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Seven years into our marriage and suddenly one day he started demanding his rights. It left me aghast for a while; what the hell was he talking? What did I take that he wants back? The next few days were frustrating as I couldn’t deal with this accusation of being the Donald Trump of our relationship, and rightly so demanded an unconditional apology besides a gold necklace as restitution to make peace. You won’t believe – he didn’t even present one, and nor was he regretful for the allegations. Aaahhhhee…… I sank into the deepest gorge of depression as no one had ever snubbed me, especially a man, neither my father, nor my brother, and nor him.
The next few days were no cuddles, no hugs, no sex, the coldest cold war between us. The warring winter turned icy when he left for a three days tour, impairing the meaningless visual connection we had. His absence desolated me further and I began contemplating the last seven years of our togetherness. It took me a while to fathom the mystery of his rights and before he came back, I made few reclaimable gestures to appease him.
Wardrobe - We live in a small modern metropolitan apartment which has been smartly designed only for basic necessities. You can’t even afford to buy an extra pair of socks because of lack of space. My husband’s chest of drawers often doubles up as a parking place for the unwanted bed sheets, table mats, spare polybags, and sometimes for the Big Bazzar’s offer purchased surplus groceries. So, I uncluttered his well-organised wardrobe by giving him two additional compartments.
Bathroom - I have only few things in our only bathroom closet. 3 types of shampoos (hair fall, keratine smoothner, conditioner), 2 categories of body & face wash, 4 varieties of lotions (oily, oil free, organic and the one gifted by my Mausi when she returned from USA two years back), intimate area wash, 3 or 4 types of body mists etc. He was probably upset because we were using his only bathroom accessory, the “Saabun,” kept in a Mangal bazaar soap case, to cover the drain plug. Once in while he also complained about my pretty luffa hanging from the shower, as it changed the flow of the water when he took bath – how mean this guy?? Anyways, with some heavy heart I made space to accommodate his lifebuoy, aftershave and ear buds.
Bed - I always thought that our queen size bed was large enough to accommodate me along with my two mobiles, a tab, some more lotions and a sachet of vitamin supplements. His newspapers were permitted to rest their bottoms on the bed, only when we wanted to have the dinner, watching TV. To pacify the self-pride of his print media, I recycled an old fruit basket to keep his newspapers and magazines in close proximity to the bed.
Shoe Rack - Our 4 feet x 4 feet shoe rack was literally overflowing. His three oversized shoes were given a corner to rest, while my tiny sized sandals, shoes, mules and pumps were having a tough time occupying what was left. Sometimes they inadvertently strayed on to his shoes, but that happens when u buy a small shoe rack. Anyhow we, that is me and my footwear, decided to give him a permanent estate in the rack.
Remote - Like all Indian middle class, we watch TV during the better half of the evening. From 8 pm until midnight, we scan at least two hours of advertisements and the remaining we sob to Ekta Kappor’s complex family drama. He is not a soccer fan and that is a great relief. But he follows the boring News and Storage Wars on History Channel. I had allowed him to watch his likings during my ad breaks, but seems that all channels have synchronised their ad schedules. When I have a break even his News is selling the same herbal slimming tea. Nevertheless, with great inconvenience, I scheduled 30 minutes of my idiot box to morning rebroadcasts.
Finally he returned; and I was eagerly wanting to know if he had found his Rights restored. It was a surprise of sorts, when he came and said sorry for his impulsive behaviour. Later in the week, he was so overwhelmed that he could excrete a rainbow and finding an opportune moment I mentioned my necklace, but he confused me with some upcoming GST bomb. So, in the next two weeks I reclaimed my lost grounds and now I am waiting for him to come back with his Rights nonsense again.