I’m a We

 

“Every moment in married life is a make-or-break moment.

You make up, make out or break up.”

                                                                                                                       -?

That’s not been officially said by anyone just yet. But it’s kind of relevant, and I think quotes are an impressive way to get started. Having done that now, let me tell you about marriage’s biggest make-or-break moment. It’s that moment when what shouldn’t have happened has happened and what shouldn’t be told has to be told.

Mine should have been on the first night of my marriage. But it took me 18 long years after that to gather the courage to do it.

So at dinner one night, I borrowed an over-used Hollywood line to go with an over-the-top Bollywood expression, and said it to my wife.

‘Honey, I’ve something to tell you.’

I know it sounds awful, like a dubbed bilingual film. But remember, it is one line that says it without saying it.

‘Is there someone in your life?’ she asked, as if on cue.

‘Yes,’ I replied meekly, hoping that her melodrama would take an art film route. But her reaction was straight from those over-stretched mega serials- loud and wet.

‘Is it Gunjan?’ she asked in the middle of high hysteria.

‘Who?’ I shot back.

‘Or is it Anu, Neera, Manisha, Disha…’

In one long breath she rattled out all the names of women we know, including neighbours, maids, kids’ teachers and more.

‘Wait!’ I shouted, ‘It’s not that simple.’

She stopped dramatically, like a serial’s ad break.

‘Is it an extra-marital affair or not?’ she asked, anger replacing sorrow.

‘Yes!’ I stuttered, but quickly recovered, ‘I mean no! It’s probably worse.’

‘It’s extra-marital, pre-marital and pre-teen. It’s even incestuous,’ I said, all in one go.

Shock replaced anger.

‘Do I know her?’ she asked in the new tone.

‘It’s not a Her. It’s a Him,’ I said, fearing the worst.

But what I saw was relief all over her face.

That moment I learnt a universal truth: The world would be a happier place if only all husbands turned gay after 10 years of marriage.

But no such luck for us. The worst was only coming.

‘Actually, it’s not even a Him. It’s an It,’ I confessed, ‘It’s my Inner Voice. It’s like a different person inside me with whom I share this love-hate relationship. It’s a kind of a live-in voice with whom I have been living ever since I can remember. We sit, eat, walk, argue, work and even sleep together. It’s something I can’t stop, run away from or kill. Trust me dear, I have no choice.’

She stared at me long and hard for what I think was ages. And then broke into a wide grin.

That moment I learnt another universal truth: Senility scores over infidelity, with wives.

She leaned over, held my hand and said in the most caring tone I’ve heard in 18 years, ‘Rum, I understand you completely. The best part of our marriage has been the luxury of personal space that we both have given each other. Just like you’d never step into the self-debate I’m having about buying a Solitaire, I wouldn’t come between you and your Inner Voice either. Ever. That’s a promise.’

See how a husband’s make-or-break moment turns into a wife’s make-the-most moment?

She walked out of the room leaving me alone with myself, as promised.

I sat there alone in that room for 8 seconds that seemed like 8 hours.

You know what’s scarier that being alone?

Not being able to be alone.

‘Look, I was right!’ I heard my Inner Voice almost immediately. It startled me, but didn’t surprise me. ‘I told you she’d understand. I told you she’d only be too happy to accept us. Now, go ahead, spread the word. Tell the world about us. This world would be a better place if only people started having a relationship with themselves. They need to recognise their Inner Voices as a born-with God, a congenital Guru, or an implanted Google App.’

‘You are no God, Guru or Google! You are just another point of view of mine!’ I corrected, curtly.

‘What’s it, Rum?’ I heard my wife yell from the bedroom, ‘It’s late. Why don’t you come to bed? Three is never a crowd!’ She guffawed at her own joke.

I continued to sit there alone for 2 more hours. Or maybe it was 2 minutes.

What niggles me is, how come in spite of being born together and growing up together, my Inner Voice has ended up wise and I, stupid? How come my Inner Voice is always right and I, always wrong?

Maybe that’s not true. But who’s to tell?

Suddenly, I had an idea!

‘Let me go public with all the private debates I’ve been having with this Inner Voice of mine. Let me start a blog. Let the world judge who’s right and who’s wrong,’ I said aloud.

‘That’s exactly what I told you a while ago. Go tell the world about us!’ I heard my Inner Voice again.

Damn! Damn! Damn!

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Farz on September 28, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Hey, finally! was wondering when I would read words from you or Him or whoever 🙂 Now I can ‘read’ your mind ……..

    Reply

  2. Posted by vikas malhar on September 28, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    ramesh
    verynice. i understand something. this your english is very different.
    so everyday you will change your writings on the same subject. or new subjects. but very unusual. talking your personal in a public. you will be really enjoying opening yourself. nice.

    Reply

  3. Posted by kumar ganesan on September 29, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Main aur meri tanhaayi aksar yeh baate karte hai……the tanhai is probably the inner voice. You’re right, the conflict between the self and the inner-self has been happening in each of our lives. Mine keeps remininding me about the EMIs i still need to pay and how I must swallow my pride and start making the moolah. I’ve been listening to him so far. But some day I’ll tell him to shut up. Once and for all.

    Keep them coming Ramesh…honestly this is the first time I’ve seen you write.

    Regards

    Kumar Ganesan.
    Chand taree todh laoon saari duniya par main chahoon…bus itna sa khwaab hai.

    Reply

    • Are you sure you haven’t mixed up those voices? EMI reminders can never be from your Inner Voice. It’s either your Bank’s call centre or your HMV (Her Majesty’s Voice).

      Reply

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