be outstared, "2nd shelf from the right." I couldn't find cardamom, black pepper, ginger also but I just read her mood and she must have gulped me down in a go if I asked her for anything else. So I picked up bottles, twirled them, opened them and tried to guess the ingredients by either inhaling or tasting from the tip of the tongue.
Finally, I managed to gather all the ingredients but the water had already reduced to half by then. Refilling it, I put the masala together with milk, tea leaves and sugar...and simmered it..simmered it some more and some more...I was lost in the thoughts of her happy mood on sipping my chai when a shout shook me up, "Chai aj hi ban jayegi?". Like a summoned officer, I put the gas to full to give a final boil and turned around to pick up 2 cups. But an unwelcome hissing sound put my mind to alarm.
Before I could pounce to turn off the gas knob, I could see my future being smashed and drowned in spilled tea cruising over the kitchen top and dripping through the drawers till the floor. I was devastated and I didn't even want to imagine my wife's mood at this sight. I peeped through the kitchen door and saw her brooming at another end of the house. I hastily grabbed a cloth and started wiping the tea, being careful not to leave any traces behind. But the moment I turned around to clean the cloth, I bumped into her face and she shouted, "This cloth is meant for chapatis and not cleaning! Just leave it... Don't indulge in something you can't do. Just go and sit outside."
Like a submissive, meek rat I buried into the sofa seat and dug my nose in the newspaper. When I heard water splashing and the fan turned on in a chilly morning, I knew it was mop time. Feeling pity for her, I curled my legs on the sofa (as everyone is expected to at the mop time) and sat still, hoping she would smile at my proactivity. But nope! She shouted, "Who sits on the Sofa with legs up? Don't u have manners?”
I instantly stood up in attention and stepped forward to the bedroom when my wife frowned with her eyes oscillating between my feet and my eyes. And I realized that I just stepped on the freshly mopped floor which was still wet! #FacePalm With hands up, all surrendered to my wife, I started speculating between stepping on the last footprint left behind and jump on the sofa or wait for the floor to get dry and then put my right leg down. A look at my grumbling, frowning wife made me chose the latter and I stood there like a
lame-duck till the floor went dry.
Finally, she had finished mopping the whole house and I still stood there like a mannequin. She stared at me, shrugged her shoulders and raised her brows with a mysterious question in her eyes. And I started wondering, “Ab kya galti kar di!?” When I saw her heading towards me, I swallowed the lump in my throat and a drop of sweat trickled down my jawline when she said, “U may sit down Mr. Silly Hubby. Your silly antics make me smile on the gloomiest days. Life would have been so dull without you.” She smiled and rested her head on my chest. I hugged her tight, heaved a sigh of relief and both of us took a free fall on the sofa seat. Eyes locked into hers, I smiled to myself, “ I could always read her mood but the best one is this unpredictable one when she smiles and hugs me for reasons unknown to me.”