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If I can just give to the world more than I take from it, I will be a very happy man. For there is no greater joy in life than to give. Motto : Live, Laugh and Love. You can follow me on Twitter too . My handle is @Raja_Sw.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

M&M Anand : Just Another Manic Sunday

“Am I a nice person ?”

“Hmm ?”

“Dad, am I a nice person ?”

Raj looks up from his laptop, a frown on his forehead, his mind clearly elsewhere.

“What did you say, son ?”

“Am I a nice person ? Are people nice to me because of ME ? Because I am a nice person or are they nice to me because THEY are nice people ?”

Raj stares at him with a busy look. It already got complicated after the first question and Raj's attention had given up after the first few words.

“I don’t know, son. Ask your mom.”

Calling out loudly from the living room to his wife in the kitchen “Meira, take care of him please. I am busy.”

“And I am not ?” Meira mutters under her breath.

“What’s the matter, bete?” she says as Rohit comes into the kitchen.

“Mummy, am I a nice person ?”

“Of course you are. You are a very sweet boy. Who says you are not ?”

“Nobody. I just wanted to know. So I am a nice person because I am nice and not because of other people ?”

“Hmm..sorry, bete, you have lost me there. Anyway, what is all this all of a sudden ? You are a nice boy, ok ? Now why don’t you just go out and play with your friends ? I am sure Aditya and the others must already be out there”.

“Ok, mum, see you later”.

Meira comes into the living room to confront Raj.

“You really should spend more time with Rohit, you know”.

“Hmm ?”

“Are you even listening to me ?”

“Not now, honey. Am in the middle of something.” Raj does not even look at her, he is deep into his spreadsheet on the laptop.

“Will you please look at me ? I am talking to you.”

“Honey, I said “not now”. I am really busy. I need to send this out within the next five minutes. I am already late, it should have gone out in the morning itself”.

Meira goes on. “All I am saying is that you should spend more time with Rohit. He clearly wants to spend more time with you, it is a Sunday today and all you do is sit in front of your laptop.”

“I know honey but I am just tired today”.

“Oh, YOU are tired ? Let’s see what you’ve done today. You got up at ten. You then made breakfast for all of us. Oh sorry, that was me. You did the vacuuming and dusting of the entire apartment. Oh sorry,THAT was me too. You made lunch – oops, me again ! You did the washing of the dishes because the dishwasher - which YOU were supposed to contact the service center for repairing – is still not repaired after two weeks. Oh again that was me ! You at least sat with Rohit to go through his craft project for school, didn’t you ? Oh surprise surprise, that was me too. Hmm..let’s see, what else ? You sat with the newspaper and spent more than two hours reading every bit of it, including the matrimonials pages. Yessss, THAT was definitely you”.

“Honey, five minutes ?” Raj pleads. Years of experience with Meira have made him wise to the futility of any attempt to counter her arguments. If anything, it only lent her more ammunition and that could only mean a longer and more tortured dialogue.

“Do you even know which class Rohit is in ?” Meira is now in full flow and is not going to be stopped mid-way.

“Err..”. Raj is thinking fast – should he make an educated guess and risk being caught out or just delay and hang in there, hoping the question will pass by itself ?

“You don’t, right ? Brilliant ! Do you even know which SCHOOL he is in ?”

“Err…come on Meira, what do you take me for ?” Raj says in a low, not entirely convincing, tone. This is getting too embarrassing, even for somebody to whom embarrassment came in his mother’s womb.

“Ok, come on, tell me..which school ?” Meira senses an opportunity to go for the kill here and is not going to let go, she is in that type of mood.

“Hmm…that one round the corner”. Raj manages to mumble.

“Which one ? Round which corner ?”

“That one..the one with a bus-stop opposite”. Raj makes one valiant attempt. Which school in the world does not have a bus-stop next to it ?

“You really have no clue, do you ?” Meira is finding it hard to believe how this conversation is going.

“I know, I know..St. Anthony’s High School, the one on the main road near the station” Raj shouts in delight. The relief is tangible – he had himself taken Rohit to the school when he had got admission there a few years earlier. So there ! He was not going to allow himself to be mocked so easily today.

“WHAT ?" Meira cannot take this anymore. "Will you please remove that smug look off your face ? You really are the WORST parent ever !!! . Don’t you remember we had gone to St. Anthony’s, filled up all the forms but at the last minute decided to put him closer home here in DAV Public ? Don’t you remember ANYTHING ?"

Raj looks sheepish, his eyes lowered. Caught outside the off-stump...

Meira continues. "How would YOU know ? If only you had attended even ONE Parent-Teacher meeting in the school in all these years...instead of my having to go every single time, taking leave from my work...my job is also important to me just like yours is to you…but I still manage to balance work with Rohit and other house work. Not like you…escaping everything under the pretext of “office work”...You are always looking for an escape.”

Raj, now totally exposed in Rohitgate, decides the safest recourse is to get back to his spreadsheet.

Meira knows she is talking to a brick wall but she carries on relentlessly. She will not give up so easily.

“Sometimes I really wonder why I married you. I had so many better options..I should have listened to my friends instead of my parents... DON’T TOUCH THAT MOBILE…” she screams as she sees Raj reach out towards the mobile on the small table in the living room. “I am TALKING to you”.

Raj looks at her with the ultimate beseeching look, one which has “please please please please please” written all over it.

“Am not touching the mobile, honey…. I am just looking for the remote. Do you know where it is ? The match will be starting in five minutes, I want to know who won the toss and what the pitch looks like today”.

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