Anish stiffened and looked warily over his shoulder as his wife, Mala, swished past him. Something was wrong, his instincts warned him. He regretfully discarded the TV remote.
It had been an awful week – the software application had crashed at the time of deployment. Amidst panic, hysteria, accusations, he and his team had spent most of week – including Saturday – fixing bugs. The only silver lining had been the scheduled arrival of his new computer game. He couldn’t wait to unwind with it. But bad news there too – delivery had been delayed as it was out of stock.
Now it seemed that the worst wasn’t over yet.
“What’s the matter dear?” he asked mildly.
“Don’t you dare dear me!” Mala rounded on him in a flash.
Anish quailed but stood his ground. “Now what have I done?”
“It’s not what you have done, it’s what you haven’t done!” Mala dug out the suitcase from under the bed and began throwing her clothes into it.
“Wha…what happened, come on, at least tell me what I did…I mean, didn’t do?” Anish pleaded – dammit maybe I should have offered to stay back at the office to babysit the software application.
Mala shut the suitcase with a snap. “Yesterday was our first marriage anniversary!”
Anish looked at her in open-mouthed horror.
Eyes flashing fire, Mala raised a hand and looked away. “I don’t want to hear any explanations. I am also a career woman and I can understand that you had a very stressful week, especially yesterday.” She spoke in a controlled even tone. “You came back late last night, you wolfed down the food I had spent hours cooking and went off to sleep.” She paused. “Did I say anything?”
“No, because I understood,” Mala was still talking, “that you hadn’t eaten or slept for nearly two whole days.” Her voice broke. “But this morning? It has been three hours and you didn’t even wish me!” She burst into heartrending sobs. “You didn’t remember did you?”
“But Mala, maybe I was waiting for you to wish me?” said Anish cleverly. “You didn’t get me any gift either.” He smiled winningly.
Fury replaced her tears. “I was waiting for you to say something first! To show that you remembered.” She pointed accusingly to the table. “I kept the gift for you on the table but you just threw your towel on to it.” The tears started to flow again.
He was in for it, Anish thought dully, unless…
“Mala,” Anish said somberly, “It’s not your fault, it’s my bad luck, the stars are conspiring against me.” He heaved a deep sigh. “Look.” he forced her chin up and showed her the SMS from Flipkart. “See, I had ordered a gift for you but,” he shrugged helplessly.
Mala’s face lit up even as the tears began flowing. “Oh Anish!” she threw herself into his arms, “you did remember!”
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