Friday, March 6, 2009

My Big Fat Non-Wedding!!!

A lazy Thursday afternoon in my home office.
I was sprawled on the couch, with the Times crossword in one hand, and, a De Bono, in the other.
I felt, and looked, like a super-sized Boa in denim, which, had feasted on one too many goats!

My rather heavy lunch, combined with the oppressive heat, only served to bring forth a chorus of sleep fairies, crooning soothing lullabies. I was desperate to stay awake. But, all my efforts to think of a four letter word for Black in poetry, of all things, only served to further weigh down my eye-lids !!!

Desperate situations call for desperate measures.
And so, I padded over the the refrigerator, for a fork full of ice-cream.

As I stood against the fridge, sucking the bitter-sweet chocolate-vanilla, swirl off the fork, savouring its icy cold smoothness in my mouth and, as it slid down my throat....The door-bell rang, bringing my moment of self-indulgence to an end.

A shifty looking man in uniform, from an unidentifiable courier service, stood at the door-step, fanning himself with a cover. Me, the languorous boa in denim, must have taken him quite by surprise, for, the glance he bestowed upon me, smacked of bewilderment, and, uncertainty.

To speak, or, not to speak?
To stay, or, not to stay?
To give or not to give?
Those, I could see, were the questions, which, were raging within.

And, a moment later, I learnt why.

" Mr. Satheesh....?? " He inquired hopefully, " A credit card from Citibank"
" Ok, give it to me..."

My casual response seemed to offend him.

Perhaps, he felt dismissed.
Or, maybe, it was my irreverence, towards the contents of the envelope.

" Give it to you??..You are?? "
" His wife"
" WIFE??? "

The incredulity in his voice amazed me. Never, in my whole entire life, have I had any identity of mine questioned with such vehemence. And, by a rank stranger, too.
I must confess, that, the situation was a rather novel experience for me. And, as much as I was tempted to box his ears, for his insolence, and send him on his way without much ado, I restrained myself to an icy stare. As I debated on the appropriate mode of action, I saw him surreptitiously glance at my hands.
And, start in surprise.
His search for the band of ownership on my ring finger, had proven to be futile.
I watched, in amusement, as his gaze tentatively rose to my neck, where the all important 'thali' was supposed to be. But, was not.
This time, he visibly recoiled in consternation!

Suppressing the smile that threatened to break out, I composed my face into an steely expression, as his eyes finally found mine.
" You are his wife???" He trilled at me, disbelief stamped all over his puny form.
" Yes" said I, daring him to refute my claim.

The poor man looked nonplussed.
And, unsure.
Evidently, he didn't think I was married.
But, the lights of war in my eyes, deterred him from stating what was in his mind.

" What to do? I have to give this card to him "
" Come on Sunday, then. He will be at home. Or, deliver to his office....In Sriperumbudur "

I could barely conceal the malicious glee in my voice, as his face, which had brightened with hope, fell once more. Sriperumbudur is a good hour and a half's drive away from Chennai city! And so, his dismay, was quite understandable.

" Err, Sunday is not possible..."
" Then, you will have to give it to me "

I was, by now, hot and sweaty, and, hankering for another fork full of ice-cream!
Which made me quite eager to send Mr. Shifty Man, and his precious credit card, on his way. But, unfortunately for me, persistence seemed to be a virtue he had cultivated carefully, and, practised with great diligence.
" You are really married to him??"

Momentarily distracted from the ice-cream, I glared at him. The man was begining to sound like a stuck gramaphone record. And, was threatening to stomp my nerves to pulp.

" Can I have identification? "
" I don't have his identification "
" No identification???...ration card? something? "
" We don't have a ration card. And, how do you expect me to have his identification? People normally carry their identification on their person, don't they??? "

And finally, my irritation got to him.
But, the man, was not to be easily persuaded.
Like the mighty Titanic, he forged on, cutting through the icy cold waters of my annoyance!

" Your identification? "
" Mine? "
" Yes please. I need your identification to give you the card "

As I rooted about for my PAN card in my bag, I wondered if I should make a quick dash upstairs, to fish out my scarlet letter from the cupboard. For, I knew, my identification papers, which bore my maiden name, would only confirm his worst fears. That I was a shameless harlot!
And, I was right.

The shifty man held my PAN card against the envelope.
His eyes widened. The spectacles came off for a cleaning.
He peered, once more, at the name on the cover. And, then, again at my card.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, he raised his horrified eyes to my face, before hoarsely whispering " This does not have his name"

" Yes, of course..That is my father's name there " I replied, trying to, helpfully, point out my dear departed parent's name on the card.

