They both talk simultaneously because she can’t hear too well. So I’m sitting in between them, with concurrent sermons on how it’s high time I got married, and how he’s going to vote for Modi as PM. He sheepishly apologizes mid-way on behalf of his wife, explains how she hates the hearing-aid. They have a phone call from their grandkids just then and he runs towards the phone. Talks for five minutes, recounting his entire week, and then pulls her towards the phone. Her wired face lights up as he recounts the conversation word by word to her, deciphers her mumbled reaction and then talks on the other end.
After the call is done with, both of us are fiercely fighting over who will eventually make tea. Now he’s too proud. Help is ridiculous as long as he can walk. Off he goes, and his wife starts fussing over me. Relays on about her entire day, and how they sleep after 11 because she likes to watch Star Plus. How she wanted to call her grandkids earlier but he didn’t let her, as they ought to call first. How it really hurts to walk these days but too many maids are turning murderers. Smiles as she remembers her grandson forcing her to the store to buy the hearing-aid. He gets very worried, as he can’t hear me talk. Don’t you ever manage to eat? How will you ever have kids?
And then she falls asleep as she talks. He remarks on how unfair it is that she’s being forced to work in old age. How he manages to do his bit and actually cooks better than her. He trails off as his hands move slowly over her forehead. He excuses himself to cover her with a blanket. And then he makes himself comfortable to talk politics.
He says he loves me because I’m ambitious. And because law and its power fascinates him. He talks and he talks. And I listen, because he makes a lot of sense. Until…
So when are you going to get married? You know all this law shaw is fine but you’ve got to have someone around when you’re ugly and old? Um.