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Monday, August 22, 2016

Ray of hope

You know, Ray, I hated your mother. I thought she was pure evil. There, I finally said it!’ exhaled Rita. ‘Surprised, huh? Or maybe not?’ Rita continued as her husband listened. ‘I am sure you aren’t surprised that I hated her. You must be surprised though that I’m telling it to you! Aren’t you?

You know, Ray, I bought a red coat today. A bright red. The color you said made me ‘look like a whore.’ It used to be my favorite color, but you never let me buy it. I’m waiting for winter, so I can wear it.

‘This Ray Nicolas! One lucky bastard!’ said Max as he exhaled a big puff of smoke and passed on the cigarette to his friend, Fred.

You know, Ray, I do know you aren’t listening to me. You never did. You never do. But I am still going to talk. I like hearing all that has been trapped inside of me spoken out aloud. It is, what is the word, liberating…no, not liberating…therapeutic. Yes. It is therapeutic.

‘Why?’ asked Fred as he took a deep drag.
‘Rich father left everything to Ray. Mother spoilt him silly. Got a beautiful and devoted wife…that one there…’ Max pointed towards Rita with his chin.

You know, Ray, I think I finally know what love is. I see it for me in all that your friend, Roy, says to me and does for me. Say something Ray, don’t just sit there stone-faced’ chided Rita as she brushed away an autumn leaf that fell on Ray’s tombstone.

‘…she’s never missed a Sunday since Ray died a year ago. Comes to his grave, cleans it, and talks to him like he’s listening…’

Friday, August 19, 2016

Looks are deceptive

Looks are deceptive

Looks are deceptive, aren’t they, thought Malathi as she pulled out a golf club from her husband’s golf kit resting behind the door. The smallest club seemed to be the heaviest, she smirked. What all could it do, besides hitting a ball, she wondered ? Kill a cockroach? Crack a skull, perhaps?

Looks are truly deceptive, she smirked again. After all who would have imagined that her veshti wearing, burping after meals, and napping whenever and wherever possible husband would turn into a smart trouser wearing, energetic, English speaking and Golf playing gentleman overnight?

He had now started subscribing to a famous English newspaper (no regional paper for me, Malathi, they write rubbish!), had stopped eating rice (not good to eat everyday it seems, she rolled her eyes each time she thought of that statement) and spent more money than she did on the household expenses for a month, on just a few pairs of clothes!

When she asked him how much the golf kit had cost he had laughed it off, adding ‘Don’t want to give you a heart attack, Malathi’ As if she was that weak! When she had survived his mother, his aunts and his sisters, what was the cost of some stupid game accessory going to do to her, she harrumphed!
As she went about her chores, she could hear his soft snores coming from the bedroom. Rain had forced him to cut short his game of Golf and he had returned unexpectedly.

Disappointing Malathi. She wasn’t prepared for him being home early.

After being abandoned for Golf, Malathi had set her own routine. As soon as her husband left for his game Malathi finished her chores. She then called up her best friend and they both discussed everything they couldn’t discuss with others, for an hour. Then Malathi watched her favorite serials as she lunched. A short nap later she was ready and refreshed to wait on her husband, who left a trail of mess and rattled off a list of demands as soon as he stepped into the house. For the first time in her life she was doing what she wanted to and had time to herself. And it felt good.

She turned angry now. Why didn’t her feelings ever matter? Why hadn’t her wishes mattered? Her children too didn’t care for her, and her grandchildren were following their path. All anyone ever looked forward to was her cooking. ‘Amma make this! Amma make that! Paati make me this! Malathi make that!’ That was all she was remembered and needed for.

Anger and hurt vied for the No 1 spot in her brain.

Malathi tiptoed towards her sleeping husband, golf club in hand. He was snoring away. Should she? Shouldn’t she? She clutched tightly at the handle of the club as she felt the sweat from her palms making it slip a little.
She took a deep breath. And Malathi swung up the golf club, and swung it down with all her might. 


The skull split in two. 

And Malathi picked up the twin halves of the coconut, as she brushed away the twinge of guilt for bruising the golf club.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

It's okay

Bed-hopping is okay.
A few cigarettes a day and whisky on the rocks is okay. 
Swearing is okay. 
Late nights are okay. 
Replacing responsibility with money is okay. 
Might is right, is okay. 
Leering is okay. 
It is all okay. 
What is not okay is for a woman to want these or even think these.