" You don't have identification with your husband's name? "
" Nope " I answered, blithely.
" This is why I asked.... "

And, that did it.
His whining had stretched my nerves to a frazzle, stirring in me, emotions which were rooted in the centuries-old social conditioning of the mighty matriarchal society I hailed from.

I was at my iciest best, as I drew myself to my full height, to demand an explanation.
" Asked what?...if I was married??..."
" errr...I mean "
" Actually, how does it concern you, if I use my husband's name or my maiden name??? How dare you talk in this manner to me? One more word, and I will come to your office, to personally complain about you"

An entire gamut of emotions flitted across his face, screaming to be voiced out loud. But, apparently, the sight of the ice-cream deprived virago in front of him, had rendered him speechless. Under my glowering eye, he hastily noted down my pan number and passed over the precious envelope, after obtaining my signatures on the necessary papers.

As he beat a hasty retreat out of the gate, casting reproachful glances back at me, I could almost hear him compose a mental narrative on his afternoon's experience. Without doubt, he must have had a lot to regale his colleagues with, at their late afternoon coffee break.

How I wish, I was a fly on the wall of his office!
A legend will be born, I think!!!
*evil wicked grin*


Ganga Dhanesh said...

lol...that was hilarious!

Arch said...

heh heh...been thru the same thing...but didnt get the card in the end....but having earned some of my bread and butter from this industry, i must tell you there are horror stories of what wives do with husbands' cards....the guy actually shouldnt have given it to you at all!!!! he is just lucky you are happily married ;)

Rekz said...

Ganga, :) :)

Really Arch? That is for both - you not getting the card & the horror stories. Well, more for the latter than the former. :)

Your mention of what wives' do with their husband's cards intrigues me. I know of women who have acquired unreasonable, extravagant spending habits post marriage. But horror stories? Those I have not come across so far.


really good..

Rekz said...

Thank You MIP.
It's nice to see you here again...

Asma said...

this was hilarious .. I have not changed my maiden name either and I am looked upon with great trepidation by "shudh bharatiya naari's"! They wonder how I dared to have an identity that goes beyond the husband's .. how dare I even try!!

Rekz said...

:) @ Asma
Truth be told, the words, deeds and thoughts of the self-titled' Adarsh Bharatiya Naris' are the last things on my mind.
I would rather follow my heart, and, go by what I think is right or wrong. rather than, try conform with that of society's, which is what most of the ABN's do.
At the end of the day, I go to bed with my conscience. And no one else's.
:) :)

Arch said...

It would be along the lines of husband and wife not getting along. wife blows up husband's credit limit and husband refuses to pay the bank saying HE never even got the card!!

btw, that last line about the concience was amazing !!

Rekz said...

Oh wow Arch, that does sound so movie-like. Guess it is not very funny in real life though!!!
Now, that you mention it, I too think the conscience line reads well. I guess it is because it came from the heart.

Arch said...

i hope that the fact that i cant even seem to spell the c word properly says absolutely nothing about me ! ;)

Rekz said...

LOL, Arch...
I was having a bad morning till I saw your comment....
Now, I can't stop smiling...

Rekz said...

P.S. Arch
As far as marriages go, appearances can be very deceptive, can't it? It is only when one scratches the surface, that the truth begins to emerge...
I had had this point in my original response to your comment, but it kind of got lost while I was multitasking...
And altho it is kind of late, I thought I would still add it in for what it is worth...

shail said...

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this, Excellently written.
You know what I always get the card! ;) Lol, though I think these courier services should be careful who they hand over what we send. They are far too lax methinks.

shail said...

BTW the boa in jeans was too good! :-)))))

Rekz said...

Thank you Shail, the Boa seems to have caught the fancy of quite a few people!!!
One even had the audacity to tell me that the courier guy could not be faulted for suspecting my status, becos, if one really thought about it, no sane human would marry a Boa, esp one in denim!!!
:( :(

Arch said...

oh yeah...i think we could blog a mother blog about that one! You kinda mentioned that in the lady in blue post too.... the way, i wanted to say this before ...if you arent already a part of the media, you really should be!!

Anonymous said...

LOL! Extremely well-written, and hilarious. Haven't we all been through this? Courier on a hot summer afternoon. The poor courier-boys though. Still, it does disturb our reverie.
Btw, was the courier guy a Muthalik man?!
- Pallavi